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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I just replaced the turbo on my 2000 9-3. I hooked all the lines back up, checked for leaks. I cranked the engine with the DIC cassette out just to make sure there was enough oil in there. It was a used turbo, but with minimal miles (GT 17 with only 15K miles on it). So I top of all the fluids and start the car. It stutters and spits out blue smoke. It did this before I replaced the turbo, so I assumed it was just oil still in the TB from the bad turbo. Well it kept doing this, and it dies unless I keep reviving the gas. I'm guessing it's bogging down from the oil. I pulled off the TB and sure enough it was filled with fuel and oil. I removed all the oil in there and gave it another go. It's still stuttering and putting out enough blue smoke to warrant an EPA investigation. Did I screw something up putting the new turbo in? Anything I can check for or is this new turbo dead as well? I changed the oil during the swap, so I'm certain it's not a sludge issues (though I didn't drop the pan to check). Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

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fuel and oil in the throttle body? It may not be a turbo problem but something more serious. I think that sounds like intake valves that aren't sealing properly. Do you have the ability to do a compression check on the cylinders?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I dropped the down pipe this morning and blue smoke is coming directly out of the turbo. There was no shaft play on the exhaust side of the turbo. I'm wondering if the compressor side were to fail if that would push oil through the intake? Also the previous turbo's CHRA failed and burnt a crap load oil. Taking this into consideration, could remaining oil in the intercooler and intake still be burning off? I'm talking a massive amount of smoke here, not just a puff. And it's consistent. TIA.
 

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if the intake side bearing failed you absolutely have oil inside the intercooler/intake. I'd be worried if there is gasoline inside of the intake however.....You could drive it for a bit, see if the smoking goes away and if your oil level drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I ran the car with the DP off for a while and sure enough, no more blue smoke out of the turbo. It runs at slightly higher boost with the DP off, I'm assuming that's a back-pressure or O2 thing so I'm not overly worried about it, as it's in the norm range when the DP is connected. I connected the DP back on and blue smoke out the tail pipe. So my guess is that the cat is clogged with oil from when the old turbo went bad. My question is... is there a quicker way to get the oil out of the DP/cat than driving around and burning it off? My neighbors are going to call the cops if I run this thing again. I'm sure I've killed a couple trees by now... TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I removed the intercooler and hoses and cleaned them all out. Had almost a quart of oil spill out, never mind what I actually cleaned out afterward. I reconnected everything and I'm getting significantly less smoke now, however I am still getting some. The throttle body has only a few drops in it (not filled like last time) and my oil level is not changing. The smoke is pretty white as well, and my coolant level dropped slightly. So I went ahead and did a compression check, 160 on all cylinders, so I don't believe it's head gasket issue. What seal in the turbo would be blown to cause this new annoying problem? It only has 15,000 miles on it according to the PO.Thoughts? TIA.
 

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If the cat is clogged due to all of the burnt oil, the increased backpressure could be causing some of your stuttering/stalling performance issue. If you can check the temperature of cat at the front and back and it isn't about 100F hotter at the back, then the cat is toast and needs replacement anyway. You could also rig up a pressure gauge in the front O2 sensor bung. Check for the pressure to climb while the rpms are steady, that shows some sort of exhaust restriction such as an oil clogged cat. There's no cleaning a cat, just replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I swapped the downpipes and the starting issue is pretty much gone, but it's still burning coolant. Any idea why this might be? What seal in the turbo would be bad for this to happen? It's not leaking any coolant that I can see and I doubt it's the headgasket as the compression is good across all cylinders and it only started burning coolant since I changed the turbo. Could having coolant lines mixed up on the TB cause this? I may have got them backwards when I took it off to clean it. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Alright. I don't have a head gasket leak. This much I am certain. Is there anyway to verify the turbo is doing the burning, and to figure out which seal in the turbo is going without taking the turbo out? This is driving me crazy. Coolant loss is about a 1/4-1/2 inch for every 45 minutes of running time. Smokes moderately for the first 5-10 minutes and then becomes very thin and whispy/almost not noticeable. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I removed the downpipe and performed a pressure test on the cooling system could I see a leak out of the exhaust side of the turbo, without the vehicle running? Again, compression is good and the cylinder heads are not nice and pretty, so they're not being steam cleaned. Oil is good as well. It's not a headgasket. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I finally caved and bought a cooling system pressure tester... and it fixed my problem. I cranked up the PSI to 14 and it unexpectedly held pressure. I left it on for 15 minutes, let the engine cool down, heated it back up and repeated the test. Same results. So I let the car run for an hour and now it's not burning coolant anymore. No smoke from the exhaust, and no drop of coolant level. Anyone got any idea why this is? I don't think doing a pressure test would push the seal back in place... I did a compression test a few minutes before the pressure test and all readings are still normal. Thoughts? TIA.
 

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I blew a turbo this spring and had the same cloud of smoke, so I know how your neighbors feel.

I replaced the turbo cartridge with a brand new garrett part.

Did you have any difficulty getting the downpipe to seal to the exhaust housing at all? Mine still leaks.
 
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