UNDRIVEABLE DEFENDER 90 300Tdi - CO Fumes in cabin - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 11th, 2015, 09:46 AM
w507
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Will Goodlet
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UNDRIVEABLE DEFENDER 90 300Tdi - CO Fumes in cabin

Hi all,

I have a '97 Defender 300TDi 90 CSW I can only drive for 5 min at a time before I get light headed and dizzy. I cannot smell anything distinct and by the rapid onset of the symptoms it appears to be Carbon Monoxide and therefore, I suspect, some kind of blow-by. I have some test stickers coming I hope (the kind used in aircraft).

The car gets worse, when a window is open. But better with all the windows closed and the driver side front vent open. I imagine this reduces the vacuum created in the cabin when driving?

As of now I have done the following:
- sealed the entire cabin with duct tape on all doors and windows
-re-done the foam seals under the seats
- sealed all doors (including the back) with foam sealant
- blocked the heater vents
-removed heater box and blocked the vent in the firewall
-inspected sealing around transmission tunnel
- gone over every inch of the exhaust with a rag stuck in it looking for leaks
- changed the outlet angle and direction on the exhaust
-removed the rear exhaust joint behind the silencer
-fitted a gasket and sealant to the header to manifold joint -no evidence of leaks
-new exhaust/inlet manifold gasket with sealant as well
- sealed the exhaust branches (after finding slight blowing)
- replaced all the turbo pipes
-sealed the turbo pipe joints
-replaced the oil cyclone o-ring
-re-seated the injectors with new washers in case it was vapourised leaked diesel I was smelling
-checked and re-clamped all breathers
-removed, tested and cleaned the intercooler
- replaced the oil cap to prevent possible blow-by

Does anyone have any other advice about where I might be getting engine blow-by or exhaust coming into the cabin? The vehicle is completely impossible to use in this state!

Can it come out of the crank case or sump anywhere I haven't looked yet??

My next steps will be:
-disconnect breathers from turbo system and temporarily route somewhere outside the car and away from any possible vacuum created in the cabin
-replace the exhaust clamp joint under the passenger seat (even though I find no evidence of a leak there at all)
- replace the Fuel sender seal and locking ring in case diesel fumes are responsible.

After that, I don't know what to do.
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  #2  
Old June 11th, 2015, 09:57 AM
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rdavisinva
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Robert Davis
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Suggestions (possibly a long shot):
Have the injectors pop tested and check the spray pattern or replace them outright with new washers.
Check for low volume coolant, ATF, PS fluid, fuel, or oil leaks hitting the exhaust and vaporizing.
Check the IP for leaks.
Check the Turbo hoses and intercooler hoses for leaks or loose clamps.
Replace the injector spill over lines.
Check the dipstick seal.
Install a valor/liquid trap in the breather line coming off the blow by trap (black thing on the side of the valve cover) and check O-ring and mounting bolts.
An air compressor water trap will work fine.
Had a 200TDI with tired engine with a similar problem and the trap did the trick.

What type of battery are you running?
Could it be acidic gas from the battery right under your ass?

Praat Mevrou Afrikaans?
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  #3  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:01 AM
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The cyclone lines would be my top suspect. Their is a drain line goingfrom cyclone back to the sump lower on the block, and then you have the breather line going from cyclone back into intake. you might have something disconnected or cracked along those lines.

this shouldn't be hard to sort. you can also get some oil dye, add it to your oil, drive it a bit, then check it with a black light to find out where all this vapor is coming out.

it's either exhaust or oil vapor from crank. two different systems to isolate.
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  #4  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:05 AM
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Sounds like you're getting exhaust sucked in from the rear. I had the gasket fall off the bottom of the rear door and started getting exhaust in there. Open the window and it would come in dangerously so. If you're not smelling diesel exhaust though, you might just be having vertigo, or not be very sensitive to the smell of diesel exhaust. CO doesn't come from cars without exhaust stink. Especially in quantities that would make you notice it.

If its happening when you're moving it is most likely being sucked in from behind. But could also be getting injected through your vent system. Overcome in 5 minutes wihtout huge odor. Strange. Maybe that separator could get the fumes out leaving the CO and inject it into your vehicle?

When you get your detector kit you'll know. Are you getting a headache, shortness of breath and nausea? The couple times I've over done it on the CO I noticed that first.
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  #5  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:07 AM
w507
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Will Goodlet
1997 Defender 90 300Tdi CSW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
Suggestions (possibly a long shot):
Have the injectors pop tested and check the spray pattern or replace them outright with new washers.
Check for low volume coolant, ATF, PS fluid, fuel, or oil leaks hitting the exhaust and vaporizing.
Check the IP for leaks.
Check the Turbo hoses and intercooler hoses for leaks or loose clamps.
Replace the injector spill over lines.
Check the dipstick seal.
Install a valor/liquid trap in the breather line coming off the blow by trap (black thing on the side of the valve cover) and check O-ring and mounting bolts.
An air compressor water trap will work fine.
Thanks for the quick response! 'IP' means?

-I have checked all the hoses and replaced most. clamped and sealed too.
- Replaced the injector spill overs
- checked oil/blowby trap, torqued and new O-rings
-no evidence of leaks onto the exhaust - this is a RHD so less likely I guess.

Will check out these tonight:
-Dipstick seal
- and investigate the liquid trap you suggest
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  #6  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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Doug Crowther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefenderMd View Post
CO doesn't come from cars without exhaust stink. Especially in quantities that would make you notice it.

If its happening when you're moving it is most likely being sucked in from behind. But could also be getting injected through your vent system. Overcome in 5 minutes wihtout huge odor. Strange. Maybe that separator could get the fumes out leaving the CO and inject it into your vehicle?

When you get your detector kit you'll know. Are you getting a headache, shortness of breath and nausea? The couple times I've over done it on the CO I noticed that first.
This, aka "station wagon effect". Opening the vent while driving pressurizes the cabin minimizing the effect. Post a pick of your exhaust tip. Routing/angle are crucial to avoiding this
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  #7  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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Is exhaust coming out the tailpipe?
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Old June 11th, 2015, 10:17 AM
w507
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Will Goodlet
1997 Defender 90 300Tdi CSW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefenderMd View Post
Sounds like you're getting exhaust sucked in from the rear. I had the gasket fall off the bottom of the rear door and started getting exhaust in there. Open the window and it would come in dangerously so. If you're not smelling diesel exhaust though, you might just be having vertigo, or not be very sensitive to the smell of diesel exhaust. CO doesn't come from cars without exhaust stink. Especially in quantities that would make you notice it.

If its happening when you're moving it is most likely being sucked in from behind. But could also be getting injected through your vent system. Overcome in 5 minutes wihtout huge odor. Strange. Maybe that separator could get the fumes out leaving the CO and inject it into your vehicle?

When you get your detector kit you'll know. Are you getting a headache, shortness of breath and nausea? The couple times I've over done it on the CO I noticed that first.
Hi, thanks for the quick response.

My first guess was the back door. I went as far as changing the exhaust tail pipe - it is now out the side and pointed down. I also taped over all the windows and doors with duct tape and tested. like that. Better but still a problem. Re vertigo? I have a Puma 110 and don't get the same problem it's just the 90. I get the symptoms after about 5min. I don't have to be driving, I get the same effect if idling in one spot for a while. Sometimes it is worse sometimes better.

My symptoms are dizzyness almost like being a little bit drunk. Difficultly being logical etc...no nausea, headache or shortness of breath - It can last quite a long time - e.g I still feel weird now even though I drove 2 hrs ago. Sometimes I get a dryness or itch in the eyse and throat. There is something in the air - just don't know what.

There are definitely fumes from the diesel tank coming in (its right under the seat) - I will be replacing the seals in the sender shortly. But having been a sailor - I have never had sensitivity to diesel fumes on boats.
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  #9  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:19 AM
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Robert Davis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w507 View Post
Thanks for the quick response! 'IP' means?
Injection Pump.
Located on RH side with the 4 pipes connected to the back going up to the injectors.

UD's Station Wagon effect and exhaust routing question might nail it down yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
What type of battery are you running?
Could it be acidic gas from the battery right under your ass?
Let us know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
Praat Mevrou Afrikaans?
Guess not.
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Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)

"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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  #10  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:23 AM
w507
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Will Goodlet
1997 Defender 90 300Tdi CSW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
The cyclone lines would be my top suspect. Their is a drain line goingfrom cyclone back to the sump lower on the block, and then you have the breather line going from cyclone back into intake. you might have something disconnected or cracked along those lines.

this shouldn't be hard to sort. you can also get some oil dye, add it to your oil, drive it a bit, then check it with a black light to find out where all this vapor is coming out.

it's either exhaust or oil vapor from crank. two different systems to isolate.
Thanks very much for this.

I replaced the line from the rocker to the crank case. Also the O-ring in the cyclone. But not the lines. I took the lines out, checked them visually for cracking and then replaced as they are quite expensive over here from parts suppliers. There are no loose connections.

Process of elimination I guess! I tested my intercooler for leaks by blowing air through underwater, I didn't find anything wrong beyond a small black patch. I still suspect a problem - could a tiny leak here be an issue?

Like all things on these old vehicles it's usually more than one problem confusing us.

Thanks for the idea on the oil dye.
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  #11  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:34 AM
w507
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Will Goodlet
1997 Defender 90 300Tdi CSW
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Sorry didn't see the bit about Afrikaans Rdavisinva, no I am a Rooinek from Hong Kong (can't speak Cantonese either beyond some swear words : ) )

The battery looks like it's in great shape. It's under the passenger seat so not too close. Interesting what you say about the 200Tdi. This engine pulls well and sounds great but It is definitely blowing. Mileage is only supposed to be 168,000km if it can be believed. Car is in good general shape.

------ Follow up post added June 11th, 2015 04:40 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
This, aka "station wagon effect". Opening the vent while driving pressurizes the cabin minimizing the effect. Post a pick of your exhaust tip. Routing/angle are crucial to avoiding this
Ok thanks, will post a pic as soon as I get a chance. It was modified to eliminate this though. It sticks out beyond the Left side a few inches, and about 8 inches away from the back corner and has been angled down towards the road.

I also have the left back window taped up with duct tape for good measure.

My feeling ins the gas is being sucked up under the drivers seat and through the firewall - more when moving.
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  #12  
Old June 11th, 2015, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w507 View Post
Hi, thanks for the quick response.

My first guess was the back door. I went as far as changing the exhaust tail pipe - it is now out the side and pointed down. .
Direction, outlet position ... all irrelavent. Well.. not very relavent.

If there is a leak in the rear gaskets, the exhaust will be sucked in. The low pressure behind the vehicle will attract all your exhaust fumes from all around the vehicle unless you have a tall stack. Open a window and it depressurizes the cabin beyond that of the low pressure behind the vehicle and vacuums in the exhaust.

That station wagon effect. Like someone said. Roll down the rear window and you're fine... open a front one and it sucks it in. Even can happen when topless due to the windshield always being there creating a low pressure zone behind it. Its all about the relative pressures. This COULD come from anywhere you've got a leak. Rear of the vehicle is usually the culprit as the air movement everywhere else is working against infiltration. If it happens at a stop more than at a go... that's likely front or under. If it happens at a go.. you get the idea.
See "bernoulli".
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  #13  
Old June 11th, 2015, 12:42 PM
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Wondering if its something else, like a mold infestation in the seats or something that is giving you an allergic reaction not a CO reaction. 5 minutes is a really short period of time for CO to build up to dangerous levels but if its something in the environment that you are having a bad reaction to that could be a reasonable time frame.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transientmechanic View Post
Wondering if its something else, like a mold infestation in the seats or something that is giving you an allergic reaction not a CO reaction. 5 minutes is a really short period of time for CO to build up to dangerous levels but if its something in the environment that you are having a bad reaction to that could be a reasonable time frame.

Or maybe deep down inside he was born a Toyota owner. His symptoms are similiar to what I've seen Toyota owners have whenever Rovers show up.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Or maybe deep down inside he was born a Toyota owner. His symptoms are similiar to what I've seen Toyota owners have whenever Rovers show up.
I was kind of thinking along this line too.
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  #16  
Old June 11th, 2015, 02:39 PM
w507
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Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
Or maybe deep down inside he was born a Toyota owner. His symptoms are similiar to what I've seen Toyota owners have whenever Rovers show up.
LOL - I have 2 defenders never owned a toyota in my life. I have had a TVR, a triumph spitfire and a Lotus 7 and a Jeep. I think I've had my fair share of punishment
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Old June 11th, 2015, 02:46 PM
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LOL - I have 2 defenders never owned a toyota in my life. I have had a TVR, a triumph spitfire and a Lotus 7 and a Jeep. I think I've had my fair share of punishment
What no MGs?
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Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)

"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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  #18  
Old June 11th, 2015, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w507 View Post
LOL - I have 2 defenders never owned a toyota in my life. I have had a TVR, a triumph spitfire and a Lotus 7 and a Jeep. I think I've had my fair share of punishment

It's like an autoimmune system disorder. You have a Toyota body and a Land Rover mind, that is rejecting your Land Rover enthusiasm with potentially fatal side effects.

You have 4 options as I see it,
  1. sell your rovers and buy a Troopy,
  2. swap your 300 TDI for a 1HD or,
  3. drink a medicinal litre of diesel/90W mix every morning and paint your house interior green or,
  4. eventual death
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  #19  
Old June 11th, 2015, 02:50 PM
w507
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Will Goodlet
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Originally Posted by DefenderMd View Post

That station wagon effect. Like someone said. Roll down the rear window and you're fine... open a front one and it sucks it in. Even can happen when topless due to the windshield always being there creating a low pressure zone behind it. Its all about the relative pressures. This COULD come from anywhere you've got a leak. Rear of the vehicle is usually the culprit as the air movement everywhere else is working against infiltration. If it happens at a stop more than at a go... that's likely front or under. If it happens at a go.. you get the idea.
See "bernoulli".
Ok, but I have checked all seals and even taped up the doors and window joints and the body joints - cant do more than that? By gasket i assume you mean the back door seal and bottom seal?

I also got the symptoms leaning into the airstream from the fan on the left side of the open bonnet while parked. Checked my exhaust for leaks with soapy water and by blocking the pipe. - i think it is breather fumes filled with oil and gas from piston blow by. The problem is my test is how dizzy i feel breathing in the scent from various areas of the car i will get the inter cooler tested professionally. Also disconnect the breather pipes and re-route. That should then eliminate this as a possible cause.
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  #20  
Old June 11th, 2015, 04:17 PM
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Diesel engines aren't known producers of Carbon Monoxide. It sounds like your engine has some bad blowby. How is the compression?
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