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Thread: 03 Astra Turbo

  1. #1
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    03 Astra Turbo

    Hey gang,

    I've had an 03 Astra Turbo for around 8 months now and I'm really enjoying it. Bought it stock standard (apart from a catback and a boost tee) and it really needed some TLC. The previous owner was a total knob and completely neglected the vehicle, instead putting in a full sik sub system (which i've ripped out) and horrid super cheap chromies (which i've always replaced). Car needed new rocker cover gaskets, new brakes and rotors, all filters, new spark plugs as it was misfiring, as well as the timing belt NEVER have being changed. Anyhow, it's running great and I've given it the TLC it needed.

    So far, I've given it

    TXAutosport FMIC
    Crossover delete with a K&N pod
    Oil Catch can
    Turbo Smart plumb back recirc valve
    boost gauge
    Tinted Angel-eye style headlights
    Debadged grill
    Lukey catback (came with car)
    Turbo Smart manual boost tee (came with car - it's useless as the ECU panics when boosted past stock)

    Probably more, but I don't remember.


    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Just have some questions for you guys and seek your knowledge.

    1) There is a strong burning oil smell after around 10mins or so or when the car gets to temperature. I've checked all gaskets and hoses and am at a loss as what it could be. It is so potent that when I park my car in front of the garage, you can smell it from inside the house. I've also checked the turbo as well as the intercooler for excessive oil build-up, and both remained fine. Car isn't blowing any smoke either. I'm at a complete loss.

    2) I have crazy amounts of "dose" when I release throttle. The noise was evident from the stock airbox when I bought the car, but the pod only makes it louder. It sounds chavvy and a bit wanky and I don't want to have to buy a BOV, as the general debate with other guys owning Astra's in the UK etc say that the cars run like crap with one attached. The original recirc valve had its diaphragm intact and was not split which I wouldve thought, and it has a new one now so it should be going back through the air intake and not sounding like a rattlesnake? I'm not sure.

    Thanks guys.
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    OpelAus Forum Addict chris_r's Avatar
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    I'm thinking with #2, it's the recirc valve. I get that a bit with the Corsa. Not that I think it's too much to worry about, but the Turbosmart recirc valve is designed as a general fit for the Borg Warner K0x and EFR series turbos, which are on a lot of cars like Corsa OPC/VXRs, just about all turbo Astras as well as the newer Ford Ecoboost engines in the Fiesta and Focus.

    Thing is, the Turbosmart recirc valve has one single spring to suit all applications up to 30 psi, after which you can get another spring for the most insane applications. The Forge recirc valve, that has been the most common valve for the K0x turbo for many years, uses springs that are more precise in their operating range. It usually comes with one spring that works on a standard Astra engine (9-10 psi) and another for upwards of 20 psi for tuned engines. They have another two springs available for higher boost applications.

    I think the Turbosmart recirc valve is more aimed at the Fiesta and Focus crowd (which run upwards of 18-21 psi stock, I believe), but that's not saying that it doesn't do a good job on a lower boost application like the Astra, which it does quite well.

    Problem with running a BOV, is that most forget you need to remove and block off the recirc valve. You also end up usually bypassing the rear boost control solenoid, located under the intake manifold and in most cases, and there's mixed feelings in regards to the effect of the RBCS bypass, some are good, some aren't.

    Honestly, there's nothing wrong with the RBCS system and the recirc system as it is now, you shouldn't have to fit a BOV, unless it's in a strict race application or you just want to look like a knob.
    2001 Opel Corsa C SRi: Z20LET EDS stage 3.5 173.9kW @ the wheels Build thread and here on FB: http://www.facebook.com/corsasriz20let
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm reverting back to the airbox as it is insanely noisy to the extent that it puts a VL Commo to shame. I've got a CDTI airbox that came with the crossover delete so I'll probably fit that soon. I suppose I was worried the first time hearing it as it was compressor surge or something. Trying to find good advice on the whole "flutter vs no flutter" debate on the internet is near impossible to reach any kind of conclusion. I'm mostly used to dealing with n/a cars than turbo (former 4AGE lover) so most of this is rather new to me.

    Still concerned mostly with #1 though :/

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    OpelAus Forum Addict chris_r's Avatar
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    The other thing is, an open pod will emphasise the flutter/dose, as does the crossover delete with less pipe to the turbo from the filter, as a result of there being less pipe to muffle the noise. The CDTi airbox should quieten it a bit, as well as minimising any heat soak.

    You're not losing/using oil by any chance? And with the smell, is it kind of egg-like at all?
    2001 Opel Corsa C SRi: Z20LET EDS stage 3.5 173.9kW @ the wheels Build thread and here on FB: http://www.facebook.com/corsasriz20let
    2014 Ford Transit 290S: 2.2L turbo diesel and 6 speed manual goodness. Dressed in corporate livery.
    1998 Opel Combo B: It has begun - Build thread and FB page

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    Nope, not a single leak to be found anywhere. Also, I think egg-like smells are the symptoms of a failing cat? So defs not that. It's a strong, burning oil smell. Definitely not fuel either. It doesn't seep into the cabin either, but can smell it when the aircon is on. Can definitely smell it with the windows down on idle. It has all my mechanic mates stumped too, to which they usually reply "it's normal for a turbo car to smell that way" or something because their sh*tbox Silvias do the same thing. Doing my bloody head in.

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    I got a strong burning rubber smell when i changed hose from thermostat housing to radiator, it lasted about 3 weeks after i fitted it but eventually went away. I hope for your sake thats all it is.

    Sent from my Boost View 5.0 using Tapatalk

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    check oil return on turbo. it can weep there straight onto exhaust and burn off instantly so won't drip on ground.
    04 Astra Sri - Silver - Full red leather interior - mk4 888 wheels - Star light roof lining - lowered - ice - exhaust - vxr brakes - quite a few other things.
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    Plastic bag melted on the exhaust?
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  9. #9
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    My car smells also Not coming from hoses as all have been replaced My mechanic will investigate end of next week
    May have spotted you few months back on Belmont rd

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