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Not making much boost?

 
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  • 1 Post By Handy_Cruiser
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Old 12 Aug 2018, 07:00 pm
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Default Not making much boost?

I have a 2003 with the 2.4 turbo and 5 speed manual trans. It's currently tuned with a Diablosport tuner on a 91 octane tune. With or without the tune it will only make 4-5 psi. Idle is a bit rough, it was worse but a full tune helped with that. No check engine light and no vacuum leaks that I've been able to find. Is there anything else that I should check?
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 06:21 am
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

Maybe try cleaning the throttle body and check the turbo for carbon build up?
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 07:02 am
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamTFR View Post
I have a 2003 with the 2.4 turbo and 5 speed manual trans. It's currently tuned with a Diablosport tuner on a 91 octane tune. With or without the tune it will only make 4-5 psi. Idle is a bit rough, it was worse but a full tune helped with that. No check engine light and no vacuum leaks that I've been able to find. Is there anything else that I should check?
The most common reason would likely be a leak. In this case, positive air pressure leaking from the turbo piping or manifold while under boost. Other issues could be a weak wastegate spring, leaking BOV, leaking PCV valve and the list goes on. The turbo itself could be binding, but this often includes noise and leaking oil into the exhaust. At least it does on diesel engines.

If me, I'd first check the clamps on the pipes running from the turbo to the intercooler and from there to the intake. I'd also check the condition of the PCV valve and hose. After checking/tightning and/or replacing some of those, I'd check to see if I'm getting the 9 to 12 lbs of boost I should get.

To do a proper check for a boost leak, you will need some kind of tester. They are cheap, here's an example.

Dodge PT Cruiser 2.4L Turbo - TURBO BOOST LEAK TESTERS

You will need to cap the tube that goes into the air intake tube. The drivers side port leading out of the valve cover will also leak boost during the test. Some folks cap this, others don't during the test. For me, I have a check valve installed in the PCV valve hose. This better isolates the positive boost pressure from the valve cover. The system is usually pressurized to around 15-20 psi and then you look for leaks. You can get a spray bottle of soapy water and spray likely leak locations. Here are some of the most likely areas for boost leaks:

* Vacuum/Boost lines.
* Bottom of turbo chargepipe connection
* All the intercooler piping hot and cold side leading to the throttle body
* Wastegate
* Blow-off Valve
* Fuel injector o-rings
* Valve cover
* Intake manifold lower and upper
* Solenoid pack covering your passenger side strut mount.

In many cases you will be able to hear any leaks when the system is pressurized. Others may have additional items to check as well.
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 08:28 am
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

Lets not forget the exhaust manifold itself.... ALL stock manifolds will be cracked to some degree and depending on where, how many and the extent, width and expansion of crack under exhaust heat can drastically effect the total boost pressure.
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

How is the acceleration when you step on the gas pedal? Exhaust restriction?
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 03:02 pm
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

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Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Lets not forget the exhaust manifold itself.... ALL stock manifolds will be cracked to some degree and depending on where, how many and the extent, width and expansion of crack under exhaust heat can drastically effect the total boost pressure.
however mine had cracks, and replacing it made no difference
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

Turbo looks clean, spins freely, and doesn't have any shaft play. Never thought to check the manifold for cracks, will add that to my checklist along with the pcv valve. Definitely going to have to pressure test the system, thanks Handy_Cruiser
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Old 13 Aug 2018, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

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Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
How is the acceleration when you step on the gas pedal? Exhaust restriction?
Exhaust consists of an oem replacement cat that's less then 2 years old and straight pipe after that, hopefully not much restriction there. Accelerates normally with no jerking or bogging. If you're sitting still and hit the gas quickly it hesitates or stumbles before revving if the motor isn't up to temp yet
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Old 14 Aug 2018, 07:25 am
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Default Re: Not making much boost?

Maybe a defective CTS? I don't know, just speculating.
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