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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '97 850 T-5 with 140k miles and I think the turbo is going. It's consuming oil, about a quart every 500 miles or so, and if I sit and idle for a while, it starts to smoke. I was thinking of upgrading while I was replacing it, but had a couple questions. Will a 16t be worth it? Would an 18t do me any good on a stock vehicle? I've read a bunch of posts and seen a few people running a T3. Thoughts? I was a VW guy before I bought my wife a V70 T-5, and shortly thereafter sold my Golf and bought this 850. Anyway, the T3 is a good turbo for the 4cy VW's, especially the T3/T4. I only bring it up because I'm trying to keep this all as cheap as possible. Thanks for any input.
 

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I wouldn't recommend the 18T, you would need more modifications to pull any extra power out in my opinion. I'd try to keep it close to stock especially with that mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay. Maybe I should start with a different question. Is my turbo blown? It doesnt always smoke or use oil. In fact I can go a whole week, about 500 miles, without using any, then the next I go through a quart. It blows out the filler cap also, only when smoking. I can smell it too. A turbo would be constant, wouldn't it? As would rings? I'm only commuting in it right now, so day after day it's the same route, same traffic, and right now pretty much the same temperatures.
 

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It's tough over the internet to say the turbo is blown. To check for turbo failure:

Undo the air intake hose to the turbo's inlet.
Spin the turbine and see if it scrapes the walls of the turbo. It should not touch the walls.
Then wiggle the shaft side to side and up and down and push it in and out.
If there is any shaft play then you might think about rebuilding the turbo.

Hopefully that helps. Usually you will here a squeal or grind when they go out.
 

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"It blows out the filler cap also, only when smoking. I can smell it too."

That would lead me to believe it's possibly a head gasket. There's no reason for excess pressure in the crankcase. Compression test required.

If this proves to be the cause, get a valve job done at the same time. This will probably restore the power the engine originally had and be simpler/cheaper than adapting an oversized turbo.
 

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are you kidding me?

I am new here so feel like this is an april fools thing... you need a pcv kit...every one of these cars needs one at some point. oil pooling up on top of engine etc are the tell-tail signs...pull dipstick, dipstick, and check for smoke coming out of tube...there should be none...fix it before you blow a main seal. have fun!! :D
 

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Hey I just bought the same car. Has some blowby out the dipstick- thanks for the tip cape.

Mine has a problem when it heats up it starts to cut out at higher loads and speed. Turbo is working well when cold. Almost too well, maybe the wastegate is not working.

As for the using oil and smoking problem, maybe the turbo drain line is plugging? Does that ever happen on these? Could with low grade oil or not changed very often.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ordered the complete flame trap kit from ipd. Figured the car needed it wether that was the problem or not. Waiting for parts to show. I'll post whatever happens. Anyone know why an intake gasket is included with the kit? Do I have to pull it to replace the flame trap? Never replaced one. Looks like a pain though.
 

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IPD has a popup box on the product info page to ask questions. They should have installation instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's the turbo. Did the pcv kit, which wasn't too bad, but it did help me find a disintegrated vacuum line. Now the important question. Where to get a turbo?
 
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