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).
- TD04-13T rebuild kit (info below)
- 10mm wrench
- 8mm socket
- 12mm socket
- 17mm socket
- Ratchet with 10″+ handle for torque
- 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 Amazon.com). It has been reported by a reader that the pliers at that Amazon.com 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.