BulletProofDiesel EGR Cooler (& new oil cooler)
Looks like I'm joining the ranks of those with a failed EGR cooler...
On Sunday night the truck threw the dreaded P0404 code. I noticed no performance issues and no check engine light came on either. On Monday morning, I opened the hood and added a little coolant - it looked a little low but I had some work on the coolant lines that provide heat to the water heater in the camper part of the EarthRoamer so I wasn't too worried (but I was a little worried). I also unplugged the EGR valve and then plugged it back in as I didn't really have time to pull it and check it out.
...and then my worries began...
After a clean start and pulling out the drive and down the street a bit the truck began to blow white smoke (it didn't smell sweet but did burn my eyes) and lost power initially. After I shut down and pulled off the road I looked at the coolant level again but couldn't really tell if anything had changed (it had been running a whopping minute or so - I usually let the coolant temp get to 112 before I pull out - that seems to let the truck have better acceleration...I don't know why). I restarted and more white smoke but I had power, there was the P0404 still so I cleared it. After getting down the road one block there was no more white smoke but there was now black smoke when I pressed the throttle hard like from a stop. I had to fill up the diesel tanks, run a few errands, return a few things, exchange a few things...Columbus Day off. The truck seemed to run fine but still there was that lingering doubt.
On Tuesday AM the truck had no white smoke at start up and I let the engine get a little warm as usual before heading to work 35 miles away. I watched the gauges and while it seemed to have a little higher spread between the EOT/ECT it was only 13 degrees and I was driving 65 over the hilly roads and through some recent construction. At the end of the day though I got the white smoke pulling out of the parking lot and there was that P0404 code again. I made it home and called the only BulletProofDiesel shop in Mississippi.
Acey's Auto in Jackson has taken care of me. I have a good relationship with Watson Ford in Jackson but I really didn't want to replace the Ford EGR cooler with a Ford EGR if I could avoid it. If I had a bit more money I think the Ford oil cooler would be replaced with a BPD oil cooler too but I am getting a BPD EGR cooler and stock oil cooler. I do have a coolant filter and oil bypass already installed. I just changed the oil on Monday too drat!
Looks like that mixed diesel/gas coolant episode finally killed the oil cooler in my truck. When I fixed the error of that event and had the coolant tested it came back with a report of much solder and other contaminants in the relatively new mixed coolant (they just filled the radiator not the whole system with gas engine coolant). My subsequent flush took 15 cycles before it was clear...and it started off muddy green (not from oil - I had it tested).
So...I'll have a BPD EGR cooler and a stock oil cooler with the coolant filter and oil bypass to protect it. The truck is just a bit south of 65,000 miles on the original EGR and oil coolers it seems (according to the OASIS). The EGR valve was replaced in March 2005 before I bought it.
I bought it at 41,000 miles in December 2005 after it returned from a 2 year around the world trip so all things considered I'm impressed. I'd be happier not to have to get the work done (or at least to have some time to do the work myself and cut the cost in half) but like I said earlier - Acey's Auto in Jackson, MS part of the BulletProofDiesel supported repair shops is taking care of me.
Thank you guys!
Last edited by howell_jd; 10-14-2010 at 11:51 AM.
Jonathan D. Howell
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
EarthRoamer XV-LT #15 "Around the World"
"Americans travelling America"
Life Memberships: National Eagle Scout Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Rifle Association, Military Officers Association of America, Army Engineer Association, Good Sam Club, North American Hunters Association...if I could: EarthRoamer, Overland Journal and ExpeditionPortal.com