Turbo Install Errors Which Lead to Premature Failure

Jeffman

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Jan 7, 2017
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EDIT: The turbos in the other thread I was reading were “eBay Chinese turbos”. They were not from a respected company. Updated below. But I think it would still be useful to list the install errors can cause premature turbo failure.
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I was just reading another thread about how a member’s upgraded turbos failed after just 3000km. I immediately suspected installer error, but have no proof. So I’m asking people to report any first-hand knowledge, evidence, experimental data, etc. of turbos prematurely failing because of an installation error.

(Part of my interest in this topic is that I’m thinking about installing my own upgraded turbos when my stockers fail, and want to avoid making any dumb mistakes and having to do it all over again.)

Thanks in advance for your contributions.
 
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langsbr

Captain
Apr 5, 2017
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Kinked oil drain hose.

Neil

Not just kinked, but even clogged could do it.

Also, Doug at frankenturbo showed some interesting stuff regarding PCV and positive crankcase pressure effects on turbo draining. He had back to back videos that showed poor draining with positive crankcase pressure. I guess he could be making it all up to get out of warranty work, but isn't easier to just be a shitbag like Mauricio and deny warranty or make someone sign an NDA?
 

langsbr

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I think other than issues with oil drains and PCV problems, it's hard to quantify a turbo failure solely as install error. For instance, I installed my MMPs at the same time a friend did, our logs were pretty much the same, except I went further and did higher boost and ethanol, while he stayed conservative and on pump gas. Mine have been fine, but his grenaded - I'm talking EXPLODED to the point of high CHRA you want to come thru the turbine housing? Sure.

Granted these are MMPs so one set could be fine, another set will explode.

For all the "smokers" though, I wonder if those are primarily oil drain issues. Just make sure when you upgrade, you do it right. Clean the drain lines or replace them. New o-rings, etc.
 
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Blaster3500

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Nov 5, 2016
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I have a hard to buying into install errors or PCV problems. I am sure there are a few here and there, but I think vendors use this as a crutch to get out of warranty repairs/ product issues. At first I was skeptical of RB's failure stats, but it is going on well over a year without anyone coming forward. Also you don't hear of OE replacements failing within short order.
 
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JimboFresh206

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Jan 29, 2018
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Pretty hard to screw up, but priming the turbo with oil and cleaning them out before installing is always a good idea. I found metal shaving in a turbo from Comp once. Luckily I inspected it first.


My Borgwarner turbine housing had sand/sugar in it straight from the factory, if i had'nt needed to port it to match a t4 footprint i would have been a sad panda lol.
 

Torgus

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Nov 6, 2016
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I have a hard to buying into install errors or PCV problems. I am sure there are a few here and there, but I think vendors use this as a crutch to get out of warranty repairs/ product issues. At first I was skeptical of RB's failure stats, but it is going on well over a year without anyone coming forward. Also you don't hear of OE replacements failing within short order.

This. Either RB and Pure don't sell any turbos or they actually make a quality product. You get what you pay for, like most things in life.

"Our turbos don't smoke"
"It's your PCV system"
"Your valves seals in your head are bad."

Strange my exhaust did not smoke before I installed your turbos. I will go rebuild my head now. <--I think they know you likely cannot afford having a shop pull and rebuild the head and reinstall. Otherwise you would have bought a single turbo if you had the extra $$$ sitting around vs. buying twins for 1/2 the cost.

I bet they love it when a customer tells them they did the install themselves. Instant: your fault you messed something up response.

What is best is the twin manufacturers giving you little to no support if you make it public on social media or the forums or demand you sign an NDA(which is 100% unenforceable mind you).

Other than a kinked oil drain there is not many errors you can make. If you have the mechanical aptitude to remove the sub-frame & stock twins you should be able to reinstall them just fine with no issues.
 

fmorelli

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Other than a kinked oil drain there is not many errors you can make. If you have the mechanical aptitude to remove the sub-frame & stock twins you should be able to reinstall them just fine with no issues.
I love your unbridled optimism. You should really spend more time on the Facebook forums and check back in lol

Filippo
 

JuniorB

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Another for instance...I’ve taken turbos off equipment, but not a twin setup, organization and cleanliness are number 1! This dam motor is all aluminum, you know what happens to aluminum over time.. I cleaned every thread, never seize all bolts, and use the proper torque specs. This is with every job you do when your doing your own work, pay attention, and keep records, clean, and or replace necessary hardware, and always use new O-Rings. Nothing like going to start an engine and wonder if you remembered you done everything.....
 
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fmorelli

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I cleaned every thread, never seize all bolts, and use the proper torque specs.
I have been a big user of Wurth anti-seize. @barry@3DM convinced me that anaerobic thread lockers are generally a better choice. They provide good anti-corrosive isolation, while providing the typical locking capabilities. Just choose appropriate ones. I have purple, blue, and red on the shelf.

This is a good article which encapsulates the lecture @barry@3DM gave me ;)

Filippo
 

Torgus

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I love your unbridled optimism. You should really spend more time on the Facebook forums and check back in lol

Filippo

You make a good point. I always forget about Facebook and the idiots on there.
 

langsbr

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what a coincidence - I found this today in one of the industry trade mags. Not a performance oriented magazine, but focused on repairs. Note the 3rd column. Maybe Doug isn't on crack.

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