Need turbo gasket advice - Copper vs SS vs V-band?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by yoda-g3, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. yoda-g3

    yoda-g3 SILVER Star

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    Well it happened again, more fun with my Safari setup. I'll have a future thread to outline the journey so far.

    I had the unit rebuilt in 2012 and converted the turbo outlet from Safari's proprietary housing to a common 5 bolt T3 Ford style so that I could mate an internal WG flapper to retain the Safari functionality. This required making a new custom down-pipe.

    At the time I couldn't source any type of premade gasket, so my mechanic made custom ones from a sheet copper gasket kit. That mated one of these guys between the turbo housing and new downpipe. - Flapper Valve with Ovalized Opening T3 5-Bolt

    Well, 24k later, the copper COMPLETELY melted and took my adapter with it. Luckily the turbo is unharmed. (We discovered new cracks in the safari exhaust manifold.... but that is a story for a different day...) You can actually see the pooled copper in the adapter.

    turbo-flange-back_5bolt.jpg turbo-flange-front_5bolt.jpg

    So now I'm at a cross road. I have found an SS gasket option to put on both sides of the WG valve flapper: Stainless Steel Gasket - Garrett T3 Flanged, 5 bolt "GT", & Internally Gated Turbine Housing : atpturbo.com

    But that gives me two mated surfaces like before which failed. But would SS be better than copper?

    Or I could ditch the flapper "spacer", and get a solid unit that converts to a V-band. That would eliminate the need for two flat gasket surfaces. Instead I'd only have one, and then a more standard V-band joint.

    Like this: Ultimate Internal wastegate valve for T3 5Bolt, high flow 3" V-band Style

    But that would require re-building the down pipe... $$$

    Thoughts? Are there any better gasket options out there that might work?


    For reference, here is the turbo itself:

    turbo-housing_5bolt-1.jpg
     
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  2. subzali

    subzali

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    If it melted the copper, you're pushing 2000 deg F, which I guess is doable with a gasoline turbo. Stainless would give you another 500 deg F before melting, which I'm not sure is achievable in a gasoline engine exhaust. For a simple solution, that would be my vote. But then I'm scared to look too closely at my turbo and manifold for fear of what I might find.
     
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  3. cjmoon

    cjmoon

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    I’m not seeing melted copper. Maybe corroded copper I think it just got brittle and oxidized and broke apart. It use the stainless that what Holset uses on diesels.
     
  4. subzali

    subzali

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    It also seems to me that since you will still have one flat faced connection that v-band one is not really buying you anything. If you really think it's a failure due to that connection then you need to do away with it entirely. But I bet a SS gasket will solve your problem.
     
  5. yoda-g3

    yoda-g3 SILVER Star

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    Lol, that was EXACTLY the debate my mechanic and I had.... I was going to stop here, but then made the mistake of looking a the manifold.... You can see where the welds from 6 years re-cracked right down the middle....

    It was running REALLY lean for a long time, so I'm thinking that maybe this manifold just got too beat up to be fully salvaged.

    safari-manifold_cracks-1.jpg safari-manifold_cracks-2.jpg safari-manifold_cracks-3.jpg
     
  6. Dimples

    Dimples I owe my soul to the TRD store.

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  7. yoda-g3

    yoda-g3 SILVER Star

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    Thanks, my thought was that maybe the v-band was more stout, so I'd at least be taking one "weak plane" out of the equation. But it sounds like SS might be the way to go. I'm also going to ditch a Grimspeed boost controller I put on during the rebuild, it seemed to make the boost creep up unusually so I'm wondering if it was getting a little hotter than I thought. I pulled my EGT gauge for the AFR, so I don't know for certain.
     
  8. cody c

    cody c

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    I've had good luck with V band clamps, at and beyond the turbo. Mine are stainless from frozen boost

    I don't think I had a gasket on the last turbo I pulled off/on a manifold, I put some nickel-cote or on it and bolted up.

    In hindsight, I would put all the exhaust mounts to the V band clamps, so I could easily remove exhaust sections by simply loosening the clamps, instead of also fighting rusty bolts.
     
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  9. Jgunner

    Jgunner

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    That manifold is beat up! Lean conditions are bad, really bad. You could add a meth kit to knock down some egt’s and add a little performance. Just know wide band will read differently.

    How thick was your copper gasket? Most turbo setups ive seen do not run any gaskets, but they leak after warping.

    Time to get a new gasket, fatten it up and maybe go to s manual boost controller. Unless boost is creeping up because the wastegate can’t keep up, causing overboost. That is also bery bad. Fix the known problems and your other problems may go away. Get your manifold welded back up, properly, toss another copper gasket in the downpipe, get it more fuel and no creep. Don’t reinvent the wheel, just keep the wheel round.
     
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  10. Heckraiser

    Heckraiser

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    I don't think the v-band really eliminates any joints or leak-opportunities. I don't think you gain anything by switching it up. I have also had a v-band downpipe leak like the dickens too, so it's not like the v-band is inherently superior (just a little easier to service).

    Just get the new SS gaskets and go. Should last longer than copper, and even at 24k, to me that's not a terrible service interval.

    That manifold looks pretty toasted. I don't know much about welding on cast parts, or how much heat cycling it can take, but I'd say you're running too hot! A larger turbo would run cooler and also reduce the lean condition at lower RPM. Also, FWIW, your parts look more like "copper exhaust gasket maker" was used on them, rather than a melted copper gasket... not to second guess you or your mechanic. If so, that stuff is a band-aid at best.

    :edit: I'm sure you noticed, but it also looks like you have a couple bent studs on the back side of the turbo. Maybe something is misaligned.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  11. yoda-g3

    yoda-g3 SILVER Star

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    I appreciate the input! I was there helping him make the copper gaskets, so I know for sure it was stamped out of a sheet meant to be used for gasket making. I just don't recall the brand / alloy mix etc... So when we pulled pieces off that almost looked like puddles we were kind of shocked. We also caught the fubar'd studs. Thanks for pointing them out though!

    I'm going to abandon the idea to repair the manifold. You can see that the previous $400 weld job failed. It would be at least $500-$600 I bet to re patch it, and I think I have a lead on a brand new Turbo Glide manifold for around $1,000. Seems better to get a fresh start. I think the 100k miles of crazy lean conditions did a toll on this guy that can't be saved by welding.


    I think I'll go for your idea. Just SS gasket it it and get a new flapper plate.

    Going by the AFR I "think" it's not over heating like it did before thanks to me pulling the Unichip with its crappy map. But I did put a manual boost controller that I think may have caused more boost creep then I had before. There were a number of times that it started pinging like crazy and the boost would creep past 10lbs on hard shifts. I'm ditching it and going back to the 7lb actuator.

    I hear what you are saying about the larger turbo being a better idea, but I honestly don't know where to even start with that.... I know so little about turbos that is makes me nervous going down the custom road route. Like could I just add a bigger housing like one of these and be in a better place? T3 5 bolt (Ford style) Turbine Housing for GT28/GTX28, GTX29, GT30/GTX30, GT35/GTX35 : atpturbo.com

    But I don't know what would be the right "fit". I know that at the time of the rebuild, they gave me a .82 AR housing, but I don't know what works with the CHRA I have and the turbine wheel / compressor housing combo? Also the low spool seems to be a good idea on these motors for the power curve, I'd hate to "bump it up" to a useless RPM band.

    Or am I over thinking this?
     
  12. scottryana

    scottryana

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    Sounds like you have it under control.

    Get the Turbo Glide manifold, make sure you have both surfaces faced and then use the stainless steel gasket. Make sure your flex pipe has enough flex in it for the movement your exhaust has in it. By the looks of the studs the exhaust has been pulling on the turbo. That will cause the cracks in the manifold and the failure of the gasket.
     
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  13. cody c

    cody c

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    I have welded on the cast 3B manifold to run a turbo. Used nickel iron rod, still in service. New is maybe better in your situation. If you were nearby I'd maybe try welding it though.
     
  14. yoda-g3

    yoda-g3 SILVER Star

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    Thanks for the input!

    I talked to my mechanic about the bent studs, and he's pretty confident that the bends were more due to the tight clearances in getting the custom down pipe / flapper block to start threading, but we're going to take a closer look at it when it goes back in. We are definitely oing to beef up all of the exhaust supports, and the flex pipe this time will be a full 6" of flex vs the 3" I had last time.

    What are your thoughts on replacing the actuator while I'm in there? I was seeing boost creep, but is could have been caused by the blown out gaskets for all I know, but that actuator has at least 24k on it, of not 120k (I can't remember if it was replaced during the rebuild or not.

    I was toying with going this route, though I was hoping for 7psi, not 6. But I didn't know if the billet would give more longevity?: Billet Wastegate Actuator, TiAl PN: 005481, MVI-2.5, SILVER, 6 PSI, STRAIGHT Rod, PLUS BONUS Rod End : atpturbo.com

    If not, I could go one of these routes instead: Internal Wastegate Actuator with ROD END, 6-7 psi, double bent rod, GT/GTX all : atpturbo.com or Internal Wastegate Actuator WITH ROD END - Special 7 psi : atpturbo.com with this extension: LONG Threaded Rod End for wastegate actuator - 1/4-28 threads, Length 87mm - End To Center of Eyelet : atpturbo.com & Rod extension kit for rod end on Internal wastegate actuator : atpturbo.com

    I'm only concerned that the bend might be an issue.
     
  15. yoda-g3

    yoda-g3 SILVER Star

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    Hmmm, maybe I should ship it to you and have it welded up as a spare? :hmm:

    It's interesting how if you look at those pics, its the last welds that broke within the weld itself, it didn't break in the surrounding material, does that imply may a different material would have worked better? Just seems odd from my limited welding knowledge.
     
  16. cody c

    cody c

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    Depends on what type of filler was used. I believe those cracks could be ground out and welded with nickel iron rod, heat it up before and let it cool slow. But you'd probably also want to look at if the header is warped at the flange(s) and then get it ground flat if need be.
     
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  17. scottryana

    scottryana

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    Replacing the actuator isn't a bad idea. But just remember that those numbers listed on the actuators are very general numbers. There is ZERO guarantee that if you swap a 6psi actuator in that you will actually see 6psi. On one setup you might see 12psi and on another only 4psi.

    The size of the wastegate, the flow of the exhaust, the backpressure in the turbo as well as the actuator all play a part in how much boost you actually see.

     
  18. LXDOC

    LXDOC

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    Adjustable?
     
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