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KO4 turbo failure at 40K?

GTIAPRK04

Cam Follower Replacer
Location
Maryland
Hey all,

I have a 2006 GTI, 156K on the clock. It has had the full APR K04 setup installed for the past 40K miles. For the past few months, I have had a problem with an oil burn and smoke out the tailpipe after a period of coasting/vacuum at low RPM. Burns about 1qt/500 miles. When avoiding this situation such as when highway driving, only burns about 1qt/2000 miles. Does not smoke upon hard acceleration. Brand new VC and PCV valve.

Took it in to the folks at New German Performance. They found oil on all four plugs, and some oil residue in the intake, but the compression was good. Upon inspecting the turbo, they found no in/out play but a lot of side-to-side play.

Is this unusual for a Borg Warner K04 from APR to fail after only 40K miles? Does it seem right for the turbo to cause the symptoms I'm experiencing? What are the odds I will replace the failed turbo only to find the oil issue persists?

Cheers,
Woody
 

GIACUser

Master Wallet Mechanic
Location
SoCal
At 156K and pushing probably 50% more power through that motor the last 40K miles that a lot is worn or weak.

Oil pump/pressure inadequate could have caused your turbo failure.
Oil in the top half of the motor is probably worn valve seals and guides since it does not appear you blew a ring.

Time to sell or rebuild likely.
 
Last edited:

Gruppe917

Ready to race!
Location
PA
Freshening the turbo with new bearings and seals shouldn't be any big deal cost wise

Was the turbo New when you installed it?
 

GTIAPRK04

Cam Follower Replacer
Location
Maryland
The turbo was brand new, straight from the APR parts bin. Sure, it's been driven hard at times, but I've never tracked the car, and I actually often put the ecu in the APR stock program for better fuel economy when commuting. It's not had a hard life. Neither has the engine, with 3-5K mile synthetic oil changes and only genuine Mann filters.

The guys at NGP checked every parameter. Saw nothing wrong with oil pressure, air/fuel, boost or anything else. They only saw the turbo shaft play when they pulled the DP. They seem confident that my issue lies with my turbo, though they naturally can't swear it isn't valve stem/rings.

They gave me estimates for a turbo replace, but can I have it rebuilt?
 

GTIAPRK04

Cam Follower Replacer
Location
Maryland
Provided I don't/can't rebuild my turbo, I see ECS has a new APR K04 without supporting mods for $2250. However, I see they have a new, genuine Borg Warner K04 for $1200. Couldn't I just buy the Borg Warner and swap the compressor housing from my failed APR K04, or is there any other parts that APR modifies?

Seems like I'd end up with the same result with $1000 extra in my wallet lol
 

clockwise33

New York Giants Fanatic
Location
NJ
Yes, you can swap the comp housing. The only issue you may have is recalibrating the wastegate actuator. Wastegates tend to be tricky on K04s for some reason.

If you're willing swap comp housings, why not get a replacement CHRA from borg warner and swap the comp and turbine housings? I remember someone on golfmk6.com made a thread about rebuilding a K04 and he bought a CHRA from BW.
 

ROH ECHT

K04 PLAY
Location
PDX OR
Car(s)
2007 MKV GTI
I wouldn't jump to a "turbo" conclusion just yet. I did the evap bypass...then found I needed a new valve cover and still it smoked when coasting in a low gear and when rolling from stops. My compression was 191 to 195 psi in all 4 cylinders. My boost dropped, but I found I needed a new boost frequency controller (N75) for that. Then went forward and did a head rebuild and discovered, upon the head removal, that because of soaked combustion chambers and removing a piston that a ring was pinched in its groove. So I went ahead and did new rings and bearings along with the head rebuild that was already underway. Now everything has been right on for 15k miles. I would suggest, if you already did a new valve cover, to have the head rebuilt with new valve stem guides and seals and perhaps 0.030" exhaust valve spring shims. While that is being done...you can give it new rings and rod bearings. Or, you can go on and do the turbo first...but you may find that it was fine and you need to do all the other as well. My K04 has 87k miles on it.
 

GTIAPRK04

Cam Follower Replacer
Location
Maryland
Would a replacement CHRA be less expensive? Where could I get one, contact BW?
 

GTIAPRK04

Cam Follower Replacer
Location
Maryland
ROH ECHT: As for the turbo, they actually took the DP off and could feel excess shaft play. Whether the true cause of the oil burn is the turbo or not, the turbo clearly is going out after less than 40K miles.

I remember seeing the picture of the underside of your head when they took it off. It looked like the #3 and especially the #4 cylinder were the worst off. For me, oil appears the same and evenly across all 4 bangers. This has led the folks at NGP to believe that the oil is coming from outside the engine through the intake from the turbo or PCV because it's unlikely that all four rings and 8 valve seals would fail so evenly. Could be wrong, though.
 

ROH ECHT

K04 PLAY
Location
PDX OR
Car(s)
2007 MKV GTI
Then I too would go on with the turbo as you are and hope.
 

gti2slow

Go Kart Champion
Location
NH
It clearly happens, but not that frequently. Sucks that it happens.

Setting waste gate pre-load is going to be a hassle, but if you can just swap in a fully balanced CHRA into your housing(s) that should be all thats needed.

Where are you finding a genuine CHRA, all I can find are clearly china made knockoffs.
 

GTIAPRK04

Cam Follower Replacer
Location
Maryland
So my options as of yet:

$2250 New APR K04 (most expensive but means no tinkering hassle and comes with warranty)

$1200 New BW Turbo (means hassle of swapping housings, but nothing more)

$350? Find a, hopefully, legit CHRA and hope for the best (most hassle to build)

Maybe I'll start off by contacting APR. They'll probably just say F*** off, but perhaps if I'm lucky they may cut me some slack since I already have their K04 and supporting mods. Maybe sell me a new one without software for a little less.
 
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