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Cleaning turbo do or don't?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Prospective, May 22, 2018.

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  1. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    Likely a dumb question that will reveal my lack of knowledge on Diesels but what the heck...

    I pulled the canister air filters off my Volvo TAMD74 engines to clean and replace them. They are attached to the side of the Turbos. With them off I can see directly into the turbo housing and the impeller blades. They are sooted and I was wondering if I should attempt to clean them, and if so, how. I didn't do anything as the boat is running fine and I don't create a problem that doesn't exist. But my pathological urge to clean stuff that is dirty has made me wonder.
  2. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I've never done it, but I've heard of folks "cleaning" the turbo with a soap and water spray. Greater minds than mine will soon jump on here with knowledgeable advice! I'm just a lonely guy and respond with useless advice....
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Years ago, this question came up. Please do some searches on YF.
    The low / air side does take some abuse from crank case vents (Walker, Racor).
    It may be just a thin oil film but any thing can slow a turbine down a micro amount and MAY cause reduced turbo boost.
    The larger concern is the condition of the inter-cooler that you can't see. This is where all mfg's have issues and recommended service / replacement intervals.
    Just think of that oil film, dust, salt, other blown onto the thin walls of your inter-cooler.
    Look in there if you can also.

    Then, exhaust silt on the exhaust side could really turn your stomach. Virgin and clean fuel at load usually burns this off.

    Of course, this does not apply to my Detroits; :D:D;)
  4. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    I have never done it myself, but I have heard of turbochargers being cleaned to remove carbon, soot, and exhaust deposits. The cleaning of the turbocharger is carried out when the engine is running. If the blower side cleaning is not carried out, then the supply of air to the engine can be reduced, resulting in lack of of air and poor combustion combined with black smoke. Fresh water is used for washing the blower side of the turbocharger while the engine is running at its full load rpm to achieve best possible cleaning results, but I am not certain how it is done.
  5. domenicis

    domenicis New Member

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    There is a product called turbo wash and it is mixed with water and sprayed in under load
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Have you noted any reduction in performance?
    If not, don't do anything but follow the mgf maintenance schedule.
    Please re-read #3 above.
    It's usually the inter coolers that take the first restrictions. You did not spec your engine model.
    Later engines will offer boost or pressure data at a few points. These have hopefully been tracked in your records.

    Although there are water based products out there, I am very leery of a DIYr spraying water into an engine device at any time.
    There are folks out there who have done this and the engine survived. No results reported if any performance was found and no blown motor results reported either.

    My last advise; Never kick a sleeping dog..