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DoubleCee33

Boost leak after installing turbo-side induction, why?

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It's a very long story so I'm going to try and keep it as short as I possibly can.

 

Last week I had an Antz Performance turbo side induction and battery relocation kit installed in my 2011 FG XR6 Turbo ute, before this kit was installed I had absolutely no problems with my turbo, no problems with boost, the boost has never been altered from factory settings, everything ran as it should.

 

Anyway, I had a professional mechanic who I have been going to for the past couple of years install the kit for me, whenever it comes to anything like the engine or the turbo I always let the professionals handle it.

 

Anyway, the installation went seamlessly, the only thing of note that the mechanic did point out was that the factory intercooler piping was a bastard to work around, but everything eventually fit as it should.

 

One problem he did however notice was that the car was no longer boosting as it should, there were times where you could get it up to 2 or 3 PSI and it would hold, but then drop back to 0 immediately, other times it wouldn't boost at all.

 

I have checked every single inch of piping and tubing coming out of that turbo that leads anywhere, and I have not been able to find a single crack or misfitting part, the old blow off valve port has been blocked off correctly, for all intents and purposes the job was done as it should have been done.

 

I have spoken to the manufacturer, Antz Performance, and they swear that they have never had an issue like this with any of their parts and that it almost certainly would have to be a boost leak somewhere, but as I have said, I have checked all of that and being able to find nothing at all.

 

Some people on other forums have said that it's more than likely that I now probably need a new wastegate, I run that passed the manufacturer and they said that if I was running stock boost there was absolutely no way that I needed a new wastegate simply by adding a turbo side induction kit.

 

Honestly, I don't know what to do here, can anyone possibly give me any leads on what I might be able to do or on what the issue maybe?

Anything would be greatly appreciated.

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:Welcome2FordXR6t:

the manufacturer was right, you don't need a new wastegate (or wastegate actuator, which is what they probably meant) when you put in an air intake only.

 

so, to be clear, a few questions:

1. it has a boost gauge and you can see how much boost it's making?

2. if it makes boost at all on the boost gauge, what is the highest number it gets to and does it get there quickly and when it gets there how long can it stay there throughout the rev range?

3. is the small pipe that goes from the front of the turbo to the wastegate solenoid and then goes from the solenoid to the actuator nipple, all connected fine?

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1. Correct, I'm running an autometer boost gauge.

 

2. It makes boost to a maximum of about 3 psi, it will stay there for a few seconds as long as I'm not increasing my RPM, the second I try and squeeze more boost out of it by pressing down on the accelerator the boost will plummet back down to zero. 

 

3. From what I can visually see myself, yes, as far as I'm aware there was nothing touched during the installation of the turbo side intake that didn't need to be touched, so everything connected to the blow off valve and obviously the tubing leading from the turbo to the pod filter and that's about it. 

 

As I said in my write-up I didn't have any issues whatsoever before this turbo side induction kit was installed.

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ok...

if it's making 3psi and the revs are increasing "slowly" (as the revs must be increasing as boost = acceleration = revs increasing), then trying to gain more boost by more throttle depth causes the boost to drop to zero and then your car "feels slower" at that point even though you've got more throttle applied?

 

the thing is, to install a turbo-side intake, the entire air intake from the passenger side all the way to the turbo front inlet needed to be removed, which means the BOV pipes etc that need to connect to the "air intake" side need to be re-routed completely, so any of those pipes could be disconnected or loose.

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1 hour ago, k31th said:

the thing is, to install a turbo-side intake, the entire air intake from the passenger side all the way to the turbo front inlet needed to be removed, which means the BOV pipes etc that need to connect to the "air intake" side need to be re-routed completely, so any of those pipes could be disconnected or loose.

 

if you dont know how your bov lines should be routed, put up a couple of pics and im sure someone here will tell you if it looks right.

if the bov is not connected right it will just be a huge leak in the pressure piping.

 

normally when the wastegate actuators die, the diaphragm leaks and they build more boost than they should.

this is not to say something else could have happend, if you dont have your heat shields on just make sure the actuator rods still connected to the flap and you cant move it open by hand.

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The blow off valve was completely removed and all of the lines connected to the above were either blocked off with screws or removed and blocked off completely.

 

I'm taking it back to the mechanic tomorrow to see if there's anything he can find, but he did tell me that there was a very good chance that I would probably need an aftermarket actuator, apparently it's fairly common to install a new one when doing a turbo side conversion. 

 

I'm not overly mechanical myself so I wouldn't know, but a few people on a few different forums have agreed with him.

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he'd be right if you were going for more power, which is what most people are doing when they install a turbo-side intake... but you're not going for more power as your car is stock, so you definitely WILL NOT need a actuator replacement.

 

the mechanic should be able to diagnose it.

 

if you keep answering our questions then we may even get it sorted before you take it back there :)

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I will say that I'm probably siding with the people that say that it's almost definitely a boost leak, there is a notable change in tone from when it is holding boost and from when it 'let's go' and the pressure goes back to zero, but as I have pointed out several times I have checked every single pipe leading into and out of the turbo including the blow off valve lines and I can't find anything that is loose or anything that has any holes in it or anything like that, everything is nice and tight and secured, unless it's something that you would have to take off to physically see I honestly don't know.

 

I'm happy to answer any additional questions that might be able to help you diagnose it, I really do appreciate the help.

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1 hour ago, k31th said:

if it's making 3psi and the revs are increasing "slowly" (as the revs must be increasing as boost = acceleration = revs increasing), then trying to gain more boost by more throttle depth causes the boost to drop to zero and then your car "feels slower" at that point even though you've got more throttle applied?

can you please answer this question? perhaps describe the situation in detail rather than the overview you've currently given? include sounds, actions, events, results etc.

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Ok, but I warn you, it's not going to be Pulitzer prize stuff lol

 

During acceleration I can audibly hear the induction sound of the air going through the pod filter, when I increase acceleration further to get into boost I can now hear the turbo spooling up, when I increase acceleration even further into boost the needle on my boost gauge starts climbing, as I'm increasing the revs the boost is starting to build and the sound of said boost being created is getting louder and louder, obviously the car is also now noticeably accelerating faster.

 

At about 3 psi the needle on the boost gauge will drop down to just below zero psi, the induction noise of the turbo making boost will stop, the turbo will still be spooling and that is still audible, but the feeling of the car lurching forward under boost is no longer there but I'm still accelerating under the engines power.

 

It's very difficult to explain,what I might do later on when my partner gets home is take her for a drive and actually physically record what happens, and then upload it to YouTube and link it.

 

I hope that description was reasonable enough for you.

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that description is much better, thanks :)

 

it sounds like a valve is sticking barely closed as you build the base amount of boost and then is opening when you get above 3psi. The only valve that could do this in the pathway is the BOV. The description reasonably clearly indicates the BOV opening while you've actually still got the throttle open (which is not how it should operate in normal conditions). Maybe the BOV is installed backwards or the BOV's actual internal valve seal is compromised and is opening when it should be shut.

 

try blocking off the BOV connections to see if it builds boost properly (this isolates the problem to the BOV if it builds boost correctly).  

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36 minutes ago, DoubleCee33 said:

The blow off valve was completely removed and all of the lines connected to the above were either blocked off with screws or removed and blocked off completely.

1 minute ago, k31th said:

it sounds like a valve is sticking barely closed as you build the base amount of boost and then is opening when you get above 3psi. The only valve that could do this in the pathway is the BOV. The description reasonably clearly indicates the BOV opening while you've actually still got the throttle open (which is not how it should operate in normal conditions). Maybe the BOV is installed backwards or the BOV's actual internal valve seal is compromised and is opening when it should be shut.

I thought bov leak, but if its gone corectly then it wont be. if hes left the bov connected and blocked the vac going to the intake/bov that that would explain everything as the bov would be dumping at spring pressure override.

 

upload a picture mate.

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yeah... there's nothing that would really do what is described consistently if the BOV is actually removed...

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3 minutes ago, BeerTurbo said:

I thought bov leak, but if its gone corectly then it wont be. if hes left the bov connected and blocked the vac going to the intake/bov that that would explain everything as the bov would be dumping at spring pressure override.

 

upload a picture mate.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/366302366774097/2899080506829591/?comment_id=2899087910162184&reply_comment_id=2899106740160301&notif_id=1561167987099684&notif_t=group_comment_mention

that's a post I made the other day regarding this issue, pictures are attached.  

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it's not a public group, so we can't see it... and I doubt that the fact that's a "closed" group would let you set the permissions to "public" on your post within it.

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it all looks connected well there, so the likely situation is that one of your plastic pipes has split partially and only holds 3psi before it presses itself open or a similar thing is happening with the stopper you've used to block off the BOV port.

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Regarding your suggestion of the plastic piping: that's exactly what Antz Performance said and they recommended I take the plastic piping that connects the turbo to the start of the intercooler piping completely off so that I could check for any cracks underneath, which I did and there were none.

 

Re your plastic stopper suggestions: that's also what I initially thought but then I took the plastic stopper off and there were no holes or cracks or anything like that, so just to make 100% sure I reinforced it with that piece of  hose that used to connect to the blow-off valve and put an extra tight clamp on to it and there was no improvement.

It's definitely a strange situation, Antz themselves are backing the idea that it's a boost leak but they have absolutely no idea where because as you have probably guessed just about every box has been tipped.

I'll be taking it to the mechanic tomorrow morning to see what he has to say but I don't know where we go from here...

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looks like your only course of action from this point is to track the entire piping section from the turbo outlet to the throttle body, including hte intercooler, which requires taking off the front-bar to investigate the intercooler connection pipes.

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I'd put my money on a leak in the inter cooler piping, as per a crack in the plastic pipes like Keith has mentioned of a leak in a Joiner.

 

Back in the day in my old ep82 Turbo starlet, I had a very similar issue, it would only build up to 5 PSI boost then back to zero when getting on it, I looked for ages, thinking it was my Turbosmart 2 way boost controller. Turned out it was a small split in a silicon joiner, and it for some reason could just hold 5 psi no more and after that it would let all the boost out.

 

you can buy intercooler pipe kits online cheap. I would suggest doing that to see if it helps. worst case it doesnt, and you still have new intercooler pipes rather than the sh*t plastic factory ones.

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UPDATE: So, it was taken back to the mechanic that originally did the installation on the turbo site induction kit this morning, and after being on the hoist for about four hours, after pulling off the entire front bumper, upon further inspection of the intercooler piping in its entirety, the mechanic WAS NOT able to find a single leak, a single loose fitting pipe that has slipped, a single source of possible boost leak anywhere in the intercooler piping in the engine bay or lower down behind the front bumper.

 

He also checked the catalytic converter, nothing, when I got off the phone to him at about 4:30 this afternoon he told me that they were about to check the ECU to make sure that it wasn't a computer or electrical issue and that failing all of that tomorrow they would check the wastegate to make sure that it was operating as it should.

 

Other than that he has absolutely no idea what the source could be, him and the three mechanics he employs, about 150 years of automotive experience between them, and he reckons not one of them including himself has ever seen this issue, ever.

 

He said he would have put his money on it being a leak lower down behind the front bumper, he was absolutely dead wrong.

So now we wait to see what the results from the ECU test and from the wastegate test tomorrow are.

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yeah; that's just unlucky if you've got an electrical issue. you can get a brand-new wastegate solenoid to check if that's the issue. could also be the "boost pressure sensor" but that's less likely as I would think it would produce a much wackier symptom set as compared to what you're getting.

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