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2006 Outback XT Limited & 2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings fellow OBers.
I have an '06 OBXT and have been doing some work on it - fixing an oil leak (turbo oil hose coming apart) and installing a catless up pipe...among other things. I took the turbo out to work on the hose and clean things up and discovered a crack on the inside of the exhaust housing - see pictures. It appears to begin where the waste gate mechanism attaches. It isn't all the way through (no exterior leaks) and isn't progressing towards the impeller.
So what say those in the know? I work on airplane turbos and this would fail for sure...but it ain't an airplane...although I've been accused of maintaining cars like airplanes.
The car has 165k miles and in excellent condition. The previous owner installed an overhauled turbo at about 120k and I bought it at about 125k.
Replace the whole unit? Just the exhaust housing (if available)? Let it go for a while? I suppose with the new up pipe and soon-to-be tuned, I'll want my foot in it more which will cause even more pressure and heat on the housing. I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but thoughts?
Thanks for the input!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
Well done finding and seeing that, good job. Be easy to miss, particularly since it was overhauled, you'd almost never think about it.
I generally avoid turbo Subaru's so I'll just be the first reference point before someone more versed in this pipes up...

No way would I want that on a turbo vehicle unless someone very familiar with that exact engine said "I see that all the time".
They go from "small issue" to "catastrophically formed paper weight" really really fast.

I wouldn't like the crack to begin with - turbo's are generating too much heat to feel good about it but the idea that it's been previously worked on bumps it up another order of magnitude in my eyes.

How bad were the symptoms previously to need a new turbo, what happened to this turbo before it was overhauled - maybe it's got 250,000 miles and 2 engine replacement/rebuilds on it, who knows if they bought it as an off the shelf turbo?

If they did that turbo repair and then sold it 5,000 miles later - that doesn't usually mean they went top dollar, best of the best on the repair either. Totally unconfirmed conjecture and circumstantial at best - but over many iterations this is usually the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks ido. I'm thinking the same. The previous owner installed an overhauled unit but not his, so the history is unknown. The previous failure was due to the common oil issue and he did install the Infamous oil feed line upgrade with the filter.
Was looking through posts and seems a BNR 16g is the way to go...
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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like i said - i'm no turbo expert and would want to personally hear from someone who is - but i also wouldn't move forward until i had.

traildoc and rasterman should chime in soon...
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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Honestly, those cracks do appear quite frequently. That is larger (more expansive) than normal, but typically not "catastrophic".

However, if you want to go to the next level, an aftermarket/upgraded unit would not be a bad move. A common upgrade is the VF52 from the WRX and is considered a good, cheap, bolt-on affair.

Beware of the lower-end Mitsubishi-IHI hybrids (16-20G w/ 2-bolt compressor outlet flange) as the exhaust housing is typically made from cheaper iron than IHI-sourced units. Several companies offer conversion/upgrade services to existing IHI units, which could be a nice compromise to an all-new, unknown aftermarket unit.

I'd also look into upgrading/replacing the TMIC if you're going to run 16+ psi all the time. The factory TMIC doesn't like more than stock pressures.
 

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Personally, I would not worry about that. It is in the wastegate port. It is fairly common to have hairline cracks develop in turbo housings, although it seems to be most common in the web between the wastegate and the turbine.


I am coming from 14 years of owning an STI, and having gone through several turbos in the process. It is really common for wastegate cracks to develop, and unless they get really large, they don't hurt a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the thoughts, RoughDiamond and bcblues. It's probably a decent excuse to upgrade the turbo and still leaning towards the BNR 16g but I've got a work trip coming up so have some time to decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wrap up...and turbo parts available

Just to wrap up this thread...

I did replace the turbo with a BNR 16g unit. Very pleased with it, although it doesn't have that nice little turbo whistle that the stock one had. The sound is more of a rushing wind, and obvious more power.

A tune with Xtreme Racing Tuning has begun.

I do have a stock turbo if anyone has a good exhaust housing to put with it. Message me for details if interest. Would just need shipping covered.
 
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