2nd VNT17 dead

Judson

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Well, for all those following my little saga, I was trying to figure out why off-line response sucked, so I went out to do some logging. WOT, 3rd gear from 1500rpms to redline. Just short of redline, something went POP. This was the first run, so only the first log was taken, and it's only an EGR function thingy.

Mechanic called today: VNT17 is blown. This is the second. Two different vendors. Same Garrett.

He's going to continue to dig in, but something is not right. Boost was fine: spiked to 24psi then went down. Never seen an overboost condition running rc4. Ever. Car never even got to redline. Brand new oil feed line on at least the 2nd turbo.

Both turbos had their label glued on - that's the only clue that something might be up. Both vendors are reputable. Maybe I'm getting Chinese turbos from both.

Anyway, there's no way in hell I'm putting another Garrett VNT17 on my car. Probably not even going to put a Garrett at this point. Mechanic will warrantee a borg warner. At least this second turbo lasted until redliine. The first didn't even get that far.

Has anyone ever come across this kind of weirdness before? I will post up the one log that I do have in a bit.

TIA!


Jud.
 

Seatman

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Blown as in bits? Or?

A turbo usually takes a fair bit to blow, it's often caused by something else like debris in the system somewhere etc, an overboost condition left untreated for a good while.

Maybe the original issue that killed the first turbo hasn't been sorted
 

Judson

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Cheyenne, WY
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2001 Jetta
Best guess is the stainless steel line.
BUT there’s more research to come.

Both turbos blew under WOT from 1500 RPMs doing a logging run, first run. Boost never got over 24psi, that much is true.
 

mrfiat

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That is what happened to my VNT15 while logging. It blew itself in half. I have a VNT17 now and plan to try boost logging with it soon. Hopefully it doesn't blow up!
 

WildChild80

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I have to assume you have a pyrometer with a tune that hot...what was your EGT reading when it/they popped?

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Judson

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Cheyenne, WY
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No egt. Rc4 isn’t that hot - to me at least.

When I drove cross country (on the stock turbo years ago) towing a heavy trailer, I could tell when egts got too high: going up hills in too high a gear I would start producing a lot of black smoke, so I downshifted quickly and that cooled things down.

That little vnt15 towed a 3000 pound enclosed trailer plus another 700 in my stuffed to the gills car and never missed a beat over 2000 miles with injectors slightly out of balance and an intake somewhat clogged and rc3 with .205s.

With a new intake, exhaust, .216s, and a ton of other fixes, no way in hell should even one vnt17 **** itself on the first wot run ever done.

In neither vnt17 was I producing any smoke when they went bang. First one started making a loud whine as the turbine was hitting the side walls. That was sent off to garrett five or six months ago and still haven’t heard back.

This new one apparently almost split itself.
 

Mike_04GolfTDI

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This is a stock turbo on European cars and thousands of people are using them in North America as an upgrade. I don't see a lot of reports of failures in the forums so they must be fairly reliable.

Either you got knock-off parts, a bad batch, or something is wrong with your setup.

I see you have an aftermarket intercooler. Is it fairly large? If your air ducting and intercooler volume are a lot larger than stock, then the turbo would have to initially spin faster than normal to get all that ducting up to the specified pressure.

Maximum pressure isn't the only variable. How much air has to be pumped to achieve that pressure matters. If you pump more air in about the same amount of time, it must be spinning the turbo faster to do it.

Just a guess... I don't know what your intercooler looks like or how the ducting has been modified or anything, so I could be way off with this idea.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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The VNT-17 has to be among, if not the most durable of variable vane turbos. I agree with the other posters, something else is up that's causing such early failure. Perhaps it is the FMIC causing overspeeding. Did you send the first one in for warranty? That would have provided some info on why it failed, even if it wasn't covered.
 

Judson

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Cheyenne, WY
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I've had a Eurojet side mounted intercooler for many years now, way before the VNT17s.

Yes, the first one went in for for warrantee back in April and still haven't hear anything back ! I just sent off an email inquiry.

Changes from the vnt15 to the vnt17s include PD150 intake, .216 injectors (old ones, .205s were out of balance), buzzken exhaust, egr delete/race pipe with new elbow, rc4. .216s were balanced and working fine. rc4 is pretty well established. All vacuum hoses new, as is N17, and even the vacuum pump. Timing belt was done inbetween the first and second vnt17.

Yes, definitely a mystery! Again, only/best guess so far is the stainless steel oil feed line.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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Garrett can be slow to provide warranty feedback, but not that slow. Anything over 3 weeks is unusual. And the upgraded SMIC shouldn't be a problem. I've had a Tyrolsport one in my Wagon for longer than I can remember.

Maybe you're right about the feed line. Perhaps it doesn't flow enough oil. I'd go back to an OE one with the next turbo.
 

BobnOH

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.............................
Yes, definitely a mystery! Again, only/best guess so far is the stainless steel oil feed line.
Lack of proper oiling, not sure how to check for that. It is the simplest answer.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Warranty diagnosis would tell you if there's an oiling problem. That's why I was asking.
 

WildChild80

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Lack of proper oiling, not sure how to check for that. It is the simplest answer.
I've had 2 stainless lines and one had a larger diameter and that's the one I went with.

Where did you get the oil line from? Mine came from a distributor that sells parts for these wonderful cars not idparts

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Judson

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Mechanic wants to put in a factory hard oil line. I think that's wise.

BV39 will suit my needs.

I'll send off the VNT17 that just blew to Garrett also. I will let you all know what they say about either, as soon as I hear back.
 

Mike_04GolfTDI

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I've been using a stainless oil line with a VNT-17 for more than two years. The hole that the oil comes through in the banjo fitting is disturbingly small, but it works!

When you first installed the turbo, did you do anything to pre-lubricate it before running the engine? I usually pull the glowplugs out, and disable the fuel injection, and then crank the engine for a good 30 seconds. It cranks very easily with no glowplugs, and the massive air-leak out the glowplug holes means there won't be much force turning the turbo. (I've had my turbo off several times so I've done this each time before starting the engine).

Is there any chance the turbo oil drain line is blocked? If oil can't get out, maybe it can't get in because there's nowhere to go.

Or maybe somehow oil isn't going up the feed line at all. Will your engine idle right now? Maybe try running the turbo oil feed line into a jar and see if oil comes out while the engine is idling. (Don't do this for long, just enough to see oil come out). Your turbo is toast anyway, so no harm in disconnecting the feed line for this test.
 

Judson

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Cheyenne, WY
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Here's a pic of the turbo.

Mike_4GoldTDI - I'll ask my mechanic these questions. He's still digging around. He put my vnt17 in. Since he's replaced hundreds of these things over the years, my guess is he did all you suggested, but I will ask about the drain line, and will suggest disconnecting the feed line as well. Car does run, btw.



The brown spot is glue, where a product label used to be and has since fallen off.
 
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Seatman

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like debris in the system somewhere

That's what I was thinking, we have a really good company over here called turbo rebuild, one thing I'll often see them posting about on facebook is a brand new turbo ruined due to the initial problem not being fixed.

I was pushing about 26psi out my VNT17 every day with zero issues, turbo was still in excellent condition when I removed it. Stock oil line

The one from the PD130 VA is the most common to blow as it tends to get pushed a bit to hard, has a larger compressor wheel but same vnt15 turbine, vnt17 VB has bigger both.
 

jimbote

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had two vnt 17's that threw a turbine blade, one with only 10k miles, the other unknown mileage but both failed in exactly the same way with a rectangular piece missing from one of the turbine blades, also had a third 17/22 with exact same failure (was not on my car when failure occured)... this is not FOD, looks like fatigue failures ...
 
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jimbote

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That looks like foreign object damage (FOD) to me.
FOD would have damaged what was left of the leading edge of the compressor blades and they actually look fairly pristine (key words "what was left") this looks like bearing failure or shaft breakage that led to compressor contact with the housing
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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It's true that the blade damage is more symmetrical than you might typically see with FOD. There's always a chicken/egg question with turbo failure: Did the shaft breakage cause blade damage, or did blade damage unbalance the assembly and break the shaft? Warranty analysis will help.

The two most common causes of turbo failure we see are FOD and oil contamination, galling the shaft and seizing the vanes. In this case oil starvation may have caused the shaft damage. Regardless, finding out why this happened and addressing the cause will help prevent another failure.
 
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Judson

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Cheyenne, WY
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2001 Jetta
Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

These are/were both VBs.

Mechanic is going to do a leakdown test and some other detective work. He believes there was very high crankcase pressures involved and considering a breather.
 

Mike_04GolfTDI

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I suppose high crankcase pressure could force combustion gasses up the turbo oil drain line, if the pressure was higher than oil pressure. That line drains into the crankcase.

But don’t you have a PCV hose going to the intake already? Or at least a breather?

You weren’t running the engine with a sealed crankcase were you? That would blow oil out of every seal. It would be like the time I ate an undercooked cheeseburger.
 

Judson

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Cheyenne, WY
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Well hell I don’t think I removed that. You’re talking about the hockey puck on top of the valve cover, right?

He wants my used 5-speed (his is dying) which I probably will drop off tomorrow. I’ll check and ask then.

Thanks! All suggestions appreciated.
 

KLXD

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If case pressure was higher than oil pressure all bearings would suffer.

But it couldn't happen. Oil pump is positive displacement, oil pump relief valve dumps to the crankcase. If crankcase pressure rose then oil pressure would rise the same amount.

With the attendant leakage mentioned.
 
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