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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can hear a chorus of angels singing 'hallelujah' !!! It's only been a few days, but I am quite certain this time its going to stay sealed indefinitely. Why? Read on...

I recently contributed to an uppipe thread on I-club (my apologies, but sometimes we are driven to desperate measures). In this thread, somebody had stated that Shiv @Vishnu like me believes that the tolerances on the OE manifold are the major culprit of repeated failed uppipe installs. Reportedly he also says some manifolds are too 'short', causing the uppipe joint to be stressed when everything is torqued down.

The potential solution? DITCH THE TURBO-UPPIPE BRACKETS. Two of the studs that locate the uppipe to the turbo actually retain it [the uppipe] to two brackets. I never paid them much attention before. Anyway, there are two brackets; one at the front of the turbo and one at the rear. You can either remove the brackets entirely or just refuse to utilize them. You only really NEED to bolt-up the 3 studs that actually hold the uppipe directly to the turbo. When you torque everything down, the turbo will now be able to move slightly which will relieve stress on that uppipe joint.

I then used copious amounts of muffler cement on both sides of the lower uppipe gasket. I actually don't think this is needed given the solution above. I loosely located the uppipe to the turbo as normal, and loosely located the manifold to the block (as normal). I then got the uppipe and manifold perfectly aligned (much easier now the turbo brackets are gone) and carefully torqued them down.

When I finally torqued everything down, the difference was immediately apparent: The uppipe-manifold joint was still perfectly aligned. In the previous 10 or 15 installs (ouch), the two flanges had always separated at this point causing a leak either immediately or at sometime soon thereafter.

I also think this may have a positive effect regarding the concern of long-term uppipe longevity. That assembly is now retained in a much less-rigid fashion.

If any of you have been following my uppipe saga, you will know how relieved I am. It's nice to be finally vindicated with a successful install when all the failures were simply due to a flawed OEM component. The lectures of 'you screwed up the install' become a little tiresome after a while when you know you did everything per the instructions time and again. This was my last attempt before buying a one piece manifold, so that is a relief to my wallet also.

Just thought I would post this since it may help other folks that are struggling with the problem. Thanks to whoever it was at I-club that gave me the tip.

-Pace
 

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cool. glad to hear that everything finnaly worked out. now go out and rip it up.
 

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Congratulations! Hark, the herald angels sing! That's wonderful news! Your trials and tribulations have actually been contributing to my growing anxiety about installing my newly purchased PDE uppipe!

I'm glad that you've resolved your situation (and I'm sure it's permanently resolved) and can enjoy your vehicle once again! I know that I have a hard time enjoying the "experience" if there's anything even remotely amiss with my ride.

Quick question though, do you believe that there are any possible negative side effects now or that may rear their ugly heads in the future from failing to utilize the uppipe to turbo brackets as originally intended? Are they vestigial and superfluous once you remove the heavy cat-equipped factory uppipe and replace it with a lighter aftermarket unit?

Mahalo and congratulations again!
Richard... :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
str said:
cool. glad to hear that everything finnaly worked out. now go out and rip it up.
Now I just need to figure out what's up with this apparent boost leak. LOL. I'm gonna have Phast take a look because he has concerns regarding the VF30 wastegate, and it might be the same 'issue' that I am experiencing.

-Pace
 

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Pace
Thanks for the analysis of the uppipe, etc. I found that really informative even though I don't know a lot about the WRX engine
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
is2scooby said:

..

Quick question though, do you believe that there are any possible negative side effects now or that may rear their ugly heads in the future from failing to utilize the uppipe to turbo brackets as originally intended? Are they vestigial and superfluous once you remove the heavy cat-equipped factory uppipe and replace it with a lighter aftermarket unit?

Mahalo and congratulations again!
Richard... :cool:
I don't believe there will be any ill-effects. As you say, my PDE is considerably lighter than the OEM piece. I believe that the uppipe, downpipe, and both hoses, will hold the turbocharger in place just fine. I'll report back if I encounter any long-term issues.

-Pace
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Need4Boost said:
Thanks for the info Pace!

I will try this later on this week and see if it fixes me leak.
When you first attach the uppipe to the turbo and the manifold to the block, do it so they are barely retained. You need them to move as freely as possible so that you can perfectly align the uppipe and manifold. Then torque the uppipe to the manifold all the way before you even think about touching any of the other studs. Pinpoint alignment of the uppipe-manifold joint is crucial IMO.

-Pace
 

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pace said:


Now I just need to figure out what's up with this apparent boost leak. LOL. I'm gonna have Phast take a look because he has concerns regarding the VF30 wastegate, and it might be the same 'issue' that I am experiencing.

-Pace

What problem are you having with the wastegate?

Carlo
 

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Ahh.. nice. I never put those brackets back on after the first install of mine. I guess that would be why I never had sealing problems either.

I have 2 unused studs coming out of my uppipe ever since I installed it.
 

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pace,

thank you for being the guinea pig for me. :D

congrats. after reading that iclub thread, i was getting ready to throw out the idea all together.

dR
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Carlo said:



What problem are you having with the wastegate?

Carlo
Jay is having problems holding boost I believe.

My issue is that I'm getting a soft high pitched whistle, especially during part-throttle high-boost situations when the motor is also under load. It seems to be accompanied by compressor surging. It sounds nothing like an uppipe leak, and nothing like the normal turbocharger 'whoosh'. It sounds like boost venting from a small orifice somewhere close to the firewall. I have checked (and replaced) all my induction hoses. I have checked (and replaced) all my boost taps. Next I'm going to RTV all the metal-metal IC connections.

I'm open minded on the issue and given that the 'problem' started the instant I fitted the VF30, I'm willing to consider that I'm simply listening to the wastegate. Whatever, the noise bugs the hell out of me and I'm concerned about the surging.

-Pace
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
phast said:
Ahh.. nice. I never put those brackets back on after the first install of mine. I guess that would be why I never had sealing problems either.

I have 2 unused studs coming out of my uppipe ever since I installed it.
Now he tells me. ;)

-Pace
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
pace said:

..
I'm open minded on the issue and given that the 'problem' started the instant I fitted the VF30, I'm willing to consider that I'm simply listening to the wastegate. Whatever, the noise bugs the hell out of me and I'm concerned about the surging.

-Pace
A more worrying thought that has occurred to me is that I have a fractured compressor housing. I'd rather not entertain that idea right now.

-Pace
 

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Ok.. sounds like we are on the same page. My symptoms are almost identical and it's especially noticeable part-throttle/high boost.
Perhaps we can tackle this issue as well on the 17th? ;)
 

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This is a good thread, Pace. Good luck for you. I hear the whistle too at part throttle though I don't leak boost. Why don't you give your upper a rest and enjoy the car for a bit. Maybe your looking for problems you don't have.

Then figure out if your BOV or wastegate is responsible for the noise. Frankly, it sounds normal to me. Please post your boost leaking numbers again. I expect you go to 16 and drop to 15 (or something like that). Also, do you still run the stock BOV? I recall seeing that in a pic you posted recently.

russ
 

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Good idea. I have figured this out as well. I was looking at all the extra parts in my box of junk and noticed the brackets. I was going to start recommending to not use them. Since we never reinstall them around here, I believe the problem people are having is in reinstalling these brackets. There is no need for them.
 

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Pace,
The first thought I had is on your turbo is that it might be leaking out of the nipple for the boost controller, but since you've checked all those connections, it does seem as though a fractured houseing could be the culprit. Although, it might be more likely that it's leaking between the 2 housings. Have you inspected this connection. I'm sure there are seals around the blade shaft, is it possible it's leaking there? I've never split my turbo before, so I'm not REAL familiar of possibilities of this, but just an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
russ said:
This is a good thread, Pace. Good luck for you. I hear the whistle too at part throttle though I don't leak boost. Why don't you give your upper a rest and enjoy the car for a bit. Maybe your looking for problems you don't have.

Then figure out if your BOV or wastegate is responsible for the noise. Frankly, it sounds normal to me. Please post your boost leaking numbers again. I expect you go to 16 and drop to 15 (or something like that). Also, do you still run the stock BOV? I recall seeing that in a pic you posted recently.

russ
Well, the noise is not accompanied by a significantly visible (on my two gauges) drop in boost readings, rather you can actually feel the car 'surging' back and forth. I only push my VF30 to about 18psi, and I assumed the surging was due to the compressor having to spool faster to compensate for the bleeding of manifold pressure (if that is what is happening).

Jay: Given your observations, this does sound like we are probably experiencing the same issue with the VF30 wastegate. I assume this didn't happen with the 1820, and began when you fitted the VF30? You also get 'the noise'? I will definitely be up for investigating this during our Nitrous-appreciation session on the 17th.

I took Tronner for a ride tonight after fitting an SBC i-d in his car. He liked the kick in the pants from the Nitrous, but he immediately noticed the boost noise and was somewhat alarmed by it.

Thanks all for your support and suggestions. I am determined to get to the bottom of this.

-Pace
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
God said:
Good idea. I have figured this out as well. I was looking at all the extra parts in my box of junk and noticed the brackets. I was going to start recommending to not use them. Since we never reinstall them around here, I believe the problem people are having is in reinstalling these brackets. There is no need for them.

I would just like to say that Dan was extremely patient with me on this issue. I had two seperate uppipes from him, and eventually returned them both for a full credit. In my efforts to track the problem I then went with a PDE, and then another PDE, still experiencing the same problems. At that point it was painfully obvious the problem was with the OEM manifold. Thanks Dan, and once again sorry for being such a PITA. :)

-Pace
 
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