Turbo Miata: Disaster Strikes!

It finally happened.

After returning home for winter vacation, I immediately started to furiously unpack the boxes that had accumulated over the weeks.  Everything was great, I now have the full set of parts for the timing belt/water pump/etc job and a few other odds and ends parts showed up.  To complement the turbo I was about to unbox, I scored a top mount legacy GT intercooler from a junkyard.  I have plans to rig that up as a front mount (stay tuned!).   

As I was saying, there I was about to unbox the turbo and boy was I excited.  I anxiously pulled it from the packaging and immediately went for the compressor fan to test the play.  They seller had advertised the turbo as “recommending rebuild before use” which is what I expected to have to do.  The play was very minimal, but a rebuild would only help.  I then removed the wastegate actuator in preparation to tear down the turbo for rebuild and that’s when the problems started…

My first find was that the wastegate kept getting stuck open and that’s when it hit me.  Someone had ported the wastegate in hopes of increasing efficiency, but in turn made it so the wastegate flapper caught the hole and would remain stuck in a partially open position.  After closer examination, the compressor housing was cracked because of excess removal of metal.   At this point I was pissed, I’ll be completely honest.  I then looked to the mounting flange and saw a piece of broken bolt stuck in the threads.  As soon as I saw that I completely checked out and was fed up.

Long story short, seller has been contacted and we are squaring things away (thank god).  But the trouble now is that the turbo hunt has once again begun.  Looks like I’ll be digging in the junkyards for a Mitsubishi turbo!

Wish me luck 


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