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Old 01-09-2023, 11:27 PM   #1
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DIY Boost Leak Tester

I know people do write ups all the time on forums about Boost Leak Testers, but they never really have part numbers and some even use bike pumps and tire valves (I prefer compressor fitting), fitting information, or how to use em....

So here it is. I bought these parts from my local Home Depot and posted how they fit up from left to right

Left most is the 1/4" air fitting, your most standard compressor fitting
(Item Number 989 743 - Husky1/4 in. NPTM Industrial Plug)

to 1/4" air adjust valve.
(Item Number 531 048 - Husky1/4 in. In-Line Air Adjustment Valve With Gauge)

Also there you can have also a 1/4" swivel lead in hose. This just makes life easier in hard to reach places and have about of agility for angles and stuff.
(Item Number 1006 966 667 - Husky 3/8 in. x 30 in. Hybrid Lead-In Hose). Reads 3/8 but really its 1/4" connections

Then that goes into 1/4" to 1/2" hex bushing
(Item Number #1003190921 - 1/2 in. x 1/4 in. Black Malleable Iron Bushing Fitting)

That 1/2" goes into a 2" pvc thread reducer bushing.
(Item Number #100343801 - DURA
2 in. x 1/2 in. Schedule 40 PVC Reducer Bushing)

Usually the 2" PVC outer diameter is a bit larger than 2" so you will need wrap the coupling with some duct tape and then use a 2 1/4" silicone coupling to whatever turbo inlet you have.

Get also a few hose clamps you have laying around to hold it together.

HOW TO USE: Basically for me, you do pressurize the system, but it never really holds compressed air. What you need to do is spray soapy water or listen or move your hand around your pipes to see air leaks or feel the air.

It shouldn't be egregious leaks like hold nothing, but if you pressurize to 20psi, it shouldn't leak more than like 2psi per second....

Let me know if you have had different experiences or correct if I am wrong

Pictures of the items below and how they fit


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Old 01-14-2023, 10:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider2828 View Post
I know people do write ups all the time on forums about Boost Leak Testers, but they never really have part numbers and some even use bike pumps and tire valves (I prefer compressor fitting), fitting information, or how to use em....

So here it is. I bought these parts from my local Home Depot and posted how they fit up from left to right

Left most is the 1/4" air fitting, your most standard compressor fitting
(Item Number 989 743 - Husky1/4 in. NPTM Industrial Plug)

to 1/4" air adjust valve.
(Item Number 531 048 - Husky1/4 in. In-Line Air Adjustment Valve With Gauge)

Also there you can have also a 1/4" swivel lead in hose. This just makes life easier in hard to reach places and have about of agility for angles and stuff.
(Item Number 1006 966 667 - Husky 3/8 in. x 30 in. Hybrid Lead-In Hose). Reads 3/8 but really its 1/4" connections

Then that goes into 1/4" to 1/2" hex bushing
(Item Number #1003190921 - 1/2 in. x 1/4 in. Black Malleable Iron Bushing Fitting)

That 1/2" goes into a 2" pvc thread reducer bushing.
(Item Number #100343801 - DURA
2 in. x 1/2 in. Schedule 40 PVC Reducer Bushing)

Usually the 2" PVC outer diameter is a bit larger than 2" so you will need wrap the coupling with some duct tape and then use a 2 1/4" silicone coupling to whatever turbo inlet you have.

Get also a few hose clamps you have laying around to hold it together.

HOW TO USE: Basically for me, you do pressurize the system, but it never really holds compressed air. What you need to do is spray soapy water or listen or move your hand around your pipes to see air leaks or feel the air.

It shouldn't be egregious leaks like hold nothing, but if you pressurize to 20psi, it shouldn't leak more than like 2psi per second....

Let me know if you have had different experiences or correct if I am wrong

Pictures of the items below and how they fit


hands down one of the most useful tools for any turbo engine owner!
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Old 01-16-2023, 01:40 AM   #3
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Hey thanks man, think I'll give this a try in the next couple of weeks for me and my friends
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Old 01-17-2023, 09:44 AM   #4
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Excellent work.

If you're over the top picky like me there's a brass version of that black iron bushing at HD

Item #207176802 Everbilt 1/2 in. MIP x 1/4 in. FIP Brass Bushing Fitting
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Old 01-17-2023, 07:16 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone! For me how to use was the most eye opening for me. Cause I was like is it supposed to hold pressure and all that stuff. But really just to check for fast leaks and really just major leaks....
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Old 01-18-2023, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Thanks everyone! For me how to use was the most eye opening for me. Cause I was like is it supposed to hold pressure and all that stuff. But really just to check for fast leaks and really just major leaks....
what happened to the old thread with using silicone as the caps?
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:18 AM   #7
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what happened to the old thread with using silicone as the caps?
I usually dont see model numbers and I wasnt sure where i would get a bike stem back then. Now I am sure i can get it on amazon but i just want the other parts numbers.
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:56 PM   #8
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Here is my boost leak pressure test video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1sb5Y1J068

I think once you see how the test is performed its easier to adapt any number of external devices to complete the test.
All forced induction vehicles NEED to be tested. It is absolutely the basic 101 of setting up any engine for boost.

Its crazy how many people overlook this simple test and suffer consequences of leaking energy without realizing it.
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:43 PM   #9
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I guess people aren't sure how to use it and how to simply construct a tool without drilling something..... Cool you used your boost controller to look at leakage and also remove the crank case breather to turbo, LOL. Wooops I didn't do this.....

Are you suppose to remove the PCV as well and cap it as well? My boost solenoid for my external waste also is completely open all the time too? That middle port....
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Old 01-21-2023, 03:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider2828 View Post
I guess people aren't sure how to use it and how to simply construct a tool without drilling something..... Cool you used your boost controller to look at leakage and also remove the crank case breather to turbo, LOL. Wooops I didn't do this.....

Are you suppose to remove the PCV as well and cap it as well? My boost solenoid for my external waste also is completely open all the time too? That middle port....
I'm trying to understand your questions because I need to see where my video could be improved.

1. I am not sure what you mean by boost controller. I used a boost gauge to look at boost pressure in the manifold. And There is a pressure gauge on the air compressor to look at pressure going into the turbo cover.
Where did you see a boost controller?

2. If you don't remove crankcase breather and put pressure into the crankcase it could blow out engine oil seals. It will also leak boost into crankcase which will find exits such as dipstick and weak gaskets creating more leaking while blowing out the seals. It would show up as a leak. The crankcase should be pressure tested separately and only to about 1psi or so to find leaks. You can use your mouth to blow into the crankcase then hold air inside it like a balloon for a simple fast easy test to see if it has any major leaks.

3. I did not cap the pcv. I only popped out the pcv valve to see if it was faulty. The pcv valve is a checkvalve. It should hold boost and prevent boost from leaking. But if they go bad it will leak boost out and show up as a leak. That is the point of the pressure test- finding leaks. So you need to know if the pcv valve is leaking or not. If you don't pull it out during the test you might not be able to tell if it is leaking from inside the intake and it will pressurize the crankcase, meaning you have to listen to the crankcase and check the crankcase for pressure as it will let you know the pcv valve is leaking into the crankcase since you did not remove it for the test.

4. Boost solenoid
1. put a filter on the open port, buy the 1/8" NPT or 1/8 NBPST or whatever it is called to screw into the solenoid so it does not accumulate trash.
2. It should not leak while the controller and engine is off. I've never had that problem. Maybe some types could leak but it is easy enough to block the hose with a bolt if needed.
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Old 01-22-2023, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider2828 View Post
I guess people aren't sure how to use it and how to simply construct a tool without drilling something..... Cool you used your boost controller to look at leakage and also remove the crank case breather to turbo, LOL. Wooops I didn't do this.....

Are you suppose to remove the PCV as well and cap it as well? My boost solenoid for my external waste also is completely open all the time too? That middle port....
Boost leak test MUST be done on with all crank case/valve cover vents removed from the intake/turbo inlet. (DO NOT pressurize your crank case that will lead to many more issues. This is the same for all engines.)
  1. Example for SR/RB using a MAF: connect the boost leak tester pre MAF (this checks for post MAF/pre turbo leaks + boost leaks post turbo).
  2. Example for SR/RB using MAP (speed density): Connect the boost leak tester to the turbo inlet.
  3. System should hold boost with only a VERY slow leak of 1-2psi over 3-5 seconds.

As mentioned doing a proper boost leak test is 101 for any turbo engine and one of the most overlooked miss understood processes around.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:20 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone! For me how to use was the most eye opening for me. Cause I was like is it supposed to hold pressure and all that stuff. But really just to check for fast leaks and really just major leaks....
haha i did mine like a month ago and me and my friend were like umm what wrong haha yes.
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Old Yesterday, 12:28 AM   #13
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It should hold pressure pretty good. See my video where it holds 22psi around that quite easily with very slow leaking.

leaking in turbo vehicles raises EGT, EGP, and IAT, it leads to engine damage and lost power. It is essential to stop all leaking. Not just small leaks.
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Old Yesterday, 11:00 AM   #14
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one thing people overlook is presure testing the exhaust sytem with boost leak tester as a leak pre turbo not only hurts spool up greatly and makes your car feel so much less performance but also is one of the most common reasons for lean idle/misfire at idle (intake side vacuum leak is most common)
if you have lean idle and it goes away when you give it any throttle and cant find a boost leak on intake side throw the tester on exhaust and see if you have pre o2 sensor leak. this was a issue i had where car misfires at idle and the fix was the manifold to turbo gasket.i was seeing 18+ afr at idle where it would begin to stumble.

the theory here is simple.at a certain duration your engine not only pushes out air but pulses from cam timing,if you have a leak pre o2 sensor each pulse every rotation will draw in fresh unmetered air before the o2 sensor,this causes the lean idle.as you rev up the engine your increasing the exhaut flow more and will see your lean condition go away.

it will look just like a vacuum leak since engines see the most vacuum at idle and less vacuum the more you open the throttle this also causes lean at idle and gets normal as you hit throttle since your drawing in more unmetered air past the o2 at idle and vacuum stabalizes the more you open that throttle.

i wanted to add this because the symptoms felt identical to a vacuum leak and it seems like somthing grossly overlooked to the point people think sr is supposed to idle lean,it should idle close to stoich (14.7 not 16-17 or more.)
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Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM   #15
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i recomend these balloon hand pump vacuum testers to have in your tool box for a quick way to test vacuum leaks from 1-4 inch piping (attachments isnt working so i have to link)

https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...t=0&ajaxserp=0


these balloon bladder vacuum testers are the fastest way to do a quick check.its basically a balloon with a tube in the middle so you can hand pump it inside your piping to seal it off then blow in the tube.i love these for a quick vacuum/exhaust leak tester.

(note this is just for a fast vacuum leak test,if you have boost leak you need to use the typical boost leak testers as the balloon vacuum tester will pop out once you add psi becaue its design)
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Old Yesterday, 01:27 PM   #16
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I always remove the narrowband, delete the O2 from the ECU and strictly run wideband and tune by wideband.

You can tell on the wideband based on how it acts whether there is any exhaust leaking.

That is, you can tell on GOOD widebands, like AEM's versions. The Innovative I can't use for shit, its awful, the ADC is the problem, as they both use the same sensor. I have customers that buy the innovative without asking me, then I tried to use it anyways, god #@(*@# terrible, they didn't know and it happens every so often.

Its a good idea to test for exhaust leaks but honestly, depending on the customization of the system, the placement of the O2 sensor and exhaust manifold gasket-mating is extremely important while the minor leaks at V-bands further down the system after the exhaust temp has cooled are negligible and almost impossible to fix without replacing the clamps or changing the hangers or angles of incidence on some cars. The wideband needs to be a few feet away from the turbine for EGT reasons but not much farther.
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