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Old 08-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
skittle
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Default Not reaching stock boost levels - Stage 1

Hi all,

I have a '03 wrx with a catless up-pipe, Cobb axleback and flashed to 91 stage 1. I'm seeing my boost reach no more than 5-6psi in gears 1-4. My guage appears correct as it registers -20 at idle and 0 when I rev and with the engine off. Stage 1 was flashed about 150mi ago, should I run it a bit longer to see if boost improves?

I'm the second owner, I bought it with a catless downpipe and 91 stage 2 but I had to downgrade when my car was due for local emmissions testing. I remember seeing my car hit 14+ psi when I first bought it with the stage 2 map.

Is it normal not to reach stock target boost levels in gears 1-4? Should I try the HWG map?

My AP is v.1.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:04 PM   #2
skittle
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I'm reaching 5.6-6.1 according to AP's live boost, HWG map didn't make a difference.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:48 AM   #3
2Fast4U1DAY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skittle
I'm reaching 5.6-6.1 according to AP's live boost, HWG map didn't make a difference.
You have a massive exhaust or boost leak somewhere. Find it and fix it.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
WRX04RPM
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yeah it sounds like you have a pretty bad leak, otherwise it could be an issue with the wastegate being stuck open, or not closing fully when it is supposed to. that may be a stretch though. start with the obvious and check for an exhaust or boost leak.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:20 AM   #5
skittle
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Had my car checked at the dealer. Exhaust, boost solenoid and all hoses were checked but found no leaks. They managed to achieve boost of ~12 with the wastegate disconnected which would indicate that it is a wastegate issue however, the dealer insists that it is caused by the AP.

My wastegate is damaged, there is a small puncture in the housing. Dealer claims that I'd get high boost rather than low boost if there was a leak in the wastegate. Are they correct? Doesn't sound right to me but what do I know? I would expect low boost if there was a leak...opinions?

Could the wastegate be replaced or does it have to be replaced with the turbo?
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #6
2Fast4U1DAY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skittle
Had my car checked at the dealer. Exhaust, boost solenoid and all hoses were checked but found no leaks. They managed to achieve boost of ~12 with the wastegate disconnected which would indicate that it is a wastegate issue however, the dealer insists that it is caused by the AP.

My wastegate is damaged, there is a small puncture in the housing. Dealer claims that I'd get high boost rather than low boost if there was a leak in the wastegate. Are they correct? Doesn't sound right to me but what do I know? I would expect low boost if there was a leak...opinions?

Could the wastegate be replaced or does it have to be replaced with the turbo?
Yet another dealer that doesn't know their a$$$ from a hole in the ground

If the WG has a hole in it ,it would give you LOW boost or NO boost. The wastegate regulates boost by opening and closing in a rapid pulse cycle to allow exhaust gases to bypass the turbine. Thats why it is called a WASTEGATE. They inadvertently found your issue, but still don't know squat about the car.

You'd have to take a picture of where the hole is to determine that. If its out in the housing somewhere away from the wg port you could probably have it welded. If its somewhere where it can't be welded (somewhere that will affect the turbine performance) you will need to get a new turbo.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
skittle
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Thanks for the reponse 2Fast4U1DAY!

The local suby specialist shop won't be able to schedule me in for another month. in the meantime, I was thinking of patching the hole with some exhaust tape to see if the hole is the culprit. Is that a good idea?
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
2Fast4U1DAY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skittle
Thanks for the reponse 2Fast4U1DAY!

The local suby specialist shop won't be able to schedule me in for another month. in the meantime, I was thinking of patching the hole with some exhaust tape to see if the hole is the culprit. Is that a good idea?
No. It wont last. The exhaust pressure will blow it right back off and it probably wouldnt even withstand the heat. Take the turbo off and take it to a competant machine shop. They should be able to help you out
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:51 AM   #9
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As hard it is to believe but I think the dealer was correct. I reflashed to the base stock map and my boost hit ~12 psi. Perhaps the COBB stage 1 map file was corrupt? I might download another copy and reflash.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:00 AM   #10
Cobb Tuning
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If boost returns when you reflash a map, reset the engine control unit (ECU) or disconnect the car's battery, then it is possible that your dynamic advance multiplier (DAM) is dropping below a specific threshold at some point (along with the accompanying fine knock learning correction) and causing boost control to be disabled (i.e. running wastegate boost). When the ECU is reset (due to the above mentioned operations), the DAM is reset to an initial value and boost control would be restored until it dropped low enough again. The DAM will drop that low when the ECU perceives heavy repeatable knock.

Unfortunately, the v1 AP is very old and has no data logging capabilities. You can take advantage of our $200 trade-in program to update to a v2 AP which has this capability:
http://cobbtuning.com/info/?id=3846

If you do not want to do that, then you are going to have to use open source logging software (with the appropriate cable).

Bill
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #11
skittle
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Thanks for the info Bill, it helped to narrow down the issue. The Air-Fuel ratio sensor was at fault. It was probably causing some knocking thus disabling the boost control. Boost is back to normal with the new Air-Fuel sensor and AP stage 1 map.

It's been less than 100 miles since the replaced sensor but all is fine thus far. I'll continue to monitor.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:46 AM   #12
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Well after 300+ miles boost has once again dipped to ~5-6 psi. The AFR sensor didn't resolve the issue.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:46 AM   #13
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Typical issues with these cars are post-MAF intake leaks or "tired" MAFs that cause issues with fueling. Other issues that could cause the DAM to drop would be false knock due to something loose in the engine bay (ex. heatshield). There are also other possibilities beyond these. But, without being able to data log, it is very difficult to narrow it down or even confirm that the DAM is dropping and disabling your boost control.

If you wish to continue to diagnose, I would take advantage of the AccessPORT trade-in program to get credit towards an AccessPORT version 2 (which has data logging capabilities). We also have new maps in development for the 02-05 WRX that you'll be able to take advatange of with the version 2 device. Also, you can request a free copy of AccessTUNER Race to tune yourself if you so desire.

If you do not wish to do that, I would get a copy of the RomRaider software and a compatible cable to do some data logging.

Bill
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:48 PM   #14
tablesandchairs
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I had a gasket blow out once in the up that caused this. It made a whistle noise too.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:57 PM   #15
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the only thing that bothers me here is the 5psi. at base WG boost you should see 9psi. i've tried this as a failsafe previously and thats exactly what i got. i'm leaning towards the MAF, only for the DAM factor. however if there is a hole of some sort in that WG, thats gotta be cleared up first. tuning can not fix mech problems. oh, and btw i'm sick of mechanics who dont comprehend S*** about turbos. thats why my shop gives them to me, lol.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:39 PM   #16
Jaker32186
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Default Same Issue Prob Fixed Now

Skittle I PM'd you back but here it is on the forum for everyone:

I did solve the problem. And I too was going to buy a tatrix cable to datalog also, but didn't have too. First I took off my SPT intake... cobb said it might be the problem, I was skepticle but i obligied and it doesn't really do much performance wise besides make a cool whoosh sound. And reinstalled the stock airbox.

I believe what truly made the difference was I cleaned the MAF sensor and realighned the MAF gasket. My o ring gasket had warped and managed to not be seated evenly around the MAF and the hole where it is installed. I need to buy a new one, but with some patience I was able to get the o ring gasket to sit even and then I carefully tightened the MAF sensor back down EVENLY small turns each screw.

Tried this out also, to make sure It wasn't my boost selonoid (Which I bought before checking doh!) hook up the test wires under the steering wheel and turn car on. When you go under the hood to the boost selenoid (passenger side) it should click on and off, which means its working. Disconnect test wires.

Also look at your turbo and pull/push (one way of the other) and see if the wastegate is freely moving. Alot of stuff i read was about having to adjust the wastegate arm, but I wasn't feeling to confident in that. But to make sure I grabbed the arm and pushed it towards the wastegate (the large cylinder thing hanging off the turbo that the arm goes into). Since I was able to push it in I crossed that problem off.

Also make sure you I/C and turbo intake pipes are on tight and you don't have a vaccum leak (two separate things) The pipes need to be seated as far back as possible and tightened down. The vaccume leak would be audible when you get into boost.

But like i said i ran through those steps before I found out it was my MAF gasket. good luck and let me know if this helped.

Also, I believe you can use your AP cable to data log. I tried to do it based off of turtuials on youtube but I couldn't get the data log program down, and I am no master mechanic, so monitoring and messing with those finer values in the program wasn't very appealing to me and not worth my ride.
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