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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gentlemen,

I am new to this forum, but I have had my fair share of Saab issues in last couple of years, and I thought I could share one of my quick'n'dirty tricks.

Your turbocharger craps itself - sudden bearing failure - oil seeps into intake/exhaust, lots of blue smoke.. you know the drill.

I was almost exactly 1000 km from home, had to cross two more countries to get there and by my luck, it crapped itself in the middle of Germany, where emission laws and more importantly emission fines are quite steep, so it is not exactly a good idea to try to get home with even lightly smoking exhaust. And to be honest, mine was smoking like a tear gas canister and I don't really think that driving like that would last more than couple of minutes before all the oil was turned to exhaust smoke.

So.. after finding out that getting home with car on a truck would cost me more than the value of my Saab at that moment, I needed a different solution.

Then the thinking started - I have a replacement turbo at home. Therefore I do not really care what happens to this one, but I have to get home safe and preferably smoke free.
How does the smoke get there? Engine burns oil.
How does the oil get there? Through turbocharger bearing.
Well the bearing is gone already - can we at least shut off the oil intake?
Sure we can!
And while we are there, we will open the wastegate manually to stop the spindle from turning.. it is damaged already, but it does not have to scrape itself against the turbine housing. And I don't fancy metal bits from it flying into intake.

So - when the engine cools down a little, you just have to unscrew the oil feed line that goes into the turbocharger bearing area.
Then you need to find a screw, a nut and two big washers. I had two made from lead I believe - they are softer than steel, so when you tighten them, they deform and make a nice seal.
Stick the screw with one washer into the oil feed ring, put a washer and nut from the other side. I also had some Loctite for securing threads - also used that to make sure the oil will not get out by running up the screw threads.




Voila - no more oil gets into your turbocharger.

Then to open the wastegate manually you have to locate a rod that goes from the wastegate actuator (small cylinder next to the turbocharger, closer to the oil pan). At the end of this rod there is a pin that holds this rod to the arm controlling the wastegate opening. Remove the pin, open the wastegate arm.

Ride home was nerve-wrecking, I was listening to every single unusual sound. And yet, no problems at all. Engine was running in naturally aspirated mode and it still had more than enough power to get fully loaded car back home.

Hope this can help someone when needed most.

Come to think of it, if you do not find a suitable screw/washer/nut combination (I carry an assortment of those in a small bag all the time), you could probably still remove the oil feed line and with the help of a suitable hose and a couple of zip ties route the oil back to the engine.. First suggestion would be via the oil filler cap.
 

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Come to think of it, if you do not find a suitable screw/washer/nut combination (I carry an assortment of those in a small bag all the time), you could probably still remove the oil feed line and with the help of a suitable hose and a couple of zip ties route the oil back to the engine.. First suggestion would be via the oil filler cap.


Erm.. NO! that would/could be the worst possible thing to do.. It would eliminate Oil pressure With Interesting and short lived result :)
 

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opening the wastegate will not stop the turbo from spinning,it will just slow it down. IMHO you've been very lucky that the compressor wheel has not disintegrated when the bearings collapsed. When the remains go through your engine there is a good chance of severe valve/piston/cylinder damage. To prevent that you should lock the turbo shaft by jamming a screwdriver or so in it. Crude but effective.
 
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