Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

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WRXWagon2112
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Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by WRXWagon2112 » Mon May 04, 2009 9:58 am

So for the past couple weeks I've been getting a faint smell of burning oil during / after hard accerleration. Then last week, it started to smoke out the tailpipe pretty bad. Took it to a shop today and just heard the diagnosis - oil getting into the intercooler.

Their solution was to start by replacing the turbo. The shop is at least cool enough that they asked if I wanted a turbo other than the stock one installed. Since I'm not ready to go beyond Stage II, I just told them to price out a swap of the stock turbo. Estimate: $1,400 parts & labor spread over two days of work.

My question: Is a turbo swap necessary to stop oil leaking into the intercooler? Couldn't I just tighten up a hose or something somewhere?

Thought? Comments?

--Alan

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by Mr Kleen » Mon May 04, 2009 1:13 pm

I'll leave the hard questions for those with more intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a turbo but I can tell you that I have a stock turbo in excellent shape that's looking for a home. :wink: I'll sell it to you for half the price the shop quoted. maybe less. 8)

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by ElZorro » Mon May 04, 2009 1:53 pm

And I'm happy to stand around and pretend to help during the install day. :)
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by zaxrex » Mon May 04, 2009 2:40 pm

I can see swapping the turbo b/c of a bad center section letting oil into your exhaust, but that is not going to stop the blow-by oil getting into your IC. I would take the IC off and look at it and the pipes. If the "oil" is brown and thick, then it is blow-by from the emissions/crank case. If it is dark and thin, then that is oil getting in there from places it should not be.
It is funny that you have "start by replacing the turbo", as this seems like a recipe for cascading issues.
There is no reason to spend that kind of cash. You find a turbo, stock or otherwise (and I put an emphasis on otherwise, VF30-34, clipped stock...) and I'll travel up that way and turn the wrenches with you. I have to be in Edgewood, MD somewhere between the 18th and 20th. If you get all the gaskets/washers/studs/bolts and can handle an overnight guest, I'll stop by on my way back and do the deed.
Just clear it with your wife first. I'm not a surprise you want to spring on someone at the last minute.
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by WRXWagon2112 » Mon May 04, 2009 2:50 pm

Mr Kleen, zaxrex ... I think I might take you up on that. Lemme mull it over a little bit more and I'll get back to the group.

We can definitely handle an overnight guest (by the 20th the weather might be nice enough for a soak in the hot tub ;) ) and I'm sure it'll be okay with the missus.

--Alan

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by drwrx » Mon May 04, 2009 3:40 pm

Oil in the intercooler isn't that unusual, especially on a 7 year old turbo. How much oil was in the intercooler? If it was a lot say, half a quart, that's serious, but a little is quite normal?

Is the smoke constant, or does is just push out a big plume of it on start-up and on accel from a stop?
Are you noticing a lot of oil consumption? How much? A quart a week (or every couple hundred miles) is serious. A quart a month or so (or 1,500 miles), not so much.

I agree with Zak, there is no reason to put a "new" stock turbo on that car. A used unit will work just fine. I'm sure they are out there for cheap.
How long do you see keeping this car? If you plan on keeping it til the wheels fall off than now would be the time to step-up to a larger turbo. A new 16G can be had for $650. Yes, you need injectors and a fuel pump, but they can be had for relatively little expense ($460 for both new).
I'm willing to bet MrKleen would let you borrow his map and we could reflash your ECU and you would be on your way. Julian may even have it saved on his laptop.

You have options and you have folks who can help.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by WRXWagon2112 » Tue May 05, 2009 6:05 am

The amount of smoke hasn't been that bad until this past weekend. Now it practically pours out until the car warms up. According to the shop, the car was low about 3.5 quarts of oil - and I'd last changed the oil about 2 months ago.

After I picked the car up, it was smoking a lot until it warmed up. I'm getting nervous. I think I'll have them swap out the turbo. I'm not really interested with going for larger injectors, fuel pump, etc. After speaking with one of the techs, I'm a little more confident with their analysis. It is the original turbo and it now has 112K miles on it. It's quite reasonable to expect that the seals are starting to go and there could be some shaft play in it.

--Alan

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by Mr Kleen » Tue May 05, 2009 7:27 am

I can understand not wanting to go to the trouble and expense of a larger turbo and supporting mods. just don't spring for a brand new stock turbo, too many good used stock turbos for sale out there for cheep. :wink: :poke:

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by WRXWagon2112 » Tue May 05, 2009 8:07 am

Hmmm ... would a 2004 WRX stock turbo fit a 2002? I would assume so but you know what they say about assuming.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by drwrx » Tue May 05, 2009 8:40 am

WRXWagon2112 wrote:Hmmm ... would a 2004 WRX stock turbo fit a 2002? I would assume so but you know what they say about assuming.
Yes, a turbo of any pre 2008 WRX or FXT will fit. They all use the same MHI TD04.

Make sure to keep your old one as it can be sold or re-built in case the replacement goes south. You could also have a 19T compressor upgrade by Blouch for $395. You wouldn't need the fuel pump or injectors as the small housing can't support enough boost to outrun your injectors.

By the way, what are they charging you for the new turbo? If you can't find a used TD04 fast enough and desperately need it now, I have one from my FXT. I could give it to you until you find a replacement and you can just give that one to me.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by Mr Kleen » Tue May 05, 2009 9:10 am

what do used TD04s go for? mine had less than 50k on it when I swapped it out.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by drwrx » Tue May 05, 2009 9:21 am

Mr Kleen wrote:what do used TD04s go for? mine had less than 50k on it when I swapped it out.
Depending on milage, around $200. A good, low milage unit may go for $250, a high milage $100-150.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by WRXWagon2112 » Tue May 05, 2009 10:52 am

Mr Kleen - PM sent.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by sirwilliam » Tue May 05, 2009 11:13 am

drwrx wrote:
WRXWagon2112 wrote:Hmmm ... would a 2004 WRX stock turbo fit a 2002? I would assume so but you know what they say about assuming.
Yes, a turbo of any pre 2008 WRX or FXT will fit. They all use the same MHI TD04.

Make sure to keep your old one as it can be sold or re-built in case the replacement goes south. You could also have a 19T compressor upgrade by Blouch for $395. You wouldn't need the fuel pump or injectors as the small housing can't support enough boost to outrun your injectors.

By the way, what are they charging you for the new turbo? If you can't find a used TD04 fast enough and desperately need it now, I have one from my FXT. I could give it to you until you find a replacement and you can just give that one to me.
I thought I heard somewhere that the turbo is the same but the wastegate was slightly different or set to a higher pressure on some. I could be wrong. Just throwing that out. I don't think you would go wrong w/ another WRX TD04, regardless.
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by drwrx » Tue May 05, 2009 11:19 am

sirwilliam wrote:I thought I heard somewhere that the turbo is the same but the wastegate was slightly different or set to a higher pressure on some. I could be wrong. Just throwing that out. I don't think you would go wrong w/ another WRX TD04, regardless.
IIRC Allan is running a Stg 2 UTEC, so even if that were the case his boost is already well past the standard wastegate pressure. The older ECUs also don't have quite as many issues with increasing boost pressures as the newer ones that are always targeting for stoich even on-boost. Trust me the year or model TD04 won't matter in this case.

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by Sabre » Wed May 06, 2009 5:54 pm

Sorry, coming into this a little late....

So, there is an EASY way to find out if it's blow by or if it is the turbo:
Unhook the vacuum line from your intake inlet and put it to a plastic bag with a rubber band around it. Put it in a place where it will be safe.
Plug the whole that is left with a larger bolt.
Go out driving on boost.

It might take awhile to get all of the oil of your intercooler. If there is still smoke coming out after 4-5 4th gear pulls, then the turbo seals are gone. If there is a ton of oil in the bag and no blue smoke, the problem is blow by. A stock turbo swap is VERY quick. I wouldn't pay the shop to do it unless you get a really good deal on it.
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by WRXWagon2112 » Mon May 11, 2009 3:01 pm

UPDATE: Turbo swap was completed on Thursday. Since then there has been no smoke apart from a little burn-off of spilled fluids, etc. Now I just need to get them to fix the A/C that they "fixed" last Monday. Luckily they don't charge for jobs that they should've done right in the first place.

A very big thank you goes out to Gabe for selling me his turbo. That turned a $1,400 job into a $600 one.

Additional thank yous go out to everyone here for awesome advice.

--Alan

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by Mr Kleen » Mon May 11, 2009 7:23 pm

no sweat. the old turbo was just a paperweight for me. :P

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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by complacent » Sun May 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Dang, a little too late to this thread. :( Glad to hear it's fixed though!
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by sirwilliam » Sun May 17, 2009 9:25 pm

Glad it is fixed. :nana:

Also, I now have a less than 50k TD04 paperweight in case you need one again :wink:
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by complacent » Mon May 18, 2009 12:35 am

sirwilliam wrote:Glad it is fixed. :nana:

Also, I now have a less than 50k TD04 paperweight in case you need one again :wink:
Haha! Mine's got ~36k and is a garage ornament at this point...
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Re: Smoke From Exhaust...Oil in Intercooler...Swap Turbo?

Post by sirwilliam » Tue May 19, 2009 8:32 am

complacent wrote:
sirwilliam wrote:Glad it is fixed. :nana:

Also, I now have a less than 50k TD04 paperweight in case you need one again :wink:
Haha! Mine's got ~36k and is a garage ornament at this point...
But that is one sweet ornament....<thinks of Christmas tree covered in dangling subaru performance parts> :mrgreen:
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