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Old 04-12-2011, 08:23 PM   #1  
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EBAY CHEAP Turbo / Turbochargers Review - READ BEFORE BUYING!!!


Now that I have my 280zx running good I'm moving onto my much awaited Z31 NA to Turbo conversion. See the pic below, she's a 100% stock car and a show winner. Of coarse this conversion will negate the "STOCK" class..lol

I have been planning this for a few yrs and have 2 junk cars to get most everything I need. I know what needs to be done and I'm confident it will be lot's of fun and a rewarding experience, esp since my 16 YO son will be helping and learning about cars as we go. We recently replaced the shocks, struts and springs on all four corners.

Ok on to my question.

Has anyone had any experiance with turbos sold on ebay as "UNIVERSAL T3/T4 TURBO TURBOCHARGER" ?

You can see one listed here.


Although I have 2 parts cars sadly neither have a good turbo in them. So I'm looking for a good used or new one. After looking at the prices I was surprised that I could get a new turbo for under $200.

What's with the T3/T4 hybrid design? Would this work? Makes me wonder how much custom work I'd need to get it to fit. I do own a sheet metal fab shop and a business partner of mine has a machine shop so I could make just about any part I'd need.

Another question is if you were going to do the conversion and didn't want to add a boost control/intercoolers etc what turbo/boost would you use?

My original plan was to use a stock OEM turbo.



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Old 04-12-2011, 08:40 PM   #2  
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Yep... we've discussed "ebay turbos" many times. There is a reason they are cheap. It's because they are CHEAP.

To answer all your questions at once... get your turbocharger checked out and rebuilt (if needed) by a professional. Expect a $300-$500 price tag that will come with a warranty. Check your local phone book / yellowpages for a turbo shop. If you can't find one, call a local diesel repair shop... they will know where to take it.

If you need more detailed info on turbochargers, I suggest you read:


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Old 04-12-2011, 10:00 PM   #3  
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I know they are cheap, but has anyone actually bought and used one?
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:13 PM   #4  
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read this article too. http://www.redz31.net/pages/turboupgrade.html he has a small section about cheap ebay turbos and upgrading to a nice turbo.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:04 AM   #5  
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I would not trust a cheap eBay turbo. They are cheaply made with loose tolerances and have been known to come apart at high RPMs and destroy your engine. Some things you should not cheap out on and the turbo is one of them.

Use your stock T3 turbo and have it rebuilt and upgraded to T3/T4.

This is one of the most respected turbo rebuild shops in the country. They do alot of business with the Z31 community. call them, talk to Joel and ask about rebuilds and upgrades. You ship it to them and get it back in 8-10 days.

Arizona Turbo & Tractor Supply
3445 North 29th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85017-4906
(602) 253-9953

Here are some recommendations

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:12 AM   #6  
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Thanks for the info. I guess I didn't think about them flying apart. I ordered one of those books too. If nothing else my son can read and learn more than I can teach him.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:33 AM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Flacster View Post
read this article too. http://www.redz31.net/pages/turboupgrade.html he has a small section about cheap ebay turbos and upgrading to a nice turbo.

Wow just read the write up. Copied what he said below. Thanks guys for saving me from making a big mistake. I checked the feedback on all those ebay turbos and all of them are good for the most part. But I think the reason is that it takes so long for ppl to actually install the cheap Turbos that they leave positive feedback before they even know what they have.

"This turbo is complete garbage! DO NOT even think about buying one of these on ebay, you could end up getting screwed like I did. They are all over the place with cheapass names like XS-Power, superpower, etc etc. Usually selling between $350 and $450 and featuring auctions that contain no real information about the product, these turbos are cheap knockoffs of the actual thing. The supposed "stage 3 turbine" they included with it was the right bore size, but was absolutely not a REAL garrett stage 3 turbine. The seat for the compressor wheel was machined incorrectly, causing this brand new turbo to hammer the compressor wheel into the housing, sending shards of aluminum into my intercooler piping. I ended up with a wrecked turbo and a bunch of pipes to clean out, but considering what happened I was actually lucky. The seller refused to answer my e-mails and it was just out of the time period that PayPal can take action. DO NOT BUY ONE OF THESE TURBOS; YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!"
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