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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:17   #46
asnowsquall
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One concern I just thought about. If its done with the exhaust connected (lazy mans approach), is whats coming out the tailpipe and when is it going to come out?? Easy oven nasty chemical particulates getting breathed in wouldn't be a good thing. Maybe not a good idea.

Last edited by asnowsquall; June 24th, 2009 at 14:28.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:37   #47
Tom W.
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Default Andy, thanks for the added expertise!

Lots of questions we've had about soot vs rust, is there any aluminum in the exhaust side of the turbo, what are the seals and bearings made of, - Andy, your expertise and experience is much appreciated!
Many thanks!
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Old June 24th, 2009, 12:09   #48
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Default Step By Step, How-To Chemically Clean Your Turbo:

Chemically Cleaning Your Turbo-Why and How: (85+ successful chemical cleans as of 12/31/2012!!!)
Why: Your car is going into limp mode, you have figured out your turbo is clogged up, and spending $2000 replacing your turbo OR a long weekend (or 3)rebuilding your turbo are not appealing to you.
GOOD NEWS!
If you can change your own oil, you can chemically clean your turbo. Chemically cleaning the turbo is better than mechanical cleaning. It is faster, easier, less expensive, doesn't require much expertise, and is much safer for the turbo- no chance of breaking your turbo, no chance of damaging your turbo. Why Easy-Off? Easy-Off will not damage your turbo. It will only react with the carbon and oil gunking up your turbo, and it works by combining with these elements into a kind of lubricating soap. It does need HEAT to react effectively, so either do it on a warm day, or let your engine run a bit to heat up the turbo.

How I Chemically cleaned my turbo- Step by step:

Materials needed: Mityvac Vacuum pump, Easy-Off Oven Cleaner( Grill cleaner or Heavy Duty), 3 new exhaust flange nuts(N 902 002 01 are the 8mm nuts that connect the downpipe to the turbo) anti-seize, protective gear (rubber gloves, goggles, face/arm/skin/head/hair protection, etc). box wrench, some PB blaster. *** (If going in thru the EGR block off plate, you don't need the exhaust flange nuts)

FIRST: To properly diagnose what the problem really is(to be sure the problem is stuck vanes and not something else) go to Canadiangrizzly's post here: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=179589


Test the turbo actuator with a hand-held brake bleeder vacuum pump, like the mightyvac- I bought a cheap knock-off from Harbor Freight for $19.95. Works great.
Locate the turbo actuator- this is located on top of the turbo, buried back between the engine and the firewall, pretty hard to see it. I used a mirror.

Attach vacuum pump to the vacuum line going to the turbo actuator (from N75).



This is the actuator arm, in it's "relaxed" state:


I(f your turbo is clogged, this actuator arm will barely move -even under extreem vacuum)

Pump up the vacuum, watching the actuator arm.

I pumped up to 36HG vacuum, and the vacuum held steady, so I knew the actuator diaphram was good. I also noticed that the actuator arm only moved abt 1/8 inch, instead of the full ¾- 1 inch. I checked for something mechanically impeding the actuator/arm, like rust or a pebble, but found nothing. Now I know for sure I have a gunked up turbo. . Leave the vacuum pump attached to the actuator, using this to “exercise” the actuator later.

Step 1: Get access into the exhaust side of your turbo. ***
Put your car up on ramps, climb under the car, locate the exhaust "down pipe". This pipe connects via a 3 bolt flange to the exhaust side of the turbo. Careful! The exhaust should be hot! Spray the 3 nuts w PB Blaster( or your favorite penetrating lube). Remove the three nuts that hold the exhaust pipe/flange onto the exhaust side of the turbo- GENTLY move the exhaust pipe/flange out of the way.
***An alternate route into your turbo is if you have removed your EGR. In the first picture, you will notice I have a block off plate where my EGR used to be. rather than go in thru the exhaust side of the turbo, I can simply remove the EGR block off plate and go in straight down through the exhaust manifold)
I now have clear access into the exhaust side of turbo.

IF THE TURBO IS COLD, start the car, let it run for a minute, in order for the turbo to get warm(EO works best on a warm surface).

Step 2.
A. Put on protective gear- (I ended up getting the stuff on my skin anyway, but I washed it off and was not injured. )
B. Spray Easy-Off (EO) into the exhaust side of the turbo- it foams up, filling the space. Spin the turbo blades with (gloved) finger, spray some more. Give it a minute, spray,Spin the blades, spray again(You want the EO to get into every nook and cranney) ***( if going in thru the EGR block off plate, just spray down through the exhaust manifold and directly into the exhaust side of the turbo. Many have used a straw or small hose poked down through the exhaust manifold and into the turbo, and sprayed EO directly thrugh the straw, so as to avoid any possibility of getting EO into the exhaust manifold.)
C. Go topside, “exercise” actuator by pumping up the vacuum, releasing the vacuum, pump/release, pump/release. Look for movement in the actuator arm(I had to use a mirror to get a good look at the actuator arm). Now wait 1/2 hour- give the EO time to work.
Repeat steps A,B&C every 1/2 hour until full, smooth range of movement in actuator. It did not work for me on the first try, so don't get discouraged, it may take two or three treatments. For me, I got no movement with the first reatment, 1/2 inch movement on the 2nd try, on the 3rd try I had full range and full, smooth movement.
(Although the EO has done it's job after 3 hours, you can leave theEO in the turbo overnight, or even longer, without harm )


This is the actuator arm in it's fully extended state. Hard to tell the difference!

Or for a better view, I shamelessly stole this from Drivebywire's amazing VNT repair sticky:
http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/500/2006_0603_175432AB.AVI


Once you have full, smooth actuator movement, you're done!
(So for me it took me three treatments, and about 2hours (of mostly waiting)- but total carbon removal can take up to 3 hours- so don't give up)



****
Last Step: Re-attach exhaust flange to turbo with 3 new nuts and anti-sieze. Re-attach the vacuum line going from the actuator to the N75.***( re-attach the EGR block off plate)
Immediately go for a drive! Any left over fluid in the exhaust side of the turbo is harmlessly blown out through the exhaust.
I now have PERFECT, FULL RANGE BOOST! WAHOO!!!!!!! I stomp on the pedal, and it GOES!!!! And, in order to keep my turbo working perfectly, I will DRIVE IT HARD at least once a week!



****Optional 3rd step: treating for rust or corrosion in the turbo. You will need some Behr Concrete Etcher & Rust Remover, which is 44% phosphoric acid. Put on protective outfit.
A. Pour a concentration of 40/60 Behr/water (this dilutes it to 15-20% Phosphoric acid/water) into the exhaust side of the turbo. Spin the turbo blades one full rotation (360 degrees) with my finger to coat the turbo with the mixture. “Exercise” the actuator arm some more. Let the turbo soak for 6-8 hours.
B. Use my finger to turn the turbo blades 1 ¼ turn, repeat step A . I did this 3 times, until confident all the blades had been soaked. This will hopefully remove any rust in turbo, and leave a rust-protected (phosphatized) surface on anything made of steel or iron.)

**** Optional, because 99.9% of the time everyone's actuator worked 100% with just the Easy-Off, so maybe it was just soot clogging things, not rust. Other more experienced TDIers, as well as photos posted here reinforce the idea that it is just carbon removal we should be interested in, that rust is really not an issue. I did step 4 becauseI read through Drivbiwire’s amazing sticky VNT Repair Procedure, http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=140910
He talks about scraping rust out of the turbo. From my tests on rusty spark plugs, the best concentration of phosphoric acid/water was 15%-20%, soaking for 6-8 hours. This removed all rust, did not harm the metal, and left a nice, clean, grey metallic, rust- proof (phosphatized) surface. A larger concentration of phosphoric acid is not useful, and may even be damaging. It did not improve rust removal, and left the surface almost black.

Much thanks to Archer for starting this thread, AND HUGE thanks to all the TDIers who have posted their experiences with this method!

Last edited by Tom W.; January 8th, 2013 at 14:07. Reason: Updated thanks to the 85+ TDIers who have posted their results!
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Old June 24th, 2009, 12:49   #49
mmmmdiesel
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Default Garrett's Master Distributers

I called one of Garrett's Master Distributers a couple of days ago. These guys have true info about the turbos since some also rebuild them.

http://www.turbobygarrett.com/turbob...tributors.html

I asked a tech at D&W if anything in the turbo can be harmed by the Easy Off. His initial thinking was no. That it should be fine. There are no rubber seals in that turbo for sure. Makes sense, since they would melt.

I'm not sure why you disconnected the oil line? Since it lubes the bearings it is isolated from both the exhaust and intake sides. Its in the middle. Or did you remove it just so you could have the best access to the turbine?

I would like to see someone try with the non-toxic version of the Easy Off first. If it doesn't work, then upgrade to the more toxic version.



If it works, it will be the safest. Don't have to worry about getting it on your skin or inhaling the fumes. Whatever least toxic method gets the vanes moving should be used.

Thought: This non-toxic Easy Off one actually works on self cleaning ovens unlike the other two. Which means it takes high heat. So even if some is left in the turbo and you can't get a perfect rinse & dry, it certainly won't hurt the turbo.

Other thoughts:

1. so it doesn't gum up again, once unstuck you'll want to regularly work the turbo hard by accel/release/accel/release/... at least a couple of times a week. And every 20 or 30 minutes of cruise driving, do the same so the vanes don't get stuck in one spot;

2. if it turns out that this is just temporary fix and recurs semi-frequently, then add this procedure when changing your oil. I think the first time will be the hardest because the exhaust bolts will likely be seized. After that, if you have to do this every 2 or 3 oil changes say, the bolts should come off easier.

BTW, Tom, you mentioned you had to replace the nuts. Did you strip or break them? If so, I would think you'd have to replace also the bolts ie. nuts and bolts combo. First time. Then subsequent times, should not need to since they shouldn't be as difficult to remove.

Did you also change the gasket at the exhaust pipe / turbo interface?
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Old June 24th, 2009, 16:15   #50
asnowsquall
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Default Worked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowsquall
One concern I just thought about. If its done with the exhaust connected (lazy mans approach), is whats coming out the tailpipe and when is it going to come out?? Easy oven nasty chemical particulates getting breathed in wouldn't be a good thing. Maybe not a good idea.
OK, so I tried it and it worked!
1) Put car up on ramps.
2) started car and saw no movement on actuator so my VNT was stuck. Not a big suprise as the car only had -3" of vacuum when I got it. Wish I knew how long it had been this way.
3) pulled the EGR plug at the top of the exhaust manifold.
4) from under the car I passed the can up to the exhaust port and spray the heavy duty oven cleaner in. Sorry, wish I had timed it. Thinking it was about 10-15 seconds.
5) Put plate back on opening so that oven cleaner wouldn't come blasting out.
6) Started car and reved it a couple of times. Again, wish I had looked at rpms, nothing loud and crazy and only ran for about 10 seconds.
7) Sits for about 8 hours as we went to the beach.
8) Don't have a vacuum supply/tool, there is only one place that has one and it was $70 that I didn't want to spend. Enter, a small pair of vise grips. Clamp onto actuating arm, and start rocking it up and down, not to hard and after about 3 minutes it made an audible clink and broke free.
9) Wait until nobody around and road was clear and took it for a spin, could tell right away that things were better. Had some nice black clouds and no more limp mode!
Very happy with this. Time for a rocketchip.

I big word of caution... picture (in a CSI way) the chemicals in the turbo atomizing and coming out the tailpipe and going into someones lungs. This isn't the safest thing to do and if you do it then you accept responsibility. I can't be held responsible for how or what you decide to do.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 18:34   #51
Tom W.
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Default another success story!

Asnowsquall- Very cool- and 10X easier than my approach. Did you do anything to direct the spray down into the turbo- like put a straw down there, and spray thru the straw? My turbo's been working perfectly since I cleaned it. Can't wait to get a few more people trying a chemical clean, what the results will be.

Last edited by Tom W.; June 24th, 2009 at 18:49.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 18:48   #52
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Default response to questions

mmmmdiesel:
"I'm not sure why you disconnected the oil line?" I worried that Easy-Off or water or phosphoric acid/water mix would migrate past the exhaust side seal and into the bearings- if it did, I wanted it to drain away, not be held in the bearings where it might do some damage- or might drip down into my oil pan, contaminating my engine oil. So, I disconnected the oil return line. .

"BTW, Tom, you mentioned you had to replace the nuts. Did you strip or break them?" I did tear one of them up- it started rounding off on me, so I replaced all of them as a precautionary measure- cheap insurance. These are a type of lock nut.
"Did you also change the gasket at the exhaust pipe / turbo interface?"The gasket is metal. and was in perfect shape- so I did not replace it.

Last edited by Tom W.; June 24th, 2009 at 19:17.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 19:15   #53
asnowsquall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom W.
Asnowsquall- Very cool- and 10X easier than my approach. Did you do anything to direct the spray down into the turbo- like put a straw down there, and spray thru the straw? My turbo's been working perfectly since I cleaned it. Can't wait to get a few more people trying a chemical clean, what the results will be.
I used nothing to direct, and I'm sure not the perfect spray direction but I did get it in the hole (finally, all that potty training paid off!)

Be very careful with this stuff as it will burn you body bad, it eats tissue.
Also be very careful as to where, when and how you start the car and where you drive it. I mean the only real contact issue would be the vapor, but I wouldn't want that to get in anyones lungs.

Car is a different animal now. Funny thing is I just replaced my laptop screen so now I get to use the VAG COM and basically I fixed the problem in the car without it thanks to this forum. Really cool software.

Thanks to this post and Tom I was able to make a quick fix of it. I'll keep everyone posted if I have problems. Doubt it as I will be using the boost on a regular basis!

Dave
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Old June 24th, 2009, 20:36   #54
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well boys, I'll be giving this a shot in the next couple days. hope it fixes things, and then I can move onto my stupid rear caliper problems...grrrrrrrr
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Old June 24th, 2009, 20:50   #55
mmmmdiesel
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What is the "EGR plug"? Do you mean the pipe that goes from the exhaust up to the EGR valve? Disconnect that and spray in there?

Do you have an EGR delete installed (block off plate)? I don't. Mine is stock. I suspect most people are running stock as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowsquall
OK, so I tried it and it worked!
8) ... Enter, a small pair of vise grips. Clamp onto actuating arm, and start rocking it up and down, not to hard and after about 3 minutes it made an audible clink and broke free.
Maybe then the Easy Off isn't even necessary? Depends how gummed up it is. I suspect in your case just forcing the actuator arm back and forth a little harder than the car's vacuum system itself can do would have worked. We'll never know now because you didn't do it that way, but its an interesting thought.

Other thought is that we may not need a perfect clean like Tom did. Maybe softening the carbon is sufficient. Once the vanes move, then they shouldn't stick again if put through their full range often.

Unsticking the vanes is both necessary and sufficient to restore your boost. Extra cleaning could delay a future guck up if don't drive it hard and exercise the turbo as often.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 04:49   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmdiesel
What is the "EGR plug"? Do you mean the pipe that goes from the exhaust up to the EGR valve? Disconnect that and spray in there?

Do you have an EGR delete installed (block off plate)? I don't. Mine is stock. I suspect most people are running stock as well.



Maybe then the Easy Off isn't even necessary? Depends how gummed up it is. I suspect in your case just forcing the actuator arm back and forth a little harder than the car's vacuum system itself can do would have worked. We'll never know now because you didn't do it that way, but its an interesting thought.

Other thought is that we may not need a perfect clean like Tom did. Maybe softening the carbon is sufficient. Once the vanes move, then they shouldn't stick again if put through their full range often.

Unsticking the vanes is both necessary and sufficient to restore your boost. Extra cleaning could delay a future guck up if don't drive it hard and exercise the turbo as often.
Yes I have a EGR delete kit, and the blank off plate is right on top of the manifold which is part of what made it so easy.

I thought about the effect of just the vise grips without the chemicals after like your saying. It may be worth a try, but I was reading somewhere last night where it says you can damage stuff. I was pretty gentle when I was doing it. I'd love to see a manifold off a car with a Turbo disassembled so I can see the path of the chemicals. Its got to go right into the fingers. Actually I'd like to see a before and after on mine to see how clean it got. I know there was a couple of nice black clouds and it was light outside.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 06:10   #57
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Hi, interesting thread as I am wondering between chemical or mechanical clean out now.

BTW, someone stated in this thread on the dangers of phosphoric acid... 1) it is an active ingredient of Coke (2) your skin excrete it (3) I treat and chemical clean diving regulators and cylinders with it. It is one of the less harmful acids - won't eat or change your skin to soap (lye will!!!) your skin on contact. Okay, won't hurt to be careful.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 14:27   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettascuba
BTW, someone stated in this thread on the dangers of phosphoric acid... 1) it is an active ingredient of Coke (2) your skin excrete it (3) I treat and chemical clean diving regulators and cylinders with it. It is one of the less harmful acids - won't eat or change your skin to soap (lye will!!!) your skin on contact. Okay, won't hurt to be careful.
And be careful not to get any of it in your eyes.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 14:28   #59
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Default Rocket Ship ...

I used a combination Tom W.'s and anowsquall's method.

Before procedure: about 1/4" movement of the actuator + safe mode
After procedure: about 1/2" to 5/8" movement of the actuator + NO safe mode

Here's how I did it:

1. I disconnected the exhaust pipe per Tom W.'s procedure. Did not touch the oil lines. I sprayed Liquid Wrench on the 3 nuts beforehand and let it sit for an hour or so. Two of the nuts came off pretty easy. A 3rd nut did not unseize but instead, it unscrewed the stud itself. No problem. Nothing stripped. When I put things back together later, I just screwed the stud back in with the seized nut attached.

2. I opted for the Heavy Duty Easy Off - yellow can one - because it works faster - ~10 minutes - when under heat, the Fume Free one takes about two hours and is to be used at room temp. I't hard to get a good angle to spray in the Easy Off. Trial and error. Turned the turbine around a bit with my (gloved) finger. Sprayed in some more. Waited about 10 minutes. Checked the actuator manually (used a flat screw driver to pull down on it, did not use a vacuum). No movement change yet.

3. per asnowsquall's idea, I started the car for about 10 seconds. Rev to about 3500rpm to fling the Easy Off around. Checked the actuator. Still nothing.

4. OK so I decide to rinse and re-do the steps. Instead of pressure spray hose, I cut a 2 foot piece of 3/4" hose and fed it from the top side to the turbo. Put a funnel on the end of the hose and poured about a cup of water in that way. Started her up again for about 10 seconds. Reved. Shut off. Big puddle of black sooty water under the car.

Really really glad I laid out a piece of poly before I did that! I recommend you do likewise. Pulled out the poly, rinsed it off. Put the poly back.

5. started over again. Spray Easy Off, wait, turn the turbine manually, spray some more. Check the actuator. Still no change. Rinse again. Start. more black guck. More rinse of poly.

6. All the while I kept working on the acutator lever with the screw driver. Still nothing happening. I must have pulled down on the actuator 20 times with ever increasing force by now. Hmmm.

7. So I'm confounded. OK going to start over again. I reach again for the Easy Off, but mistakingly grab the Liquid Wrench. So I think, what the hell, lets spay that in there. Maybe soften up the carbon. Unlike the Easy Off, it has a straw so I could get back past the turbine to the variable vanes and asscociated mechanism. Twirled the turbine around some more with my finger. Sprayed some more Liquid Wrench in. Went back on the actuator mechanism. After another 20 or so hard pulls on the actuator lever, I noticed it was now moving at least twice as far and had no sticky points on the way back. Interesting. I'm still not sure it is enough though, because some people are reporting the thing is moving 3/4" to 1". I start the car briefly to fling the Liquid Wrench around. Spray in some more Easy Off and Liquid Wrench. Check actuator. Still not moving any farther, but definitely better than before. So I decide to leave it at that.

8. I put it all back together. Start up. Confirm a snowsquall's experience of big black cloud of smoke and black guck out the tail pipe. Clears up quickly (seconds). So I go for a spin. Rocket propulsion baby! LOL Feels like a new car. Pulls well through the whole power range at any rpm. Thankfully, no more safe mode. I tried many different times to put it into safe mode the way it used to go but could not reproduce safe mode and associated CEL.

Conclusion: I think everyone's turbo vanes will be uniquely gummed up. Some in different places than others. Some with more or less carbon. Mine has been going into safe mode for 3-4 years at least (can't believe I drove it like that for so long). So it took quite an effort to free mine up. It is still possible that I unstuck it by using brute force again and again on the actuator. So what, if any role, the Easy Off and Liquid Wrench played, I can't be sure. Let's put it this way, if it ever goes into safe mode again, quickly, the first thing I will do, is put pressure on that actuator lever and work the carbon free before it builds up even more. ie. nip it in the bud.

I'm not sure if I have total movement on the actuator or not so I may still not have max power at the top end. I can't remember what is normal. eg. Let's say I'm in 5th @ 100km/hr and I floor it. With a stock setup like mine, how many seconds should it take to get to 120km/hr? Assuming no wind and level (no slope) surface.

Safety. I did get some Easy Off on my skin a couple of times. I had setup a running hose nearby in case I needed to rinse quickly. It worked well. No burns whatsoever on my skin. I probably inhaled some of the fumes too. No adverse affects noticed so the amount was probably trace. In retrospect, a good safety precaution for that would be to setup a fan to blow the fumes away.

Other efficacy idea, it would be best to get a straw attachment for the Easy Off. Maybe pulling one off another can and swapping out the one on the Easy Off can would work? We don't need to clean the turbine blades so much as the variable vanes which are at least an 1" back.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 15:00   #60
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One thing that I believe everyone should consider, regardless of the means/access to the turbine to apply any chemical cleaner, is, will you be able to get back to the job.

If you spray "stuff" in there to disolve/dislodge oil/soot crud and "wait" a few hours for it to work, there could be a problem with the debris "sticking" to one or more of the blades (not vanes) on the turbine.

If that happens, and you don't get it off, the Turbo, as a unit, will be out of balance................. remember, the turbo rotates up to 100,000 RPMs.

Also, will this procedure be harmful to the CAT?

BTW, my TDI has almost 247k miles and the Turbo works great, never been cleaned. I give it the "exercise" it needs about two or three times per tank of fuel.......... run the engine RPMs up to about 4000 under load in 2nd and 3rd gear. Just reving the engine without load doesn't get the job done!
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