Project Laurel: She lives!

Following on from my last post you might remember that after finding the turbo had started spewing fluids I had sent it off to Midland Turbo for a rebuild.

The turn around by these guys was epic! it took them just 4 days to inspect, rebuild and send the unit back to me. As part of the rebuild I had requested that the internals be upgraded to steel instead of the stock ceramics. This meant that in order or run the turbo safely after the rebuild I would need to ensure more oil flow to the turbo, this meant either drilling out the restrictor in the banjo bolt that mounts the oil feed to the block, or buying a kit from Conceptua Tuning that replaces the stock oil line and fittings. I opted to buy the kit as I didn’t really want to run the risk of not making a decent job of drilling out the bolt.

Re-installing the turbo felt pretty straight forward, first loosely fitting the water lines, then the oil return line, then the down pipe and finally bolting the whole lot up to the manifold. However there was one problem… In my wisdom I thought it was a good idea to bolt the oil feed to the block before doing anything else. This meant that when it came to bolting and tightening the line on the turbo it got a bit tangled. the only option was to unbolt it from the block unravel it and then bolt it back up again.

However when I went to unbolt the banjo bolt, it snapped!

All I can think is that I must have over tightened it for worrying about it leaking. I tried getting it out without having to take everything off again but it was just too tight, its possible the new banjo bolt supplied with the kit was longer and so when I wound it in, it bottomed out on the block. thankfully after messaging a few people my good friend Ste appeared on the driveway (a bit like a mechanic genie!) and after welding a nut to the end of the bit of the bolt sticking out he managed to wind it all out.

Then, we set to work putting everything back together again, this time however we had to drill out the restrictor in one of the stock banjo bolts… the one thing I was trying to avoid by purchasing the kit!

Thankfully Ste has a steady hand for stuff like this and managed it pretty easily.

Once everything was back together it was time to start priming the system by un plugging the ignitor block and turning the key so that the engine turned over and pumped oil around everything without actually firing.

This also helped us see that in being wary about overtightening the oil feed again, I had not tightened it enough, so I nipped it up again.

After that there was just one thing to do… start it! She fired first time and aside from a noise coming from the timing belt (next job on the list!) she sounded mint, there was no smoke from the exhaust but a fair bit of the remaining milkshake from the turbo dying did get ejected. I can’t wait to test it out properly at the next drift day, I’m actually getting excited for November!!

I would like to say a massive thank you to Midland Turbo for all their hard work with rebuilding the turbo, the guys were extremely helpful and answered any questions I had. If you’re in the UK and in need of a turbo rebuild or even an upgrade, I would definitely recommend these guys!

Also a huge thanks to my better half Lucy for all her help and for being quick enough to dodge flying spanners when I realised I’d snapped that bolt! And finally again a massive thanks to Ste for turning up when he did and helping to fix my mess!

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