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Golf R Turbo Failures

Hello all,

 

long time no post, lots going on here, tuning development etc etc.

 

I have tuned over 80 Golf R's, and of those cars 4 have had turbo failures.  That's 1 in 20, which is not a good stat.  I have also had a number of customers that have booked their car in have to cancel, due to to the turbo failing on completely standard tune.

 

The last of these failures occurred earlier this week while on my dyno.  This was frustrating but as I  was logging at the time it allowed me to study first hand.  The car had done one flawless power run, and then failed on the second.  Data logs showed everything was perfect, with boost at 1.5 bar at the time of failure.  This is less boost than virtually every tune available for the Golf R runs.

 

So what's happening? Obviously I was keen to find out.  The IS38 turbo borrows technology from Motorsport and employs a "zero clearance" compressor design.  There is (virtually) no clearance between the compressor wheel and housing.  This improves efficiency and contributes to the incredible performance of the turbo.  The compressor housing is lined with a Teflon insert, as the compressor wheel will come into contact with it in normal operation.

 

The issue is that batches of the turbo have not been balanced properly.  A number of turbos have now been stripped and examined, only to find the balancing is out by a very large margin on a number of turbos.  This causes the compressor wheel to move off centre slightly.  On a "normal" turbo this wouldn't be an issue, but on the IS38 the compressor wheel is hitting the Teflon insert, digging in - and snapping the shaft instantly.  In other cases, it is undoing the the retaining nut and then causing even more of a mess.  The shaft diameter is considerable - it's a very strong shaft but when it suddenly goes form 100,000 Rpm to zero something is going to give.

 

Early 2014 cars have had the most failures, but the failures are not isolated to these.  We have seen failures on 16 and 66 plate cars as well.  No failures yet seen on 15 plate cars, including mine which had run well over 2 bar during development.

 

The IS20 found in the Golf GTI turbo does not suffer from this issue, it also has  a much smaller/weaker shaft diameter but is properly balanced.

 

We are now recommending that anyone tuning their Golf R has the turbo checked over for balance.  Pricing is not expensive - around £250 -  but there is obviously the labour involved in removing the turbo, and the 3-4 days the car would have to be off the road.  The compressor insert is checked and re profiled to correct clearances, and then the rotating assembly placed on a VSR balancer to check and be adjusted as required.  Options to hybrid the turbo will also soon be available but these are not required for Stage1/2 tunes.

 

This is not any kind of ploy to extract money out of anyone, but born out of the frustration of trying to tune an incredible platform with a major weakness.  Anyone is free to send their turbo to any specialist turbo company that can perform a proper balancing operation.

 

Thanks, Rick

 

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Golf R Turbo Failures Hello all,   long time no post, lots going on here, tuning development etc etc.   I have tuned over 80 Golf R's, and of those cars 4 have had turbo failu

The way I read it, the suggestion is that anyone tuning their Golf have the turbo checked - regardless of the extent of the tune. Makes sense logically, if you think about it; if you're not tuning y

I assume the S is a later version than my turbo. I haven't checked my number but car was registered 12/2015 so it was well revised by then.   I shouldn't worry to much. My 65 regs R was mapp

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Golf R Turbo Failures Hello all,
 
long time no post, lots going on here, tuning development etc etc.
 
I have tuned over 80 Golf R's, and of those cars 4 have had turbo failures.  That's 1 in 20, which is not a good stat.  I have also had a number of customers that have booked their cars in cancel due to to their turbo failing on completely standard card before tuning has even begun.
 
The last of these failures occurred earlier this week while on my dyno.  This was both frustrating but i was logging at the time so could study it happening first hand.  The car has done one flawless power run, and then failed on the second.  Data log showed everything was perfect, with boost at 1.5 bar at the time of failure.  This is less boost than virtually every tune available for the Golf R runs.
 
So what's happening? Obviously I was keen to find out.  The IS38 turbo borrows technology from Motorsport and employs a "zero clearance" compressor design.  There is (virtually) no clearance between the compressor wheel and housing.  This improves efficiency and contributes to the incredible performance of the turbo.  The compressor housing is lined with a Teflon insert, as the compressor wheel will come into contact with it in normal operation.
 
The issue is that batches of the turbo have not been balanced properly.  A number of turbos have now been stripped and examined, only to find the balancing is out by a very large margin on a number of turbos.  This causes the compressor wheel to move off centre slightly.  On a "normal" turbo this wouldn't be an issue, but on the IS38 the compressor wheel is hitting the Teflon, digging in - and snapping the shaft instantly.  In other cases, it is undoing the the retaining nut and then causing even more of a mess.  The shaft diameter is considerable - it's a very strong shaft but when it suddenly goes form 100,000 Rpm to zero something is going to give.
 
Early 2014 cars have had the most failures, but the failures are not isolated to these.  We have seen failures on 16 and 66 plate cars as well.  No failures yet seen on 15 plate cars, including mine which had run well over 2 bar during development.
 
The IS20 found in the Golf GTI turbo does not suffer from this issue, it also has  a much smaller/weaker shaft diameter but is properly balanced.
 
We are now recommending that anyone tuning their Golf R has the turbo checked over for balance.  Pricing is not expensive - around £250 -  but there is obviously the labour involved in removing the turbo, and the 3-4 days the car would have to be off the road.  The compressor insert is checked and re profiled to correct clearances, and then the rotating assembly placed on a VSR balancer to check and be adjusted as required.  Options to hybrid the turbo will also soon be available but these are not required for Stage1/2 tunes.
 
This is not any kind of ploy to extract money out of anyone, but born out of the frsustration of trying to tune an incredible platform with a major weakness.  Anyone is free to send their turbo to any specialist turbo company that can perform a proper balancing operation.
 
Thanks, Rick
 


Thank you Rick for that, interesting read. Just out of curiosity would you recommend everyone does this or only those pushing stage 2+?

I am currently on a very strong map 6 JB4 and I appreciate this is different to a normal tune but would you say I would need to get mine checked? Mine is a 65 plate dsg for reference.

Thanks

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The way I read it, the suggestion is that anyone tuning their Golf have the turbo checked - regardless of the extent of the tune.

Makes sense logically, if you think about it; if you're not tuning your car, VW will foot the bill if it lets go. But once you've tuned it...

Tim

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Just now, Stubsy said:

@Rick@UnicornMotorDev

if someone was to have their turbo removed and assessed and found the balance to be off could they claim their repair costs back through VW? Or are we entering in to American class lawsuit territory 

 

by the sounds of your post VW is fully aware of the turbos issue 

 

If what Rick is saying is accurate then VW should do a recall! 

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I'm not a legal expert.

 

If the turbo fails in warranty, VW will usually replace it.  VW may also say that the balancing is within their tolerances.  Those who have failures are also likely to have driven their car hard, and an argument could potentially be made against that.

 

As tuners and people who want their car tuned, we want the best possible performance from a product, not barely adequate.

 

Rick

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heres the fight club quote I was talking about. My algebra was off. 

 

Just wondering if enough Vw R owners complain enough (VWROC Power) then VW will actually take notice and fix the turbo issue before it comes an issue.

 

If Rick's stats of 1 in 20 are across the board, then that's a lot of VWROC owners who are sitting on a ticking time bomb. 

 

So @Rick@UnicornMotorDevIt sounds like VW have admitted the balancing is off but only 5 % so we'll get away with it 

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Interesting what you say Rick but what have VW / IHI been revising with this turbo since the launch of this platform using the IS38 as we are now on its 5-6th revision?

 

Secondly you may have seen failures quoting 1 in 20 failure rate on your own personal observations but I wonder why these failures are not reported more widely world wide especially on the US forums as many many R's have now been tuned.

If this was an epidemic with such high failure rates there'd be far greater coverage and reports of such failures especially on late 2015 / 2016 cars that are supposedly running the latest revision.

Early cars were known to fail even stock so I'd expect uproar in the US / Australia/ GB on the forums and I've only found one thread on a late turbo failure.

 

Are these turbo's not all made to exacting standards being a crucial part of the engine where you'd think IHI would want reliability associated with their turbo and also to keep the Chiefs at VW happy?

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But if the turbos is out of balance wouldnt they go boom quite fast? 

So if the car has done 20000-30000km you are likely to be ok?

 

I did search A LOT for finding any proof that the newer 722H were bad as well as the early once. 

I have friend working for VW and sure there had been a few breakdowns but really few from what I could find out.

And did search and asked all over the web and here as well I just found a few breakdowns.

From what I found out many tuners were doining high tourque tunes and some turbos couldnt handle that.

One Swedish tuner has had a lot of breakdowns as well but since most others hasnt I would say it has to do with their tunes.

 

Still its worring that we might sit on turbos that might not be 100%.

would be very interesting to have some numbers from VW worldwide on these breakdowns.

 

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