Choosing the right turbo
With OEM turbochargers dropping dramatically in price lately, it sometime isn’t worth buying a secondhand unit. Suppliers like Alltech have nearly 3000 turbos in stock, so they are bound to have what you’re after. The GT2560R pictured goes for just over $1100, that’s not much more than you’d spend fabricating everything up for that low-quality replica turbo we mentioned at the beginning.
Sometimes it works out that you have the opportunity to purchase a secondhand unit for a steal, so we asked Alltech what it recommends you check to ensure you don’t get a dud.
There are two main things to look at — the axial play (front to back, or in and out) and radial play (side to side). Some play is okay, but when the compressor wheel is touching the compressor housing, walk away. Alltech also recommends just having a good look over the turbo. Sometimes turbochargers suffer damage due to excessive heat, and the turbine housing can show signs of cracking, which is no good.
The turbo pictured is off a Subaru Legacy BP5. The compressor wheel has been rubbing against the compressor housing for some time, resulting in some pretty severe damage