2002 WRX Boost Spike? Help
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This is a discussion on 2002 WRX Boost Spike? Help within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've searched the many threads containing the boost spike issue but none seemed to be exactly the same as my ...

  1. #1
    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    2002 WRX Boost Spike? Help

    I've searched the many threads containing the boost spike issue but none seemed to be exactly the same as my issue. First off, I have a 02 WRX with an HKS catless downpipe, a catless uppipe, and running stage 2 with my Cobb AP. I have about 77K on it and the UP/DP/Stg 2 were done about 3 weeks ago.

    The issue I have is that sometimes in 3rd and 5th gear, my boost seems to spike around 3000 rpm, making my rpm jump from about 3K to 4K then back down and steadily back up. Seems like common boost spike after doing exhaust mods. I read my boost at these times with my AP, and it never jumps over 16psi, so I'm assuming its ok. But its wierd, because the boost doesn't actually spike. It increases when my rpm's spike, but the boost never backs down.

    I would like to resolve this issue if possible. I have read about adjusting the wastegate arm, but I haven't done it because I am hitting target boost without any noticeable flutter, so I didn't want to mess with it.

    My questions are: Could a leaky boost gauge install cause any spike issues?
    Can a leak in the downpipe to catback connection cause any spike issues? (I still have the stock catback, but my DP doesn't seem to fit right because I don't have the stock donut gasket)

    I know my boost gauge is inaccurate compared to the AP, so I am going to make sure something didn't come loose ... is there anything else I should check on? Thanks in advance for any advice or help.
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    Registered User D0WNxSH1FT's Avatar
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    Wait, your tacometer actually jumps when you are driving, then comes back down?

    Is this during a shift? I feel like this might have to do with your clutch slipping (rpm's going up, car not accelerating quicker) than a boost spike. Not sure if boost effects your RPMs.

    Do you actually see your boost gauge jumping to a high amount and then back down?
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    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D0WNxSH1FT View Post
    Wait, your tacometer actually jumps when you are driving, then comes back down?

    Is this during a shift? I feel like this might have to do with your clutch slipping (rpm's going up, car not accelerating quicker) than a boost spike. Not sure if boost effects your RPMs.

    Do you actually see your boost gauge jumping to a high amount and then back down?
    Yes, my tach actually jumps up and then comes down. Whereas my boost gauge doesn't, and its not during a shift. It feels like the turbo is kicking in harder, but reading the boost from my AP or gauge don't show signs of spike.

    If I am running hard through the gears, it won't happen. It typically happens if I am cruising around 70-80 @ about 3K rpms and need to slam on the pedal.

    I'm pretty easy on my clutch now, but when I got my WRX new over 4 years ago, it was a different story, so I wouldn't be surprised if I need a new clutch. (I just hope its not the tranny)
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    Registered User D0WNxSH1FT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momo02WRX View Post
    Yes, my tach actually jumps up and then comes down. Whereas my boost gauge doesn't, and its not during a shift. It feels like the turbo is kicking in harder, but reading the boost from my AP or gauge don't show signs of spike.

    If I am running hard through the gears, it won't happen. It typically happens if I am cruising around 70-80 @ about 3K rpms and need to slam on the pedal.

    I'm pretty easy on my clutch now, but when I got my WRX new over 4 years ago, it was a different story, so I wouldn't be surprised if I need a new clutch. (I just hope its not the tranny)
    I am not familiar w/ this issue or boost spiking but if your Boost gauge and AP show no signs of boost increase then i would say this has nothing to do with it.

    Maybe you just have a short in your dash or something. Not sure, I would say take it to your dealer to get looked at.
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    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D0WNxSH1FT View Post
    I am not familiar w/ this issue or boost spiking but if your Boost gauge and AP show no signs of boost increase then i would say this has nothing to do with it.

    Maybe you just have a short in your dash or something. Not sure, I would say take it to your dealer to get looked at.
    Thanks DOWNxSh1ft. The only thing that makes me think it isn't the clutch or tranny is that it didn't do it at all 3 weeks ago before the mods. I guess I need to do some datalogging to see if there is boost spike.
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    Registered User D0WNxSH1FT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momo02WRX View Post
    Thanks DOWNxSh1ft. The only thing that makes me think it isn't the clutch or tranny is that it didn't do it at all 3 weeks ago before the mods. I guess I need to do some datalogging to see if there is boost spike.
    The extra power of Stage 2 (55whp over stock) could have put your 4 year old clutch over the edge.

    Def data-log. Sorry more people arent on right now to help.
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    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    Saturday morning bump
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    Registered User dcpatters's Avatar
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    When the RPM's climb or raise, does it sound like the engine is actually revving higher as well?

    If so, your clutch is most likely slipping as DOWNxSH1FT suggested.
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    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcpatters View Post
    When the RPM's climb or raise, does it sound like the engine is actually revving higher as well?

    If so, your clutch is most likely slipping as DOWNxSH1FT suggested.
    Yes, the engine sounds to be revving higher as well.

    Here's another bit of information that may diagnose a clutch problem. Before the car is totally warmed up, the car will shake going into 1st and 2nd gear if I do not give it enough gas. This has been happening for awhile before the mods. (I have never had a clutch go on any of the cars I've had so I'm not quite sure what a slipping or bad clutch feels like.) Thanks a bunch
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  11. #10
    Registered User pweizman's Avatar
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    Clutch....

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  12. #11
    Registered User dcpatters's Avatar
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    What you are experiencing is clutch chatter when the clutch comes in contact with the flywheel.

    As a test, you can pull the hand-brake up, and slowly release the clutch , while in first gear, and applying some throttle. Your clutch will most likely start slipping because of the load.

    From what you have described, you are in need of a clutch and a resurfaced flywheel.
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  13. #12
    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcpatters View Post
    What you are experiencing is clutch chatter when the clutch comes in contact with the flywheel.

    As a test, you can pull the hand-brake up, and slowly release the clutch , while in first gear, and applying some throttle. Your clutch will most likely start slipping because of the load.

    From what you have described, you are in need of a clutch and a resurfaced flywheel.
    Thanks for the help everyone. I will test that out.

    If I do need a clutch, I can't find a really good write up on it, and even if I could, I would feel more comfortable taking it to subaru or a experienced mechanic. Has anyone replaced their clutch through Subaru or themselves? If so, how much am I looking to pay. I also see quite a few clutch kits on Ebay ranging from $250 and up. Is their any brand I should stay away from? Thanks
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    Registered User D0WNxSH1FT's Avatar
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    I dont want to give you the wrong info so definetly search around for clutch kits. I know this is one type that you want to stay away from but i cant remember which.
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  15. #14
    Registered User scubynubie's Avatar
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    Clutch +1

    16PSI is pretty much target boost for Stage 2, so I wouldn't say that your boost is spiking at all.

    The stock Subaru clutch is very good at functioning untill there is almost no friction material left, and typically, you start to see slippage in 5th gear first...
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    Registered User momo02WRX's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's insight.

    I called Subaru this morning and they quoted me about $1430.00 for the parts and labor (including flywheel) for a new clutch. F*** that. I'm thinking about buying the parts and having a mechanic thats a friend of the family do the work, because I still don't feel comfortable doing it myself with a sloped driveway and limited tools. I was looking at either ACT, Exedy, or XTD. Has anyone had experience with these brands? Some other brands I saw on Ebay for cheaper include EZ Racing, F1, and Boss clutches.

    Thanks
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