159 JTDm Broke Down - Dumped It's Diesel - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 11 Old 18-10-16 Thread Starter
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159 JTDm Broke Down - Dumped It's Diesel

Hi all, haven't really posted here in a long time but now's a good time as my brother has a problem with his 159...

His 2.4JTDm Qtronic (2008) broke down on the motorway a couple of days ago. It was recovered back to his house as it wouldn't start (even though it was turning over fine). When I got down to where he had broken down, I noticed diesel spillage around the o/s/f wheel area. This leads me to believe that it's a fuel related problem and the car is starved of diesel through some sort of leak, but how do I trace it? What are the favourites for anyone having had a similar experience? How many pipes should be coming off the fuel filter near the firewall? The cambelt was done recently, could anything fuel-related have been disturbed in the process?

I've just had the engine cover off and the injectors are more or less swimming in diesel. I tried cranking it up and although no obvious diesel spray anywhere, there is a bit of diesel again near the front driver's wheel so I'm leaning toward a problem near that area but then how do you explain the top of the engine being covered? Where is the diesel pump? I'm attaching some pics but I'm not sure if you can make out much from them. So many questions lol

EDIT: Can't attach the pics for some reason (drag and drop)
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Get someone to turn it over, while you, carefully, look for the source of the leak.
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There is no fuel line front O/S/F. Are you sure it is not engine oil? The oil cooler is located just in front of the O/S wheel, and a common disaster area thanks to corrosion of the pipes/unions/cooler itself. Check the dipstick to make sure oil level is still correct/that you have oil.

If it is DERV (and I hope it is) then it can only be running down from the top of the engine. A common problem is the fuel return lines from the injectors - which are rubber hoses, with plastic connectors, that recirculate excess fuel to the filter. Pennies to repair with new, but leaks in those wouldn't stop the motor running, just spray diesel everywhere.

The high-pressure fuel pump is the black lump attached to the large bracket behind the cylinder head, offside, between head and bulkhead. It is powered from the cambelt. It's fed by a pipe from the fuel filter, and the filter is a common source of leaks. Leaks there are under pressure from the lift pump at the tank, and pressure loss can mean the HP fuel pump can't work - it needs inlet pressure. However, a leaky low-pressure side probably won't plaster the top of the engine in fuel. That's more likely to be a problem with the metal HP pipes that run from the HP pump to the common rail distribution manifold, and then to the individual injectors. Fuel on the HP side is under dangerously high pressure and will find any pinhole or leak and be ejected all over the place. That pressure loss will also mean the injectors are not being fed so the car won't run.

So I think you are looking for a damaged pipe or loose union on the HP side. Be very, very careful working this. It's fine with the engine off (zero pressure), but with the HP pump operating (ie engine turning over), fuel should be at 21,000psi and is potentially fatal if injected through skin. Gloves won't help. Do not touch any area you suspect of leaking and wear eye protection and don't put any part of yourself close to the system. If there is a leak, it will probably be pretty obvious. Confirm by placing paper towel near the origin to catch spray.
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Thanks for the replies. It's definitely diesel and I checked the rubber pipes but there was nothing obvious. Someone posted about one of the rubber pipes that gets eaten away by the engine cover - that too looks ok. I guess this is beyond my scope so I'll have to get my brother to have it towed to the garage.
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Check the Fuel Filter plugs.
http://www.poweritalia.com/wp-conten...115-103353.jpg

One of the plugs came off mine about 2 weeks ago, spilt diesel everywhere, could not source the problem as it was literally everywhere. Wouldn't start because the filter was starved of diesel.

Hope this helps.
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Thank you AlfaJoe92 - I 've already checked that and they seem secure enough. I did wonder about the 3rd 'nipple', but it seems that that is to bleed the air from the system?

I have a feeling it's something to do with the high pressure pump. I'm not sure if it is visible or behind any covers but looking at some second hand parts out of curiosity, it does [obviously?] have some feeder pipes and I'm assuming they've (or one of them has) come off. That would explain the fuel near the driver's side front wheel,but not at the top of the engine. I will take another closer look when I finish early enough from work.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 11 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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So, it turns out that a metal pipe that goes to injector number 4 was "broken". Not only that, but all the injector seals were damaged / leaking too so it's all getting done. Unfortunately, not covered by the warranty though (WarrantyWise)
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(Post Link) post #8 of 11 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TazzyK View Post
So, it turns out that a metal pipe that goes to injector number 4 was "broken". Not only that, but all the injector seals were damaged / leaking too so it's all getting done. Unfortunately, not covered by the warranty though (WarrantyWise)
Is anything?
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No Weasel words though right!?
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No weasel words, just weasel out of paying lol.
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(Post Link) post #11 of 11 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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A new pipe + injector seals should be quick and cheap anyhow. Unless the injectors are seized an hour would allow time for tea and biscuits.
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