Turbocharger repair process

So where does a turbocharger repair process start? And what kind of business is it?

There are two main areas: 

Cartridge replacement repair ( Cartridge repair )

One of the main advantages of this type of repair is that it is much easier to organize and requires less capital investment. It is enough to have 30m2 and the equipment and the reception can be in one room. The technical process of “turbine cartridge repair” consists of several stages:

1) Disassembling the turbocharger and checking the actuator.

As a rule, there are no questions or problems with disassembly, but there is something to be said about checking during turbocharger repair process.

Depending on the type of actuator, different equipment is used. While vacuum and pneumatic units can be easily checked using a vacuum gauge. The testing of electronic units requires special equipment or, more precisely, a tester.

Ideal for these purposes is a tester-programmer “ATP-1000“. Using it, you can check both the serviceability of the electric actuator as a whole and the work of the servomotor separately. About the advantages of the equipment, we will talk in separate articles, which you will find on the same site.

2) Check the cartridge for unacceptable imbalance and oil leakage.

Unfortunately, the quality of factory assembly and balancing does not always live up to the turbine manufacturer’s promises.

Sometimes you have to discard or re-balance the cartridges so that the customer is happy with your work, which is why balancing machines were developed for this purpose. To work, ideally you should have at least acceleration stand SBR-10, and also add balancing DBST-10.

Let’s start with the fact that not only the specifications, but also the behavior of turbines of cars and trucks are different. So the reason for this is the diameter, weight and of course the operating speeds of “turbocharger shafts”.

The balancing of the passenger cars turbines is carried out at speeds between 90,000 and 250,000 rpm, and the SBR-10 accelerating bench is needed, while the truck turbines need only 20,000 rpm, which can easily be handled by the DBST-10 balancing bench.

In addition to balancing each bench has its own task, for example to check for oil leakage and lapping is better suited DBST-10 as its speed is not high, so it is safe. Not so easy at low speeds to damage the turbine, but to control the turbine at operating speeds you must use SBR-10. This check is good to guarantee the quality of the repair. Besides, the acceleration test bench can be connected to a printer and print out “reports on the results of balancing”.

3) Assembly of the turbocharger and adjustment of the controlled geometry.

Before assembly some parts should be prepared before assembly. E.g. the “snails” often have burrs that are formed when the “compressor wheel” or “turbine wheel” is destroyed, they should be removed with a hand grinder, otherwise the turbocharger may be damaged again.

Naturally before assembly the parts should be cleaned. If not from soot and oil, then from the preservative that is used during their packaging. The very assembly is quite simple you just need to assemble “volutes” with “cartridge” and “nozzle apparatus”. When it is provided by the design, well, then install the “fixing bracket” and “actuator” using the metalwork tool and vacuum gauge if necessary.

Adjustment of the turbocharger without the right equipment should not even be started, as it may not work. The chance that you will put the “stop” in the right position and adjust the length of the “actuator rod” is 0.00001 %. And the results of such attempts can be fatal not only for the turbocharger, but also for the engine.

How to readjust an actuator?

In all cases where the actuator or nozzle assembly is replaced, adjustment is imperative, and sometimes the original actuator needs to be readjusted as well. It is easy to cope with such tasks only when a geometry adjustment bench such as “Geomet-2000” is at hand.

The bench is convenient because the measurement is done in real time, since it almost does not take time. By the way, for turbocharger diagnostics it is also suitable. Unlike SBR-10 which checks the vibration level, Geomet-2000 can make and compare graphs of the turbine air flow rate or vacuum value and determine the quality of the “controlled geometry”. This is also an indisputable argument in situations when they want to make you “extreme”. New models of this bench are already adapted to work with the tester-programmer “ATP-1000” in order to simplify the repair of turbines with electronic control, which cannot fail to please, as their number is increasing every day. Moreover, its functionality is not limited to checking and tuning of turbines, you can even check the N75 valve, and in this case the stand has no analogues in the whole world.

Turbines with and without cartridges

So now we can talk about the peculiarities of turbocharger repair process. Manufacturers of cartridges develop turbines for popular car brands with an approximate age of 5-10 years, which means that for more modern cars or those cars over 10 years you probably will not find ready-made cartridges on sale.

From practice, we can say that the turbine repair process, which have no cartridges occupies about 40% of the turbocharger repairs, while they form 60% of the profit of repair center and provide the image of a qualified repair service as well as “repair with replacement cartridges” you have to refuse some customers in connection with the lack of necessary cartridges.

So what does it take to fix everything? And you need to engage in “Full-cycle repair”, because this is the second direction, which we had talked about at the beginning of the article.

Full-cycle repair ( Overhaul )

“Full cycle repair” also called “overhaul” its technological process is more complex and requires not only special equipment, but also machining machines. In addition, it requires a room with specific requirements and specialists with the necessary skills, but all that more than pays for itself after a year of work.

So it is probably worth starting with the room and equipment. To ensure smooth operation, you will need premises separated from each other and divided into several zones:

Reception, dirty area, mechical area

  • Reception, in general, is the place where both turbocharger repair process starts and you meet the customers, inspect and diagnose the turbine and disassemble it right there, so a workbench with all the necessary tools is a must, as well as the ATP-1000 tester-programmer. There must be a highly qualified specialist in this area who knows all the subtleties of turbine operation and repair, as well as this person must be able to communicate well with customers.
  • Dirty area, undeniably, is the name of the room where the parts of the turbocharger are cleaned. The cleaning requires a sandblaster and an ultrasonic washing machine. This work does not require any special skills, so a handyman can be hired as a worker. Forced ventilation in the room must be.
  • Mechanical area is the area where the lathe and drilling machine and the necessary equipment for the work, welding machine and a gas burner can also be useful for repairs. Frequently “Mechanical area” is combined with the “Dirty area”. To maintain the lathe it is desirable to hire a lathe operator at least 4th grade.

Clean area, parts warehouse, household rooms

  • Clean area is the room where the turbocharger is assembled. As the name says, this area must be clean, because if dirt or abrasive particles get into the turbocharger during assembly, the turbocharger will not last long. At the site, in addition to the assembly workbenches and locksmith tools must be such equipment as: a machine for balancing shafts of turbochargers BVI-03-10T, balancing stand DBST-10, dispersant stand SBR-10, geometry bench “Geomet-2000” and the tester “ATP-1000” and electric hand tools for unbalance correction. The room should be well lit and ventilated. As well as the staff working in this area should not only have “good hands”, but also “bright head” as all this special equipment will have to serve them.
  • Parts warehouse – this room should be spacious, dry and well-lit. If possible, it should be under one roof with the rest of the rooms and have two entrances, one of them preferably from the street (with a wide passage for the convenience of the loading / unloading operations).
  • Household rooms:  the requirements are standard, and the number and dimensions should be calculated from the number of working personnel.

It’s necessary to remind you that you need somewhere to put a compressor because all the stands are working on compressed air, and where to put it think for yourself, most importantly not in the “Reception” and “Clean area”.

Now we can safely proceed to a brief description of the “full-cycle turbocharger repair” technology.

Operations in reception, dirty area and clean area

Receiver performs these operations on Reception:

  1.  Customer reception and interview.
  2.  Inspection and testing of turbocharger (ATP-1000) (Geomet-2000).
  3.  Marking of mutual location of “snail” and “cartridge”. Disassembly and preliminary defectology of the turbine.
  4.  Checking availability of components for repair in stock, ordering parts if they are unavailable.
  5. Preliminary discussion of terms and price.
  6. Signing the contract with the customer, fixing the customer’s contact information and the order number in the journal or in the software.
  7. Transfer of turbocharger parts and accompanying documentation to the next process.

Handyman performs these operations on “dirty area”:

  1. Sandblasting and ultrasonic cleaning of turbocharger parts (sandblasting chamber)(ultrasonic washing).
  2. Final defectoscopy of the turbocharger.
  3. Delivery of cleaned parts and accompanying documentation to the next stage.
  4. Informing the receiver about the defects if they are found (without delay).

Performed by the receiver as soon as he receives the information:

  1. Checking the availability of components necessary for the execution of the order in the warehouse, ordering parts if they are not available.
  2. If there are defects in the turbocharger parts that were not considered before, notification and agreement with the customer of a new (final) price and the term of the order.

These operations are performed by a locksmith on the “clean area”:

  1. Receiving the components from the warehouse to fulfill the order, removing the preservative from the parts.
  2. Ordering of the turbocharger parts or accessories for the execution of the order.
  3. Transfer of the parts and the accompanying documents to the machining area for the execution of the order.

Operations in mechanical area and clean zone

The turner performs on the “machining area”:

  1. Performing rework/making of parts or tooling to complete an order (lathe) (drilling machine) (welding machine) (gas torch).
  2. Transfer of parts and accompanying documentation to the next step.

These operations are performed by a locksmith on the “clean zone”:

  1. Balancing the “turbocharger shaft” (BVI-03-10T).
  2. Assembly of “turbocharger shaft” with “coil”, “compressor wheel” and “gear”.
  3. Balancing “turbocharger shaft together with rotor group parts” (BVI-03-10T).
  4. Marking the relative position of “rotor group parts” relative to “turbocharger shaft”, followed by its disassembly.
  5. Cartridge assembly according to the marks.
  6. Checking for oil leakage, lapping and removal of technological imbalance of the “cartridge” after assembly (DBST-10).
  7. Balancing/testing the “cartridge” at operating speeds. Printing out the “balancing report”. (SBR-10)
  8. Final assembly of the turbocharger, taking into account the marks.
  9. Adjustment and testing of the turbocharger. Putting of seals. Printout of the report of adjustment. («Geomet-2000»)(АTP-1000).
  10. Putting “repair number” on “volute”.
  11. Transferring the repaired turbocharger, “balancing report” and “adjustment report” to the next stage.

Receptionist handles these operations  on the “clean zone” :

  1. Notifying the customer that the order is ready. Packing the turbine.
  2. Drawing up a warranty card. Giving recommendations to the client for turbocharger installation and maintenance. Getting the calculation. Delivery of the packed turbocharger to the customer.
  3. Closing of the order in the logbook and according to the program of turbocharger repair process.

If you need more information contact us and we are ready to help you open a repair service. More than 400 turbocharger repair services have opened with us over the past 20 years.


Our company has a technical support service center. If you have any questions, you can contact us for help.

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