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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Curt
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2001-09-18          31866


I have a Ford 1700 diesel that has about 1600 hrs on it. Recently it began spitting oil droplets from the exhaust. I took it to a repair shop (not a dealer) and he said that it wasn't spitting oil but that it was fuel so he had the injectors tested and then replaced them (2@$120). He also changed the oil. When I got it and drove it around it didn't spit oil/fuel anymore until I hooked up the bush hog and put the engine under load. Then it began spitting again although not nearly as bad. I haven't had the tractor long enough to know how much oil it uses but it has always smoked slightly. My question is: can oil getting into the cylinder damage fuel injectors? The tractor runs fine but I don't wan't to fork out another $240 for fuel injectors. How much oil must get into the cylinder for it not to burn? The shop where I took it was small and did not have the proper adapter to do a compression check but I think at this point it is may be necessary to haul it to a dealer to have it properly diagnosed.

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Mark G.
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2001-09-19          31870


Curt it sounds like you may need to take your tractor to a dealer and have the compression checked. If it is turely spitting oil then you could have a busted oil ring on your piston. I hope it is nothing serious. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2001-09-21          31917


I may not be entirely correct in all details below. If I'm not, I hope to hear about it. I believe it's normal for a diesel to puff a bit of gray exhaust on acceleration. Black smoke generally is excess injection or overheating. Blue smoke is oil getting into the upper cylinder areas--same as with gas engines. I'm guessing the repair shop did an injector spray pattern test, found two bad patterns and replaced parts. The reasoning here would be that a bad pattern indicates poor fuel atomization which could produce raw fuel coming out the exhaust, especially when at full-throttle. However, I don't know exactly what was replaced. I don't know if the nozzles themselves are replaceable or if the entire injectors were replaced. The trouble is that I think that injector problems other than bad nozzles could cause raw fuel out the exhaust. The delivery valves also may be candidates. Injector work is pretty specialized business. There's nothing exactly magic about a dealer's shop, but the skills and testing equipment should be available. It's a little hard to say how a small repair shop is set up. Could be great but also could be not quite adequate. However, I'd tend to go with the shop's assessment that it's fuel and not engine oil. If it's fuel, then you may note the engine oil level goes up rather than down. Engine oil dilution by fuel thins the oil and can cause damage. I believe there should be some blue smoke if it's engine oil getting into the upper cylinder areas. Oil can get into the upper cylinders by being drawn down the intake valve stems due to worn valve guides. This problem may be associated with hard starting due to low compression. Another way for oil to get into the upper cylinder areas is from stuck or broken oil rings that don't wipe the cylinder walls adequately. This problem may not be associated with low compression. Another way for an engine to burn oil is for compression gases to get past the compression rings and burn some oil on route to the crankcase. This source of oil burning would be characterized by hard starting (low compression) and smoke from the crankcase breather. In a way, it's too bad the oil was changed or it could be checked for fuel dilution. It's sort of tough to keep running an engine that may have a broken ring just as a test for the fuel system. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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FarmerWannabe
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2001-09-21          31929


Tom, you wrote me earlier re oil and then smoke coming from my breather tube. I wrote later to say that my oil level was up nearly 2 quarts. You also mentioned oil viscosity which I may have ignored. Is it possible that my oil level is up because fuel is getting in the oil? I assume this would also thin the oil which reduces its ability to protect the engine. What causes this and what can be done to correct this? I have heard of oil getting past rings and pistons and being burnt with the fuel but I had not heard of fuel getting in the oil. Which is worse? ( I have a older Kubota 7200 diesel). ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2001-09-24          31983


Just got back from our camp or would have replied earlier. Got to go back and finish a rail fence in a couple of days. Just didn't have enough motivation to keep working in the rain we're getting today.

If the engine oil level is going up and a glug of anti-freeze isn't in the bottom of the oil pan, then dilution by fuel is a likely explanation. Both are conditions that should be repaired to prevent damage to the engine.

One source of fuel in the engine oil is faulty injectors that are leaking down. Basically, injectors are spring loaded valves that spray fuel through the nozzles when line pressure is above a certain pressure (a bit below 2000 lbs. generally). An injector must be able to hold fuel in the lines at just below its injection pressure. A leaky injector leaks fuel into its cylinder at times when the fuel does not ignite. The unburned fuel ends up in the crankcase--after washing engine oil off the cylinder walls. Another source of fuel in the engine oil (on some engines) are leaky seals in the pump. On many engines, there are several passages between fuel in the pump and engine oil that are closed off by seals. Fuel that gets past the pump seals also ends up in the crankcase. A dealer should know if the pump on your tractor can put fuel into the oil.

The 'white smoke = excess or wrong viscosity' comment came out of my repair manual. I don't really know if wrong viscosity means to thick, or too thin, or either. I'd guess that both excess oil and too thin oil would result in oil getting in places it shouldn't. So, I imagine that oil that is thinned by diesel may make white exhaust. Maybe somebody else can say for sure.



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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2001-09-25          32005


You shouold check to see if your engine is running up to temperature. During the winter we see a lot of tractors that the thermostat is not good and won't bring the tractor up to temp causing low cylinder temperature and not burning the all fuel. This gives you exhaust slobber like you described. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Curt
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2001-09-25          32013


Actually it spits more oil/fuel the hotter it gets. I'm thinking that when the engine gets hot the oil thins out which makes it easier for the oil to slip by a poor ring seal. I don't think the fuel injectors were the root cause of the problem. The weather is significantly cooler now and that's why I think it's spitting less. If the problem was the injectors it shouldn't be spitting at all especially since it has new oil in it. Am I right or is there some other explanation? ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2001-09-26          32023


Curt: I hope you get some help here in thinking about this thing in a way that eliminates possibilities and eventually finds the problem.

I think it's important to identify for certain if it's engine oil or fuel that is coming out the exhaust. I think that most times excessive oil in the upper cylinders would be exposed to combustion and that should produce some blue exhaust smoke in addition to any oil droplets. At any rate, if there's noticeable oil coming out the exhaust, the oil crankcase oil level should go down. If you're operating the tractor, you might monitor the oil level closely. Of course, there's the small possibility that two problems exist. An engine could be burning oil as well as getting fuel into the crankcase at the same time.

I don't know what to make of the temperature thing. I'm not sure how much cooler weather would affect oil temperature if the thermostat is working. In addition, multi-grade oils may well be thicker, rather than thinner, at operating temperature.

On the other hand, if the repair was competent and tested and replaced 2 of 3 entire injectors, rather than just the nozzles, then the injectors don't seem to be a likely explanation. One thing about injectors is that they properly atomize fuel only when they're spraying through good nozzles at fairly high pressures. A good injector doesn't open until high pressure is reached. Another part of the system called the delivery valve produces a sharp pressure drop below a certain pressure. I know that an injector will 'dribble' if the delivery valve isn't working. I don't know if this dribble could account for your exhaust spitting. Iíd discount such explanations as gross maladjustment of pump or engine timing if the engine is working fairly normally and not smoking. Iíd also discount excess injection unless thereís black smoke and over-heating, but you might check the max no load rpm to see if it's in spec. You also might check if the 'spitting' is greater at high loads.
....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2001-09-26          32029


With what you are saying it complicates diagnosis. You might have either broken rings or they are just contaminated with crud. How long do you spend with the bush-hog on mowing? The two cylinder engines did not get the life of many of there three cylinder engines but yours sounds like you might have a failure internal. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2001-09-27          32056


I see I'm guilty of likening a 1700 to my 1710. I didn't know 1700's were two-cylinder. Regarding one of the original questions about the possibility of oil getting into the fuel through bad injectors: There is a theoretical path from the crankcase to the injectors on my 1710 since the injector pump is lubricated by engine oil. However, I don't think there is enough oil in to area to produce the problem described, and the sort of pump failure that would provide a path between oil and fuel would more likely produce fuel in the oil than oil in the injectors.

If the spitting is oil rather than fuel, I'm sort of stuck wondering why there doesn't seem to be much oil smoke in the exhaust. I guess I wonder why oil in the upper cylinders wouldn't be exposed to combustion and produce smoke. I'm also not sure why oil that wasn't being adequately wiped off the cylinder walls by oil rings would form droplets and be expelled out the exhaust. Could happen since Iím working with theory rather than experience here. Broken rings would be an expensive problem, but some oil additives can cure stuck rings. Wouldn't hurt to run an additive and see what happens I guess. Another possibility might be oil drawn down the valve guides. I believe there is a scavenger cycle on diesel as well as gas engines during which both the exhaust and intake valves are open. Seriously worn guides or a lot of oil in the rocker-arm area could result in oil going down the guides and being directly blown out the exhaust. Valve guides shouldn't be badly worn at 1600 hours, but maybe there's excessive oil going to the rocker arms. It might be a good idea to remove the rocker arm cover to see how much oil is present after the engine runs for awhile. There shouldn't be a lot. Thereís a possibility that an oil feed line to the rocker arm shaft is off. Some shafts have plugs in the ends that hold oil inside that can come off.
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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Curt
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2001-09-28          32084


Upon further review it seems that the spit must be fuel since the droplets on the hood dry up after a few days. Is that a good assumption? If it is fuel, why does it only spit when it is under load? Thanks for everyone's inputs. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2001-10-04          32202


A fair assumption. Why it would spit more under load is that the governor increases the throttle when the load increases or when the throttle s moved to a higher setting. Injector problems have been mentioned as well as governor and temperature problems. Art mentioned temperature, which is a good candidate. You might check to ensure that the tractor actually comes up to operating temperature. My 1710 had a thermostat that didn't quite close and ran cool except under heavy work. I don't recall if it spit raw fuel, but it did smoke until I replaced the thermostat. Another possibility is that the governor allows too much throttle on acceleration. I'm not certain that too much throttle would produce raw fuel in the exhaust, and checking governors is a bit specialized. However, the max no-load adjustment is easy to check. You might note if the spitting occurs under all high load conditions or just when the tractor accelerates when the throttle is increased. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2001-10-04          32211


Silly questions of the day..... Are you sure it's oil, or is it just a black liquid that is assumed to be oil? Secondly, does this machine 'live' outside? The reason I ask is that many of the compacts that I come across which spend their life outside do this, particularly after a rain storm. The droplets are actually (in the cases I have seen) sooty water being spat out of the exhaust pipe, not oil, the fact that you say the droplets 'dry up after a few days' if it was oil, or even fuel, it wouldn't 'dry up' it would leave an oily film. If it dries completely to a powdery residue, try putting a can or even a cloth over the exhaust stack when not in use. I'll bet it stops spitting. Best of luck. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
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2001-10-05          32221


Murf: I tie a heavy baggie on the exhaust pipe myself. I can't seem to lay my hands on a can the right size. I think that most can that end up in our re-cycling might blow off in a high wind. I guess that sooty water droplets would leave black spots on the hood after the water evaporated, and the spitting would only happen at start up. You're right that both diesel and engine oil should leave some sort of residue after a few days. Apparently the mechanic who replaced the injectors said it was fuel, but who knows. I think that maybe not much more can be done here of absence of specific observations and follow up of suggestions made.
....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Curt
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2001-10-05          32222


The tractor does sit outside but I keep a can over the stack and a tarp over the tractor so I doubt any moisture is getting in. Thanks for everyone's input but I'm giving up on analyzing this problem. The tractor starts and runs good so I'll just put up with it until I can haul it to the dealer this winter. I'll post a message here when I get a final diagnosis. Thanks again. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Bird Senter
Join Date: Jun 1999
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2001-10-05          32223


Why not put a regular steel rain cap on the exhaust? I had one that I got from Tractor Supply Co. on my B7100. They only cost $5 to $7 and then you don't have to worry about them blowing off or you forgetting to put a can on the exhaust. I'm talking about the hinged kind that the exhaust blows open when the engine starts. You also see them on some big trucks. The only complaint I've ever heard about them is that they sometimes rattle, but that just never bothered me. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2001-10-05          32227


If the exhaust stack is anything like all of ours the top end is bent over to about a 45 degree angle to send the exhaust away from the operator, and to make the opening smaller from directly overhead (rain, snow, etc, falling.). This requires cutting the top of the pipe off to fit the 'rain-cap' on top. After looking at one of my machines in the shop this morning I discovered that the very bottom of the elbow where the exhaust comes out of the muffler and turns to go up through the hood there is a small (~1/8") hole, presumably this is to let any water back out. Best of Luck. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
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2001-10-06          32236


Curt: Thanks for the note. I think it's a good approach to just go with something that works OK. Sometimes analysis gives more pain than the problem, and I of all people should know. Please do get back to the Board with the explanation. I believe I'll remember the problem for a long while and will be interested in the explanation no matter how long it takes. In the meantime, I believe I'd carefully monitor the engine oil level. Operating a tractor that has the oil diluted by fuel can cause some damage. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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TomG
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2001-10-06          32237


I believe I'd use the hinged flappers if my exhaust pipe didn't turn outward and have a bevel at the end. Forgetting to put the can (or baggie in my case) on is one thing, but I more often forget to take it off. Pop goes the baggie, or whump goes the can flying across the shed. My uncle used those hinged flappers on the exhaust stacks of a diesel that drove his irrigation well pump. I recall him saying that the flappers would blow open and rain let in the stacks during storms from a particular direction. That's probably not a very realistic concern for most tractors that likely are kept in places a bit more sheltered than the middle of a Nebraska corn field. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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dwillis
Join Date: Mar 2011
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2011-03-04          177172


I ran accross this thread after searching on the net for an identical problem. My Ford 1700 with 1400 hours on the clock is doing the same thing. I suspect somehow, that crankcase oil is seeping into the injector pump. I just changed the injector oil as well as the crankcase oil and rechecked both after running the tractor. I found the injector pump overfilled and the crankcase oil approximately a quart low. Any thoughts? ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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treeman
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2011-03-04          177177


I like the can idea better vs the plastic bag idea. The can will let the exaust breath while the bag won't. I remember years ago there was a trend to tie bags on the outlet of your motorcycle exhaust to protect them over winter. Those same people had their exhaust rust out quicker. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Intrigue
Join Date: May 2015
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2015-05-02          192700


Curt, several years ago you were seeking info on a spitting problem with your Ford 1700. Did you ever find out exactly what the problem was? I have a Ford 1700 diesel doing the same thing as yours did/is. It have 760 hours on it. Speculation is oil or diesel, but no for sure answer. Problem is worse at high RPMS, and when the tractor reachs operating temp. Any info you might have that would help narrow it down would be greatly appreciated. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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KennyG
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6 Wisconsin
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2018-09-04          197955


Hi I was reading some post about Ford spitting oil. I have a 1700 spitting out black oil from exhaust port. I replaced valve seals, didn't stop it .What ended up to be your problem? Thanks ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Murf
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2018-09-04          197956


This is a common problem with all flavours of small tractors, not just the Ford / Yanmars. Typically they spend a good part of their life running at low RPM's (often barely above idle) and engine temperatures.

As they age the injectors leak a little and the 'oil' you are seeing is most likely a combination of unburned fuel and carbon from the inside of the exhaust.

If this is the case you should get it looked at, the excess fuel will wash the oil off the cylinder walls that both dilutes the oil and washes more contaminants into the crankcase oil.

Also check that your tractor has a thermostat, a lot of little Japanese diesels don't, and that it's operating at the right temperature.




Best of luck. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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KennyG
Join Date: Sep 2018
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2018-09-04          197957


Hi thanks for the reply I have no smoke, no extra oil in crankcase no diesel smell, starts great, runs very nice, leaking oil doesn't smell like diesel, valve cover vent is open. ....

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Diesel engine spits oil from exhaust

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Art White
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2018-09-07          197960


Make sure your thermostat is closing or at least that the engine is coming up to the proper temperature. Cold diesels do not burn all the fuel only partially and that will come out the exhausts! ....

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