Godspeed K03 turbocharger review
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  1. #1
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    Godspeed K03 turbocharger review

    Before I purchased a turbocharger from this company I was very skeptical and could only find a single review, so I thought I should post my experience to help others thinking of buying from Godspeed.

    Car: 1999 Passat 1.8t AEB chipped

    Background Info:

    After researching some cheaper alternatives to the factory K03, I found a company called Godspeed that offered them for $400 (can find on ebay for less) and offers a 1 yr warranty given you replace the oil lines and have a "certified mechanic" do the job. I was not willing to pay someone to do the job so I had to fore go the warranty. I have read good and bad about ebay turbos, but felt comfortable with this purchase since it came from what seems like a legit company, or at least a company that probably cares about their reputation.

    I went with the K03 instead of the K04 because I have a GIAC flash and did not want to pay for an upgrade if I chose the K04 (which I was told is needed with the AEB engine).

    I should also note that I upgraded to the TT diverter valve at the time of this install.

    Review:

    After the install I took it for a spin and everything felt great, I actually felt that the car had a bit more power than it did with the factory turbo (probably because of the upgraded diverter valve). I felt so confident in the way the car was running that I drove it from Atlanta to Utah for vacation (4,000 miles roundtrip) and can happily report that the car still runs great. So for now I am happy with my purchase. I will update if anything changes.

    Also, I still have the factory k03 if anyone wants it. It still worked fine when I removed it, but has a bolt with the head sheared off stuck in the exhaust intake. The 3 holes where the manifold bolts on will have to be re tapped. I removed the turbo to fix an exhaust leak, and in the process of removal this bolt broke off. Instead of trying to fix this I figured I should just replace the turbo since it has 150,000 miles on it.

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  3. #2
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    Probably feels like it has more power because the clone turbo would have been based on one of the later J series K03's. The AEB came with the H or L series with had a tiny turbine even by K03 standards. So what you're probably feeling is the benefit of that little bit of extra flow capacity.

    Tell me, did it either the compressor nut or turbine nut end have any ground off portions them? If so that's a good thing as it means it was balanced. If you look, a lot of the real cheap ones have no signs of balancing. While problematic, it's not as much of an issue on a larger T3/T4 type since they only run at about 120,000 RPM max and that's if you're really pushing it. Most DIY Honda kit types are probably only running close to 80,000 RPM shaft speed on the bolt on ebay kits that use the T3/T4 turbos.

    Whereas the tiny K03 runs anywhere close to 180,000 RPM if it's chipped aggressively. So imperfections tend to manifest in failures more often in these turbos. So looks like you got a good one, best of luck with it.

  4. #3
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    My turbo is shot and am considering this more affordable alternative. How is it hanging so far?

  5. #4
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    may have to look into this (if/when time comes) just for the name alone! lol

  6. #5
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    aren't those the same as the fleabay turbos?

    there is many manufacturers and qualities for turbo made in china.

    so if it comes from a reputable source you are good, if not then get ready to cry them blues.

    you know if you guys are interested in a good turbo I can do another GB like i did last year with the turbos but need 15 people on the same model.

  7. #6
    Mr. Bieber 1st place WaterFest 17
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    I got an ebay ko4 from "turbo's r us" been running it for the last 5500 miles in my APR chipped (for ko3) and its been okay, I think the bearings are going in it though, as over 10psi it sounds really gross >_<

    I think its hit or miss really.. But I dont really have many complaints. I paid $289 for a ko4 lol

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by godsspeed View Post
    may have to look into this (if/when time comes) just for the name alone! lol
    So what does it say about yourself if the turbo breaks within 10,000 miles, hmm?

  9. #8
    Mr. Bieber 1st place WaterFest 17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipank123 View Post
    So what does it say about yourself if the turbo breaks within 10,000 miles, hmm?
    consider yourself blessed. As most who purchase ebay ko3/ko4's dont even come close to that number

  10. #9
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    Yep, my fleabay K04 made it to 1,000 miles.

    Good to think of it as you only paid about $300 for it, but it's still irritating.

    Don't buy a god damn ebay turbo, unless you enjoy hours of work and frustration swapping turbos on a 1.8T.

  11. #10
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    ipank - I can't comment on other ebay turbos, but I would def. buy from Godspeed again. I put almost 10k miles on it running ~20psi and it was still operating perfectly the day I sold it. You could buy 2 or 3 of them for the price of a borg warner and installation is not that difficult, so for me the cheap route was the way to go.

    If you are having a shop install it then I would go with a borg warner.

  12. #11
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    like the OP I'm currently running the same turbo and just installed it myself and have it for almost 2 month now, only I got it from ebay for 250 bucks so far has put 3k on it and love the response I can't comment more on reliability only time will tell but surely if you put on regular oil maintenance on full synthetic it should maybe last a little longer, even oem turbos are not immune to breakdown when deprived of oil. Anyway it's my car and if it breaks I love working on it again.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kbro View Post
    ipank - I can't comment on other ebay turbos, but I would def. buy from Godspeed again. I put almost 10k miles on it running ~20psi and it was still operating perfectly the day I sold it. You could buy 2 or 3 of them for the price of a borg warner and installation is not that difficult, so for me the cheap route was the way to go.

    If you are having a shop install it then I would go with a borg warner.
    Oh crap, now I'm back at square one again. My mind was set on getting gpopshop K03/04 hybrid even though they're $750. This is after my research seems to find that any turbo less than $600 is worthless. I have other things that needs to be fixed in the car, and would rather spend the money towards restoring it before doing any "upgrade".

    Does Godspeed feels the same as OEM? What do you mean by going with borg warner if a shop installs it? I live in apartment complex, so a DIY is out of the question. I trust my mechanic, however. It shouldn't matter what kind of turbo I put in there as long as no fabrication involved.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipank123 View Post
    Oh crap, now I'm back at square one again. My mind was set on getting gpopshop K03/04 hybrid even though they're $750. This is after my research seems to find that any turbo less than $600 is worthless. I have other things that needs to be fixed in the car, and would rather spend the money towards restoring it before doing any "upgrade".

    Does Godspeed feels the same as OEM? What do you mean by going with borg warner if a shop installs it? I live in apartment complex, so a DIY is out of the question. I trust my mechanic, however. It shouldn't matter what kind of turbo I put in there as long as no fabrication involved.

    I just meant that you should go with a more reliable brand if you are paying someone else to install it because you would not want to have to pay labor twice. Borg Warner (OEM) would be the most reliable choice IMO.

  15. #14
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    Sorry to bump an old thread but I would like to add $.02. I ordered a friend the Godspeed turbo since he is a poor college boy and his parents will not help him with his car. I installed this turbo on his car 3 months ago on his AEB passat and boy is it a difference. His factory finally started smoking oil out the tail pipe and had to replace it. For it's price it's been a great but for him, simple install on my part and a good little upgrade on his. It does send around 10 psi to the manifold which is great! For Christmas I got him a tune at 15psi, upgraded n75 valve, and snagged a vr6 MAF from a vr. Let me tell you something that little turbo can push! I did a vagcom but dyno and it was around 215hp! For anyone considering God speed I say it's worth it if you can install it yourself or have a friend who accepts a beer as payment! Now to test a Godspeed KO4 for shits and giggles

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