Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

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AZhitman
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Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby AZhitman » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:36 pm

Here's an article where we review a knockoff turbocharger...

We'd love to hear about your experiences with low-budget turbos!


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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby OriginalWheelman » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:23 am

I was like "Hey this seemed to work out." Then i got to the end. :chuckle:

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby WDRacing » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:22 am

When he was doing the install and getting everything all buttoned up he was pretty siked. When he emailed me and told it died that same week I couldn't believe it.

Imho, too many decent used brand name turbos can be found to even risk wasting all that time and energy. It might start out as only a couple hundred bucks but after you spend time installing everything, removing everything after it fails, possibly putting your car down in the meantime only to send it back to get another suspect part?

I don't Fn think so.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby frapjap » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:04 am

I lucked out with mine. The brand was unknown, but it had no problems being beat on for over 2 years. I even took it apart with Mark's help and we didn't see anything particularly wrong with it.

I think it goes like this: If you've got the time and a spare car, invest in the cost saver if you're strapped for cash. If you need to rely on the car, get a higher quality turbo and be done with it.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby WDRacing » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:23 am

If you can take one apart yourself and rebuild the internals with proper bushings and etc it will probably last a great deal longer. Cheap bushings, read soft material, just aren't going to hold up to a shaft that normally see's 60,000 to friggin 300,000 rpm. Soft materials and a lack of balancing equals a turbo that dies within a week of install.

I had trouble rebuilding a cheap knock-off once. The rear oil seal groove in the shaft wasn't large enough to accommodate a standard piston ring seal. With no real way to find the proper seal I just junked it. You just never know what you're going to get.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby AZhitman » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:23 pm

Image

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby WDRacing » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:14 am

I've been doing a metric ton of reading on the knock-off brand turbo's. There appears to be a pretty solid line in the knock-off world. The turbo's either last a few years or they die fairly quickly depending on how poorly the assembly process was. CXRacing seems to sell turbo's produced by a company that does balance the shafts. How well? I'm not going to venture a guess on that, but any balancing is better than none at all by a pretty large margin. You CAN opt for a ball bearing center section.

But why do they last for a couple years and then die? Why are there stories of them dying within a few months of ownership if they are any good?

I've found that the majority of people that have any sort of luck with no-name turbo's only run a low amount of boost. This is very important because as soon as the shaft speeds increase the turbo unasses itself. Some people buy a CXRacing turbo and install it on their car that was already running 15 psi thinking they have a solid replacement or upgrade. Well the difference in shaft speed from 8 psi up to 15 psi is greater than 100,000 rpm depending on the turbo. That's 1667 turns a second in just shaft speed difference. The max shaft speed turbo's usually see before they become heat pumps is about 300,000. 300,000 Fn thousand RPM. Probably should invest some coin in this department no? You don't want some dude getting paid 3 bucks a week assembling something that spins that fast, sorry.

I found a handful of genuine used turbo's for sale online for under $200. GPOP will rebuild them for $350. That's long distance reliability, at real boost levels, for $550. The hassle and time saved alone makes the decision a no-brainer for me.

IMHO knock-off parts are awesome for us guys with working budgets of very little to no money. But buy the ones with no moving parts like intercoolers and etc. Leave the precision products to companies that actually have a Quality department.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby AZhitman » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:23 am

I'm going to echo that. I don't have a problem buying an aluminum radiator or even an intercooler off ebay - In fact, I have five of the former and two of the latter, all awesome.

But for a component that is basically the heart of any FI build, no thanks. I'd contact some of our sponsors and vendors and see what kind of deals they might have on a blemished unit, or overstock.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby Red Lightning » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:04 pm

How much boost were you running on the EMUSA turbo? Did it fail even at 8psi?

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:42 pm

Somehow I didn't see this thread earlier.
I got a turbo from Amazon for $188 shipped. It is a Td05 subraru flanged turbo that I ran on my 240 KA24DE truck. I've had it for 3 or 4 years now and its been surprisingly good. At one point I was backing out of my driveway and caught my exhaust on a lifted part of concrete, stopping the car dead. Bent the exhaust, and bent/cracked some flanges, but the turbo itself was fine.
Just recently I start to see some smoke shortly after (but not immediately after) startup if the vehicle has been sitting. I'm guessing the turbo is starting to leak some oil. It still runs and drives fine though. I'm looking at replacing it with a Borgwarner EFR. I know, going from one end of the spectrum to the other.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby DizzyKitty » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:09 am

There's a guy on youtube with a pretty high production quality series on turboing a 6th gen Accord on a budget. He had good luck using an Ebay turbo at around 6-8 psi i think. It seems they really are Hit or miss.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:57 pm

I think WDRacing is on to something... if you keep the boost (and RPM level) low, you can actually be ok. I also wouldn't want to rely on one in my daily driver.

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby asoomal » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:38 am

Are these turbos even tested for containment?

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Re: Cheap or knockoff turbochargers - Discuss!

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:50 pm

Mine came with a test accept sheet. It showed their threshold for imbalance at various RPM, and where mine actually measured.
Whether their threshold is correct or not is an entirely different story...


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