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Old 06-27-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
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What I know about cheap ebay turbos:

They are cheap
They are made in China
They will probably break much sooner than a quality turbo
They are cheap
They are ****

What I want to know but can't find through all the "they are ****" claims:

How long will they last?
How shitty are they?

The way I figure it, I can buy two (or more) of them for the price of one new quality turbo, and I only want it to last for a couple years. If it will work alright for a short time, I'd like to save the money, but if they will be trouble all the time, or risk taking out parts of my engine when it does go, I'll keep looking for a decent turbo and cut a little cost somewhere else in the system.


On a slightly related note; what sort of defects are acceptable in a used turbo? Many used turbos mention "hairline cracks in the ___ housing" or "minimal side to side shaft play" but I can't figure out if any of these will really prevent the turbo from being reliable for a couple years.

Please don't flame me, I searched for the answers to these but all I found was "Ebay sucks *****, run away", "Just buy a BEGi" and " go to hell " I understand that saving money by buying on ebay isn't the best way to build a turbo kit, but I'm not looking for the best way to build a turbo kit, just a turbo kit to meet my specifications.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude108 View Post
Please don't flame me, I searched for the answers to these but all I found was "Ebay sucks *****, run away", "Just buy a BEGi" and " go to hell "


Thanks for searching , you found the answer by yourself.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Hairline cracks in the turbine housing are acceptable to most people. I've seen half-a-dozen DSM turbine housings that had cracks inside the housing big enough to put a CC in. Cracks that go completely through to the outside of the housing would be unsafe, but cracks inside the housing are no sweat. There is absolutely no reason for cracks in the compressor housing. There's nothing that could cause it short of some unforeseen catastrophic failure.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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OK, first off, what are your goals?

Why are you looking at a Chinacharger? Cost only? Cheap large turbo?

If your goals are reasonable or modest, say 250WHP or less, you can at least go with a T25 or T28 and get a name brand turbo for about $250 - the same amount as a Chinacharger.

You would be spending the same amount, have a reliable turbo, and could always sell it for about what you have in it. Try that with a Chinacharger.

Also, I am not just saying to do this. I'm doing it myself. I bought a decent T25 for $200 shipped.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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Buy a Garrett Turbo or Bullseye Power and have PIECE of MIND!! A turbo is something I would not mess around with!
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
If your goals are reasonable or modest, say 250WHP or less, you can at least go with a T25 or T28 and get a name brand turbo for about $250 - the same amount as a Chinacharger.

Also, I am not just saying to do this. I'm doing it myself. I bought a decent T25 for $200 shipped.
My goals are pretty modest. If I can get over 200hp at the rear wheels, I'll be a happy camper.

I haven't heard much about the T25/T28, but I haven't looked either. How does it spool?
I was sort of looking at a 14b or a 16g, but those are the ones that mention a lot of hairline cracks or shaft movement.

I thought I remembered reading something about a little shaft movement in one direction was ok but movement in the other was unacceptable, but now I can't remember which direction was which.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude108 View Post
My goals are pretty modest. If I can get over 200hp at the rear wheels, I'll be a happy camper.

I haven't heard much about the T25/T28, but I haven't looked either. How does it spool?
I was sort of looking at a 14b or a 16g, but those are the ones that mention a lot of hairline cracks or shaft movement.

I thought I remembered reading something about a little shaft movement in one direction was ok but movement in the other was unacceptable, but now I can't remember which direction was which.
Look at the dynos section. Find a t25, they spool stupid fast and will easily push 200.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude108 View Post
I was sort of looking at a 14b or a 16g, but those are the ones that mention a lot of hairline cracks or shaft movement.
Do it!

I love my small 16g. So cheap, water-cooled, tons of potential, spools nicely, tons of spares available, etc. It has the typical small hairline cracks inside the turbine section.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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skidude108, how much you wanna spend on a turbo?
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:27 PM   #10
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I ran two garretts prior to the china charger I have now. Both were used and probably were beat on, but both were crap. Spent only 100 dollars for both of them over time, then decided to go with a chinacharger until I can get a ball bearing. I have had it for 4+ months and have had no problems what so ever. Paid approximately 150 for it shipped new, so I think if it last another 2 months at least I will be happy.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
skidude108, how much you wanna spend on a turbo?
I'd like to keep it under $200 but I don't know if that's possible.

It seems that everybody who runs a DSM turbo likes it, and they seem to be pretty cheap. I'll keep my eyes out for one of those.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude108 View Post
I'd like to keep it under $200 but I don't know if that's possible.

It seems that everybody who runs a DSM turbo likes it, and they seem to be pretty cheap. I'll keep my eyes out for one of those.
DSM t25s are pretty small on the compressor side if I recall... May want to consider an SR20 t25.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:52 PM   #13
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IIRC DSM t25s are 45-50 trims, and SR20 T25s are 55-60 trim.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #14
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Don't get the DSM T25, get the 14b or 16g if you go DSM...but prepare to be creative with the manifold.
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:56 PM   #15
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I like what I've heard about the 14b or and small 16g best, so I'll try to get one of those. I'm prepared to be creative with the manifold if I have to be. I have a friend who is a machinest who offered to help with the install. He's made some pretty nice manifolds in the past.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:06 PM   #16
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i can only say from my experience and my friends, that they are def. worth what you pay for them. i've had one on my galant vr4 for 2 years and have not had any problems. i put one our shop/demo crx w/ls swap about 1.5 years ago and it's been great. both have been not only street driven, but drag raced and most punishing of all track day events. that means 4- 20min. sessions per day, 1-2 days per weekend. the crx used to be obd-0 so it was only at 9 psi, but my galant has been between 17 and 26psi the whole time.
i orig. thought if it lasts 6mos. i'll be happy. but it's past that and still in great shape. i thought maybe it was fluke until 3-4 other friends bought them and are still using them. i think alot of the problems stem from improper
install etc... i know of a guy that put one on and it lasted a week before it's seal went bad. he bought a turbonetics and that one lasted a 1 1/2 weeks.
turns out he didn't put the little fitting (reducer) that would lower the press. from the oil line into the turbo. i've seen others start up a new turbo and not follow the directions that came with it. started and ran it dry and the turbo didn't last but a few months before it had shaft play.
i'm not saying i wouldn't rather have a garrett or turbonetics turbo, cuz i would, but if your strapped for cash and wanna get your turbo setup going, buy one.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:18 PM   #17
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OK, so since this topic has been brought up and I wasnt the one to start it (cant flame me now ) I admit that lately I have given some serious thought to a chinacharger myself. They are dirt cheap. They are probably crap, but lately ive seen alot of success stories, not to mention people making some damn good power on them.
Im curious, is there a big difference between the different ones on ebay? i mean theres like 1000 different companies offering these things, all are a tad bit different but look like they are pretty much made the same. Anyone know if one is superior to another?

The reason for the chinacharger decision is its either that or go with all wrx stuff (IM REALLY REALLY FOCUSING ON CUTTING COSTS, SINCE MY BUDGET FOR THE NEXT YEAR WILL BE INSANELY LIMITED, JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE).....what do you guys thing would be better? ill be getting an NB pretty soon here (hopefully) and have a **** ton of wrx stuff laying around (td04 turbo, injectors, inlet pipe, uppipe to use flange off to weld onto turbo header, etc.).....ill be looking around 250whp and really not crazy about quick spool, but really big on topend. on wrx's the td04 falls on its *** past 5k rpm, is it the same with miata's? i guess this question should be directed towards "Pipefather" (sp?) since he's running one. anyways, any help would be great, and hopefully will answer some of threadstarers questions.


ps: sorry to thread jack, just didnt want to make ANOTHER thread about it and get flamed
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:20 PM   #18
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A used T3 is generally cheaper or equal to the cost of a chinacharger... a used t25 is cheaper then a chinacharger... Maybe i'm missing something.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:31 PM   #19
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well i have yet to see a really cheap t3 for sale...am i looking in the wrong place? classifieds in this forum
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
well i have yet to see a really cheap t3 for sale...am i looking in the wrong place? classifieds in this forum
um ebay? I have seen 300zx t3's go for cheap on there.
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