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New Turbo Leaking

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
Alright I am calling all gurus for this. I have talked with JusMX already and we both aren’t sure what’s going on. My old school green is slowly leaking during idle(see attached picture). I fixed my PCV system back to stock. I pulled the drain line and there aren’t any kinks or blockages in the line, at the pan, or looking in the turbo. Compression was good and so was leak down. What could be causing this? I am about to pull my hair out.
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TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
Maybe you need new crush washers on the oil feed. After that it’s just turbo rebuild or leaking oil drain.
It is 4an feed line from OFH so no crush washers. It was just rebuilt and literally has 3-4min of idle time on it. What I haven’t checked and feel dumb for now is oil pressure. So, I will be going to auto parts store for a gauge and install kit tomorrow.
 

Bleakley

Proven Member
405
96
Jan 29, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I’m in agreement. Oil looks fresh(ish).
Highly doubt you’d miss something as simple as valve cover gasket or something.

Compromised 100% seal of oil feed.
Compromised oil feed line itself? (If it’s crimped an invalid crimp can cause the fluid to permeate)

Because it’s on the turbine and you state you don’t know where it’s coming from (I would assume if it’s on the turbine housing it would have been squirting in there), it makes the feed line highly suspect.
I don’t really know anything of the internals of a turbo other than the major parts themselves. Is it possible for the center section to be leaking from somewhere. Not UNLIKELY for something that’s just been rebuilt to have a leak from somewhere.
“There’s no way that’s causing the problem. I did it myself / had a professional do it. and double / triple checked it.” (Still a possibility man. —> FP manifolds don’t crack right? Only 1, maybe 2.. have EVER been documented. Unlikely events happen. Such is the car game amiright?

Vegas, that was impressive as f***. :D
 
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Bleakley

Proven Member
405
96
Jan 29, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wipe it down and follow the trail. Try not to overlook or rule out something you’d think, “Ahh, can’t possibly be that.”
Go back and double check to make sure. Again, follow the trail and reconstruct where the oil could potentially come from.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
8,212
4,097
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
Even if it has a 4AN feed, the fitting should have a crush washer on it, as Vegas stated. THAT could be the problem. My screw in turbo feed fittings have a crush washer on them.
Get a bottle of OIL DYE and put a few drops in the oil and get a ultraviolet light (like for A/C leaks) and light it up. It will show where it is coming from and it doesn't take much.
 

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
I know where the oil is coming from. I never said I didn’t know where the oil is coming from. And 1990TSI you are correct about there being a crush washer on the fitting that goes into the turbo. I had been awake like 30 hours. My issue is there is oil being pushed past the turbine side seal into the turbine housing and seeping out around the vband. Normally, there is a clear reason for this happening 1) crank case pressure or 2) improper drainage. I have my PCV routed as stock and properly with the help from JusMX. I pulled the drain line as said in the original post. I’m asking is there anything that I’m not thinking of that could cause oil to be pushed past the seal at idle?
 

Kryndon

Proven Member
694
372
Jan 10, 2014
Bulgaria, Europe
I was going to say turbine side oil seal, looking at how the rest of the CHRA is dry but the Vband having oil on it. When you installed the rear oil snap ring seal, it may have gotten bent, thus not sealing properly. Maybe it didn't get pushed in enough to make the click/snap in place. Or it could have been a defective part altogether. Maybe you installed it with the gap facing down, allowing unusual amounts of oil to leak past during high RPM and internal pressures.
 

lasthope05

Proven Member
1,163
270
Mar 31, 2006
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If it's at idle and you suspect a pcv system issue just loosen the oil cap at idle, clean the area and look again. Another probability is a cracked chra, but I don't really see that happening.

Then again, you shouldn't have a pcv issue at idle as there isn't really any boost pressure.
 

Vegas Smith

Proven Member
4,616
2,395
Dec 2, 2002
Houston, Texas
It seems pretty clear that something went wrong with the rebuild. You shouldn't have any pcv or oil pressure issues at idle unless there is something incredibly wrong.
 

GST with PSI

DSM Wiseman
2,678
1,383
Jul 27, 2005
San Diego, California
It seems pretty clear that something went wrong with the rebuild. You shouldn't have any pcv or oil pressure issues at idle unless there is something incredibly wrong.

^ This.

By chance, have you pulled the intake pipe off the turbo inlet and checked to see if there in oil on the compressor side as well?

Is Justin the one who rebuilt this? My guess would also be something went wrong during the rebuild. It's pretty easy to knick a seal, or not get it seated correctly when installing the turbine shaft. I'd pull the CHRA and give it a look. If it's a JMX rebuild, chances are slim, but issues with the rebuild are still possible.
 

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
Chances real slim if her rebuilt it.
So, I had an issue with the PCV routing the first time I started the car and had entirely too much crank case pressure. It ran 20 seconds according to ecmlink. At this point I’m starting to think that 20 seconds was long enough to screw the seal on the turbine side. And I completely agree that anything that comes from Justin isn’t going to be messed up. Which he did build it. If it is the seals it is my fault not his.
 

Vegas Smith

Proven Member
4,616
2,395
Dec 2, 2002
Houston, Texas
I’m no expert, although I did stay at a Holliday inn last night, but I can’t fathom how your engine had so much pressure that it blew the seal on your turbo...at idle..after 20 seconds. If you told me you’ve been running the car for a couple days boosting 30psi then maybe.
 

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
I’m no expert, although I did stay at a Holliday inn last night, but I can’t fathom how your engine had so much pressure that it blew the seal on your turbo...at idle..after 20 seconds. If you told me you’ve been running the car for a couple days boosting 30psi then maybe.

Well, my catch can had a check valve pointed in the wrong direction and my PCV line had a check valve pointed in the wrong direction which ended up pushing air into the crank case and letting 0 pressure out....I was dumb very very dumb and excited and just threw the lines on without checking direction of check valves and didn’t look up a PCV routing guide to see that the catch can off the breather port shouldn’t even have had a check valve.
 
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motomattx

Proven Member
3,363
1,235
Dec 9, 2010
wampum, Pennsylvania
Possible carbon build up behind the oil seal not allowing a good seat, otherwise there is likely something wrong with that seal ring for some reason.
 

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
Sorry haven’t updated in a few days. I got super discouraged by this whole ordeal after dumping so much money into the car. Also before reading below, I want to note that the car has not ran for almost 3 years. I did put it together at the end of 2017 and idled it a handful of time in which I didn’t have any issues like this.

Anyways onto the update, I did a 3 minute idle and noticed I had blue-ish smoke out the exhaust. This wasn’t there before so not sure why it just started. The day after I saw the smoke out the exhaust I did 4 heat cycles. After the first one, the smoke out the exhaust went away, but the turbo was still leaking oil. If I can get re-motivated I’m going to do a warm compression test and see what it shows. If it’s my rings being worn and causing too much crankcase pressure I don’t know what I’m going to do. I did however pull the oil cap off and there were light puffs of air coming out and when I covered it with my hand it felt like a light vacuum. Not sure what that means and hoping someone here has more insight. I’m ready to pull what little hair I have out. The Air Force doesn’t pay me enough to afford rebuilding the engine. I saved $5k for 2 years just to get it to this point. Thank you everyone who has been trying to help I really appreciate it.
 

Kryndon

Proven Member
694
372
Jan 10, 2014
Bulgaria, Europe
I know in times like these it may seem like the end of the world but trust me man, you can pull through it and get it working properly. Many of us have (and I'm sure you have as well) been through tough times with these cars just not wanting to function properly, but at the end of the day, us DSMers always pull through. Don't let it beat you down!

If you've already flipped the two check valves in the right direction, and you still have very high crankcase pressure, one of the telltale signs would be your dipstick popping out. Alternatively, if the catch can is a cheap unit or if it developed a clog internally, it would also screw with the pressure. If the engine hasn't been rebuilt at all and you're still running stock piston rings and they're high mileage, it's possible to have developed blowby but not guaranteed. The air puffs that you're feeling with your hand over the oil cap could be from that, or from worn valve seats, valve guides or stem seals. In any case, a proper compression test should show whether you have significant problems in each cylinder, so it would be wise to get one done if you can.

I've only rebuilt two turbos so far, a T25 and a 16G, so my experience is negligible compared to other more experienced people. But even then, problems during a rebuild could arise. I had a snap ring giving me trouble which made the rotating assembly bind up. Thank god I didn't start the turbo like that, so after reading everybody's suggestions, I disassembled it again and fixed the issue.

At this point you'd be better off staying on the safe side and tearing it down, but maybe contact Justin again and ask what exactly to look for. Also, did you remember to prime the turbo with oil the first time you cranked the engine after installing it?
 

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
I appreciate the kind words Kryndon. I removed the catch can and my PCV line and breather line are back to stock. I wouldn’t tear into the turbo if it comes to it I’ll ship it to Justin and see if he sees anything. Honestly, I will only know more with a compression test which I did right after I put the car back together, but it was a cold compression test. I’m gonna warm the car up and do a operating temp compression test and see what the results are. I’ll update again after the compression test. Thanks again for the encouragement and advice!
 

TunedUp

Proven Member
205
12
Dec 28, 2011
Newport News, Virginia
Well time to break the bad news. I did the compression test and cylinder 2 was at 90. So, I did a wet test and it came up to 125. I meant to post this yesterday. I will be going to pick up a built short block tomorrow.
 
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