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Old 02-25-2012, 05:30 AM   #1
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Coolant Oil Mixing: What did I do wrong?

Recently replaced a (really) bad turbo on a 99 9-3 that was blowing all kinds of oily smoke. Replaced with a used unit from ebay that didn't appear to have any shaft play or other problems.

New turbo goes in, and I drive the car for about ten minutes to burp the coolant, test drive, etc. When I get back, I check the oil and its full of coolant: a frothy milkshake. Obviously coolant is getting in, and quickly.

My first reaction is that there is a bad head gasket, which wouldn't surprise me, the car has almost 170K miles. However, before replacing the turbo, there was no coolant / oil mixing. Now suddenly, they are rapidly mixing.

My question is, is there anything I could have done wrong during reassembly to cause these fluids to mix? The hard lines to the turbo really only fit in one place, so I doubt that. Could the used turbo be bad in such a way to cause these fluids to mix?

It's been a long road trying to fix this car, and if a head gasket coincidentally blew, it would fit in to our sad timeline well. Just thought I'd see if I could solicit some non-head-gasket advice.

Thanks in advance for the help, guys.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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bump for HALP!!
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:04 AM   #3
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whelp.....common sense tells that you that if it was fine before the turbo swap, and is balled up after the turbo swap, its either the turbo, or the installation that's bad.

The lines are all solid steel, and you can't exactly hook up the oil to the coolant, and vice versa, so that should eliminate the installation.

The center section of the turbo is where coolant and oil are both present, and in close proximity. No shaft play doesn't mean a seal inside wasn't bad....it simply means the bearings were done. I've had turbos with incredible shaft play that didn't leak, and tight turbos that burned oil like a SOB.

My $0.02 is that the turbo you got is porked.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
 
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I'd second the bad inner oil seal...
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #5
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OK, thanks guys. Helpful feedback.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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I didn't think that the seals in the Turbo separated the coolant from oil. I thought they just held oil in the Turbo from leaking out to the wheels. I could be wrong though.

If I'm correct then maby the Turbo is cracked allowing coolant in the oil.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:54 AM   #7
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Nevermind lol
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #8
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I didn't think that the seals in the Turbo separated the coolant from oil. I thought they just held oil in the Turbo from leaking out to the wheels. I could be wrong though.

If I'm correct then maby the Turbo is cracked allowing coolant in the oil.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:30 PM   #9
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Sorry to capitalize on your misfortune, but I have a t25 I would let go for cheap. It is from a good running car that was flooded, but not running during the flood. Water made it in the engine, but the oil was changed soon after and it was cranked, so I would think the turbo would have gotten some fresh oil in it. Anyway, if your interested, I'll sell it for 75.

Also, if anyone thinks the flood would have damaged it let me know, but I think it should be ok.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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OK, thanks for mentioning, and duly noted. We are going to try to see what we can do to return the one we have and possibly exchange.

FWIW, it's a TD04, but we can downgrade to a t25. Car is not tuned, and we just need it to run...
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #11
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Yeah hopefully you at least get your money back. Would be nice to have the td04 in case you ever do decide to tune it.

Ill actually be driving a little east of Pottstown this weekend and could bring the t25 along if you are interested. I would include any of the t25 specific stuff if you need it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #12
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Rebuild it.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:57 AM   #13
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That's an option, yes. But, I've never rebuilt one before and don't have tons of free time to figure it out. It's a beater car for my brother. We just want it to run for a year or two.
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