White smoke at startup - out of ideas - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-20-2020 Thread Starter
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White smoke at startup - out of ideas

I'm getting ready to sell our 1990 Catalina 42, and am concerned about the noticeable white smoke that goes away after it warms up. I've learned to live with it over the past couple of years, but understandably, it causes some trepidation for our buyer.

The problem is unburnt diesel, and I feel like I've tried almost everything to cure it. When we bought the boat in 2015, there was no smoke .The problem first developed in the summer of 2017 in a big way. See below link.

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/diese...ite-smoke.html

The problem cured itself but since then, the engine began creating a noticeable fog (but not a cloud) of white smoke, until the engine is run under load for about 10 - 15 minutes. The engine has 2300 hours and always starts up on the first rev. No performance or power loss that I can tell. It's a Yanmar 4JH.

So far, I have:

- Had the injectors professionally rebuilt.
- Adjusted the valves.
- Replaced the oil.
- Replaced the filters.

All of the posts on this topic end with either no resolution, or "accept it and go out sailing."

It used to not smoke. Now it smokes. What changed? How do I un-change it?
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-20-2020
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

Stick your hand in the smoke and smell it. Does it smell like fuel? Does it dissipate rapidly or stick around?

Mark

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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

Have a compression check done. Might be a blown head gasket.

Mike
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post #4 of 40 Old 03-20-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

It smells like fuel. It lingers. Creates sheen in water.
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

Air filter too?
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

There is no air filter - just a mesh screen.
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by glossa View Post
It smells like fuel. It lingers. Creates sheen in water.
Are you sure all the injectors are operating correctly? Perhaps you should get them pop tested again.

Also consider having the injection timing checked, although if you haven't done any work on the injection pump, the timing doesn't usually change.

One thing to try is to take it out and run it hard under a full load for a while. Could be a ring isn't set well or glazed, and the compression isn't enough to fully burn the fuel.

Since you said it goes away under a load, it is possible that a ring is taking time to expand and seat when cold. A compression test when cold could tell.

Mark

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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

What if I cracked injector lines one at a time to see if it makes a difference.

Was also thinking of running it for a while tonight.

Other possibility is glazing or deposits, I guess.
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

So if you run it hard till the smoke clears, shut it down for say 10 20 minutes does the smoke come back once its started? And is the coolant level constant?
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Re: White smoke at startup - out of ideas

Tried cracking the injector lines and it didn't make much difference. If there was less smoke, it was probably because there was one less cylinder firing.
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