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Old 06-18-2020, 03:42 PM   #1
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Covered with oily black something

Drove 7 hours on Tuesday and the entire back end of the rv is covered with oily black soot or something.

This is a new development.
Drove close to 2000 miles last fall with NO residue at all.

Drove 7 hours last week with ZERO residue....so I can't blame cummins for over filling something.

Inside engine compartment is clean and dry.

Not more intense near exhaust pipe. Appears to be evenly distributed. Heaviest at bottom and lightest at the top.

Any ideas from all y'all? I know NOTHING about diesel engines.
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:45 PM   #2
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My DW ran through some freshly paved areas and ended up behind the oiling truck and her car was covered like you are saying. Check your tires and wheel wells...may have been something on the road.
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:54 PM   #3
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Check your exhaust manifold, manifold to turbo, and turbo on through tail pipe for a leak.


Easy to spot,as there would be a black soot trail around any issue.


Question-- engine oil consumption up?


What does it "feel like":
soot would feel like carbon
oil would--- ya, feel like oil.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:05 PM   #4
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Possibly a hydraulic leak. Examine the hydraulic lines going to the radiator fan motor and oil cooler in the radiator stack.

Our oil cooler actually developed a crack on one of the welds. We noticed it at our last fuel stop a few miles from the house on the last day of a 5000 mile trip. The back of the coach and the toad were coated in oil.
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RVPioneer View Post
Possibly a hydraulic leak. Examine the hydraulic lines going to the radiator fan motor and oil cooler in the radiator stack.

Our oil cooler actually developed a crack on one of the welds. We noticed it at our last fuel stop a few miles from the house on the last day of a 5000 mile trip. The back of the coach and the toad were coated in oil.

But, hydraulic oil will not be black. Depending on fluid, it will be pink (ATF) or clear (engine oil or hydraulic fluid).
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:21 PM   #6
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Older diesel engines tend to blow oil out of the exhaust when the oil level is too high in the engine. The thing making the oil level too high doesn’t have to be oil. It could be coolant, fuel, etc. Check the oil.
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:31 PM   #7
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But, hydraulic oil will not be black. Depending on fluid, it will be pink (ATF) or clear (engine oil or hydraulic fluid).
In some cases, yes. In our case the reservoir for the cooling fan, power steering and brake boost called for 15W-40. WRV mixed it up over the years. It now has AW-46.

I can assure you that the substance on the vehicles, combined with road grime, was what many would consider black in color.

I have yet to see “clear” engine oil, particularly after it’s been circulated in the ISL for a few trips.

Just a possibility, I thought I’d bring to the discussion, since it can and did happen and based on the original post sounds similar.
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Old 06-18-2020, 06:39 PM   #8
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Check your oil dipstick. I didn’t have mine completely seated and left an oily residue after an 8 mile drive.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:31 PM   #9
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Check the diesel fill cap. My bet is it isn’t on. Mine rode for 400 miles on the headlight. What a mess.
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:11 AM   #10
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Check the fluid level in the hydraulic tank. I had the same thing a couple years ago and it was a leaking hyd hose.

The rear of MH and front of my jeep were covered with hyd oil which turned black when mixed with road grime and dirt. I had the hose replaced and problem solved, only leaked when running and under pressure.

At least it was an easy fix, so to speak.

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Old 06-19-2020, 10:45 AM   #11
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So after all these posts it appears you have a leak somewhere, or engine tail pipe issue and likely it did not come from the road. May the search begin!
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:49 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the great suggestions.
What a great forum.
I apologize, I should have started this thread with some pics.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:00 AM   #13
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I crawled underneath today.
The only thing that is wet is the wiring below this tube.
Is that the notorious crankcase breather or "slobber tube"?

First I thought, dang, the cummins guys didn't tighten the filter correctly, but it is dry.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:06 AM   #14
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I checked the exhaust and hydraulic lines and dipstick seating.
All good there.
I will need to go back to see if the fuel cap is off, per Tom & Patty. It's possible, but I would think there would be more of a widespread mess.
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