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Stuck Waste-gate. How to free it up?

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Anyone had experience of freeing up a stuck waste-gate?

How delicate do I need to be, can I free it with a hammer?

Once freed up, what lubrication should I use to prevent/delay it sticking again? I know with the location of the waste-gates that you probably will never stop it seizing up in the long term.



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I won't recommend wacking it with a hammer other than as a last resort.

I think the safest way would be to detach the rod from the wastegate flap. The push a long Philips screwdriver through the hole on the rod and try to lever it out, using a chassis rail or something solid to pivot the screwdriver on. That way you can apply pressure progressively. Problem is I'm not sure you'll find something to lever it against in the right direction (away from the capsule).

Another option is it to disconnect the hose going to the wastegate at the joint between the red hose and the rubber hose. Take a tyre inflator and fit the small air bed adaptor which usually comes with the inflator to it. Then turn on the inflator and very gently push the adaptor into the rubber hose to the wastegate. The key is not to make a complete seal but let some of the air from the inflator escape so you can regulate the pressure. Otherwise the inflator will quickly overpressurise the wastegate and blow the diaphram. I've done this before and it usually pops around 50psi. But of course it is risky!

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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Usually it's the left-hand turbo wastegate that seizes.

I free mine off with a screw driver levering against the body of the turbo. Access is easy, you don't even have to jack the car. Sometimes it takes a few efforts both opening and closing the wastegate, but eventually, things spring back into life.

I use WD40 to ease things.

The left-hand side wastegate is exposed whereas the right-hand side one is inward and hence is probably protected.

I have to free mine about every six weeks or so (I use my car daily). I know there is a problem because the engine misses on sustained high rpm. Inspection invariably reveals a LH wastegate stuck in the closed position. It's not a good idea to ignore the missing because it's an engine cut off in response to too high a boost.

I am always wary about using a hammer in case something fractures; a (hefty) screwdriver is better for the blood pressure.

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I would lightly use a hammer then clean it very well. I constantly spray mine with WD-40. But then again, I do tend to screw (adjust the movement range) of mine nearly shut anyways, and that is a bit like whackinging the top of the piston with a hammer also (but wow, it makes for one fast car)

Seriously, disconnest the adjustment rod (marking its place carefully) spray with WD-40 FROM THE OUTSIDE & give it a little tap or two. that will likely free it up. Then spray it from time to time and manually move it threw its range. I do this and I have never had a problem with 4 V8's and over 60k miles in total. Goog luck.

Oh, if its the right side, You will have a hard time getting that rod back on (not much room) I always grind the end down - & no issuses.

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  • Gold FFM

Ohh good, as i see that picture -an other note is: one car (or exactly my..) got an 'overboost' code , but i wondered why !? There was an rattling noise from under the engine and the wastegate lever was stuck [doe to rust] in the nearly closed position (OK, that was normal for the 918). The ECM had tried to regulate but could not do anything, simply as the connecting rod from the actuator was fallen off. The little clip onto the wastegate lever can rust apart quickly and is gone after some years in the dirt (you say it all ->typically on LH!).

I used the clips from some old brake pad repair kits (was an brembo caliper kit for an light truck..) , alternatively you can use an piece of wire, an bend nail or simply an split pin with the right dimension for that little hole in the lever arm.. And of course, even the smal clips for RC-model car bodys do have that right size ;-))


to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..


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That's what usually happens although occasionally, the little devils seize solid and that's a turbo-off job. Depending on how much you use your car, it's advisable to check periodically but as I said in a previous post, all can be dealt with without having to raise the rear of the car.

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