Questions about having a turbo rebuilt?
Understanding what’s involved in having your turbo rebuilt and what the turbo is exactly is very important. The basic function of a turbocharger today is essentially the same as the one first designed by Alfred Buchi many years ago. Yet the mechanical design is simpler and the size for a given output is much smaller. Volvo pioneered this technology in 1955 when it launched a series production of turbocharged bus engines. Volvo and other car makers started producing their cars with turbochargers in the early ’80s. They were lubricated with engine oil and also cooled by the oil. Eventually, a water-cooled unit was produced, giving the turbo lower running temperatures and longer bearing/seal life. With the installation of an intercooler, the turbo was able to raise the boost pressure by cooling down the charge. Cooling the charge regains some of the density and brings other benefits, as well.
Some consumers were afraid to purchase a Volvo with a turbocharger thinking that when it failed, it was going to be an expensive repair. But they liked the performance characteristics. As a result, manufacturers came out with multi-valve, higher-compression engines and sophisticated fuel systems trying to squeeze more power out of durable engines. But the turbocharged engines were still in demand. Thus, turbo rebuilds represent solid profit centers for shops that welcome the opportunity. Patience and the proper replacement parts and procedures will go a long way toward securing customer satisfaction and increasing your shop’s profitability as well.
MVS Forum Member PCars asks:
Has anyone done a successful rebuild on an 1996 850 turbocharger? I’m not sure of the exact turbocharger model number, I have a 1996 Turbo Sedan(not R). I checked out some rebuild kits online for about $100 but not sure if they are good quality or not. Also, I haven’t really seen any definitive writeups for this application specifically. I read that they need to be balanced if taken apart too. Is this something that would be challenging but possible or would it be better just to leave it alone? Thanks in advance.
MVS Forum Member Ozark Lee says:
There is a guy on Volvospeed that both supplies parts and a rebuilding service for turbos but I can’t seem to locate him. Put on a Nomex suit before you post over there but I’m sure a similar post on that site will get you in touch with the guy.
VolvoForums UK has a writeup pinned where a guy rebuilds a turbo on his bench.
I’ve not done it but it does look do-able by a mere mortal.