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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I just replaced the whole exhaust on my convertible so I'm very determined now to find out where the internal oil leak is coming from. I get a small/decent amount at startup and a little bit at idle (AFTER driving, and it doesn't last)

First, I removed the downpipe to get in the turbo. Here is the video:

https://imgur.com/a/u14eZ3P

The first part of the video is me moving something that I'm not sure if it's supposed to move, but I assume it is supposed to (think it's the wastegate? Idk)

Then, going in to the turbo, that thing right in your face that's blurry, that moves a decent amount. I don't know what it is. It spins loosely if I twirl it with my finger

Then, you can see the blades clearly. There is 0 play in them, it is rigid as a brick. However, as you can see, there is obviously oil present. I don't know how normal this is

Then, I unclamped the intercooler hose and looked for oil. Nothing. Maybe a tiny bit. However, while down there, I did see that my lines are pretty damn ugly. Here are pics:

https://imgur.com/a/KLmkp1b

The first picture is the lines. Some old caked oil in various locations. Sorry for the closeup

The second picture is me on the ground, looking up at the oil pan, towards where the belts/pulleys are. The third picture is from the top. Oil is present obviously. Seems I have an external leak as well, but I'm not sure where it could be coming from in this area

If anyone can offer advice at this point, it is much appreciated as always! I was expecting the turbo to have shaft play and for me to be able to conclude the seals are bad

Thanks in advance!!
 

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First thing is the wastegate actuator rod. It should be movable, but you don't wanna do what you're doing - moving it laterally like that can rupture the diaphragm. Only ever move it in the normal direction of travel.

Second thing is the wastegate valve. It should spin.

Finding the source of your leak(s) is going to take some time. Sounds like you have internal and external ones. First thing I would do is pay a professional to steam clean the engine so you can actually see what's going on - sorting out new from old in that mess is a non-starter!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not "too" concerned with the external oil leaks. I'll get to it, but figured I'd mention it. I barely lose any oil anyway. I haven't had to add any in ~250 miles, since its/my first oil change

My main concern is the internal oil leaks. Thanks for the info about the waste actuator/valve. So do you think because of the lack of shaft play that my problem is not in the turbo, despite there being a small amount inside?
 

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IMHO the problem is without knowing how much is going out, it's tough to tell how much is staying in...and without knowing that volume, it's tough to guess what the source might be.

But, uh, if you don't think you're losing oil... Then, what's the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The only miles I've put on the car have been highway. Most of the oil leak comes from starting/stopping and idling, out of the tailpipe. So I have not noticed too much of a leak, but if I drive it around town more I'm sure I'd lose some

The previous owner had his cat break from the oil leak so he straight piped it from the turbo back. I just put a new cat on so I'm trying to avoid the possibility of it failing prematurely. The IAC valve was also dirty and non functional when I bought the car

So maybe the leak isn't awful, but I'm trying to stop it completely so I don't have to deal with those things in the future
 

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Ah, got it. There are only a few places where oil is going to come from internally - PCV system, valve stem seals, turbo, and if the engine is very worn maybe the bottom end. The only way to eliminate suspects is go through them individually. I would say from your video it's unlikely the turbo is the problem as it looks pretty clean in there all said and done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, got it. There are only a few places where oil is going to come from internally - PCV system, valve stem seals, turbo, and if the engine is very worn maybe the bottom end. The only way to eliminate suspects is go through them individually. I would say from your video it's unlikely the turbo is the problem as it looks pretty clean in there all said and done.
I replaced the entire (like 5 things lol) PCV system too. I'm gonna switch to Castrol 5w40 and hope this takes care of my problems, cause at this point if there's smoke it has to be valve seals
 

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Thicker oil rarely if ever solves leaky valve stem seals. If you've eliminated other suspects and your primary oil smoke is at start up (especially warm start) or on vacuum after acceleration, it's probably valve stem seals. IME, and unusual failure for a Saab, but like I said, if you've eliminated other suspects... It only takes an hour or two to replace them and you don't need to take all that much apart. But you do need a couple specialized tools... might be best left to a shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I read anecdotally (I think @EdT) that 0w40 mobil 1 was too thin for the older 9-3's or something, but using Castrol solved his smoke on startup. Or maybe it was the oil light, I don't recall. Might as well try it I suppose. Once I get everything put back together, we'll see how it goes. If it's still there, I'll look in to the seals being replaced
 
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