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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I ended up putting a rebuilt block in my car with Manley forged pistons, stock crank, stock rods, ACL bearings, 11mm pump, and oil cooler. I have been breaking it in using the hard run-in method for the past 500 miles with Advance Auto 5w-30. Yesterday at 501 miles, I bumped up the oil weight to 10w-40 to see if it would resolve the issue and it is definitely still burning. The turbo (VF48) is very new with maybe 700 miles, but I did run it on my previous motor that had a bad #4. The tune is from the previous motor as well (10.3 afr at WOT/14.3 at idle). It is pushing 19 lbs. The question I have is just this: can a turbo seal go bad if it is this new? I can smell burning oil at idle once the oil is at temp. I will occasionally see smoke after running it hard (normal methinks), but I took the car on the highway for like 15 miles the other day and when I got off, it was visibly showing blue smoke at idle. Any input? I also assume the rings have seated by this point (tons of engine braking). Thank you in advance.

-Adam

p.s. Also, can an oil overfill pop turbo seals?
 

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The EJ motor is known for pretty excessive blow by oil. The sure tell way to check this is to remove the intercooler, and see if there is oil in the TB hose, or the hose going to the turbo from the intercooler. If so, the best way to eliminate this is a quality Air/Oil separator. I prefer the IAG one, but the Crawford one is nice too.

Also, this tune you are reusing. I am guessing it is from your car before the built motor? If so, it should be retuned.

First and foremost, check for blowby oil like mentioned above. If there is some and you invest in a AOS, give it about a thousand miles and all of the blow by should be cleaned up. If after installing an AOS and you can still notice oil being burnt off a good bit, investigate further into other reasons, like the turbo seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Forgot to mention... I have an IAG Street AOS and it is hooked up correctly. When I last pulled the intercooler, there was a tiny bit of oil at the coupler. The turbo outlet (before the Y-pipe) looked clean. This makes me believe that the exhaust side of the turbo is leaking or I have a bad ring seal (highly doubt). I know a leak down is the only real way to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And as for the retune, that will happen in 900 miles. My tuner told me to put 1500 miles on the motor.
 

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Have the turbo checked? Pull the plugs and look at them and look in the intercooler. How much oil are you consuming?

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I really don't know yet. I can report back in 500 more miles to see if the consumption has disintegrated. From what I can tell, after a 15 mile hike on the highway, there was visible smoke at idle. So I assume it is just enough to notice a drop in oil level. I am running an 11mm oil pump with single AVCS heads. My builder says he uses the 11mm pump with old STis, so I don't think it's an issue. If anything, the oil is getting hot enough to thin out.
 

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So you assume it's enough to show a drop meaning you haven't checked?

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't gotten a good read on oil level since I just changed the oil. I will keep my eyes on it to see if there is indeed a drop in level. I can smell the burned oil at stoplights and see a translucent grey smoke after running the car to temp. It is nothing crazy as far as smoke goes. Just enough to worry. I came from a Civic that burned oil but never smelled nor smoked.
 

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When you are breaking in a built engine you should be checking the oil every time you drive. I would find a flat spot and check the oil as soon as you can.

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What oil did the engine builder want you to run based on the tolerances/clearances? What does he say about the oil burning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I spoke with him and he told me to run 5w-30 during the first 1k miles, then to T6 after the break-in. So I decided to bump the thickness up for the latter half of my break-in thinking it could help. The motor is most definitely quieter.
 

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Sounds like poor cylinder wall prep to me. Do a leakdown test and see how even the drops are and where the air seems to be going. If the rings are leaking (especially if the leakdowns are uneven) start the conversation with the engine builder immediately. He will probably want to wait for a few more miles to see if a miracle occurs, but there is some point where he should own the problem.

I spoke with him and he told me to run 5w-30 during the first 1k miles, then to T6 after the break-in. So I decided to bump the thickness up for the latter half of my break-in thinking it could help. The motor is most definitely quieter.
So ... you have built a lot of engines and hence know more than the guy the built this one? Or maybe you selected an engine builder that you don't trust?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will do a leakdown this week. Also, I am not going to rule out the turbo. It's not too uncommon for these to be DOA. My tune is pig rich as well, so it could be washdown that ruined my bores. I am just hoping that it is not...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So ... you have built a lot of engines and hence know more than the guy the built this one? Or maybe you selected an engine builder that you don't trust?
Never said I knew more than my builder. But there have been a few times that I wondered about his methods. He did torque plate the block, which is a good sign. He is an independent mechanic in NY. from what I understand he has been building blocks for 8 years and works with dealerships in that area to do their rebuilds. I just don't know the guy. I made the mistake of purchasing from eBay and not IAG. So lesson learned.
 

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acsww4 said:
Never said I knew more than my builder. But there have been a few times that I wondered about his methods. He did torque plate the block, which is a good sign. He is an independent mechanic in NY. from what I understand he has been building blocks for 8 years and works with dealerships in that area to do their rebuilds. I just don't know the guy. I made the mistake of purchasing from eBay and not IAG. So lesson learned.
Where in NY? Is his name Fred?
 
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