Case Studies - Tracking Down Boost Leaks

Welcome to Wasatch case studies, where today we will be tracking down boost leaks. Boost leaks can be one of the biggest problems to plague any truck or turbocharged application. When you have a boost leak, you are losing power and gas mileage, never a good combination.

The customer in question came into the shop complaining about a lack of power. His 2017 Ford F-350 is equipped with the 6.7 liter turbocharged power plant. Our customer had several modifications done to his truck as well, including EZLYNK and a variety of No Limit off-road parts.

How to track down Boost Leaks

Before you begin the work in our How To Case Studies guide, you'll need the right tools to find and locate boost leaks as they occur. What are case studies at WDP? Case Studies will be special blogs where we share tech tips, DIY articles and much more. So before you begin any kind of work, making sure you have a few tools can really make the difference. 

boost leaks

Here's a few things that we recommend.

  • Air compressor
  • Pressure Tester
  • Soapy water in spray bottle
  • Vacuum lines
  • Intercooler couplers

Finding Boost Leaks

Step 1 : Liberally spray soapy water with your engine on. Make sure to use extreme caution around your engine bay and especially your cooling fan when your engine is running. When you begin to spray your intercooler piping, your couplers and connections, you should be able to see your boost leak creating more bubbles.

Step 2 : Remove the offending intake piping and couplers. If you have found a leak, make sure to address it. As most boost leaks involve piping, loose couplers or something similar, most DIY jobs will be taken care of once you address these parts.

But what if you can't find your boost leaks? What if it's not the intercooler piping, the turbo couplers or a loose clamp? That's exactly what the issue was for our customer.

Investigating boost leaks

This particular customer had dealt with boost leaks long enough, so instead of trying to fix it on his own, he took it to the pros at Wasatch Diesel Performance. Our premier performance shop is geared with the services that are meant for your truck, with the highest level of customer service and satisfaction.

We began by taking apart all of the intercooler piping and pressure testing. Pressure testing allows you to make sure that there are no leaks in the couplers ( most common ) and nothing leaking from the piping itself.

Once you have the piping apart, and you have tested for boost leaks you can move on. In many cases, and this customer was one of them; intercooler couplings may not be the culprit. 

For this particular customer's boost leaks issue, we instead took apart the intake manifold and plenum. Removing the intake allowed us to pressure test the manifold and associated intake components.

After we identified the boost leaks at both the manifold as well as the up pipe not being completely bolted together, we had to remove the turbo assembly.

After a couple of hours, we had this customer's boost leak issue resolved and the truck and owner back on the road. Want to learn more about how turbochargers work, turbo trims, turbos vs superchargers or how to track down boost leaks?

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