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Duramax First Generation: 2001-2004 (LB7) Discuss the first generation (2001-2004 LB7) of the 6.6L Duramax diesel engine & associated components. Engine related discussion ONLY.

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Old 08-11-2009, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
BornReady6.5
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How to:Homemade IC pressure tester

Since my truck was experencing boost codes and low boost I figured it was time to check my intercooler tubes for the famous rub hole. Here is a very simply tool I made to pressurize the intercooler and tubes. After a very difficult session on a creeper and using flashlight and mirrors, I was still not convinced I could check it accuratly. So I devised a plan to be able to cheaply and without a doubt see if I had a boost leak. I searched for some timed to see if this has been done before and came up empty handed. Hopefully, you find this easy to do. Total build time was approx. 30min. and I was lucky because I didnt have to make a run to the hardware store...I had everything laying around the shop.

Things you'll need:

2-1 1/2" PVC ball valves.
2-1 1/2" PVC caps.
1-pressure gauge.
1-valve stem from a truck rim.
Plumbers primer and cement.
11mm deep socket and ratchet.

I used the ball valves because the trucks blue intercooler hoses from the turbo fit tightly and snug. Plus, I had them laying around. I am sure there are other options, but you get the idea.

Next, I drilled a hole in one of the caps and tapped it for my pressure gauge. I only had a 100psi gauge, but it worked ok. I only pressurized the system to 15psi, just enough to see if the needle would drop. I will eventually replace the gauge with a 0-20psi soon. You also want to use some sealant on the gauge threads.

I then glued this cap to one end on one of the ball valves. One side is done.

Then, take the the other ball valve and drill a hole in it to install your valve stem. I used a step bit and kept trying it until it popped in very tightly, just like in a car rim. I didnt use any sealant because it was a perfect fit...just a little spit to help it pop in. Then glue the cap on one end of the other valve.

Next, undo the clamps at the turbo and install the valves like in the pictures.

You must get the clamps tight, so you dont get a ball valve missle in your forehead. Plus, most importantly, you dont need a lot of air pressure. 10-15psi is plenty. Use extreem caution here and dont get carried away. I am not responsible for you loosing an eye, or denting your hood. Pretend you are airing up a little bicycle tire and use small, short burst of air. I cant stress this enough.

After I aired mine up to 15psi. I let it sit for 20-30 min. and used soap and water in a spray bottle to check for leaks and watch the gauge to see if it drops any. Works great!

Hopefully someone can use this to easily find a leak in their IC or tubes. Common places are on the drivers side by the power steering hoses. But take time to check the corners of the IC itself. If someones already done this, then disregard this post. If not, then maybe the mods would like to put it in the "do it yourself" section.

Have fun, and let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 08-12-2009, 01:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
MBDmax
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Gm has a fancy kit with all of the fancy adaptors to do exactly what you did except it cost $X000s more than yours. I will add the GM spec for this is to apply 30 psi and then the psi drop should not drop more than 5 psi in 15 sec. I watched them use it when they found the defective weld on my 04's intercooler.

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Old 08-12-2009, 01:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
TNRGreene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornReady6.5 View Post
Since my truck was experencing boost codes and low boost I figured it was time to check my intercooler tubes for the famous rub hole. Here is a very simply tool I made to pressurize the intercooler and tubes. After a very difficult session on a creeper and using flashlight and mirrors, I was still not convinced I could check it accuratly. So I devised a plan to be able to cheaply and without a doubt see if I had a boost leak. I searched for some timed to see if this has been done before and came up empty handed. Hopefully, you find this easy to do. Total build time was approx. 30min. and I was lucky because I didnt have to make a run to the hardware store...I had everything laying around the shop.

Things you'll need:

2-1 1/2" PVC ball valves.
2-1 1/2" PVC caps.
1-pressure gauge.
1-valve stem from a truck rim.
Plumbers primer and cement.
11mm deep socket and ratchet.

I used the ball valves because the trucks blue intercooler hoses from the turbo fit tightly and snug. Plus, I had them laying around. I am sure there are other options, but you get the idea.

Next, I drilled a hole in one of the caps and tapped it for my pressure gauge. I only had a 100psi gauge, but it worked ok. I only pressurized the system to 15psi, just enough to see if the needle would drop. I will eventually replace the gauge with a 0-20psi soon. You also want to use some sealant on the gauge threads.

I then glued this cap to one end on one of the ball valves. One side is done.

Then, take the the other ball valve and drill a hole in it to install your valve stem. I used a step bit and kept trying it until it popped in very tightly, just like in a car rim. I didnt use any sealant because it was a perfect fit...just a little spit to help it pop in. Then glue the cap on one end of the other valve.

Next, undo the clamps at the turbo and install the valves like in the pictures.

You must get the clamps tight, so you dont get a ball valve missle in your forehead. Plus, most importantly, you dont need a lot of air pressure. 10-15psi is plenty. Use extreem caution here and dont get carried away. I am not responsible for you loosing an eye, or denting your hood. Pretend you are airing up a little bicycle tire and use small, short burst of air. I cant stress this enough.

After I aired mine up to 15psi. I let it sit for 20-30 min. and used soap and water in a spray bottle to check for leaks and watch the gauge to see if it drops any. Works great!

Hopefully someone can use this to easily find a leak in their IC or tubes. Common places are on the drivers side by the power steering hoses. But take time to check the corners of the IC itself. If someones already done this, then disregard this post. If not, then maybe the mods would like to put it in the "do it yourself" section.

Have fun, and let me know if you have any questions.
About 20psi the clamp will not hold the boot on the PVC. You will have a heavy projectile. Good thing my IC was in the bed of the truck, It flew about 20' into the grass
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