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Pelican Technical Article:

Turbocharger Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$2000

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Oxygen sensor socket, universal-joint adapter, flathead screwdriver, socket set (hex, Torx and external Torx)

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Turbochargers, fasteners, seals, bolt kits

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool exhaust

Performance Gain:

Remedy fault codes and maintain proper running engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace exhaust

Starting with the 2007 R56 MINI Cooper S models, MINI introduced the turbocharged engine. This 1.6 liter 4-cylinder engine produces more power (an extra 40 hp) and torque (an extra 80 lb-ft) than the equivalent 1.6 liter normally-aspirated engine. The key to the additional torque and power is the turbochargers closely mounted to the exhaust manifolds. As the exhaust is forced out of the cylinders, it powers a turbine which turns a compressor, essentially a high efficiency fan, blowing air forcibly into the intake system. The additional, denser, air increases combustion efficiency and power as needed. This is an efficient way to achieve higher power output from an engine without increasing engine displacement.

Turbochargers spin at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm (or more) and require a very efficient oiling system. Eventually, with wear and tear, a turbocharger may be damaged and lose efficiency.

A faulty turbocharger may cause smoking or produce boost fault codes. I would suggest having your diagnosis confirmed by a professional as this is a difficult and costly repair. A few trouble areas are the wastegate and wastegate vacuum actuator. Check for excessive play at the wastegate lever. Remove the vacuum hose from the wastegate vacuum actuator and apply hand pumped vacuum, does the waste close fully and return open smoothly? If not it is faulty. If you have recirculation valve faults, check for moisture built up behind the valve. Remove the three 4 mm Allen bolts and inspect the actuator diaphragm and seal, replace if necessary.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Start by draining the cooling system and engine oil.

Place the radiator support in service mode. See our tech article on radiator support service mode. Remove the engine cooling fan. See our tech article on engine cooling fan replacing.

Remove the catalytic converter. See our tech article on catalytic converter replacing.

Read through the procedure before beginning. Be prepared to replace all the bolts, clamps and seals you remove from the engine. Work slowly and take notes. Double check everything as you go. There is not much room for error here. Bag and label the parts and gaskets you remove, note the order of removal to aid when reinstalling. I would suggest grabbing a repair manual as it will have all the torque specs and special tool numbers. The repair manual will also have the factory procedure which varies from the one here.

The turbocharger is mounted to the front of the engine (red arrow) covered by a hear shield.
Figure 1

The turbocharger is mounted to the front of the engine (red arrow) covered by a hear shield. If removing the turbocharger for any reason, I suggest replacing the oil feed and return lines. The oil feed line has a rotating banjo fitting sealed with an O-ring, it always leaks when reinstalled. Do not reuse it.

Drain the cooling system and remove the coolant reservoir.
Figure 2

Drain the cooling system and remove the coolant reservoir. See our tech article on coolant reservoir replacing. Place the radiator support in service mode. See our tech article on radiator support service mode. Remove the engine cooling fan. See our tech article on engine cooling fan replacing. Remove the catalytic converter. See our tech article on catalytic converter replacing. Working at the turbocharger wastegate, pull the vacuum hose (red arrow) straight off.

Working at the recirculation valve, disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the recirculation valve, disconnect the electrical connector (red arrow).

Working at the auxiliary coolant pump, use hose clamp pliers to loosen the hose clamps, then remove the hoses from the pump (red arrow).
Figure 4

Working at the auxiliary coolant pump, use hose clamp pliers to loosen the hose clamps, then remove the hoses from the pump (red arrow).

Follow the coolant hose from the front of the turbocharger to the side of the cylinder head.
Figure 5

Follow the coolant hose from the front of the turbocharger to the side of the cylinder head. It mounts to a bracket just below the vacuum pump. Remove the 10mm fastener (red arrow).

Working at the turbocharger, remove the 17mm banjo bolt for the oil feed line (red arrow).
Figure 6

Working at the turbocharger, remove the 17mm banjo bolt for the oil feed line (red arrow). Then remove the two 19mm banjo bolts for the coolant lines (green arrows). Remove the lower coolant line and store it in a safe place.

Working below the bottom of the turbocharger, remove the 10mm oil return line fastener (red arrow).
Figure 7

Working below the bottom of the turbocharger, remove the 10mm oil return line fastener (red arrow).

Next, working from below, remove the 10mm turbocharger support fastener (red arrow).
Figure 8

Next, working from below, remove the 10mm turbocharger support fastener (red arrow). Then remove the 13mm turbocharger support fastener (green arrows).

Then pull the oil line out of the turbocharger (red arrow).
Figure 9

Then pull the oil line out of the turbocharger (red arrow). Be sure to replace this line as it is known to fill with debris and cause turbocharger oiling issues.

Now it is time to unbolt the exhaust manifold.
Figure 10

Now it is time to unbolt the exhaust manifold. I always start with the hardest to access nuts first, the left side. Using a 4" extension an 11mm deep socket remove the four 11mm nuts (red arrows). The top nut has to be removed from between the flange and the wastegate rod (green arrow). Once the nuts are off, remove the reinforcement plate (yellow arrow).

Then remove the three right side lower nuts (red arrows).
Figure 11

Then remove the three right side lower nuts (red arrows). Once the nuts are off, remove the reinforcement plate (green arrow).

Then remove the three right side upper nuts (red arrows).
Figure 12

Then remove the three right side upper nuts (red arrows). Once the nuts are off, remove the reinforcement plate.

Pull the turbocharger away from the engine.
Figure 13

Pull the turbocharger away from the engine. As you pull it away, move the oil line (yellow arrow) and the coolant line (red arrow) out of the way.

I suggest replacing the oil feed (yellow arrow) and return line (red arrow).
Figure 14

I suggest replacing the oil feed (yellow arrow) and return line (red arrow). The oil feed line has a rotating banjo fitting sealed with an O-ring, it always leaks when reinstalled. Do not reuse it. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the oil cooler seals (green arrow).

To replace the oil lines and the exhaust manifold gasket (yellow arrow), start by removing the heat shield.
Figure 15

To replace the oil lines and the exhaust manifold gasket (yellow arrow), start by removing the heat shield. Remove the two lower 13mm support bracket fasteners (green arrows). Then remove the two 10mm fasteners (red arrows).

This photo shows the two lower 13mm support bracket fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 16

This photo shows the two lower 13mm support bracket fasteners (red arrows). Remove them with the brackets.

Remove the heat shield (red arrow) and the exhaust manifold gasket (green arrow).
Figure 17

Remove the heat shield (red arrow) and the exhaust manifold gasket (green arrow).

To replace the oil return line, release the hose clamp using hose clamp pliers (red arrow), then pull the hose straight off.
Figure 18

To replace the oil return line, release the hose clamp using hose clamp pliers (red arrow), then pull the hose straight off. Plug any oil bores left open.

Next, remove the 18mm oil feed line (green arrow) banjo bolt (red arrow).
Figure 19

Next, remove the 18mm oil feed line (green arrow) banjo bolt (red arrow). Remove the line from the engine, be sure to get the sealing washer off the block if stuck. Install the new line with new sealing washers and tighten. Be sure the line is properly positioned and not making contact with the engine, oil cooler or other components.

Install the new oil feed line (red arrow) with new sealing washers and tighten.
Figure 20

Install the new oil feed line (red arrow) with new sealing washers and tighten. Be sure the line is properly positioned and not making contact with the engine, oil cooler or other components. Install the new oil return line. Align the hole so it faces the radiator support parallel with the head studs (green arrows). Once the line is in the right position, remove the plastic clamp holder (yellow arrow). Install the new exhaust manifold gasket and heat shield. Leave the lower brackets finger tight so you can align it later with the catalytic converter.

With the manifold and turbos on a workbench, remove the four 11mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 21

With the manifold and turbos on a workbench, remove the four 11mm nuts (red arrows). Separate the turbocharger from the manifold.

Install a new gasket to the turbocharger (red arrow).
Figure 22

Install a new gasket to the turbocharger (red arrow).

Remove the studs from the old turbocharger and install then into the new one (red arrows).
Figure 23

Remove the studs from the old turbocharger and install then into the new one (red arrows). Use an E7 External Torx.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Kent J Comments: Is it necessary/advisable to put anti-seize compound on the exhaust manifold bolts?
October 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. No. Just install clean dry threads. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim D Comments: Finished this project. Thank you for the excellent step by step guide. I could not have done it just following the Bentley manual.
Outstanding job and dedication to your customers.
Including a rental car while the mini was down, I still saved well over $1,000 compared to dealer prices.
April 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Vin Comments: My turbo was recently rebuilt and I forgot to inspect the waste gate position/flapper resting position. What is the correct resting position for the flapper and/or the adjustment nuts for proper function. What would the symptoms be if it was out of correct adjustment? Thanks in advance.
March 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Too little or too much boost. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim D Comments: On starting the new turbo for the fist time, is it necessary to use an additive? I'm told a brand new turbo will come with a heavy lube installed for start up. It is possible to fill the turbo with engine oil or do you need the additive? Can you use one of the hyper lubes available in parts stores?
December 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most turbos have oil in them when manufactured and tested. So no additive is needed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim D Comments: Thank you for the detailed road map. No need for Dx, I can hear the fan blades hitting the inside of the housing & the car runs like crap. Error code P12A3. It is a dead mini walking. My daughters car and what the hey, fun to drive but who checks oil?

As I cobble together the parts my only question is; is there a way to do this without removing the exhaust manifold?
December 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. It has to come off for the lines. The lines have to be replaced as well. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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