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Old 07-26-2018, 06:29 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Peoria
Posts: 4
My 2008 has a water cooled turbo - strange right?

I recently purchased a used 2008 with a 400 drivetrain. After taking it into the shop for some maintenance the discovered the turbo exhaust was rusted out and spitting turbo exhaust heat into the engine compartment and melting stuff. The exhaust pipe from the turbo had rusted out - due to water trickle coming from the turbo. They then confirmed I have a water cooled turbo on this thing. I live in Phoenix and frequently RV in desert climates...and this is bad for me. From what I can tell its putting major load on the cooling system, and the engine temps heat up pretty fast when I'm on the I have to watch my gears and speeds excessively when we have hot summers. Can anyone tell me a theory as to why this would have come with a water cooled turbo? Maybe the previous owner was planning on dual purposing it as a tug boat. Other than the anyone here versed enough with the mechanical side to advise if putting an air cooled turbo on would be worth the dollars and sense? Many thanks.

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Old 11-01-2018, 06:57 PM   #2
Tinkerer and Putterer
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 372
A water cooled turbo is not odd at all. All of the turbos running on modern trucks and cars are water cooled. If they weren't they would melt from the exhaust gas temps they deal with. If you're seeing collant out the pipe then I'll bet your coolant is low. Topping it off should help the over heating. That being said, it sounds like the seals in your turbo are bad enough that the coolant is getting out and boost pressure is getting in. Time for a rebuild. On a car or light duty truck that type of repair can run 1500 to 2000 depending on the parts needed to make you whole. More if your turbo isn't rebuildable.

If you're handy, patient and have experience fighting rusted fasteners successfully you can pull your turbo and send it somewhere like Midwest Turbo Connection for a balance and rebuild. Then you need to find out where your CBV and waste gate are located, test and likely replace them to protect your investment. If you don't know what a CBV is, google will tell you. If you replace the waste gate or CBV buy OEM and not from ebay. Skip the adjustable ones unless you really know what you're doing. Your engine will thank you. Your turbo likely has a model plate on it or the model info stamped onto the compressor side of the turbo. That info will allow Google to give you an idea of parts costs and who rebuilds your turbo. If you can pull it off, no pun intended, you can be back on the road for half the price or less what you would pay a mechanic.

Many folks brag about how easy it is to rebuild a turbo on a bench and sure, you can swap parts but getting things cleaned and tested before the rebuild, buying the right parts to protect against tolerances stacking up against you and getting the compressor wheel balanced are critical steps that many a youtuber never mentions or just doesn't seem to care about. If you do decide to take a whack at the job I would leave the rebuild of the actual turbo to a pro. It will likely save you money in the long run.

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Old 11-01-2018, 07:11 PM   #3
Tinkerer and Putterer
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 372
Looks like your ISL 8.9L runs a holset turbo. The cost to rebuild one of those is around 400.00


After bolts, gaskets, replacement vacuum lines, oil and coolant lines, CBV and waste gate a DIY rebuild will probably be around 750 to 800 depending on the cost of parts.

No I don't work for these folks but their customer service is awesome. If you do choose to go the rebuild route give them a call.
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