Blown turbo. How much metal shavings is too much?

Muddy Bean

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Haven't been on here in a long time as I've had a lot of trouble-free miles with my 2015 Limited EL. Quick synopsis:

Bought truck with 50k on it. Blew drivers turbo at 100,000 miles. Replaced under warranty.
Current ODO: 193K. Just blew passenger turbo. Fins are damaged. Minute amount of shavings in intake. How much is too much? I can replace the turbo myself, but don't want to bother if the engine is going to be a paperweight. I used a cheap snake cam to take some crummy photos of the damaged turbo fins. Engine was running fine when turbo blew, parked it immediately, but blowing lots of white smoke. Thoughts from some gurus?
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sjwelds

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Not much of an expert, but I'd probably run it. Might do a couple of short oil change intervals to clean things out, but I think you'll be fine.
 

RobE

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It is amazing how these engines survive oil contaminates. Short oil and filter change interval and run it. Send an oil sample into a oil analysis company and they will give you an idea how much metal is still encapsulated in the oil.
 

jeff kushner

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Wow, what struck those fins Muddy? That IS catastrophic damage btw......keep in mind, the turbo spins at nearly a quarter-MILLION reps per minute.....any shavings will destroy one pronto, if not faster.

Something damaged those fins, it does not look like fragging(coming apart), it appears to be impact damage.

All that said, the entire system is on the intake airside...and the "danger zone" is everything airside, between the air filter and the turbo. I like pushing rags through myself to clean intake tubes but you're sharp, you'll figure it out.

The white smoke should be smelled, you'll know what it is then and it's likely a byproduct of the failed turbo.

Good luck brother!

jeff
 

Muddy Bean

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Thanks guys. I spoke with a friend who is a Ford tech and he said they change turbos all the time on these with minute bits of flake in the intake. He said to drop the pan, if it’s clean, then flush the system and run it. Jeff, the smoke was definitely oil entering the exhaust (the turbine is full of oil that got past the blown seal). I’m not sure what damaged the fins, but my Ford tech buddy said once the oil starved bearing toasts, the fins wobble and can catch the housing and destroy them.
Btw, just a data point for future researchers finding this thread:
193,000 miles:
1. Throttle body sensor quit and was replaced
2. Truck stumbled a lot towing out west, drilled weep hole in intercooler.
Problem solved
3. Replaced coil packs and plugs countless times
4. Replaced drivers side turbo at 100,000 miles
5. Never had struts leak oil
6. Run cheap Walmart synthetic and change it absolutely religiously
7. Passenger side turbo blown at 193k.
8. Replaced an emissions valve that was causing issues
9. about a year and a half ago I got a ZFG racing 94 oct race tune and tow tune. Been running the race tune 24/7 since then.
10. My power steps have never ever stopped working. I **** them religiously.

Once I get the new turbo in, I’m hoping to keep putting on the miles.
 

JasonH

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Thanks guys. I spoke with a friend who is a Ford tech and he said they change turbos all the time on these with minute bits of flake in the intake. He said to drop the pan, if it’s clean, then flush the system and run it. Jeff, the smoke was definitely oil entering the exhaust (the turbine is full of oil that got past the blown seal). I’m not sure what damaged the fins, but my Ford tech buddy said once the oil starved bearing toasts, the fins wobble and can catch the housing and destroy them.
Btw, just a data point for future researchers finding this thread:
193,000 miles:
1. Throttle body sensor quit and was replaced
2. Truck stumbled a lot towing out west, drilled weep hole in intercooler.
Problem solved
3. Replaced coil packs and plugs countless times
4. Replaced drivers side turbo at 100,000 miles
5. Never had struts leak oil
6. Run cheap Walmart synthetic and change it absolutely religiously
7. Passenger side turbo blown at 193k.
8. Replaced an emissions valve that was causing issues
9. about a year and a half ago I got a ZFG racing 94 oct race tune and tow tune. Been running the race tune 24/7 since then.
10. My power steps have never ever stopped working. I **** them religiously.

Once I get the new turbo in, I’m hoping to keep putting on the miles.
What is the labor like on the turbo replacement? Every time I see someone work on an Ecoboost 3.5 turbo, they put the car up on a lift. The engine just has so much damn plumbing. I already had the throttle body, plugs, and head gasket go by 118K. What oil change interval are you using? I guess a turbo will be next for me!
 

Muddy Bean

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Yeah, Lubed? seriously? Fix the censoring issues.

Tune has been truly wonderful. To the point that even if it reduces the life of my turbos, it's worth it for the extra power, and all around drivability. I have been driving a Toyota Sienna since my truck is in my shop on jacks and I miss the Expedition so much I can't stand it. I miss literally everything about it. The silence in the cabin, the huge screen, the blind spot monitor, the power steps, the comfortable seats and ride, and most of all, the power constantly on tap. Passing, taking off at lights, highway acceleration is effortless. Amazing for a 6000lb truck. FYI post tune, if I want to make a boosted launch, it absolutely must be in 4WD now or I'll just waste a good set of tires.

Turbo RR isn't a major deal. It's a half day, tight spaces. Lift not required. Just need to remove the wheels and wheel liner to get access. I haven't replaced mine yet as I'm waiting on parts but I have removed the plumbing and it wasn't hateful.
 

jeff kushner

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I like what your tech said....makes sense for the condition of the fins. I did not realize the 3.5 turbos contain metal bearings. Many, are like on my 40 year old yamaha(Stock-Mitshubishi TC-04 turbo), it runs in an oil bearing with nothing but thrush washers on the ends in the housing. I rebuilt that one myself because I've more than doubled the stock output of 8psi....it's a very simple machine. Brilliant concept. The most difficult part of rebuilding one is referencing the removable impeller on the shaft/turbine combination. To disassemble, you need to remove the impeller and it HAS to go back on in the exact same spot. If the balance is off, even by a smidge, you're assembling scrap metal at that point b/c it will show itself in very bad ways when it spins up. I think if I were to need to replace my 3.5's, I'd look into other options before buying stock. Maybe someone builds a much better one that will work seamlessly....I dunno but I like to think of not-obvious solutions....and I would certainly do the work myself.....if someone can change coils/plugs....they will be good to go to swap a turbo, I'd think.

Thanks for the followup....you've always been good about that....makes reading your posts easy.....
 
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