Uppipe leak issues
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This is a discussion on Uppipe leak issues within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; This never seems to go away, and I'd post in the troubleshooting section but I never get a response there. ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Voodoo Rufus's Avatar
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    Uppipe leak issues

    This never seems to go away, and I'd post in the troubleshooting section but I never get a response there.

    When I first installed my uppipe, a Cobb 303SS version, it ran fine for a few weeks. Then the lower gasket started to leak. I tightened things down at it helped but didn't eliminate the issue. Then I ordered some Crucial Cu-seal gaskets. They helped more than the OEM gasket that I bought for the install, but it didn't solve the problem either. The core issue is that the exhaust manifold does not mate perfectly with the uppipe. There is a small gap on the side most towards the front of the engine which makes the gasket flap when boost is on.

    What I was thinking of doing when I get my parts for the downpipe install was to loosen all the bolts on the uppipe, upper and lower, and try to figure out how to loosen the turbo mounts. Inspect the lower gasket, then tighten from the lower part of the engine to the top. I looked on scoobymods for turbo removal tutorial but it's not descriptive enough when it comes to finding where the turbo mounts to the engine. Does my procedure sound like a good plan, or does someone have a better idea on how to fix my exhaust leak?
    2002 MBP 5SP WRX sedan.
    Mods: OEM short throw, Kartboy shifter bushings and Rallyarmor mudflaps.

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  3. #2
    DUB
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    Check out Step # 21 on this install sheet. It may help if you haven't tried it already.


    http://perrinperformance.com/shared/.../pspext100.pdf

  4. #3
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    The stock uppipe has a flex section for a reason. Aftermarket uppipes without the flex section are prone to leaks as you've found out. What kind of gaskets did you use? I highly recommend using copper crush type gaskets.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
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    DUB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo Rufus View Post
    Then I ordered some Crucial Cu-seal gaskets.
    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    What kind of gaskets did you use? I highly recommend using copper crush type gaskets.

  6. #5
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Ah ha Dub! My reading skills are not what they should be!
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

  7. #6
    DUB
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    Ding! Score one for me!

  8. #7
    Registered User Voodoo Rufus's Avatar
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    I managed to do the entire install without removing the headers and manifold, so I dare not take them off just to fix this leak. PITA, but I did it.

    I tried it my way today, removing the downpipe, loosening the upper and lower uppipe bolts. This gave some movement for the uppipe, and a little more when I attempted to raise the engine a bit.

    End result: not fixed. There's still a gap the size of a piece of paper. Thinking of going back to new OEM gaskets and torquing the crap out of it, and then again after a week. At least it didn't leak when I first installed it...

    On the plus side, I installed my Cobb cat-back today. I like it.
    2002 MBP 5SP WRX sedan.
    Mods: OEM short throw, Kartboy shifter bushings and Rallyarmor mudflaps.

  9. #8
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo Rufus View Post
    End result: not fixed. There's still a gap the size of a piece of paper. Thinking of going back to new OEM gaskets and torquing the crap out of it, and then again after a week. At least it didn't leak when I first installed it...
    Why do you think that the OEM gaskets are going to fix a problem that the much better copper gaskets are not solving? When I say much better, I mean in terms of fixing issues with gaps/sealing.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

  10. #9
    Registered User Voodoo Rufus's Avatar
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    The copper ones are thinner than the OEM and a single layer. The OEM ones were three layers and I had no leaks for a few weeks after installing them. The copper ones never sealed well enough to prevent leaks.

    I don't know.....
    2002 MBP 5SP WRX sedan.
    Mods: OEM short throw, Kartboy shifter bushings and Rallyarmor mudflaps.

  11. #10
    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    I Support ClubWRX
    A regional tuning shop with an excellent reputation swears by the OEM gaskets. Precision Tuning - East Coast Subaru Specialists When they did my up pipe install 3.5 years ago that gave it a lifetime leak free guarantee using the OEM gaskets. Not sure if they still do that.
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  12. #11
    Registered User Voodoo Rufus's Avatar
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    I decided to bite the bullet and loosen the exhaust manifold to replace the lower gasket when I did my downpipe install, re-tightening everything according to Perrin's instructions to the letter. I removed the copper lower gasket, loosened the manifold, uppipe and turbo. This allowed me to get a perfect mating surface for the lower part of the uppipe. The gasket was replaced with an OEM one, and it looked just fine. Ran the car for a day, and rechecked the torque on everything. It was fine for about 2 days and has deteriorated rapidly. It started to do it only when the engine was lukewarm, silencing itself when I put some power to the ground. Now it's all the time. It pretty much sounds like a cat screaming while being shook at the same time. The noise is proportional to boost, and starts immediately when there is positive pressure on the boost gauge. Oddly, I can still achieve full boost levels, but the car sounds like hell when I do it. The power delivery on boost is more violent as well, as opposed to when I first installed the new gaskets and downpipe, where the power was very smooth.

    I'm about ready to say #$%^ this, and get a flex uppipe. What do people think about the APS one, or are there other suggestions for a replacement uppipe? I just think that my car was not meant for a one-piece uppipe. From what I've read, this is not wastegate flutter, either.
    2002 MBP 5SP WRX sedan.
    Mods: OEM short throw, Kartboy shifter bushings and Rallyarmor mudflaps.

  13. #12
    Registered User jeffmm06's Avatar
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    I just used a gasket made by REMFLEX.STi & WRX Performance Parts: Gaskets

    They are about 1/4 inch thick and are crush style. They works great for my non-flex up pipe. Until a nut came off one of the bolts and they blew out, now i took about 4 oem style gaskets and put them all in there. No problems since then.

    and one other thing.

    DO NOT OVER TORQUE as you said you would. You'll have bigger problems then.
    2005 WRB WRX "was" STAGE 2

  14. #13
    Registered User Voodoo Rufus's Avatar
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    Everything I've read about Remflex gaskets is that they are prone to blowouts. I was supplied one with my downpipe from Rallysport direct and it disintegrated, useless after one install.
    2002 MBP 5SP WRX sedan.
    Mods: OEM short throw, Kartboy shifter bushings and Rallyarmor mudflaps.

  15. #14
    Registered User jeffmm06's Avatar
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    Regardless you'll need something thick enough or use multiple gaskets. I wouldn't splurge on a new uppipe. It can be sealed.
    2005 WRB WRX "was" STAGE 2

  16. #15
    Registered User Voodoo Rufus's Avatar
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    Could always sell the old one....
    2002 MBP 5SP WRX sedan.
    Mods: OEM short throw, Kartboy shifter bushings and Rallyarmor mudflaps.

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