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Old 09-02-2006, 05:39 PM   #1
Hank Scorpio
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Default blown turbo seals vs blown headgasket

So I need to bounce something off everyone, see if my logic holds up.

I was working on the car today in the shop and it sat basically idling (and the occasional rev) for about 10-20 minutes. Water temp, AFR, oil pressure and temps were fine.

then it started smoking like na SOB around the downpipe and out the exhaust and leaving watery soot on the ground and some oil at the back side of the motor under the turbo.

Now, the car STILL runs perfect, water, oil pressure and temp is perfect. Makes 20" of vac at an idle (norm is 19-20"). I need to let it cool enough to pull the plugs (I JUST put fresh ones in before starting it today) to see what they show.

When it sits for 20 minutes or so then you start it, it smokes bad for a while then as the water temps come up to running temp it damn near stops smoking.

Sounds like blown turbo seals doesn't it?
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:45 PM   #2
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could be, leadown test #'s?
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:26 PM   #3
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Kind of sounds like my 84 242 turbo. Ocasionally it will smoke while idling and it definately shoots crap out of the exhaust. My friend was parked behind me and I covered his bumper with wet crap just from idling and no revving at all. It runs fine and pulls pretty well through each gear, although it does stink because when it spools a lot of oil gets by the turbo seals I imagine and is burning out the exhaust. The exhaust is chopped off by the right rear tire and the fumes covered the paint and part of the bumper. Guess I will find out if its the turbo soon because I am putting on a rebuilt 60/63 and NPR soon.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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I'm curious about this one too.. whole different car, but but similar symptoms..my 89 744ti stock garret T3, has similar issues.. I took it off the road last winter due to both a lack of snow tires but most importantly a disapearance of coolant.. Also the coolant seemed to disapear more on quick runs around the block to give the car a run once every week or two.. i had previously driven 2hrs and there was hardly any coolant loss.. this was also on a warmer day(5-10 degrees C) last winter.. so it seems that heat seals up the problem..

It doesn't blow billows of white smoke out like a headgasket should, runs fine, idles smoothly but there's lots of moisture comming out the tail pipe(no cat) and around the wastegate there's moisture that can even squirt(not huge amounts, but enough for drops to form and get propelled by escaping gases) until it heats up to a point where it gets instantly vaporized.. The car also seems to heat up quicker then our other turbo cars, but does not overheat.. Plugs show a touch rich, but no white crap anywhere.. just brown sooty with a touch of black as you get further away from the center... Boost is only set at 10ish, but the car does tend to sit a lot between spirited drives..
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:32 PM   #5
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This is what it looked like when my turbo broke.

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Old 09-02-2006, 08:35 PM   #6
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That's exactly what it is - blown Turbo seals...I know...I had that problem just as you describe...exactly
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:38 PM   #7
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LOL thats exactly what mine looks like.

Time to call ATP. I guess I'll have the thing off the car tomorrow.
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:38 PM   #8
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You back in Sac now?

Sucks about the turbo! Brand new, that shouldn't happen. I mean that's why you spend good money for good parts in the first place, they're supposed last! Ohh well, I'm sure ATP will hook you up.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:45 AM   #9
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Default turbo smoking

Before you convict the turbo be sure your oil return path from the turbo is clear. While I agree the turbo seals could be marginal. You will also get alot of smoke when the oil return is slow to return the oil to the sump and it backs up into the turbo. It forces it's way out of the seals making it smoke.

The other thought I had is that if you are idling in a shop. Are you using an exhaust fume removal system? You know one of the systems that sucks the exhaust fumes from your tailpipe out of the shop. If you are be aware that the vacuum from those systems can be strong enough to pull oil past turbo seals. That is a lot of smoke, too.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Aspirator View Post
You back in Sac now?

Sucks about the turbo! Brand new, that shouldn't happen. I mean that's why you spend good money for good parts in the first place, they're supposed last! Ohh well, I'm sure ATP will hook you up.
I hope so. i've been doing buisness with those guys for a long time so hopefully they will take care of me. since I have all of 22 dollars to my name right now, Im praying

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Before you convict the turbo be sure your oil return path from the turbo is clear. While I agree the turbo seals could be marginal. You will also get alot of smoke when the oil return is slow to return the oil to the sump and it backs up into the turbo. It forces it's way out of the seals making it smoke.

The other thought I had is that if you are idling in a shop. Are you using an exhaust fume removal system? You know one of the systems that sucks the exhaust fumes from your tailpipe out of the shop. If you are be aware that the vacuum from those systems can be strong enough to pull oil past turbo seals. That is a lot of smoke, too.
It was an OEM steel return line, .55" ID iirc. PLENTY large (plus you figure that GT series has a restrictor on the oil line anyways).

I've ALWAYS given it plenty of cool down time and has never seen 20+psi boost before ever.
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:14 AM   #11
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It was running right around 20psi when Carson took me for a ride...

Have you determined if it's oil smoke or coolant smoke???
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:21 AM   #12
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Any chance you could pull the o2 sensor and look for coolant contamination, pull the downpipe to eye for an oily mess, check the engine oil level, or do a leakdown test?
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:51 AM   #13
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isnt that a new turbo? I dont understand why a new gt30 turbo should have blown seals..check to make sure your breather box isnt clogged or anything along those lines.

or check headgasket. Compression test #'s would really narrow this down.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:32 AM   #14
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Doug if the turbo seals failed on the exhaust side you will have no oil on your plugs.
Pulled the plugs for a look-see? If oil is on one plug you got motor issues.
Is your intake a really nasty oily mess? Now the question is turbo or blown up engine?
I've seen whiteblocks with big ring-ridges and worn valve guides.
I'm hoping for a turbo.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Aspirator View Post
It was running right around 20psi when Carson took me for a ride...

Have you determined if it's oil smoke or coolant smoke???
on the autometer of the boost controller. MAP sensor says 18psi, autometer says 20

There IS water in the gate housing, its all at the bottom of the gate.

John, brand new motor, but will be checking plugs first tomorrow. Decided to help Gary MS his 144 instead today.

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Originally Posted by Dear_vs_Coyote View Post
isnt that a new turbo? I dont understand why a new gt30 turbo should have blown seals..check to make sure your breather box isnt clogged or anything along those lines.

or check headgasket. Compression test #'s would really narrow this down.
It goes under the category of **** happens. Actually I have a feeling I know why, but the plugs that I litterally had just taken out read perfect across every single one. I doubt I had a HG failure while idling in my shop... but I think the seal has been going for a little bit now and Im just now noticing. Breather isn't clogged... every single part on this motor is brand new. I wouldn't do it any other way when I was building it.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:48 AM   #16
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Forgive my ignorance of your build if you would please, but Is the turbo a Garrett or a mitsu?
By mentioning ATP, I ASSume it is a rather nice costly Garrett, and not a silly mitsu.
Garretts usually use seals that increase sealing pressure with additional shaft speed/pressure. They usually show signs of failure at very low load and start to seep out the exhaust some and just pull oil through into the exhaust.
Mitsus on the other hand seem to actually throw more oil around under heavier load due to seal design.
I much prefer the garrett mode of failure, since you usually get some warning when the car isn't moving with it running that the turbo is failing instead of oil haze sneakily disappearing out the exhaust as you put the car under load at speed and finding out when the car is stressed that the turbo just vanished the oil for your motor.
Anyway, it is a bummer if it is the new turbo or new motor/HG for that matter. How thick is this haze? If it is a little whisp every now and again at idle, it probably won't fail for a while, but still isn't good. Does it smell oily or coolanty? They are usually pretty dramatically different to me.
Best of luck narrowing it down.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:50 AM   #17
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James that sounds exactly like whats going on as well. Im 99.999% its the seals, if it was a blown HG there would be no way the motor would run how it does.

Im sure ATP will take care of me (it is indeed a GT3071 Garrett). **** happens just gotta move on. Glad I didn't go on the road trip I had planned for yesterday.
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:44 AM   #18
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A blown turbo seal can produce absolutely massive amounts of smoke. When my eBay turbos seal failed on me, there was so much smoke that I couldn't even see the color of the stoplights at intersections. The looks on other drivers faces were priceless though.
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:50 AM   #19
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you checked the intake plumbing around turbo in hole?


also, could be the turbo DRAIN line or some seal/ring/gasket along it. id check that.
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallyvovo View Post
you checked the intake plumbing around turbo in hole?


also, could be the turbo DRAIN line or some seal/ring/gasket along it. id check that.
Yes. Bone dry compressor side, oil return line (for the 5th time this thread) is completely unobstructed.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Scorpio View Post
Yes. Bone dry compressor side, oil return line (for the 5th time this thread) is completely unobstructed.

i usually check mine 6-7 times so youre almos there then
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:58 PM   #22
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turbo's off. IT IS THE TURBO for sure. Exhaust manifold was bone dry, exhaust housing full of water/oil.

Calling ATP in 10 minutes.
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:22 PM   #23
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How much of a beotch is it to remove the turbo from the 850's? Looks tight back there, not dead simple like 240's eh?
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
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How much of a beotch is it to remove the turbo from the 850's? Looks tight back there, not dead simple like 240's eh?
do it once and you'll curse...do it a second time and "hey that wasn't so bad"
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