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 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.

32 Comments

  1. joe far,elo
    Posted March 4, 2008 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    is that a carbon seal or what material is it .

    thanks

  2. admin
    Posted March 4, 2008 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Joe, I have no idea. Sorry.

  3. FanOfBoost
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It’s essential to mark the turbine shaft, compressor nut, and compressor wheel all on the compressor side to ensure proper alignment when reassembling. If you are marking anything on the turbine blades, you are not able to align anything other than the turbine to the CHRA which doesn’t ensure any type of balance or realignment….

    What I do is use a sharp (new) blade in a utility knife or x-acto knife and score a line on the tip of the turbine shaft, compressor wheel nut, and the first lip on the compressor wheel. These should all be within ~1/2″ of each other and ensures that all three pieces will be properly realigned after assembly. By scoring you also ensure that any markings will not be removed when you use parts cleaner to cleanup the CHRA prior to reassembly.

    I will say though that if you notice ANY turbine or compressor wheel damage, you should send it out for a rebalance as there would be no way to ensure that it is within spec if any material has been removed from them.

    $.02

  4. jake
    Posted June 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Great write up! rebuilding my 13g asap. just wanted to know how long you have been runing this turbo with the diy rebuild? thanks alot
    Jake

  5. Posted June 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jake – I actually sold the turbo locally. Many months later, the owner… I think his name was Justin… actually emailed me out of the blue and said it was going strong.

  6. johhnnie
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi , what about the 2 rings inside the chra ,what are they for ? and why not replace them as well ?.

  7. Posted October 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Johhnnie : What 2 rings? O-rings? Do you have a picture?

  8. johhnnie
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    jblaine : 2 snap rings i think they are , if you look on page 2 of the rebuild , scroll down to 21:Remove the compressor-side bearing and throw it away. look at the picture and you will see 1 of the rings the other is a bit further down the chra.

  9. MARK
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    HI THERE!

    WHEN I TIGHTEN THE COMPRESSOR NUT AFTER ALIGHNING MY BALACING MARKS, THE WHEEL AND THE TURBINE SEIZE TO SPIN FREELY. wHAT AM I DOING WRONG?

    THANKS GUYS

  10. Posted January 12, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Mark: I would guess maybe you are over-tightening the nut. It is very very low torque spec.

  11. MARK
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Hi Jeff.

    Thanks for the response. Withe more investigation, the piston ring pop out when torqued although when the shaft is inserted it does not really snap or click in. You ctually can see the piston ring half in and out of its groove when tightened?

    Thanks

    Mark.

  12. Posted January 13, 2009 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Mark

    Which piston ring (there are two)? I assume you mean the one on the turbine side based on your description so far.

    You shouldn’t be able to see the piston ring while tightening. Look at the 2nd picture under “Step 9″. Did you take off (or maybe it fell off) that black cover? It’s easy to reinstall, but maybe it’s missing from your setup now?

    It sounds to me like you are torque-ing (with the compressor nut) against the piston ring and dislodging it, so something in your reassembly is not correct up to that point.

    Other than that, it’s hard to say without the turbo in my hands :(

  13. MARK
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Jeff!

    Thanks for your help and time!! everything is now perfect!!

    Regards
    Mark.

  14. Posted March 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir:
    How are you!
    This is vivi who is from jemewish,china.
    Would you supply rebuild volvo rurbo 3826911k33?
    pls quote the best price & ETD, if you can supply the goods!
    Pls mail to me,if you can provide.

  15. Posted March 7, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Sorry, vivi, I don’t sell turbos.

  16. Spncom
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi all

    Thanks for your very helpful site. I wonder if anyone can shed any light on a problem with my rebuild. The problem is that the turbine bearing does not ‘seat’ into the CHRA. It falls through into the chamber inside when very little pressure is applied.

    Thanks

  17. Sponcom
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Just to update my last comment in case it is helpful to someone. My bearing was falling through because in the rebuild kit is a spring washer . This is not mentioned on the rebuild instructions but on my turbo it had come out. As there was not one present I did not know it needed replacing. I managed to insert this and all is well. Might be worth mentioning on the site as it probably does not normally need replacing.

    Thanks

  18. james
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    anyone else come across the tin cover being loose between the turbo and the exhaust wheel? Any ideas on how to make it a tight fit? i thought of tac welding it…

  19. daniel parker
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    It seems that when tightening the compressor turbine wheel with the 8mm nut, (specified elsewhere as 15 inch pounds, plus 1/4 turn), it is being pressed against the compressor seal insert in the center of the compressor seal(pic 7,reassembly).

    While at this tourqe the wheel spins less freely, does this degree of snugness to the seal insert force all the bearings and inserts to get turned throughout along with the turbine wheels.

  20. 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

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

    I wanted the features of this turbo!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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 :)

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

17 Trackbacks

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