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Bought it from a Grandma for $1000 including towing after she was less than thrilled with Subaru of Gwenette. Maintenance records showed that 10w30 regular oil was always ran through the motor and the turbo failed because of it. She had the turbo replaced by a mom and pop shop (the same one that ran regular dino oil) and it failed again so she brought it to Atlanta for the right treatment for another new turbo. Estimate $2400. They turned down the job for a turbo replacement and would only work on the car if it had a whole new replacement motor. $7,200 She swore off Subarus at that point.

So I bought it and hadn't had time to get to the job until 2 weeks ago.

First bought a compression test kit and checked if the motor was toast or not... all 4 tested at 150ish psi so we knew it didn't need engine work (outside of a resurface of the block if it had a blown head gasket). Replaced the spark plugs with new NGK units.

2nd sourced the appropriate CHRA for the mitsu turbo and rebuilt. New gaskets.

Bathed the turbo piping and IC cleaning out the oil and small bits of compressor wheel from the failure.

Plugged up everything and cycled engine without relays for spark to prime the motor and oil/coolant lines.

Replaced fuses for relays and turned it over and immediately fired up. SMOKED LIKE A FOG MACHINE!

Burned off the exhaust crud and no smoke but still checked for a combustion leak in the coolant for a head gasket failure. Passed the test.

Good to go.

UPDATE 1/10/16
Toasted another turbo around Thanksgiving 2015. My first turbo failure with this car. When the failure happened I was about 10 miles from town on a mountain and it was clear the turbo was making a racket! No Smoke yet so I limped it on over to a friend's house to garage it.

On teardown we found that the turbo spat off the nut on the cold end... so somehow the turbo was spinning and then stopped all at once leaving the nut to spin off. I had a melted OEM inlet pipe so that needed to be replaced. For the turbo failure it was likely oil starvation (journal bearing was cracked). No banjo bolt screen so that was not the culprit... We measured the oil that we drained out of the pan and it was at 4.2 qts so that was not the culprit... no real diagnosis to know it is not going to happen again.

We also replaced the OEM uppipe because the 11 year old pre-cat is thought to probably be toasting the turbo and running it too hot... or soot is clogging things up. There is obviously a reason Subaru stopped using that catalyst system.

Cleaned up the IC and washed out the system of any possible turbo bits. Oil flush. Clean Clean Clean.

Uppipe was pretty easy to get in there with the turbo out. I opted to not take off the exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold heat shield was not removable because of the O2 sensor but when it was loosened the bolts and gasket are workable.

Turbo got a new CHRA for a TD04L (this one felt like there was 0 play in the fitment where the previous one moved a little) New Gaskets duh!

Inlet pipe was from upgr8 which was just the wrong size (advertised to fit a 05 forester too) it had all the ports in the right spots... we decided to mod the pipe to make it work and it turned out fine. I watched a vid where the turbo re-circulation port on the pipe should be cut down to the minimum to help it fit under the manifold so I did that. Pushing and pulling and cussing and it popped into place. Fitting the rebuilt turbo in we noticed that about an inch and a half needed to be cut off at the turbo side so we broke out the razor blade again. Measure twice cut shallow... and measure and cut once more and a prefect fitment!

...everything back together.

4.2qts of 5-30

Pulled the relay for the fuel pump, pulled the fuse for the spark plugs and turned it over for 15 seconds to prime the oil and waterlines. Turned it over for 15 seconds more after a rest. Fuses and relays back in and fired it up.

Filled the coolant... filled it some more and some more.

Idled it to operating temp and checked it over. Good to test drive.

Checked it over and noted that boost is now way easier to reach now than before.

Power steering pump now making some noise...
2005 Forester XT (Silver)



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