No boost (02 WRX)
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This is a discussion on No boost (02 WRX) within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi all. My turbo is acting very strange. I purchased an 02 WRX with a blown motor, swapped in the ...

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    No boost (02 WRX)

    Hi all. My turbo is acting very strange. I purchased an 02 WRX with a blown motor, swapped in the motor from an 04 WRX, and am having an issue. The turbo delivers zero boost (it actually pulls very minor vacuum) and makes a sound that's hard to describe. The closest thing I can liken it to is a vacuum "vyewwww"

    Here's what I've done to test thus far:

    1) Checked all vacuum lines. They look intact and without any damage.
    2) The wastegate opens freely when the arm is disconnected. With the arm connected, you can pull the wastegate open with the arm.
    3) The turbo spins freely and has no shaft play.

    I put the car into test mode to test the boost control solenoid. That failed (no air passes through), but I connected the two vacuum lines to one another to simulate it being open. This did not produce any boost nor change the noise.

    Any ideas? I plan on replacing the boost control solenoid as soon as I can get one from the dealer, but it doesn't seem like that will fix it. And it did not address the noise. Thanks.
    Last edited by wampus514; 03-11-2012 at 05:36 PM.

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    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
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    Is the spring in the wastegate actuator springy?

    You should be hitting 8psi (not vacuum) with no boost control because of that spring - run the hose straight from the compressor to the wastegate actuator to see. Do you have a massive boost leak? Otherwise (especially with that noise) your turbo is very likely shot.
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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Does the car have any modifications? Tune?




    I would check for boost and pre-turbo exhaust leaks. After you've determined there are no leaks try hooking the vacuum hose from the compressor housing straight to the wastegate actuator like mycologist said. It should produce 8psi from the spring pressure. If not then I would assume the turbo or actuator is bad.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Zero boost might be the C-clip on the wastegate I guess.
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I attached this vacuum line to the actuator. It was the only one I could see coming from the compressor. 1) is that the correct vacuum line? If so, it didn't do anything. This vacuum line boggles me a bit because it runs to a white hose that runs into the firewall. Is that what it's supposed to do as well?

    Is the actuator something I can take apart? Are there any tests or anything I can do to confirm or eliminate the actuator?

    As for it being "springy," I assume it is but I'm not quite sure what you mean mycologist. You can pull the arm toward the firewall with a bit of oomph, and it retracts the arm well. So it feels like a strong spring, yes.

    The c-clip is still on the actuator arm (and the arm can move) so I don't think that is the cause.

    The car is a completely stock setup with no tune. Thanks for your help guys. I'm new to the WRX world and haven't toyed with a turbo in many, many moons.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails compressor vacuum.jpg  
    Last edited by wampus514; 03-11-2012 at 07:12 PM.

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    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
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    If you have to pull on that spring to open it, then you should be making boost. You can attach a scale like a trigger pull tester and see if you get ~8lbs.


    That is the right hose - With the spring working you should have hit 8psi no matter what (even with no line attached there). Attaching a line was just to keep you from overboosting for testing the spring pressure. You can't attach something there and have it cause less than spring pressure though - that line is what opens the spring. I.e. the more I think about it in the light of day it was unnecessary to test that. Your turbo is blown, or you have something major leaking (exhaust or boost not vacuum). See if you can figure out what is making the noise.

    FYI, for the stock setup to work correctly it has to be set up exactly like this, with the correct restrictor pill, correct tubing, and correct ID T fitting, and no white line running into the firewall. If you are going to tap a line for the boost gauge use the one on the bypass valve instead. Putting it back to stock is not going to fix your current problem though.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by mycologist; 03-12-2012 at 04:46 AM.
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    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
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    I'm starting to wonder whether you uppipe cat. flew the coup and entered your turbine - that could be bad.
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    Thanks for the diagram. It's definitely not laid out that way. And I agree that finding the noise is the most important issue first. I think I may just pick up a "new" turbo (and the vacuum line with T and pill) from a yard around here and start with that. The screeching sounds like something is super-broken in the turbo but it just didn't make sense with it being so free spinning when I had it out.

    If your second theory is correct -- about the u-pipe cat -- how does something like that even happen?

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    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wampus514 View Post
    Thanks for the diagram. It's definitely not laid out that way. And I agree that finding the noise is the most important issue first. I think I may just pick up a "new" turbo (and the vacuum line with T and pill) from a yard around here and start with that. The screeching sounds like something is super-broken in the turbo but it just didn't make sense with it being so free spinning when I had it out.

    If your second theory is correct -- about the u-pipe cat -- how does something like that even happen?
    At first they put that cat in there to achieve ultra-low emissions vehicle status. It was just a really bad idea:

    Attn '02-'05 WRX Owners: The Importance of the Uppipe Mod
    "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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    Well ain't that some bull****! Thanks, I'll definitely be adding this to the list of things that need to be remedied quickly. Those pics helped as well. I'll take a look at the turbine once I get it off to see if that's what happened.

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