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Subaru turbo charger fitting

Before replacing a faulty Subaru turbo charger always investigate why the turbo charger failed to begin with.

It is pointless purchasing a replacement turbo charger from us unless the original reason for the failure is fixed, the replacement Subaru turbo charger will fail unless the original fault has been rectified. 

Nearly every time we get a warranty claim it is because of poor lubrication due to lack of maintenance and unprofessional fitting of the replacement Subaru turbo charger, don’t waste your money and our time fitting one of our replacement Subaru turbo chargers if you don’t follow the correct procedure.. we won’t give you a replacement turbo if you don’t fit it properly!

Once you have purchased a replacement Subaru turbo charger from us you need to make sure you know what to do before you fit it to your car, the following procedure is the minimum procedure that must be followed to prevent voiding your warranty.

How to fit a replacement Subaru turbo charger:

  1. Remove any old gasket or sealant from the exhaust manifold, oil feed and return pipe flanges.
  2. Completely remove and clean both the oil feed and return pipes; check for blockages and restrictions; any in-line gauze filters in the pipes must be replaced with a genuine Subaru replacement, check the banjo bolts.
  3. Check all air inlet and outlet pipes and hoses for wear and damage.
  4. Check the oil pick up in the sump and clean or replace it.
  5. Remove and clean or replace the inter-cooler and connecting pipes, a blown turbo will put metal debris into the inter-cooler and pipes.
  6. Fit a new oil filter and the correct Subaru recommended grade of engine oil.
  7. Install the replacement Subaru turbo charger to the engine using new Subaru gaskets. Never use any sealant on the exhaust inlet or any of the oil feed pipes.
  8. Disconnect the ignition circuit and then crank the engine without starting it until oil flows from the oil feed pipe, then connect the oil feed pipe to the turbo charger and re-connect the ignition circuit.
  9. Start the engine and allow it to idle for at least 5-minutes; do not rev the engine during this time. Stop the engine immediately if any oil leaks are detected, rectify any such leaks before going any further.
  10. No warranty if any aftermarket air filter, blow off valve or any non standard parts including mufflers and exhaust are fitted

Please note; collapsed bearings, broken turbo charger shafts and spun turbine retaining nuts are not covered by our warranty as they are a direct result of lubrication problems or incorrect installation of the replacement turbo charger.

If you are in any doubt about how to install the turbo charger you have purchased from us please let us know and we can put you on to a reputable workshop in your area, Ph 0800 634-0065

Any questions about fitting Subaru turbos?

We sell a lot of turbos every year to customers throughout New Zealand, so please phone Strong for Subaru 0800 634-0054 if you have any questions about this procedure before you proceed: you can find our business hours here.

We’ll be happy to answer your questions or talk you through the process of fitting one of our replacement Subaru turbo chargers.

We stock a huge range of used tested and new Subaru Turbo chargers for all models from 1989 right through to 2015!
One of our turbos on a Version-10 Impreza engine

One of our turbos on a Version-10 Impreza engine

Common Turbo Failures

Most replacement turbo’s fail withing 1~500km of fitment due to incorrect or unprofessional installation and it is critically important to follow all manufacturers installation procedures as well as any extra service bulletins that the manufacturer has issued since the original instructions were printed. New turbo chargers do NOT fail if fitted correctly.

What are the common signs that the replacement turbo has not been fitted properly.

The nut at the end of the replacement turbo comes off!

This happens for a number of reasons

  • Low pressure or insufficient oil to the turbo due to not cleaning out ALL the turbo oil feed pipes including those pipes that sit behind the timing covers, over time these pipes become clogged with dirty oil and this reduces oil flow and pressure to the turbo, the turbo then over heats and the turbine can “lock up” as the turbine spins at 1000’s of revolutions per minute this lock up will cause the nut to strip clean off the turbo and then smash back into the turbine causing total turbo failure.
  • Over speeding of the turbo, this happens when the turbo is spinning to fast and can be caused by injector issues, poor boost control of cuts and cracks in inlet pipes etc that can cause air leaks. When the turbo over speeds in will flutter and may start to wobble, if this happens the turbine may come into contact with the housing and will “lock up” again causing either the shaft to snap or the nut to spin off and smash back into the turbine causing complete turbo failure.

The main bearing has collapsed or the shaft has snapped.

  • This is due to poor lubrication or oil starvation, simply put the turbo does not get enough oil then over heats and the bearing burns up or collapses causing complete turbo failure, this can happen with in seconds of any oil pressure drop or insufficient lubrication and only happens to a poorly installed Turbo. We cant stress to much that ALL oil feed pipes to the turbo must be removed from the vehicle and properly flushed to remove any build up of old oil that make block oil flow.

The turbines are all smashed or bent.

  • The most common reason for this is that a foreign object has entered the turbo and impacted the turbine blades. This can occur after a damaged turbo has been replaced, it is critical that all intake hoses are 100% cleaned of any old turbo debris, in some cases the inter-cooler may also have to be replaced to insure that no small particles are stuck where they can come lose and damage the new turbo.
  • Aftermarket air filter or pod filter fitted, some of these just don’t make the grade and may allow small particles through and over time these tiny particles will damage and slowly wear away the turbine blades, the best air filters to use are genuine Subaru made air filters we certainly don’t recommend that pod filters be fitted to Subaru Turbo vehicles!

So it all comes down to you, have you spent the time to get the engine ready to receive a replacement turbo charger, have you removed ALL the oil feed pipes (including internal pipes and oil sump screen) and properly cleaned them, have you removed all the hoses and the inter-cooler to make sure that there are no foreign objects in them, have you tested the oil supply and pressure tho the turbo charger before final assembly, have you replaced the oil and filter before starting the engine?

If you have done all the above then the replacement turbo charger should last you many 1000’s of km’s, however if not then expect turbo failure at any moment.

This advise is given free of charge, we accept no liability for errors or damaged caused by following this advise and it is up to you to make sure that you are confident that the advise is correct for your application.