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Hi all

Any recommendations for a firm offering cost effective turbo refurbishing?

1984 T E with external waste gate

Based in south of England but could post if strong recommendation

John

Edited by Mr_John111

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

You can do it yourself for less than £100. Have a look at this website....

http://gpopshop.com/

I bought the overhaul kit from them and the turbo has been fine since I did the job in 2005. Here's the thread....even though you've probably seen it already!!

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/1939-bridge-to-engine-room-make-more-smoke/page__hl__%2Bbridge+%2Bto+%2Bengine+%2Broom__fromsearch__1

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Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Owen developments near Oxford,

Or BTN turbo, West of London.

But as stated, it's not to difficult to do it your self.

Most important is you change the trust bearing and journal bearings,

clean the turbine shaft from oil coking. And check all components for dents and scratches.


VAN DER LEE Turbo Systems     -      www.vdlee.com

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No other recommendations?

Tried Owen developments but they weren't interested!? They wanted to sell me a new turbo as they claim that Garrett never made service parts available for the T3??!

I found a service kit on eBay and asked if Owen would fit it but again they refused to use non genuine parts as they are an authorised Garrett dealer.

All this despite my assertion that I understood that there was no warranty.

Surely there must be someone offering this service?

John

Edited by Mr_John111

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Not sure if this is any help but one of the guys in the office got an exchange turbo for his Audi from Turbo Technics recently and I remember spotting that their catalogue had turbos for 1988=> Esprit listed, might be worth trying them. Can't personally vouch for their products but his Audi is running fine ATM.


Normally Aspirated - and lovin' it!

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Hi John

I am sure PNM Engineering have a turbo refurbishing service. Should be worth a phone call.

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Glad I found this thread. I have an early Stevens esprit which I believe has the T3 turbo.

I have been rebuilding the engine on my car for ever and the turbo with exhaust manifold have been leaning against my garage wall for an age. I noticed some oil was dripping from one of the manifold ports and when I lifted the whole lot up a fair amount of oil ran out. I can only assume this was from the turbo seals. When dismantling the engine the inside of the plenum was fairly oily as well but perhaps this is not unusual if nothing has been disturbed for 20 odd years.

I hadnt previously noticed any problem with the turbo and both fins that are visible seem in good order. Just for belt and braces I thought it best to get the unit refurbished and made a number of calls as to cost. Must say I wasnt keen on the vaque £250 if it all looks ok and only needs a clean out but be prepared for costs to escalate when we strip down. All said they prepared a report and if I didnt like the quoted price they would return turbo in bits. This seems a licence to print money and I wonder just how much you end up paying without of course actually being able to see whether anything has been replaced inside the unit.

I have been pondering about using a kit but am concerned about the balancing aspect. All the companies I phoned made a big deal about balancing saying each item in the kit might be balanced but the whole lot needs to be balanced when assembled.

It would be good if there was a photographic guide available for the rebuild from someone who has done the job. I am certainly not prepared to fork out a large sum of money for a rebuild when I am not completely convinced I have a problem.

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Glad I found this thread. I have an early Stevens esprit which I believe has the T3 turbo.

I have been rebuilding the engine on my car for ever and the turbo with exhaust manifold have been leaning against my garage wall for an age. I noticed some oil was dripping from one of the manifold ports and when I lifted the whole lot up a fair amount of oil ran out. I can only assume this was from the turbo seals. When dismantling the engine the inside of the plenum was fairly oily as well but perhaps this is not unusual if nothing has been disturbed for 20 odd years.

I hadnt previously noticed any problem with the turbo and both fins that are visible seem in good order. Just for belt and braces I thought it best to get the unit refurbished and made a number of calls as to cost. Must say I wasnt keen on the vaque £250 if it all looks ok and only needs a clean out but be prepared for costs to escalate when we strip down. All said they prepared a report and if I didnt like the quoted price they would return turbo in bits. This seems a licence to print money and I wonder just how much you end up paying without of course actually being able to see whether anything has been replaced inside the unit.

I have been pondering about using a kit but am concerned about the balancing aspect. All the companies I phoned made a big deal about balancing saying each item in the kit might be balanced but the whole lot needs to be balanced when assembled.

It would be good if there was a photographic guide available for the rebuild from someone who has done the job. I am certainly not prepared to fork out a large sum of money for a rebuild when I am not completely convinced I have a problem.

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There's probably nothing wrong with your turbo. They use labyrinth seals, which rely on the shaft rotating in an oil film to get the sealing effect...so if the shaft isn't rotating and the thing is sitting in a corner on one end, the residual oil will slowly trickle through the seals. I would recommend you do nothing to the turbo at the moment except inspect it. Check that both the compressor and turbine blades are intact with no bits or blades missing, and that the spindle rotates freely. Check for shaft movement..radial and axial should be minimal. You can get the specs and much information and advice from the guys I recommended earlier...the Gpop Shop on http://gpopshop.com/

At the very least, have a look at their website and then you can make an informed decision. The overhaul kits they sell are what would be used on your turbo by anyone rebuilding it...as for balancing, if your turbine wheel and compressor wheel are both OK, and you carefully mark the orientation of the turbine on to the shaft when removing it, and reassemble it in exactly the same position, all should be well. The best way would be to put an indelible felt pen mark on one compressor blade, the housing, one turbine blade and the housing...with it all lined up perfectly, of course. Then you have a spot on guide to alignment when reassembling. Also mark the alignment of the compressor and turbine housings, as they can go on in any orientation around the 360 degrees and they have to align with the exhaust and the pipe to the plenum.

I did mine years ago and it's fine...a crude balance check can be done by holding the bearing assembly in one hand and blasting the turbine with an airline, spinning it up as fast as possible...it howls nicely...and if it isn't shaking about there's not much wrong with the balance. I checked the rpm by counting the turbine blades and determining the howl frequency, then doing the sums...can't remember what my answer was, sadly, but it was enough rpm for me to be happy with the balance. The nut which holds the turbine on to the shaft is machined during the professional balancing process, so it ends up an odd shape, and a bit of improvisation is needed to find something which will fit it well enough to unscrew it and refit it afterwards.

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Thanks John thats reassuring. The sight of oil dripping out of the exhaust manifold had me worried.

Since the car wasnt smoking before the engine went and a visual inspection of the two sets of blades suggests nothing is wrong I will not worry about a rebuild at this stage. The spindle turns freely although there is a bit of sideways movement. A job for the future with any luck.

Must say that I fancy stripping the unit down just to see how everything works!

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There is, disappointingly, not much in there. The turbine surround casting and the compressor surround casting unbolt by removing the bolts and clamp plates..these bolts can rust solid which can be a problem, if they break(!). Then you're left with the revolving assembly; it's only a single shaft in bearings...either plain or ballrace...and seals. Undo the nut at the turbine end and it all slides apart. Once you have the bits on the bench and the overhaul kit to hand, you really begin to wonder why you should pay out big bucks for someone else to do it! It is portrayed as an impossible mystery, but it is just one rotating shaft...nothing else...and careful, logical work will see you right, as usual. I must admit I was slightly intimidated by the idea...but I had another, ex-Mini turbo (it's the same type) which I had got out of a skip, so I tore into that one first. No magic, no mystery, just needs methodical work. The essential is that you need to reuse the turbine wheel and the compressor shaft and wheel to maintain balance....if you need new rotating parts, then you would probably need to get the whole shebang rebalanced.


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Sorry to hear that Owen is not prepared to rebuild your unit.

Although I like to hear that he states only using genuine parts.

Yes John is right, rebuilding a turbo is not to difficult.

Although please don't spin the rotational assembly (Shaft and wheels)

with a airline. Running at high rpm without oil flowing through the system

can damage your bearings.

A balance check is not really needed, only used for decreasing noize.

it has no effect on durability. If you want the balancing anyhow, you can let a specialist.

(Try BTN then, they can balance for sure)


VAN DER LEE Turbo Systems     -      www.vdlee.com

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My theory was that, in the dismantled state, there was no load on the rotating assembly...and I ensured there was oil where it needed to be, first. The test only took a few seconds and, since it's been running for years since, no damage ensued. The idea of damage got me thinking, though....so I had a quick Google Image search and found that most turbo balancing seems to be done without an assembled turbo...just the shaft with the compressor and turbine. Which has to be dismantled and then reassembled into the completed turbo...which means that there is no difference between doing this or dismantling and reassembling it yourself, as the alignement of the rotating parts is still critical. Did see a photo of Turbo Technics balancing machine,... and that had the full turbo centre assembly, with an oil supply to the turbo, which would obviously be beneficial.


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Comparing prices....can't help there. I was just pleased to find somewhere that would sell me the overhaul kit; you can't buy them this side of the Pond, at least much searching didn't reveal any sources. I'd give the G-Pop Shop my vote anyway, simply for the excellence of their service and speed of response. Incredibly helpful guys....


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I used G-Pop shop. Cost me about £100.00 but had to pay about £20.00 import duty etc.

 

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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There are T3 rebuild kits on Ebay but quality unknown. Probably best to go to a known good source. 

The problem I will have is all of the bolts attaching the bearing housing to the turbine housing look like they will break off and will need to be removed somehow. I guess that could be done by a generic engineering shop though, if I cant get them out.

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They always look like they will snap....I was the nearest to a paroxysm of terror that I ever get. In the end, I dismantled two turbos...the Lotus one and one from a Mini I found in a skip (!) and nothing broke at all. A good soak in PlusGas probably helped....if you have oxyacetylene kit, heating up the fasteners first usually sorts it.


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I bought a kit on ebay with a 360 thrust bearing. 

Most of the studs at the rurbine housing snapped.

tig welded a small bar to the remaining stud, and unscrewed them when hot with ease.

Turbo is spinning fine.

Lars

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As a data point, here is the info on having my turbo rebuilt here in the USA

 

I had the turbo for Vivian rebuilt over the past 2 weeks. I was going to send it out to CA for the rebuild but found a small shop right here in the DC area that does them "locally" so we dropped it off with Tim's Turbo in Falls Church, VA. He's a 1 man shop (that is spotless BTW) and he quoted the exact same basic rebuild price as the other shops.

Once apart, he crack checked and found the bearing housing was cracked. This is the part that sits between the turbine and compressor. He replaced it with a new one and also replaced the compressor wheel as it was a bit niked up. The old bearing was loose radially and axially when checking it by hand the looseness was readily evident. The shaft now has zero detectable play and is smooth as glass. He included all new hardware, drilled and replaced the exhaust pipe bolts, put in 1 new Time-Sert, checked and straightened the shaft and balanced it at 150,000 RPM. 

Tim was super easy to deal with and I will use him again if I ever have another turbo that needs to be rebuilt. The total cost for the rebuild was $560.00.


Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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That sounds like the deal, I guess the guy doesn't have a web site?


Something I learned about cars or planes, it all works until it doesn't anymore...sometime there is no way around it!

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Web site:

http://timsturbos.com

as mentioned, knows the lotus, and has a couple of 944 turbo cars that he's working on.  I'm happy with what he did for us and would recommend him. 


Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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