Turbo smoke and power/boost issue. Help needed!
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This is a discussion on Turbo smoke and power/boost issue. Help needed! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi. I have an 02 Wrx, BONE STOCK (except wheels)with 180k. My problem is a recent loss of power while ...

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    Turbo smoke and power/boost issue. Help needed!

    Hi. I have an 02 Wrx, BONE STOCK (except wheels)with 180k. My problem is a recent loss of power while boosting. I had noticed the feel of the car has become sort of, weak compared to the norm. I have a boost gauge and it seems that the gauge is showing adequate boost in the system. Could that be a lie? Its a simple cheap looking gauge that is in the BAR reading. Im making about 1.2 to 1.5 BAR at full boost. It kinda goes in surges sometimes.
    Either way, the other day my wife said that the car was smoking at the light before our house and when she had pulled in there was no sign of any issues. Fluid levels/ leaks etc.. were all good or not an issue. So 2 or 3 days later I was driving and the car began to smoke at a stop light. I jumped to a parking lot and popped the hood to see a light amount of smoke coming from the turbo area. Could not pin point it cause of the heat shield blocking my view. It only lasted maybe 45 seconds after I had pulled into the parking lot. I couldnt say whether or not it was blue or white smoke. (I have done some homework here on these issues..) I remember it was lighter in color light cigarettes and light in mass/ almost whispy..
    So, A day later (yesterday) I noticed the car was gutless feeling. To me it was like the boost was only half-working power wise. I have checked fluids and the oild was surprisingly on the low side . I put in about 3/4 of a quart to bring her back to good.. The only thing that is an influence here would be that i have just put new tires on. We were on the way to the shop when the smoke reared its face to me.. But I don't believe that 4 new tires would make a car feel like its losing power. If anyone has any ideas or first off to do lists... that would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    PS: If this is a turbo going bad, A suggestion turbo and where to buy would be MUCH APPRECIATED! I dont mind upgrading to a better turbo but would like it to be compatible with the stock system or as minimal changes to the car as possible.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're burning oil...turbo might finally be shot after 180k.

    Search around the Nasioc classifieds for a used TD04 and replace for $200+ and you're back on the road.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    Isnt it a bad idea to buy something used though? Not to sound like im questioning the advice i have asked for,..

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus_Magnet View Post
    Isnt it a bad idea to buy something used though? Not to sound like im questioning the advice i have asked for,..
    Not as long as you can verify the seller is selling a good one...people buy used car parts all the time. Let's put it this way...my car is used, I bought it with 80k miles...the turbo on it is used, for those same 80k miles, and still working perfectly. Many people remove the stock turbos to upgrade, so they are left with a perfectly working unit they don't need anymore. May as well sell it for a quick buck.

    Nothing wrong with asking questions...that's why you're here
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Not as long as you can verify the seller is selling a good one...people buy used car parts all the time. Let's put it this way...my car is used, I bought it with 80k miles...the turbo on it is used, for those same 80k miles, and still working perfectly. Many people remove the stock turbos to upgrade, so they are left with a perfectly working unit they don't need anymore. May as well sell it for a quick buck.

    Nothing wrong with asking questions...that's why you're here

    Thanks! I will look into this. Is there anything that should red flag a used turbo when im looking at it? Color, smell, saturation, sound etc? I am really unfamiliar with them. Im just trying to be careful.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Does the smoke smell sweet? It kind of sounds more like coolant by the color. You might inspect the lines going to the turbo for leaks. It doesn't explain the loss of power though - your boost gauge is still hitting 1.2 etc. even when it feels sluggish? Hmmm.

    If you are going new you could get a coated ported and polished TD04, which would maybe be pushing the injectors a bit, but you should get it tuned then. I wouldn't do that though until you figure out if it is really your turbo.

    Used ask if it was leaking or if there is shaft play. Ask how many miles are on it (shoot for <50K). Try to look at their profile and see how hard they were boosting it, but that isn't a big deal as they can peak at 20 PSI mid range and still last a long time. Still, from a stock car is better.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Biggest thing is to look for shaft play: the compressor wheel inside should spin freely without any hanging up or grinding and have no lateral movement or wobble inside the turbo housing.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    "If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 giraffes, how many pancakes can fit on the roof? Purple, because aliens donít wear hats" -Ying

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    If I remove my turbo for inspection, are there any gaskets or seals that must get replaced when it gets put back? Furthermore, If I am burning oil, wouldn't the car exhaust smoke alot? And lastly> Can I (myself) Rebuild a turbo?

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    There are rebuild kits for the td04 but they are not cost/time effective. You would need a new set of downpipe gaskets and a new uppipe - turbo gasket. just to look at it on a bench. I'd start by pulling the intercooler to see if it has a lot of oil in it - it will have some dribble out of it normally but it should not be a cup full. Do you have the upper coolant reservoir near the turbo? Is that cap good if so? If not pull the heat shield off the turbo - if you can't see anything yet pull the DP. Etc.

    As far as the power loss issue, a cable to log your car, either borrowed or bought, would provide a ton of information.

    I'm not sure if they rebuild:
    GrimmSpeed
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    If I could get my hands on a deal like that >Grimspeeed< I would dance! Trust me i never dance. Anywho! I will contact them and see what that entails. If they actually rebuild the turbo or use the existing components... Thanks man, much appreciated!

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    Hey just wanted to update. I havent done anything with this yet however, I have not seen anymore smoke. And i am only boosting to .7 bar max! usually holds around .5 bar at WOT. Not sure, but i am curious, can the gauge pod say its on boost and the turbo actually not be boosting? This is how it feels. Thanks in advance!

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Sounds like it is just hitting wastegate pressure. The gauge can be screwed up, but that is a common pressure to hit when you boost control system or solenoid isn't working.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    I have found a working Stock Td04 from a wrx build. The turbo was in working condition when pulled from the car. cost is $60. The unit has been disassembled though. I am curious about the grimspeed PNP. I send them MY turbo for a PNP and rebuild right? I would like to send them the Turbo that i can pick up for 60 bones and then just install that when its finished. Im not positive on how the grimspeed works though... is it just a core exchange, or do they rebuild me...?

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    I'd call them and ask them specifically. I'm sure they can do whatever you pay for..it's their company
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
    2012 Lightning Red WRX Sedan Stock...for now Soon to be OpenSource tuned by: Mattypants @ WTF Tuning
    "If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 giraffes, how many pancakes can fit on the roof? Purple, because aliens donít wear hats" -Ying

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    UPDATE: So, I recently had the SAME exact issue occur. This Blew my mind. I drove into town with my wife and back home. Parked and then about 1 minute later, WHITE SMOKE BILLOWING> Car was off..
    Ran down to the drive way and grabbed the Extinguisher and popped the hood................
    No fire.. There is a steady stream of fluid spirting at the turbo/manifold area and instantly turnin to white smoke.. I do not know what hose this is, but I am pretty sure that its a cooling line. It has what looks like foil around it.. Im guessing that this was the issue all along, however, ive not been leaking coolant on a regular basis, nor losing any. Ive kept track... Maybe the hole was clogged... Im not sure, but this is really wiered.

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