desperately need help with a few things
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This is a discussion on desperately need help with a few things within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I bought my 2002 wrx a little more than a year ago. when I bought the car I didn't know ...

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    desperately need help with a few things

    I bought my 2002 wrx a little more than a year ago. when I bought the car I didn't know much about subarus and was eager to get behind the wheel of a turbocharged car for the first time...(aren't we all). well once I began researching about the car i noticed somethings that were... strange about my car. first off heres a list of what the previous owner had "professionally done by a shop"
    vf39 turbo
    sti intercooler
    turbo back catless exauhst(or so i was told but when i jacked the car up i noticed quickly that it was the stock catted downpipe)
    catless up pipe
    stage 2 clutch
    sti hood scoop
    k&n air intake
    hks blow off valve
    tune
    now for the problems that i have realized over the past year.

    the car runs rich with out a doubt, black tailpipe, carbon on bumper, backfiring etc. i have been told this many times by friends driving behind me saying they can smell it but i couldn't tell if that was cause theres literally no cats in the car. my question is what can be causing this?

    the blow off valve, apparently its a cardinal sin to put a bov on a wrx and rather a bpv should be used because you will be running rich between shifts. now that's all fine and dandy but i don't want to go out and get a bpv and hook it up if the car has been tuned for the bov and there is no need(other than to simply get rid of that childish turbo noise). so how can i tell if it is running rich between shifts and hooking up a bpv wont be a waste of time and money?

    there is a quarter sized hole in my turbo inlet pipe.. wtf? howd it get there who knows but i know this must be a problem since its after the maf sensor so i ordered a new inlet hose but my question is if the ding a ling who had the car before me got it tuned with the hole there then is fixing it going to cause even more problems?

    the evap system, or the thing behind the power steering, is fubar the solenoid is broken one of the nipple is snapped off and theres a hose that comes from under the intake manifold that is just left open the nipples on the intake manifold are connected by a piece of vacuum line. is this a problem at all? i do get a cel for an evap leak every once in a while and im pretty sure that's why.

    also another thing i find weird not really a problem though is that its only running stock boost levels, about 14.7 -15 psi. i find this odd considering the fact that he put a vf39 on why not turn the boost up a bit. but that's not really a concern.

    HUGE PROBLEM IMO. when im stuck around 3200- 3700 rpms (going up a hill or something where the car stays at that range for some time) the car jerks bogs accelerates decelerates it feels like the hulk is holding you under the armpits and shaking you forward and backward. i don't know if this is normal for turbochard cars i do know that this is right before full boost tho. basically why does it happen cause i hate it and i have to rip it up every hill i come across reving above 4k just so it doesn't happen.

    car has less power at WOT then if i feather with the acceleration. basically if i mash the pedal to the floor i feel like im in a prius until about 5300 rpms then the turbo kicks in and its fine. however if i only press the gas pedal a little and increase pressure as i accelerate the car runs fine and full boost is at about 4k. also if im in neutral and push the pedal to the floor the car takes retardedly long to rev but if i slowly press the accelerator opening the throttle body as the engine speeds up the thing revs fine like i think it should.

    also the previous owner told me that the car made 360whp... being that i came from owning a completely stock automatic rsx i believed him but quickly realized 260 seems more reasonable.

    any insight on these issues is GREATLY appreciated. i am pretty mechanically inclined so i would like to fix these problems my self. i also would like to avoid having to retune at all costs as i just cant really afford it right now

    side note: when i get the turbo inlet i will be checking for boost leaks as i know that this can cause loads of problems
    Last edited by nate130195; 07-30-2013 at 10:38 PM.

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  3. #2
    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate130195 View Post
    I bought my 2002 wrx a little more than a year ago. when I bought the car I didn't know much about subarus and was eager to get behind the wheel of a turbocharged car for the first time...(aren't we all). well once I began researching about the car i noticed somethings that were... strange about my car. first off heres a list of what the previous owner had "professionally done by a shop"
    vf39 turbo
    sti intercooler
    turbo back catless exauhst(or so i was told but when i jacked the car up i noticed quickly that it was the stock catted downpipe)
    catless up pipe
    stage 2 clutch
    sti hood scoop
    k&n air intake
    hks blow off valve
    tune
    now for the problems that i have realized over the past year.

    the car runs rich with out a doubt, black tailpipe, carbon on bumper, backfiring etc. i have been told this many times by friends driving behind me saying they can smell it but i couldn't tell if that was cause theres literally no cats in the car. my question is what can be causing this?

    the blow off valve, apparently its a cardinal sin to put a bov on a wrx and rather a bpv should be used because you will be running rich between shifts. now that's all fine and dandy but i don't want to go out and get a bpv and hook it up if the car has been tuned for the bov and there is no need(other than to simply get rid of that childish turbo noise). so how can i tell if it is running rich between shifts and hooking up a bpv wont be a waste of time and money?

    there is a quarter sized hole in my turbo inlet pipe.. wtf? howd it get there who knows but i know this must be a problem since its after the maf sensor so i ordered a new inlet hose but my question is if the ding a ling who had the car before me got it tuned with the hole there then is fixing it going to cause even more problems?

    the evap system, or the thing behind the power steering, is fubar the solenoid is broken one of the nipple is snapped off and theres a hose that comes from under the intake manifold that is just left open the nipples on the intake manifold are connected by a piece of vacuum line. is this a problem at all? i do get a cel for an evap leak every once in a while and im pretty sure that's why.

    also another thing i find weird not really a problem though is that its only running stock boost levels, about 14.7 -15 psi. i find this odd considering the fact that he put a vf39 on why not turn the boost up a bit. but that's not really a concern.

    HUGE PROBLEM IMO. when im stuck around 3200- 3700 rpms (going up a hill or something where the car stays at that range for some time) the car jerks bogs accelerates decelerates it feels like the hulk is holding you under the armpits and shaking you forward and backward. i don't know if this is normal for turbochard cars i do know that this is right before full boost tho. basically why does it happen cause i hate it and i have to rip it up every hill i come across reving above 4k just so it doesn't happen.

    car has less power at WOT then if i feather with the acceleration. basically if i mash the pedal to the floor i feel like im in a prius until about 5300 rpms then the turbo kicks in and its fine. however if i only press the gas pedal a little and increase pressure as i accelerate the car runs fine and full boost is at about 4k. also if im in neutral and push the pedal to the floor the car takes retardedly long to rev but if i slowly press the accelerator opening the throttle body as the engine speeds up the thing revs fine like i think it should.

    also the previous owner told me that the car made 360whp... being that i came from owning a completely stock automatic rsx i believed him but quickly realized 260 seems more reasonable.

    any insight on these issues is GREATLY appreciated. i am pretty mechanically inclined so i would like to fix these problems my self. i also would like to avoid having to retune at all costs as i just cant really afford it right now

    side note: when i get the turbo inlet i will be checking for boost leaks as i know that this can cause loads of problems
    Based on the fact that you know the person you purchased this car from lied to you (downpipe), I wouldn't trust anything they represented to you. I would get rid of the BOV and like you said get a BPV. I would get a new inlet...There is a hole in it.

    The rest of the issues (other than the Evap, which someone else might have insight on) is probably due to the fact that the car was either not tuned properly, or it was tuned properly for modifications that were removed prior to the sale. I would replace the parts that you want (need) to replace, get at least a downpipe on there and get the car retuned. Sounds like a ticking time bomb.

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    I have ordered a new inlet and I contacted the PO as soon I realized it was the stock one and he said he put the stock one on for inspection reasons and hasn't had the time to put the catless one back on but he gave me the dp he used for 50 bucks. could any of those problems be caused by vacuum or boost leaks? the motors in good shape, i had to change the head gasket about 4 or 5 months ago and there was no serious problems with the internals valve clearances were in spec. i was actually seriously surprised that it wasn't damaged in anyway. also i cant figure out how the PO had it tuned. it has the stock ecu so that would lead me to believe that he used either a piggy back system like accessport or an open source. are these correct assumptions? unfortunately i wont be able to afford a tune and an accessport for a while so im hoping to fix what i can or at least smooth things out until i can afford a retune. i guess ill try to find a used stock bpv from someone so i can see if that fixes any of the richness. and atleast get rid of that annoying as sound.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Holy hell where to begin. Sounds like you have multiple issues all contributing to your crappy running.

    the car runs rich with out a doubt, black tailpipe, carbon on bumper, backfiring....my question is what can be causing this?
    Lots of things. Leaks, bad tune, mechanical issues etc. Sounds like you have the lot.

    hks...the blow off valve
    Get rid of it.

    there is a quarter sized hole in my turbo inlet pipe
    Replace it, big problem.

    the evap system, or the thing behind the power steering
    The thing on the pass side fire wall next to the shock tower? Thats your BCS (Boost control Solenoid). BIG BIG problem, fix it.

    vf39 on why not turn the boost up a bit
    It may come up when you fix your mech issues, or he has a stock or crappy tune.

    could any of those problems be caused by vacuum or boost leaks?
    Yes.

    the motors in good shape
    You did a compression check and leak down test?

    i cant figure out how the PO had it tuned.....it has the stock ecu so that would lead me to believe that he used either a piggy back system like accessport or an open source. are these correct assumptions?
    If he didnt give you an AP with the car then most likely either opensource or older ECUtek flash. You'll wanna find out, because if it was with an AP you'll have potential issues.

    i wont be able to afford a tune
    At this point since you are franken subi, I'd go opensource. Tactrix cable and a laptop is all you need.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

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    thanks for the specifics haha the bcs is fine its the thing under the intake manifold I know for a fact its evap. ive looked into opensource tuning but not that hard is the soft ware just a free file download? and then I would do it myself? as for the motor, I haven't run either test but I don't believe I have bad compression theres nothing telling me that. and the car doesn't run horrible id say its like a 6 or a 7 out of ten most of the time. the main issue Im concerned with is right before full boost the lurging bogging and bucking that occurs its really strange and rough, the first time it happened I thought my clutch was slipping and catching. but after that it gets to full boost holds steady and the car pulls strong with no issues. the less power at WOT I read could be associated with a boost leak and/or the hole in the turbo inlet. but in the back of my mind I know that all of these issues more than likely are contributed to by a ****ty tune. I guess ill look into opensource some more
    ps "franken subi" I like that

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    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Just a bit more advice: If it were me, I'd not drive the car until it is sorted out.
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    Registered User Ingo's Avatar
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    Very first thing is to get the intake closed. That right there absolutely NEEDS to be fixed. It'll throw off the mixture even in WOT because the ECU uses "learned" numbers without referring to the O2. It could well settle the bucking issue right there. No sense in worrying about other stuff when there is one known cause that HAS to be fixed first. Get that done and then re-evaluate...
    You can't have everything - where would you put it?

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    I will post with an update when I get the turbo inlet and get it installed and check for boost leaks thanks for the all the help

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    okay so I am in the process of installing my turbo inlet and have found multiple boost leaks (the boost leak tester I made could barely get the system to 8psi). today I will try to find them and fix them and hopefully pressurize the system to 20 psi and go from there.

    also the orifice (or restrictor pill) that's supposed to be between the boost barb on the turbo and the t fitting in the wastegate line:
    W----T---O--B W=wastegate
    l T=T fitting
    l O=orfice/restrictor pill
    BC B=boost nipple on tubo
    BC=Boost Controller
    there is no orifice there so my question is should there be one or could the "tuner" that tuned the car have taken it out and tuned with out it? if not and there is supposed to be one that could explain why its running nearly stock boost correct? or would it run more boost with out one? my current plan is to get one from the dealer since they're dirt cheap. Get everything set up how the car was with no orifice and drive it and check the max boost I hit then ill put one in and drive around easy and see how it does. My only concern with this is that Im not sure how to tell if the car over boosts. would my knock sensor be triggered? would this be safe to do if I ease into it and as soon as the boost hits 2-3 psi over the previous run without the orifice I let off and just keep going up until either the boost levels out and holds steady or the cel goes on for a knock? is there any other way of knowing the car is over boosting?

    PS Sorry for the barrage of Questions

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    also the orifice (or restrictor pill) that's supposed to be between the boost barb on the turbo and the t fitting in the wastegate line:
    W----T---O--B W=wastegate
    l T=T fitting
    l O=orfice/restrictor pill
    BC B=boost nipple on tubo
    BC=Boost Controller
    there is no orifice there so my question is should there be one or could the "tuner" that tuned the car have taken it out and tuned with out it?
    Yes there should be one from factory. Refer here:

    vf39 restrictor pill

    It can be deleted if you have a 3 port BCS, IIRC.


    if not and there is supposed to be one that could explain why its running nearly stock boost correct?
    Could be tuned for much higher than stock but because of the leaks and missing pill only makes stock.

    My only concern with this is that Im not sure how to tell if the car over boosts. would my knock sensor be triggered? would this be safe to do if I ease into it and as soon as the boost hits 2-3 psi over the previous run without the orifice I let off and just keep going up until either the boost levels out and holds steady or the cel goes on for a knock? is there any other way of knowing the car is over boosting?
    You need to data log. I think you would be money ahead to buy a tactrix cable, read up on open source tuning and do some data logging. Since you are on the East coast, perhaps a member can help you out.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

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    just ordered the restrictor pill and a bpv gasket. I found an oem bpv from a user for 50 shipped and I guess I will look into the tactrix cable and open source tuning some more

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