$30 Home Depot turbo system pressure tester (leak finder) - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old March 29th, 2004, 17:32 Thread Starter
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$30 Home Depot turbo system pressure tester (leak finder)

Tools required:

Air compressor with regulator
Drill
8mm socket and socket wrench
adjustable wrench
1/4" NPT tap

Shopping list for Home Depot:
2.5" - 4" (depending on turbo inlet size) PVC pipe plug
2.5" - 4" ( " " ) hose connection
2.5" - 4" ( " " ) hose clamp
1/8" NPT to air compressor hose connection

Many variations can be done with this setup, but the basic idea is to drill a hole in the PVC pipe plug and tap it for the air compressor hose connection. What matters is the inlet size of the turbocharger. My particular turbo (and most single turbo supras) has a 4 inch inlet, so I used 4" components, but someone with a CT26 would use a smaller plug.



You then attach the hose to the PVC plug and use one clamp to secure it in place, and the other to secure the hose to the inlet of the turbocharger.



Turn the pressure on your air compressor pressure regulator down to 20-30 psi, hook up the air hose, and listen/feel for leaks!

In addition, you MUST open the throttle body to check for leaks in your intake manifold and fuel rail grommets!

Special note for those that still have the factory idle air control valve. You WILL leak out of the factory IAC valve unless you supply power to the black with yellow stripe wire and ground to one of the other wires that go to the IAC. The easiest way to bypass doing the wiring is to take a pair of vice grips and block off the IAC valve air tube that goes back to the intake.

Have fun with this one folks!

Bryan "no shoes" Moore
Professional traveling tuner/technician
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Last edited by NoShoes; April 30th, 2006 at 12:13.
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post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old March 29th, 2004, 17:48
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Cool! I think I see the source of your leak
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post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old March 29th, 2004, 18:28
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Will the intake/exhaust valves leak if they are not in a closed position?

Thanks,
Alex
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post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old March 29th, 2004, 22:43
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The engine seals remarkably well when you do this. I've always been dodgy and just shoved the end of an air blower into a vacuum hose and gaffa taped the inlet up, but, that is a far more elegant idea...
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post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old March 30th, 2004, 00:58
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You have to rotate the engine so no cylinder is at the valve overlap position, right?
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post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old March 30th, 2004, 02:37
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My personal favourite is a smoke machine

Connects to vacuum booster hose.... and pumps smoke into the intake and smoke leaks out where you have a vac leak....
Very cool

SMOKE MACHINE / LEAK DETECTOR

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post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old March 30th, 2004, 11:33 Thread Starter
I aint afraid of no boost
 
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Quote:
posted by flyboy
You have to rotate the engine so no cylinder is at the valve overlap position, right?
No. The turbo stays still and throttle body is closed, so not much escapes through the motor. You just hook it up as directed and feel for leaks with your hands. You CAN open up the throttle plate and see what escapes through the intake manifold. Trust me, air will leak out in FORCE.

Last edited by NoShoes; March 31st, 2004 at 11:14.
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post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old March 30th, 2004, 16:13
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This is what I did and what I used to find a few of my leaks except I hooked up ritht after teh turbo instead of before it - worked well.
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post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old March 30th, 2004, 16:15
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Noshoes - I have a question on when you did this. When I hooked this up, uless the compressor kept running, the pressure would drop to zero. Even after I found the leaks it would. Is this what you experienced?
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post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old March 31st, 2004, 02:40
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my friend has one like that..made of pcv pipe. He also has a gauge on there and a valve so you know how much psi your putting in..quite nice. He made it using a write up online somewhere.
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post #11 of 83 (permalink) Old March 31st, 2004, 09:37
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the throttle is not wide open.... it is almost closed... so the pressure would still be enough to find your leak....

also yes, the pressure would drop to zero after the compressor turns off.... as per my first sentence
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post #12 of 83 (permalink) Old March 31st, 2004, 11:21
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Beautiful idea Bryan!
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post #13 of 83 (permalink) Old March 31st, 2004, 16:57
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Question... is this just to check for boost pressure leaks, or does this test oil seals as well. I just received a replacement CT-26, but have no idea how well it works. This would save me some test money if I can cover everything with this one DIY.

You are the man, Shoeless one.



Bah... I figured out my own question. This is a great DIY, tho... and I plan to use this once I piece my system back together...

Last edited by GrafX Munk-E; April 3rd, 2004 at 14:16.
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post #14 of 83 (permalink) Old April 1st, 2004, 00:02
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I just built one to soon test the turbo plumbing on my Starlet. I just used a 3" long exhuast pipe and welded a plate onto the end and installed a valve from a tire. It was the cost of the welding wire basically.
post #15 of 83 (permalink) Old April 1st, 2004, 11:48
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my dsm buddy use this to test boost leak... and it works like wonder... im just too lazy to go make me one...
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post #16 of 83 (permalink) Old April 2nd, 2004, 01:42
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post #17 of 83 (permalink) Old April 4th, 2004, 21:51
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I built up one of these to pressure test my prototype inlet manifold on the weekend. It worked perfectly until at 1 bar of pressure, it popped off the inlet pipe flew past my left ear and wrapped the air line around my neck - I wasn't sure whether to laugh hysterically or have a heart attack

Moral - Don't use these things at high pressure unless you got a nice ridge for the hose to lock onto....
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post #18 of 83 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2004, 14:44
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Ben, don't know if you want a lip on your manifold or not, but I have used JB Weld to add a lip to pipes in a pinch. Worked well for me. Just add a fairly thin lip of it around the pipe, near the end. I figured it was not likely to be a very even bead, so I used a thin layer of permatex ultra copper right before I put the hose on, to make it seal well. That might make it a real pain to get the hose off later though...
-Adrian
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post #19 of 83 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2004, 20:58
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anypone made this for the ct26 yet? What diameter pipe/tubing did u use? ALso, what is the black rubber around the plug?

mark
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post #20 of 83 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2004, 23:19
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DSM guys have been doing this since the beginning of time. I made one of these around a year ago to test for leaks, you can also use a valve stem from a tire if you dont have the appropriate attachment for the one in the pic
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