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Turbo trouble

kabererekaberere Member Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Subaru
I own a Subaru XT model 1985 with 100,000 km plus mileage since new.
Recently the car developed overheating problems and I took it to the local Subaru dealer.
They diagnosed the problem as being caused by a crack on the turbo,further to this they also said that there was presence of water in the oil when they checked the oil dip stick.
Solution: They changed the oil pump and installed a Subaru leone turbo assy which they said has the same specs as a Subaru XT turbo.
Henceforth the car does not overheat, but the engine no longer has as much power as it used to.
I don't want to go back to these guys unless I have a second opinion.
Any ideas??



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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, these Subaru turbos have lots of problems and I'd suspect the engine may have been damaged from overheating. Oil pump failure is also typical, as is dropping valves. If the car overheated, you need to do a compression test and a cooling system pressure test. If the engine shows damage, I personally would not put money into this car, but rather find a non-turbo XT if you like this particular model.
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    windy43windy43 Member Posts: 2
    I'm thinking about buying a 740 Volvo station wagon with 127,000 actual miles. The owner says the engine has been overhauled. It looks real good for the age. In test driving it, when you press on the acelerator, it holds back and after you get to going, it runs great. The owner says he has replaced wiring to spark plugs, and a few other things. It still does it. What could this be? He only wants $2500 for it and the Blue Book prices it at $4200. It has a turbo engine.
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    armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Most turbos do not kick in until 2500 rpm or so and the diff between wneh your press the accelerator and when you feel the burst of power is called tubo lag. Can a a sec or two and this is normal. Twin turbos eliminate that to some degree but again, under 2500 the turbo is probably not engaged
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You should be looking at your boost gauge and RPM gauge when this is happening. If there is low boost being recorded, and low rpm, then armtdm is quite right. If there is high rpm and low boost pressure, you may have a problem. Also you need to make sure that eventually the boost gauge will show a full boost (from green to yellow to red).

    Turbos can go beyond 127K these days but back in 1988 that is approaching the end of the working lifetime. You can tell impending turbo failure by a high pitched whining sound and by puffs of blue smoke when you start a cold engine.
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    windy43windy43 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your input regarding the lag time on aceleration on the subject auto. The man told me the engine has been overhauled. The lag time was longer than a couple seconds. The owner says if you pat the accelerator, it will do better. What does that sound like? Windy43
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Again it depends on how the car is being driven. If the RPMs are low (basically you are in the wrong gear) then turbo lag can be awful. What you need to do is make sure you are at 2,500-3,000 rpm before mashing on the gas. If you are "on the turbo", that is, you have good rpm, and it still lags, then yes, there is a problem I would say. So in other words, there is a skill to driving an older turbo car, and maybe the man selling it doesn't have that skill and cannot impart it to you.

    Older turbo designs had bad turbo lag. Nowadays, new turbo design and the use of smaller twin-turbos have helped to solve this.
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    lexikkonlexikkon Member Posts: 2
    Normally referred to as a 745T, the 88 turbo wagon had an insanely fast transmission (better than today's tiptronic-type devices as on Audi's and BMW's) and the high pressure turbo brings this car to a nice boil-eventually. Want to make this car go fast? Click it up through the gears one at a time. There IS a lag when hitting the accelerator but it shouldn't be more than a half-second before you see the boost gauge register spool-up. The gauge should register about 1/2 above '0' at full boost, that is, needle 3/4 of full travel. (This is a reading of about 7-9lbs psi). When starting from a dead stop, the 745T is a bit sluggish until maybe 25-30mph but it more than makes up for it after that. This is a large (high pressure) turbo which is slower on acceleration but has terrific top end speed, passing power and hill climbing ability. Smaller, low pressure turbos (such as VW/Audi 1.8T and late model Volvo XC's) are quick on initial acceleration but run out of oomph above 40mph. The turbo is water cooled, and also has a high-pressure oil supply.

    Check all water cooling lines, and make sure the large turbo tube coming from the turbo isn't cracked from heat.

    One caution. My car had been poorly maintained before I bought it, and I wound up rebuilding the turbo. (A well-maintained car should easily get to 200K miles without a turbo problem. Well-maintained means fastidiously regular oil changes.) I sold my car for actual money with 275K on the odometer! With this car, always allow the turbo to spool down and cool down by idling for a few seconds before you shut it off. Do not let a mechanic adjust the wastegate rod - your engine will die a premature death.

    *****More discussions on the 700 and 900 series at http://www.brickboard.com, select the RWD forum. Also check out the 700/900 FAQ's there. (Volvos are affectionately referred to by their owners as 'bricks.')
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    goofybitzgoofybitz Member Posts: 1
    I have a Subaru Legacy turbo and when I try to use the air conditioning the car stalls. I have taken it in and they have yet to find the problem. I was wondering if anybody else has had this problem?
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    o Have you had the throttlebody/FI system cleaned lately
    o Have you checked the air filter
    o Tune up (plugs/wires/cap/rotor/coil, etc)
    o Is the fan belt too tight?

    Just some things to check.

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    smangosmango Member Posts: 7
    hi. i posted this elsewhere but thought i would copy it here since the cars i'm considering buying are turbos

    I am pulling my hair out trying to decide what car to buy and am hoping some of you have advice!! I would like to find a reasonably priced car ($20K's) that is i) a wagon, ii) fun to drive with a bit of power iii) reliable iv) not too noisy. I don't think it exists. sigh..... I tried the vw jetta 1.8T manual, which i liked but i'm worried about the reliability issue. I just don't have the time for multiple trips to the shop for repairs, quite apart from the cost. The jetta had more life to it than the passat since it weighs less and has ~10 more horsepower and torque, which is why i'm leaning that way. The question is whether vw has improved reliability or whether this engine is better than you'd predict from their past history? It's curious that people i talk to who've owned vw's are all very positive but the numbers and discussions in these sorts of chat rooms are scary...... Next i tested a used, dealer-certified 1999 saab 9-5 4-cylinder turbo wagon. I liked that too but am worried about the repairs again - would they cost a fortune?Seems like saabs have fewer problems than vw and that saab owners are also pretty loyal..... At the other end of the spectrum was the suburu wrx, which was great fun to drive, all wheel drive and has great predicted reliability. I live in the mountains, so the extra power is nice in the thin air and while i don't have to have all wheel drive, we do get snow, so i wouldn't turn it down. It's only drawback is that it's a little small for cargo. I'm not sure i could manage trips to costco or packing up for a camping trip.

    Volvo was too noisy and has problems with repairs too. And the other suburus shook when i took them on the highway (another high altitude feature?) So, now i am stuck. I really don't want to buy an suv but am beginning to wonder if i should rethink the highlander. Or perhaps there's something else i should be thinking about??? i wish toyota made a wagon!!

    help, help! Thanks. susan.
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    desertrat5desertrat5 Member Posts: 85
    Hi Susan

    I just went through the same process. While I can't decide for you, I finally purchased a 2003 Passat GLS with the 1.8T engine, a five-speed and the leather package. While I have only about 1200 miles on it, I love it. It has power, it handles well, rides nice (better than my wife's Buick with the Grand Touring Suspension), and is quiet. I am continually amazed by the power from that little turbocharged engine. We ran up to the Grand Canyon on the 4th. With the turbo, the car pulls as strongly at 8000 ft asl as it does at 1100 here in Phoenix.

    As for reliability, time will tell. All I can say for sure is that this is the first new car I have taken delivery of with no problems requiring that I return it to the dealer. (My previous - '96 Jeep Grand Cherokee - had leaky transmission and transfer cases and had to have both front brake rotors replaced within a week.) The VW is now two weeks old and the only problem is that I have to keep putting gasoline in the tank - I think that has something to do with the fact that I am driving it a bunch.
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    smangosmango Member Posts: 7
    thanks desertrat. i really liked the vw's and it's nice to hear someone say they've had good luck with it (all two weeks!). The consumer reports and chat room gripes are pretty scary. i'll go look at it again. I tried the jetta 1.8T and really liked it for the same reasons you list. But i'm thinking i may go back and try the passat again..... susan.
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    frapzoidfrapzoid Member Posts: 127
    I think you will like the Passat...I bought one 8 months ago and still love it.

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    apuatapuat Member Posts: 1
    do the turbos in the 850's last about the same length of time they did in the 740's?

    im looking at a 1995 850 turbo with 108k miles on it for around 9k (was looking for a legacy but there are very few GT sedans this far south hehe)

    I currently drive a 94 GLT but thats kinda my parents :P
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