Turbo leaking oil

Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
Have a 96 850 Volvo Turbo used for 45 miles one way commute, 162k miles and the turbo is gradually covering itself with a light dusting of oil. Car runs great and just passed California smog. It's easy to wipe off and there are no drops of oil on the garage floor. Is it just a seal that is starting to leak?
 
Messages
1,463
Location
CA
Carbon build-up on the plugs? Blue smoke on accel? Are the hoses/fittings leaking? Take the inlet off the turbo and see how wet the wheel and inlet look. The real test is to pull the intercooler and see if it's become an "oil catch can". Also check you PCV system and think about adding a catch can (air/oil separator) there. My turbo leaked pretty bad and the car still passed smog. but it's 4wd so no dyno. Using thicker oil will help but eventually you'll need a rebuild. Turbo City can rebuild the turbo or balance the wheels and sell you the rebuild kit. Got time for an upgrade....
 
Messages
632
Location
Idaho
Larry, I have had a few turbos rebuilt and I would think now would be a better time for you to do this. There are a few places in California that will help you out. Try the Yellow pages in Orange County or San Diego under fuel injection services. Or find a junk yard for a replacement. On a second note, if the drain back from the turbo is kinked, clogged, etc...the pressure could back up and the inlet oil just keeps a going and the seals just start weeping. Check the drain line when you replace the turbo.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
45,982
Location
New Jersey
The turbo on my 83 MB diesel (apples to oranges perhaps), seeps oil from the turbo oil drain. I have replaced the seals a few times, and it has happened over and over again, where a seepage develops. You might have the same issue. Depending upon the sump capacity you have, you might not worry about it, other than the environmental effects of dripping a bit of oil. For me at least, it is one of those things that doesnt seem to want to go away, though Ive traced the exact source, analyzed its cause, fixed it and doubly ensured that the repairs were correct... JMH
 
Messages
3,558
Location
SE Pa
A little light weepage is acceptable. A dripping leak is not. It's up to you when you think the turbo has progressed past the first stage. At that point, you need to consider rebuild or replacement. The later watercooled Volvo blowers are fairly hardy. At that mileage, ARX that puppy. It might remedy the matter altogether.
 

LarryL

Thread starter
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
Thanks for all the info. This Volvo had a double Auto-RX starting at 140k miles. Under the valve cover it's like a brand new engine. From all the input, I think I'm going to look into the intercoller for oil, and pull the turbo to look at the seals and all that plumbing behind the engine. I've cleaned around the turbo and I'm going to watch it for a little while first, but be ready to do the repairs needed. I've got an oil sample ready to go to Terry Dyson and will report the findings. I'm wondering if I damaged the seals on the turbo during a trip from San Diego to Phoenix on a day that the temp was about 120F. I tried some Mobil 1 0w-40 and had the combination of oil pressure drop and oil temp rise that caused the brain to shut off the a/c. It was a terrible trip without a/c and when I got to Phoenix, I changed back to my usual Red Line 5w-30. The return trip in the same heat was no problem, a/c worked great. The report on the oil sample done on the 0w-40 reported a visoisity of a thin 20w (6.55cST @ 100C) and I can't imagine that there was not some damage done. I should have had a complete analysis, but only asked for the viscosity check This next sample is going to Terry for a complete check.
 
Messages
3,558
Location
SE Pa
If you're going to go to all the trouble of pulling the turbo, you might as well send it out. But if you think there might be damage elsewhere, first get a UOA and run a compression test to make sure that the turbo weepage isn't the least of your worries. I can't imagine a white block turbo is going to like a 20 weight very much. This engine does its best on thicker 30s and 40s. But at least it was a synthetic 20, so who knows.
 
Messages
1,463
Location
CA
M1 0W40 thinned to a 20wt!!! How long were you running the oil before the Phx trip? The seals on a turbo are behind the wheels, inside the CHRA (center-housing/rotating-assmebly). You've got to fully dismantle the turbo to check them. How-to rebuild an IHI turbo If you want help with a rebuild contact SixSick6 on the MX6.com forum, he's in San Diego and used to work at a local diesel/turbo shop. Another IHI walkthrough The 850 used a Mitsubishi TD04 turbo? There's lotsa upgrades for that.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
Get a Mitsubishi TDO5H-16G. You won't be dissapointed! Sounds like it'll bolt right up, and will likely be cheap. Brand new ones can be had for 400 bucks. This turbo will provide about 40% more airflow than the stocker at the same boost levels and be a real kick in the pants.
 
Messages
1,463
Location
CA

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,946
Location
The Motor City
I believe this is a common problem. Though I don't have any experience with this, I've seen a lot of discussion about it on the Volvo forums (Swedespeed.com and Volvospeed.com). You may want to visit them to talk to more people experienced with this problem.
 

LarryL

Thread starter
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
The 0w-40 oil was in for a few thousand miles of local commuting, before the trip, so it happened at about 3.5k miles on the oil. It was a stupid thing to do, and now that the engine has a few miles on it I,m thinking about going from the 5w-30 to 10w-40. But after all this, I think I will watch if for a few more trips and make a decision. The boost gauge is acting normally and it runs great, no noises and the mileage is constant. No drops have hit the ground and the oil sample is off for analysis. I really appreciate all the info and I'm going to chase down all the links.
 
Messages
18
Location
Texas
quote:
Originally posted by Drew99GT: Get a Mitsubishi TDO5H-16G. You won't be dissapointed! Sounds like it'll bolt right up, and will likely be cheap. Brand new ones can be had for 400 bucks. This turbo will provide about 40% more airflow than the stocker at the same boost levels and be a real kick in the pants.
Nope, unfortunately this turbo requires a bit of work to fit this engine, plus it's a reverse scroll unit. Direct fit turbo's for this motor are the Mitsu TD04 13G, 15G, 16T, 18T, 19T. You don't want the 13G as it's a dinky little thing. 15G is what you have now. 16T is marginally better than the 15G, flows a bit more up top, and is what most people w/ straight flanged 15G's use to replace their original unit when it finally fails. 18T and 19T will require exhaust work and software changes.
 
Messages
18
Location
Texas
quote:
Originally posted by White850T5:
quote:
Originally posted by Drew99GT: Get a Mitsubishi TDO5H-16G. You won't be dissapointed! Sounds like it'll bolt right up, and will likely be cheap. Brand new ones can be had for 400 bucks. This turbo will provide about 40% more airflow than the stocker at the same boost levels and be a real kick in the pants.
Nope, unfortunately this turbo requires a bit of work to fit this engine, plus it's a reverse scroll unit. Direct fit turbo's for this motor are the Mitsu TD04 13G, 15G, 16T, 18T, 19T. You don't want the 13G as it's a dinky little thing. 15G is what you have now. 16T is marginally better than the 15G, flows a bit more up top, and is what most people w/ straight flanged 15G's use to replace their original unit when it finally fails. 18T and 19T will require exhaust work and software changes. That said, these turbo's are very long-lived and a little bit of oil on the compressor housing is nothing to worry about.

 
Messages
18
Location
Texas
quote:
Originally posted by Drew99GT: Get a Mitsubishi TDO5H-16G. You won't be dissapointed! Sounds like it'll bolt right up, and will likely be cheap. Brand new ones can be had for 400 bucks. This turbo will provide about 40% more airflow than the stocker at the same boost levels and be a real kick in the pants.
Nope, unfortunately this turbo requires a bit of work to fit this engine, plus it's a reverse scroll unit. Direct fit turbo's for this motor are the Mitsu TD04 13G, 15G, 16T, 18T, 19T. You don't want the 13G as it's a dinky little thing. 15G is what you have now. 16T is marginally better than the 15G, flows a bit more up top, and is what most people w/ straight flanged 15G's use to replace their original unit when it finally fails. 18T and 19T will require exhaust work and software changes. That said, these turbo's are very long-lived and a little bit of oil on the compressor housing is nothing to worry about. Sorry about the multiple posts. Not quite used to the layout of this forum [Duh!]
 
Messages
395
Location
California
Larry changes his oil at my place sometimes. His interval is 5k miles and I run his used Red Line in one of my cars for another 5k miles. Then it goes to the lawn mower and roto-tiller and the chipper. If you want to raise his blood pressure, ask him about Mobil 1 0w-40. I was with him on that trip and he changed the oil in Phoenix, behind a gas station. And, yes he disposed his oil in their used oil tank, not the dumpster. I can predict that you will never see a 0w-40 anything in any of his vehicles in the future. The sample he took looked really burnt, and Volvo's are good engines and I don't think those engines really stress the oil. The Mobil 10w-40 is probably better suited for high temps.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
LarryL, I almost hate to point this out, but a more viscous oil will simply develop more oil pressure and the leak may be about the same. This is the Catch 22 in trying to reduce oil leaks, by using a thicker oil in pressurized locations of a motor. If it was a passive leak in an unpressurized location, a thicker oil would leak out slower.... Ted
 
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