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Old 12-06-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
The Fusion
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Default Screaming like banshee in boost/high RPM.

So I'm pretty certain my turbo is on its way out and I already found one on this forum (with next to no miles on it so even if its not my turbo, it was worth changing). I just want to get some opinions because I personally have never heard a turbo go bad, but I've heard it described. The noise is coming from the turbo area and only seems to happen past 3500 rpm and only if I'm building a pretty decent amount of boost. The best way I can describe it is a high pitched very loud kind of scraping (maybe?) noise that has a slight flutter to it. Its lower pitched than a slipping drive belt, but still pretty high pitched. I poked around under the hood and found nothing that could possibly make that type of noise other than stuff that I can't see i.e. the insides of a turbo.

I've been driving it because if I stay at low boost/lower than 3500, there is no noise at all (feel free to tell me why this is a horrible idea and I might listen to you). Is there anything that makes a similar noise that you guys have experienced? I'm open to ideas here.

Also, anything I should fix or change while I have the turbo out? Reliability stuff only, I have another car to mod, this is my DD. Already have a catless up pipe.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:19 AM   #2
Tenament
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Have somebody step on the gas while you have the hood open and are looking at the engine. What your describing does indeed sound like its on its way out. Best would be to have someone rev it while you can closely diagnose it : ).

& I don't see anything else needing to be changed imo if its just a innie-and-outie turbo swap
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:33 AM   #3
The Fusion
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We actually tried that but the sound only happens right as you get to redline and at that point the engine is so loud that it just overpowers whatever the noise is. My only chance of hearing it is inside the cabin, and from what I can tell its coming from the general direction of the turbo.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
quazimoto
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Boost leak. A turbo on it's way out will do it the moment it starts getting into boost or sooner and they also don't die slowly.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:03 AM   #5
The Fusion
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That was my second thought (the fluttering led me to believe boost leak at first) but I pulled the intercooler and didn't really see where it would be leaking from. Didn't see any damaged hoses or anything. Also I feel like a boost leak that is big enough to make that noise would have a noticeable effect on power. The car still pulls. I will check again anyway.

Any pattern failures/common issues with boost leaks that would decide where I should look first? Do the intercoolers themselves ever break and start leaking boost ? I'm going to see if I can build some pressure or use a smoke machine to find any issues.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
quazimoto
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Pulling the intercooler doesn't do much. Do a boost leak test. And finish filling out your profile. Asking technical questions without listing mods or what vehicle you have just prolongs diagnosis.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
BugEyeOrBust
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I have had 2 turbos blow out on me in the past, not on the Subie, but on the old DSM. It is definitely not a slow thing, it will just happen at random. More likely than not, you will see tons of white smoke and the car will stutter and barely move. That's when you immediately pull over.

I've also had boost leaks cause EXACTLY what you are describing. You should buy a boost leak tester online or make one from home depot. The problem with the testers is that they only test after the intake and MAF. So, you should run 2 tests, the main test to see if you hear any leaks on your whole system (use a 15psi setting on a compressor) and then try to find any leaks around the intake and MAF.

The intercooler could be damaged but it is VERY unlikely. Having bent fins and stuff doesn't cause a leak in most cases so it should be fine. I actually had the rubber coupler on the end of my IC break and cause a leak, I just never noticed because it was on the underside of the rubber where I couldn't see until I took it off.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
The Fusion
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This is a stock 04 WRX.

^Thank you, thats the kind of info I was looking for. I figured someone has had a boost leak that sounds like this. Any recommendations for boost leak testers? I'm gonna buy some cheap one online.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
WRXSleeper
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Screaming like a banshee usually means cracked uppipe. Run some seafoam through the vaccum lines to help find the leak.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #10
The Fusion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXSleeper View Post
Screaming like a banshee usually means cracked uppipe. Run some seafoam through the vaccum lines to help find the leak.
Wouldn't it sound like a very obvious exhaust leak though? I'm gonna put the car on a lift later and check, I'll check that too.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
WRXSleeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fusion View Post
Wouldn't it sound like a very obvious exhaust leak though? I'm gonna put the car on a lift later and check, I'll check that too.
I suggest go to youtube and search from leaking uppipe and boost leak videos if you have not done so already. Most say it sounds like a "screaming banshee" so I doubt it is your turbo.

When mine went at first I thought holy crap my turbo is junk cause it sounded like metal scrapping.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:52 AM   #12
BugEyeOrBust
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Yeah the turbo will sound like clunking/scraping metal and blow instantly.

Test for leaks, it should look like a hockey puck with a gauge and a valve on it...and come with a clamp to hold it on. Here is where I got mine...but it was for the DSM. It only matters because of the inlet size.

http://www.boostpro.net/prodtester.html
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:19 AM   #13
Saskatchatoon
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Check your turbo inlet, I had your exact issue. Once I got to a decent boost level ~8ish psi and up it would start screaming really loudly. Thought it was possibly the turbo at first. I did a smoke test and it ended up being the clamp had worn through the turbo inlet on the compressor housing.
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