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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,

Following on from my previous thread about burning oil and blown turbos I have another 'quick' question.

I've finally got round to removing some of the pipework from the turbo,

The big pipe that connects to the compressor side (air from filter into turbo I think) was loose fitting onto the turbo itself (so there's the cause of the whistling) but the compressor fan has play in it so it's going to need a repair to that before I put it back together :(

The compressor fan was also covered in oil. the big intake pipe is clean as a whistle from the airfilter end, but where the crankcase breather (the canister at the back of the engine) pipe goes into the intake it's coated in layer of gunky oil all the way through to the turbo itself.

I've checked the smaller breather pipes and they are all clear (as in I can blow through them and there is no restriction) I've removed and checked the canister thing from the back of the engine (I had hoped this was blocked but no such luck, nice free and flowing)

With the engine running and the oil filler cap off there seems to be a lot of pressure (a strong draft of air from the filler hole) and I get smoke out of the filler hole as well.

Any ideas?

Axe.
 

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Hi, that looks like a lot more oil than you should have in there. there will be a light film from the crankcase breather but not that much

On my 1.9 with the engine warm and idling there is a very small amount of pressure when you first take the oil cap off but then virtually nothing, I would suggest that you have a problem with either a blocked breather system or maybe even a damaged piston or ring rather than a turbo fault.

The turbo will have what feels like quite a bit of side to side play which is taken up by oil pressure when the engine is running, by looking at your picture you dont have any contact between the compressor and housing so the turbo is probably ok
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah thats kind of what I hoped,

but I think that from the compressor type blast that I get from the oil filler, the amount of oil in the inlet (only from the crankcase breather pipe into the inlet pipe)

realistically I'm looking at a fecked turbo (due to the up/down movement of the compressor blades), and piston rings.

All in it's probably another couple of grand at least.

I don't have that sort of cash to spend (It's already cost me around £3k in the last 6 months through normal servicing and repairs)

I can't afford to trade it as I'm already into it for the next 19 months so I'll put it back together and drive it till it dies.

At the moment it's probably worth more in scrap......

This is my first Alfa, and to be honest, it'll probably be my last.

This is the only car that has ever cost me more to run than it did for me to buy in the first place.

Why didn;t I listen when 'everyone' told me an Alfa was a mistake?
I could have bought a Focus estate and had more space, and less trouble for the last 12 months and I'd have £ssss in the bank by now,instead of being skint and having a shagged car on the drive.

grrrrrrrr.

Axe
 

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I don't think it looks that bad but I wouldn't fit it back as it stands in case the turbo goes completely and really does some damage.

You have two options; you can have the turbo rebuild(cheaper) with new internals or you can buy a new one and fit that. It depends on wether you can do without a car for a bit.

If you wanted a new turbo drop Alfatuner a pm. If you wanted to refurbish your old turbo then drop Adam from TDITurbos a pm.

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I think that your main problem is the excess crank case pressure that is blowing too much oil into the intake and it is that that is causing your oil smoke
I would take the turbo to intercooler hoses off as they probably have a fair bit of oil in there and clean as much out as you can and then to see if it is the breather oil causing the smoke, fix up a temporary catch tank and feed the crank case breather in there, you'll just need a liter oil container and some hose to extend the oil breather hose.
Then with this all set up see how much oil is getting blown into your catch tank and also if it stops smoking you will also know if your turbo is ok or not.
 

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Gents - isn't there a non-return valve in one of the breather hoses? It could possibly pass pressure back from the intake to the crankcase if it wasn't working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Guys,

Had some new info passed my way from Fixitsan. (Good to hear from him :) )

seems the oil through the crankcase breather is a common issue, which to a greater or lesser extent may have caused the smoking.

My Turbo is currently being rebuilt with new seals and bearings (for a very reasonable price) at a place in Hyde, I'll post on here how I get on with that, but it;s helped ease my mind now that the oil burnign and majority of the smoke might actually have been caused by the seals having gone in the turbo rather than the crankcase breather pumping oil into the intake.

I guess time will tell, but fingers crossed......

Axe.
 

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Hi Guys,

Had some new info passed my way from Fixitsan. (Good to hear from him :) )

seems the oil through the crankcase breather is a common issue, which to a greater or lesser extent may have caused the smoking.

My Turbo is currently being rebuilt with new seals and bearings (for a very reasonable price) at a place in Hyde, I'll post on here how I get on with that, but it;s helped ease my mind now that the oil burnign and majority of the smoke might actually have been caused by the seals having gone in the turbo rather than the crankcase breather pumping oil into the intake.

I guess time will tell, but fingers crossed......

Axe.
Is your oil consumption ok?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is your oil consumption ok?
It's sporadic, some days I can use a whole bar on the dash readout (roughly 500ml to 1L) some days I use non at all.

Seems to be more used on a day when I've done more ideling and less motorway/dual carriageway.

Axe.
 

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Hi Guys,

Had some new info passed my way from Fixitsan. (Good to hear from him :) )

seems the oil through the crankcase breather is a common issue, which to a greater or lesser extent may have caused the smoking.


Axe.
Is there a way to check / fix this issue? Ive contemplated installing a catch can to help my smoking but never got round to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Seems like a catch can is one solution,

It also has the advantage of blocking off the dirty crankcase fumes from being re-introduced to the inlet.

It's looking like there must have been a factory introduced reducer pipe fitted to some cars, one of the pipes from the plastic catch can at the back of the engine to the turbo inlet pipe has a reduction from the full 15mm (ish) down to (IIRC) 4mm, mine doesn't have it, all the pipes on mine are a constant diameter all the way through, the only restriction is from rubber to metal (where it goes over the rocker cover) So it looks like Alfa are aware of a problem and have quietly introduced a fix for it (like the EGR restrictor plate fitted to some cars)

Given that the plastic catch can at the back of the engine is just a container with a blanking plate most of the way down the middle of it, I had thought about changing this for some kind of can filled with sponge or gauze, this would increase the surface area that the oil had to condence on and might reduce the oil into the turbo without effecting the standard setup of the engine, but to be honest if a whole load of Vauxhall owners have found that just fitting a catch can and blanking off the inlet hose works well then who am I to argue, I'll end up doing that if my smoking issue persists.

Axe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Turbo has now been repaired and refitted,

Whistling is still there.

(I still had some clouds of smoke as well, but I'm hopeing that's down to residual crap in the intake/exhaust)

I'll know better in the morning.

The whistling has got to be down to an intake issue, (pressurised air escaping perhaps?)

Does anyone know where I can get a smoke test done of the inlet system?
It can't be on the exhaust side as the amount of smoke from the exhaust recently would have shown up in seconds if it was leaking from pipework in the engine bay.

I have checked the oil filler again and whilst I thought it was building loads of pressure with the engine running, it's not, I can easily seal it off with the palm of my hand and there is no pressure building up at all.

If the smoking and oil burning continues then I think the only avenue left to look at is valve stem oil seals (clouds of smoke from a cold start and nothing when warm, but still letting oil past whilst running?)

and to cap it all my back brakes are squealing so much that I either need new pads or a stripdown/clean, so thats tomorrow night in the pub cancelled.

:(

Axe
 

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If your turbo has been chucking that much oil out you'll probably find quite a bit of oil has pooled in the inter cooler. The only real quick way to get it all out is to remove the inter cooler and wash it through, otherwise your always pushing little bits through until eventually its all gone through the engine.

Have you inspected all you induction hoses to see if there covered in oil on the inside and if so cleaned them
 

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My Turbo is currently being rebuilt with new seals and bearings (for a very reasonable price) at a place in Hyde.
glad to see your making some progress :)

got a name for this place in hyde? always good to know whats in the vicinity when it comes to repairs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It was 'turbo solve' on Edward street in Hyde.

(They have a website with contact details)

The place is an absolute **** hole, and if I wasn't desperate I don't think I would have left my turbo with them, but they said they had just moved premises and haven't done anything in the new building yet.

It cost me £234 inc vat for new seals and bearing and they delivered the turbo back to me in the price (they offered to collect as well, but I dropped off as I was off work that day and had nothing else to do)

It took them 24 hours longer than they promised and my brother in law (who is a mobile mechanic) was impressed with the quality of the returned unit. They stated that they do lots of rebuilds for taxi drivers (which can only be a good sign)

I'm not going to recommend them yet though as the premises really were in a shocking state, I'll wait and see if the repair lasts before I'd suggest anyone else goes, if it survives a week in bude in a couple of weeks then I'll add them to the northwest suppliers thread.


Axe.
 

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Good to hear, hope it's all sorted now.
 

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For turbo rebuilds I would not use anyone except AET turbos in Wakefield, they have rebuild 2 VAG turbos for me personally and several others for friends and family on recommendation, they also have a very good reputation, and the staff car park is awash with interesting blown cars so the guys are clearly enthusiasts, and the work shop looks like an F1 garage, ie VERY clean.

They charge £250 for a full strip and rebuild on a VAG turbo with 12 month warranty, i see no reason why in theory an Alfa blower would be any different to this, you can deliver it to them or they offer a courier service, honestly i can not recommend them highly enough. Comes back looking as good as new ready to bolt straight on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For turbo rebuilds I would not use anyone except AET turbos in Wakefield, the staff car park is awash with interesting blown cars so the guys are clearly enthusiasts, and the work shop looks like an F1 garage, ie VERY clean.

They charge £250 for a full strip and rebuild on a VAG turbo with 12 month warranty.
Sounds good,

I'll make a note of that, I'm hoping that Turbo Solve didn't actually rebuild mine onsite as it was the grottyest place I've ever seen....

(But they did say they are just moving premises, so it could be that their address has changed but the workshop hasn;t yet?) anyway, the repair has held up so far! 1 day and 40 miles in, I'm off to Anglesey tomorrow night so that'll be another 250 mile weekend, then next saturday off to Cornwall for a week (that'll be around 1k miles in a week) so I'll have a good idea of how it's going by the end of that.

No Smoke today. yay......... (And I even managed to strip/clean/rebuild the rear calipers and still made it to the pub for a couple of pints, things are looking up :) )

Axe.
 
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