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2017 Forester XT
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The stock turbo on my 05 FXT has 130k miles on it, and I'm looking to replace. I don't want to upgrade yet, just need a solid TD04. I'm open to buying a new, used, or rebuilt turbocharger if it's in good shape.

I was looking on eBay and you can get a brand new TD04 (made in China) for $250-$300. The sellers seem to have lots of sales and 99% positive ratings. There are also aftermarket TD04s made in the US for about $400 (brand new). I'm wondering why I'd consider a used or rebuilt turbo if I can get a new one for the same price...

I guess my question is, does anyone have experience with Chinese turbos on eBay, especially TD04s? Are they good quality? How about new TD04s from US companies?

Thanks!
 

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2004 Forester XTi 4EAT
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1,430 Posts
I don't have experience with the Chinese turbos but I'm sure some ppl here do. Have you looked in the f/s section here? You can try nasioc classifieds too for used TD04's.
 

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2006 FXT-L MT
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107 Posts
Are they the Kinugawa ones or something else? Without a link it is hard to tell you much of anything.

There are a few local guys here who run the Kinugawa turbos and they like them a lot. The are not eBay turbos... just have an eBay store.
 

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2007 EDM FXT 4EAT ST3 Automatic
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441 Posts
I bought a cheapish China-turbo for another car a few years ago, it was not cheap but still only about half price of an original Garrett. It was a T04/T3 hybrid, and capable of 400++ hp.

I ran it on a Volvo 2.3 liter for about a week before it seized, 1.4 ish bar boost and 350ish whp.

I sent it to a reknowned specialist that took it apart and rebuilt it, actually rebuilt is not correct as the only part we could reuse was the exhaust housing. ;-)

So in the end I had paid for the China turbo and a Garrett. Had I bought the real thing from the start I would have saved quite a bit of money. The new turbo managed almost 400 whp before I trashed the gearbox (Getrag 262). ;-)

Morale: China turbos probably work fine on stockish setups, but don't attempt to push them as they may well fail and that will end up costing you.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,432 Posts
Sometimes (actually, most of the time) it's almost impossible to know what you're getting. Anyone remember the fiasco with the alleged Taiwanese-made FP turbos? It's pretty safe to assume that even brand name turbos have at least some Chinese/Taiwanese parts, and/or that they are assembled there. But at least with name brand outfits one stands a better chance of the company standing behind their product.
 

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2017 Forester XT
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. Yeah so hard to tell. I could spend $300 on a used TD04 from the for-sale section of this forum, or I could spend the same amount on a new turbo from China. Both could wind up being OK, or both could fail. I would normally steer clear of the cheap eBay turbos, but if they are so crappy you'd think the sellers wouldn't have such high positive ratings. Hmmm. Guess I'll wait and see if anyone else in this forum has experience running a random eBay turbo, especially a Chinese one.
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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842 Posts

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2004 Forester XTi 4EAT
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1,430 Posts
Please don't pay 300 for a TD04 lol, I sold mine to a buddy with 150k on it and it's currently on his built motor making around 350 in a WRX. i paid 400 for a vf43 with 30k on it. A used TD04 shouldn't cost you more than 175 tbh..
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,432 Posts
TI would normally steer clear of the cheap eBay turbos, but if they are so crappy you'd think the sellers wouldn't have such high positive ratings.
I wouldn't put too much faith in ebay feedback ratings. When do you usually leave feedback? Right after you receive the product, right? It's more of a measure of how responsive the seller was with the purchase transaction/shipping aspect. Once feedback is left, it's done. You can't go back months later to amend it if your turbo failed.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Look, there is a place to save money and a place where you shouldn't. Harbor Freight has made a business out of this. I'll buy my engine hoist from them because I may use it a dozen or so times in my lifetime. But I buy my sockets, hand tools, etc from Craftsmen, Dewalt, etc. These are the things that get used a lot. Does your turbo get used a lot?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,784 Posts
Keep in mind there are tons of TD04s designed for different cars, with different flanges. You need one from another Forester XT, even the WRX one is a bit different. Post a "wanted" ad on here, I'm sure someone has a lower mileage unit.

Stan
 

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2017 Forester XT
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Keep in mind there are tons of TD04s designed for different cars, with different flanges. You need one from another Forester XT, even the WRX one is a bit different. Post a "wanted" ad on here, I'm sure someone has a lower mileage unit.

Stan
Thanks, that's good to know. I was about ready to buy one off a WRX from NASIOC. I'll put out an add on this site...
 

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2004 XT 4EAT
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18 Posts
I've worked a fair amount with Chinese turbos in a previous job (STS Turbo). You can get a Chinese turbo to last just as long as a name brand one with a few new parts, namely a good GRW bearing(s) and garret "piston rings." Those were the failure points from what we saw. The better bearing made them last, and the rings kept them from drinking oil. Their bearings were prone to early failure (seizing up) and their rings would loose their tempor (spring) after one good heat cycle.
Good news is those parts are fairly cheap (under $100). Bad news is (for some) you have to take you brand new turbo all apart. Just make good witness marks on everything so when you put it back together nothing is out of balance (every turbo we tested for balance was well inside the tolerances - they were got that part figured out).

I plan to go this route (turbo from Godspeed or CXRacing) when I go to upgrade.
 

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2011 turbotek tuned fxt 4eat paddle shift
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3,539 Posts
Kinugawa are taiwan turbos made by kamak and are top notch and are rivaling lots of name brand turbos. But sadly since they have been more popular they have become more expensive.
 
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