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I was discussing my corroded turbo coolant pipes with a local garage and I wanted to know the impact if I got a leak before I could get then fixed. I expected that the turbo would be damaged along with the engine however, the mechanic told me the turbo would run fine without water coolant, relying on air and oil, and that some racing companies disconnect the water pipes as they transfer turbo heat back into the engine.

Anyone any thoughts?
 

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I'm by no means an expert on this topic, but I seem to recall that most early turbos were not water cooled, but did rely on air and most importantly the oil. They were very sensitive to oil quality to avoid carburation in the oil ways, and more particularly to cool down procedures (driving gently or idling before switch off) to keep local oil temps within bounds. Even so they tended to have a pretty short life.

I think it was to overcome these problems that watercooled turbos were adopted as the norm in passenger cars. I don't think that running a turbo designed for water cooling without it would be a smart idea, but if you have to do it I would be very careful about driving very gently for 5 minutes before you turn the engine off.
 

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marine turbo's are water cooled to reduce the risk of damage if water comes into contact with the turbo (reduces the turbo's surface temp, so that cold water spray doesn't crack the housing)i think that this was then transfered to cars, so that charge temps, and cool down time were reduced. my '87 9000 T has a watercooled turbo, yet '86 don't and still run the same engine specs. water just means you don't have to sit idling as long
 

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I think I am right in saying that pre '87 9000's and possibly even 900's (not sure) didn't have watercooled turbos. I imagine that in the short term provided the above precautions are taken then would not be a problem.
Mike
 

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yes, pre-'87 9000's had no water coolded turbo, and it was a mixture of post '87 900 that either had watercooled turbo and no intercooler, intercooler no water cooled turbo, or a mixture of both.. well, thats what it was like in australia!
 
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