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Old June 4th, 2019, 11:41   #1
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Default Welp, I think my VNT-17 bit the dust.

Purchased the "white unicorn" that's been floating around the forums for years about a month ago. If you search "2003 Bora highly modified" you'll find it. But here are the specs that are relevant to engine stuff:

2003 GLS TDI ALH, approx. 296k miles.

VNT-17 turbo
Boost valve
PowerPlus 520 injectors
11mm fuel pump
In-tank PD lift pump
Old man intake
Front mount intercooler
Mishimoto catch can
EGR and cooler deleted
DieselGeek race pipe
Full stainless Kerma exhaust
Kerma tune w/ immobilizer delete

Had the timing belt done at 295k, the week after we picked it up, by a reputable guy I've used before for my Golf.

This past weekend it seemed a little smokier than usual out the exhaust. It had been blowing some nice coal in boost previously, but this was white and more than usual. Started out just with acceleration, so I put some Power Service in it thinking it was some bad fuel. Then it started smoking even at idle. Watching the boost gauge, it would go into boost fine up to about 22PSI, but then drop like a rock. Great... Checked the oil and it was low. Pulled the lower intercooler line (missed the pan too lol) and had a nice puddle of oil form. Also noticed oil blew out the tail pipe. I attached some pics of the carnage.

So I'm guessing it's a pretty open and closed case I need a turbo... Thankfully it didn't run away on me.

I'll be doing some research over the next few days, but is there anything unusual I should be aware of replacing it? It'll be me and my husband working on it and first time doing a turbo. We're pretty handy and have worked on my Golf ourselves, and fortunately I also have a couple good diesel mechanic friends I can call for help, if needed. I plan to clean out the intercooler at well, especially if the impeller is shredded once we get it out.

Also: Should I consider something other than the VNT-17? It lasted about 200k by my approximation so I feel fine putting another one in. Just wanted to ask for options.


2003 Golf GLS TDI - 235k mi - stock
2003 Jetta GLS TDI - 296k mi - not stock

Last edited by beckster; June 4th, 2019 at 18:15. Reason: forgot some mods
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