Turbo/Oil Leak Issues
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Thread: Turbo/Oil Leak Issues

  1. #1
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    Turbo/Oil Leak Issues

    Hey guys. I just purchased my first VW. 1999 Passat 1.8t. The guy I bought it from said it needs a turbo. I have done a TON of research on this forum already and I'm kind of unclear about the issue I have. Cold start, there's a little smoke out of the tailpipe. When it starts to warm up smoke amount increases. When I accelerate large amounts of blueish hazey looking smoke puffs out of the tailpipe. Also, there is some smoke coming from around the turbo in the engine bay. Looks like there's a leaky gasket on the turbo as well. Also, power loss. My engine sounds normal and strong, engine temperature is good.

    I've read about turbo issues and PCV system issues. My question is, how do I make sure my problem is with my turbo? Somebody told me to take the intake hose off of the turbo and if I see a crap load of oil in there it's my turbo. He also said to take the hose off going to my intercooler and if there's oil in the hose it's my turbo. If the PCV system is bad would it cause oil to leak into my exhaust? I'm also thinking that oil is dripping onto my turbo from the PCV which is causing the smoke from the turbo. Is this possible? I'm leaning towards turbo but I need some expert advice before I start ripping things out of the engine bay.

    Also, if I were to replace the turbo, would a used one suffice? Would I have to rebuild it? Could I just rebuild my bad turbo?

    I apologize if any of this has been covered before, I'm a big time DIY guy so usually I like to figure things out myself without someone holding my hand. If there is a really good write up about rebuilding or replacing the stock k03 could someone point me in the right direction? This is my first VW so i'm kind of unfamiliar with the engine and things.

    Thanks, and sorry for all the writing, I know you have to be specific on these posts or you won't get anywhere.

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  3. #2
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    I've been doing tons of more research. It sounds like the turbo seals are a pretty common problem on these cars. I'm going to check out the insides of the turbo and hoses when I get some time. Should I bother taking photos and continuing to document my experience with this turbo issue? Is anyone going to benefit from it? I may do a turbo rebuild and do a write up on it if anyone else has this same issue.

    Should I be posting these things in a different location on the forum? Or am I in the right area? I'm a noob that joined a few days ago.

  4. #3
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    For anyone following this thread, or anyone with similar turbo related issues, I found an awesome information page on turbos from another site.

    It's called Chris Wright's Turbocharger FAQ. The site I think is mainly for American car info, but these Q's & A's are great to troubleshoot any turbo problems for any car with a turbo. It's a really helpful info page so I thought I would post it on this site. I don't know where to put it, so I'm going to throw it in this thread since I'm having turbo issues.

    Here's the link

    Chris Wright's Turbocharger FAQ

  5. #4
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    Wow looks like we as a community were really helpful for you here haha

  6. #5
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    Yeah haha. I think it's a subject that has been covered a little bit. I just have to do a LOT of digging. I think I'm just going to replace the turbo. Everything leads to that.

  7. #6
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    If it looks like a cat, meows like a cat then its...... A bad turbo . There are some good DIY with photos around here. It is not too bad of a job to replace the turbo. K03's can be pretty cheap, but I would not trust a used turbo. Remember, there is always a reason as to why a used part is for sale rather than being used. You can get it rebuilt for cheap, or can get a rebuilt one for cheap.

  8. #7
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    There's a DIY on rebuilding a K03 yourself. Not a job I would undertake as I would be worried about retaining the factory balancing.

    There's also a DIY on swapping out the turbo. It's technically for installing a K04, but it's the same steps.

    I am installing a used turbo on my car as soon as the school year is done (I'm a teacher). I got the turbo here for pretty cheap and it seems solid. It was replaced with a Frankenturbo. If I could get it rebuilt for a decent price first I would. G-pop shop does it for over $200 iirc, which is more than I want to spend.
    Tnavy likes this.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zak99B5 View Post
    There's a DIY on rebuilding a K03 yourself. Not a job I would undertake as I would be worried about retaining the factory balancing.

    There's also a DIY on swapping out the turbo. It's technically for installing a K04, but it's the same steps.

    I am installing a used turbo on my car as soon as the school year is done (I'm a teacher). I got the turbo here for pretty cheap and it seems solid. It was replaced with a Frankenturbo. If I could get it rebuilt for a decent price first I would. G-pop shop does it for over $200 iirc, which is more than I want to spend.
    Sorry but I couldn't find the DIYs. Do you have the link?

  10. #9
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    DIY on swapping, or rebuilding? I can hunt it down for you if you need it.

  11. #10
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    I found a DIY for a k04 swap, which is identical to swapping in a k03. you can find this here K04 Upgrade/Installation

    and a k03 rebuild DIY here Kkk Turbo Strip/rebuild. - VAGdrivers - sponsored by Alloy-Wheels.ie

    I hope these can help!

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnavy View Post
    I found a DIY for a k04 swap, which is identical to swapping in a k03. you can find this here K04 Upgrade/Installation

    and a k03 rebuild DIY here Kkk Turbo Strip/rebuild. - VAGdrivers - sponsored by Alloy-Wheels.ie

    I hope these can help!
    Excellent. Thanks a lot.

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    Hey, thanks for all the replies. I got the old turbo off, the exhaust turbine was totally snapped off of the shaft and lodged in the housing. The used one I just bought is missing the flapper on the inside of the exhaust housing for the wastegate actuator, the shaft is solid though. I think I'm going to pull parts from both turbos, rebuild it with new seals, bearings and what not, and hopefully have a solid working turbo. I think it's worth messing around with it to see if I can get a complete turbo out of the two. A new turbo is pricey so I think it's worth a shot.

    I've done quite a bit of research on rebuilding a k03, it's gonna be some work, but it's do-able. Those links that Tnavy posted above are great.

    I'll keep everyone posted on the outcome.

    Thanks

    Mack

  14. #13
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    Those are the DIYs to which I was referring. The rebuild one is a little light on reassembly.

    You will probably have to get a machine shop or welder to put a new wastegate flapper on the linkage shaft.

    After I replace the turbo with the binding wastegate in the Audi, I am going to take the turbo with the rattling wastegate out of the Passat and try to get one solid turbo out of the two.

  15. #14
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    I think I'm just going to swap the exhaust housings from the two turbos. I'm not going to bother with a rebuild, I may be looking for more power in 10,000 miles anyway and upgrade to a k04.

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