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Old 07-29-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
Sudo
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Default 02 stock WRX will not boost over 9Psi. Ruled out everything except the ECU.

Before I start let me say I've been dealing with this for almost a year. I've spent countless hours on most WRX forums and I've done what I would consider a significant amount of research.

My WRX will not boost over 9psi. I'm standing at a ledge right now. Thinking I should buy a new ECU.

Car is completely stock.

I was hoping to get some help with the community on this. Here's what I've done so far.

-SeaFoam treatment
-Replaced spark plugs
-Replaced fuel filter
-Cleaned cam position sensor
-Pressure tested turbo inlet
-Pressure tested tmic and y pipe
-Cleaned MAF
-Tested turbo system with WG solenoid disconnected. 19psi in WOT
-Replaced all BCS tubing and tubings around the inlet.
-Cleaned BCS
-Tested BCS with external 12v. Was able to blow through fine.
-Tested BCS car side leads. BCS does not energize with car in test mode. No sign of a negative pulse with the car in test mode. Positive lead confirmed working.

This leads me to believe the ECU isn't sending a signal to the BCS to engage.

Note: In WOT I do get surges from 9psi up to 11 or 12psi that I can actually feel. In 3rd geer the surges will cycle 3 times before the system seems to stabilize. Trying to accelerate hard feels like I'm driving with 800 gallons of water sloshing back and forth.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
jthatch12
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Is your EBCS stock? If so, do you have a restrictor pill installed? Those are the symptoms of a stock ebcs lacking a restrictor pill.

Also you can run a manual boost controller alone to see if it is in fact a EBCS issue.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
Sudo
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Stock EBCS. Just installed the new T vacuum line kit from the dealer that included the pill. Pill is on the turbo side of the T.

Was going to try an MBC temporarily. FBHT is something I'm leery of and experienced when I ran with the waste gate actuator disconnected.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudo View Post
Stock EBCS. Just installed the new T vacuum line kit from the dealer that included the pill. Pill is on the turbo side of the T.

Was going to try an MBC temporarily. FBHT is something I'm leery of and experienced when I ran with the waste gate actuator disconnected.

Yikes, are you missing the little "C" clip that holds the actuator arm down? Also, could you have accidentally unscrewed the actuator arm slightly causing your WGDC to be off because the wastegate is opening too early? Well make sure you have the pill installed correctly, those are the symptoms of a missing/ incorrectly installed pill.

For what its worth, I run a hybrid boost control setup (manual and 3-port in parallel) and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:37 PM   #5
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completely stock? pull your uppipe and see if it self destructed and clogged your turbo.
If it was your ECU, you'd have a million CELs going on.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
jthatch12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastnoypi View Post
completely stock? pull your uppipe and see if it self destructed and clogged your turbo.
If it was your ECU, you'd have a million CELs going on.
He wouldn't be boosting at all in this case..
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
bmxscoobracer
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Good luck, i have been battling this for about 3-4 weeks. Only response i get is do a 3 port and a tune. Still makes me wonder why i would have to go that route. When i figure it out ill let you know. Does your car also miss after 4k? mine did running lean.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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Wastegate actuator hasn't had any adjustments. Car was running like a top then one day stopped pulling so I'm reluctant to go that route. I do appreciate everyone's input though. MY up pipe is clear.

And yes since the car boost fine with the wastegate actuator disconnected I'm inclined to believe that the input and output side of the turbo is working just fine.

I was told by a tech that the BCS should cycle during test mode. Can anyone confirm this? Mine does not function at all during test.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudo View Post
Wastegate actuator hasn't had any adjustments. Car was running like a top then one day stopped pulling so I'm reluctant to go that route. I do appreciate everyone's input though. MY up pipe is clear.

And yes since the car boost fine with the wastegate actuator disconnected I'm inclined to believe that the input and output side of the turbo is working just fine.

I was told by a tech that the BCS should cycle during test mode. Can anyone confirm this? Mine does not function at all during test.
Correct. It should cycle. Get a manual boost controller in the mean time. There is a company named voodoo that you can pick up one from for about 25 bucks.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
art@grimmspeed
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It sounds like the BCS to me. I had a similar issue in my 06 and traced all sorts of stuff. I finally put one of our 3 ports on it and had it adjusted to run stock boost and the car runs great now.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:08 PM   #11
Project Draven
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My old 03 WRX had the same issue. I also replaced the BCS and has been just fine ever since. (sold the car to my younger brother and is still running great)
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthatch12 View Post
He wouldn't be boosting at all in this case..
you can still boost with a partial clog before the cat ultimately kills the turbo.
Its still worthwhile to get rid of the uppipe cat in an 02-03 wrx even if the OP's problem does turn out to be the BCS
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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same exact problem here. replaces the stock bcs with another stock one since i didnt have the $$ or time for a tune and EBCS and it runs perfectly again. just get another stock one from the boards or local club or salvage yard a for 20-30$ and smile when you feel that boost again!
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #14
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@Cpot17. Just wanted to confirm your bcs would work when tested with an external power source but not when connectedmto the car.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:15 PM   #15
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i just put it in test mode didnt hear a clicking and then unhooked the vac to the wastegate and it boosted just fine. got a different stock bcs and all is well in the world. only took me 3 weeks to figure it out tho. haha was definitely missing the boost!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #16
Sudo
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Well new bcs don't do the trick.


OEM ebcs 30$ shipped anyone?

Still no activity from the bcs when it's installed in the car. No clicking in test mode and no signal coming from the bcs wiring.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:02 PM   #17
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I too am having the same issue. Maxing at 10psi, BCS actuates when energized but does not energize in test mode. Haven't tried to disconnect the BCS but I'm sure I would get the same results. My uppipe has been decatted after it failed. Called for a new turbo so I installed a low milage turbo. I've been dealing with this issue for months as well :/
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:11 PM   #18
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Have you tried plugging in someone else's stock ecu yet?
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #19
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I know that this is going to sound really dumb but if you're using the boost gauge you could get from the factory did you convert it to psi?

I know a few people who have posted threads like this because they saw the 0.9 and thought it was 9 psi when really it was 0.9 bar (which equals roughly 13 psi). If this is the case then odds are there is nothing wrong with your car... Never hurts to point out the obvious sometimes everyone overthinks things.

I honestly don't think this is the problem the OP is having but maybe for a few of the others who have said similar things.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #20
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buddy had same problem, did leak test's and were fine, took off the turbo inlet and reinstalled and started to boost fine. weird..
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:42 PM   #21
Crazyk03
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Another thing that's crossed my mind that I plan on doing when I put on my DP is checking the exhaust side of the turbo housing. Possible the wastegate is cracked. Might be something you want to check OP
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:04 PM   #22
Sudo
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If someone around northern michigan would be willing to let me try their ecu I wild be grateful.

Boost gauge is in PSI
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #23
Sudo
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Ordered an aftermarket uel and up pipe. Will check the dp and inlet while I've got it apart. Thanks for the info.

You never know with these systems do you. Could be anything regardless of significance.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:51 PM   #24
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please let me know what you find. I am currently having same exact situation. 8-9 psi max, bcs works when hooked to battery but nothing on test mode. I recently adjusted the WG arm and it brought it to cobbs 15.5 psi, was good for about a week and one day dropped to 8 psi. also just cleaned my maf. Im lost.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:52 PM   #25
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I have a very similar setup except with except with a MBC and I'm getting a similar problem. I have no way to test mine, but a friend of mine is convinced the wastegate is stuck open. I feel your pain, though. If you find anything out you should report back.
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