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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
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Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

Hi
Would appreciate some thoughts on an issue I have with a 1990 Ducato 1.9TD based motorhome:

1990 Ducato R/90 (14Q) base
1.9TD engine - code 280A1.000
80'000km (60'000 miles) registered

This engine has always run hot/been strained as it's way under powered - 60KW/80BHP isn't much for a 3.1 ton vehicle with aerodynamics of a barn. However it always ran fine (if hot under load).

Very recently I diligently changed the timing belt. Bit of pig to find the timing marks but got there. After the engine ran fine, and was used on a 400km trip without any issues.

Van was then parked (on sloped drive, engine uphill) for 2 months. Went to start and was very difficult to get running, poor power and lots of smoke/noise.

My first thought was a air lock in fuel, due to being on slope + very hot weather (38C day before). So I dragged it onto flat with another car in hope it would purge. No joy.

After running for a bit it conked out and refuses to restart. After endless testing (flow at fuel filter, injectors etc) without any reason, I decide to recheck timing just in case.

Was shocked to find it had dropped timing by 1-2 teeth (crank to camshaft). The new belt also had some threads on edge, and a doggy looking tooth (pic attached). So it seems it somehow the belt skipped. Given it was new, and had run fine, my best guess is something failed and jammed in engine/injector pump - rather than the belt itself - as this still had plenty of tension/grip.

I installed another new belt, tripled check timing and tried to start with fingers crossed. But still no joy, which suggests whatever threw the timing in first place was broken and/or the mistiming has done in valves.

My plan next is to run:

1. Compression test to see if internal damage in engine. Will pull rocker cover as well, and maybe put a endoscrope into cylinders if can get access through injector hole.

2. If #1 looks ok, strip off the injector pump as really last thing that can be wrong


Would appreciate any ideas on what else to look for or possible causes It's a bizarre fault as everything was fine then total failure in startup. Hard to believe an injector pump failure would cause a timing skip, and it still seems to turn/pump ok as best I can tell.

If I can't find problem or it is internal engine damage it will probably go to scrapyard - which will make my children quite :sad:

One other speculation I had was maybe caused by hydrolock as we also had a huge rain storm just before starting. Again if on slope maybe possible the air intake was flooded and engine pulled in water at start up.... However that's seems a long shot....

Cheers

Rick
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

hi. the thought occurred to me when reading how parked for two months. was it by any chance left in gear? and if so what gear ? as if left in first gear this could explain why the problem occurred as the weight of the van may have allowed the handbrake to allow the van to move a few inches thus causing the timing belt to jump a tooth. as said just a thought but I have known this to happen with goods vehicles when parked in similar situation. anyway good luck hope you get it sorted.
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

To grasp at straws and not wishing to sound insulting, are you sure that the engine is now timed on the correct stroke?

I managed to get this far out on a diesel Land Rover many years ago. What threw me though was the fact that the engine would run, but with little power. As I had thought that the engine would not start in this condition, I dismissed the possibility. If I remember correctly as this was probably over 50 years ago, increased fuel consumption, engine ran hot, and blew out glow plugs.

I do know how you feel.
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Last edited by Communicator; 1 Week Ago at 11:12. Reason: Punctuation, and addition.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

Sounds as if there has been piston to valve contact due to running it with the timing wrong, it will never run right now until the valves are replaced with straight ones and a new belt and tensioner installed. I have a camper on a TD10 with the 1.929 engine and it will run with the timing 1 tooth out on the camwheel in either direction but any more will cause damage to the valves (and pistons?)
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

Thanks for all the replies.

Jon: Van moving in gear: good idea, and yes was in first, but handbrake was fully on and it was set on chocks. So Iím sure it canít be that.

Communicator: Iím pretty 100% confident the timing is now right - as I redid with help from guy at local garage. It is a pig to do as the timing marks are hard to read (need mirror). Also tensioning was bit vague as ideally you need special Fiat tool which has a weight to load the tension before tightening. I fabricated one which worked fine but I didnít know the weight (and hence tension) and err on side of being over tight - so no real chance it just jumped due to being loose.

This is what I made: photos.app.goo.gl/evdHHEBybuHbb4UP7

And engine running after the first change: photos.app.goo.gl/puaTUVNFWeaJuD5Y7

Sounds like a tractor but it always didÖ.


As Roland says - very likely there has been internal damage - which the compression test/inspection will confirm. I was trying to figure out what might have caused the original skip - that remains a bit of mystery.

Iíll update if I find anything more out.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

is it not possible to advance or retard the pump on that model without having to move the timing belt as I seem to remember someone having a similar problem with a 1.9 a few years ago and that solved it. I think it was on the TalbotOC forum, may be worth a look as it will be in the history, and theres still a lot of owners running the older models on their including a number running 1.9s so it may be worth posting I think you have to pay small joining fee or donation. but may be well worth it for knowledgeable advice.
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Last edited by jontee61; 4 Days Ago at 22:36.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #7
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

A worthwhile tip when changing the camshaft / pump belt is to crank the engine over manually with a long ring key on the crankshaft centre bolt at least two revolutions to ensure that there will be no valve - piston contact and as a check that the timing is somewhere near. It should revolve smoothly with resistance as each piston comes up on the compression stroke but would be blocked it there was valve - piston interference.

The marks on this model of engine are crude and somewhat vague to say the least, I got mine wrong on one occasion and the manual cranking over did not find the mistake out but prevented damage when I started the engine. When I realised how badly it was running I rechecked the marks and discovered my mistake. I then made my own marks that cannot be confused with Fiat's and which I at least understand.
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

Quote Originally Posted by jontee61 View Post
is it not possible to advance or retard the pump on that model without having to move the timing belt as I seem to remember someone having a similar problem with a 1.9 a few years ago and that solved it. I think it was on the TalbotOC forum, may be worth a look as it will be in the history, and theres still a lot of owners running the older models on their including a number running 1.9s so it may be worth posting I think you have to pay small joining fee or donation. but may be well worth it for knowledgeable advice.
Thanks. Yes you can adjust the advance / retard on pump by rotation on mounting but this is by a few degrees. The pump wasn't touched at all during the belt change so wouldn't seem likely to have shifted. In any chance the mistiming was between cam and crank - the cam and injector pump were still correct with each other.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #9
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Re: Ducato Diesel timing / starting woes

Quote Originally Posted by rolandbrindley View Post
A worthwhile tip when changing the camshaft / pump belt is to crank the engine over manually with a long ring key on the crankshaft centre bolt at least two revolutions to ensure that there will be no valve - piston contact and as a check that the timing is somewhere near. It should revolve smoothly with resistance as each piston comes up on the compression stroke but would be blocked it there was valve - piston interference.

The marks on this model of engine are crude and somewhat vague to say the least, I got mine wrong on one occasion and the manual cranking over did not find the mistake out but prevented damage when I started the engine. When I realised how badly it was running I rechecked the marks and discovered my mistake. I then made my own marks that cannot be confused with Fiat's and which I at least understand.
I agree the timing marks are an absolute pig to read - especially the cam and crank one. I pretty confident that everything is now lined up correctly.

I pulled the rocker cover and this was inside: photos.app.goo.gl/tUsQKmGgqrHybex86

Looks very clean for a 30 year old engine, and certainly nothing obvious - though hard to see the valves with the well of oil. I'll clean all that out. Cranking by hand feels absolutely fine, no odd noises or jams. I also see sequence of squirts coming from the injector pump lines so the basics of that are working ok (doesn't seem to have huge pressure but this isn't a common rail so probably ok).

I pulled all the glow plugs and was about to do compression test but realized that with the straight mounting hose I have on tester one of them isn't accessible. So I need to get a deep 27mm socket and pull out injectors instead. Not a bad thing as this will also let me put a bore scope down and see what is going on inside hopefully....
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