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Old 08-25-2018, 07:42 PM   #1
Weezylizard
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Default Wastegate Actuator or New Turbo?

Alright, ive been scouring the forums for a week and cannot find an exact answer to the issue I have been having.

I have a 2011 WRX sedan. It has 44k miles and is stock except for the subaru spt catback exhaust. Ive only had this car for a few months. Twice I have had overboost code P0244 come on, hit fuel cutoff and goes to limp mode. I changed the wastegate solenoid after the first time, the second time I took it in to the dealer. They told me the wastegate actuator is starting to leak and it would be $2300 bucks out the door to replace the turbo. They told me they cannot replace the actuator itself as it comes on the turbo.

At 44k miles I should not need a new turbo. I have seen a turbosmart wastegate actuator for sale and the part does not seem to hard to replace. I do not have an accessport yet so I do not know what boost I am hitting. I am planning on purchasing an accessport. I am curious to know as I have seen on several sites that sell the turbosmart actuator that a tune is required when replacing the actuator with the turbosmart one. That sounds kind of weird to me as it should still be set as a 7 psi actuator. Does this require a tune or can I go ahead and replace it?
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:08 PM   #2
relative4
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If you replace the actuator with stock, no tune required. If you put on an aftermarket actuator, a tune will be either essential or advisable.
And no, you do not need a new turbo to replace the actuator, you can get stock actuators on eBay, etc.
Find a trustworthy local Subaru specialist and stay far away from the dealership's "technicians".
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:15 AM   #3
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Gotcha, any tips on buying parts off ebay? Little nervous about buying one thats bad or a "lesser" quality part. Thinking about taking it in to Dyno Comp here in Phoenix and seeing what they say. From what I hear they are a very respectable tuner shop in the area.

Also, I noticed that on moderate acceleration the car tends to hesistate slightly. I can actually watch the RPM's kind of hang/flutter from about 3500 to 5500 usually every 500 rpm or so. Hoping that this is just a by product of the bad actuator.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:10 AM   #4
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General eBay caveats: check seller feedback (98% minimum), read listings carefully, know what you're buying.
If you're not confident about any part of it, a well-respected tuner shop is a great idea. Read their reviews carefully.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:02 AM   #5
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If the car has never been tuned I would start there as it seems the car isn’t under warranty
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bp05obxt View Post
If the car has never been tuned I would start there as it seems the car isn’t under warranty
Um... no. You tune AFTER fixing mechanical problems. OP is bone stock and overboosting. He has a mechanical (boost control) problem.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relative4 View Post
Um... no. You tune AFTER fixing mechanical problems. OP is bone stock and overboosting. He has a mechanical (boost control) problem.
Got it sorted. Will get an appointment to get the car looked at by the local shop and have them see if it's actually the actuator that is bad. Don't 100% trust the stealership. If it's just the actuator and that resolves the issues, I'll see what they recommend as far as protune and parts for a decent reliable daily. Thinking stage 2 and a protune.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:13 PM   #8
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Default Wastegate Actuator or New Turbo?

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Originally Posted by relative4 View Post
Um... no. You tune AFTER fixing mechanical problems. OP is bone stock and overboosting. He has a mechanical (boost control) problem.


Condescension... well done. Stock cars can over boost. Conditions vary and a tune could help, but more importantly the tuner/shop should be able to identify an issue to start with.

If the shop is good they can test the waste gate actuator before hand, but a lot of shops don’t have the equipment.

I.e. air regulator with a blow gun with a vacuum line run to the cap of the actuator. Pressurize the cap find the leak or find the crack pressure.

With the age of the car I wouldn’t say a wastegate actuator is likely to fail, but it may have.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:36 PM   #9
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I have an appointment to take the car in to dyno-comp here in Phoenix tomorrow morning. They told me on the phone they are not quite sure from what I told them that the actuator is the issue. Said its extremely rare for it to go with only 44k miles on the car. But said it could be possible. Said they have had a lot of WRX's come in with issues that dealers had recommended big money parts to be changed for something that isnt the issue. Not surprised there. Ill update if anyone cares to hear about it.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weezylizard View Post
I have an appointment to take the car in to dyno-comp here in Phoenix tomorrow morning. They told me on the phone they are not quite sure from what I told them that the actuator is the issue. Said its extremely rare for it to go with only 44k miles on the car. But said it could be possible. Said they have had a lot of WRX's come in with issues that dealers had recommended big money parts to be changed for something that isnt the issue. Not surprised there. Ill update if anyone cares to hear about it.


Good luck man I hope they provide more insight for you!
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:30 PM   #11
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They checked all the lines and vacuum tested it on a Dyno. Telling me that wastegate and solenoid are good. Showed me the Dyno results and boost goes up to 15.2 then drops and levels out. Saying it's probably a clogged cat. Now I'm thinking of an aftermarkert downpipe and a tune?
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:21 PM   #12
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Update to the update, from their recommendations, from the way the boost is spiking, dropping and then flatlining and the minor(ish?) hesitation in the rpm range the shop is very certain the issue is the cat. Decided to install an invidia catless divorced wastegate downpipe. And since I have been planning to go stage 2, well, im doing it. Installing the cobb short ram SF intake, 3-port boost control solenoid, deatschwerks dw300c fuel pump, cobb accessport and a protune. I am going to be a very upset guy if this doesnt fix it! Anyone think if this is a good way to go mod wise? Anything I am forgetting? They recommended the invidia q300 catback but I declined because my car already has the STI catback on it and it was another $1000 to install it. Would I see a huge improvement over the STI catback vs the q300?

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Old 08-31-2018, 09:12 PM   #13
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A catted downpipe will make huge differences in the world and your karma, and essentially zero difference to power output.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:31 AM   #14
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Default Wastegate Actuator or New Turbo?

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Originally Posted by relative4 View Post
A catted downpipe will make huge differences in the world and your karma, and essentially zero difference to power output.


This is not true. Catalytic converters do make a difference. They restrict exhaust flow and inherently power along with that. Believe and feel how you want to about catalytic converters and emissions, but they do lower horsepower potential.

That all said your mod list is looking like a good place to start. There are only a few minor things I would change or add.

1) I have seen similar issues with bad catalytic converters, but before going too far I would have the shop pull the down-pipe and try to visually confirm that the down-pipe is the issue. Also this would also allow inspection of the turbo to confirm it is in good working order. If it is then I would proceed forward with modifications.

2) Doing upgrades like this I would always recommend a “stumble fix” I.e. Cobb’s FPR relocation kit or Radium Engineering’s similar solution. These issues are well documented and only become more noticeable as the factory fuel system is modified.

3) The fuel pump you chose is great, but AEM 340 drop in pumps are pretty awesome. They are E85 safe, less expensive than the DW300c, and from what I have heard (from a tuner) is they seem to have more consistent flow rate or at the very least smoother operation.
- Future reference for more headroom a fuel pump rewire will yield more flow out of any fuel pump. I will always suggest Iwire’s pump rewire kit for ease of use and safety.

4) The Cobb SF is a great choice for any Subaru being tuned on a MAF. It could be a good idea to couple that with a larger inlet. The factory inlets are plenty good for power but they do wear and crack over time.

5) Injectors aren’t really a necessity at the power levels you are looking at, but upgrading now would ensure a bit of headroom on your fuel system and if the car is already having upgrades and a tune done there isn’t a better time to do it.

6) The down pipe coupled with the factory cat-back is a good combination to keep the noise levels from becoming obnoxious and there really isn’t much power loss in the factory system after the Catalytic Converters. Just be sure to have the donut gasket adapter as the factory downpipes have a donut gasket connection to the mid pipe.
- Future reference, equal length headers and an up-pipe (I.e. Tomei) would be a much better way to spend money on any other exhaust piece; improving power and drivability all across the board.


I realize there is a whole lot more here than “Stage 2” upgrades. No matter what you decide I am sure your car will transform completely and be a blast. God luck man!
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bp05obxt View Post
This is not true. Catalytic converters do make a difference. They restrict exhaust flow and inherently power along with that. Believe and feel how you want to about catalytic converters and emissions, but they do lower horsepower potential.

That all said your mod list is looking like a good place to start. There are only a few minor things I would change or add.

1) I have seen similar issues with bad catalytic converters, but before going too far I would have the shop pull the down-pipe and try to visually confirm that the down-pipe is the issue. Also this would also allow inspection of the turbo to confirm it is in good working order. If it is then I would proceed forward with modifications.

2) Doing upgrades like this I would always recommend a "stumble fix" I.e. Cobb's FPR relocation kit or Radium Engineering's similar solution. These issues are well documented and only become more noticeable as the factory fuel system is modified.

3) The fuel pump you chose is great, but AEM 340 drop in pumps are pretty awesome. They are E85 safe, less expensive than the DW300c, and from what I have heard (from a tuner) is they seem to have more consistent flow rate or at the very least smoother operation.
- Future reference for more headroom a fuel pump rewire will yield more flow out of any fuel pump. I will always suggest Iwire's pump rewire kit for ease of use and safety.

4) The Cobb SF is a great choice for any Subaru being tuned on a MAF. It could be a good idea to couple that with a larger inlet. The factory inlets are plenty good for power but they do wear and crack over time.

5) Injectors aren't really a necessity at the power levels you are looking at, but upgrading now would ensure a bit of headroom on your fuel system and if the car is already having upgrades and a tune done there isn't a better time to do it.

6) The down pipe coupled with the factory cat-back is a good combination to keep the noise levels from becoming obnoxious and there really isn't much power loss in the factory system after the Catalytic Converters. Just be sure to have the donut gasket adapter as the factory downpipes have a donut gasket connection to the mid pipe.
- Future reference, equal length headers and an up-pipe (I.e. Tomei) would be a much better way to spend money on any other exhaust piece; improving power and drivability all across the board.


I realize there is a whole lot more here than "Stage 2" upgrades. No matter what you decide I am sure your car will transform completely and be a blast. God luck man!
Thanks! I am pretty much at my price limit right now. Wife is gonna strangle me if I spend anymore. I'm at about $3500 for the listed mods and last month I put a new set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4s's on ($1100 mounted and balanced). I can kind of understand her side....kinda lol. I called back and had them install the invidia q300 catback, it just makes more sense to get it installed now rather than later. Anyways, the injectors will be done when/if I decide to put a bigger turbo and intercooler on. The tuner highly recommended the dw300c, I will ask about the AEM pump also. They have all the parts except the catless downpipe in stock. Scheduled to have it done by next Friday but he said if it comes in early he will get it done early. I haven't heard of the stumble fix before, please explain (noob here). I am very excited to get this car back and see how it much it has changed. I am thinking to pause on the power mods after this and focus on suspension and longevity mods such as oil pickup, pump, AOS, etc. I probably should have had the shop take off the downpipe and visually inspect, didnt think about that before I agreed to the mods and tune. I was going to do these mods anyways, and since its already there and took me almost an hour one way to drive, I am just going to go ahead and have it done.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:38 AM   #16
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My mistaking I just realized we are talking WRX and not STI. The issue is still some what present I believe but not what the STI is known for. It is good to read up on but I think you will be okay as you have planned.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:58 PM   #17
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My mistaking I just realized we are talking WRX and not STI. The issue is still some what present I believe but not what the STI is known for. It is good to read up on but I think you will be okay as you have planned.
No worries, I wish we were talking about an STI. Waiting to see what the new motor is and what the stock power increase will be, if any. Going to keep the wrx for a few years anyways. Love the 2018+ interior for sure. Ill ask my tuner about the stutter and if its an issue we need to work out.
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:14 AM   #18
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I have a similar problem with my 07 WRX. It isn't over-boosting, but the spring in the wastegate actuator is starting to weaken - you can hear the turbo fluttering at low boost levels.

I am using it as an excuse to upgrade the turbo, however was looking at just replacing the wastegate with a turbo-smart replacement actuator. You may not need your tune changed, but you will need to at least have it checked once you have replaced the actuator - as even tightening or loosening the stock actuator can cause issues with even the stock tune.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dividebyzer0 View Post
I have a similar problem with my 07 WRX. It isn't over-boosting, but the spring in the wastegate actuator is starting to weaken - you can hear the turbo fluttering at low boost levels.

I am using it as an excuse to upgrade the turbo, however was looking at just replacing the wastegate with a turbo-smart replacement actuator. You may not need your tune changed, but you will need to at least have it checked once you have replaced the actuator - as even tightening or loosening the stock actuator can cause issues with even the stock tune.
I was looking at replacing the stock on with the turbo smart actuator myself but the site states a tune is required and I called the tuner and they confirmed. My tuner also told me the stock actuator is impossible to find, except on eBay but most of those are cheap knockoffs, but said if my stock actuator was needing to be replaced and I didn't want a tune he has 4 new stock turbos in the back and would just pull an actuator off one of those for me. Call around and see if that's an option if you dont want a tune.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:39 PM   #20
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I'm actually having a similar problem. Getting a flutter from what sounds like the wastegate during WOT. I noticed it right after a tune from a local shop(CO). I had a local shop pressure and smoke test it and no leaks. I understand boost levels will vary due to different weather conditions etc. Some days 1st and 2nd pull hard when there's no flutter and others when I hear that flutter it feels slower. I'm wondering if the tuner turned the boost up a bit higher than the wastegate liked and it's forcing it open. If that's the case can you adjust the oem actuator or grab an aftermarket actuator? Any thoughts?

2017 WRX Limited
Invidia catless J pipe
Grimmspeed stealth box intake
TGV/EGR deletes
Grimmspeed EBCS
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidMark View Post
I'm actually having a similar problem. Getting a flutter from what sounds like the wastegate during WOT. I noticed it right after a tune from a local shop(CO). I had a local shop pressure and smoke test it and no leaks. I understand boost levels will vary due to different weather conditions etc. Some days 1st and 2nd pull hard when there's no flutter and others when I hear that flutter it feels slower. I'm wondering if the tuner turned the boost up a bit higher than the wastegate liked and it's forcing it open. If that's the case can you adjust the oem actuator or grab an aftermarket actuator? Any thoughts?



2017 WRX Limited

Invidia catless J pipe

Grimmspeed stealth box intake

TGV/EGR deletes

Grimmspeed EBCS


Hey there. I am having what I think is the same flutter. Runs awesome for like the first 20 min or so of driving. Once everything is hot inside engine bay I start to get fine knock learn hits with a bit of flutter just getting into boost. Boost doesn’t grab like it should unless I floor it. It’s weird. Curious of your findings here ??
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