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Old 09-25-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
NETWRX
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Default boost surging help needed '02 WRX

Long story short, I have been battling boost surge issues for over a year, which started right after I got a PnP'ed turbo (blew mine out with a new oil line with too big of an orifice ).
Anyway, at the time, car had:
PnP'ed TD04 turbo (same as stock)
catless up pipe
K&N filter (big whoop)
Silicone hoses (does it matter?)
Stock exhaust, injectors, fuel pump, etc.
AccessPort v1 Stage 1 91 oct

Recently added a 3" TBE with high flow cat
upped to AP Stage 2 91 oct maps

Surging, which had weakened over the past several months, came back with a vengeance

I just did the direct turbo-to-WGA test and was only hitting 5 PSI, but it was solid. Tightened the WGA arm two full turns and tested more last night. Still only holding 5 PSI, HOWEVER, if I held WOT in 3rd until redline, the boost started to rise and gradually reached 8.5-9.5 psi. (It's hard to watch the road, the tach, and the boost gauge ). But boost never dropped until I got off the throttle. I was wondering if it was just the higher revs that caused the boost to rise...?

Anyway, I plan to do the following tonight or tomorrow:
* try logging (if I can get RomRaider to work with my USB-serial converter)
* swap out WGA for the original (off my old turbo) to see if the WGA is bad.

Does the solid (or rising) boost mean I DON'T have a leak? Or should I be looking at that, too?
Are there any easy ways to test for leaks? Where should I be looking?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Bill
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:08 PM   #2
scoobystas
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i'm not sure what is happening is surge. So your complaint is that you can't hold boost?
Did you get the right line and orifice "pill" from the subby dealer? without that proper ID of the pill, you won't hit target boost.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:34 PM   #3
NETWRX
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Default Feels like surging to me...

Per the Cobb instructions, when I installed the 3" turbo-back, I replaced the Cobb pill with what I THINK is the original pill. Between my two OEM turbos and the pill Cobb includes with the AP, I ended up with three different pills . Based on my eyeballs, I concluded the two with the most similar-looking orifices were the OEM ones. (I know the difference should only be about .01", but I'll attach pictures, later, to show you.)

ANYway, with all the plumbing connected, I was hitting peak boost (per Cobb)abd then it would immediately drop to about 8psi, then bounce up to 13-14, then back to about 8, then back and forth until I shifted. The car surges, the boost needle surges, and the engine sound surges rrrrRRRrrrrrRRRrrrrrrRRRRrrrrrrRRRR.

Not sure what else to call it.

Now, I've taken the BCS out of the system and I'm trying to get the WGA to give me a solid 8psi. Once I get rid of any leaks, then I will add the BCS back in and see where I end up.

If this STILL doesn't sound like surge to you, I'd be grateful for your advice.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
scoobystas
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Sounds like a plumbing issue with the vacuum lines. as a side note, if your td04 is from a 2.5l wrx, you have to reuse your original wastegate.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
NETWRX
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Default Never heard THAT before...

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobystas View Post
if your td04 is from a 2.5l wrx, you have to reuse your original wastegate.
Interesting! In all my troubleshooting, that had never come up as a possibility. I've read the 2.0L wastegates run about 8psi. Any idea what the 2.5 wastegates are built for? If it's only 5 psi (what I'm hitting on straight wastegate, now), then I can probably spare myself the headache of looking for a boost leak that isn't there... and just swap back my old wastegate (which I think I'm going to try, 1st, anyway).

Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:07 AM   #6
scoobystas
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I had this same problem and swapping back wastegates solved them

here's a quote from another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
BZZZZT. Wrong answer. His friend is right. The wastegate pressure on the newer turbo is different. If he puts that turbo on his bugeye it will never build full pressure and run about 2.5-3psi below his expected boost levels.

Subystone,

It's really easy to make that turbo ready for installation to your car. Pull the wastegate bell off your original turbo and install it to the new one you were just given. Put it on your car and drive away.

EDIT:Chart for future reference:
2002-2003 WRX WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.047”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~10psi

2004-2005 WRX WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.047”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~6psi

2004-2005 STi WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.043”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~10psi

2006-2007 WRX WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.028”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~6psi.

2006-2007 STi WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.0335”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~9psi

2004-2005 LGT WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.049”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~10psi

2003-2005 FXT WGDC Tables
Stock restrictor pill size = ~.047”
Factory wastegate pre-tensioned to ~7psi
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:29 AM   #7
quazimoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NETWRX View Post

ANYway, with all the plumbing connected, I was hitting peak boost (per Cobb)abd then it would immediately drop to about 8psi, then bounce up to 13-14, then back to about 8, then back and forth until I shifted. The car surges, the boost needle surges, and the engine sound surges rrrrRRRrrrrrRRRrrrrrrRRRRrrrrrrRRRR.

Not sure what else to call it.
Its called "boost oscillations". You need more preload on the actuator. Tighten/shorten it one turn and see what happens. If still oscillating give it another turn.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:08 AM   #8
NETWRX
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Thumbs up We have a WINNAH!

scoobystas - good call on the WGA! Swapped it out and I am now holding a solid 8psi on the wastegate (no pill). Boost actually starts to creep up to about 9, maybe 9.5psi as the revs approach redline.

Before I go to the trouble of cobbling together a boost pressure testing rig, is it safe to conclude that I do NOT have a boost leak? On pure wastegate and at WOT, the needle pegs at 8psi from about 3300-5000rpm and then gradually creeps up from there. No sign of any boost loss.

I have reconnected the BCS with my OEM-pilled hose and will see how things go over the next few days.

I don't want to jinx it, but

I am a happy camper! I'm finally making some progress.

For those who stumble upon this thread in the future, my original WGA has the following stamped on the mounting bracket:
377-18937
T14175
2128

and the 'other' WGA (presumably from 2.5l WRX) has
477-18945
T16176
7416
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #9
NETWRX
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Default OK, so far so good...

...sort of..
I reconnected the BCS last night with what I believe is the OEM pill in place.
Now I am SPIKING to about 20psi (which I know is bad) and the surging has not gone away. Looks like I still need to do a leak test, do some logging, and maybe swap out my BCS...?

Anything else I need to look at?

Thanks in advance.

Bill
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:59 PM   #10
blue03_wrx
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Default

It sounds like BCS could be bad if it is surging like that. Because if you had a leak I would think when you ran off wastegate it would still fluctuate slightly. I'm still relatively new to all of this but it really sounds like a bad solenoid.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
wrxsubiemod
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Bill sounds like u need to reset that ecu again. It could be your waste gate duty cycle has relearned on a wrong wga. Now that u swapped its spiking. Let me know if this helps
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:14 PM   #12
cant-get-enofe-subie
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i had the same problem on my 03 bugeye. my finds were it was in the wgdc maps. i personaly didnt have anyone to tune it nor had the money so what i did and it worked was port my wg on the hot side to make it larger so as it opened it was letting more exhaust gasses out and so it didnt spike. what is happening is it is spiking and trying to recover thats were it goes up and down
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
wrxsubiemod
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I also had a feeling that its in the map. If resetting it doesn't work time for tune. If u port the wastegate hole then your going to have real boost issues. I've only seen Vf series turbos need ported wastegates and when u port those u grind out the enterance of the wastegate hole. Never the hole itself. And Bill I would still like to have a look at the car when u have time we can set up a manual boost controller to play with the turbo to see if its 100% in the tune. That's if u already checked hoses bcs wga ect.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:57 PM   #14
NETWRX
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Default Thanks, all

Ruben,
I swapped out the BCS yesterday with no effect . BTW, the BCS you sent is exactly backward from mine and has a different part number. From a later model car, I suspect, but I put it in anyway because a simple on/off valve should be pretty interchangeable, i would think.
Anyway, surging (and now, spiking) is still there. I have loosened the WGA arm to one full turn tighter than zero (zero = WGA arm slips over waste gate stud with zero tension on arm and waste gate fully closed).

I will do some logging this weekend...

Regards,

Bill
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:50 AM   #15
NETWRX
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Unhappy latest update

...or If it ain't one thing, it's another!

Last night I swapped out my BCS for another OEM (loaner), loosened the wastegate arm and reset the ECU. Today, I went out with RomRaider to do some logging. I was still spiking and surging, but the spike was only around 18psi (vs. 20-22, previously). Unfortunately, at some point my boost gauge line separated around the insert/restrictor/damper/whatever and that restrictor got spit out on the freeway. Now my boost gauge vibrates below about 2000rpm What a PITA. Searched for hours online and can't find a replacement.

Anyway, logs seem to show that target boost is correct (per Cobb docs), but WGDC is having a hard time keeping up. Seems like the boost spikes above the target, BCS tells the WC to open, boost drops below the target, etc. and it eventually settles down.

I will do more logging tomorrow and see what, if anything the reset ECU can learn.

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Old 10-03-2010, 11:12 AM   #16
scoobystas
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you gotta plug up that boost line now or thats a major vacuum leak. what gauge are you using? Usually if you contact the manufacturer, they can provide a replacement.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #17
NETWRX
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Default already done

I guess I never said, but I reconnected the boost gauge line (without the restrictor) and that is how I know the boost gauge is rattling at low rpm. When the hose popped off, gauge went to zero and never moved (until I reconnected it).

From what I've read, the un-restricted boost gauge is only a nuisance and not a problem, so I will do some more logging today and see what I get. I think I need to give my ECU a couple hundred miles to re-learn after the reset....
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:27 AM   #18
seanski06
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u need to loosen the waste gate arm (not tighten it)..loosening means extending the length
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:26 AM   #19
///MIKE
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Ok... this is going to sound really really dumb... but anyway. I was having this exact same problem. Over shooting boost and then surging like crazy. Cleaned out my air filter the other day. Put it back in... problem solved. Now, I know this doesn't make any sense... but it was dirty. I mean really dirty. Problem is gone and I have steady boost...
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:36 AM   #20
required
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^ mike, I actually had the opposite happen. I cleaned my dirty air filter and it started spiking. I never really was happy with the tune that I got, but lately about 75% of the time when I give it enough throttle to get to high boost (19psi target), it will spike to about 22-23psi until I shift, and then do it in the next gear, usually 3rd, 4th, & 5th. Hopefully I can get it fixed with tuning.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:53 PM   #21
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I had a same type of problem for months, replaced the BCS and checked for boost leaks, run tests, replaced all the boost lines, did a lot of different things to try to get my boost above 5-7lbs. Finally one day found out that the sending unit from my BCS to the ECU wasn't working anymore. I ran a aftermarket boost controller and now I don't surge or run low boost, hit 15lbs every time I have full throttle. Before I fixed the problem I could run the lines a certain way (with the pill in) and get higher boost but it would surge up then down. GL
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:23 AM   #22
oh2blue
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I hope I can fix my oscillation with new air filter, but even if I need to buy an EBS or wastegate actuator I will be happy to do that in order to fix this.

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Old 03-21-2016, 10:49 AM   #23
redl2225
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What is typically safe boost range for a 2002 WRX with the aforementioned exhaust upgrades OP has done supposed to be? And what is this "pill" that keeps getting mentioned?
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:11 PM   #24
hoffmanEstates
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Restriction pill is used in stock ebs. Slows down the psi being received to sense.

3 port ebcs which I advise highly as a 1st mod over anything else.
The pill gets removed which is in line
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:29 PM   #25
Coltonb76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobystas View Post
i'm not sure what is happening is surge. So your complaint is that you can't hold boost?
Did you get the right line and orifice "pill" from the subby dealer? without that proper ID of the pill, you won't hit target boost.
What do you mean by "pill"? Im having a similar issue with not holding the target boost
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