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Alright Soulezoo, let's talk about the Garrett's.

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Old 04-07-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Alright Soulezoo, let's talk about the Garrett's.

The reason Garrett's have a bad name is because back in the 80's they would fail in 30-60,000 miles with ball bearing center sections. What they did to correct the issue was to water cool the center section. I have a Garrett on my 1975 Datsun 280zt. I have owned the car and it has been that way since 1992. My turbo failed at 80,000 miles. Change the oil every 3,000 miles and used Shell Rotella T 15w40. I had it upgraded and the center section upgraded to be liquid cooled. When I did I had to upgrade my cooling system to handle the extra load. The car also has a factory oil cooler from a turbo car. I still drive it today and have about 120,000 miles on it. It is my daily driver. I have also owned a Nissan 1987 300zxt and a 1990 300z TT. Those turbo's were liquid cooled and own their way out at 120,000-140,000 miles. So as you see, I am skeptical when it comes to Garrett's. The more trouble free miles folks put on them the more I will believe in them again.

So you see, my experience has been from my own issues over time.

Will a compound turbo setup on our trucks tax the factory oil cooler. I don't know. I really don't think anybody has keep track of oil temps before and after. It appears you have had no issues with the cooling system. I can say this about our trucks, the cooling system is excellent.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #2
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It's hard to respond without coming off sounding like a jerk on something like this... so the disclaimer here is that I "respectfully" answer this way:

First I had the '86 300zxt. So while I can relate to that car, I sold it at 125k and the only problem with any part of the car at that time was the auto retracting radio antenna had failed. The turbo was fine when sold. But that was an old t-3 turbo! State of the art then, still used a lot today, but has an older not as efficient design. It is like comparing an hy-35 to a s300. A Model T to a new F-150...

Next, let me say that you are talking about turbos from 25 yrs ago. So the info isn't relevant. I discuss only the GT/GTX series of turbos. The technology has advanced since 1987... at one time ball bearing turbos were not repairable... now they are.

To dismiss all Garretts as bad because of failures is equivalent to me dismissing all of HTT's products, all of Industrial Injections, ATS, ED's, Forced Inductions (Holset, Borg-Warner, Schwitzer and etc) because of their failures... and they do fail. I had a BHT3B as a primary for awhile. It needed a rebuild after only 25k. 25k! And as a primary in twins, it is driven only mildly. So should I dismiss all 3B's as junk? No! They have a reputation as being stone axe reliable. But mine certainly went out. HX-40's are long known to have weak shafts and prone to grenading... should I then also dismiss all journal bearing turbos as being weak and prone to grenading?

Our injectors -- use your own recent experience-- are not the longest lasting things around; do we dismiss all cummins as inadequate then?

On the coolant side, I'd have to opine that your experience is more an indictment on the inadequacies of the coolant system of the car than on the inherent characteristic of the turbo. Do they add heat to the system? Of course they do. It just isn't as much as you would seem to think it is. Pehaps your experince had more to do with the additional heat from the additional power than just a watercooled turbo. Only you can answer that. Does the oil in our trucks with the journal bearing turbos suffer? No; our diesels are designed with oil cooling in mind! Think of the J-jets for cooling your piston crowns. So with journal bearing twins, an awful lot of oil is required to lubricate and cool the turbos, especially twins. Now the volume of oil required does affect the system, usually reflected in a slight drop in oil pressure. But what about the heat? Well, our Cummins engine is blessed with an internal oil cooler. How does this work??? It is a heat exchanger whereby by the oil is cooled by.... wait for it....

The coolant system! So ultimately whether you have a ball bearing turbo or journal bearing turbo, the heat generated by the turbo ends up in your coolant system. It is just that water is a more effective method of heat transfer (more conductive) than oil is and therefore more effective at cooling the turbo. Perhaps only marginally, of course-- who knows.

Now for our gasoline engined uses, they typically have no such system and this really taxes the oil. Enough so that oil is made specifically for turbo'd engines... mostly to help reduce coking in the turbo, but you get the point.

The point is this:

I spent a lot of words to explain that the anecdotal evidence you provided isn't really relevant. You would also have to apply the same evidence to journal bearing turbos. (hey I don't like them because the thrust washer is the weak point and when they go the turbo explodes and you're done; sarcasm intended) Take Industrial's silver bullet... I've seen a bunch blown up. Does that make it a "bad" turbo? Of course not.

Bottom line: There are many excellent choices in turbos now. This is great for the consumer. I've taken note of the drawbacks of conventional turbos (and the wisdom). I wanted an edge on others and I like to take a different path. This does not mean that what I do is good for all others-- I can only pass on my experience. So I've done research, done a lot of R&D and have really wrung out these turbos (current set has seen up to 90psi!). Longevity: while I have only about 60k on them, not nearly long enough for any evidence of longevity... they have been back to the factory a couple of times to be checked out and they are "like new" still. Except for the rusty looking exhaust housing...

But I don't want to seem like I want everyone to have a Garrett turbo just because it is what I use. I really don't care... (parts of me don't want others to share-- I'm selfish that way) I am only interested in helping others here by providing the best information possible based upon the results of all the R&D I've done. Give them the facts and my opinion and let the reader make up their own mind. After all, it is their money and they need to feel good about what they are spending it on.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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As you can see by my experience I am skeptical. I am not saying the Garrett's are bad, I am just not comfortable with them yet. So I ask alot of questions,etc. The more miles folks put on them, my confidence will increase.

Lastly, I am not bashing on you at all. It's all a good discussion
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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I've had my garrett bb on for about 1 1/2 years and about 20k, no complaints, no problems other than I need one for a primary.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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Great writeup Soulezoo. Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 6.6lEater View Post
I've had my garrett bb on for about 1 1/2 years and about 20k, no complaints, no problems other than I need one for a primary.
I'm in the same boat :-)
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