Mitsubishi TD04-13T Turbo Rebuild

©Stage Infinity

I love challenging myself and learning, so I decided to take on the rebuild of a Mitsubishi TD04-13T turbocharger. Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions (with pictures).

Tools Needed

  • TD04-13T rebuild kit (info below)
  • 10mm wrench
  • 8mm socket
  • 12mm socket
  • 17mm socket
  • Ratchet with 10″+ handle for torque
  • Hammer
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Large flat-head screwdriver (semi-optional, you’ll find out why)
  • Large-bore snap-ring pliers (3″ bore minimum – you can get one from McMaster-Carr as part# 5415A64) or from It has been reported by a reader that the pliers at that link are of low quality.
  • Small/typical snap-ring pliers
  • Regular pliers (needlenose or other)
  • Penetrating lubricant like WD40, Liquid Wrench, etc.
  • Touch-up paint, White Out, or similar painting tool with small brush (substitutions possible – read full page to understand what it is needed for)

Part 1: Preparation, Etc

When I work on projects like this, I like to take the time to clean off a good 3’x3′ area on my work surface and get some rags and paper towels handy. Things really shouldn’t get too messy, but there will be some lubricant spraying, oil drips, etc. I highly recommend that you also find a shoebox or like-sized container (ideally with a sealing lid) to place parts into as you pull them off the turbo.

During this project, there are really only two delicate parts you will encounter: the compressor wheel and the turbine wheel. Both of these are very sharp and can be damaged easily. Touch them like you would touch a baby animal egg. While these are the only 2 delicate parts, you should aim to keep your work area cleaned up every hour or so to keep small debris out of the way, especially once you get the center housing and rotating assembly pulled apart (‘CHRA’ from here on out).

I sourced my TD04-13T rebuild kit from Deadbolt Enterprises after getting a quote from another shop that was $20 higher than theirs. The kit, which will cost you around $110 with shipping, came with instructions (albeit vastly less thorough than these) and Jerry at Deadbolt even gave me tech support when I asked him a question about one of the steps. Given that he offers rebuild services as part of his company, he certainly did not have to do this just because he provided a rebuild kit to a customer. I thought that was cool. After I got Deadbolt’s kit, I emailed the other company to get a parts list of their kit for comparison’s sake. They never even responded.

Part 1.5: Safety

I cannot stress this enough: When working with snap rings, wear safety goggles. They are fidgety to work with and are under high compressor while being installed or removed. For example, my snap ring pliers slipped out of the ring holes during the work on the compressor seal (you’ll see later) and the ring shot across the room at very high speed. Had it gone toward my face, I would have been in trouble.


  1. jeff adams
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Im going to donate 2 dollars. I havent yet used the guide but I have studied it and it has given me confidence to purchase my tdo5 20g rebuild kit for my WRX and I cant wait to get it done. Thanks so much for the BEST and ONLY diy turbo rebuild guide I could find for the TDo platform. Your a lifesaver, gonna be able to fix my wrx before nopi for only 40 bucks!!!,,,42 if you count the donation!..worth it

  2. josé márcio
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I wanted the features of this turbo!

  3. Jason Rudd
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Ref “# Reassemble the coolant line with the new copper washers (one between the pipe and the CHRA, another between the bolt head and the pipe). Torque the bolts to 22 ft-lbs.”

    Are you sure you mean 22ft-lbs here? this squashed by banjo, luckily I had a spare oil feed line.

  4. Posted March 18, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    “luckily I had a spare oil feed line”

    >> Reassemble the oil return line with the new gasket. Torque the bolts to 3-4 ft-lbs.

    >> Reassemble the coolant line with the new copper washers (one
    >> between the pipe and the CHRA, another between the bolt head
    >> and the pipe). Torque the bolts to 22 ft-lbs.

  5. Adam
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    GREAT WRITEUP! Just did my two TD04-15Gs… the only question I have is with the torquing of the compressor side nut… if I go the 1/4 turn, the wheels are really in there snug and don’t turn easily… is that how it should be? I imagine once the oil is flowing through and the exhaust starts the assembly turning it will loosen up a bit… but want to make sure I am not over-tightening.

  6. Posted October 23, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Adam, the wheels should spin smoothly after reassembly. The simple test is to spin the shaft + wheels with your thumb and pointer finger like you would a toy top, while the turbo is in the normal horizontal position (not vertical like a toy top). If you pinch hard and give it your best spin, the wheels should spin at *least* 2 times. You should be able to, without any real effort, spin the wheels with your fingers. That final nut is tricky, but important to get right. I had to do mine several times at the end of assembly to where I was happy with it.

    No guarantees, just the write-up 🙂

  7. David Tearle
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    where can I purchase an exploded view drawing and parts list for my Mitsubishi TD04H-13C-6?

  8. Posted November 3, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Sorry, David, I have no idea. I’ve never seen such a thing, though surely Mitsubishi has a document. I suspect it’s an internal company document though.

  9. Posted April 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Great things you’ve always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be utilized for studies. Thanks for this knowledgeable blog.

  10. Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Turbo rebuild guide FAIL. How about “check at least ONE spec on the rotating assembly.” You could check the turbine shaft for runout, or you could check the bearing housing for wear. Nah, just take it apart and put it back together-that’s all turbo shops do, right? This guide is garbage and should be taken down-it is WRONG. It does not even contain torque specs for the shaft nut-do not follow this guide.

  11. Posted April 5, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry you feel that way, Brian. It’s pretty clear that it’s DIY and at your own risk. It has worked fine for hundreds of people who have read the article and performed the work themselves in the last 5 years. Is it the perfect way to do the job? Of course not. Anyone with a brain knows that.

    You could do well to learn how to communicate your message to people without being a royal asshole about it.

  12. howlermonkey
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    The guys who are having binding issues when they tighten up the nut on the compressor have most likely pushed the “piston ring” seal on the exhaust turbine out of it’s groove when pushing in the turbine and shaft.

    I use a small bent tip screwdriver to make sure the piston ring stays where it belongs.

  13. Gary
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    well I used this guide here and it worked out great for me. and yes the hardest part of this rebuild is that ring on the exhaust side. pain in the arse after 6 try’s I bent it so I had to use the old one which did SNAP into place so I feel comfortable that it sealed fine. this may shorten the life a bit but Im only running 5 psi for drive ability on my 3 cyl metro

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  4. […] Originally Posted by neverstock187 Thanx, I jus ordered 2 rebuild kits from them and Ill check out the PCV too, thanx. No problem. Just be super careful with disassembly and mark everything. Also take it easy on the turbine shaft and dont score it. If you do then you are screwed. Here is a great walk through. Follow all 3 pages. Stage Infinity Mitsubishi TD04-13T Turbo Rebuild […]

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