Trying to Avoid Dealer, But I'm only getting 7.25lbs of boost
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This is a discussion on Trying to Avoid Dealer, But I'm only getting 7.25lbs of boost within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey All, I've been searching the site for about a week now, trying to research the problem I'm having with ...

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    Trying to Avoid Dealer, But I'm only getting 7.25lbs of boost

    Hey All,

    I've been searching the site for about a week now, trying to research the problem I'm having with my daily driver, a Franken-MY '04 WRX wagon.

    First off, I should explain that I drove the car thru some standing water this past spring during the flood season and seriously hydrolocked the orig. engine. Enough so that it bent the valves and trashed just about everything under the hood, save the battery! Fortunately for me, my insurance co. covered all of it except the $200 deductible, which landed me an '03 motor/turbo with 39k on it. Since the production date on my car is June '03, they went with this.. I didn't have much say in the matter unfortunately, but I was getting an engine with 1/2 the mileage than I had before so I didn't put up too much of a fight.


    That is until now. I don't know exactly when, my guess is about 2 weeks ago, but it seems now that I can't get the car to reach full boost in any gear (MT). The most I can eek out of it is 7.25lbs. It's purely stock under the hood sans a K&N panel filter and a cat back scooby sport muffler (love the grrr baby!). I've checked to make sure my wastegate pill is in place, the hoses all seem tight, and I don't hear any obvious hissing or exhaust leak under the hood when it's at idle. I'm going to consider doing some soaping around the up/down exhaust gaskets when I get home this eve to see if any bubbles show, but I was hoping someone may be able to suggest other things to check.

    Edit: I also wanted to add that I tried some of the valet settings (mashing the gas down while the key is in the ON position and turning on the defogger? I did some rain dances while doing this as well in hopes that our drought would end too ) and I also disconnected the pos. term from the battery for about 45 min.

    So, please!! Help me in my efforts to keep this car out of the (st)ealership!
    Last edited by bonkler; 06-18-2007 at 01:41 PM. Reason: Update

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  3. #2
    Registered User hakira's Avatar
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    check the boost lines near the waste gate. make sure you still have the restrictor pill.

    are you throwing a CEL? and maybe, your boost solenoid is bad. I believe wastegate spring is like 4-7 psi.

    other than that i dunno what to tell you, if you don't have exhaust leak around your up pipe and boost lines are fine.
    02' WRX OSECUROM STG 2 93OCT on 91OCT map -13.708 SEC / 097.84 MPH / 1.86 60 ft @ No Problem Raceway

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    no CEL

    Surprisingly, there's been no CEL ever since the dealer remembered to plug one of the O2 sensors back in.. Since then, no CEL... Which makes me think there isn't an exhaust leak.

    As for the pill, I know these are classic symptoms of not having one, but the boost solenoid? Hmm... Is there a way you know of to diag. that in my driveway? I've got some tools and do as much maint. on my car as I can handle, but my sloped gravel driveway don't make for very good work surfaces, esp. if you drop something!

    Anyway, I'm likely to call the dealer on this one later on today as it's the time and effort for bringing it over there and so forth that I'm hoping to avoid...

  5. #4
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    Seems like a common problem with no definate answer. Could your stock restictor pill have been repalced with regular vacum hose at some point.

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    good question.. I made sure to feel around the hose after the T that goes into the wastegate actuator and it seemed to me like the pill was in there.

    The thing that gets me is I was able to achieve full boost for about 3 weeks after the dealer finished their work. As for the turbo and the hoses themselves, the job was for a complete swap-out when the motor was replaced... They said they drained over a gallon of water from the cylinders and exhaust lines, which got me insurance sponsored new factory up/down pipes (I wanted to replace these some time in the near future with less restrictive ones) but the job was basically to unchain this replacement engine from the skid and drop it right into the engine bay. The only thing that I know of that wasn't re-installed was the heat shield over the turbo.

    I just feel like the answer is staring me in the face here, since there's only so many things it could be, but I literally can't put my finger on it!

  7. #6
    Registered User hakira's Avatar
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    idk how to diag the boost solenoid but if you know anyone with an aftermarket solenoid and has their spare stock lying around just borrow that and plug it in. You can always just talk to a subie mechanic and see if they are cool enough to give you some pointers, but i doubt it most are lame and say well you need to bring it in so WE can run some tests .......
    02' WRX OSECUROM STG 2 93OCT on 91OCT map -13.708 SEC / 097.84 MPH / 1.86 60 ft @ No Problem Raceway

    02' WRX OSECUROM STG 2.5 93OCT- 12.9 SEC @ No Problem Raceway
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    well sounds to me like your intercooler is clogged with debree..i seen it happen before with a customers car ..was your intercooler replaced also??id also check into your recirculator valve.. if it has a restriction that could cause some boost issues also....also dont count out the gasket between the recirc valve and intercooler.if the intercooler was replaced and the gasket was re used that could be your problem..also check the piping under your intercooler..ive seen alot of them not properly put on and under boost after a while pop right off..hope i helped

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    Registered User Jje121's Avatar
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    I had the same problem. You are only boosting to wastegate presure. Mine happend to be the boost control solonoid. I ended finding a used one for $50. I think the stealership wanted $130.
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    turbo drinks oil, or so the dealer tells me!

    Well, I finally took it to the dealer after I found there weren't any exhaust or hose leaks, they told me the vacuum was up to 25lbs but then proceeded to tell me that it was "sucking oil". About 2 quarts worth so far, and that this was considered to be "blown". The svc. mgr. was having difficulty explaining to me how the turbo could suck oil if it's not oil cooled, so I was wondering if anyone could answer that one..He also said that it potentially trashed the cat. Nevertheless, all of this is covered under warranty so the ins. inspector is going to check it out tomorrow and authorize the repairs. I just hope/wish/pray that they decide I get a new turbo instead of a refurb. or another used one that will potentially land me right back in this position a month or two from now...

    The thing that gets me and what I find frustrating about all of this is that for the same amt. of money the ins. company spent to put a new engine in this car, I could've had a slightly used JDM spec motor with AVCS and STi power #'s installed for the same amt. of money. They wouldn't insure it though or release the cash to me if I was going to spend it on this, so I was stuck with this option, which isn't bad, but hey...It's nice to dream right?

  11. #10
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonkler View Post
    The svc. mgr. was having difficulty explaining to me how the turbo could suck oil if it's not oil cooled
    Why is the turbo not oil cooled? What turbo are you using?
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    I thought it was cooled by water ... I could be completely wrong and am admittedly severely undereducated on this matter, but I thought only older turbo setups are cooled by oil (thinking of 911's and early Saab 900's/Volvos) and that newer ones were cooled by water or air? Someone please feel free to educate me more on this one if you want to take the time to type it out or point me to a link.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonkler View Post
    I thought it was cooled by water ... I could be completely wrong and am admittedly severely undereducated on this matter, but I thought only older turbo setups are cooled by oil (thinking of 911's and early Saab 900's/Volvos) and that newer ones were cooled by water or air? Someone please feel free to educate me more on this one if you want to take the time to type it out or point me to a link.
    There's an oil feed going to the turbo. The oil is used for lubrication but it inevitably absorbs heat. I think the older turbos you're talking about include models by KKK, for example. These didn't have a water line so they relied entirely on oil (and air inevitably) for cooling.
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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  14. #13
    Registered User BigB007's Avatar
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    From what I understand I believe they are both water and oil cooled this is why there is no need for a turbo timer but if I am incorrect feel free to correct me so I can get my facts straight

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    You're right, older KKK's were oil cooled from what I remember reading.. This thing I'm living with is pure stock, VF37 I believe.

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    They are def. oil cooled along with water Thats why turbo timers are useless. More info on everything can be found here http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=533787 And also by talking on the forums reg.

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