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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Some months ago while cleaning out throttle bottle of my 1.9 jtdm I saw some oil in the pipes indicating the turbo is leaking.

Last weekend I removed the turbo air inlet pipe and confirmed also there was some oil.
Checked the shaft and there is play, both radial and axial, but not enough that the vanes of the turbo are hitting the housing.

So good time to replace the turbo, preferable only the core to safe costs.

Got a couple of questions:

1. What’s the best method, take exhaust manifold and turbo out as 1 and then replace core on the bench or remove core while on the car?
2. When searching the forum I found suggestions to also replace the oil feed pipe, why is that?
3. What’s the best method to ensure the new turbo has enough oil when just installed / started?
4. I serviced the car 14000 km ago, do I also need to replace the oil when installing new turbo? Oil degradation sensor says it’s around 80%.

Hopefully you can help with your turbo experience!

Thank you in advance.

89 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So I managed to replace the turbo core and it’s been running fine for couple of weeks now.

I made some time to write down the steps that I performed and a couple of pictures.
Not sure if this is the right way, I’m not a mechanic, but it worked for me at least.

It turned out that the easiest is to take the exhaust manifold and turbo out as 1 and to replace the core on the bench.

I did not replaced the oil feed pipe or oil drain pipe since I took great care not to damage/stress them and I did not see any visual damages.

The steps needed to ensure the turbo is not lacking oil when it is just installed/started was given in the instructions that came with the turbo core:
- Prime the turbo with oil and turn by hand so it is well lubricated.
- When the car is first started with the new turbo core make sure you have oil pressure, light must go out, if not this would indicate a possible leak and this can damage the turbo core.
- Run it at fast idle to ensure the oil pump kicks in fast so it starts pumping oil through the lines again and protects the bearings of the turbo.

I did not replace the oil, oil degradation sensor was indicating that the oil was still fine.

It took me around 1 day to replace the turbo core.

I made sure that every bolt/nut was soaked with WD40 before I started undoing it.
The car was jacked up on the front left side.
Some parts of the pictures are marked red since they are mentioned in the steps below.

These are the steps that I did:

Step 1: Remove hose that runs from mass air flow sensor to turbo.

Step 2: Remove heat shield, 3 bolts, 3 nuts, wrench size 10 [Picture 1].

Step 3: Remove hose that runs from intercooler to turbo [Picture 2].

Step 4: Undo 3 nuts of the catalytic converter, wrench size 12 [Picture 3].
Undo 2 nuts of exhaust bracket, wrench size 13
Disconnect lambda sensor, connector is near the oil dipstick at the top side of the engine, guide the wire back down to lambda sensor.

Step 5: Undo the nut of the brass clamp which connects the catalytic converter to the turbo exhaust side, best to use spark plug socket (due to long threat of clamp) size 5/8” (Size 16) [Picture 4].

Step 6: Remove long bolt that connects the bracket of the catalytic converter to the car [Picture 5].
Now you can safely lower the catalytic converter to remove it, make sure not to drop it since it can damage the lambda sensor.

Step 7: Undo 2 nuts at turbo oil drain pipe side, wrench size 10 [Picture 6].
Undo 2 nuts at oil carter side, wrench size 13 [Picture 6].
Remove pipe, make sure not to bend it any way! If there is any damage, replace it.
Disconnect flexible vacuum rubber pipe that connects to turbo actuator at the bottom side [Picture 3/6].
Undo nut of turbo oil feed pipe, wrench size 13 [Picture 6].

Step 8: Undo 2 allen bolts of flexible pipe (that goes eventually to EGR valve) at the top right side of exhaust manifold, allen key size 6 [Picture 7].
Undo 1 allen bolt of brass clamp which is on the other end of the short flexible pipe, allen key size 6. Remove flexible pipe.

Step 9: Undo 8 bolts of exhaust manifold, wrench size 12.
Now you can safely lower the exhaust manifold including turbo to remove it [Picture 8].
Put it on a work bench for the following steps.

Step 10: Undo spring clip of VNT actuator [Picture 9].
Undo 3 bolts of the VNT actuator bracket, wrench size 10, and carefully remove the VNT actuator.

Step 11: Remove 3 remaining bolts of exhaust side of the turbo, wrench size 10.
Gently remove turbo from exhaust manifold, best to do this while turbo is at the top side and exhaust manifold at the bottom side so that parts of the vane control mechanism (the large outer ring + 3 rolling bearings) do not fall out of the exhaust manifold [Picture 10].
Inspect the exhaust manifold part for scratches, if so it’s an indications that the turbo fan blades where hitting the sides. In that case it’s better to replace the whole turbo.

Step 12: Undo 5 bolts of the turbo inlet side, wrench size 7 [Picture 11].
Here you can see that in my case the inlet side bearing seal was leaking.
Also inspect the aluminum inlet part for scratches.

Step 13: First a picture of my new turbo cartridge [Picture 12]
Next notice the VNT arm actuator is limited by a locked screw [Picture 13].
Measure the distance between the turbo housing and VNT arm when it’s against the locked screw with a feeler gauge [Picture 14]. Mine was 1.7mm
Transfer this distance on the new turbo cartridge, make sure to lock the screw/nut, I used additionally Loctite.

The rest is the reverse order, couple of notes:
-I cleaned turbo, especially the exhaust side to ensure the VNT mechanism does not sticks, you can remove the large ring + 3 roller bearings as long as you remember its position (make a picture). It can be also fiddly to get the VNT arm at turbo side to fit in the recess of the large ring.
-I used new seal on exhaust side of turbo, turbo oil drain pipe and exhaust manifold.
-The manual that came with the turbo cartridge says the turbo should be primed with oil before putting it back and spin it by hand, which I did. I put oil on the oil inlet and outlet and spin it by hand so it’s not starving of oil when the engine is started [Picture 15].
-I cleaned the turbo parts to ensure there is no blockage due to dirt/debris, I installed the turbo oil drain and feeding pipe on the bench before putting it back in the car [Picture 16]
-Make sure you align the brass clamp on the exhaust side of the turbo in the same way otherwise the heat shield will not fit anymore.

Hopefully this information is useful.


4,800 Posts
Great guide! :+1::eek:k_hand:

3,482 Posts
Good write up only thing I would say is crank with injectors disconnected or crank sensor unplugged initially to get oil pumped up to turbo. Also I would start and fast idle it I would allow to warm up before giving any rpm above idle.

Also dig the plastic gauze out of the oil feed banjo as that can block with gunk restricting oil flow to turbo
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