T3 Turbo Rebuild Part 1

Posted by JusMX141, Nov 25, 2008
Articles: Turbo System & Intercooler -

  1. JusMX141

    JusMX141 Moderator

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    Welcome to Lesson #2 of my rebuild guide of many various DSM turbos. This guide is for those who have never attempted to rebuild a Garrett T3 / T4 style turbo. Hopefully this step-by-step guide will get you back to boosting for less!

    - Lets begin by describing the tools needed for this procedure. You'll need:

    - 1/2" box end wrench (for the compressor housing bolts).
    - 12mm or 13mm box end wrench (for turbine housing bolts).
    - A 3/8" or 7/16" wrench (for the backplate bolts).
    - Ratchet with a 12mm socket.
    - Ratchet with a 3/8" socket.
    - Medium flat screwdriver.
    - Tiny flat screwdriver or pick.
    - Dead-blow hammer or regular hammer and a block of wood.



    - Here's the candidate for today's lesson- a PTE6031E. These turbos are built around a popular Garrett T3 frame that many popular Hybrid turbos use today. These brands include PTE, Turbonetics, and others.

    **Before beginning, it's a good idea to make some type of mark on the compressor cover, backplate, center housing, and turbine housing to ensure proper alignment during assembly. Unlike a Mitsubishi turbo, the Garrett-style turbo's housings can rotate 360* making reassembly a challenge.

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    - Begin by removing the wastegate actuator using the 1/2" wrench. Most of the time these bolts are 1/2" because the compressor housing is made by Garrett, an American company. Occasionally they're metric.

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    - Once the actuator is removed, use the 12mm or 13mm wrench to remove the bolts holding the center housing to the turbine housing. Some of these will be difficult to reach due to the position of the center housing....you may need to rotate the turbine housing to reach two of the bolts.

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    - The exhaust housing will almost NEVER come apart on it's own! You'll need to strike the housing using a dead-blow hammer or a regular hammer and a block of wood.

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    - This photo illustrates the housing once it's removed.

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    - Now you may remove the remaining compressor bolts.

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    - Take note of whether the locknut on the compressor wheel is left-hand or right-hand threaded! Most Garrett turbines are left-hand threaded to prevent the nut from loosening during operation. If you look closely at the threads in this photo, you'll see the turbo I'm working on is left-hand threaded.

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    - Using the 3/8" socket, remove the compressor locknut while holding the hex portion of the turbine wheel with a 17mm wrench. The locknut can be 10mm, 11mm, 10mm 12-point, or 3/8" 6-point. The compressor wheel should slide off the shaft easily.

    ***There is a controversy regarding whether or not to scribe the shaft and compressor wheel to mark alignment. Most of the time these turbos are component-balanced so their orientation during assembly isn't crucial. If the shaft and wheel are already scribed, you'll know the turbine shaft and wheel have been balanced as an assembly. If it makes you feel better to scribe your shaft and wheel, by all means do so.***

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    - Once the compressor wheel is removed, the turbine shaft can easily push out the opposite direction

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    - Remove the backplate bolts from the center housing using a 7/16" or 3/8" box end wrench.

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    - Separate the compressor backplate from the center housing....be aware of any loose parts that may fall out during this step.

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    - This particular turbo uses a bolt-down thrust plate that is held in place by three 2.5mm allen bolts. There can also be a spring retainer holding the thrust plate down, or torx bolts as well.

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    - Using a small screwdriver, walk the journal bearing snap ring out of it's groove.

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    - Remove the compressor journal bearing from the housing. Repeat removal procedure for the hotside journal bearing.

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    - Remove the worn compressor seal from the collar by "walking" it out of the groove with your fingers. Be careful, the worn seal is often very sharp! Use a tiny flat screwdriver if you cannot get your fingernail underneath the seal to initially lift it out of the groove.

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    - Use the same "walking" method to remove the turbine seal from the turbine shaft.

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    - Here is the turbo completely disassembled.

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    ***Now you may begin the cleanup process. I use a parts washer to remove all of the oily residue from the housing and the internal parts before they are media blasted. You can also clean up the housing and the internals to the best of your ability using a wire brush and some elbow grease. Be sure to scrape all of the carbon and burnt oil residue from the turbine seal groove to assure a proper seal.***

    - One important step is to use a small flat screwdriver or pick to get all of the carbon out of the thin groove in the center housing where the turbine seal rides (on the hot side of the housing). I've found this to be crucial in getting the turbine shaft seal to seal properly on ALL types of turbos (see photo).

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    - Here is a photo of the new turbine seal being installed on the cleaned turbine shaft.

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    - Install the journal bearings into the housing. Be sure to use a heavy oil or some type of assembly lube to prevent damage at startup.

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    CONTINUED IN PART 2.
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