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eBay Turbocharger Story/Review

By Mike Dostal

Alright everyone, a little background about why I did/am doing this. My 99 Eclipse RS-T has mysteriously developed a smoking problem which comes out whenever it wants to. I made a 60 mile trip a couple weeks back and it was non-stop puffing like crazy so that was the last straw. I have a couple bigger possibilities here:

1. Valve Seals are bad, need replacing
2. Oil Seals in turbo are bad/going bad

I decided the first thing to troubleshoot would be to get another turbo. I have always been for name-brand, quality turbos, but can not currently afford a better replacement to replace my Garrett/AiResearch T3 turbo. I decided since I plan on building my spare engine I have lying around down the road, I will want to upgrade to a bigger turbocharger (60-1, etc.) anyways. I won't be able to utilize something that size right now for my setup so I will hold off until I have the supporting mods.

That was my dilemma. Spend money on a good, smaller turbo I will replace down the road anyways and could possibly not even be my smoking problem and have to spend more money... OR... buy a cheap eBay turbo to troubleshoot my problem and if it turns out to fix it, great. I have a turbo that I only will need to last a year anyways. If it doesn't fix my smoking problem, hey... I didn't spend an arm and a leg on another turbo just to have to spend more money on parts to replace on my spare head to swap on my car.

So obviously I chose the eBay turbo. I looked around for something decently sized that my car would be able to spin without TOO much lag. I went with T3/T4 60 trim turbocharger. Here are some of the specs on the eBay site:

Inlet: 3 inches
Outlet (to IC piping): 2 inches
Bearing: Wet Floating Bearings
Oil Inlet: 1/8 NPT Oil Inlet
Flange: Standard T3 Flange
Swaps: Great WHP on B Series Swaps
Compressor: .48 A/R Compressor
Turbine: .60 A/R Turbine
Fits: 2.5" V-Band Outlet, Fits T3 and T3/T4 Manifolds

Some pictures from the Auction:

Received the turbo about a week later via FedEx. I inspected it and and am impressed with it so far. Wheel spins very freely, no shaft-play whatsoever. The casting for the exhaust side could have been better, but what can you expect for $205 shipped? Only thing that was damaged was my T3 gasket, but I contacted the seller and he is sending me another no charge. Here are some pics of what it looks like when I got it (took the internal wastegate setup off):

For $205, I am impressed with the quality. Right now I am waiting to get some things from Summit and eBay to put the turbo on my car (piping, oil line supplies, etc.) so it is just sitting pretty at my house right now until those come in. The planned install date is 9-14-07 so I will add another update to that once the turbo has been installed. The plan for this page is to keep it updated with the status of the turbo to see how long these things really last.

UPDATE 9/5/07
Took some pictures of the turbo with the compressor and exhaust housings off.

Click here to check them out.

UPDATE 9/10/07
Ordered a oil restrictor for the turbo yesterday. Was advised to by another member who had purchased an eBay turbo after his oil seals blew from the excessive oil pressures. Have received all items to put turbo on car. Planned install day is still set for Friday, Sep. 14.

Link to Oil Restrictor here.

UPDATE 9/16/07
Installed the turbo on Friday the 14th like planned, but finally got some pictures taken of the finished product. I had planned to do a full writeup on installation and oil lines, but dumb me forgot my camera. Here are some of the pictures:

Used the oil restrictor screwed directly into the turbo and an Earls 90* 1/8" NPT to -4 AN fitting on top of that with an Earl's -4 AN oil line all the way to the back of the block where I used a 3/8" NPT to -4 AN fitting on my oil tee. -10 Oil line for the return line back to the pan.

I am currently boosting about 4 psi right now (wastegate's spring size), but am getting a new fuel pump in tomorrow so I can test out some higher boost levels. Pulls good and spools pretty quickly.

When I was installing the turbo, I was spinning the wheel with my hand and could here it "catching" on something almost and slow down the spinning. I couldn't see anything so I just left it. Checked it today when I took pictures and spun it numerous times and never heard the sound again and it spun nicely without catching on anything. I am (so far) very impressed with how it's working right now. Will keep this thread updated with anything new that arrises with the turbo, thanks for reading!

UPDATE 10/5/07
Figured I would give you guys a quick update. Turbo has some slight shaftplay, but I think it is in part to a BOV problem I had where it wasn't opening and I was compressor surging at 4 psi. Fixed the problem with that and it hasn't gotten worse (been like 3 weeks since then). Spinning very freely still and builds boost perfect.

UPDATE 11/18/07
Shaftplay has not gotten any worse since last update. Spins very freely still and builds boost perfectly. I am starting to think this turbo is not that bad after all (knocking on wood).

UPDATE 12/5/07
Ditto on everything above. Working good still. I will be storing my car probably for the next upcoming winter months, so the turbo won't be run daily anymore.

UPDATE 1/23/07
Been using the car every once in a while when the weather is nice and still no problems. Builds 4 psi by around 3000-3500 rpm still. I am currently trying to save up for a new fuel system so I can run 6-8 psi safely and see how it handles those levels. I think it should do fine.
Questions, comments, etc. give me a PM and I will try me best to answer or help you guys out.

MSN, Email: totaleclipse_05@hotmail.com
AIM: totaleklipse05

This article Copyright 2007, Mike Dostal and 2GNT.com. All images are the property of their respective owners, hosted on 2GNT.com in the interest of ensuring this article remains useful in the future.

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Document statistics: Last modified on 2008-01-23 17:41:55 by totaleclipse_05

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