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Old 06-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Black smoke out exhaust... ?

I know this is my first post but i've been lurking for a while but now i really need some help. I've searched high/low with no results.

Just last week i changed the L shaped coolant hoses on my 04 Impala 3.8 n/a. Two days ago i'm driving down the highway and the car starts sputtering and dies. I coast to the side. It'll start but then dies immediatly. My wife is driving behind me said she saw a big black cloud out the exhaust and every time i try to start it black smoke comes out.

I thought it was a blown headgasket but that would be white smoke, not black. Any help is highly appreciated! i love this car but i'm at the point where i might just need to cut my losses.

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Old 06-28-2012, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Replace the fuel pressure regulator. It is mounted on the fuel rail.

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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To expand on that a black smoke is WAY too much fuel trying to burn for some reason. The regulator seems a reasonable place to start. Not specific to your application but they can fail internally and then fuel gets dumped into the engine through the vacuum line. I would change the oil too as it is probaly poluted with fuel.

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you think it just went out while i was driving like that? Do you think i have to worry about head gaskets or anything else?

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The fuel pressure regulator uses a diaphragm, so when it goes, it can be pretty quick.

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help guys. I'll try and change it this weekend.

Anyone know of a "how-to" link w/pictures?

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Old 06-29-2012, 03:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No pics but should take less than 20 minutes to change. Not sure if yors has a plastic engine cover but if it does remove it. Then with the new part in hand with the vacuun nipple pointed up look on the fuel rail for the part. Diconnect the vacuum line. Using snap ring pliers remove the snap ring. Pull the old part out and make sure the screen and oring comes out as well. Install in reverse order. Start engine and test for leaks.

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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77impala,

Thanks, i really appreciate it!

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Old 06-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So i bought the regulator and begin to worry that if i replace it something else will go wrong or maybe the fuel pressure regulator isn't bad... I ended up borrowing a gauge.

I connected the gauge to the regulator and released pressure. I turned the accessories on and it read 50. i had the wifey start the car and it actually ran for a few mins just really rough. The gauge went to 55. i also took off the vacuum hose and nothing happened. I connected it back and the car finally died.

Do ya'll still think my fuel pressure regulator is bad? i worried i'll replace it, then have to just replace something else. If its going to be that i would rather cut my losses but if its just the regulator i'll change it and keep the car. Thoughts...?

Thanks again for all the help!

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did you let the gauge sit for a few minutes before starting the car to see if it held pressure? If it slowly drops off, then that is a good sign that the regulator is bad.

Good call on getting the gauge to try to troubleshoot before just throwing parts at it.

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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OK, so i checked the pressure again.

First attempt with the accessories on the gauge read 50 and stayed there.

Then i started the car (rough idle) and the gauge read 50

with the car still running i removed the vacuum line and the gauge shot to 55. i connected the vacuum line back up and the gauge went to 50.

Seems to me everything is working properly...

thoughts..?

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is your check engine lamp on? If so what are the codes?

Yes the fuel pressure regulator is working fine.

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1977 Chevrolet Impala Sedan, 5.0L, TH200, 2.56:1, 106K miles, 37 Lifetime Warranty Parts.
1989 GMC C1500 Sierra ECSB 5.7L, HM290, 3.08:1, 328K miles, 1 Lifetime Warranty Parts.

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Old 07-01-2012, 03:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i just went out to the car to check codes...

No check engine light came on.. just a ABS light but its been on for a little while.

I also plugged up a code reader and its coming up with nothing either.

WTF

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Old 07-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Will the car run better if you unplug the MAF sensor?
May also be bad O2 sensors.
Or possible faulty PCM.

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1977 Chevrolet Impala Sedan, 5.0L, TH200, 2.56:1, 106K miles, 37 Lifetime Warranty Parts.
1989 GMC C1500 Sierra ECSB 5.7L, HM290, 3.08:1, 328K miles, 1 Lifetime Warranty Parts.

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Old 07-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow, puff of smoke and dead, no CEL, good fuel pressure.... I guess I'd be checking for spark next, maybe the ICM just up and quit.

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Last edited by Gregg-O; 07-01-2012 at 11:05 PM..
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