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Turbo Removal and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Turbo Removal and Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

6-10 hours

Tab:

$10 to $3,000

Talent:

****

Tools:

All of them and be prepared with some easy outs

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Turbo

Hot Tip:

Be prepared for broken and stripped bolts

Performance Gain:

Proper engine performance

Complementary Modification:

Flush coolant system

Removal of the turbo for replacement, maintenance or upgrade is not really all that difficult if everything goes, as it should. However, there is a big caveat to that last statement. If the previous owner or shop did not do the work correctly, it can turn into a real pain. You should be prepared for the studs to break and potentially stripped bolts: we had both on our project car. The turbo is packed into the engine bay tightly and there is little to no room to heat up the bolts with a torch.

If you are setting out on this project make sure to give yourself plenty of time and that you work in an area where you can leave the car protected from the weather for at least a weekend. The job should take you six hours the first time if everything comes off, as it should. If you start having problems with fasteners it can quickly escalate to taking much longer.

Since it will seem like half of the top of the motor needs to come off now is also a good time to plan the "while I'm in there" projects. These can include replacing the air oil separator and sealing the upper balance shaft.

There are many components you will need to remove first so just take your time and follow the step-by-step instructions and you will be fine.

Begin by disconnecting the ground on the battery and removing the air filter housing, air flow sensor, fuel injector and fuel rail, drain the cooling system, remove the intake manifold, remove the heat shield between the turbo and brake booster, dipstick, disconnect the turbo pump, remove all coolant lines to the turbo, belly pan, turbo to intercooler pipes, alternator cool air supply hose before starting this article. Please see all our articles on these procedures for additional assistance.

We removed the alternator for photographic purposes but some people remove it to provide more room to work.

With everything removed you should be looking at a bare turbo on the left side of the engine (red arrow).
Figure 1

With everything removed you should be looking at a bare turbo on the left side of the engine (red arrow). Note that we have removed the idle adjustment valve and cycling valve but we are planning on replacing the air oil separator while we are in there. You do not need to perform this work if you are just removing the turbo.

Remove the heat shield between the turbo and engine by using a 10mm wrench and removing the four bolts (red arrows).
Figure 2

Remove the heat shield between the turbo and engine by using a 10mm wrench and removing the four bolts (red arrows).

Remove the shield for the engine (red arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the shield for the engine (red arrow). This will give you more room to get at the oil line from the balance shaft.

Use a 19mm wrench and disconnect the oil line from the balance shaft to turbo (red arrow).
Figure 4

Use a 19mm wrench and disconnect the oil line from the balance shaft to turbo (red arrow).

Make sure not to drop and replace with new the crush washer on the back of the banjo bolt (red arrow).
Figure 5

Make sure not to drop and replace with new the crush washer on the back of the banjo bolt (red arrow).

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two bolts (red arrows) holding the oil line to the top of the turbo.
Figure 6

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two bolts (red arrows) holding the oil line to the top of the turbo.

When you remove the turbo there is an O-ring between the line and turbo (red arrow); make sure to replace this with a new one.
Figure 7

When you remove the turbo there is an O-ring between the line and turbo (red arrow); make sure to replace this with a new one.

Next, you will need to connect the down pipe or out pipe on the exhaust side.
Figure 8

Next, you will need to connect the down pipe or out pipe on the exhaust side. You will be separating this at the bracket (red arrow) and need to access this from below.

Access is limited and difficult to get a good picture of.
Figure 9

Access is limited and difficult to get a good picture of. Follow the exhaust from the headers (red arrow); you will need to reach up between this pipe and the exhaust out from the turbo pipe (yellow arrow) through the limited space (green arrow). There are three nuts and studs and no room to heat cycle the nuts and studs with a torch. Use a long extension, breaker bar and safety glasses and remove the three nuts. It may help to remove the O2 sensor first, as you will need to remove it for the charged exhaust or exhaust inlet pipe to turbo.

Be prepared for one or all of the nuts and studs to break (red arrow).
Figure 10

Be prepared for one or all of the nuts and studs to break (red arrow).

Next you will need to remove the 15mm nuts and bolts holding the charger inlet or exhaust to turbo flange (red arrows).
Figure 11

Next you will need to remove the 15mm nuts and bolts holding the charger inlet or exhaust to turbo flange (red arrows). Three of them are easier to remove from the top, while the lower rear one is easier to remove from below.

The nut was welded on the bottom rear of the flange on our project car (red arrow).
Figure 12

The nut was welded on the bottom rear of the flange on our project car (red arrow).

I found it easier to use a 15mm socket on an extension and universal joint and break the bolt free from above going between the turbo and balance shaft (red arrow) and then finish removing the bolt with a wrench from below.
Figure 13

I found it easier to use a 15mm socket on an extension and universal joint and break the bolt free from above going between the turbo and balance shaft (red arrow) and then finish removing the bolt with a wrench from below.

You will need to remove the 13mm bolt (red arrow) and 6mm Allen bolt holding the exhaust flange bracket to the engine block.
Figure 14

You will need to remove the 13mm bolt (red arrow) and 6mm Allen bolt holding the exhaust flange bracket to the engine block. This is a complete pain, as the 6mm Allen is tucked in the elbow of the pipe and can be only removed with a short 6mm Allen. I had the best of luck from below with a short Allen key and just turned it a little at a time. Good luck.

Remove the two 10mm bolts and the shield for the steering knuckle (red arrows, shield already removed).
Figure 15

Remove the two 10mm bolts and the shield for the steering knuckle (red arrows, shield already removed). This will give you access to the 6mm Allen that holds the turbo to the mount (yellow arrow).

Remove the four 13mm bolts holding the steering rack in place as well as the single 10mm bolt holding the line and ground cable (yellow arrows).
Figure 16

Remove the four 13mm bolts holding the steering rack in place as well as the single 10mm bolt holding the line and ground cable (yellow arrows). This will allow you to lower the rack about 3 inches.

Use a 6mm Allen, universal joint and long extension to shock the bolt by first hitting the extension with a hammer to help loosen the bolt and then remove the short mounting bolt on the underside of the turbo (red arrow).
Figure 17

Use a 6mm Allen, universal joint and long extension to shock the bolt by first hitting the extension with a hammer to help loosen the bolt and then remove the short mounting bolt on the underside of the turbo (red arrow).

The second mounting bolt is located under the engine support above the steering knuckle (red arrow).
Figure 18

The second mounting bolt is located under the engine support above the steering knuckle (red arrow).

Yeah look what we found! Stripped out bolts here are not uncommon, as most people do not drop the steering rack and end up stripping this bolt trying to get it tight when reinstalling.
Figure 19

Yeah look what we found! Stripped out bolts here are not uncommon, as most people do not drop the steering rack and end up stripping this bolt trying to get it tight when reinstalling. If yours is stripped out, here is what you need to do.

Remove the alternator and the A/C compressor and mounting bracket to engine.
Figure 20

Remove the alternator and the A/C compressor and mounting bracket to engine. This will give you enough room to get an easy out on the bolt. Our easy outs would not fit on our socket for removal from below, as the steering knuckle shield mount is in the way, so I had to remove everything on the front left side of the motor to give me access to get a wrench on the easy out (red arrow).

With a 19mm wrench on the easy out and turning a quarter turn at a time we were able to walk the bolt out (red arrow0.
Figure 21

With a 19mm wrench on the easy out and turning a quarter turn at a time we were able to walk the bolt out (red arrow0.

With everything free you can lift the turbo and exhaust pipe out from the engine.
Figure 22

With everything free you can lift the turbo and exhaust pipe out from the engine. It is heavy so be prepared. This photo illustrates the mounting points for the exhaust flange and the location of the 13mm bolt (red arrow) and 6mm Allen (yellow arrow).

Here is what the turbo looks like off the engine.
Figure 23

Here is what the turbo looks like off the engine. Installation is the reverse of removal.


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