Quick turbo inspection

I had a slightly slow start, but a productive day.

After welding one of the fenders back on Sponge Bob Square Trike and putting new fishtail ends on Gilbert’s exhaust, which involved replacing the mufflers with straight pipes 🙂 , I spent a few minutes accessing the turbo to see whether or not it’s completely trashed.

At this point, it need cleaning, but looks good.

All I removed was the muffler and the intake duct. As determined by the borescope, the bottom of the intake was full of oil. A bit of oily sludge was still draining out after several minutes.

It appears to be corrosion-free, at least what I can see from here.

I love how tiny this thing is. Here it is, nearly obscured by my index finger.

I turned the impeller manually; it moves nicely, no obvious play. Turning the impeller also raised some more oily sludge from the bottom. It’s not a very efficient lift pump. I will definitely need to remove it for cleaning. I think I will contact Majestic Turbo in Waco and see what it costs to have them check it out.


While I haven’t done a whole lot on the bike lately, neither have I left it completely untouched.

Today, I received my borescope, purchased on eBay. At this point, I haven’t worked out a good way to photograph through it.


Before the scope arrived, I borrowed a Rigid See Snake. This is basically a tiny camera with lights at the end of a three foot gooseneck, with a color monitor in the pistol grip. The camera module is about 3/4″ in diameter, so it wont through as small a hole as the borescope, but it’s way easier to share the vision.

The duct between the compressor and the surge tank is steel, presumably to withstand boost pressure better than the more typical neoprene. Peering into the duct, I saw bright surface rust, which worries me because I now must presume that the turbocharger has been exposed to raw weather.

I put the See Snake into the duct:

And past the rust, this is what I saw:

This is the pile of what I am guessing to be cypress leaves and lots of other trash that is sitting at the bottom of the duct between the compressor and the airbox or surge tank on the Seca. The round boundary at the edges of the pic is the bottom end of the duct, where the body of the duct and the coupler meet. The wide ring most visible in the lower right is the outlet duct of the compressor itself.

Without checking this first (and for the record, I was planning to pull the ducts and even the turbocharger out and check it anyway) this trash would have been blown up into the surge tank and on into the cylinders where it may or may not have caused any appreciable damage.

None of the pix came out good, but the other duct, between the airbox and the inlet of the compressor, has a substantial amount of standing oil in it, at the elbow where it turns towards the compressor.