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 Old 07-21-2019, 10:44 AM   #1
 
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Default Boost leak test method

I am trying to test for boost leak. At 5psi, i get air leaking from around a connector on top of the valve cover. I have the air line going to the valve cover closed off completely but still appear to be building pressure inside the valve cover. Is this bad for the valves or should i keep turning up the pressure to identify boost leaks. I cannot find any good information about this.
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 Old 07-21-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
 
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Some of the intake valves will be opened when you pressurize the system you are unlikely to hurt anything. Many people run 20 psi plus of boost into the engine while it is running. If the tube from the VC to the TIP is leaking then replace it and put some clamps on it.
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 Old 07-22-2019, 05:35 AM   #3
 
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When intake valves are open it allows air into the valve cover?
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 Old 07-22-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
When intake valves are open it allows air into the valve cover?
yes air goes from maf tube, turbo, ic right into the intake. then it goes thru the opened valve down to the piston, past thru the tiny ring gap. From the engine bloc, it get back to the VC
But this should be just a little air because there is just few mills of an inch to let air flow by the rings.

All that assuming you disconnect and plug the tube going from air intake to the VC or connect your boost tester closer to the turbo..... If not, it is like sending pressure thru the oil dip stick....

if you have a massive leak, it may be your pcv...
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If you check for leaks and you didn't made a test under compressor pressure, you aren't done checking for leaks....
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 Old 07-26-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
 
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https://ibb.co/0FbwSmc
This is the current setup. I get air out of the metal opening where the hose goes to and the small hose that connects to the bpv. At 5psi i get a decent flow of air. At 15lbs it is too much flow for my compressor to keep up. Should i block the air from leaking or is it bad to pressurize the valve cover?
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 Old 07-26-2019, 03:25 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
https://ibb.co/0FbwSmc
This is the current setup. I get air out of the metal opening where the hose goes to and the small hose that connects to the bpv. At 5psi i get a decent flow of air. At 15lbs it is too much flow for my compressor to keep up. Should i block the air from leaking or is it bad to pressurize the valve cover?
What are you calling the "metal opening where the hose goes" is that the breather/crankcase vent that goes from the valve cover to the turbo inlet pipe?

It sounds like you've got some air leaking in the piston rings and/or valve seals. But you don't have any traditional boost leaks between the turbo and the throttle body. A compression and leakdown test would be the next step for evaluating engine health. I'm not quite clear on what you are trying to figure out here or accomplish. Do you have a specific concern?
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 Old 07-26-2019, 09:10 PM   #7
 
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The main thing was to learn how to do a boost leak test and figure out why i was building pressure in my valve cover. The reason i am doing this is because i am only hitting 10 or 11 pounds of peak boost when my targets are over 15.
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 Old 07-26-2019, 09:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
The main thing was to learn how to do a boost leak test and figure out why i was building pressure in my valve cover. The reason i am doing this is because i am only hitting 10 or 11 pounds of peak boost when my targets are over 15.
What tune map are you running?
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 Old 07-27-2019, 08:35 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
The main thing was to learn how to do a boost leak test and figure out why i was building pressure in my valve cover. The reason i am doing this is because i am only hitting 10 or 11 pounds of peak boost when my targets are over 15.
I just fixed my car having only spring pressure boost levels and high waste gate duty cycle. The boost control solenoid was broken and always closed. Test the Boost control solenoid. You could also have a clogged line going to or from the BCS. Replace the 4mm line that runs from the top of the wastegate actuator to the BCS and the 4mm line that runs from the BCS to the TIP. Also replace the 6mm line that runs from the turbo compressor housing to the bottom of the wastegate actuator. Secure the lines with the proper sized clamps. Use thick walled silicone lines. Rubber lines will crack and break do to the heat and pressure from the turbo.

It could also be a wiring issue or problem with the PCM not sending the signal to the BCS. There's a test procedure in the FSM I attached the pages.
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 Old 07-28-2019, 04:42 AM   #10
 
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Thank you for your help. I will try your suggestions.
Btw i am running the Stage1+ with IC 93 v234 tune right now. Ive tried different stage 2 and stage 1 tunes with no difference.

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 Old 08-25-2019, 12:36 PM   #11
 
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Okay I did a compression test. 145, 140 143, 141

I think that's good right? 120k miles on engine.

But I cant test that waste gate in the procedure you posted because I dont have a vacuum generator. I also dont know where those pcm connections are. The pcm is on drivers side under dash right? I found connectors but none with 4 rows of connections like it shows on the picture.
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 Old 08-25-2019, 01:19 PM   #12
 
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Okay I did a compression test. 145, 140 143, 141

I think that's good right? 120k miles on engine.

But I cant test that waste gate in the procedure you posted because I dont have a vacuum generator. I also dont know where those pcm connections are. The pcm is on drivers side under dash right? I found connectors but none with 4 rows of connections like it shows on the picture.

I did test the bcs and it allows flow when 12v are applied and no flow when no voltage is applied. So that seems to check out.
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 Old 08-25-2019, 07:21 PM   #13
 
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Do your boost leak test by attaching directly to the turbo compressor side, not the turbo inlet pipe.

Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
Okay I did a compression test. 145, 140 143, 141

I think that's good right? 120k miles on engine.

But I cant test that waste gate in the procedure you posted because I dont have a vacuum generator. I also dont know where those pcm connections are. The pcm is on drivers side under dash right? I found connectors but none with 4 rows of connections like it shows on the picture.

I did test the bcs and it allows flow when 12v are applied and no flow when no voltage is applied. So that seems to check out.
Did you test with the engine warmed up? That’s the way to do it. And retest with a squirt of oil in the cylinder and see if it goes up significantly.

At almost 140,000 miles mine was 185-190 across the board without adding oil. Your numbers seem low, but they are uniform, which is hopeful. You may want to do or have done a cylinder leak down test.
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 Old 08-25-2019, 08:29 PM   #14
 
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Yes I did do it with the engine fully warmed up. And no I did not do a wet compression test because my results were in spec with the dry test. I can do a wet test another day. I can do a leak down test too.
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 Old 08-26-2019, 05:07 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
Yes I did do it with the engine fully warmed up. And no I did not do a wet compression test because my results were in spec with the dry test. I can do a wet test another day. I can do a leak down test too.
130 psi is the “in spec” absolute minimum, so you are “ok”, but just barely. It would be worthwhile to do a wet test to see if this is cylinder wear/rings. You could also have carbon build up not letting intake valves completely seal. Although the pressures are uniform, a leak down test might still be useful.

I agree that replacing the 4mm hoses to and from the ebcs and the 6mm hose to the turbo from wastegate is a good idea. They dry out, get brittle and develop little cracks that you really can’t see. Confirm proper routing. They don’t have to be high pressure silicone. Regular vacuum line hose is ok, but silicone will last longer, if you can find it.
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 Old 08-26-2019, 11:45 AM   #16
 
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For addition reference, I pulled my 157k mile motor when it still had 180-185 compression numbers.
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 Old 08-28-2019, 02:16 AM   #17
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Tester could also just read low if it hasn't been cross-referenced against another tester, it's a common complaint for testers from harbor freight.
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 Old 09-25-2019, 06:14 AM   #18
 
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I havent done a leak down test yet, but I was thinking. Would that even affect my boost pressure? If my piston rings can hold over 100psi, they should be able to hold 17psi of boost pressure during the intake stroke right? I'm thinking my problem is elsewhere. The other thing I noticed is the car stutters a little at low speeds during regular driving. It's the same exact thing it does when the ac compressor kicks on, except the ac is off. Not sure if that is a separate issue or not but I thought I'd mention it.
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 Old 09-25-2019, 07:24 AM   #19
 
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keep in mind your 17psi get compressed 9.5x when the pistons goes up and the pressure increase even more under combustion....So your rings needs to fight a way more stress than 17psi....
What you want to see with a compression test is equal reading and it is what you have....high numbers is fun but you 14x is to me, more related to scaling error than a real equal heavy wear....
Most of the time it is the gage and if not, it can be just the way you tested it.... not opening the throttle or doing it on a cold engine, low battery, not enough turns etc....

I have 2 compression gages and one of them isn't reading more than 120psi regardless of the engine, and the other one is ok against my friend gage....
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If you check for leaks and you didn't made a test under compressor pressure, you aren't done checking for leaks....
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 Old 09-25-2019, 07:49 AM   #20
 
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I think this thread went off on a tangent from boost leak test to compression test.

OP identified that the boost leak test was causing some leakage into the crankcase and someone suggested to do a compression and leakdown test. So now the OP is doing compression tests and not making any progress on why his boost numbers are low.
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 Old 09-25-2019, 09:34 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Fstrnyou View Post
I think this thread went off on a tangent from boost leak test to compression test.

OP identified that the boost leak test was causing some leakage into the crankcase and someone suggested to do a compression and leakdown test. So now the OP is doing compression tests and not making any progress on why his boost numbers are low.
Yes and on that note, is it normal to have crank case pressure and valve cover pressure when doing a boost leak test? I mean it probably is leaking past my turbo seal right? Could that be the cause of my lost boost? Is it leaking past my turbo seal? Do I need a new turbo?
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 Old 09-25-2019, 11:07 AM   #22
 
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If you didn't unplug and cap the VC breather from your inlet pipe, yes you have a direct path to pressurise crankcase during the test.
If you did and still have air, it is either the PCV or across your valves and rings...

Bad turbo seals are mostly on the exaust side of the turbo not related to boost leak test.
And bad seal aren't suppose to reduce boost unless the bearing/bushing is worn enough to touch the cover just before wheel explosion (not very common with our k04) or the consumed oil reduce your octane enough to read knock and have the ecu to protect the engine....
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 Old 09-27-2019, 06:08 AM   #23
 
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So what do you suggest that I do?

Originally Posted by Jeff23spl View Post
If you didn't unplug and cap the VC breather from your inlet pipe, yes you have a direct path to pressurise crankcase during the test.
If you did and still have air, it is either the PCV or across your valves and rings...

Bad turbo seals are mostly on the exaust side of the turbo not related to boost leak test.
And bad seal aren't suppose to reduce boost unless the bearing/bushing is worn enough to touch the cover just before wheel explosion (not very common with our k04) or the consumed oil reduce your octane enough to read knock and have the ecu to protect the engine....
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 Old 09-27-2019, 12:40 PM   #24
 
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i would increase wastegate duty to see if it raise boost or not and check further from there...
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If you check for leaks and you didn't made a test under compressor pressure, you aren't done checking for leaks....
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 Old 09-27-2019, 03:47 PM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by njdurkin View Post
So what do you suggest that I do?
What you do depends on what you did. Jeff offered 2 scenarios and you didn't identify which one you did, so he/we can't tell you what to do.
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 Old 09-27-2019, 08:43 PM   #26
 
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I thought we already discussed this earlier in this post. I get air out of the valve cover vent plug opening, with the hose pinched from the inlet hose. See picture I posted earlier in this post. I will try to increase waste gate duty cycle.
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 Old 09-30-2019, 06:53 AM   #27
 
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at this point, i would disconnect the wastegate actuator vaccuum hose and beat it until it zz boom....
But seriously you could still do that but install a mechanical boost gage and carefully and slowly load the engine to see if you can easily raise it to 16-18psi....if it goes, you will know the engine,turbo and piping isn,tt what limit it from going high boost...
But it can easily raise to 25+ psi at the sweet spot, knock and ZZB in few seconds...so you need to be quick and let it go...
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 Old 09-30-2019, 05:34 PM   #28
 
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Does the ap gauge only show fuel pressure up to 1669? Or does the sensor only read up to 1669? When I do a pull it jumps to 1669 and stays there. It's the highest it goes. And yes I do have the upgraded fuel internals. I'll do a pull tomorrow and record it for you guys. Btw, increased duty cycle plus 10%, max boost is still a little over 12psi. Pulls harder between 3k and 4.5k rpm but falls on its face after that. Turning duty cycle back to 0 before pull tomorrow.
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 Old 10-01-2019, 06:56 AM   #29
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The AP can definitely read above 1669psi.
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 Old 10-01-2019, 11:13 AM   #30
 
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pump pressure follow commanded pressure and when i look a speed6 stock tune i see a commanded of 1669psi....about normal

and it remain also normal to have this car to fall on his face above 5xxx rpm, the turbo is maxed out
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 Old 10-01-2019, 12:31 PM   #31
 
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https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hGK...ew?usp=sharing

Hopefully you can view this. I am having trouble attaching files to this site. I can see here that the actual fuel pressure is higher than the command. Still not getting to 17psi target, or anywhere close. Thought maybe the fuel could be the issue but I will go back to troubleshooting the wastegate and such as suggested above.

Also, since raising duty cycle of waste gate by 10% (which is the most it will let me) and only gaining 1psi, is that normal? Does that tell you anything?
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 Old 10-01-2019, 01:55 PM   #32
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You're running super lean through most of that pull. You should be around 11.0 - 11.8:1 for the entirety of your WOT pull. Instead, your datalog shows that the engine is sitting between 12:1 and 14:1. This is dangerous for your engine, and obviously indicates that something is wrong. Normally, I would say that this is a post MAF, pre turbo leak, to create the lean AFRs . . . but/and

The low boost values strongly suggest a boost leak. That is, the low boost values suggest that you've got a leak between the turbo and the intake ports.

Your log shows Mass Airflow g/s values that indicate very low airflow volume for the engine speed. This definitely shows a lack of boost, and you should be hitting higher boost and load numbers for the amount of wastegate duty cycle that you're targeting.

Accordingly, I would suggest that you recheck all the bypass valve, the boost tubes, the intercooler, and associated connections, and that you make sure that your EBCS is hooked up and functioning correctly.

To me, it looks like you're just barely getting above wastegate spring pressure, though this could also very well be the shitty COBB map that you're running too.

Is your PCV hooked up properly? Do you have an oil catch can?
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 Old 10-02-2019, 05:49 AM   #33
 
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Originally Posted by Jeff23spl View Post
pump pressure follow commanded pressure and when i look a speed6 stock tune i see a commanded of 1669psi....about normal

and it remain also normal to have this car to fall on his face above 5xxx rpm, the turbo is maxed out
If you add a good SRI or CAI, open up the exhaust side (aftermarket dp/rp) and tune with rich AFR for cylinder cooling, taper boost and increase timing you can make good power all the way to at least 6,200 rpm on the stock K04.

But, you are right that on stock tune, the ECU does start closing the throttle body after 5,500 rpm.
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 Old 10-02-2019, 08:27 AM   #34
 
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This ^^^
I would start at 1 point and deeply make sure it is ok before moving to something else to check.
For exemple, to check the pre-turbo leak, completely remove the tih to see if there is no cracks in it and make sure when you put it back that it is perfectly seated into the turbo inlet. watch the ebcs plastic nipples easy to break.

Try a new filter from a different brand or test run without one and pay attention if you have a cai with few 90 deg without a flow straithner in the maf hosing...it may affect reading.
Validate your maf part number to be sure it is a genuine one from a turbo model.

Once this part is ok, you could put back oem tmic to limit leak possibility in case you have a more complex fmic...
Then if it start to work better, you can re-install parts one by one and test in between to see which one is making the problem....
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 Old 10-02-2019, 05:18 PM   #35
 
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I hooked up directly to the turbo inlet and plugged the turbo outlet that goes to the intercooler piping. I lose the same amount of air doing this as I do pressurizing the whole system. The only way for the air to go is through the oil piping. If it is normal for air to go through the oil feed line and/or the oil drain line when doing a boost leak test, then I do not believe I have an air leak. I spent two hours checking bolts, spraying soapy water listening. There are no boost leaks besides, like I said, the air going out of the oil feed and/or drain lines and then out through the valve cover vent port.

I removed the turbo inlet pipe and all hoses to check for cracks and blow air through to make sure all lines were clear and connections are tight.

I have a question about the boost control solenoid (I think that's what its called) does it matter which hose goes where? Right now it has the hose on the end going to the tip. See picture in next post for the routing of the one going to the wastegate.
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 Old 10-02-2019, 05:24 PM   #36
 
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Also see this:
https://youtu.be/QNNjpGQoWZk
Seems like I need a new turbo, unless this is normal?

The picture below shows the hose going to the wastegate. The yellow is paint marker. That iwhere the hose coming from the tip goes.

AND I want to thank everyone that has contributed tothisthread.ei
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 Old 10-03-2019, 05:22 AM   #37
 
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The thing you mention about turbo leaking sound weird to me, it may leak naturally just a little but i would be surprise it would leaks a lot. if i have a chance i will test it on spare parts to see but you have few seals and a tight bushing filled with oil to block the path....

the ebcs should be closed at rest and open freely when energized with 12v
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 Old 10-03-2019, 10:06 AM   #38
 
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oups well, i did see your video and if the camera angle isn't increasing the effect of the play, your turbo is shot. It's looking like you have almost 8-10mm of play when it usually have just about 1. you may even see marks of the wheel against the housing and someday the wheel may fly apart rubbing the case...
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 Old 10-03-2019, 10:10 AM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by Jeff23spl View Post
oups well, i did see your video and if the camera angle isn't increasing the effect of the play, your turbo is shot. It's looking like you have almost 8-10mm of play when it usually have just about 1. you may even see marks of the wheel against the housing and someday the wheel may fly apart rubbing the case...
Not sure where you are spotting 8mm but I'm thinking about 3 or 4 at the most.
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 Old 10-03-2019, 10:13 AM   #40
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Well, in either case, the turbo is shot. If you're looking for a replacement, I can offer my stock turbo as listed here: http://www.mazdaspeedforums.org/foru...4-sale-221700/
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