RDR Intake Pressure Tester for a Turbo 3000GT or Stealth

These instructions apply to a 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, but are easily transferable to any year of turbocharged 3000GT or Dodge Stealth.

The Procedure

Gather Your Materials
  Here are the pipe couplers, the pipe, the NPT fitting, and the RTV sealant.


Cut PVC/ABS Pipe to Length
  You'll need about a 9" section of pipe. I trimmed mine down closer to 8", but anything 7" to 9" should work.


Drill a Hole in PVC/ABS Pipe
  Pick a spot in the middle of your pipe and drill a 1/2" ID hole in it. It doesn't have to be perfect, but try to get it straight. A drill press is nice if you have one.


Partially Thread NPT Fitting Into Pipe
  PVC/ABS is soft, metal is hard. Therefore, just shove the fitting into the hole and start turning. The metal fitting will cut its own threads in the plastic pipe and seal quite nicely.


[optional] Apply RTV Sealant to Fitting
  If you want to be extra sure you get a good seal, you can apply some RTV sealant to the threads and the base of the NPT fitting at this point. Just goop it on there before you fully seat the fitting.


Fully Tighten NPT Fitting
  Tighten that fitting down all the way with your 9/16" wrench. Once it stops, don't turn it much further since you don't want to damage the plastic pipe.


Slide Couplings Over Pipe Ends
  Slide the couplings over the ends of the pipe. Loosen the outer hose clamps (that will attach to the car's piping) and slightly tighten the inner clamps (so they don't fall off the pipe).


Allow RTV to Dry
  Technically, you should let it be for 24 hours. If you're in a hurry and are pretty sure you drilled a clean hole with your drill, then a couple hours should be sufficient.


Admire Your New Intake Pressure Tester
  A few minutes' work and $15 isn't that bad, is it?


Remove Your Air Filter and MAS
  Disconnect your air filter or OEM airbox lid and your MAS housing.


Remove OEM T-Pipe
  The pipe that the MAS housing attaches to is shaped like a "T" - it has an inlet for the MAS housing and two outlets, one for each turbo. You need to remove this pipe. There are two hose clamps, one on each end, for the pipes leading to the turbocharger compressor housing inlets - remove loosen these clamps. There is a hose clamp where the turbocharger bypass valve (BPV, or BOV) connects to the T-pipe; remove that, too. Finally, disconnect the breather hose on the underside of the T-pipe and it should just come right out.


Attach Pressure Tester
  Attach the hose couplings on your pressure tester to the two intake pipes that used to attach to the OEM T-pipe. Securely tighten the hose clamps on both the OEM pipes and the new PVC/ABS pipe on your pressure tester. You don't want that popping off around your garage. Now, connect your air hose to the NPT fitting on the pressure tester.


Slowly Pressurize Intake Piping
  Slowly open the valve on your air hose or increase the pressure setting on your regulator. Some noises from your rubber intercooler hoses stretching is normal. Listen for any hissing sounds from your engine bay - those are generally leaks.


Fix Any Leaks You Found
  Some rubber seals may need to be replaced, and some hose clamps may need to be tightened.


Pressurize Intake to 15psi
  15psi should be a good target to make sure you have no leaks, as that is the maximum boost most BPU cars run. If you run more boost than that, then test it up to that pressure, too.


  Overall, be careful while testing your intake system for leaks. Even at 10-15psi, a hose blowing off can have considerable force and cause injury to you or others. Always increase pressure slowly and check for any connections that seem insecure.


All this stuff is ©1999-2004 Erik Gross
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Last Modified Wed Mar 03 2004 17:27:03 PST