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Old 02-02-2014, 10:55 AM
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Turbo Damage: Is There Anything Salvageable?

My truck was not running right, and the turbo was making noises so I decided to pull it out for an inspection and cleaning. After spending a day trying to get a damaged rear mounting bolt out, I finally got the turbo cracked open, and did NOT like what I found.

1. the turbine wheel looks like someone has taken bites out of the fins.

2. The unison ring was frozen to the housing with rust or deposits.

3. the vanes were all at least heavily scored. a few actually had holes burned through them!



The only two bits of good news was that the unison ring did not appear to be cracked, and the main shaft does not seem to have any play in it.

So, I'm assuming that if the turbo got hot enough to burn holes in the vanes, it probably also damaged any o-ring in the works.

So my questions are:
1. Does it sound like there is any hope that a professional shop could rebuild this? Or would there be so many parts needed that I would be better off buying a new one?

2. Is there any way I can remove the VGT Control Valve and bench-test it? I know those suckers alone run a couple hundred dollars, and I don't think new turbo's come with them, right?
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:02 PM
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I can't really answer your questions but I can be the first to say
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:35 PM
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Yeah that doesn't look good at all!
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:46 PM
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That's not good! Hard to tell exactly what happened but either you had vane to turbine wheel contact... or you had a foreign object go through your turbo... or you melted the wheel from too high of egts.


Your vanes are toast. Also your turbine housing is also toast unless you plan on going with a bigger turbine wheel. It is hard to say if the rest of the turbo is any good. A lot of times you get contact like that because the bearing housing, unison ring, and vanes were worn out.

Most shops would not take that as a core. The vanes are really hard to come by. If they have to buy u a core then they sometimes charge more.


IMO it would be best to buy a used turbo ($250-350) or buy a powermax (they don't require cores). The pmax will come with a new solenoid.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:52 PM
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But I could be wrong. If a shop has extra parts they might hook u up


Me personally... I have a hard time with vanes because they r damaged on 50% of the turbos I get
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:10 PM
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The thing is not is it repairable but is it worth it the parts individually are kinda exspensive, a rebuilder buys parts a gross at a time so parts are cheaper for him.

Even in the fleet we useually sent to a rebuilder even tho we useually had 50 deadlined trucks for parts. It was just cheaper time wise.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:17 PM
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I have seen that exact situation numerous times. Honestly? I do not know exactly how that happens.

I have seen several turbos with the 3 little plate bolts back out, sheer off and cause damage like that....but it is quite obvious when that happens. I have also seen turbos that look the same way but no damage found anywhere else. All I can assume is the truck got overheated and the turbine melted from high EGTs. \

I think in a stock turbo situation it is very unlikely that the vanes could contact the turbine wheel. It would be rare that the VGT under driving conditions would open all the way and even if it did I don't see how it would ever be designed so that it could come in contact with the turbine. Now if you are running a larger turbine than stock, then yes I would imagine overlooking vane position could hurt.

That turbo is basically junk, you are better off either buying a new one or a good used one. The parts of your turbo that are not salavagble are the hardest to get.

EDIT

Lets talk about some VGT theory here. Is the unison ring still frozen to the center housing in the first pic? If so that looks to be vanes all the way closed. Did the truck make any boost at all?

Last edited by sinner6.0L; 02-02-2014 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:38 PM
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It is much more likely with a bigger turbine but also possible with stock turbine wheels. It can happen when there is slop/slack in the vanes, unison ring, and bearing housing. It cause the vanes to open and close farther that designed. This can cause vane to turbine contact.


Half of the vanes I throw away would look fine to the typical person. But if you look closely the tops of the vanes where they go into the unison ring you can see them worn out. Along with the slots in the unison ring being worn out.

Not saying that is what happened for sure... but I have seen it many times and have researched the subject thoroughly
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:04 PM
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Yeah I have seen lots of vane tabs worn flat but the pics above do not show that. It just seems like with a stock sized turbine it would be very hard for the turbine to contact a vane. I'll have to look again at some parts I have laying around.

Would you say that the actual holes in the vanes speak of heat damage?
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:24 PM
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The holes in the vanes definitely look like heat damage. They seem melted. I know this truck has been overheated in the past. It seems like the previous owner ran the heck out of this truck. I've replaced the heads, egr delete. The three turbine bolts are still in place.

And yes, the unison ring in the first picture is still stuck on at that point.

I've been doing some searching, and I have seen a couple of turbos listed for sale used, but I'm just squeamish about buying a used one. How would I know that it doesn't have the same issues.

So, if I buttoned this back up, and sent it to a shop as a core, they would probably reject it as not being rebuildable eh?

Oh, and yes, I think the turbo was still building some boost. At least the gages thought so.
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