View Full Version : Truck Gurus- Turbo repair question

Mar. 22, 2012, 11:40 AM
Calling all truck gurus and gearheads or wanna-bes!!! Help please!
We recently purchased a 1993 4x4 Chevy 2500 6.5L diesel (it's our 2nd- our last truck was a 1993 gm 6.5L TD 2500, so I do know these trucks). On its maiden trailering voyage on Tuesday I realized the turbo's not working (no turbo whine whatsoever, and no extra "push" when I needed it). I don't claim to be any kind of mechanic, but I do know that for the longevity and power of the engine it's best if the turbo DOES work ;).
My question is: how easy is it to determine if it's just the wastegate stuck open, or if the turbo's done for and we need to replace the whole thing. Can we do this ourselves? I've checked out the dieselplace.com and some other sites, but they're more geared towards performance-based replacement, not repair.
$$ is an object, which is why we're hoping to do this repair at home, if possible.
Any advice, pointers, websites to check out, etc would be so greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!:)

Mar. 22, 2012, 08:39 PM
Do you have a boost gauge in the truck? You can check the wast gate actuator by applying compressed air to it. There are some vidoes on youtube that show how. It could be a boost leak or an obtruction or several other inexpensive things.

Mar. 23, 2012, 12:12 AM
Do you have a boost gauge in the truck? You can check the wast gate actuator by applying compressed air to it.
Not that I know of- not in the cab, any way. It's the mechanical version, not electronic, if that makes a difference. We'll try watching the youtube videos and see what makes sense. Thanks!
Any other thoughts always appreciated!

Mar. 23, 2012, 03:23 AM
I found this link that looks like it might have a wealth of info when I googled
'when did Chevy turbo charge diesel engines for light duty trucks." Wondered that because for Ford it was 1994 or 1995, later years than years.


Mar. 23, 2012, 10:59 AM
I bought a ScanGauge II, which you can plug in to your dashboard in two seconds and measure anything you want and read codes. Worth every penny, you can buy them on Amazon. Get the ones with XCodes and you can monitor anything. Totally worth it to monitor your engine while you are towing plus it will answer your question. It's about $150 I think, but I've had mine about six months and I love it. It will also track your trips, spending, I use it to gauge my tranny temp, boost, mpg, oil temp, etc.

It will read your boost. If you do need to replace it, you can get rebuilt turbos for about 1/2 the price of a new one. I know for my 2001 F250, a new turbo is $1200 but I can get a good rebuilt one for $600. My coworker just did this two years ago when he dusted (killed) his turbo by not changing his air filter enough. The mechanic (private shop) checked it for free.

If you have a diesel mechanic or a friend who knows diesels, they should be able to look at your turbo and tell you if it's dead or not pretty quickly. I have a Ford, so can't help you too much with the details of the Chevy layout, but anyway, hope some of that info may be helpful.

Mar. 23, 2012, 11:24 AM
I found this link

Thanks- that's been my go-to webpage for my diesels for the past 8 years, and am actually a paid member. I'm printing off an article as I type. I was hoping there might be some other easy to read and follow pages.

Thanks, wildlifer, I'll look into the Scanguage!

Apparently the wastegate/actuater is seized open (actually found it's closed-see below). I'm printing an article from TheDieselPage.com showing the wastegate and actuator. Hopefully we can remove it and see if it just needs a clean or if it's something more involved.

Mar. 23, 2012, 12:25 PM
I don't know if this is helpful or not, but I had a burned out actuator for my power door locks. Yesterday, I was able to pull the actuator out of the door, remove the little electric motor, wrap the resistor in tinfoil and reinstall newly coated resistor and it completely repaired the issue. So if it's an actuator issue and you can pull it, and pop it halfway open to get the little cheap motor out, it's a possibility.

My disclaimer is that I have no idea if all actuators are similar. But I have newfound love for tinfoil and much glee when I hit my power lock buttons and they work.

Mar. 23, 2012, 03:23 PM
Wildlifer, sadly, no the actuator isn't the problem-it freely moves. Plus, it's a mechanical one since it's a 1993, not electronic which came out in 1994, so no resistor.
Actually, (and I'm very proud of myself for being able to do this), we've removed the actuator, and removed the cover of the turbo housing the wastegate. It's the lever and pin that controls the movement of the wastegate from the actuator that's seized solid. Hopefully some lubricating fluid will help to free the lever and we can get it cleaned and freely moving again, and the turbo will work! :)
If this works, maybe I should consider giving up designing septics and become a diesel mechanic! [probably more $ in it!] ;)