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-   -   Blown IHI VF40 Turbo (2005 Outback XT) (

worstcase 11-19-2012 02:07 PM

Blown IHI VF40 Turbo (2005 Outback XT)
While driving my Sub lost power and started to make a nice racket, also threw some check engine lights. Lmped it home and when we read the codes they all tied to the air intake, also the oil was low but no oil light has come on. The air inlet hose on the turbo was pushed off slightly so we figured that was the source of the codes but this didn't stop the noise (we didn't figure it would but you can always hope right?) so we investigated further... :spin:

The noise it was coming from the turbo (an IHI VF40) so we pulled it and found that it had a broken shaft (significant shaft movemet) and associated damage. :mad: The oil line out of the bottom (assuming the return line) fractured during removal but looked like it had already cracked and was horribly brittle, otherwise no other parts look like they have any issues.

So I need a turbo to get my ride going again, along with a new oil line and probably a couple odds and ends too but that leads to my problem... :confused:

Do I:

1. Get a new stock replacement IHI VF40 (quoted $1050-$1200)

2. Rebuild the current one (quoted $650, not certain of success)

3. Get a used bolt-on replacement IHI VF40 (prices seem tied to mileage)


4. Get a new bolt on repacement (like a BNR VF40-EVO16G w/ filtered oil line)

I'm leaning towards a bolt on replacement that doesn't require tuning, though I would look to tune it as well as put on a turbo timer. I'm interested in getting it running and getting a reliable Subaru and getting it back fast. I'm less concerned about performance upgrades. That said I would be happy if the fix also addressed the poor performance of the OEM turbo which is truly awful. Bottom line, I'm looking for the least expensive, best result producing and foolproof bolt-on option that will solve all my know, the usual. :rolleyes:

Thanks for your input! :icon_mrgr

BarManBean 11-19-2012 02:11 PM

Don't get a new vf40 unless you are dead set on staying absolutely stock.

If you rebuild it, the best bet is likely to go through BNR. For $750 you can grab a 16g versus the $350/400 you'll probably spend on a used vf40. You can also pick up a vf52 (wrx turbo).

As you know, you'll need a tune for anything but a vf40/46, but you'll probably really enjoy having the tune.

Most foolproof option is probably a vf52 ($600-800 used on nasioc) with a simple off the shelf tune from infamous ($150 i think). Oh, and why a turbo timer? Totally unnecessary.

worstcase 11-19-2012 03:01 PM

@BarManBean: Thanks for the response, you seem to be saying what a lot of people are on the OEM turbo option.

I do like the BNR, it's becoming my preferred option but need to give them a call and figure cost, install and delivery time. The main issue is (as always) cost vs. result, so mainly looking for info to weigh the options.

The turbo timer was suggested by a friend (mechanic and owner of a WRX/sti), the premise being that it will ensure the oil gets cooled before engine shut-off and reduce wear and tear without me having to worry about it, something that I would appreciate since I often have a kid and a dog with me taking all my attention. I think a boost gauge would be good since we think a vacuum leak might have been part of the reason the turbo went south.

Finally, I want to avoid any fume smells and any noise increases when I modify this car since this is my daily driver and I have a 16 month old daughter who rides with me a lot, as much as doing a full mod on the engine would be its not happening on this one (that's what the Impreza will be for).

.:Catalyst:. 11-19-2012 03:34 PM


Modern Subaru turbocharged engines do not require turbo timers (in stock configuration), as the cooling system is design to continue circulating coolant through the turbocharger post shut-down to preserve component life.
I have no vote because I would get something aftermarket (BNR) and get a tune. Stock tune is not good.

worstcase 11-19-2012 03:54 PM

@Catalyst: Leaning that way, do have recomendations for a tune? I would be going with the smallest BNR turbo with no other part changes planned. Since I would be (potentially) getting a BNR w/ tune does this take it out of the "stock configuration" category?

Your quote says "Modern Subaru turbochargers", I'm assuming my '05 is "modern" but just for my info when did Subaru adopt this feature in their turbo/intercooler?

.:Catalyst:. 11-19-2012 04:00 PM

I quoted it from the "Tech Reference" sticky on this forum. 05 is "modern" and I believe any recent Subaru's have the top feed coolant system that continues to move it through the system.

I am really happy with my Cryotune. Dave is amazing, and if you are just changing out turbo (not looking for major gains), he will be a good resource. I would send a PM to "Cryo" here or go to his website and send him an email. I totally trust his opinions and he's easy to work with through the tuning process and I have nothing but great things to say about his service, communication, and the results of my tune :D

There are other options as well. There are some tuners up in your area and other etuners as well.

BarManBean 11-20-2012 07:35 AM

I also used cryo for my tune. Should be noted though that completing an etune will require you to do several 3rd gear pulls to redline, meaning you'll be going 90-100mph by the end of that. If you are comfortable with that and have a safe place to do it, an etune will serve you well.

If not, you're looking at a dyno tune for significantly more money or you have the option of an "off the shelf" tune where you provide your mod list and get a "tune in a can" that is all ready to be loaded on your car.

Max Capacity 11-20-2012 08:01 AM

Don't worry about "stock"

You don't want these cars stock if you really drive the car. The stock MAP is flawed and can cause burnt valves.

My wagon has been off the stock MAP since it had 8000 miles on it and Cobb AP first came out for the car, Dec 04.

I went with a vf52 at 142,000 miles. The BNR set up is great too.

You should also remove the catted up pipe too, they have been known to come apart as the mileage get's high.

I also have both banjo filters removed in the wagon and run Amsoil 5w-40 European oil and their filters.

The oil return line has been known to crack and leak also.

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