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TDI Power Enhancements Discussions about increasing the power of your TDI engine. i.e. chips, injectors, powerboxes, clutches, etc. Handling, suspensions, wheels, type discussion should be put into the "Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)" forum. Non TDI vehicle related postings will be moved or removed. Please note the Performance Disclaimer.

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Old June 4th, 2019, 11:41   #1
beckster
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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.

Thanks!


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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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Old June 4th, 2019, 12:34   #2
Nero Morg
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It would be easier to put in another Vnt17 since it's already tuned for it. Or you can drop in something else with some fab work, but you'll need the tune redone to match. I already know others will suggest to "get away from the ancient tech of the Vnt17" lol
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Old June 4th, 2019, 13:18   #3
beckster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero Morg View Post
It would be easier to put in another Vnt17 since it's already tuned for it. Or you can drop in something else with some fab work, but you'll need the tune redone to match. I already know others will suggest to "get away from the ancient tech of the Vnt17" lol
Very true, probably the best option. What are your thoughts on having the turbo rebuilt?

I'm not sure of the details on the tune, I wonder if I reach out to Kerma they would give me info.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 13:19   #4
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X2. More complicated and expensive parts, that aren't available off the shelf from a ton of US distributors, and wouldn't allow you to limp it home on a vnt15 from a wrecker in a worst case scenario, aren't always ideal for a daily.

You also have just enough fuel to max out a 1749vb, so not much point going larger. Turbo will have some core value as well since it shouldn't be too bad to rebuild if the wheels are in good shape.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 13:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckster View Post
Very true, probably the best option. What are your thoughts on having the turbo rebuilt?

I'm not sure of the details on the tune, I wonder if I reach out to Kerma they would give me info.
Gratz on 200k miles of service out of a "lowly" VNT17. Now build it better stronger faster than before. 17 plus

please contact info@kermatdi.com or 877-537-6283 and mention your personal details and this thread.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 13:51   #6
Yourbuddysatin
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Wow sorry to hear that! http://www.xsboostturbochargers.com/ That’s a pretty decent place to get yours rebuild if it is able to. I didn’t fully read above so I don’t know if yours is complete junk or not.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 14:00   #7
Nero Morg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckster View Post
Very true, probably the best option. What are your thoughts on having the turbo rebuilt?

I'm not sure of the details on the tune, I wonder if I reach out to Kerma they would give me info.
If you have the time to allow the car to be done, find a good vendor to have it built. Me, I'm too lazy/impatient for that so I'd just get a whole replacement.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 17:26   #8
Tdijarhead
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Hmmm those pictures look familiar. That looks exactly like mine when the turbo went. Oil in the intercooler, oil out the tailpipe, oil everywhere.

I would not rebuild the old unit, and I would put the same as you already have in there, because as has been pointed out that’s what you’re tuned for. New vnt 17.

Doing the work isn’t that bad of a job the two of you should be able to knock it out in an afternoon, provided you don’t run into problems. You’ll have to remove the intake so it’s a good time to clean that as well as all the boost hoses.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 17:48   #9
beckster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yourbuddysatin View Post
Wow sorry to hear that! http://www.xsboostturbochargers.com/ Thatís a pretty decent place to get yours rebuild if it is able to. I didnít fully read above so I donít know if yours is complete junk or not.
Thanks for the link... I found this:
Is this the correct turbo? It says it's a GT1749V, just want to make sure that's a VNT-17. Seems like a good buy vs. $850+ elsewhere. Thoughts?
Rebuilt garrett turbocharger for the 1.9 TDI used on VW, Audi ,skoda and more
Garrett GT1749V
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Old June 4th, 2019, 17:55   #10
Yourbuddysatin
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I’m not sure. Looks like it is comparable though. I think a vnt17 can make more power than that one. I’m not 100% on that though. Probably save some cash though by having yours rebuilt.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 18:19   #11
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you gotta watch those remans. At that price there's probably still the old vanes and unison ring, and actuator.

....aaaaand that is a vnt-15
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Old June 4th, 2019, 18:24   #12
beckster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KERMA View Post
you gotta watch those remans. At that price there's probably still the old vanes and unison ring, and actuator.

....aaaaand that is a vnt-15

Alllllrighty then! Sending you an email now haha, thank you!
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Old June 4th, 2019, 18:37   #13
beckster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owain@malonetuning View Post
X2. More complicated and expensive parts, that aren't available off the shelf from a ton of US distributors, and wouldn't allow you to limp it home on a vnt15 from a wrecker in a worst case scenario, aren't always ideal for a daily.

You also have just enough fuel to max out a 1749vb, so not much point going larger. Turbo will have some core value as well since it shouldn't be too bad to rebuild if the wheels are in good shape.

Thanks so much for your input, greatly appreciated! Seems like sticking with the VNT-17 is my plan now.
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Old June 5th, 2019, 19:44   #14
Nevada_TDI
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For the money I would contact Dutch Auto Parts. They have great prices on turbos either new or rebuilt. His rebuilt turbos are new CHRA's in a used manifold, that is also upgraded for a long life.
https://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=434593 see post #3
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Old June 5th, 2019, 21:07   #15
Mongler98
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+1 for having it rebuilt by a quality shop.
that or the GT1749V
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