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Trailblazer 325 puking oil all over interior of welder

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  • Trailblazer 325 puking oil all over interior of welder

    Miller 325, approx 150 hours, will not stop popping the dipstick and drenching everything with oil. its probably only a matter of time until we get ignition.

    started happening immediately after being taken into very cold (-40*) environment.

    cant find anything in the literature describing how to deal with this problem, as well it is very difficult to see exactly how kohler vents the crankcase.

    pls help.

    thank you.

  • #2
    Do a forum search. I believe 'CRUIZER' posted a fix for this problem some time ago.

    Griff

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    • #3
      Might be this one:

      https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/...need-some-help

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      • #4
        thanks, i'm hoping to have the site mechanic look at it tomorrow. it just happened to blow a gusher right when i was checking it today. there is obviously a huge amount of crankcase pressure building up and zero ventilation.

        this machine is fuel injected but i will look for any openings around the throttle body tomorrow as well.

        at present the dipstick tube and the oil filler cap are the only way to vent the crankcase. i'm hoping the rings haven't seated yet because it is really building a lot of crankcase pressure from somewhere. if i don't get this fixed soon i'm guessing it will be going in for crankshaft seals under warranty.

        also, a lot of the expelled oil is being sucked right into the generator, not sure how much oil that will consume before something shorts out and..........

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        • #5
          btw, i'm in the northwest territories, two flights from yellowknife to get into camp. they trucked my rig up on the ice road. this is the definition of the middle of nowhere, and the new fuel injected kohler engine is the only one on site broken down.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
            Yep!
            That's the one.

            Griff

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            • #7
              I wouldn't doubt you'll find fuel in the oil from the fuel pump diaphram. If that dip stick didn't blow the side of the engine would have. Your symptoms are because the machine was building pressure because of the excess of fluid. Did you check the oil after this happened? Do a service and replace whatever fuel pump is on there.

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              • #8
                whether or not there is fuel leaking into the crankcase, the crankcase is not venting in freezing conditions. it works fine in the one heated building on site but as soon as it's out in the weather for a few hours it freezes up. I think/hope I found the problem. there is a plastic element filter in the intake manifold that appears to have been overcome with condensation. I cleaned this out and am hoping for the best. the problem is that there is a pressurized oil passage directly next to the vent filter and under the same gasket. I was very careful in taking the gasket out and replacing it but the whole thing just strikes me as a ridiculously poor design. this is the second job for this machine and the second time it has let me down... as well, this is supposed to be a fuel efficient machine but it barely makes it through a shift on a tank of fuel, and if I leave it on high idle it won't even make a 10 hour shift.

                I tried to upload photos of the problem but the website wouldn't allow me to upload apple iphone files.

                I think this <200 hour welding machine is going to end up headed to the great gig in the sky.

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                • #9
                  "Plastic element filter? Are you referring to the screen? There is also a filter for the bypass hose. The only way water can gets in there is the gas. After cleaning I'd try a fuel additive. It may solve your problem

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                  • #10
                    Since it only happens in freezing temperatures, I would strongly suspect the linked thread's description of freezing vent lines is far more likely to be correct than a failed fuel pump. The crankcase is normally a moist environment. When you burn hydrocarbons, all the hydro(gen)s becomes water. This is why you get steam and drips from the tailpipe of your car. There's always blowby past the rings even in a new, healthy engine - and it's full of water. If the blowby vents through a tube or a filter that is exposed to freezing temperatures, it's entirely reasonable for the moisture to freeze in that tube or filter. It's a piss-poor engine design, though!

                    Amusingly, a crappy worn-out engine with more blowby probably would keep the vents warm enough to keep it from happening.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
                      Since it only happens in freezing temperatures, I would strongly suspect the linked thread's description of freezing vent lines is far more likely to be correct than a failed fuel pump. The crankcase is normally a moist environment. When you burn hydrocarbons, all the hydro(gen)s becomes water. This is why you get steam and drips from the tailpipe of your car. There's always blowby past the rings even in a new, healthy engine - and it's full of water. If the blowby vents through a tube or a filter that is exposed to freezing temperatures, it's entirely reasonable for the moisture to freeze in that tube or filter. It's a piss-poor engine design, though!

                      Amusingly, a crappy worn-out engine with more blowby probably would keep the vents warm enough to keep it from happening.
                      You are probably right. I see a bunch of things here in Texas but freezing weather isn't usually one of them.

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                      • #12
                        Well guys, the news is not good. I am pretty sure this machine (trailblazer 325 efi excel) suffers from a catastrophic design flaw in the kohler engine. unfortunately, the miller reps are not cooperating at all. one has blocked my emails ([email protected].com) and the other is refusing to even acknowledge the problem. he has sent me information from kohler regarding an anti icing kit for carbureted engines.

                        what these pictures show is a system whereby, for whatever reason, it appears kohler has routed pressurized engine oil right next to a crankcase vent circuit in casting that resembles the valve body on an automatic transmission.

                        what happens is the cover over the gasket between these two circuits is poorly designed and doesn't appear to have enough clamping force to maintain the gasket seal between the two chambers when the oil is very viscous in extreme cold weather. there is also the question of why they would bury a crankcase breather element underneath a complex gasket.

                        when this gasket fails, which it did almost immediately once the machine got into an arctic climate, it seems to pump engine oil both into the cranckcase vent system and from there into the throttle body. as well, the engine starts spraying oil out of the dipstick filler tube.

                        the engine is hard to start, runs terribly, and the welding machine literally bleeds out of every orifice.

                        I have tried to upload video but the website will not allow it.

                        this is the second job for this machine and the second time it has let me down. the main board had to be replaced at 67 hours. now the machine has 131 hours and is covered in oil, inside and out, from front to back, barely runs, is burning oil like there is no tomorrow, and is starting to make odd noises from the bottom end. all this is going on 12 hours north of the nearest kohler dealer and the miller reps are proving to be no help whatsoever.

                        this is really disappointing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Are you sure about your description of the gasket? Your lines don't match the apparent sealing areas of the gasket.

                          If you're blowing oil out the dipstick tube, you have a blocked crankcase vent or a severe blowby problem (cracked rings, blown head gasket). I'm not familiar with that engine. The post linked above suggests the crankcase vent lines can freeze - have you ruled that out as the cause?

                          A stopgap fix might just be putting a catch can on top of the oil fill tube. A funnel and a soup can packed tight with stainless pot scrubbers, for example, held on with electrical tape. Won't be pretty, but it should let the pressure out and stop the rest of the puking.

                          If you run it with the oil cap off, do you get mostly in/out pulses with only a bit of outwards flow, or does it continually flow with exhaust gasses? If the latter, you might have an engine mechanical issue.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rjmack View Post
                            ... the miller reps are proving to be no help whatsoever...
                            Well, that sucks, and I feel for you, but (other than alerting Miller so they can pressure Kohler to fix the poor design of their engine) it seems to me that it's Kohler's tarbaby, not Miller's ...

                            That said, given the age of this machine, it seems to me that Kohler should make you whole again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Are you sure about your description of the gasket? Your lines don't match the apparent sealing areas of the gasket.
                              the blue line showing the machined flange underneath isn't in exactly the right place but its hard to put a line in the right place using my road laptop. this picture was taken before I removed the gasket to get the emulsion soaked foam vent element out. of note is the fact that while much of the gasket was stuck in place, it peeled up easily along the flange that separates the pressure circuit from the vent circuit.

                              I'm not sure whether or not the gasket was put in upside down from the factory but I will check the next time I take it apart. I plan on getting a gasket from kohler and reinstalling it myself. I will take pictures of what's under the gasket when I do that, as well as turn the engine over to show the pressurized side.

                              far as putting a catch can around the dipstick, that's a non starter. I think part of the problem here is that, while kohler designed the engine, miller designed the cabinet that it sits in. there is literally no place to put an auxiliary heater on the engine, no place for a catch can and even if there was, there is so much air circulating inside the cover, without any real way of controlling it, that it like putting a drip bucket in a hurricane. I think these machines were designed for warm to moderate climates, so being overwhelmed by cold air likely wasn't a consideration miller or kohler took into account.

                              I have not run it with the oil cap off, but I have run it momentarily and then removed the oil fill cap to the sound of considerable pressure being relieved.

                              Well, that sucks, and I feel for you, but (other than alerting Miller so they can pressure Kohler to fix the poor design of their engine) it seems to me that it's Kohler's tarbaby, not Miller's ...

                              That said, given the age of this machine, it seems to me that Kohler should make you whole again.
                              I understand what you are saying, but miller does not provide a cold weather option for this machine, that's not on kohler. the closest they seem to have is an anti icing kit for the carbureted versions but given that this machine is marketed to replace the antiquated carbureted design it seems kind of insulting they are suggesting this as a fix. as well, the fixture that seems to be the source of the problem would not in any way be affected by the anti icing kit for the carb model.

                              it may not be miller's responsibility to design an engine that will work in the cold, but I would think it is their responsibility to incorporate an engine that can be made to safely operate in extreme cold into their welding products. Its not kohler's obligation to provide auxiliary heating systems into the miller welding machine, that is the responsibility of miller manufacturing. If miller had advertised that this machine was not suitable for extreme cold climates that would be one thing, but they haven't, and at the end of the day this is a miller machine.

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