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Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Turbo seals - how to know if they're bad

My stock '79 930 occasionally smokes heavily on hard right turns while under heavy acceleration.

I'm guessing my turbo seals are bad and leaking oil into the intercooler - which then accumulates and gets sucked into the motor during the described maneuver.

I will likely decide to take to my mechanic. But, I thought I'd post here first... In case this is relatively diy possible.

Should I consider removing the turbo and inspect it? Does it take a special tool/machine to determine if the seals are bad? Are the seals serviceable?

Any thoughts/advice welcome.

Thanks,
Skip
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:43 AM
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Sounds like the oil level may be too high. I seem to remember some track guys bringing up this issue with high oil levels and smoking in turns. If your seals were going I would think it would smoke consistently.

JP
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:34 PM
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Smoking

Hello, I'm a diesel mechanic by trade, and I don't have a Porsche. However, under the condition you have stated "possible" turbo seals are universal. So with that in mind, if I may suggest, looking at you oil pressure in the high rpm times when the smoking occurs. I don't know if you oil supply is restricted with a orifice or not. If no orifice and under high rpm, it could over pressure the turbo seals, causing a smoking condition. Just something to think about before you go out and buy a turbo. Also Contact turbo city in Orange, CA for pricing or their kits. If your turbo seal are going out and you mark you inlet impellers to out impellers (by scratching it) you can get away with replacing the seal/bushing or bearing yourself.

Hopes this helps
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:35 PM
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re: oil level... It's definitely not "over" filled. I try to keep it 1/2 full (on the stick at operating temp) or less - adding back to 1/2 when it hits the lower tick.

That said, it's possible it does smoke more when there is more oil in it. I'll try and notice if oil level makes a difference.

Also, this happens with street driving. Not sure if it would do it at the track worse or not.

It seems oil is accumulating in the intercooler. During hard acceleration and right turns, it pushes the oil towards the intercooler outlet and into the motor.

effvee- If the problem is something like you describe, it is way over my capabilities of understanding. Thanks for the help though.

Thanks,
Skip
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:30 PM
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Skidpup,
did not mean to suggest that you had overfilled. Check out this link and see if this sounds familiar:

Bad oil leak on right turn (long)??

Hoping to save you some money,

JP
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:57 PM
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Smile Smoking

Hi, maybe I said to much. So, first it could be your turbo, but by doing all little more noticing of when it occurs. Such is flooring it, I said before notice your oil pressure. If its more while hard corning, well that sounds like not only seals but also bushing/bearings in the turbo(excessive wear and play. Last, even though you oil pressure is regulated, for the engine. If a spike in oil pressure happen, it happens through out the oil system (even in the oil supply to the turbo) Now all of this is free, it only takes noticing, when it happens. Lastly replace your turbo/or have it rebuilt. It would be a shame to con-dim the turbo, get another one and there you go again. So at this point, your ability to notice is you best aid in this. I still like to ideal of to much oil pressure to the turbo, if so it can be restricted to the turbo. But notice when it happens and at what oil pressure. So far it free, and when you pay for it, you won't mind paying. Also by taking off the inlet (air cleaner piping at turbo) attempt moving the inlet side of the turpe impeller (up/down, in and out) is should be very little of each. Thank the Lord for spell check

Last edited by effvee; 02-15-2007 at 02:17 PM..
Old 02-15-2007, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rsrfan
Skidpup,
did not mean to suggest that you had overfilled. Check out this link and see if this sounds familiar:

Bad oil leak on right turn (long)??

Hoping to save you some money,

JP
rsrfan- If you knew me, you would have suggested I'd overfilled!

Thanks for the link. I'll try and get someone to follow me and try to determine if the smoke seems to be coming from the exhaust (which I had assumed it was, but now question) or from under the car.

effvee- It definitely only does it with heavy acceleration AND making a right turn. Also, I've only noticed it when taking off from a stop. But, that's not to say it doesn't do it in a sweeper - I just haven't noticed it if it does.

Also, I haven't noticed any spiking of the oil pressure gauge.

Thanks,
Skip
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:49 PM
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Smoking

Question, where exactly is you turbo located? Next is it being burnt off of the hot exhaust or being burnt through the engine combustion cycle? Is your car wet with oil? Are you low on oil after a duration? If you see the smoke in your rear view mirror, is it black or light blue smoke. We need to distinguish between exterior leaks of any sort and internal being burnt? Isolate the two, hard acceleration and hard turns. Is you oil gage electrical or mechanical (I bet electrical) Next how closely are the marks on your gage? OK what I'm doing is causing you to eliminate excessive oil pressure. I think I have seen some VDO gages for Porsche with reading of up to psi. Next hard turns, (hard right) is the exhaust side of the turbo on the left side of the hard right turn? and also is the oil being burnt or spilled. just some more home work for you before spending.
Old 02-15-2007, 04:39 PM
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If it hasn't been pointed out already, it is pretty easy to remove the intercooler and look down into the turbo to see if you have oil pooling in the compressor housing. You might need to shine a flash light down into it. Additionally, you should see quite a bit of oil in your intercooler if the turbo seals have gone bad. A thin oily film is normal, but when you tilt the I/C to one side and oil pours out of it...well, that ain't good. Also, are you still running the original factory 3LDZ turbo? What's the mileage?
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:19 PM
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sandman- yes, factory turbo. Odometer reads ~32K. Every mechanic that's worked on the car believes the mileage. I'm always a skeptic, but hope it's accurate mileage.

I will try and pull the intercooler this weekend and check.

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:01 PM
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Have a 79 930. Had the same problem at the track, at least one black flag per weekend. Put an oil separator on the air breather line from the oil tank to the air intake. Solved the problem. This separator is on the later 930's. 1986+
Old 02-17-2007, 08:59 AM
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Question Oil Pooling in Turbo

Have had starting issue with my 930 track car. It did die at idle and then refused to start back up. There was smoke when turning over before she finally fired and I drove her home (no smoking). She then died again and has not started since. I had started to the one of the CDI's could be bad

But now I came in today to find oil pool under the Turbo. When I pulled the lower hose oil ran out! Pulled the upper hose to the intercooler to look down into the Turbo and the turbo is full of oil? I did change the oil a few weeks ago but filled with the temp up. She does have a RSR front cooler and I cannot be certain the reg had opened. However, she had been cranking running without issue prior to taking her out to some back roads the other day.

Oil level does not seem to be too high and I checked the cyl and plugs and they are clean.

Turbo is farly new and the shaft seems to be tight so I am confused as to how oil got in the turbo?

Read these posts and reviewed problem with guy who knows the car but still puzzled.

I guess I will have to pull the Turbo to clean the oil out but best route or suggestions re how-what-where it got in.

Any experience or help with greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:07 PM
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can anyone send the part number or photo of the oil separator that turbodog speaks of?
I have the same problem that only occurs at DE days at the track.
I did a search of the Pelican site and could not find this oil seperator?
What is the pelican part number?
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:41 PM
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