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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Troubleshooting - 30FF low boost (BAD WASTEGATE!)



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      06-04-2016, 05:29 PM   #1
nukezero
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Troubleshooting - 30FF low boost (BAD WASTEGATE!)

So I've been getting wastegate rattle and low boost. This just happened last week when temperatures got hotter. All stock 2009 335i, 124k miles, 1st owner, only mod is ER charge pipe-diverter type.

I've done all of the following:

1) Replace all vacuum hoses (rubber and cloth wrapped) with OEM hoses from the vacuum pump all the way to each turbo, and every T-connector.

2) Replace vacuum hoses at the diverter valves and off the intake manifold. Replace another 3.5mm vacuum hose off the brake booster.

3) Replaced one boost solenoid thinking it was the problem. Boost solenoids are T'd so if one fails, the other should pull vacuum to the other turbo, that's by design.

4) Measured vacuum at idle and it is 23in HG. Rev'd the engine a bit at idle and vacuum held fine. When engine is shut off, vacuum drops to about 15inHG and holds there steady for a long time.

5) Checked ER charge pipe. Seems A-OK. Tested both diverter valves and operated fine.

6) Noticed 1 tiny rupture opening in the intercooler joint and charge pipe elbow. See pic below, not sure if this is the culprit.

7) Have not done boost pressure test yet.

8) Massive wastegate rattle on every RPM decline, and wastegate clunking for 1/2 second when gasing it.


* I have reason to believe that it is either the turbo wastegates are worn out... or probably that intercooler joint is leaking. But I'm betting my money on the wastegates now since I've done all the troubleshooting I can. *

I'm taking the car to a shop next week and they'll be able to help me diagnose it more. The car does build some boost, I can tell, because when the CEL comes on, I seriously lost both turbos and feels like 328i.

Update on page 2

Last edited by nukezero; 06-22-2016 at 02:20 AM.
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      06-04-2016, 11:33 PM   #2
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So I bought a new turbo solenoid and I did the same test. To my surprise it bleeds down like the one on my desk. It did not hold a vac as strong as the one that's already in the car. So I assume that the one in the car was the bad one!

I've replaced the turbo solenoid thinking it would fix the boost leak and I'm still getting 30FF. This has not solved the problem.

I've:

1. replaced every single 3.5mm vacuum hose
2. replaced 1 turbo solenoid (doubt its the other one)
3. vac tested both solenoids
4. vac tested both solenoids when engine is on and got 25mmHG (removed the T)

I get massive wastegate rattle when the RPM drops each time. I'm now almost more convinced the oem turbos or wastegate are shot.
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      06-04-2016, 11:44 PM   #3
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Yup I'm in the same boat...replaced everything, smoke test, pressure test, and a rattle. Must he the wastegates!
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      06-05-2016, 01:50 AM   #4
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how many miles do you guys have?
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      06-05-2016, 03:12 AM   #5
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124,600 miles. Stock OEM turbos that are 7 years old. Maybe ITS really bad waste gates.

Vacuum is holding steady at 25mmHG. Idles great. Tonight (when its colder) the car seems to boost a little better, but when its hot, it definitely doesn't want to boost and 30FFs easier.

I'm gonna have the shop take a look at it. I'm tired of spending time on it now.
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      06-05-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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With those miles and stock turbos, I'd be surprised if it wasn't the wastegates. Just reach down and wiggle the rear one. You'll know pretty quick.
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      06-05-2016, 03:06 PM   #7
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Day 3 of troubleshooting my boost leak. I removed the ER charge pipe to check on it and to make sure the seal to the throttle body was good. In fact, I removed the ENTIRE throttle body and played with it on the bench with the ER charge pipe. I can say, the seal is perfect. It has a nice grip when the O-ring is inserted and also the ER pipe slides in smoothly when no O-ring. So there's this "notchy" feeling when you slide it with the O-ring. No issues with charge pipe I can see .

Then.. today I noticed the following where the stock OEM intercooler meets the stock charge piping going up to the ER charge pipe. Look at what I found! Could this be the source of my 30FF boost leak?
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      06-05-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukezero View Post
Day 3 of troubleshooting my boost leak. I removed the ER charge pipe to check on it and to make sure the seal to the throttle body was good. In fact, I removed the ENTIRE throttle body and played with it on the bench with the ER charge pipe. I can say, the seal is perfect. It has a nice grip when the O-ring is inserted and also the ER pipe slides in smoothly when no O-ring. So there's this "notchy" feeling when you slide it with the O-ring. No issues with charge pipe I can see .

Then.. today I noticed the following where the stock OEM intercooler meets the stock charge piping going up to the ER charge pipe. Look at what I found! Could this be the source of my 30FF boost leak?
Yes. Mine leaked there and where the lower charge pipe met the elbow. Try some rtv on the clip fitting and tighten all clamps.
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      06-05-2016, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yournamehere90 View Post
Yes. Mine leaked there and where the lower charge pipe met the elbow. Try some rtv on the clip fitting and tighten all clamps.
Did your car throw 30FF consistently when you get on it (3rd gear WOT)?
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      06-05-2016, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukezero View Post
Did your car throw 30FF consistently when you get on it (3rd gear WOT)?
It still does, but it's improved. The wastegates are trash though.
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      06-05-2016, 09:50 PM   #11
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So when all this 30FF happened, I noticed my exhaust got LOUDER. I have a stock OEM 335i exhaust all the way back. The exhaust definitely got louder when my low boost 30FF happened. Also, I have massive wastegate rattle everytime when RPM drops and it "clanks" for 1/2 second when I gas on it too. See the video below. Everything seems to have happened in the same week.

Is it possible now that the wastegates/bushing are worn out now and it can't hold the wastegate closed. Does an open wastegate cause the exhaust note to get throatier/louder? (It seems like I have a BMW PE exhaust


My wastegate rattling video:
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      06-06-2016, 06:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukezero View Post
So when all this 30FF happened, I noticed my exhaust got LOUDER. I have a stock OEM 335i exhaust all the way back. The exhaust definitely got louder when my low boost 30FF happened. Also, I have massive wastegate rattle everytime when RPM drops and it "clanks" for 1/2 second when I gas on it too. See the video below. Everything seems to have happened in the same week.

Is it possible now that the wastegates/bushing are worn out now and it can't hold the wastegate closed. Does an open wastegate cause the exhaust note to get throatier/louder? (It seems like I have a BMW PE exhaust


My wastegate rattling video:
I think any research is a waste of time at this point. 99% chance it's because of those wastegates. Yes, it will get louder because when 30FF comes up the DME says "fuck it I quit" and opens the wastegates, allowing exhaust to pass through without going through the turbine and naturally it will be louder.
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      06-06-2016, 12:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yournamehere90 View Post
I think any research is a waste of time at this point. 99% chance it's because of those wastegates. Yes, it will get louder because when 30FF comes up the DME says "fuck it I quit" and opens the wastegates, allowing exhaust to pass through without going through the turbine and naturally it will be louder.

yeah, i'm done investigating. I did all I can. going to the shop Thursday for the bad news. I'm sticking with OEM turbos though. They lasted me 124k miles, and I haven't come across any other turbos that can last that long.
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      06-07-2016, 10:01 AM   #14
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Same boat here at 51,000 miles but tuned since 5,000 miles. I suspect my intercooler piping is also trashed. I'll have to disassemble and check.

I've done everything else like the OP with the exception of checking the intercooler connectors.

I am throwing 30FF when the car is hot. When it is cold, no problems at all.
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      06-07-2016, 10:28 PM   #15
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If you're only at 51,000 miles and I'm at 124,000 miles, and I read a guy made it to 200,000 miles on stock turbos, then to me it seems like the turbos/wastegates are not determined by miles, rather by age.

You and I both are 2008/2009 model years. That's 7/8 years. But you have way less than half the miles I got.

Also, my new job is just 6 miles from my work. I suspect this short-trip does a bad number on my car given that the engine/oil temp never reach 200F by the time I get to work. The turbos are probably barely coming up to temp.
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      06-07-2016, 10:54 PM   #16
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For the 30ff adjust the rod on the wastegate actuators. Make it shorter in order for the vacuum to completely close the wastegates at less than 8hg, like 7hg. factory is 8 to 8,5hg but the actuators are weaken. For turbo #1 I could not do it with out removing the waterpump and sway bar. Some say is possible but I could not. This will help with 30ff if no leaks are present which most likely is not the case. For the rattle itself installing springs on the rod and then attaching it to the chassis seem to be the only cheap solution.
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      06-08-2016, 04:55 PM   #17
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when I pulled on the actuator rod by hand back and forth, it seemed like the rod was still okay. There is no play of looseness. But I suspect what from I've seen in the youtube videos is that, when the wastegate rod is pulled closed, the wastegate disc starts to go open elliptically again.

See the video at 2:45 of somebody else's turbos. I believe this is what's happening to my wastegate disc.

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      06-08-2016, 06:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukezero View Post
So when all this 30FF happened, I noticed my exhaust got LOUDER. I have a stock OEM 335i exhaust all the way back. The exhaust definitely got louder when my low boost 30FF happened. Also, I have massive wastegate rattle everytime when RPM drops and it "clanks" for 1/2 second when I gas on it too. See the video below. Everything seems to have happened in the same week.

Is it possible now that the wastegates/bushing are worn out now and it can't hold the wastegate closed. Does an open wastegate cause the exhaust note to get throatier/louder? (It seems like I have a BMW PE exhaust


My wastegate rattling video:
The exhaust is louder with open wastegates by a noticeable amount. I remember back in the day running "N/A MODE" which was open wastegates. Exhaust was way louder and sounded awesome

Definitely get some RTV on that lower CP hole but I think you have more going on with the turbo/WG side of things.
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      06-08-2016, 07:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@TopGearSolutions View Post
The exhaust is louder with open wastegates by a noticeable amount. I remember back in the day running "N/A MODE" which was open wastegates. Exhaust was way louder and sounded awesome

Definitely get some RTV on that lower CP hole but I think you have more going on with the turbo/WG side of things.

Hell yeah, I agree with you. my car is now running super loud exhaust and it sounds amazing I tell you! I almost feel like the car should've came stock like this with M-sport package. There's a nice drone from 1000rpm all the way up to 4000rpm. This is now happening whether the limp mode is on or off. So I bet the wastegates are shot.

Oh, i am running in NA mode and it feels sooo slow. Feels even slower than a stock e90 328i.
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      06-08-2016, 07:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukezero View Post
Hell yeah, I agree with you. my car is now running super loud exhaust and it sounds amazing I tell you! I almost feel like the car should've came stock like this with M-sport package. There's a nice drone from 1000rpm all the way up to 4000rpm. This is now happening whether the limp mode is on or off. So I bet the wastegates are shot.

Oh, i am running in NA mode and it feels sooo slow. Feels even slower than a stock e90 328i.
I think at some point or another we estimated NA made to be around 200 hp
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      06-08-2016, 09:03 PM   #21
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After a week of living with limp mode, it appears to me that a 335i can run heathy-ly on reduced power mode (turbo wastegates opened). Albeit, if one were to drive the car to the ground, the turbos are likely to go first again but the engine should just keep on trucking. That is of course, the turbos are stuck with the wastegates always closed
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      06-20-2016, 12:53 PM   #22
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Any news on this from the shop visit? Curious to see if they found anything with a proper smoke test or if the waste gates are the actual problem.
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