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HoyaBear
 
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The Worst Day Ever! (is my turbo shot?)

Hello All,

I have perused this board for quite some time and have consistently learned a great deal. I recently purchased a nice, 100K 86 930 with some tasteful mods; K27, bigger intercooler, B&B headers/exhaust, adjustable waste gate, 7th injector, etc. This is my second 930 (last one was bone stock) and I have been overjoyed with it so far...until last night. I have been driving it quite a bit since I have picked it up (one 1K road trip to bring it to DC and another to bring it up to my parents place in MA). It was last night on this second trip that I experienced some pretty serious problems and had to get it towed.

Since the first day I had it, I had witnessed a tendency for it to run warm in traffic (up around the 10 o'clock mark) and a little bit warm under normal conditions, but after I added a couple of quarts of oil this dissipated a good bit. I then noticed (while driving cross country) that it was going through quite a bit of oil (like about 1 quart per 500 miles). There were no leaks (engine was spotless underneath) but I could see that the left exhaust was pretty black and sooty (it has B&B duel exit exhaust and oddly, the right tailpipe was a dry brownish color), so I figured maybe the turbo is letting a little oil through or something. The car ran exceptionally strong and boosted well however, so I didn't think much of it.

On the second stage of my road trip a few days later, the car continued to run great. Oil pressure, temp, oil level, fuel consumption, all within spec and the car was just very strong. Shortly after I accelerated out of a rest area (a quick 1,2,3 to redline in the first 3 gears) I thought I noticed that the car would blow a little bit of smoke when I would let off the gas. I thought this was a figment of my imagination as it was foggy out so I continued to drive another 10 miles. The car not only continued to blow smoke, but it became much worse. Each time I would let off the gas it would bellow smoke. During this time the car continued to sound and respond normally, I checked the boost gauge as I would give a little gas and let off and it was boosting. I looked to find a place to get off the highway and shut the car down, and by this point (maybe 2 minutes) the car was now constantly bellowing smoke out of the back (literally making a complete smokescreen on the highway). I was finally able to get to a safe place and shut the car down, when I went around the car, there was fire coming from inside the muffler (as I looked inside it, it appeared to be oil burning on the inside of the hot muffler). I looked under the car and oil appeared to be leaking from the lead cylinders in the left and right banks, one of the oil lines, the waste gate, and the oil scavenge canister thing near the turbo. You all can imagine my dismay, exacerbated by 2 days of sleep deprivation, a missing wallet/ID, and an important meeting for work looming on the horizon without a sense of how I will get there...or shower beforehand.

Long story short...what do you guys think is wrong with my car? My guess is the turbo is toast, but do you think there could be anything else in addition to this I should check? Thanks to all in advance.
Old 06-11-2009, 09:03 PM
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Sounds like a turbo gone wild…
What does it do from a complete cold start within the first 30 seconds of starting, any puffing of smoke?
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:14 PM
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HoyaBear
 
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Haven't started it since...it smoked so bad (I mean, covered 3 lanes of highway with smoke...)and it was running a bit funny (sounded like it couldn't breath) by the time I turned it off so I figured I would let it sit and deal with it this weekend.
Old 06-11-2009, 09:22 PM
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Start it from cold and see what it does…after it warms up it may start burning off oil trapped in the exhaust.
The last time I was behind a 930 that closed down a busy road was when the Turbo gave it up (real James Bond like!)

Hopefully Bryan will chime in here…he has lived this!
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2010 - 997 PDK, Black on Black, Daily driver.
1987 - 930 Grand Prix White, Not looking for crazy HP, just harmony!
Old 06-11-2009, 09:34 PM
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Max Sluiter
 
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Sorry to hear your troubles. It does sound like the turbo seals have reached the end of their service lives.

Your car looks great otherwise. Hopefully the turbo will be a simple fix (if a bit of labor)- pull the old, plug in the new and you will be back on the road.

Best of luck.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:03 PM
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No worries. As long as engine is sound, turbo isn't a big fix.

First of all, find a source of oil leak. It might not be turbo at all. If oil was leaking from left side of the engine you might have smoke due to oil spraying on headers. Also, you oil scavengin line might be ruptured and leaking oil on headers.

Check:

1. Oil scavenge lines, turbo oil sump?
2. Is scavenge pump running? If not, oil will pool in turbo and turbo will start smoking even with healthy seals. Pressure will build in the circuit and it might start leaking.

My best bet is that you either got a crack in line going to scavenge pump or scavenge pump is not working correctly. Make sure you check that...if everything is sound then you can move your attention to turbocharger seals.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:50 AM
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Could you be overfilling with oil? You mention adding a few quarts to cool the car down. Are you checking oil level when fully warm and not overfilling?

Probably not the case, but just wondering if too much oil, combined with a warm engine and 3 gears through redline (you must have been flying at the end of the 3rd gear run) might have sucked oil into the intake loop via one of the vent tubes?

Just a thought...

Where in DC are you? I am just outside the beltway in Maryland. Willing to drop by and take a look with you.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:30 AM
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you should take it up to TPC in jessup... close enough to you and they def know what they are doing with 930s.
Old 06-12-2009, 04:35 AM
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Oil is definitely not overfilled, if anything it might have still been a bit low (only about 1 inch up the dipstick when car was running and hot). Good thought on the oil overfill, I am definitely aware of this problem and was careful to avoid it. I talked with the previous owner, who had a similar problem with the car before. He had the oil lines steam cleaned, the tank de-sludged and emptied out the little scavenge canister (which he said had sludge crystals in it that had to be taken out). From what he mentioned it is the same problem again (maybe compounded by some others). What I don't understand is why this would happen again so fast? Does anyone have any insights on why this problem would happen, if there are any upgrades, fixes to avoid having this problem re-occur? Thanks, Jon
Old 06-12-2009, 07:50 AM
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If oil starts to pool in scavenge tank under turbo for any reason (scavenge pump sucking air due to crack in the line, scavenge pump INOP or oil-return seal being warped), turbo will start smoking. Check the whole scavenge line and the source of leak to start with.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:01 AM
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Some people have posted how to test the oil drain sump pump on this board previously.
Once you know it is not a oil leak to the outside lines, pull the intercooler and clean out the oil collected inside it. This will give an idea how bad the oil flow is past the turbo oil seals and quicken time to get the oil out of the intake system. Then check the free play on the turbo charger wheels. You can do this with the inlet pipe removed.
If all good then take a compression test and see where you are with the engine condition.
How old is the k27 turbo in terms of sitting around and total mileage on it?

that being said, your oil temps are way out of whack and dangerous. check to see if ignition timing is set correctly and get a new gage and sender that reads in temperature not those silly hash marks. see if the oil lines running to the front cooler are crimped or getting hot up near the fender cooler to see if the oil is flowing thru them. You need to address this problem as well.
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Last edited by fredmeister; 06-12-2009 at 08:57 AM..
Old 06-12-2009, 08:54 AM
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i remember a similar circumstance several years ago.. turbo seals let go...it was unbelieveable that the motor could pour so much smoke into the atmosphere. as you said i feared for the safety of cars behind me! fortunately i was very close to home and down hill at that and yes i also had a small oil fire in the muffler...replaced the turbo and cleaned the muffler as best i could with solvent and it still smoked for several miles until all the oil was blown or burned from the muffler innards..
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:08 AM
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If the bearings aren't toast, and it turns out to be just the seals. You can get your turbo rebuilt with new bearings & seals for far less than replacing the whole unit. Most marine & heavy duty industrial rebuild houses, have sources for rebuilding turbos.
Just a thought.....
Mark
Old 06-12-2009, 12:28 PM
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A couple other idea's to throw into the mix:

1. Make sure the previous owner did not install the cam oil restrictors. I had the issue with crop dusting when these were installed. only happend when the car was warmed up

2. Do a search on here for the scavenge pump test. use a beer pitcher, and have the turbo dump tank drain into it while the scavenge pump line is sucking it out. watch the level in the pitcher to see if the scavenge pump is doing its job.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:48 AM
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Some help

Well, I would guess with the others that it is a turbo. I have included my 5 page thread below regarding the same issue. I think you will find it helpful.

Also, I have included another thread relating to my rebuild which the only thing I found that "really" needed fixing was a leaking intake (where the injector blocks are) and leaky rocker-arm shafts.

Feel free to PM me your # and we can talk off line if you need further info.

First Thread:
While I was driving, everything was fine until.....

Engine Rebuild Thread.. the aftermath:
Updates on engine top-end rebuild

Best of luck, we have all been there at some point.

Bryan
Old 06-13-2009, 09:01 AM
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All,

Thanks everyone for your assistance with this. I am still in DC (car is in MA), so I haven't been able to look at it, however I have been doing a bit of research. I found this thread that could very well be the underlying issue here:

Oil in the Turbo charger

Has anyone had any experience with this? Is it common?

Thanks much
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:48 PM
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