Little to no power during acceleration, boost leak?
Hello, New to the site and a heads up if I seem mildly helpless but Im gonna do my best to explain Everything.
I drive a 2002 bug eyed wrx. The first owner had to replace the oil pick up, and as he describes, he replaced the engine with 05' sti engine (I don't know how true that is but I'm just going by what the guy said and if you think he's lying then just assume its the 2002 stock engine please) and added a boost gauge. I also have an aftermarket exhaust system. Anyway those are pretty much the best details/specs I can give.
The car has driven fine for a year now but the other day, on the highway I originally noticed a low shhhhhh noise coming from my engine combined with occasional jerking with a loud, short sucking noise. I couldn't record the noise since my engine is too loud and it was very subtle at first. So naturally I suspected a boost leak and checked under my hood for anything blatantly loose. Noticed my top mounted Intercool had a loose nut. I tightened it down good and took it for a test drive.
The noise wasn't present until I got past 3rd gear, then it became present in every gear upon acceleration. During this time the wooshing noise has gotten much louder and I had no boost power. However the jerking and loud, short noise had stopped. Anyway I don't know much but I'm mechanically inclined, I have tools and Id like to try to fix Myself.
Is there anything I can do before a smoke test? Assuming I'm accurate in chalking it up to a boost leak
Yesterday, I looked under my hood, noticed my intercooler was not tightly on, again. After taking off the the intercooler and further inspecting the rest of the car, I noticed another fitting was not particularly tight. There were no blatant blown hoses. So I did some securing and put the intercooler back on. (Also, I forgot to mention that one of the two mounting tabs that are on the intercooler has been broken. It never posed a problem before but it almost seems that my engine's vibrations keep loosening that bolt) Now I have more power than before but the sound almost seems different. Now it sounds more like the scratching brake pads do to your rotors when you need to change them. Almost maybe a high pitch rattle, but still debatably a wooshing noise. I looked again under my hood, to see if maybe the bolt had loosened or if I could find a loose heat shield or something but I had no success.
I know this really isn't a lot of information to go off of, any suggestions, should I just try to find someone to smoke test it? It's still only on acceleration, is there any chance it could be an engine problem? I know I wrote a lot, but I've tried a few other forums and I wasn't getting any responses. So just to summarize:
The noise started out real bad, loud and jerking my car during highway speeds with little power when accelerating. I tightened the intercooler, took it for a test drive and the loud noise stopped but the wooshing and weak power remained. I took the intercooler off, checked and tightened everything I could and I now have more power than before, and a different, still almost wooshing noise. Please help, any feedback is greatly appreciated!