Hope it's the Turbo !

Hope it's the Turbo !

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Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Monday 29th September 2003
quotequote all
Hi,

Has anyone ever had a turbo fail but for play in the shaft to still be minimal (none axial, <1mm radial at end of shaft) and for it to turn smoothly by hand?

I'm thinking that the turbo seals have failed as once the engine is warmed and when revved, lots of white grey smoke from the exhaust. Also loads of oil in the exhaust at the exit from the turbo. The oil could be coming from the engine but i would have expected the smoke to be blue in colour. However, I expected to find loads of play in the turbo.

Thanks for any help,

Robert

domster

8,428 posts

238 months

Monday 29th September 2003
quotequote all
Head gasket has to be the prime suspect? If turbo bearings are done in then you would expect smoke - they operate at huge temps so burn oil. They don't create steam unless you have some kind of water cooling system amiss. Just a thought...

taz turbo

648 posts

218 months

Monday 29th September 2003
quotequote all
You say less than 1mm of radial movement, how much less? As with 1mm of movement I would expect the compressor wheel to be in contact with the compresor housing. But you say the smoke emmited is white/gray, that sounds like coolant. I would say your turbo has suffered bearing failure (depending on the bearing design, some early turbochargers the shaft ran in a bearing with an oval shaped ID and used the oil pressure lubricating the turbo to push the shaft to the running position of the bearing. As a second check, is the radial movement in one plane only or through 360 degrees), and also you possibly have a second fault, as it does sound like coolant.

Edited to say: the radial movement should be no more than a nats chuff
Edited again to say: the previous axials should of read radial, now amended in italics, thanks mr2mike.

>> Edited by taz turbo on Monday 29th September 14:22

>> Edited by taz turbo on Tuesday 30th September 08:21

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Monday 29th September 2003
quotequote all
Thanks for the replies.

So nobody has come across a turbo with leaking oil seals but negligible play in the shaft?

I've just replaced the head gasket as the cooling system was being pressurised. Now it's not pressurised so I'd be surprised if it is steam.

Axial play in the turbo is negligible. Radial play is not enough for the wheel to hit the housing.

There is loads of oil in the exhaust at the exit from the turbo so I assumed that the smoke was vapourised but unburnt oil (it only happens once the engine is warm and then not at idle)

There's no oil on the glow-plug or injector tips (it's a diesel) which I took as a good sign of it being the turbo at fault rather than the engine itself. When I had the head removed to change the gasket, there was no oil in any of the cylinders.

Cheers,

Robert.

mr2mike

20,143 posts

223 months

Monday 29th September 2003
quotequote all
taz turbo said:
You say less than 1mm of axial movement, how much less?


He said no axial movement, <1mm radial movement.

It's entirely possible for the seals to fail in the turbo and the bearings to still be intact, but unusual IMO.

taz turbo

648 posts

218 months

Tuesday 30th September 2003
quotequote all
mr2mike said:
He said no axial movement, <1mm radial movement.

Oops, I'm glad someone reads my posts. The axial's should of read radial. I have amended my original post. Apologies for any confusion.
Chris.
P.S. Jap-Car, I still think your turbo bearing has failed.

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Tuesday 30th September 2003
quotequote all
Thanks guys,

I am going to get another turbo. I'll post on here to let you know if its fixed. (or if it doesn't, to sell a spare turbo!!)

Cheers,

Robert.

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Tuesday 30th September 2003
quotequote all
Another symtom is that the sump is pressurised. If I remove the dip-stick, i get a flow of oil from the engine. Yesterday I dropped the oil pan and cleaned out the gunge (from when the head-gasket blew) from the pan and from the breathers.

I haven't re-tested the engine as the exhaust manifold and turbo are off but hopefully this will sort the pressurised sump. (I don't think this is piston rings as the compression test is good and there is no sign of oil in the exhaust manifold before the turbo).

A thought which has just crossed my mind though, could faulty turbo seals also cause a pressurised sump? Ie compressed air or exhaust gas being sent down the oil return pipe which feeds direct to the sump.

Anyone think this is plausible?

Thanks everyone.

Robert.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

223 months

Wednesday 1st October 2003
quotequote all
Jap-Car said:
A thought which has just crossed my mind though, could faulty turbo seals also cause a pressurised sump? Ie compressed air or exhaust gas being sent down the oil return pipe which feeds direct to the sump.

Anyone think this is plausible?

Thanks everyone.

Robert.


Unlikely I would have thought, the oil pressure behind the seals is going to be far higher than either the exhaust back pressure or boost pressure unless the oil supply has failed in some way.

Have you performed a compression test on the the engine? Broken or stuck rings on one or more pistons would cause smoking and excessive breathing.

domster

8,428 posts

238 months

Wednesday 1st October 2003
quotequote all
You did the head gasket recently - are you sure it is not now leaking into the oil ways somehow, rather than the cooling system?

Head gaskets or cracked heads can sometimes be a bitch to test as they may only leak when the engine is warm and things start leaking ie because the head bolts have stretched a fraction. At cold, everything seems to pass a compression test.

I had a cracked head in my Lotus Carlton and it wasn't the easieet to diagnose.

Boosted LS1

20,087 posts

228 months

Wednesday 1st October 2003
quotequote all
Jap-Car said:
Hi,

Has anyone ever had a turbo fail but for play in the shaft to still be minimal (none axial, <1mm radial at end of shaft) and for it to turn smoothly by hand?

I'm thinking that the turbo seals have failed as once the engine is warmed and when revved, lots of white grey smoke from the exhaust. Also loads of oil in the exhaust at the exit from the turbo. The oil could be coming from the engine but i would have expected the smoke to be blue in colour. However, I expected to find loads of play in the turbo.

Thanks for any help,

Robert


Robert, you need to check the radial play by olding both ends of the shaft and moving your hands together in the same direction otherwise you will get a very false reading. Hope this helps save you buying a new turbo for no reason.

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Thursday 2nd October 2003
quotequote all
Thanks for all the replies. I'll tell you the full story! This may be a long post - sorry.

The car is a Toyota Lucida 2.2litre turbo diesel.

I bought the car as faulty from the previous owner who I believe is entirely honest. He e-mailed me the following information (after I had bought the car so no need for hime to make up a story)

"The problem only appeared on one day when it overheated, and lots of steam appeared came out - we drove about quarter of a mile with the car overheating just to get it home. But that was the first time there was a problem, and the last time it was driven before the head was changed (the head was diagnosed as cracked - a common problem on these engines). When we picked it up after the change it smoked badly - probably drove about a mile and a half before it got so bad. Then we took it to the other garage who cleaned out the engine and did an oil change. We drove it about 60 miles with little or no smoke, then a few days later when we started it up it was bellowing again, and it was not driven again."

At this point I bought the car. I warmed the engine up and found dense clouds of white/grey smoke (no trace of blue) to be emitted from the exhaust when revved and warm (ie little or no smoke when engine cold or when at idle). I did a compression test (with engine warm) and found all cylinders to be good.

I noticed that the coolant system was slowly being pressurised so I replaced the head-gasket with a genuine Toyota item. The coolant system is now no longer pressurised. (I think the previous gasket was for a slightly different engine hance the leak). I re-ran the engine expecting the fault to be fixed but it still smoked just as badly.

Then I noticed that with the dip-stick removed, oil is slowly forced out of the dip-stick hole. ie a pressurised crank case.

Next I removed the exhaust manifold and turbo and found the exhaust manifold to be damp inside with a liquid which I assume was water as it has since evaporated and now just dry and sooty. Also the exhaust exit from the turbo was covered in oil. A similar unit on my friends car has no oil ie it also dry and sooty.

I have also removed the sump to find the oil to be OK ish but with about 1/2" of sludge at the bottom. (No metal particles in the sludge though). The breather (crank-case to air intake) was also filled with sludge and some water. The intercooler also has pools of oil and water within. Obviously I'm cleaning all this out.

I have ordred another turbo and am hoping the smoke was from oil leaking from it's seals into the hot exhaust. I'm hoping the water in the exhaust manifold was from all the water still in the air intake system from the previous head-gasket leak via the breather system. I'm hoping the pressurised crank-case was from blocked breathers.

Turbo should arrive Fri / Mon so will know for sure by the middle of next week.

Any more views??? Please don't tell me piston rings!

jv_as

129 posts

223 months

Thursday 2nd October 2003
quotequote all
oil and water in the intercooler? not usually a good sign!! Take your turbo to www.turboshop.ltd.uk they are really good, better than all of the other rebuilders.

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Thursday 2nd October 2003
quotequote all
I'm pretty sure the water in the intercooler is from the cracked head / blown head-gasket allowing water into the oil and then on through the crank-case breather to the intake air stream just before the turbo. I'm positive that the coolant system is no longer leaking so I'm sure the water is from previously.

I've ordered a 2nd hand low mileage turbo from a company that brings them direct from Japan. A friend has used them before and the stuff they supply is good. 150 all in seemed a good price also.

The most worrying thing is the pressurised sump. I just hope it was either blocked breathers or something weird with the turbo sending air down the oil return pipe (although I share the doubts expressed above). I would have thought that worn piston rings would have shown up on a compression test but I guess a crack in the head or leaking head gasket between oil channels and combustion chamber might be the cause. I would have thought I would have seen blue smoke though (ie burnt oil).

Thanks for all thoughts so far

jv_as

129 posts

223 months

Thursday 2nd October 2003
quotequote all
No you should definetly get the turbo taken to a specialist. They will then tell if there is anything wrong with the turbo and what it is. Buying another 2nd hand turbo may cause more pain to your wallet but not cure the problem and you still might not know what it is??

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Thursday 2nd October 2003
quotequote all
Too late jv It's on its way.

I guess at worst, I'll have a spare turbo and the chances of getting too with the same fault must be slim.

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Friday 10th October 2003
quotequote all
As promised, an update.

I've changed the turbo, cleaned the oil pan, intercooler and associated pipes. New oil and filter. Car still has the same symptoms. Ie fine when cold but once starting to warm, pressure develops in the sump, white/ grey smoke from the exhaust and fluid (I now think an oil / water mix) dripping from the exhaust at a hole (where the turbo actuator arm happens to pivot).

Obviously, something is either wrong with the block (worn bores / piston rings / warped) or head (cracked / warped) or head gasket. Any ideas how I can tell which and also if water is escaping to the exhaust, why is the coolant system not getting pressurised?

Please help!

Thanks

Robert

>> Edited by Jap-Car on Friday 10th October 12:52

annodomini2

6,333 posts

219 months

Friday 10th October 2003
quotequote all
when fuel burns it produces water, that may be where thats coming from

Jap-Car

Original Poster:

473 posts

218 months

Friday 10th October 2003
quotequote all
I thought of that but can't understand why I should get lots of water in the exhaust from fuel when other cars don't!

Thanks though

Robert.

jv_as

129 posts

223 months

Friday 10th October 2003
quotequote all
Do a leak down test on the coolant system, a compression test and check the plugs while you do this.

Is it steam or smoke? and how much? it gets worse not better as engine temperature increases?

Was there any water in the oil?
Is the inlet manifold water heated?
Did the person who changed the head gasket put the correct version in?

Sounds to me like you should pull the head off again???!!!

Jeremy

>> Edited by jv_as on Friday 10th October 16:59