Author Topic: 2011 GQV turbo repair  (Read 2996 times)

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2011 GQV turbo repair
« on: September 13, 2021, 09:17:26 AM »
Hi folks,
My Giulietta QVís turbo checked out last week at 140,000km. i pulled it off and no surprises found that the bearing has gone. Fortunately thereís no damage to the turbine or compressor and hence no shards of metal eating out the rest of the engine!
Alfa have quoted me a whopping $3600 to supply a new turbo. Iíve also found it online for closer to $2k. Either option seems like far too much.
I found a UK forum post that suggested this is a common failure on the 1750tbi engines and was ďfixedĒ by an updated oil feed line. The same thread also said that the turbos can be repaired rather than replaced.
Now my question is, has anyone here repaired their turbo before, and which $200-300 ebay special cartridge did you use? The part number is 53049880090CHRA but there are multiple suppliers in China, Latvia and USA - they all appear to be the exact same Chinese part. Can anyone shed light on whether there is more than one manufacturer of this aftermarket part and which is the safer bet?

Alternatively, does anyone know of a second hand turbo in good nic for sale?

any advice appreciated


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Re: 2011 GQV turbo repair
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 09:18:24 PM »
update for anyone in the future with the same problem.
I found a supplier in the UK who seem to have the ďlegitĒ Mellet brand CHRA

$340 shipped to SA, took 4 days to arrive. Really simple job to swap it out, the hardest part was getting the whole turbo and manifold in and out of the pokey little engine bay.
Manifold gasket from Vlade Kuga at Arese Spares in Sydney

Pulling the turbo was easy enough, I took photos and notes as I went to make sure all the vacuum lines etc go back in the right places.

Putting it back together is a simple reverse of taking it off. Important to prime the oil feed pipe when installing so the new turbo doesnít start running dry.

I also pulled all of the intake pipes and cleaned them thoroughly and pulled the intercooler off and flushed it with degreaser and then metho. There was a lot of oil in there from the turboís leaky demise.
Replaced all the silly single use hose clamps with regular ones from the local parts shop. Much better seal on the ambient/low pressure side now than the wobbly factory clamps.

Changed the engine oil (possible cause of the turbo failure was diluted oil as it had been around 16,000km since the last service, oops)

Turned the engine over without starting a few times and let it sit in between to get the new oil flowing through the new turbo, then started her up and let it idle.

A few seconds of smoky exhaust gave me a heart attack but it came good.
Itís been a few days of driving now and sheís back to her old self.

The turbo must have been on its way out for a while because I had forgotten what itís like to be pushed back into my seat with every gear change.

Really glad to have it back on the road and all up cost me less than $500 in parts, compared to more like $5k alfa would have charged to replace the whole turbo and manifold

Colin Edwards

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Re: 2011 GQV turbo repair
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2021, 08:25:22 AM »
Great to learn it was a relatively straight forward fix. 

We have a 2020 Giulietta Veloce.  Would the turbo on this be identical to your 2011 GQV?  Does the GQV turbo feature water cooling like the Fiat / Alfa / Abarth 1400 Multiair?

I replace the engine oil (and filter) every 7500klm on the Giulietta and Abarth. 

2020 Giulietta Veloce
2018 Abarth 124 Spider
1987 75 3.0

2015 Giulietta QV
2009 159 3.2 Ti Q4
2012 Giulietta TCT Veloce
2006 147 Ti 2 door Selespeed
1979 Alfasud Ti 1.5


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Re: 2011 GQV turbo repair
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2021, 09:39:46 PM »
Hi Colin, as far as I can tell, yes the 2020 veloce would have the same turbo on practically the same engine (2020 model would have the alloy block same as the 4C?)
and yes, itís a water cooled Borg Warner K04 turbo. Iím pretty sure the only difference on the later models is the updated oil feed pipe which has been mentioned in many forum posts. this is likely part of the cause of my turbo failure so I have ordered the updated oil feed as well to be safe.

Iíll be doing much more frequent oil changes in the future as well - 7,500 seems reasonable and far better than the 10-15k intervals mine has had in the past.

other things I have learned from Vlade at Arese Spares is that it is essential to change the timing belt every ~45,000km, not 105,000 like my original service manual says. And while youíre at it, itís best to also change the water pump and right side engine mount as well and check the coolant expansion tank for cracks and replace where necessary. Apparently these are all common maintenance issues for the Giulietta and keeping on top of them will prevent costlier problems in the future


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Re: 2011 GQV turbo repair
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 09:52:59 PM »
Thanks for posting the info, Simon.  Could be handy in the future...though hopefully I never need to replace my turbo!

Oh, don't I know about cam belts in these engines, lol.  ::)

Giulietta QV TCT . 1.75 TBi . Magnesio Grey - Black
GT . 3.2 V6 . Q2 . Kyalami Black - Red
75 . 3.0 V6 . Alfa Red - Grey