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Thread: My brethren, I need your assistance badly

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Posts: 1-10 of 13
2009-03-25 01:20:59
My brethren, I need your assistance badly
Sigh. Forgive the long post, but I really need help.

Swapping from stock T25 to S15 bb T28, on a red-top S13 SR. Everything was beautiful with the T25 and stock fuel/air system.

Swapped to a T28 a few weeks ago. Sold to me by SPL - Swain-coated exhaust housing, Forge wastegate actuator, and HKS swiveling oil drain.

Installed PowerFC, Tomei 555 injectors, and Z32 MAF, all before the turbo, got it all running right. Everything was still beautiful.

Installed the turbo, with Taka lines, proper restrictor, etc; local tuner came over to do some street tuning. Everything still beautiful.

Went to the dyno to do some proper tuning. I'm pretty conservative; I had plans to set high boost at 15psi, low at 11 psi. Tuner (same guy) fiddled with things for a while, then on the first pull it went lean. Not enough to hurt but more than he wanted. While he made corrections we started to see blue smoke out the tailpipe, which did not cease. Things at this point were not beautiful.

We spend the next couple hours diagnosing. No smoke out the breather; no oil in coolant or coolant in oil; spark plugs look fine; compression is 150+ across the board; engine runs at the proper temp and has no trouble cooling off when the fans come on. We also found NO oil in the intercooler piping or BOV. Therefore we believe the engine to be healthy, and the turbo (used) to be the culprit. We checked shaft play, and one of the guys at the shop with lots of turbo experience pronounced it to be the problem.

I drove home (carefully) and ordered a new turbo. Took the old one off, and checked it out. There was no gooey residue in the exhaust housing which would indicate blown seals and too much oil burnage, and no evidence or rubbing/abrasion inside the housing which might make me think the bearins were gone and the wheel was rubbing the housing.

New turbo arrived yesterday. Brand new from Nismo Shop/West Covina. When comparing the shaft play on new and old, I couldn't tell a difference; my tuner came over and checked it out, and said he felt more on the used turbo.

Since neither was under any warranty (Nismo Shop sells it as a performance part, go figure) I decided to install the new one. I clocked it so the center housing was pointed the right way and the oil drain wouldn't hit the steering column and bolted everything up today. Everything is the same with two exceptions (other than the turbo) - on the advice of the tuner, I removed the breather hose from the intake to the valve cover, stuck a filter on the VC fitting pointing to the front, and capped the fitting on the intake. I also switched from the fancy HKS oil drain to the one from the T25, after slotting the holes to work with the T28. I did this against the chance that it was causing oil to pool and back up in the center section.

Fired it up and initially figured the problem was solved, but when water temp got to about 50*C and oil temps were in the mid 20s, I started to get blue smoke again. Not as much as with the old turbo at idle, but just as much when revving it. I haven't driven it yet.

I'm stumped. I've done a lot of searching here and elsewhere, and talked to a number of people. What could be my problem?
2009-03-25 01:51:11
Sounds like a Saturn (long story)

On a more serious note,
What size restrictor are you using?
Blue smoke smell like peanut oil?

Compression tested the motor while hot? Or cold?
2009-03-25 02:18:14
Restrictor is .03, supposed to be the right size for a BB turbo, as provided by Harp at Taka Motorsports. He sells tons of sets of these lines to the RWD community, so I'm betting it's not that.

Motor was warm when compression tested.

Does peanut oil smell like peanuts? What would that signify? I didn't really stand in the cloud of fumes to smell it, I just saw that it was blue and figured it's oil.
2009-03-25 02:36:04
Valve stem seals is my guess !!
2009-03-25 02:56:48
Originally Posted by Kimmi
Valve stem seals is my guess !!

That is what I told Tokes to call and tell him...

Sounds like it for sure.
2009-03-25 04:05:37
Yeah, just got off the phone with Ameen. Nathan (and Ameen), I appreciate your help. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes - I'm just not sure I'm up to replacing them myself

The only thing that bothers me is how quickly they let go, if they're the problem. Either it's been burning oil for a while and I just haven't noticed, or somehow the first time we laid in more than 8psi of boost they let go. I'm not even sure they're really subject to boost pressure though...
2009-03-25 04:14:16
The same thing happened to me once... Just one day it started to smoke and then just kept going. I thought it was the turbo then noticed shine on exhaust ports from oil coming down from valve stem seal.

You can do it with everything in the car. I can walk you through it if you need help.
2009-03-25 04:26:30
I might take you up on that. I'm going to look into a few things. My tuner keeps telling me the "stock paper headgasket" is a disaster waiting to happen; I enjoy working on the car but maybe I'll see if there's a local shop that'll go through the head for me, as well as do the headgasket job with a Cosworth gasket and ARP studs... need to research costs for all of the above.
2009-03-25 04:55:45
Maybe you and Ameen need to buy a ticket for me and I'll do both your motors in a weekend. LOL

And I'd recommend golden eagle studs over arp.... I have golden eagles in my car and arp on a shelf.
2009-03-25 13:53:33
Heh. Don't tempt me man, I'm really not into this particular work.

My laziness is clashing with my unwillingness to let most folks work on my car for me...
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