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1997 900SE 5spd 2.0L turbo vert
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Things are going well with the Red Sled after replacing the starter from the now departed parts car. (Knock on the wood trimmed cluster panel.)
One of the many bits I pulled from said parts machine was the turbo. Mostly because I know next to nothing about em, and partly because I hear they're one of the 1st things to go on an engine under normal circumstances.
99k miles on the 1995 900se vert parts heap. Quite sure this is the original turbo. I've watched a few videos on rebuilding broken units, but I'll be doing much more research starting today.
The impeller (? inner spinny blades) seem snug- no side play against the walls, but I think I felt a tiny wiggle when I gave it a tug up parallel to its axis.
So what do you think? Douche it in brake cleaner, study up on it and keep it to sell or use on mine one day? No brake cleaner? Wait till I need it, then have a pro inspect it? Take more of it apart and super clean it? Recycle it and don't waste my time? Curious to see what you would do.
Crankset Automotive tire Wheel Bicycle part Vehicle brake

note the super bent post:
Bicycle part Wood Automotive tire Rim Gear

Office equipment Font Automotive exterior Gas Bumper

Glove Wood Camera lens Auto part Personal protective equipment
 

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From what I've read, having not had to work on one, if there's no obvious damage and minimal free play, it will work. I've read there will inevitably be some, because the bearings consists of being suspended in a layer of oil around the shaft. However, official tolerance numbers for free play end float and radial float, are very tight. They would be.

The other option is to keep it until needed then install or have installed a new CHRA centre housing rotating assembly. The pro shops spin it up to operating speed and adjust balance if necessary. I'm sure you'll get some local recommendations. Mellett is a well regarded manufacturer of CHRAs over here.
 

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Grab the shaft at both ends, reaching in through the intake AND exhaust ports. See how much it wiggle that way. You can measure from the blades to the side of the housing with a feeler gauge to find out how much play you have. Also push the shaft back and forth (axially) and see how much end to end play there is.

Options:
1) Rebuild it yourself with a $75 kit.
2) Buy a pre-balanced CHRA (plug-n-play) from someone like G-Pop Shop for about $300 and install
3) Have G-Pop rebuild it for $350
4) Buy an Ebay CHRA (Chinese, YMMV) for about $225.

I talked to G-Pop about doing my own rebuild and the issue of re-balancing. The guy there said that if you were very careful to mark and maintain the alignment and there were no previous issues (blades were chipped from hitting the housing, etc) then you'd be OK without doing the re-balancing. OR, you can have them rebalance for $65.

The CHRA they sell will come balanced... pop in, you're good to go.

Several guys with the Chinese CHRA's have reported good results. I always worry about one going bad and sending metal into the engine... but I suppose the real mode of failure is bad bearings that you find out about long before the turbo detonates and takes out the engine. TBH, I know of no one blaming an engine failure on a Chinese turbo although I have heard of some going bad.
 

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TBH, I know of no one blaming an engine failure on a Chinese turbo although I have heard of some going bad.
I've seen it, but admittedly it's rare. Poke around and you will definitely find pictures of exploded ebay turbos. $350 for a once-every-two-decades pro rebuild seems like small money. Although I'm continually tempted to buy an ebay turbo, $17/yr for reliability is irrefutable.
 

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I have an OEM TD04 I will be rebuilding. If you scribe your wheel and shaft alignments you will be fine. I am getting a superback rebuild kit from Turbo Labs for around 50 bux. I can not see paying $300 for questionable wheels, axle and piston seals in a cheap CHRA, but that is just me. I will take my chances with a kit. I am too cheap to pay for a pro rebuild, besides it is more video content and I like tinkering. :p
 

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1997 900SE 5spd 2.0L turbo vert
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice. Thanks all. I have no experience on these and no need to swap it out yet, but I want to absorb as much info as possible before the dreaded whiiiiine sets in. 136k+ miles. Fingers crossed.
 

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1997 900SE 5spd 2.0L turbo vert
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Should I attempt to clean the sooty interior? If so, brake cleaner, PB Blaster or WD40? Or is there a preferred cleaning solution?
 

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I would think any soot in the turbine side will start to reappear as soon as you start the engine again. If it accumulated a certain amount it would be blasted off the casing or flung off the blades. Similarly, centrifugal force will keep the impeller blades clear of significant accumulation.
 
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