Driver side header is leaking, what is the typical power loss?

MyBoosta

More Boost = More Love!
I have a header leak on the driver side. I can hear it when the car idles while warming up, when driving down the road when I mash the gas. When I'm under the hood it sounds like a ticking/spit sound, I thought it was the rockers, but nah...they are all nice and tight. It's driving me nuts because I can't see any obvious spots, but I do heat it.

Now, could the leak be located behind the heat shield? You experienced TR owners how much performance is this leak causing me? I mean, it is not a huge leak, but I can hear something when I stand over the quater panel while the hood is up. I can really hear something when I cruise especially when I hit the gas.

Here is my gut feeling, and please tell me if I'm On or Off: Can this leak cause false knock? Does it rob major power? Does it screw up my tuning? Would I still see 16psi on the gauge eventhough I have a leak? If so, would my car make MORE boost after the headers are fixed or replaced? :confused:

It dyno 246/308 despite going a little lean (12.8 to 13.1) and having the leak present; should I expect more? I ordered a TT chip and will be conducting a "super tune" over the Xmas holiday. The car have about 27k original miles and it's pretty much stock (ATR dual exhaust, homemade CAI, Dutt neck, test pipe and T+ w/EX chip...chip is about 2yrs old)...everything else is stock. Autolites 24, new MSD wires and six quarts of 10w30 Mobil 1 oil will be going in this weekend.

Thanks.:cool:
 

fitz3820

Active Member
I have a header leak on the driver side. ... Can this leak cause false knock? Does it rob major power? Does it screw up my tuning? Would I still see 16psi on the gauge eventhough I have a leak? If so, would my car make MORE boost after the headers are fixed or replaced? :confused:

Yes, you will have decreased performance, your systems in no longer a closed loop from your MAF to your O2 sensor.

If you know it is leaking, why don't you just get it fixed? Jack Cotton fixed my header leak 8 years and 50k miles and ~100 passes ago and it is still fine.
 

salvageV6

Daily Driver
If the hole is that small where you can't find it or traces of soot, or by the sound, then I doubt it's gonna have that much of an effect.

However if you hear it that loudly during cruise it should be fixed anyway.

Take it off and get it welded up. It's not that big a project.

If the car spools to the set boost in a reasonable amount of time it won't affect performance assuming the chip can still adjust the fueling properly.

What scan tools are you going to use to tune the TT chip, scanmaster I hope at a minimum?

I think the extender chips work the best for the translator systems, why are you changing your out?
 

bosted86

Member
i just located a small leak at my cross over pipe on the driver side and it was robbing serious power. my blms were off and my turbo was only spooling to about 15 lbs with the boost control all the way in. i fixed it and the diffrence is night and day.
 

Quiky One

Active Member
Spoolup is going to suffer greatly and your MAF could read wrong. Or atleast mine did which caused a bunch of knock.

Jason
 

John Wilde

I'm getting too old for this $#!%
Staff member
Mine is leaking on the driver side too :mad: > I will do the swap over vacation and I will report back.
 

MyBoosta

More Boost = More Love!
Wow. That explains for some of my little weak performance here and there. Allow me to answer your questions:

Fitz3820, Initially I wasn't sure that it was a header leak (I was sort of lost, thinking that a 27k mile GN couldn't possibly have cracked headers). And as I listen to it more and more, I realized that it is those freaggin' headers. I am in the process of seeking for some one with TIG welding experience to do the job.

SalvageV6: I can hear it when the car is running. I asked my wife to tap on the gas on a few occasions to trace it; I kept hearing it but NOT seeing it. A couple of guys suggested that it could be behind the shield. Trust me, there is something leaking because I can surely hear it a little while cruising and for sure when I hit the gas heavily, and that's with the radio on. I am changing the chip because I purchased the vehicle with the current chip, and I don't know what all went on when that chip was made. So, I am getting a new one for the set up I know I HAVE. Besides, that Extender chip seems to be set up to run "lean". LET ME ask you this, Why do I have to tune for the TT chip? I thought you just plug in, adjust fuel pressure and go. I am new at this GN stuff, please explain.

You know what is weird guys, the car can rip the tires (215/65/15):) the second boost comes on but then it seems a little flat once rolling. I find myself playing with the T+ just about every time I go out for a drive. Why? bacause sometimes it reads lean on the gauge and sometimes is fine (no lean yellow lights on the knock gauge).

Like Bosted86 and Quikyone stated, I could be getting false knock through the block and thus jacking up my A/F and timing, specially when the hole expands due to heat. This sucks because now I have to redo all the adjustments I made with the T+. Hey, who knows, maybe after getting it all fixed, installing fresh tune parts and the TT chip, things will be a okay like in the case of Bosted86. It would be really cool if I can improve on that 246/308 dyno pull by at least some 30 additional horses and torque!

Thanks.:)
 

BlackBandit

God loves Buicks!
If you're constantly playing with fuel settings you might want to check and make sure the fuel system (pump, regulator, ect.) is in good condition. Also, an exhaust leak before the o2 sensor will cause the ECM to think that you are running lean because it will suck air into the exhaust. The o2 sensor will read the extra 02 and the ECM will try and compensate by adding fuel. This will cause slow spoolup and a loss of power.

As far as tuning with a chip goes the TT chip has some adjustable peramiters like timing and fuel so you can fine tune it to your car. They are excellent chips. HTH james
 

MyBoosta

More Boost = More Love!
If you're constantly playing with fuel settings you might want to check and make sure the fuel system (pump, regulator, ect.) is in good condition. Also, an exhaust leak before the o2 sensor will cause the ECM to think that you are running lean because it will suck air into the exhaust. The o2 sensor will read the extra 02 and the ECM will try and compensate by adding fuel. This will cause slow spoolup and a loss of power.

As far as tuning with a chip goes the TT chip has some adjustable peramiters like timing and fuel so you can fine tune it to your car. They are excellent chips. HTH james

Thanks for the your input Mr. BlackBandit. Yes, I am always jacking with that T+ and now I see why. Like I said, this GN dealio is totally new to me but I'm a quick learner.

As far as the TT chip adjusments parameters, Eric said that his new version chips (5.6) are compatible with the T+. So, are you also saying that I can go ahead and adjust my fuel (Base/WOT) and spark (Base?WOT) and play with fuel pressure after with the TT chip like as with the Extender chip correct?:smile:

Thanks:D
 

BASS

Member
You can definitely have a crack behind the shield, I do :mad: . I had the first crack between the arms and had that welded a few years back, and now I just noticed another huge crack right behind the shield, and its the only other thing left that must be causing knock problems with my car..:mad:
 

TURBOELKY

Well-Known Member
You can definitely have a crack behind the shield, I do :mad: . I had the first crack between the arms and had that welded a few years back, and now I just noticed another huge crack right behind the shield, and its the only other thing left that must be causing knock problems with my car..:mad:

whats new?:rolleyes:
 

BlackBandit

God loves Buicks!
I don't have a T+, just a T and I haven't used Erics new chips. The one I have I've had for a while but my understanding is you can use the t+ to adjust base and WOT fuel and spark and then use the TT chip to further adjust the WOT fuel and 1/2, 3/4 timing respectively. Make sure you have no exhaust leaks and no vacuum leaks. Even little ones will mess things up. HTH james
 
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