Tips please - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-31-2017, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Tips please

So I purchased a 2006 Subaru Wrx last november. Fun car but obviously not stock (which I cannot complain about). As far as I know the car has an AEM boost controller up to 21 psi. However, I'm not here to brag but to ask for some tips. The car is wasting alot of water from the radiator, and I have been advised to get a pressure test, but, I just want to know what else i should inspect. I have almost no mechanic experience, so i just want to know what else i should inspect.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-31-2017, 09:29 PM
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21psi on a stock motor/turbo is quite iffy. It's not a great idea to run a manual boost controller (what it sounds like) in the first place but rather achieve a more controlled boost via a tune primarily because you're forcing more air into the engine when the tune is calibrated to less so it's prone to more knocking. Also the turbo is allowed to push a lot of air toward redline which is quite dangerous. I just ran tests on my car to see how much I can push a VF39 and I did go into those boost levels, but to do it safely I had to retard timing quite a lot to get rid of knocking so it was actually much less power than running less PSI and more aggressive timing/fueling. It's just not a safe way to make power (especially if the car was not specifically tuned for it).

Having said all of that, are you absolutely sure it's drinking coolant? Is it possible that at some point one of the resevoirs ran dry and there's now air in the system and it's able to suck in coolant?

Does it ever overheat?

I've had a similar issue where I did that where there was air in the system and it could literally suck the whole overflow resevoir dry when parked overnight, and then have it almost overflowing after a drive. After I burped the system, the fluid stabilized.

Otherwise, a leakdown test will diagnose a blown head gasket or other motor damage which would not be too shocking running at those boost levels on a stock turbo.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-01-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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I checked it wasnt an AEM boost controller but yeah. Anyways, can i buy just any boost controller to bring the psi down? There was air in the system but it wastes it at a slower rate.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-01-2017, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Contreras View Post
I checked it wasnt an AEM boost controller but yeah. Anyways, can i buy just any boost controller to bring the psi down? There was air in the system but it wastes it at a slower rate.
AEM boost controller? Or boost gauge? If it's just a gauge, then this is a part of your tune. It sounds like maybe someone adjusted the wastegate actuator or put a very aggressive tune on (which is better news than Manual Boost Controller).


As far as coolant goes,
1). Let the car completely cool down
2). Open radiator cap
3). Fill the UPPER coolant resevoir (by turbo) until coolant fills it (or more likely overflows the radiator).
4). Stick a spill proof funnel into the radiator hole and fill it about half way with coolant (obviously gotta have one that presses up around the hole and seals it fairly well).
5). Start car, turn on heater inside car to max
6). Keep squeezing the upper radiator hose to "Burp" the system. (Air bubbles will come up into the funnel and it will suck coolant).
7). As coolant level in funnel goes down, add more

Do this for a while. You will feel pressure build up in the hose and fans will kick in. At one point the thermostat will open and it will probably suck more coolant. By while I mean as long as 15-20 minutes.

Keep your fingers/hands away from fans.

When it does not want to suck any more coolant, and you cannot burp any more bubbles remove funnel (yes some coolant will spill) and close the radiator cap (make sure to do it right, it closes in two steps, so it will feel like it tightened up, and then you can press it down and turn another half turn or so).

Finally fill upper resevoir all the way and fill overflow to the max line!
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-02-2017, 06:36 PM
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The higher the boost the more chances for a blown head gasket that will cause you to go thru coolant, i would never run that much boost on a stock head gasket.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-03-2017, 12:03 AM
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I sometimes run 22-23 psi on an oem head gasket.

With a proper tune of course and built motor and a setup which can cool the charge. Gasket is fine ;-)
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-04-2017, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! And I'm sorry it wasn't an AEM boost controller. Idk what was done to the car but is there a way I can find out?
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-04-2017, 11:59 AM
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It would be most useful to have an ability to record a log to see what the ecu is doing. There's too many variables that control your boost levels.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-05-2017, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Okie dokie now how would i be able to do that? Sorry I'm a noob when it comes to this stuff...
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-06-2017, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Contreras View Post
Okie dokie now how would i be able to do that? Sorry I'm a noob when it comes to this stuff...
Either an Access Port or Tactrix Cable.

They are both tuning interfaces that let you tune your car (rather have it tuned) and collect data logs to see what your car is doing. AccessPort also has a display which shows critical ecu variables of your choice on the screen when you drive but costs a lot.

Keep in mind, a Tactrix cable is pretty advanced.

What are your future plans for the car?
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-07-2017, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well seems like all the things i originally planned to do on the car have been already done haha as in more boost, exhaust, grippy tires. I maybe plan to get another exhaust system but not too sure what's the best sounding exhaust for a hawkeye WRX
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-08-2017, 01:07 AM
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I will recommend some sort of interface for any modified WRX (or even stock one) so you could monitor your car. The easiest is AccessPort but it's a bit expensive.

I will also recommend doing a nice service on your car, checking everything in your engine bay (cracked hoses, disconnected things, worn belts, so on). Clean all your sensors that you can get to. Are you due for a timing belt? If so, do it. Replace your air filter.

Have an experienced Subaru shop do a compression/leak down test and generally look over the car again.

When your car has a clean bill of health and everything else checks out, get a safe Pro Tune.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-09-2017, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Got it thanks again Ruso!
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