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2005 Forester XT automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an '05 fxt with a bad turbo. Pulled it out and the impeller blades on the inlet side are severely worn, like they've been rubbing on something. There is a small amount of side to side play in the bearing, but not enough to make the impellers hit the sides and wear as much as they have, IMO. Thoughts??
 

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1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
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1,960 Posts
Something got stuck in the intake and trashed your compressor wheel, which will have to be replaced. The area of impact is not relative to bearing wear and I would inspect the whole length of intake pipe from the air box through to the turbo inlet to make sure there is no debris. The good news is that the IC acts like a filter, catching pretty well everything in the back/inlet so very little if anything harmful makes it through to the throttle body.

I've been here myself although for a different reason but what you would likely need to do now is weigh up whether you want to rebuild your turbo or buy a replacement. Are you mechanically handy? There are loads of excellent picture tutorials online on how to do this. While you are in there, it would be best to replace the bearings and seals as well because this will have put a strain on them and while it might no be apparent now, the consequences will become apparent in due course if you just replace the compressor wheel. The turbo outlet pipe and the IC will need a thorough cleaning too. You could just buy a used TD04 but if you do this yourself, at least you know the bearings and seals are good. Or, a new Arashi unit and from what I've heard, they are absolutely fine, just not as costly as the factory MHI component.

Turbocharger 08 Subaru Impreza WRX Forester TD04H 13T 6 Turbo 220 HP | eBay

Another alternative if you like, is a replacement CHRA housing that has all the bearings, seals and the turbine shaft withe compressor wheel attached installed at the factory and the shaft/wheels balance too. All that is required is to remove the turbine and compressor housing (as well as oil in/out and coolant in/out), take out the old CHRA and install the new one. Priced in between replacement components and a new unit.

Mitsubishi Subaru Turbo Cartridge TD04L 13T Chra 49377 04300 | eBay

The 19T compressor I am using is a direct bolt on conversion, if you want, and makes plenty more power while keeping the low spool up point, but that's a different story which you can do a search on if you're interested. It also involves getting the car remapped.

I use Jawarehouse for all my turbo spares, a compressor wheel and service kit can be bought there, of good quality, decent price and quick dispatch. There should be a little side to side play on a plain bearing turbo when idle, the gap being taken up by the high pressure oil film once the motor is running. Front to back play is not acceptable though but is usually just worn bearings which are not that difficult to replace. Any play on a ball/roller bearing turbo however, means it's FUBAR as the cost of rebuilding is prohibitive because the bearings have to pushed out and machined in by an engineer with the appropriate tools/experience.

MOST IMPORTANT. If you decide to rebuild the turbo, the compressor wheel fits on to the turbine shaft with a left hand/reverse thread and torque settings are in the ounces per foot, not pounds per foot. I use a 1/4" ratchet set and two fingers to tighten the nut afterwards. The reverse thread is in essence, a self locking/safety device. My first experiment with the the bigger 19T compressor housing was based on a really old TD04 donor with a conventional right hand thread and I didn't thread lock the nut. Off it came and trashed the compressor wheel, not unlike yours.

Your compressor is the "superback" type.
TD04 TD04L TD04H TDO4HL Turbo Rebuild KIT Super Back Free Shipping | eBay

I can't see a current listing for a cast (as opposed to billet) TD04-13T compressor wheel on the site but if you email and ask, the owner (Ichiro) gets back to you pretty fast and if he hasn't got it, he will get it and won't charge you a premium for doing so either. I am assuming you have the stock TD04-13T (my 19T compressor housing says TD04 too but has a bigger gob). While this might seem like a tragedy of biblical proportions, it isn't and as long as the culprit or cause of the damage is ascertained/located, then you should be good to go, trouble free again.
 

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2005 Forester XT automatic
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much for the quick replies. I'm no professional, but handy enough to at least attempt the work myself. I admit I'm a turbo virgin, though. I already bought a replacement td04. I researched upgrades, but I want to make sure it doesn't have other issues first. The look of those impellers made me nervous. What's the best way to make sure it's all clear of debris? Just take it apart & flush it? I plan on removing/ cleaning the oil pan while I'm in there, & I have an STI uppipe to swap in as well. Do I need to remove/ replace the turbo inlet? What about other hoses?

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13 Forester XT 4EAT
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4,187 Posts
^While you've got the turbo out is a great time to replace the inlet, much harder with the turbo in.
 
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