I have a 02 powerstroke 4 door, 4WD, F250. It has been an awesome truck and has never let me down on and off road. Up until last month i had never done anything to it other than change the batteries and altenator. I wanted to post this up in case anyone ran into the same problems that ive had. One day i started noticing a slight deisel smell in the cab. It went away and then a few days later came back and didnt leave.
I spent 2 nights under, over, and around that truck looking for a cracked line or fuel cooler that might be leaking. Finally i noticed that the coolant overflow had 2 different looking fluids in it. My heart sank as i thought i must have a cracked head or block. then i thought maybe it is a fuel cooler that has rotted out and is mixing with the coolant as transmission coolers that are intergrated with the radiator can sometimes do this. After some research i found what might be the problem. Injector cups.
Direct injection requires the injector to be actually inside the cumbustion chamber. This puts the injector in some serious heat. To cool the injector they have run the injector right throught the head and in the middle of a large water jacket. The injector cup separates the injectors fuel and oil from the coolant. If these cups crack they can cause the fuel and the coolant to mix. The fuel runs around 90 psi, i think, and the coolant 14-16 psi. this allows the fuel to easily displace the coolant and eventually leak out of the overflow cap.
I bought two special tools. One for removing the cup. Which acts as an easy out, and another to set the cups into place. I also replaced all the O rings on the injectors and cleaned them the best i could.
Remove the air box and driver's side battery. remove all of the intercooler plumbing. Remove the bracket that holds the AC condenser on and set the condeser over toward the other battery and out of the way. Take the valve covers off. Now you see the top of the injectors between the rocker arms and the push rods. Remove the oil and fuel galley plugs so that fuel and oil dont leak on top of the cylinder. This can cause major damage. Liquid doesnt compress and something has to give when you go to restart it. Remove the wires that connect to the injector and remove the lower bolt that hold the injector in place. Do not remove the top one it is only a stud and once you get the lower one out the locking collar that holds the injector down will slide off of it. Remove the injector and replace the O rings. Keep an eye in the hole and make sure there isnt a bunch of fluid running in. I had some make it through and rigged up a small copper tube with a shop vac to remove the oil and fuel that did seep in. Take the cup removal tool and remove the cup. Wire brush the seats so that the new cup sits nice and flush. Vaccume out the cleaned area. Put green lock tight on the new cup on the seat shoulders and place the new cup in the head. Put the injector back in and repeat 7 more times!!! This would be the only time you wish you had a 4 cylinder!!!
Buy yourself some long extensions and universal jointed sockets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also get a Haynes manual to help with all the specs for torque when you put it back together. You will need an inch pound torque wrench in 3/8 drive.
Once i had everything back together i ran the truck with water and simple green in the coolant system. I ran a hose into the cap and opened the plug at the bottom driver's side of the radiator until the simple green was gone and the water smelled like simple green and water and not diesel and water.
Replace all the hoses and coolant overflow cap as the fuel will eat away at the rubber.
I bought all the cups, tools, and O rings from Rosewood Deisel Shop. He had some instructions on his web site on how to use the tools and was very helpful on the phone. Fix cost me in all $550 when the dealers and shops wanted from 1600 to 2300 to fix it. Took me a day and a half to complete and now my truck is running great. I hope that you all never find this problem it is a pain in the rear to fix but i hope that this can help if you do. I am not a mechanic but i was able to do it myself and save a bunch of money.
I cant stress how important it is to make sure that there is no fluid on top of the cylinder before you put the injector back. Crank the motor a few times easy to make sure that the engine isnt hydrstatically locked. DO NOT CRANK THE MOTOR WITH THE INJECTOR OUT. IT FILLS THE CYLINDER WITH FUEL. If it sounds normal crank away, itll take some grinding on the motor to get it to fire.
One more tip. Take the front tires off and block the axal to the ground. Itll save you back and arms from having to reach up into the engine bay.
Hopefully Im good for another 200K!!!