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  #1  
Old 09-21-2009, 04:30 PM
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Should I rebuild my turbo or replace?

After tracing an oil leak I've decided the turbo is the culprit. After removing the intake hose between the air box and turbo I struck oil! the intake side is apparently leaking oil. I can only guess the seal is bad after 400,000 miles (Jeeze you'd think they could make them more durable, its ONLY half a million miles!)
I'm considering rebuilding the turbo myself and after some research I've seen mixed opinions. Is this a DIY job? What special tools do I need? Will it need to be balanced afterward? Any guesses at cost? Whats the meaning of life? Any info is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2009, 04:52 PM
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Someone should chime in that has more experience. I have seen places that will rebuild them for $300.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2009, 04:59 PM
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Rebuild not me,almost like an mini jet engine,turns over 10000 rpms,just as easy to get one from the junk yard.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2009, 07:48 PM
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What You Want is called a "Cartridge"

It's both the Wheels on the new shaft with new Bearing(s)/Bushing.
You just R+R the Housing on either end.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2009, 08:42 PM
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Rebuilding a turbocharger is not a DIY job.

Remember that if your turbo blows up due to an improper rebuild, all that metal shrapnel gets ingested into the engine, damaging the cylinder walls, valves, and valve seats in the process.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:07 PM
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If you found the oil in the tube between the airbox and the turbo i would be very surprised if the turbo was the culprit. More likely it is blowby oil collecting in there.The turbo at that point is taking air in and pushing it into the intake manifold if the cold side seal was leaking the oil should end up in the intake manifold.Try cleaning up the oil and relocate the tube from the valve cover to the air cleaner so it blows overboard temporarily.Be sure to plug the opening in the air intake so dirt does not get sucked in.Drive the car a while and see if oil shows up in the airbox to turbo again,my guess is that it will not,your turbo may be fine. Don
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:17 PM
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I agree that the oil would be leaking after the intake hose, My reason for thinking its the turbo is that there IS oil in the intake (its coated with it) and that I found the oil with a cold engine, my thinking is that the oil ran down after being blown towards the intake and pooled around the compressor. The hose from the PCV valve didn't appear to be oily.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2009, 09:54 AM
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When the seals in a turbo are going bad, usually the symptom is a LARGE plume of blue smoke on startup that lasts a few seconds and then goes away.

The reason for this is that when you park the car at night, oil will be seeping past the bad seals and into the compressor housing. Once you start the motor the next morning, the impeller wheel blows all that sitting oil into the intake of your motor and you burn it off over the next few seconds.

If you don't have a huge cloud of blue smoke on cold startup, your turbo seals are likely just fine.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2009, 08:51 PM
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Well I wouldn't call it a HUGE cloud that I get every morning. Only large enough that I can't see the neighbor's house for a few minutes till it clears.
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2009, 09:05 PM
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So despite all advice against it I ordered the rebuild kit and started tearing into it last weekend. All in all it wasn't that bad, the rebuild took about 8 hours and afterward I turned'er over and the turbo didn't 'splode! The oil leak is gone and the idle has calmed down now that the engine isn't being force fed its own oil.
So after my expierience I would have to say that rebuilding a turbo (as long as there's no damge just worn parts) is absolutely a DIYable job. I didn't need any special tools or supplies and the rebuild kit was only $100.

That said I do have a few tips for anyone thinking about a rebuild.
  • Keep everything clean
  • Keep track of parts and fasteners, you're going to be disassembling quite a large chunck of your engine compartment.
  • Make absolutley sure you get the right rebuild kit. Do not trust any refrence book. When I ordered my kit the company was 100% sure that every single 300sdl ever built had "seal A" mine had "seal B"... Read the turbo number of the turbo housing and go off that number only.
  • Remember that most of the garret turbos in our cars have reverse threads on the main shaft. You don't want to snap it in two turning it the wrong way!
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  #11  
Old 10-29-2009, 10:58 PM
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Well done.

I'm thinking about doing a rebuild also. May I ask where you got the kit ?
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2009, 11:05 PM
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You can get a kit for about $70.00. Look at Garrets web site and find a distributor in your area.

Take your time and take pics as you go...It is not that difficult. I have rebuilt many turbos over the years and never had one blow up.

I completely disassembled my new turbo T3/T4OE to paint with high temp paint, no problem and I run a maximum of 23 lbs. of boost
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2009, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupin..the..3rd View Post
When the seals in a turbo are going bad, usually the symptom is a LARGE plume of blue smoke on startup that lasts a few seconds and then goes away.

The reason for this is that when you park the car at night, oil will be seeping past the bad seals and into the compressor housing. Once you start the motor the next morning, the impeller wheel blows all that sitting oil into the intake of your motor and you burn it off over the next few seconds.

If you don't have a huge cloud of blue smoke on cold startup, your turbo seals are likely just fine.
All of the above is factually incorrect.

When the turbo seals are bad.........oil leaks past the seals in significant quantities while the turbo has oil pressure and into either the intake or the exhaust.

Any oil that seeps into the intake overnight, or at idle, will pool at the outlet of the turbo...........not enough airflow to move the oil up into the cylinders.

However, once you open the rack and increase airflow...........watch for massive clouds of white oil smoke that will slowly cleanup as the vehicle starts moving. What's actually occurring is additional dissipation due to the vehicle speed combined with less oil per revolution due to the higher engine speed.
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2009, 01:14 AM
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I got my kit from G-pop Shop. They're a certified garret distributor and they were very helpful with the whole process. They helped explain the kit, which to get, how severe the job would be, and were quick to answer the phone to answer my numerous "which way does this doo-dad go?" questions
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djustin973 View Post
I got my kit from G-pop Shop. They're a certified garret distributor and they were very helpful with the whole process. They helped explain the kit, which to get, how severe the job would be, and were quick to answer the phone to answer my numerous "which way does this doo-dad go?" questions
I shipped my turbo to those guys last summer to have them rebuild it. They also filled a hole/crack in the housing... it was a tiny crack but it went all the way through. Can't complain about the job they did. This was the turbo on the 300SDL -- they did say that "this is such a strange one, we've never seen another one like it" but they figured it out -- mine has the KKK version. Check I wrote them for the crack repair plus the rebuild and return shipping was $455.00
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