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3 turbos blown -need help


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Was driving car on highway when I got a check engine light them blew turbo maybe a minute later. After researching figured it was the banjo bolt (had no idea about this). Sent to mechanic with a turbo and he replaced. Picked it up and after a few drives had a radiator hose leak which my mechanic then fixed. Picked it up again and drove it 90 miles and about mile 85 whining, loss of power, and boom goes the turbo. I take a look and the hose that went from the top of the turbo to the reservoir was pinched (he used a short hose). When I parked the car it all of a sudden blew a hose off the radiator and cracked the nipple right off. So I figured it was blocking flow and it over heated the turbo and over pressurized the coolant system.

 

So I send it back to him with another turbo, a new radiator, and new hoses. He installs everything for free (although I still had to pay parts). I pick it up again and drive 90 miles. On mile 85, loss of power, whining, and boom goes the turbo.

 

He said he checked the oil flow and that the radiator fluid was flowing. He indicated a head gasket. So I got a tester and confirmed it was not.

 

I have no idea what to check or how to check it. Should I get an oil pressure gauge and try to t it into the turbo to see what the turbo is getting? Could it be something with the exhaust?

 

The thing that is throwing me way off is that it works perfectly for an hour and some on the highway and then goes. If it was an oil issue or coolant, wouldn't this happen sooner?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Some background, I did a timing belt and water pump a few thousand miles ago as well as a new cat and exhaust system, plugs, etc. He also did an oil change when he replaced the first turbo but not the second.

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When you say the turbo went boom, you mean the turbo bearing ate itself and there's a ton of shaft play??? Usually that sounds like a dentists drill and ability to make boost is completely gone. If this is the case, you have a ton of bearing material floating around in your oil and the entire engine is likely on borrowed time. Sorry for the bad news.

 

Also, go to a better mechanic that knows Subarus.

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You need a new motor and turbo. The 1st turbo likely sent bearing material through the engine and the damaged was done. Now that your on turbo, 2 and 3 failure, there is no saving the motor. Internally the engine looks like a glitter bomb. Even if you clean out the engine, it is only matter of time before the engine develops an bearing knock.'

 

You have to plan the next steps for the car. Is the car worth saving? Do you plan on keeping the car long term? Do you have the money to pay for a engine and labor? (This is going to easily exceed the cars value if you pay a mechanic.) Do you just sell it as is and broken?

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Sorry to say but if your mechanic didn’t remove the banjo bolt filters prior to new turbo install he didn’t do you any favors. When Subaru was going through this after these cars came out they all had the same issue-blown turbos cause the filters were clogged and never replaced, only the turbo. Finally SOA issued a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) to remove the banjo bolt filters completely. I had similar issues with mine while it was in the shop and I had to get a new motor since something was causing a partial blockage somewhere (oil pressure was too high and blew turbos). My turbo never grenaded but it was def on its way out. I had a P0011 DTC come up with the cruise flashing (cam 1 advanced timing or something). As dgoodhue said you’ll need a new short block among other things. Check out the blown turbo wiki https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/turbo-failure-wiki-173358.html Edited by SoobyDoobyDoo
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Thanks everyone. I'm mostly trying to figure out why the turbo isn't lasting. The first one there was a ton of shaft play on the chra and the fins were messed up. The second there was a loud whine and then when it was taken off, a little shaft play but it looked like it was perfectly fine. The third was making noise but then stopped. There isn't any noise now but I couldn't make it up a hill going faster than 15mph while limping it home. I don't know what to do with this thing. I'm sure carmax would take it for next to nothing. Anyone have any success parting these out? I just put a ton of money into parts.

 

The banjo bolts were replaced the first time as well as the oil lines and coolant lines. This guy supposedly knows subarus.

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Were the replacement turbos genuine OEM VF40s?

This. There’s a lot of cheap crap knock offs out there. First turbo rebuild on mine didn’t last 20 miles. It was test driven by the shop after replacement then I didn’t get 5 miles before I had a ticking sound and limped it back to the shop. Was there anything else replaced? Was the motor flushed? Chances are there may still have been bearing material circulating that chewed up the bearing. It doesn’t take much to take it out since the tolerances are so tight. When mine was on its way out it sounded like an ambulance or fire truck siren with any throttle input, even before boost. What were your oil change intervals and how many miles on the car? My bearing had about 1/8” play on the shaft.

 

You’ll probably have more success here or Nabisco than Carmax. They’d probably give you a few hundred. Someone may buy it as a roller for a project.

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It was actually expensive American made, machine balanced chras both times. I read a lot about the bad stuff out there so made sure to buy quality.

 

I am thinking the previous owner didn't take care of it at all. Definetly bought a dud. I am currently at a carmax seeing what they will do. I am very disappointed in this. Bought for 3500 and put about 2k into it (and a ton of my own man hours). Thing was beautiful only to last me about 10k miles. Live and learn I guess. Just wish I would have done a little research before the turbo went. I bet the banjos had never been replaced on this thing. Probably could have lasted a lot longer.

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I am currently at a carmax seeing what they will do.

 

We have already told you it needs a new motor. Don't be that guy who passes the repair bill to unsuspecting next owner. We see this happen all the time on this forum. You are screwing over the next dealer or owner. None of them are setup to fix you car and they are going to take loss on it or a lot heartache if the dealer puts a new turbo in and the owner blows another turbo or motor on the way home.

 

Put it on forsale this forum, craigslist, facebook, and/or Nasioc. Listing it as needing turbo. This car needs to get into the hand of someone who is mechanically inclined. It might a be a good candidate for EJ20X/Y swap.

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I'm not going to be "that guy". I brought it to carmax and they offered me 1000 with the turbo issue (I both told them and you could obviously hear/feel/see the issue). I would leave it up to them to "do the right thing". I actually got screwed like this on a volvo I bought one time where a dealer taped a waterproof material around a steering rack leak and about 3 months after I bought it it came off and I had to spend 2k on a 6k car to replace the rack.. I am not trying to put that kind of karma out in the world. But for 1000 bucks I figure I'm just gonna replace the turbo myself and drive it till the engine goes and then just part it out best I can and trailer it to the scrap yard (they gave me 250 last time I did that). Can easily make more than a 1000 and have a car to drive for a bit longer.

 

Still need to figure out why the last turbo went though. Just gonna take it apart and see what I can figure out. I probably should have just done it myself the first time using this forum/YouTube to educate me a bit but didn't want to get that involved in such an important part. Oh well.

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Still need to figure out why the last turbo went though. Just gonna take it apart and see what I can figure out. I probably should have just done it myself the first time using this forum/YouTube to educate me a bit but didn't want to get that involved in such an important part. Oh well.

 

You have metal circulating around in your engine. If you want to confirm it. Drain your oil and look at it, I would be very shocked if it didn't have small metal flakes. You can put the oil back into the oil as probably not worth put fresh oil back in. If you want to take an extra step, use a coffee filter (or something like that) to filter the metal out when you pour it back in. (It will take a while to filter)

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