have an exhaust leak up front, need some major help please!
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This is a discussion on have an exhaust leak up front, need some major help please! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Ok heres some up front info 2004 wrx sedan was bone stock. (or so I thought). On the stock exhaust ...

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    have an exhaust leak up front, need some major help please!

    Ok heres some up front info

    2004 wrx sedan was bone stock. (or so I thought). On the stock exhaust there were leaks in the back of the exhaust and in the stock downpipe in between where all the parts were supposed to have gaskets. My stock exhaust sounded like an aftermarket one and I knew it was time to replace things.

    I went out and bought a turbo back exhaust complete with up pipe. Tore the car apart per all the great instructions on here to find that the up pipe mod was done already (should have just looked at the egt cable that had a resistor in it already-but didnt).

    Long story short, the person who did the up pipe put heat wrap on it and the pipe looks new so it was left alone (something I think I regret now and might be the issue).

    Put on the new downpipe and rest of the exhaust and put the car back together to find my small exhaust leak up front now is loud as hell.

    When I step on the gas, instead of hearing the exhaust out the back im hearing it out the front (only when the gas pedal is pressed down) but when the car is cruising its coming out the back just fine.

    Do you guys think its just the up pipe that was done before or it could possibly be the stock headers etc.. I really dont want to do headers on the car since Ive heard aftermarket ones crack and are a pain in the ass to get installed. Any help would be appreciated thank you very much

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    If I were guessing, I would bet that it has something to do with the uppipe. The exhaust manifolds are pretty stout and don't crack very often. Try shoving a clean rag in the tail pipe and start the car, this will create pressure and you'll be able to look up front and locate the leak.
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    clean rag? Ok I can do that, its a 5 inch opening for the tail pipe. Once I put the clean rag in there what will I be seeing up front, im new to exhaust leaks and issues like this, thanks so much

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnrlove143 View Post
    clean rag? Ok I can do that, its a 5 inch opening for the tail pipe. Once I put the clean rag in there what will I be seeing up front, im new to exhaust leaks and issues like this, thanks so much
    You don't want to use a dirty rag (fire hazard). The pressure that builds will make the leak louder and you should be able to pinpoint where it's coming from
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    ill use a spare towel that i have that is clean that we dont use anymore. The exhaust sounds so nice at cruise but man when i step on it all you hear is the leak up front and its embarrasing and i have neighbors and people starring at me like there is something wrong with my car.

    I am getting it professionally tuned on the 11th, but wanted to take care of this exhaust leak before hand. IF i cant find the leak, do you suggest soapy water on some of the exhaust parts to see where it bubbles to find it?

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    You could do that but the heat of the exhaust sometimes boils the water before it has a chance to bubble
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Did you replace all the gaskets when you took apart the exhaust? Gaskets on the UP and TBE?

    Did you re-torque all the bolts after driving it for 100 miles or so?
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
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    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

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    never touched the up pipe just noticed it was done the pipe looked new and it was heat wrapped. Noticed when driving today that the turbo was creeping up to .3 but wouldn't go any further then that under acceleration, so obviously there is a big leak- It never did this before the exhaust install so im wondering if i am going to find the leak in the intercooler or bpv both of which i had to remove to do the exhaust (thinking i was doing the up pipe that is..)

    Any ideas would be appreciated thanks

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    Registered User zdrummerz's Avatar
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    Could be a loose hose or a leak in one that connects to the BPV. That would cause the creep in the turbo, and the lack of boost. Not sure if it would make this noise your describing tho. I would double check all gaskets and bolts again on the entire exhaust system, as well as inspect the BPV, intercooler, and hoses. If you still don't locate the issue, i would goto the dealership even though they charge outrageous amounts of money. I also have a 2004. Good luck, hope you fix this soon!

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    Appreciate the advice tried the rag in tail pipe but it didnt make the engine bay much louder. The sound really seems to be coming from around the down pipe but the thing that bugs me is that i never touched the thing. Also never had a boost issue before this but now have one so i will try my best to re tighten the bpv and intercooler stuff , i had a friend help me with the install and i know the bolts are tight all over everything we touched in terms of the new exhaust. Only suspect thing im wondering about is if i shoukd get a different gasket set all around because i used the gaskets that came with the exhaust system, which might be an issue...?

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnrlove143 View Post
    never touched the up pipe just noticed it was done the pipe looked new and it was heat wrapped. Noticed when driving today that the turbo was creeping up to .3 but wouldn't go any further then that under acceleration, so obviously there is a big leak- It never did this before the exhaust install so im wondering if i am going to find the leak in the intercooler or bpv both of which i had to remove to do the exhaust (thinking i was doing the up pipe that is..)

    Any ideas would be appreciated thanks
    You never answered my other two questions: Did you replace the TB exhaust gaskets and did you re-torque everything?
    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

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    I havent driven 100 miles yet but i am going to retorque everything as soon as i get home. Where is the throttle body gasket located? I know there is a gasket for thr bpv but the throttle body i didnt take apart i just removed the intercooler and left the throttle body alone. Did i do something wrong?

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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    You never answered my other two questions: Did you replace the TB exhaust gaskets and did you re-torque everything?
    This... I am always retightening my exhaust bolts


    Lead Wrench @ WTF Tuning, LLC

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnrlove143 View Post
    I havent driven 100 miles yet but i am going to retorque everything as soon as i get home. Where is the throttle body gasket located? I know there is a gasket for thr bpv but the throttle body i didnt take apart i just removed the intercooler and left the throttle body alone. Did i do something wrong?
    By TB he means turbo back exhaust, not throttle body
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    The sound issue is in the front not out by the back exhaust but i will still retighten anyways. Where is the gasket for the trottle body located since i didnt replace it i dont know what it looks like or how to get at it. The boost issue is a major thing to me along with the noise as i cant get the car to go past .03 on the turbo guage and it struggles under heavy throttle which it never did before to get to that point then goes back to negative again...

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