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Old 01-04-2002, 04:29 PM   #1
fil22
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Member#: 13899
Join Date: Jan 2002
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02 WRX Sport Wagon
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Question Inconsistent MY02 WRX Turbo Boosting??

Hello fellow WRX owners,

I am a newbie (although I've read i-Club, never posted until now) and I have a MY02 WRX Wagon.

My question is has anyone experienced problems with your turbo on your 02 WRX?

Here's the background: I have driven nothing but 4x4 trucks since day one. The WRX caught my attention and opened a whole new world of driving for me. So until now, I have been used to slow, 4-bangers with clutches for wheeling; not for speed or performance. Therefore, my driving skills/experiences with a turbo and hydraulic clutch are pretty novice. My WRX is completely stock too.

To be humble and honest, I bring that up becuase I don't know if it is my driving, the car or both.

Here's the problem: Turbo seems to boost inconsistently. Sometimes it is barely noticeable at just above 3500 RPM (which I thought is when the Turbo should normally boost). If I drive passively in 1st, but then start to hammer it once I get to second (say like starting off in a turn) the turbo won't boost until 4500 RPM. I actually look at the RPMs and instead of the needle flying once you pass 3500, it doesn't fly until past 4500.

So I take it to my dealer, they test it and duplicate the problem, reset the ECU and said they didn't know what else it could be. The car drove great for a week or so and then began doing it again. I haven't called for a second visit yet.

So please appease my lack of knowledge here (and try to be nice about it)...anyone have similar problems? Is it me? Do I have to hammer the hell out of the pedal everytime I want turbo power? Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the turbo supposed to consistently boost just after 3500 RPM, especially in 1st, 2nd and 3rd, as long as you keep accelerating consistently?

Or does it depend on how the turbo is spooled? (These are things I obviously do not understand completely YET). For instance, does the turbo begin to spool at 3500 RPM and then boost right at 14 psi or whatever? If so, that may explain why it boosts late...if it is not spooling on time, it won't boost on time?

I don't have a turbo guage and hope to get one soon, but I am still wondering if there is something wrong with my car.

Anyone out there with a good understanding of the dynamic of MY02 WRX Turbos...please respond...

Help me i-club, you're my only hope.

fil22
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Old 01-04-2002, 11:02 PM   #2
ANZAC_1915
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Remember the WRX ECU limits boost more in 1st (and 2nd?) than other gears.

Do you have a boost guage?

The turbo doesn't respond instantly. How fast it is spinning depends on the current exhaust flow.

You will notice some "hysteresis" between your the throttle position and when it builds power, at any given RPM.

Glenn
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Old 01-07-2002, 01:32 PM   #3
GoodFinder
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... amen to the element of throttle position interacting with how the boost and everything else is working ... I am working out a bit of a problem in the 3,750 to 5,100 RPM range where I get just a touch of chug chug chug or pfft pfft pfft kind of sound when I am at a mild 25% range throttle position ... the "aberration" goes away when I put my foot in it ... ah the joys of tuning ... GoodFinder
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Old 01-07-2002, 01:42 PM   #4
fil22
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Thanks for the info...I do plan on getting a Turbo gauge, just need the money first.

I've come understand that there are many dynamics involved when it comes to turbo...your info helps identify more of those dynamics.

I bumped into a guy in Tahoe this weekend...he had a MY02 WRX Sedan. I described what I was experiencing and he said that his did the same until he added some mods...basically said he can now hear his turbo and he definitely feels it kick. From what I described, he said it seemed like normal.

So I am assuming it is just that way unless I decide to modify. The car is still fast as hell, but I guess I am just getting used to that.

After 10 years of nothing but 4x4 trucks, these WRXs need a little getting used to...

thanks - fil22
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Old 01-07-2002, 01:47 PM   #5
fil22
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Vehicle:
02 WRX Sport Wagon
Silver

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unfortunately, I have a lack of knowledge about how a ECU works with the WRX...my last car operated on mice and cheese.

Will it damage a WRX if you are gunning it too much in 1st and 2nd? Like all the way up to 6000 RPM at times before shifting? (I never took it past 4000 during the break in, but since then I have driven it hard here and there...)

I only take off like that every once in a while and I hope that isn't damaging the car.

So is there a "general" equation to describe how or what kind of boost you'll get given the different variables? Or is it just how hard you mush the pedal and how fast you can shift without losing too many RPMs?

Any tips on DO and DON'TS with the WRX Turbo? Anyone?

Thanks - fil22
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Old 01-07-2002, 05:59 PM   #6
Evaider
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Nope dont think you will damage it taking it up to 6k. Infact I think it likes it! hehe. It actually is somewhat good for the engine to do that once in a while it will clean off some of the gunk that collects when driving at low rpms.
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Old 01-07-2002, 08:27 PM   #7
ANZAC_1915
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Be very gentle with shifting and releasing the clutch.
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Old 01-07-2002, 10:12 PM   #8
Madrallyskillz
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I haven't heard anyone on this board explain this yet.. so if I am repeating anyone, I'm sorry.

When a turbo "spools" it is just not being spun by the CFM flow of the exhast. The heat, (heat= energy) plays a HUGE factor. To understand why your turbo does not spool fully at 25, or 40 % throttle, you have look at that energy transfer. It starts with the potential energy of the fuel being converted to kenetic energy as it burns, (Action = fuel burns.. Re-Action = Piston moves). This kenetic energy moves the piston. The waste gas, though the fuel has been burned, is not dead, It is energized, and emitting that energy, (you feel this as heat). As the exhast gasses flow thought the exhast to the turbo, this energy is transfered to the Turbo, thus spinning it much fast than just air, or un-engerized gas would. This is why you will see thermal insulation on exhast manifolds, and exhast piping to the turbo on race cars, or even high power street cars. The exact same princible is how turbine engines work on planes.

So to put all of this into real world circumstances, you drive around a corner at 30% throttle, you are burning less fuel, less energy is there to turn the turbo, as well as less exhast flow in CFM, so the turbo spins slower, and makes less boost, you stomp it, dumping fuel into the cylinders which makes alot more energy, moves the piston faster, more energy is in the exhast, and it spins the hell out of you turbo, which makes more energy faster, and your Tach sweeps to the right at an increaseing rate of speed until the waste gate opens, and stops the boost from riseing, and you hit "Max boost".

remember energy = turbo spool, not CFM.
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