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Pelican Technical Article:

Turbocharger Replacement

Time:

5 hr

Tab:

Cost depends on reason for removing turbo

Talent:

*****

Tools:

7mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 17mm, 19mm sockets and wrenches, 17mm swivel socket, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm Allen wrenches/bits, locking pliers with parallel jaws, small flathead screwdriver, drain pan

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (1997, 1999-01)
Audi A4 Sedan (1998)
Audi A4 Quattro (1997, 1999-01)
Audi A4 Quattro Sedan (1998)
Audi TT (2000-04)
Audi TT Quattro (2000-04)
VW Beetle (1999-02)
VW Golf (2000-02)
VW Jetta (2000, 2002)
VW Jetta Sedan (2001)
VW Passat (1998-00)

Parts Required:

New gaskets, hose clamps

Hot Tip:

Take a methodical approach to removing all the lines and connections, and make sure you document everything so you have a road map to follow when you reinstall the turbo.

Performance Gain:

Turbo can be rebuilt to restore performance, or replaced with an upgraded unit to enhance performance

Complementary Modification:

Air filter replacement, exhaust manifold replacement, replace diverter valve, replace starter, replace timing and/or accessory belts

Check out some other projects from our technical library:

If you own an VW or Audi with the 1.8 liter engine, the turbocharger hanging off the right side of the engine is an incredibly important piece of equipment. It's what makes it possible for your car to have adequate performance despite its small-displacement engine. And if you're the type who is into performance enhancements, that turbo is the reason why it's so easy to turn up the wick.

The downside of the turbo is the complexity it adds to your engine bay and the increased potential for repair and maintenance issues.

Whether you need to get at your turbocharger to repair it or replace it, the following project will show you how to do it. A multitude of hoses, pipes, connectors, bolts, and gaskets are involved, but take a deliberate, step-by-step approach and you'll find that it's a reasonably straightforward if time-consuming job. If you need to rebuild your stock turbo, see the Turbo Rebuild project.

A few prerequisites: raise the front end of the car, if not the whole thing; remove the undertray; move the radiator support panel to the service position; remove the air conditioning compressor from its mounts and set it aside; disconnect the battery's negative terminal; and remove the plastic covers for the airbox and engine, as well as the short duct between the radiator cowl and the airbox.

Upon reinstallation, fill the turbo with fresh engine oil through the oil supply connection on top of the center section. Also, top off the engine coolant with the correct mixture. When you first start the engine, let it idle for about a minute without revving to give the turbo a chance to be properly lubricated.

You don't need to remove the compressor outlet hose at this point, but you can see here that I have.
Figure 1

You don't need to remove the compressor outlet hose at this point, but you can see here that I have. Note the oily discharge that has been building up for some time; this can be a symptom of a problem with the turbo, but in this case it appears to be simply the accumulation of oil through the crankcase ventilation system (which is directed into the intake tract just ahead of the turbocharger) over 100,000+ miles of service. The first step is to remove the support bracket between the turbocharger and the engine block. The support is the gray metal piece extending to the bottom of the center of the photo. On the turbocharger side you need to remove the 6mm Allen-head bolt seen in the center of the photo (22 ft-lb).

On the engine block side of the support bracket, you'll find an 8mm Allen-head bolt.
Figure 2

On the engine block side of the support bracket, you'll find an 8mm Allen-head bolt. It is slightly obscured by the turbocharger's oil return tube, so you may need to use an L-shaped wrench on it. Or, you can disconnect the end of the tube at the turbocharger (which is the next step anyway), and that may give you the wiggle room you need to get at this bolt (18 ft-lb).

The turbo's oil return tube connects to the turbo with two 5mm Allen-head bolts; one of these is visible here, and the other is directly on the opposite side of the tube (7 ft-lb).
Figure 3

The turbo's oil return tube connects to the turbo with two 5mm Allen-head bolts; one of these is visible here, and the other is directly on the opposite side of the tube (7 ft-lb). It's a good idea to remove the oil return tube completely and flush out the line using brake parts cleaner. This will remove any carbon starting to build up in the line.

With the two bolts removed, the tube can be disconnected from the turbo.
Figure 4

With the two bolts removed, the tube can be disconnected from the turbo. You should have a small drip of oil, but not much more than that.

This gasket, which sits between the oil drain tube and the turbocharger, should be replaced during the reassembly process.
Figure 5

This gasket, which sits between the oil drain tube and the turbocharger, should be replaced during the reassembly process.

Remove the hose that runs from the airbox to the intake side of the compressor by loosening the hose clamp and prying the hose loose.
Figure 6

Remove the hose that runs from the airbox to the intake side of the compressor by loosening the hose clamp and prying the hose loose. Looks like our turbocharger will need a bit of cleaning before we reinstall it. Just above the compressor inlet, on the turbocharger, you'll see a 12mm banjo bolt for a pressure reference line that you'll need to remove next.

This photo shows the same 12mm banjo bolt, seen from above.
Figure 7

This photo shows the same 12mm banjo bolt, seen from above. It's a bit hard to see but this photo should give you some reference for locating it.

The next major step in the project is to remove the airbox, which contains the air filter.
Figure 8

The next major step in the project is to remove the airbox, which contains the air filter. The airbox has many connections, both electrical and mechanical, that need to be disconnected in order to remove the airbox and open up access to the turbo and other surrounding components. Start by disconnecting the Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) purge regulator valve, which sits on top of the airbox, toward the rear. Pull up on the metal clip to release the connector...

... and then pull the wiring away.
Figure 9

...and then pull the wiring away. Some cars will be equipped with a "Power Output Stage" connector, which would be located on top of the metal blanking plate that is visible just to the left of the screwdriver handle and beneath the wiring harness in this photo. Although the engine pictured here is coded as an ATW engine, many of these components correspond to the AWM code engine, at least as described in the Bentley manual.

The connector for the wastegate bypass regulator valve is next, but the procedure is the same, with one metal clip to release.
Figure 10

The connector for the wastegate bypass regulator valve is next, but the procedure is the same, with one metal clip to release. This one is located near the wastegate, just forward of the turbo itself.

Loosen the hose clamp and remove the intake tube from the front of the airbox.
Figure 11

Loosen the hose clamp and remove the intake tube from the front of the airbox.

Some cars, like this one, are equipped with a secondary air injection system, which is designed to alleviate start-up emissions.
Figure 12

Some cars, like this one, are equipped with a secondary air injection system, which is designed to alleviate start-up emissions. The system feeds air into the airbox up from the hose I'm holding in this photo, connected to the hard plastic tube just above my hand. Disconnect this hose.

Only one bolt is used to hold the airbox in place.
Figure 13

Only one bolt is used to hold the airbox in place. Use a 10mm wrench to remove it.

Disconnect the two hoses seen here.
Figure 14

Disconnect the two hoses seen here. The hose leading from the activated charcoal filter pictured here leads...

... to this hard pipe that must be freed from the two plastic brackets that hold it to the side of the airbox.
Figure 15

...to this hard pipe that must be freed from the two plastic brackets that hold it to the side of the airbox.

The last connection is the wiring for the MAF sensor.
Figure 16

The last connection is the wiring for the MAF sensor. This is located under the round rubber plug on top of the airbox. Peel the plug back to gain access to the connector.

Like many electrical connectors on this car, it is helpful to use a small flat-blade screwdriver to release the connector.
Figure 17

Like many electrical connectors on this car, it is helpful to use a small flat-blade screwdriver to release the connector. This close-up shows how to position the screwdriver.

The airbox is now free to be removed.
Figure 18

The airbox is now free to be removed. Simply lift it straight up and maneuver it around any hoses or wires that are in the way.

Here's a general shot of the right side of the engine bay once the airbox has been removed.
Figure 19

Here's a general shot of the right side of the engine bay once the airbox has been removed. Look at all that space!

The hose leading to the secondary air injection pump can be disconnected to improve access.
Figure 20

The hose leading to the secondary air injection pump can be disconnected to improve access. Here's the bottom connection, just forward of the turbo.

Here I've disconnected the hose (out of focus in the foreground) at the top, by the engine.
Figure 21

Here I've disconnected the hose (out of focus in the foreground) at the top, by the engine.

Many items in this area are protected from the heat of the turbocharger and exhaust system by heat shields.
Figure 22

Many items in this area are protected from the heat of the turbocharger and exhaust system by heat shields. The coolant line that is connected to the center section of the turbocharger is protected by a reflective sleeve that is secured with snaps. Open the two snaps and remove the sleeve.

Next you'll disconnect this coolant line, but first, pinch it shut with a pair of locking pliers that have parallel jaws.
Figure 23

Next you'll disconnect this coolant line, but first, pinch it shut with a pair of locking pliers that have parallel jaws. There are locking pliers with smooth jaws that are made just for this purpose, but your standard type will do the job too.

Prepare to remove the coolant hose by moving the hose clamp from the end.
Figure 24

Prepare to remove the coolant hose by moving the hose clamp from the end.

Pull the rubber hose off of the pipe that protrudes from the center section of the turbocharger.
Figure 25

Pull the rubber hose off of the pipe that protrudes from the center section of the turbocharger. A small amount of coolant will escape, but if you clamped the line properly, it won't be much.

Above the exhaust manifold you'll find a heat shield that protects the oil line that feeds the center section of the turbocharger.
Figure 26

Above the exhaust manifold you'll find a heat shield that protects the oil line that feeds the center section of the turbocharger. Remove this heat shield by first removing the 8mm bolts that secure it (31 in-lb).

Once the heat shield is out of the way, you can loosen the bolts that hold the oil feed pipe in place.
Figure 27

Once the heat shield is out of the way, you can loosen the bolts that hold the oil feed pipe in place.

Use a 6mm Allen bit or wrench to remove the two bolts that secure the oil feed pipe (17 ft-lb).
Figure 28

Use a 6mm Allen bit or wrench to remove the two bolts that secure the oil feed pipe (17 ft-lb).

Next you need to disconnect the oil feed line at the turbo center section.
Figure 29

Next you need to disconnect the oil feed line at the turbo center section. A 17mm open-end wrench will make quick work of the end of this line (17 ft-lb).

The line is off and out of the way.
Figure 30

The line is off and out of the way. You'll get a little oil leakage out of this fitting, but it shouldn't be too much.

Three 17mm nuts hold the turbo outlet flange to the catalytic converter (22 ft-lb).
Figure 31

Three 17mm nuts hold the turbo outlet flange to the catalytic converter (22 ft-lb). These are tantalizingly visible, but are difficult to remove because of the way the converter flares outward and because the seams of the outer shell of the converter provide an obstruction. This nut is the easiest to remove; the one to the right is a little more difficult to reach, and the one you can't see, right on the bottom, you will need a swiveling socket to reach. You simply can't get a straight shot at the nut with a standard ratchet and socket. You might be able to get a short combination wrench on it, but then you won't have the leverage you need to break it loose.

Next, remove the 17mm bolts holding the turbocharger to the exhaust manifold (26 ft-lb).
Figure 32

Next, remove the 17mm bolts holding the turbocharger to the exhaust manifold (26 ft-lb). These will need to be replaced when you reinstall the turbo. These bolts can be a bit stubborn after hundreds or thousands of heat cycles. You can get a nice deep socket and a breaker bar on the two outer bolts. It also helps to use a little penetrant oil on the bolt a day or two before.

You'll need a low profile socket for the bolt next to the block.
Figure 33

You'll need a low profile socket for the bolt next to the block. Make sure your socket is positioned properly and apply torque smoothly to be sure you get the bolt loose.

The turbo is now loose.
Figure 34

The turbo is now loose. A couple more connections need to be removed before you can lift it out of the engine bay. As I walk you through those in the following steps, keep in mind that these can be done before the steps shown in pictures 32 and 33.

Each of the three-bolt flanges is equipped with a gasket that should be replaced during reinstallation.
Figure 35

Each of the three-bolt flanges is equipped with a gasket that should be replaced during reinstallation.

In this photo you can see the actuating rod between the wastegate actuating valve (the cylinder to the right of the photo) and the wastegate linkage itself, which is behind the crankcase ventilation tube in the foreground to the left.
Figure 36

In this photo you can see the actuating rod between the wastegate actuating valve (the cylinder to the right of the photo) and the wastegate linkage itself, which is behind the crankcase ventilation tube in the foreground to the left. Just below that, on the body of the turbocharger, is a 19mm banjo bolt that connects a shorter, second coolant line between the engine block and the turbocharger.

A 19mm socket will take care of that banjo bolt, but the coolant line isn't free yet.
Figure 37

A 19mm socket will take care of that banjo bolt, but the coolant line isn't free yet. You'll also need to remove the bolt on the other side of the bracket from that welded nut just behind the wastegate actuating rod. The problem is that this fastener (or alternatively, the fasteners holding the wastegate mounting bracket to the turbocharger) are difficult to find and reach, particularly if this is your first time doing this project. When you reinstall the turbo, leave the fastener connecting the coolant feed line to the wastegate valve a bit loose. Tighten it down to 7 ft-lb only after you have secured the coolant feed line's banjo bolt (26 ft-lb).

The solution I went with was to remove the short coolant hose at the engine block.
Figure 38

The solution I went with was to remove the short coolant hose at the engine block. It is held in place with a 7mm hose clamp.

Be prepared to dump a lot of coolant when you remove this hose.
Figure 39

Be prepared to dump a lot of coolant when you remove this hose. It's not the ideal solution, but it will work in a pinch.

The last remaining connection keeping the turbo from being removed is the hose that provides the vacuum signal to the wastegate actuator valve.
Figure 40

The last remaining connection keeping the turbo from being removed is the hose that provides the vacuum signal to the wastegate actuator valve. This is the hose that runs across the timing belt cover to the intake manifold.

Here's another, more detailed look at the compressor side of the turbo.
Figure 42

Here's another, more detailed look at the compressor side of the turbo.

This photo gives a good look at the oily buildup on the vanes of the compressor wheel.
Figure 43

This photo gives a good look at the oily buildup on the vanes of the compressor wheel.

Here's the turbine side of the turbocharger, with the wastegate flapper on the left and the turbine wheel on the right.
Figure 44

Here's the turbine side of the turbocharger, with the wastegate flapper on the left and the turbine wheel on the right.

This is a closer look at the nut that is welded to the wastegate actuator valve mounting bracket.
Figure 45

This is a closer look at the nut that is welded to the wastegate actuator valve mounting bracket. Because this nut is welded, you needn't hold it in place as you remove the bolt from the other side.

Remove the 10mm bolt in order to remove the short coolant pipe from the turbocharger.
Figure 46

Remove the 10mm bolt in order to remove the short coolant pipe from the turbocharger. Again, you can do this while the turbo is still in the car rather than on the bench. See the Turbo Rebuild project next if you're planning to rebuild your existing turbo.

With the turbo and airbox removed, along with the hoses that lead into and out of the turbo, the exhaust side of the engine looks awfully empty.
Figure 47

With the turbo and airbox removed, along with the hoses that lead into and out of the turbo, the exhaust side of the engine looks awfully empty. Note that I removed the crankcase ventilation hose"it was thoroughly baked onto the metal pipe and had to be cut to be removed. Even then, a good bit of rubber was stuck to the pipe.

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Comments and Suggestions:
ca563 Comments: I bought a replacement k03 for my audi a4 1.8 T 2002 but to my surprise did not come with the 3 bolts to the catalitic converter. The replacement has threds like if you are gonna drive bolts from the cat converter towards the turbo.... any suggestions???
July 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The threaded bores are likely for studs. Can you install studs? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frank Comments: I'm replacing one of the 17mm studs in the turbo that connect to the cat. Can I just use a pair of jam nuts to snug it into the turbo outlet housing? Torque value? Or should I use some red lock tight? Thanks.
July 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would use a stud extractor. Jam nuts may work as well. I would grab a repair manual. No loctite is needed. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
redspider97 Comments: Oil light after changing turbo . Oil level is ok the oil line from pump to oil pan had a tiny drip so I wraped it with tape before I left shop they did put 10w 40 conventional oil in it with stp oil filter
May 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Debris may have plugged an oil line or passage. Have you check oil pressure? I would start there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
redspider Comments: Just had my turbo change . When I left shop car was driving perfect but almost home red oil light came on and heard some clunking noise. They cleaned oil lines also. Could they have left something unhook?
May 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the oil level ok? Is it leaking? I would start by checking the oil level. Then if ok, check engine oil pressure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ken Comments: What's the steps to removing and installing a turbo on a 04 beetle with a 1.8. I have one that I need to replace
April 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is similar to this, with enough differences to warrant the need for repair information. We don't currently have a tech article for your vehicle. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tracy Comments: I have a 2000 audi a4 1.8 turbo that's blowing smoke and making a noise when I start it, donyounthink it's my turbo? That's what I was told. Do you know where I can get one?tracy
March 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We can get you a turbo: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
What color is the smoke? - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Csbrianp Comments: This does not apply to a Jetta or Golf with 1.8 turbo. Well it does except for the fact you can't see the turbo. It calls for 7+hours to remove and reinstall the turbo. Try it sometime it's no fun.

Brian

March 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. We'll look into the application data. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
robert Comments: here is my problem I don't have a picture when my turbo is red and hot
January 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be caused by a restricted exhaust, over-boosting or under-cooling. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
robert Comments: I have poroblem with my turbo when I drive mu passat 1.8t my turbo be a red and hot tell me what is a problem if you know
December 31, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if your exhaust is restricted. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
vwjonesey Comments: I have a 03 Jetta 1.8t and of course the motor sits transverse to the one you showed when removing the turbo. Does any of your removal procedures apply to my 03 Jetta? I also plan to rebuild the turbo following your directions, hopefully the same turbo is used for my year? Thanks for your time.
December 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article applies to these models:
Audi A4 (1997-02)
Audi TT (2000-04)
VW Passat (1996-00)
VW Golf (2000-02)
VW Jetta (2000-02)
VW Beetle (1999-02)

I do not think we have one that applies to your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
passatfleet Comments: Do you sell a complete kit of parts with all the gaskets, bolts, and any other parts that are routinely replaced when installing a new turbo?
If not can you send a complete list of the individual part numbers you have so that I can order.
Thanks,
December 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jyoti Comments: It is a 99 Passat. By the feed line, I am referring to the "oil feed line". Thanks!
December 9, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Follow the steps in this tech article, up until you have access to the feed line. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jyoti Comments: Do I have to remove the intake manifold to remove and clean the feed line or is there an easier way to clean it?
November 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is the year and model of the vehicle? Does "feed line" refer to the turbo intake duct? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jyoti Comments: Thanks for all the good work!
I was wondering if I need to replace the oil feed line when replacing the turbo. The guys selling the turbocharger recommend it on their website.

Thanks,
Jyoti
November 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would. It could be gunked up. Not a bad idea to do so. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

Check out some other projects from our technical library:


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