03-19-2011, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: La Mirada, CA
Total Cats: 0
Mystery Vacuum Leak
I need some advice. Got a really rough idle with exhaust fumes that burn my eyes. Vacuum is reading about 8-10 inHg at 1000RPM, which is at least 50% of normal as I understand it. Prior to this it was running a solid 21 inHg at 1000.
It started a few weeks ago. I had been running a GT2860RS for about a month with a Hydra 2.5. No problems. Tune was conservative and limited to 5 psi until I could sort everything out. Coming home one night I ran the car up to 5 psi, not even over 4K rpm and i felt a stutter... came to a stop and the car dies. It restarted and ran rough at idle but at about 2K would come alive and make some really nice power. Idle was terrible and rich smelling, vacuum low, as stated. Boosted fine, though.
Thing is, I can't find the damn vacuum leak to save my life. I've used the "propane" bottle method, checked all the hoses, removed the intake manifold and throttle body and inspected the gaskets. Siliconed everything back together. Put new seals on the injectors. I've tried to eliminate every potentially bad vacuum hose by systematically removing it and plugging the IM, just to see what effect this might have. EGR is blocked off. I pinched the hose to the brake booster and PCV. Just to be sure I changed the plugs, which were wet when removed, and wires. Tested spark at the coils. Temporarily blocked off the IAT. I tested the compression and found it rock solid across all four cylinders.
I went so far as to reinstall the stock ECU to run the engine at idle. Same symptoms.
A few specs... 2001 engine, Hydra 2.5, GT2860RS, 3" exhaust, No MAF.
Any ideas? If I can't figure this out I'm gonna have to find a smoke machine or a mechanic who has one. It's got to be a big damn leak to cause a 50% loss of vacuum.
Does anyone know which component(s) might be most susceptible to ruptures under boost that could cause such a big vacuum leak? Something in the EVAP emissions system or the stock FPR? I've tried to eliminate that possibility, but who knows. Thanks for considering the problem...