I would like to give a good update to this thread. Ive had a lot of useful information sent my way through this thread and would like to supply anyone in the future that runs into the same problem I did with some useful tips.
First I will start with the car. Its an '04 WRX in alpine white, gorgeous and strong as hell. I started with modding this car as really anyone would. I purchased a TBE system and decided to se aside a Sunday where my brother and I could get the job done. The car came with some "home made" downpipe that was catless and honestly, a piece of crap. All else is stock. I purchased the following items:
1 GrimmSpeed Ceramic Coated Uppipe
1 ERZ Catted Downpipe
1 SRS Cat back Exhaust system
All necessary Gaskets and fasteners.
I purchased the Catted downpipe as preference as I didnt necessarily like the sound the catless ones produced. I also want it to pass PA inspection in case I end up moving to Pittsburgh. The uppipe is fantastic and resists heat like a champ. This is obviously catless to prevent grenading my turbo. I had heard good reviews about the SRS exhaust and decided to give it a try since it was only $250.
Let me say, the components all together give a mean boxer rumble that I was dying to have. It was perfect. Installation as Im sure everyone here knows, was simple besides the uppipe. Regardless, it all installed and was awesome.
My drive home yielded the smoke from the engine bay that prompted this thread. I had wrote it off as PB blaster that was all over the place. As the problem persisted I began to worry I had messed something up. I continued to monitor it and found that while the engine was smoking, i got a terrible burning oil smell. I knew what was burning, but not from where.
Upon taking the car back apart the following weekend, i had found the uppipe flex portion completely caked in oil. During install, the oil return line for the turbo had accidentally come off the turbo itself. I had thought this was the problem and ended up buying a new rubber hose, cut it to length and installed it with some better metal hose clamps. I was stricken to find that this did not solve the problem. I had taken the car apart 3 more times and each time found that the oil drip was coming down the valve cover. I kept thinking the oil was leaking down the backside and spent all my time searching for other sources. I was scared that the turbo housing had cracked.
Through this thread, I received a possible tip that the problem could be the valve cover gasket. Another check with the car apart suggested that could definitely be the problem. I searched the web endlessly to find next to no info. I ended up finding a thread on NASIOC of someone that had done it before but didnt really lay out the process. They did provide parts needed for install however.
Right and left Valve cover gaskets
Spark Plug gaskets
13293aa051 x 4
The rocker gaskets that go on the bolts.
13271aa071 x 16
This is what was listed and this is what was bought, although I only did the passenger side.
To install, I had to remove the front passenger wheel, air intake box, and some other miscellaneous parts. It took while to get all the bolts loosened. We eventually got it, swapped the gasket, the spark plug gaskets and the new valve cover bolts when putting the cover back on. Threw everything back together and drove it hard for about 10 min to be pissed again as I will still smoking, still leaking oil from the gasket. Exact same problem.
I ended up letting this go for a few weeks as I had started school and really had no time to take care of it. I eventually decided to give my car up to a mechanic. In case anyone is in northeastern OH, it was Maroun Motors of Canfield OH. They inspected it and called me back to tell me the valve cover gasket was the problem. I told them I already replaced it, but they gave me a good price so i decided to let it run.
After all was said and done, it turns out that the HALF MOON cam seals were the issue. The one for the passenger side was shredded and was the source of my leak.
Moral of the story, if you plan on doing this yourself, do not forget the half moon seals. This small plug caused me more grief than anyone should have to deal with. Also, the total price for the mechanic to do the whole job was under $200. It may be worth your time to just let a mechanic do it. I wish i had done it way earlier.
Its over with, finally..