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Old 10-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
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Hell Hath No Fury....

Like that which I am experiencing right now. I spent my vacation weekend repairing what I thought was a blown exhaust manifold gasket(10 hr job). For those about to do it themselves--torch the car instead.
After getting the gasket in place and torquing it to spec and then putting the turbo back in, I start 'er up and same old lawn-mower sound. I tried tightening the studs/nuts on the header--did nothing. The noise sounds like it is around the head, like directly behind the turbo. I tried tightening the Dp flange joint-didn't do anything. I got under the car and couldn't pin the noise to anywhere else. Car is making boost just fine. Power is meh. AFR is normal. I can't feel exhaust leaking anywhere.
I figured it was possible that it needed to get good and hot before it "seated". I went on a couple of good pulls--nada. FWIW, the old gasket was integral, just some scorch marks around the center ports that I ascribed blame to.
what in heavens name could it be? The manifold didn't seem to have any cracks on it, and the surfaces both the head and header were cleaned and sanded lightly.
Any ideas or tests I could do to get to the bottom of this?
Thanks,
-Cm
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:45 AM   #2
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Fex Joint? Sometimes these pipe can fail under the flexible braiding and so they will look fine.

I'd take it to a good exhaust shop and let them diagnose/repair.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:43 AM   #3
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dunno what sucks more... that you went through all the effort and that it didn't fix it, or that somehow it took you 10 hours to do an exhaust manifold gasket?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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dunno what sucks more... that you went through all the effort and that it didn't fix it, or that somehow it took you 10 hours to do an exhaust manifold gasket?
The amount of rusted/seized components was staggering...their removal was stupendous. This, plus removing the turbo takes days...everything permits enough access for 1/16 turn in either direction. Between this and hunting down the washers that fell into Narnia, yeah,it took forever.
-Cm
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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If you put some ATF in one of your vacuum lines you will be able to see where it is leaking from.

The ATF makes a metric ton of thick smoke and will show up whereever you have a leak at.
Thanks for that tip! I had used some spare coolant but could only muster wisps of smoke. I just used your trick and only confirmed the location of the leak...around the header/turbo. It billowed smoke, for sure, just couldnt tell where. Seemed like it was A) Coming from multiple ports on the header, or B) Coming from the gasket where the turbo meets the flange.Square one all over again. I couldn't get paper to move in any special direction. I got some rags smokin' and put em near to see puff-puff disturbance; nothin.
I capitulate; it's going to a shop. I rebuilt the whole car myself and I am sending it to a shop. What has the world come to
Thanks for the tips guys. I'll be sure to report back when and if they find the culprit.
Thanks,
-Cm
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:59 AM   #6
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How much ATF do you allow to suck up and will that cause any damage at all?
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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Did you check the gasket between the manifold and the turbo?
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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An old trick I've used a couple of times- take some tubing like the size of our windshield washer fluid lines (maybe 5-6 feet of it) and stick one end in your ear, Really. Listen around, but be careful not to get directly onto something real loud. Kinda like a stethoscope without the need for direct contact.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:22 AM   #9
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An old trick I've used a couple of times- take some tubing like the size of our windshield washer fluid lines (maybe 5-6 feet of it) and stick one end in your ear, Really. Listen around, but be careful not to get directly onto something real loud. Kinda like a stethoscope without the need for direct contact.
Another good idea! I don't think you grasp how loud it was though. Sounds like an ATV or something. I used an old tube from the fuel pump job and only managed to make my ear ring. Tube too big? Noise too loud?
-Cm
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #10
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When the engine is completely cold you will have a few seconds to touch the exhaust before it gets too hot. Start it up and use your fingers to feel the leak or see if you can change the noise level when you cover the leak.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:26 PM   #11
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I stuffed rags up in ther' and the area around the headers. Started it up and no difference. Gave it some revs and then removed the rag suddenly to see if there was any change in pitch or level; none. It doesn't leak anywhere on-top, that's for sure. Getting to the underside of the headers is near impossible and would absolutely entail burning the crap outta myself.When I did the smoke test, smoke came out in the general vicinity of that pocket between the block and the back of the turbo, under the headers. This is as specific as I can get.
-Cm
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