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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

Car just got towed to my friend's house. :(

MAJOR oil smoke from the exhaust - especially when I rev it.

Engine not running rough - happened while the car was IDLING in neutral at a parking lot with the AC on!

ARGH. I was picking Erin up after she got ran off the road by a psycho in a Mercedes...

Then my car decides to start shooting smoke out of the tailpipe.

I haven't looked at it since it got towed to the "workshop" - but I'm thinking (praying/crossing fingers/hoping/wishing!) it's the turbo oil seal and not the rings/piston/etc...

Any other thoughts?

I'm going to try and take off of work tomorrow to do a compression test, see if the oil drain line is kinked on the turbo, etc. etc...

Other tests/thoughts/help?

ARGH! :(

Did I mention: ARGH?
 

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Check the PCV valve, I've seen those make engines smoke like mad before. Dunno if that would apply to a forced induction engine tho.

Were you bangin on the engine hard before this? Or just outta the blue?

Damn man, I hope all yer internals are fine, and this is a leaky seal on the turbo.

Pull the dipstick and see if ya smell losta gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just installed the VF30 - I've got to think of that as somehow being the culprit.

I don't think it's the motor - it's idling okay and I haven't been pushing the motor hard at all (17.5psi with STi injectors/Walbro pump & 94 octane).

That's the funny thing - I had just gone to pick up my girlfriend - the car was idling with the A/C on. Saw smoke in the rearview and wondered to myself what it was... It was me! :(

Here's a link to my description of the day:
(warning - I'm understandably expressive in my description of a bad day)

http://www.i-club.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3551

I put off a couple of clients to start my troubleshooting tomorrow.

I'll keep you all posted.

I *HOPE* it's just a kinked/clogged oil drain tube and that I won't need to replace/rebuild the turbo (it's got <500 miles on it for gosh sakes!)

Thanks for the reply...
 

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Your car just started smoking real bad while running?
I can get smoke on a restart after racing but not while just sitting at idle with the engine running.

Did you race your WRX prior to this smoke. Just wondering if you blew some oil in the IC/intake or something like that. That is common with WRX's running high boost and can make a lot of smoke. If this is the problems the smoke should go away after a little driving.

After racing one day I parked my car. Then when I started it up I got a ton of smoke. I was really scared. I drove straight home thinking something major was wrong. My problem was just oil blow bye. Running high boost can get oil in the intake/IC. Then when the car sits the oil drains down and makes a lot of smoke when your restart the car.

But if your car was just sitting and you never turned the engine off and was smoking and the smoke didn't go away after a little driving around then its something else.

Good luck.
I hope its just oil blow bye getting in the intake. I thought my engine was fried or my turbo and got all worried and nothing was wrong with my car.:)
 

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Mine smoked REAL bad like that after forgetting it outside and letting it idle all night long. The next morning, I had oil/coolant streaming out of my tail-pipe and the thing was smoking like it blew a head gasket. After checking for major problems, I drove the hell out of it on a backroad and the crap burnt off and hasn't came back. I think the oil and coolant seeped together while idling for so long inside the turbo (since the turbo isn't spinning very much at idle), and then was expelled out the exhaust...

A compression test should put your mind at ease though, I know it was the only thing that put mine to ease as well. Good luck.

-Jason
 

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I don't know much about it, but recently I can remeber reading a thread on nasaioc about this dude who had smoking/ oil issues with his vf30 - problems with 2 vf30's and not the stock when re-installed.........I'll take a peek and see if I can find it, or what it turned out to.........
 

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Well, I did a BUNCH of searchs, and can't find it. I may be completely wrong, but I swear I can remember reading a thread about a guy who did a swap, had problems, and put the stock back in. He then tried a different turbo (same model) and had the same problems. What sticks in my mind most about the thread was that he had a picture of the turbo laying on the ground on a paper towel, with a big ol' puddle of oil coming out of it. I could have been on this site, but i thought it was nasioscsac.......so until anyone can find it, don't take any of my input for anything more that the sh*t you stepped in out in the yard.............
 

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Discussion Starter #8
SGOS,
The car was just idling. I haven't raced it in 2 weeks, and I haven't really "pounded it" (except to set the boost) since I put the VF30 on ~5 days ago.

Thanks for the thought and the post though!

Jmussetter,
I remember that debacle. I'm glad it all turned out well for you!
You're right - I'm going to have to find out for myself what went on - and a compression test should be the end all... *crosses fingers*

Redwag,
After reading your post I went on to NASIOC and found the thread you are talking about. You were right - it was Austin (he's a member here too and a VERY knowledgeable guy) and he had problems with 3 VF turbos and none with a stocker. It turned out to be his catch can/PCV set up - but his symptoms are similar to mine.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it's a kinked oil drain problem. With as much trouble as I had getting the turbo seated on the oil drain (wasn't TERRIBLE - but wasn't easy) I'm hoping it got kinked or smashed or something...

I can't see it from the exterior of the hose, but I seem to recall the hose having an inner metal/nylon/hard lining. Anybody that did a turbo swap back me up on this one?

Well - I'm off to do some troubleshooting.

My order of tasks:
1. Start the car - drive around - re-check symptoms
2. Pull out spark plugs and do a compression check
3. If the compression test reads low then throw fit and cry like baby
4. If the compression test reads normal/within spec then pull off turbo and check oil drain line
5. If oil drain line checks out okay check for kinked/smashed pcv/vacuum lines.
6. If can't figure it out - cry like baby again.
7. Go home.

:(
 

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I'm thinking that something went amiss with the turbo lubrication - specifically the oil return line - and that your VF30 has gone south.

I hope I'm wrong, but if you are burning oil on such a new car then this seems the most likely culprit given your recent installation. :(

It is remotely possible that you just got a bad unit. If you trace the cause back to the turbocharger then for sure you will want to send it off and get it inspected by an independant specialist.

Pull your IC and see how much oil is sitting in the hoses and the IC itself. That will tell you whether the oil is entering induction side, or whether you are blowing it past your rings (unlikely I think).

-Pace
 

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is2scooby said:


My order of tasks:
1. Start the car - drive around - re-check symptoms
2. Pull out spark plugs and do a compression check
3. If the compression test reads low then throw fit and cry like baby
4. If the compression test reads normal/within spec then pull off turbo and check oil drain line
5. If oil drain line checks out okay check for kinked/smashed pcv/vacuum lines.
6. If can't figure it out - cry like baby again.
7. Go home.

:(
My first course of action would be to pull the IC and check the amount of oil present. You know how much is 'normal' so if you see an increased amount then you know that the oil is coming from somewhere upstream of the IC and thus a compression test would be a waste of time. You should then pull the turbocharger.

If there's no oil present upstream of the TB, then it's time to do a compression test. I'm pretty confident your problem is related to the turbocharger though.

-Pace
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Pace,

As always your advice is gratefully taken. :D I'll keep you guys posted on how the diagnosis is going!

On a related note - if the oil return line was clogged/kinked and that turns out to be my only problem - am I just a couple of cans of brake clean away from having a fixed vehicle or is the VF30 going to need rebuilding?
 

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is2scooby said:
Pace,

As always your advice is gratefully taken. :D I'll keep you guys posted on how the diagnosis is going!

On a related note - if the oil return line was clogged/kinked and that turns out to be my only problem - am I just a couple of cans of brake clean away from having a fixed vehicle or is the VF30 going to need rebuilding?
The VF30 would be toast if it suffered oil starvation for even a short period of time.

I forgot to ask; blue smoke or white smoke? ;)

-Pace
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Pace,

Smoke was "blueish"... I'm thinking oil.

There was considerable condensation in the exhaust/downpipe when I took it off also though...

Turbo is out of the car.

1. Intercooler = clean
2. PCV Hoses = clean
3. Intake = clean
4. Uppipe = clean
5. Turbocharger inlet/compressor = clean
6. Turbocharger outlet/turbine/downpipe = oily (not a puddle of oil, but there is a"sheen" to it like I had sprayed wd40 in there and a white rag comes back oily if run in the bore of the downpipe.

So it looks like the turbo seal. *phew*

I'm hoping that means the pistons/rings are okay in the motor. I'm assuming that if it was excessive blow-by causing the smoke in the exhaust - that the intake/turbine/pcv/intercooler etc. would be filled with oil - that's not the case.

I'm still confused as to how the seal gave out though?

I was hoping to find the oil drain line kinked/bent/crushed so that I could just rectify that and the turbo would be back in shape - but it appears that nothing is wrong with the drain.

I guess the next step is to put the stock turbo back on and see if it still smokes.

If so - there's something wrong with the oil getting out of the turbo.

If it doesn't leak - then there was something wrong with the VF30.

Mixed emotions.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
pace said:


My first course of action would be to pull the IC and check the amount of oil present. You know how much is 'normal' so if you see an increased amount then you know that the oil is coming from somewhere upstream of the IC and thus a compression test would be a waste of time. You should then pull the turbocharger.

If there's no oil present upstream of the TB, then it's time to do a compression test. I'm pretty confident your problem is related to the turbocharger though.

-Pace
Uh-oh. Just re-read your post. No oil upstream of my TB. It's all in the downpipe/turbine housing of the turbocharger.

I was assuming that's a bad oil seal on the turbo leaking out the "back" end.

Might this not be the case? Hmmm... Guess I will have to break out the compression tester. :(
 

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I'd check compression, too, I it were my car. Nevertheless, from what you've described, I think it's the turbo seal.

misterx
 

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MisterX said:
I'd check compression, too, I it were my car. Nevertheless, from what you've described, I think it's the turbo seal.

misterx
Ditto. That's the easiest way to find out if your pistons/cylinders are still good. Compression check. Sorry to hear about your ordeal. I think I would go into my bedroom and cry for a while if that happened to me.

Kurlee Daddee
(THE ORIGINAL)
 

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Hmm... and to think that I am considering going stage 4 in a few days, this is very unsettling to say the least.....

is2scooby - Hope all is well with your engine :(
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
UPDATE:

1. Stock turbo is back in.
2. Exhaust is smoke-free! :D
3. I'm tired of swapping turbos.
4. I'm going to help a friend with his VF30 install tomorrow. I'm going to be an expert at this soon! :D

Notes:
1. Yay!
2. The initial installation of the VF30 seems to have gone off without a hitch. There were no kinked hoses or lines, no overtightened clamps, no overboosting... I don't know what caused the VF30's oil seal to give up the ghost.
3. Stage 4 feels SO much stronger than stock (caveat - I'm still running the Unichip and it's mapped for the VF30 so I'm not pushing the stocker, but...)
4. With back to back impressions of the turbo's - yes the TD04 spools up quicker, is louder, more dramatic, but slower and less fun to drive. :D
5. Don't give up on the Stage 4 guys! I think I just got a bum turbo. :(
6. Anybody know where to get another VF30 cheap - or at least a good rebuild on this one? :D
 

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Richard,

Just caught this thread!!!

Dam, Sure am glad it wasnt the motor!!!!!



:) Shotgun
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Shotgun,

Thanks, Bro!
 
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