White smoke on start up, rough idle, losing water....

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nickmcdonald
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White smoke on start up, rough idle, losing water....

Postby nickmcdonald » Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:11 pm

Hi all.

As the title suggests, I've got a few issues with my 96 Nissan Terrano, QD32eti. Over the past few weeks, its started blowing huge clouds of white smoke out of the tail pipe when I start it, and will have a really rough idle until I give it gas to take off and it comes right. Note that when I'm driving it around, it behaves beautifully and drives well. It seems especially bad when I start it when its already hot. For example, I'll drive to the shops and park up. When i come back out and go to drive off, it'll idle low and rough, and bellow white smoke until i get it moving and it clears right up.

Just this weekend, I went to start it and it wound over once, then stopped suddenly. In hindsight, it seemed like it hydrolocking. I tried again and it wound, fired, but idled really roughly for a few seconds then died. I tried a third time and it fired up, idled roughly, smoked heaps, but came right after a few seconds and drove normally. I've also noticed it using a lot of water. It has a new, good quality radiator in it and no leaks, so that water is going somewhere.....

The cause could be the following: on a recent trip my partner said she could smell overheating, so I pulled over, popped the bonnet, and found the radiator was bubbling over. The temperature gauge didn't indicate anything unusual which is frustrating. I let it cool, topped the water up, and noticed that the radiator fan could be stopped with my hand - this indicates a buggered fan clutch doesn't it?

My gut feeling is that when the radiator fan failed on the recent trip, it's cooked itself and blown a head gasket. It's got brand new glow plugs in it and an injector pump rebuild 40,000kms ago, so I'd like to rule those things out, and when its cleared its throat after starting, it drives perfectly, so I doubt its a shot injector. Does this sound like a head gasket to you lot?

Cheers :)

BlakeNZ
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Re: White smoke on start up, rough idle, losing water....

Postby BlakeNZ » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:52 pm

yes it does unfortunately :( or a cracked head.Or a warped head, i guess. Generally the TD27 (essentially the same motor) and the QD32 are really tough motors and can often withstand an overheat, so it is disappointing that this has happened.
When was the water pump last replaced? pull the thermostat out and check the date stamped on it. they can fail with age.
install an aftermarket water temp gauge(with its own sensor), to see what is happening in that department, as the factory one does not sound as if it is reading true. I installed my sensor in the lower half of the upper radiator hose.
all the best, and please post results of what the mechanics find.

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Smurf
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Re: White smoke on start up, rough idle, losing water....

Postby Smurf » Sat Aug 20, 2022 11:01 am

Water getting into a cylinder. gasket leak or cracked head unfortunately.
Repair or replace the head/gasket as required. Fit new water pump and thermostat, I would also get the radiator checked to make sure it isn't blocked.

nickmcdonald
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Re: White smoke on start up, rough idle, losing water....

Postby nickmcdonald » Sun Aug 28, 2022 12:44 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I can confirm a blown head gasket and severely cracked head, almost certainly caused by the fan clutch packing up. This weekend I put a brand new head on it, replaced the water pump and thermostat, and blanked off the egr while i had it all apart. The crack in the head ran through all cylinders. I counted 9 cracks in total….brutal.

It seems to be running well now. I got back from a 30 minute drive and i heard it bubbling, which has gotten me spooked. I hope its just ‘burped’ the radiator, as it took another litre of water after being filled originally. The temp gauge and or sender unit must be poked as its never read hot once. An aftermarket sensor and gauge will be next on my list once the bank account recovers.

Thanks for the pointers guys, much appreciated.

nickmcdonald
Driver/Navigator
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:04 pm

Re: White smoke on start up, rough idle, losing water....

Postby nickmcdonald » Mon Aug 29, 2022 11:26 am

Update: something is still wrong. On a 10 minute trip to work, I lose about a litre of water. I can only assume the block is cracked. Absolutely gutted.

Anyone need any R50 parts? :evil:

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