For all of the DIY diesel engine owners out there, I have decided to make a brief list of things to keep in mind when installing your new, re-manufactured, or existing turbocharger back on to the engine. It may seem like a simple task to most, but there are a few things you can do to prevent premature failures in the future.
- Check intake and exhaust passages for foreign debris including small metal shavings or fragments. Even small debris can cause significant damage to the high speed rotor assembly.
- Replace all gaskets, seals and o-rings with new replacement items. Many times, these items will be included with a new or reman turbo. This is not always the case. We see some people using gasket sealer on the oil outlet, which can end up blocking flow and causing a failure due to lack of lubrication.
- Make sure the oil outlet is not angled more than 20 degrees from bottom center in either direction.
- Fill the oil inlet of the turbocharger with clean engine oil until the oil overflowing. This will ensure the turbocharger is lubricated at first start.
- Before connecting the oil outlet tube, crank the engine over without firing until a stream of oil is seen flowing from the oil outlet.
- Let the engine idle for 4-5 minutes upon completion of installation. This step allows any contamination to flush out the the center housing prior to load application. This will also ensure bearings have received proper lubrication prior to load.
One last thing to keep in mind:
If you have to change the orientation of the housings, be sure the clamps, retaining bolts are tightened to specified torque value. Be sure to check mating surfaces between bearing housing and Compressor/ Turbine housing prior to tightening. Proper surface mating is crucial to prevent boost pressure or exhaust pressure from leaking externally.