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Thomasino

Bad turbo/induction noise and blowing smoke at high RPM

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Hi all, I occasionally read this section just in case something happens to me. I read a while ago something that was similar to my issue but not quite the same.

 

First off my car is a 1995 180SX with a blacktop SR20DET. The car is totally stock (to my knowledge) aside from a cat back exhaust. I always let it warm up before getting above 3,000 RPM (usually wait until the oil temp gets up to level) and let it cool down before shutting off.

 

When I got the car about 6 months ago, well from what I remember it was relatively quiet (turbo and induction wise), but then again it was my first import/turbo/manual car and I didn't (and still don't really) know what to listen for. But one things for sure, something has gotten worse. The induction/turbo sound (no pod, its all stock) is a LOT louder. Its also kind of 'rough'. Like I can hear it spooling/sucking normally but its not always so smooth, kinda sounds like it rattling or not sucking constantly. I also noticed when traveling in 5th gear (probably happens in all gears, but I noticed it in 5th) the turbo/sucking was not constant. I had my foot in a steady position but the sound was again rough and not constant.

It also at times sounds as if something is rattling. Something may be loose somewhere but I got no idea where to look.

 

My other issue is I noticed at night (with car lights behind me) when I gave it some in 1st there was a bit of smoke coming from behind me. My friend suggested it could be from my clutch (released fast, not dumped though), but it also happened when in 2nd, cruising at 2500 RPM then giving it some. So thought the smoke may have something to do with the turbo and therefore the sound???

 

I changed my oil about 1000km's ago but had some serious issues getting the filter off so we left it there. I didn't change anything else at the time. Back then the engine wasn't ticking either but it is now, and I'm told this could be spark plugs/coilpacks (forgot which one) or tappets (wtf are tappets?).

 

 

I'm just after some advice on what to do. I'm thinkin about calling up Boost Worx or Turbo Tune to get a full check up/proper service done to make sure everything runs fine, just get them to take it for a drive and hear it for themselves, but wondering if there's anything I can do before spending some cash at a workshop.

 

Any advice at all is welcomed. Thanks in advance, Tom.

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hmmm, could be turbo, but no way near enough info to say,. by any chance do you know the colour of the smoke? blue, white or black? if you know that that will help with what way to look,

 

theres so many things you can check with the amount of info, so maybe a few basics,

 

take of intake pipe to turbo and feel the turbine wheel, does it spin easly? when roatating can you hear it scraping metal?,

 

check spark plugs and see what colour they are? just because if hey are black and you have black smoke then your obviously running rich,

 

how old is your air filter? if this thing is old and blocked up i canunderstand why the turbo would be all over the shop, its working to hard to get the air,

 

i got 10hp more on my 180sx with just cleaning my pod filter it was that blocked up,

 

try those first, try and find out what colour smoke then write up,

 

JV

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It was dark so struggled to see colour. Will find out asap though. And I forgot to mention that the noise is definately coming from that area (front left).

I have tried to have a look at my air filter before, but not sure exactly how to get it out :huh: Undid the two metal clips but it still seems pretty damn sturdy.

 

Will try those things tomorrow morning, thanks.

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do a search for 'boost leak test'

 

check and eliminate this possibility before you do anything else

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Keep in mind your "stock" set up and your driving style can lead to blow by, and oil burning from the intake.

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check for exhaust leaks BEFORE the turbo, look for black sooty shit on heat shields and the block etc. sounds familiar lol.

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Yes please get some more info, colour of smoke will help...

 

I had a similar issue as u, turned out 2 be the manifold > turbo zorst gasket... induction noise increased, loss of power

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Ok so had a quick look around engine bay this morning before school. I first tried taking the air filter out, which posed its own issue; I couldn't open it up. I undid the extra box thats closer to the cabin that is attached to it, but there's pipes going everywhere and I managed no leverage, only could get it open 1 inch maximum.

Considering I couldn't get this off I had no hope of getting to the turbo (buried in a jumble of hoses) and thought it'd be a job for when I got more then 30 mins.

I went to check spark plugs. I undid the silver cover on the top to reveal coilpacks (?). I undid the screw on the first one and popped that up and out. I never realised how deep the spark plugs were, so didn't touch them as I have no idea how to get to them and how to gap them right when I put them back in.

I tried taking the hard black intercooler pipe off but it was in pretty sturdy. I will try again soon by taking other clamps off at the same time but I ran out of time.

 

So I just put everything back and started it up. This was a bit after 10AM so the weather wasn't cold but the engine still was. First off was the ticking, seems to be coming from the fan/belt area. I drove to school with the windows up and no music. Again the turbo still sounded harsh, not smooth but rough (yes like metal on metal). Still not steady induction either. I'll embarrass myself for a second here, it kinda sounded like shHHHcchhhhhchhSHHHHHHchhhhhshhhshsshshs, when I assume it should sound like shhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHH.

 

Then after school all the issue were gone except for the loud turbo. The sucking was relatively constant, still the odd rough spot though. I had my mate in the passanger seat looking for smoke but nothing. I got to his house and reved it to 4000RPM with him standing at the back, no smoke.

 

I haven't seen any smoke since sunday night. Just a note, I've only noticed the smoke after I've been driving for a while . No backfires when the smoke comes either. On sunday I noticed it just after I went for a spirited drive on a certain road. Though halfway got stuck behind a 4WD so wasn't flogging it 100% of the way. Don't knwo fi that helps at all.

 

 

So atm the only problem is the really loud turbo/induction. Its really annoying when I try to show it to someone and it doesn't do it.

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Does it feel like it's lost power compared to before? Does it feels like it hesitates when u push for boost?

 

In order to check for smoke u can't just rev the car up steadily, u gotta be putting the car under load so the turbo get's worked, producing boost.... Get a friend to stay outside in daylight and drive past him making sure to punch it just as u pass so boost kicks in... You SHOULD see smoke, the colour of it will be another matter.

 

You don't need to take off your airbox to feel the turbine wheel... Follow that intake hose (the fat round and ribbed rubber one from the airbox) all the way up to the turbo (under the manifold) and undo it at the turbo snout... Then feel for shaft play (sideways and up/downways movement).

 

For your sparkies, you'll need a ratchet with extension and a sparkplug socket, it's magnetised so the sparkplug won't dislodge... You're looking at the tip to see if it's all black and covered in soot or not

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To be honest I can't remember how it was before, I've only had it 6 or so months and the first month or two of those was me learning to drive it properly. Just recently I'm truly learning how to drive it properly (and ask questions like this).

I get to a certain point where the car revs but doesn't seem to move any faster. Driving my mates JZX100 Chaser, you get to 5000 RPM and it keeps going. In my car, you get to around 5000 RPM and it seems to rev high but not move any faster. My mate used to own an R34 GTT before the Chaser and said he had the same thing, assuming it was a Nissan thing.

I think I'll get a mate to drive behind me when I boost it and see if he can see some smoke, not sure when I'll get time to do this.

And you say I SHOULD I smoke? Reving it this arvo he said he could see fumes etc but no smoke, is this what you mean?

 

I was trying to take the airbox off to check out the filter, as I'm unsure of when it was replaced/cleaned last. Any tips you can give to help me open it? It doesn't seem so straight forward to me.

I did follow the intake hose down to the turbo but it looks like a slightly more serious just to get to. Any suggestions for this? Get to it from under the car?

 

And with the spark plugs, once I take the coilpack out, I can get a ratchet with extension and sparkplug socket, if I take it out and all is well (or, even if all is not well), when I go to put it back in will I need to gap it correctly? Never done this before.

 

Thanks for your help. Tom.

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To be honest I can't remember how it was before, I've only had it 6 or so months and the first month or two of those was me learning to drive it properly. Just recently I'm truly learning how to drive it properly (and ask questions like this).

I get to a certain point where the car revs but doesn't seem to move any faster. Driving my mates JZX100 Chaser, you get to 5000 RPM and it keeps going. In my car, you get to around 5000 RPM and it seems to rev high but not move any faster. My mate used to own an R34 GTT before the Chaser and said he had the same thing, assuming it was a Nissan thing.

I think I'll get a mate to drive behind me when I boost it and see if he can see some smoke, not sure when I'll get time to do this.

And you say I SHOULD I smoke? Reving it this arvo he said he could see fumes etc but no smoke, is this what you mean?

 

I was trying to take the airbox off to check out the filter, as I'm unsure of when it was replaced/cleaned last. Any tips you can give to help me open it? It doesn't seem so straight forward to me.

I did follow the intake hose down to the turbo but it looks like a slightly more serious just to get to. Any suggestions for this? Get to it from under the car?

 

And with the spark plugs, once I take the coilpack out, I can get a ratchet with extension and sparkplug socket, if I take it out and all is well (or, even if all is not well), when I go to put it back in will I need to gap it correctly? Never done this before.

 

Thanks for your help. Tom.

 

With the plugs they all have to have a certain gap. There is specs somewhere on this site - like 1.2mm or something?

 

If it was a bad/loose gasket you would feel a definate loss in power and you would notice that you are not making boost. Do you have a boost guage?

Have you checked the pipes that are around the turbo and boost solinoid are all secure?

 

Im no expert but my opinion is that your turbo is on its way out. There is one pipe coming out from the turbo and it may pay to check that?

 

Hope you sort it out!!

-Ray

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hey dude hope its not ur turbo how much smoke actually comes out and def check plugs if its running stock boost they feel slow lol

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Ray, I've got no idea how to gap the plugs so I won't try that one myself. If there's a loss of power its at high RPM (which I never used when I got it) as atm if I give it some it still goes well.

I don't have a boost gauge so can't really use that to check levels, the intercooler piping and all hoses on the top are secure, will check the ones closer to the turbo itself (intake on turbo and dump pipe) later.

You said 'There is one pipe coming out from the turbo and it may pay to check that?', do you mean the dump pipe part of the exhaust?

 

When I saw the smoke, it wasn't extremely thick but you could definitely see it, so it wasn't a small puff.

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from reading your posts it's clean you have limited mechanical abilitys (dont take this as offense) and i would suggest taking it to someone who knows their stuff, seeing your in adelaide i could help you with this if you'd like to send me a PM. or taking it to the good guys down at turbo tune. up to you mate but my offer is there.

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Simon, you're right. I'm almost 18 now and this is my first car worth working on, or that needed it (my first was a reliable Liberty). So yeah pretty much got no idea what to do and how to do things, but trying to learn.

Not organizing anything just yet but thanks for the offer, gonna try to get as much help before taking it to a workshop.

 

The weird thing is not all the problems are constant. I will see how it goes tomorrow and report back here tomorrow night.

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haha yeah i would have come round but im in brissy, by the sounds of it, if there is a metal on metal sound then that is not good,

 

the turbo on my 180sx ended up going, it had a wierd induction noise (bit like a supercharger) sounded like it was trying really hard to suck in air, then i was like wonder if this will go away if i plant my foot, it went fine until i took my foot of the accelerator, and then thats when i heard metal on metal sound, turbo was dead, but with yours as your saying that you still drive it to school i dont think your turbo is dead,

 

specially because the matal on metal soun i had was so loud and sounded so bad i didnt want to drive it,

 

boost leak, mmm i dont think it will be that as your car wouldnt run very well at all,

 

maybe its just running a bit rich? which cause your car to splutter a bit or what ever because it is having troubles burning all the fuel, this would also cause black smoke specially while boosting,

 

if you take your spark plugs out and they are sooty (spelling) (black) then its got to much fuel going into it,

 

also for your air intake, im guessing that your turbo is having troubles sucking in the air, so to get that box apart, im pretty sure you said you un did 2 clips? from memory there should be about 3? (correct me if im wrong some1), take out the old filter and put a new one in, trust me that can be very block and cause problems, this also wont help with with the fuel problem, needs air to mix with fuel to build revs (no air = no revs) if you understand,

 

hope this helps, otherwise take it to a workshop, or ask some1 on ns to come round and give u a hand, 6 pack in it should do the trick lol,.

 

JV

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As soon as you said Rattling i thought Knocking. This could kill your engine.

 

What petrol do you use and where do u get it from?

 

Failing that just take it somewhere to be looked at...as above your skills seem limited so youre going to be chasing your tail for ages, whereas if you take it somewhere, someone who knows what theyre doing will probably be able to tell you straight away what the problem is.

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Yeah that's pretty settled champ... might be time to take it to someone...

 

Performing well spells that it's not a boost or pre turbo leak... Your problem could be as short or as long as a piece of string... Hope you get it cleared up soon mate.

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Alright, gonna take an older mate who knows SR's for a ride on the weekend hopefully and see what he thinks, failing that definitely calling up Boostworx.

I took a few video's to show the sound. Its kinda hard to hear, but its there.

 

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That doesn't sound like a zorst leak at all... I think ur turbo is on it's way to the glue factory man :(

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yeah man i think its your turbo, time to bolt a new 1 onto your car, (sounded like my turbo, "airy" is the way i described mine lol)

 

if u take off the rubber pipe to the front of the turbo, try and spin the wheel with your fingers, if u cant or it doesnt move freely, then 100% the turbo

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Ok found the issue. On closer inspection with a torch and mirror I found a leaking gasket, the one between the manifold and the turbo. After Dad suggested it I had a look and found a tiny bit of black soot on the join (wouldn't have noticed it before) and when I started the engine, you could feel gas escaping from this join.

Thankfully it was nothing serious.

Called Boostworx and going tomorrow arvo. Will post up final solution or if there is anything else wrong and leave the videos just incase someone searched this topic (it happened to me, they deleted the videos, = no help).

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were did every1 get turbo from?

that noise is obviously the gasket leaking.

id change the whole thing while everything is off , sell that turbo and upgrade

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Ok found the issue. On closer inspection with a torch and mirror I found a leaking gasket, the one between the manifold and the turbo. After Dad suggested it I had a look and found a tiny bit of black soot on the join (wouldn't have noticed it before) and when I started the engine, you could feel gas escaping from this join.

Thankfully it was nothing serious.

Called Boostworx and going tomorrow arvo. Will post up final solution or if there is anything else wrong and leave the videos just incase someone searched this topic (it happened to me, they deleted the videos, = no help).

 

 

doesnt sound like a leaking gasket to me ay

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Sounded like gasket to me :S

 

I had the same gasket go on me. That sound is when the gasket is completely f**ked, when you notice there's a leak but are too lazy to change it and eventually it gets worse lol.

 

Also:

 

Simon, you're right. I'm almost 18 now and this is my first car worth working on, or that needed it (my first was a reliable Liberty). So yeah pretty much got no idea what to do and how to do things, but trying to learn.

Not organizing anything just yet but thanks for the offer, gonna try to get as much help before taking it to a workshop.

 

The weird thing is not all the problems are constant. I will see how it goes tomorrow and report back here tomorrow night.

 

Are the laws different in SA, cause as far as i'm aware you shouldn't be driving a turbo car.

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^^^I love SA :D

My mate's first car was an R34 GTT, which he drove on his L's and also learned manual in, and now owns a JZX100. Very powerful cars for a 16/17 year old, make your own assumptions but he's making money on them.

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My brother was having this same problem with his stagea, I replaced the gasket your talking about and the noise was gone and the power was up.

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My broken gasket sounded no way near anything like that... But def obvious power loss...

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