L3800 White smoke, burning oil?

BeRad

New member

Equipment
L3800
Jul 28, 2020
4
1
1
Upstate NY
Hello everyone,

First off, thank you to everyone who keeps this forum going. I've been lurking for a couple weeks now and am very grateful to all who have shared their experience.

I recently purchased an L3800 with 350 hours from a dealer in Upstate NY. It was priced with a backhoe and fel for $18,500. When I went to purchase the tractor, the dealer said that upon further inspection there were some fuel injection problems. I did notice a small amount of white smoke when starting the tractor but it didn't seem too alarming (maybe a mistake). Anyhow, the dealer offered to sell the tractor for $16,000 as is and they gave me some assurances which I won't go into here.

Over $2000 worth of work has been done. This includes a rebuilt injection pump which. After the rebuild they removed a shim from the injection pump and this supposedly made the engine run smoother. Of course, it still burns some oil. According to the dealer, the compression test is fine and it may be a valve seal. The service manager said it looks like there is a new head gasket on the tractor.

They can't give me an estimate until they get the head off. While I'm still below the $18,500 I was originally willing to pay, it is now time for me to start researching the issue. Other than watching the oil level, is there a way to determine if the engine is burning diesel or oil?

Thank you in advance.

Brad
 

BigG

Active member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
927
71
28
West Central,FL
Do you smell burnt oil when the tractor is running? I would ask them if there is an injector going bad. I have a GMC with the 6.6 diesel that has gone thru several injectors in the 430,000 miles on it. On that truck the bad injector has caused the exhaust to turn white. Any thing from a very light to almost a rolling white smoke.

If you can not smell the oil or see the oil going down on the oil stick then you need to investigate further.
 

Captain13

Member

Equipment
M7040 4WD ROPS, ZD28
Feb 27, 2019
105
6
18
Kathleen, GA
Usually, white smoke is an indication of raw fuel. Since the head gasket was replaced, check your coolant level To make sure you aren’t loosing any coolant. Also look to see if the coolant is bubbling which may indicate a leaking head gasket. BigG is right on the injectors. If one is leaking and Not spraying correctly, the raw fuel will come out as white smoke. Usually there is a strong smell of diesel if that is happening.
 
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BeRad

New member

Equipment
L3800
Jul 28, 2020
4
1
1
Upstate NY
Thank you for all the advice. The dealer was supposed to check all the injectors. They did a “pop test” and said that one wasn’t functioning. I do think that it smells like diesel burning however, as I just paid over $1500 for them to diagnose and repair the fuel delivery system including pump and injectors, I thought that it may be something else. Their assessment was also that it was better bring oil.

I will keep all these thoughts in mind while using the tractor today. It may be time to call the dealer again tomorrow.

Thanks,
Brad
 

SidecarFlip

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M9000HDCC3, M9000HD, Kubota GS850 Sidekick
Oct 28, 2018
5,711
149
63
USA
Me thinks the dealer is all about recouping his lost 2 grand and then some. If it was me, I'd be going elsewhere to another Kubota dealer or learn how to do it yourself. Diesels aren't rocket science.

Both my tractors smell like diesel fuel burning because they DO burn diesel fuel.
 
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BeRad

New member

Equipment
L3800
Jul 28, 2020
4
1
1
Upstate NY
Me thinks the dealer is all about recouping his lost 2 grand and then some. If it was me, I'd be going elsewhere to another Kubota dealer or learn how to do it yourself. Diesels aren't rocket science.

Both my tractors smell like diesel fuel burning because they DO burn diesel fuel.
That is exactly what I was thinking. On a tractor that I have experience with I can determine if the exhaust smells like a stronger unburnt diesel, but I have no experience with this one.

Thank you for the link Mark_BX25D. I will try to post a video sometime this week of the smoke. Maybe that will help.
 
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lugbolt

Well-known member

Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
2,209
35
48
Mid, South, USA
not real common to have to replace injectors or pumps on L3800.

That said, poor fuel quality will ruin both, and quickly.

Did they put fresh and known-good quality diesel back in? Or did they simply replace the pump, and run junk fuel through it again? If the latter, could have taken out the pump-again. Perhaps an injector too. Gasoline in the fuel will eat up the pump in short order. It doesn't take that much either. Also, water. Water in any diesel engine will hurt the high pressure pump and/or injectors, particularly common rail stuff (like duramax, cummins, 6.7 Fords, some kubota, etc) and ain't nothing cheap to fix on a common rail fuel system.

removing a shim under the pump advances the injection timing which would make it run a little smoother, IF the compression was low ;)
 

BeRad

New member

Equipment
L3800
Jul 28, 2020
4
1
1
Upstate NY
not real common to have to replace injectors or pumps on L3800.

That said, poor fuel quality will ruin both, and quickly.

Did they put fresh and known-good quality diesel back in? Or did they simply replace the pump, and run junk fuel through it again? If the latter, could have taken out the pump-again. Perhaps an injector too. Gasoline in the fuel will eat up the pump in short order. It doesn't take that much either. Also, water. Water in any diesel engine will hurt the high pressure pump and/or injectors, particularly common rail stuff (like duramax, cummins, 6.7 Fords, some kubota, etc) and ain't nothing cheap to fix on a common rail fuel system.

removing a shim under the pump advances the injection timing which would make it run a little smoother, IF the compression was low ;)
Good to know. I’ll drain and replace the fuel. They tested the compression and all three cylinders came in at 400. I’m not sure what spec is.
 

Jim L.

Member
Jun 18, 2014
632
4
18
Texas
all three cylinders came in at 400. I’m not sure what spec is.

Factory 470 to 540 psi; minimum allowable 370 psi; difference among cylinders 10% or less.