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Let’s Talk Turbochargers: New or Rebuild

Turbo: New? Rebuilt/Reman? Or overhaul?

Brand new turbo from Mitsubishi, $930 shipped, or Remanufactured turbo $525, or DIY overhaul, or some other things to try detailed in this “Turbo Talk” Volvo forum topic. This is a great read for anyone interested in knowing about your choices when your turbo gets old or fails completely. Photos, opinion and more.

j_cd » My turbocharger needs to be rebuilt or possibly replaced. I plan to finish removing it from the engine today. Trying to decide if I should have it rebuilt, get a rebuild kit and do it myself, or buy a new or remanned one.

I found a place about an hour away that has a remanned one in stock for $525 with core exchange. That’s a 13T model which is an exact replacement. Now, I know you can upgrade to a 16T, but I read that a 15T is the biggest you want to go with a stock engine. I can’t afford an ECU flash and turbo back exhaust right now, so I don’t want to drop in a 16T. This is a GLT Light Pressure Turbo. I’ll probably never run more than 12 lbs boost, so a 13T or 15T should be plenty.

I just talked to the shop that has the remanned one. He said that he can put a larger wheel in the 13T to basically make it a 15T or 16T, etc… I hadn’t heard of this before. Is this a good or bad idea? He said the only difference is the wheel, but I don’t know about that.

I won’t know for sure what to do until I remove the one I’ve got and test it, so I had better get back to work.

j_cd » I just talked to Sean at turbochargers.com. He said that I could try to rebuild it, but without a way to balance the compressor, it may not be perfect. I asked about marking the wheel and housing. He said that doesn’t really work, and most turbos need more repair work than just having the parts replaced.

He is going to call MHI and see if he can get me a brand new turbo for the cost of a remanned one. He said they buy like $20,000 worth of stock at a time, and basically get them dirt cheap. He also said that when customers bring in cars equipped with the Chinese ebay turbos, there are always problems with the compressor wheel, bearings, etc…

j_cd » Here’s the compressor removed from the housing. Not an easy feat. There is a giant circlip holding them together. First I tried the so-called heavy duty snap ring pliers from auto zone, but they wouldn’t even move the clip at all. Next I tried some larger craftsman ones. I managed to move one side of the clip. Then luckily my neighbor came over, the one who replaced my axles for me. He managed to squeeze both sides of the clip while I jammed a flat head screwdriver between it and the housing. Then somehow he pried them apart and the compressor section popped right out. In order to do that properly you really need a serious professional pair of pliers. I saw some knipex ones on the internet that look much better than what I could find in any store. My neighbor said maybe snap-on or mac tools makes something specialized for that purpose.

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Next step is to clean the top of the compressor wheel and mark it. My instructions say to mark the top of the nut, bolt and compressor shaft with a sharpie, which differs from the instructions in the thread that we’ve been following. So as long as those line up, there should be no need to have the comprsesor rebalanced.

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Let’s talk turbochargers

Bonus! 10 Interesting Volvo Facts

  • In Latin, the word Volvo means: I spin. Today however the nearest meaning is “I roll”.
  • Volvo was founded in 1924. The two founders were Gustav Larsson and Assar Gabrielsson.
  • The ÖV 4 is the first Volvo car. The first car was sell-ready in 1927. The 2-Liter, 4-cilinder car got the nickname: Jakob.
  • Volvo’s very first commercial vehicle was the Type-1 truck. The release year was 1928. In the same year, Volvo released the second car, the Volvo PV 651. Volvo manufactured a total of 1383 of both vehicles in the first year; of which automaker exported 27.
  • This trend saw a sharp rise in 1932 when Volvo released a good amount of 10,000 vehicles, both trucks and cars.
  • The company, however, started making a large-scale profit from the year 1935. The first luxurious car by Volvo was the PV36, which could carry six passengers at a time. The design of this iconic car paved the path for future Volvo cars to come. I came in the market with a price tag of 8,500 Swedish kronor.

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1 Comment

Ralph Rojas says:

I have a commercial fishing boat with an old 165 hp
Volvo diesel the I need to replace the turbocharger
with a rebuilt turbo the No’s on the turbo plate are:
KUND-NR 845294
GROSSE K26-2664GA 12.71
ALT-NR 828560779
AUSF-NR 53269706492
this diesel engine is from the 1980’s
Please help me find a fair priced rebuilt turbo
Thanks R.Rojas

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