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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    341

    Default VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Hi, all.
    For some time I have had suspicions that my 30-year-old VP2003 may be leaking diesel with the cooling water.

    It starts and runs fine (so long as I feed it on diesel, rather than vacuum) but on start-up I can usually see a sheen on the water at the stern. I guess that's to be expected when using the cold start procedure but I have a nagging feeling that it may continue even after the engine has warmed up. Of course in the marina there are multiple possible sources of slick, and when moving it's impossible to see.

    We purchased the boat 5 years ago and the surveyor remarked on this at the time. I had removed the injectors (naively without any concern for the sleeves etc) and had them serviced. I'm pretty sure there is no oil leak.

    After servicing the injectors I had a water-in-fuel episode which went right through the system. Since then I stripped, flushed and cleaned the system but left the injectors in place (having scared myself by finding out the consequences of dislodging the sleeves).

    So I guess I am looking for some advice:

    Is it worth trying one of the so-called "injector-cleaning" additives? And if so, is it a good idea to squirt it into the secondary fuel filter to give it a short sharp shock, rather than diluting the whole tank? I go on the principle that if it won't do any harm (an important pre-condition!) then it's worth spending a tenner "just in case".
    Any specific recommendations of an additive that would work best for an old lump like the VP2003? I'm after one-shot cleaning, not "performance enhancement".

    On the basis that I naively popped the injectors out once and "got away with it" is it likely I could do it again - this time draining the coolant first?

    Are there other trees I should be barking up, rather than the injectors? Engine performance seems quite "normal" based on max revs/boat speed etc.

    As always, advice/experiences much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    18,654

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    It would certainly be worth adding a bottle of diesel injector cleaner to the tank. My Brother-in-Law's diesel Golf had been idling very roughly for months and wobbling around on its engine mounts and he asked me to have a look at it for him. I had a look but couldn't see anything wrong so I went down to his local garage, bought a bottle of injector cleaner, and chucked it in the tank. He phoned me a week later to say that it was now running perfectly. He sold it a year later and it was still perfect.

    If, when the engine is hot, you don't get any white, black, grey or blue smoke out of the exhaust and idle and high revs, then everything is fine.

    Richard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North from the Nab about 10 miles
    Posts
    8,788

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    When cold, even with the cold start mechanism, its quite likely the diesel isnt burning completely until the engine warms up a little. Even if unburnt diesel smog is not visible, it is very likely to still be present for the first few seconds after the engine fires, producing a sheen on the water.
    Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
    http://boatownersresponse.org.uk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,308

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Check your oil level for
    A/not using any
    B/ signs of dilution ie smell it
    Either can be unburnt fuel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Thanks, all.

    Looks like a couple of bottles of redex are indicated - unless someone can recommend something better for this age of engine? And adding some direct to the 2ary fuel filter rather than the tank: good idea? Bad idea? Meh?

    I'm "happy" that there is bound to be some unburnt fuel on startup. It's when the engine's warm that I'm concerned about. Perhaps I could grab a sample of cooling water when I'm down in the dinghy.

    Scottie, I understand A/ (there is no change in level) but not sure about B. Do you mean diesel getting into the oil? Why would that get into the exhaust? I can't say I've noticed an unusual smell in the oil (and certainly no emulsification that would indicate water ingress) but the whole engine thing is a smelly lump anyway, so I'm not sure I could distinguish one source of diesel smell from another with confidence.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,308

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Quote Originally Posted by lampshuk View Post
    Thanks, all.

    Looks like a couple of bottles of redex are indicated - unless someone can recommend something better for this age of engine? And adding some direct to the 2ary fuel filter rather than the tank: good idea? Bad idea? Meh?

    I'm "happy" that there is bound to be some unburnt fuel on startup. It's when the engine's warm that I'm concerned about. Perhaps I could grab a sample of cooling water when I'm down in the dinghy.

    Scottie, I understand A/ (there is no change in level) but not sure about B. Do you mean diesel getting into the oil? Why would that get into the exhaust? I can't say I've noticed an unusual smell in the oil (and certainly no emulsification that would indicate water ingress) but the whole engine thing is a smelly lump anyway, so I'm not sure I could distinguish one source of diesel smell from another with confidence.
    If there is unburnt fuel from a faulty injector getting into the exhaust it is prudent to check if it’s getting into the oil
    Worth also checking if the drop in revs by loosening each injector pipe nut in sequence is consistent.
    Cover the nut with suitable rag .
    Usually smell it on the dipstick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    35,507

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    I had a 2003T in my last boat, and it was always smoky and produced a slight sheen on the water from the exhaust. It used virtually no oil. I had the injectors serviced and it was still smoky.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    18,654

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    I had a 2003T in my last boat, and it was always smoky and produced a slight sheen on the water from the exhaust. It used virtually no oil. I had the injectors serviced and it was still smoky.
    I don't think the OP even has the smoke to comfort him.

    Richard

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport
    Posts
    9,779

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Only when starting from cold... ��

    Speaking from experience of mine
    Steve
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: VP 2003 - injectors query/ fuel-in-exhaust niggle

    Thanks, all. I filled up with low-FAME fuel from MDL, laced with Redex and Marine 16.

    No diesel smell in the oil.

    Haven't tried fiddling with the injectors yet, but I get the idea of disabling each injector to see if it has an equivalent impact on smooth running.

    Apart from start-up there isn't an undue amount of smoke. When warm it emits a small amount of blue-grey smoke. I always assume that for these engines "If it ain't smokin' it ain't runnin' ".

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