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After a small "Rallying" insident I noticed I had an exhaust leak at my downpipe/testpipe joint. Other than being really damn annoying I was wondering if it can hurt performance at all. I reasoned that if the leak is that far down the line it wouldn't really matter. Any ideas?

-JOHN
 

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A small leak will make little diffrence, other than be loud..

On a turbo car the higher flowing the exhaust, the better. This allows the turbo to spin up faster and helps at high rpms, so actually your exhaust leak is giving you a bit of performance.

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1992 Eagle Talon TSI
13.8 @ 105.3 mph AT
Being Converted to 5-spd



 

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This gave me an idea. Do people pressure test exhaust systems for leaks? If I started at the muffler and used an air compressor whould the reverse flow hurt my cat or anything?

Anyone?

Bill Norton
91 TsiAWD
98 TsiAWD
 

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Hmmm...... Not a good idea. The cat is designed to flow one way, but it shoudln't hurt it. The real problem might be the turbo spinning in reverse, with no lubrication. Exhaust leaks aren't important enough to do compression tests.

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1992 Eagle Talon TSI
13.8 @ 105.3 mph AT
Being Converted to 5-spd



 

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How would an exhaust leak at the manifold hurt performance?

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Jason Lipscomb
'92 Galant VR-4
#664/1000
 

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I had multiple 'small' leaks in my exhaust system, then had them fixed by welding them up. The car pulled a lot harder at high RPM. I think it's because leaks disturb the exhaust flow, disrupting the flow at high RPM levels. There wouldn't be any performance loss at low RPM though...

Leaks at the manifold would hurt performance. Since the leak is before the turbo, the exhaust gas that suppose to spin your turbo is escaping, causing slower spoolup.
 

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One way of determining exhaust leaks (with a normal exhaust set-up) is to listen carefully to your car under acceleration and/or boost while driving. If you hear exhaust noise coming from somewhere other than the rear of your car - maybe from your engine bay, under the car - you probably have an exhaust leak. Also, check that all flanges and gaskets are tightly sealed and bolted. Some common places for exhaust leaks is the manifold-to-turbo area and the downpipe connection.

Good luck,


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1993 Forest Talon AWD - modified

[This message has been edited by ForestTalonAWD (edited October 18, 2000).]
 
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