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Old 02-01-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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Angry turbo not spooling..?

I am trying to diagnose an issue for my father in-law's semi-stock 96 7.3 Turbo 130,000mi. Initally there was a "no power" problem. To date I have done everything that I can think of that might have caused the problem. All new filters, "declawed the OEM cat" and ran straight 3 1/2" from headers back with high flow muffler. It has helped the power issue somewhat but I still am questioning if the turbo is working correctly.

I have read in several posts about the wastegate being the culprit, possibly stuck in the open position. I looked at it and noticed that it does not look stock. When accelerating you cannot hear the "turbo spool" until you are at least at 3/4 throttle, and even when it does spool I cannot feel it making any real difference in acceleration. Is this 3/4 throttle turbo lag typical with 7.3's? I am also wondering if the throttle adjustment to the pedal may be another place to suspect, it seems harsh/clunky in acceleration/deceleraing.

Any help would be appreciated as he has already dumped over $5,000 into trying to get this fixed with several mechanics. My thought was to open it up so that it could breathe and troubleshoot from there...
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
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you ran the pipe from the manifolds of the down pipe? and the throttle is all eletrical so there is no adjustment usless the TPS is bad.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcneile View Post
I am trying to diagnose an issue for my father in-law's semi-stock 96 7.3 Turbo 130,000mi. Initally there was a "no power" problem. To date I have done everything that I can think of that might have caused the problem. All new filters, "declawed the OEM cat" and ran straight 3 1/2" from headers back with high flow muffler. It has helped the power issue somewhat but I still am questioning if the turbo is working correctly.

Does the truck have gauges? What do you mean by running straight pipe from the manifolds back? do you mean from the downpipe coming off the charger back?

I have read in several posts about the wastegate being the culprit, possibly stuck in the open position. I looked at it and noticed that it does not look stock. When accelerating you cannot hear the "turbo spool" until you are at least at 3/4 throttle, and even when it does spool I cannot feel it making any real difference in acceleration. Is this 3/4 throttle turbo lag typical with 7.3's? I am also wondering if the throttle adjustment to the pedal may be another place to suspect, it seems harsh/clunky in acceleration/deceleraing.

The OBS trucks have no wastegate. If there's a wastegate on your truck, it's not a stock charger. When the charger spools depends on how hard you're driving it, and what altitude you're at. I would try looking for exhaust leaks around the up pipes. Look for black soot on the firewall.

Any help would be appreciated as he has already dumped over $5,000 into trying to get this fixed with several mechanics. My thought was to open it up so that it could breathe and troubleshoot from there...

Five thousand dollars and it's still not fixed and running perfectly? I'd be getting a lawyer and talking to these "mechanics."
Additions are in bold in the quoted post. I get the feeling that there's a drive pressure (exhaust) leak somewhere.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_DeereGreen View Post
Additions are in bold in the quoted post. I get the feeling that there's a drive pressure (exhaust) leak somewhere.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:13 PM   #5
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What you really need is a simple boost gauge to show how much boost. That
will answer many questions. There may be a boost leak.

When getting on the throttle is there any smoke? What color?
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_DeereGreen View Post
Additions are in bold in the quoted post. I get the feeling that there's a drive pressure (exhaust) leak somewhere.
Unfortunately he does not have a boost gauge, I'm doing it all by ear going down the road. It does have a wastegate installed as I rechecked it today. What are the potential dangers if I permanently "gerry rig" the wastegate to stay closed all of the time? Would that keep the turbo running constantly? Would that kill his gas mileage? He uses it for towing a 5th wheel trailer in the summer so I would not want to end up burning up his turbo....I will go out and check again to see if there is a manufacturer tag on the turbo. Thanks for the assist....
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmd View Post
What you really need is a simple boost gauge to show how much boost. That
will answer many questions. There may be a boost leak.

When getting on the throttle is there any smoke? What color?
no smoke and I definitely agree that a gauge would make it clear what is going on. Any possibilities that opening up the exhaust is causing backpressure issues that are not letting the turbo get up to speed?
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
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no smoke and I definitely agree that a gauge would make it clear what is going on. Any possibilities that opening up the exhaust is causing backpressure issues that are not letting the turbo get up to speed?
Opening up the exhaust will HELP, not hurt. I still say there is a drive pressure leak somewhere, but hearing no smoke I'm not sure.

Find out what charger is on it, or if it's just a stock charger with a wastegated housing.

Can you get a video driving?
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Opening up the exhaust will HELP, not hurt. I still say there is a drive pressure leak somewhere, but hearing no smoke I'm not sure.

Find out what charger is on it, or if it's just a stock charger with a wastegated housing.

Can you get a video driving?
Not sure if you are looking for a friend for life but I think you may have made one today. Your comment about being non-OE if you have a wastegate got me to thinking....not OE but a Garrett turbo has been installed at some point in this trucks life, pulled the actuator off today after checking it out, it looked like it was half closed. As it ended up the POS wasn't working at all. After taking it off I plugged both lines with a vaccuum cap and could still pull the connecting rod in and out easily and the thing was stuck half open when I pulled it off of the truck...reason for the no/little power and no turbo power when it was below 3/4 throttle, just blow by exhaust. I zip-tied the wastegate shut and decided to go for a drive to see what happened....and the clouds parted and the angry demon that I knew was under the hood came to life with actual torque....Houston we have lift off.

Next problem...actuator.

I am planning on going down and getting a boost gauge and installing it this week so that I can see what is up w/boost now, and don't cook any turbo bits. In the meantime, got on the Garrett website tonight and do not see a replacement that they offer. I am wondering if anyone would be able to give me their feed back on the Turbomaster or any other alternatives that I could get to replace the POS actuator that I took out today (funny it does not have a manufacturer or a part number anywhere on it...go figure). Or do I need to replace it at all? I know that leaving the wastegate closed can cause all sorts of issues (turbo life/mileage/heat). Knowing that my father in law will most likely never even have the turbo spool unless he is towing his 5th wheel up a 6% grade, is it something to worry about or spend the money on....? Anyone want to tell me horror stories about unplugging the "red wire" and having tragic results because of it? Thanks again for all of your help
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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Someone must have put a 1.00 exhaust housing on it at some point, because the OBS never came with a wastegate.

Turbomaster makes a nice wastegate rod if you want to replace it. Hell, how would you even operate a wastegate on an OBS? it does not have the pramiters to do so...
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