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Oil in turbo hot side - Now I have 2 successfully split :]


overrun
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I bought a cheap Rev 3 Turbo MR2 on Wednesday, it has been standing for over 5 years and it is burning oil. It smokes on idle (greyish) and also when you raise the revs when not under load (smoke increases).
AFAIK it doesn't do it under load.

It boosts fine. It is running the standard 12psi (or whatever it is) and still has its cat and original intercooler and feels about right for 245ps.

It is a sub 50K mile car and was imported in 2006. In ten years it hasn't even covered 10k miles, because of this, it was part exed at a local garage and then I saw it.

The garage advertised it as not being the turbo at fault, but I believed it was.
They said they had checked it, but they can have only looked at the cold side, given that until now, the downpipe and cat etc have never been touched since it was built.

I checked the cold side, intake and intercooler pipes etc and thet only had a very fine mist, as expected due to the breather system.
Checked breathers and PCV, compression tested it (perfect on all 4) and then pulled the downpipe/cat off and found this;

20161014_193600_zps0gvbmpgb.jpg
20161014_193612_zpsmtc1hupf.jpg

As I expected/hoped to see. So new/rebuilt turbo time, right?

What has me confused is there is very very minimal side to side and zero in and out play in the turbine side or compressor side wheels, but, even if the oil was coming from hardened valve stem oil seals say, it still shouldn't be getting past the turbo seals to burn in the exhaust.
Plus, I always thought that a few revs at idle would balance the shaft and stop the smoke, if seals were at fault?

So can it only be fucked seals, blocked drain or unrestricted feed overcoming the seals?
My money is the same as at the start, turbo seals.

What say you, oily brains of the beige interwebs?

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Double check things like breathers, blockages downstream of the turbo, and blockages in the oil return line.

 

Turbos generally seal by the pressure in the end housings being higher than in the bearing housing, at idle the pressure in the turbine housing is quite low so any increase in pressure in the bearing housing from a blocked drain etc will make the oil whang out at a fair old rate.

 

Raising the revs when not under load doesn't make any boost, if it doesn't smoke when on boost I'd say your turbo is fine, especially as no shaft play, and the problem lies elsewhere in the oil or exhaust system.

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How much is a s/h turbo or rebuild ?

I'm not really sure. It could cost nothing to find out.

It is a CT20B unit and I have my own car to hand with the same VGC turbo fitted, but don't really fancy stripping it and trying bits on the new one.

 

At a guess, 200 quid for a serviceable second hand unit. £400ish for a rebuild.

Or sub 100 if I DIY replace the seals.

 

I also have the CT27 from my old Rev 2 engine sat here and that would bolt on. It may be sufficient for testing (again, free, but a ball ache), as it never smoked.

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Double check things like breathers, blockages downstream of the turbo, and blockages in the oil return line.

Turbos generally seal by the pressure in the end housings being higher than in the bearing housing, at idle the pressure in the turbine housing is quite low so any increase in pressure in the bearing housing from a blocked drain etc will make the oil whang out at a fair old rate.

Raising the revs when not under load doesn't make any boost, if it doesn't smoke when on boost I'd say your turbo is fine, especially as no shaft play, and the problem lies elsewhere in the oil or exhaust system.

I plan to check the feed and drain. Hopefully there's an old sock or summat in the drain!

 

Seriously, though I think I was too eager to tear into it. I should have followed it and looked for smoke myself.

When I brought it back I enlisted me dad to come with and I day insured the 2.

It was raining, so a lot of spray from the tyres etc. That didn't help my rear view mirror #SmokeWatch observations, and me dad doesn't notice much at times. Lol.

 

It smokes a little on idle, but once you apply revs but it is still in vacuum, the Tuning by VW TDi Dept smoke show begins.

 

If there is a dead horse or something in the drain, that would explain the oil backing up and overcoming the seals, then.

 

What about if feed and drain prove to be fine, where would you lot look next?

I really don't want to take the head off, if I can avoid it!

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If the drain checks out I'd move onto the exhaust, ganked up cat, mouse nest in backbox, anything stopping the gases getting out.

 

It should be OK (if loud) to run it briefly with no d/p on but obviously it will be messy if its still leaking then.

 

As an aside, what sort of state are the turbo mounting bolts in? My Subaru is a similar vintage and the bolts all seem to have crumbled around the edge like they've gone brittle or summat, makes even getting the downpipe off a MASSIVE ARSEACHE.

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If the drain checks out I'd move onto the exhaust, ganked up cat, mouse nest in backbox, anything stopping the gases getting out.

It should be OK (if loud) to run it briefly with no d/p on but obviously it will be messy if its still leaking then.

As an aside, what sort of state are the turbo mounting bolts in? My Subaru is a similar vintage and the bolts all seem to have crumbled around the edge like they've gone brittle or summat, makes even getting the downpipe off a MASSIVE ARSEACHE.

It came with a twin exit Berk Departure on it but I have an unused HKS Hi Power and a 5Zigen Miracle Fireball here that have both been on my car, so I know they are fine.

The plan is to find a stock system if possible, but failing that it will probably get the HKS, so that will rule out the back boxes.

 

I do plan to run it without the DP on and see what is going on (watch your fingers lol).

 

The turbo mounting studs/nuts look fine, as do all fasteners tbh. Everything came off no problem, aside from snapping a heat shield bolt.

 

Accessing the turbo mounts, two of them at least, is a different story!

I don't want to remove the manifold if it can be helped, as on the Rev 2 at least, the flange warps and guarantees snapped outer studs.

Even without that on these later cars, it is still a world of potential pain, as you well know!

 

I can imagine what your turbo mounting nuts look like. No fun.

Do you need the turbo off yours, or is it just an observation?

 

Cheers for the help btw, mate. :-)

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Not turbo off (hopefully!) but it failed MOT on CO emissions and holes in the downpipe so swapping the downpipe.

 

3 of 5 bolts came off OK, one of the 2 that didn't is a stud and I had to cut it to get the dp off. Am currently trying to get the remains of the stud out so I can put it back together, have contemplated having to take the turbine housing off to get it drilled out but the turbo/uppipe bolts are in an even worse state.

 

Just wondered if its an age thing or a poor material choice by Subaru.

 

Anyway if you do end up wanting to refurb the turbo there are plenty of new centre sections on eBay from <£100 up, MikeKnight used one from a UK based good feedback seller on his Supra (CT25?) and I've not seen him post to say its exploded yet.

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Not turbo off (hopefully!) but it failed MOT on CO emissions and holes in the downpipe so swapping the downpipe.

3 of 5 bolts came off OK, one of the 2 that didn't is a stud and I had to cut it to get the dp off. Am currently trying to get the remains of the stud out so I can put it back together, have contemplated having to take the turbine housing off to get it drilled out but the turbo/uppipe bolts are in an even worse state.

Just wondered if its an age thing or a poor material choice by Subaru.

Anyway if you do end up wanting to refurb the turbo there are plenty of new centre sections on eBay from <£100 up, MikeKnight used one from a UK based good feedback seller on his Supra (CT25?) and I've not seen him post to say its exploded yet.

That sounds like a right mare! It is the likes of that which has always scared me off getting a Classic. Or any turbo Scooby tbh!

Reckon you can knock the stud remains out and then nut and bolt it?

 

As for poor fasteners, MR2's are bad for that. Even if the body itself fairs well.

 

I recently stripped mine for respray (took more off than a lot do and it is a fuck on, but a better job in the end) and this is how I had to remove the front end, so I didn't destroy my wings. Annoying when the car is rust free, bar the fasteners.

 

33kzk85.png

 

The mk3 Supra uses the CT26, so you were close lol.

I remember reading his thread, yeah. I might ask him who done it.

 

I did have a bit of a look on eBay late last night, but it was bringing up brand new CT20's for Hiluxes etc, so I got bored!

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I'm hoping to wind out the remains and put a new stud in, there is room to get a nut and bolt on, but not to get a drill in.

 

To be honest this is the only job I've really had major pain with, I did the clutch on my old one just before it got stolen and had the same carry on with the turbo to dp studs.

 

Anyway let us know how you get on, I'd like to see a video of the turbo running with no dp, but I suspect you'll be a bit busy trying not to get blinded/burnt/flailed etc. :)

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If it will wind up without snapping then you are laughing!

Good luck with it and I will keep an eye out to see how you fair.

 

I was gutted for you when your WRX wagon was nicked. It is like a double insult having to go through the DP palaver again!

 

I'll do my best to get a vid. I too am very curious about what it will be like lol.

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I whacked this back together with an old decat and have now fitted the spare HKS Hi Power that I had lying around.

When I first barked it up and gave it a bwaarp on the loud pedal, nowt untoward came outta me pipe (decat only fitted at this point).

 

About and hour later, I tried again;

 

http://vid974.photobucket.com/albums/ae221/l14mnp/Red%20Rev%203%20Turbo/20161015_195121_zpsqqjfsosq.mp4

 

Hmmmm :whatsappmonkeycoveringeyesemoji:

 

Anyway, the thought is to blez it on my insurance and tax it, SORN mine for winter and have a bit of a blat about in this. Do an engine flush and wave a magic wand and it will be fixed! A bit of use will do it the world of good (especially when oil burning issue is resolved).

 

Or, It is no bother to get back to the stage it was at, and then remove the turbo.

But I wanna catch a couple of folk and see what they make of the running conditions, along with my findings, so far.

 

It will also be beneficial to get it to the body shop etc as I intend on it having a full dip.

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So the smoke doesn't start until its been on idle for a minute?

 

I'd still be thinking oil drain, possibly oil pressure but its unlikely to be too high, does it have an oil pressure gauge?

 

Oil level OK, not too high?

 

If it all checks out then compression test if you've not done one, worn rings pressurising the crankcase could cause this but I'd still say its probably something more minor.

 

I had a go at my snapped stud with a stud extractor, it moved a bit then snapped off flush. I'll have one last attempt to weld something to it, if not I will be getting a 90 degree drill adaptor thing and drilling it out.

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So the smoke doesn't start until its been on idle for a minute?

 

I'd still be thinking oil drain, possibly oil pressure but its unlikely to be too high, does it have an oil pressure gauge?

 

Oil level OK, not too high?

 

If it all checks out then compression test if you've not done one, worn rings pressurising the crankcase could cause this but I'd still say its probably something more minor.

 

I had a go at my snapped stud with a stud extractor, it moved a bit then snapped off flush. I'll have one last attempt to weld something to it, if not I will be getting a 90 degree drill adaptor thing and drilling it out.

 

That's right, yeah. It seems as though it is once it has a little heat in it.

The oil level is fine, a bit low. No pressure gauge, but I guess I could temporarily rig one up. I did to the fuel supply in my DIY Volvo 360 Turbo, and that was helpful.

 

I did a compression test on it straight away, and I got 167, 165, 167 and 165psi so that seems fine. Although I need to borrow a home made tool from the MR2 guru that is Paul Woods.

A hollowed out spark plug with an airline fitting. Piston at TDC with valve shut, fill coolant neck to brim, pressurise with 50psi and if no bubbles, then HG is fine.

Then move onto the achilles heel of these engines (although one that has been run at standard boost should be OK), check to see if block is cracked.

Remove timing belt, valve shut, piston at bottom of stroke and then repeat the test.

 

It needs a belt kit anyway, as it has not had one since 2009.

 

Something minor would still be nice, though. I appreciate the ideas and suggestions. I will keep this thread up to date with the progress!

 

That's a shame that you got the stud moving and then it sheared off. Better luck with the welder! I bet you are sick as fuck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I stuck this back together, swapped the cover from my other MR2 turbo and took it for a drive, Friday.

When building boost, the turbo sounded like a steam train, and it was not pulling as hard as it should.

 

Maybe I noticed the sound unlike before, because I was running a decat, this time?

 

50 miles later (and days after, as I as good as forgot about the car) tonight I removed the turbo. This time there is noticeably more oil in the turbine side, around the WG and even evidence of a little in the compressor side. The feed and drain are fine and as expected, the exhaust manifold is oil free.

 

I am going to replace the seals and bearings and I expect that will sort it. :-)

 

20161025_213958_zpsejyc4xx3.jpg

20161025_214052_zpsed72etfp.jpg

20161025_214028_zpsburkq1dy.jpg

20161025_213916_zpsjsoatqko.jpg

 

20161025_213852_zpse9a3p03e.jpg

Screenshot_20161026-000050_zpsflgwa5en.p

 

Everything else look alright?

I have never had a turbo apart.

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Rings and that seem fine. No blowby, plugs aren't fouled, nowt in intake or exhaust manifiold and oil feed and return are clear. all breathers, catch can and PCV are clear.

It is odd, I grant you.

 

I only drove it for about 50 miles as it was fucking embarrassing!

The smoke show and oil stink from it hanging like a cloud of shame after I pulled away etc! Plus it has the side intake panels missing, due to removing the shitty side skirts and along with the wanky placca tyres, it doesn't instill confidence at the minute.

 

Maybe it standing for 5 years and then being barked up has paggered the seals? I say seals, but afaik the turbine side is more like a little piston ring?

Could be a load of carbon build up stopping the seal. Either way, no harm in bustin it open.

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If you've got a known good turbo to try I would recommend that before tearing into this one, just to rule out engine probs causing the leakage.

 

Looks OK in the pictures, comp wheel is a bit black though, would expect it a bit cleaner unless lots of mucky oil was going through the intake.

 

I would recommend getting a core if you can find one for a reasonable price, soz to be all "here be dragons" but they're balanced to a tight tolerance and will never go back exactly the same - will probably be fine, but could be explodey.

 

If you do strip it its simple enough, end housings off, mark the shaft and wheel with something that won't rub off, the impeller locknut is normally a left hand thread. Shouldn't need any special tools beyond some 12 point sockets and circlip pliers.

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When building boost, the turbo sounded like a steam train, and it was not pulling as hard as it should.

 

Maybe I noticed the sound unlike before, because I was running a decat, this time?

 

Just noticed this bit, the noise could be the compressor running in surge - indicative of a blockage somewhere in the intake.

 

Although it's pretty hard to diagnose noises from descriptions of course. :)

 

And regarding seals: yes, normally both sides are piston ring type seals - bearing housing temperatures can be 200°C+, not many rubber seals will stand up to that.

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I have never seen an aftermarket CHRA for these.Aside from having it refurbished by a company and/or upgrading the shaft and wheel to billet, there is little I can do.

 

Plan for now is to order a refurb kit (will do that now) mark the nut and shaft as you say, and if the shaft is in good order there is no reason it won't go back together, fine.

I appreciate what you are saying, though!

 

Any joy with that snapped stud, Dave?

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I have never seen an aftermarket CHRA for these.Aside from having it refurbished by a company and/or upgrading the shaft and wheel to billet, there is little I can do.

 

Plan for now is to order a refurb kit (will do that now) mark the nut and shaft as you say, and if the shaft is in good order there is no reason it won't go back together, fine.

I appreciate what you are saying, though!

 

Any joy with that snapped stud, Dave?

 

No. Welding onto the slightly below flush stud didn't work. At that point it was time to drill it out, what I actually did was just chuck it back together and hope it didn't blow.

 

It didn't seem to so I took it for retest.

 

 

It failed the emissions again, lambda 0.8, CO and HC through the roof. So it's running super rich.

 

I've just been up the garage and put a new lambda in and done 2 of the plugs, will get the other 2 in tomorrow and take it down again on Friday.

 

If it still fails on emissions I've got a couple of leads on those MOT places where the emissions probe accidentally slips into the wrong car sometimes. 

 

 

 

I'm sure rebuilding the turbo will be fine, many thousands have been done DIY with no problems, just thought a core might be an easier/safer option.

 

Take us some pictures of the inside when you get there.

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That's a shame about the stud, but I would have done the same thing, in the end. There is only so much pissing about that you can take, on the same subject.

It didn't leak though, so job's a good 'un!

 

Reckon you need a new lambda sensor? Or maybe not, if you can find 'another' way around it.

 

I will get pics. I am interested in seeing all of the unicorns and question marks that fall out. :-)

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