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How can I tell if my turbo's have ceramic or metal turbines without taking them apart. Someone once told me that the ceramics spool-up quicker, is this true and would I be able to tell? My car is an R33 GTR and it's been running 1.2 bar of boost ever since it came over from Japan. I know this is over the top for ceramic internals which is why I am hoping they are metal. I just need a bit of reassurance!
 

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I've heard 1 bar, 1.1, 1.3 being the max on the stock ceramic turbos. Ceramics do spool quicker but can shatter under extreme heat conditions or during some particularly nasty detonation in the exhaust tract, like that anti-lag that WRC cars use. I think the Japanese think 1.3 is the max on stock ceramics, but then again they have better gas over there. Did you remap your car for your local gas? I think it's avoiding detonation that's the main thing.

btw, if you do blow a turbo, pray that your foot is on the gas, and the bits will shoot out the tailpipe. If you lift right when it shatters, the vacuum will suck the bits into your intake, which I think is not so good.

AFAIK, there is no way to tell without actually taking a visual look at the turbine inside the housing. You don't have to disassemble the turbo, just the intake pipes so you can take a look at the innards.
 

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kismetcapitan said:
AFAIK, there is no way to tell without actually taking a visual look at the turbine inside the housing. You don't have to disassemble the turbo, just the intake pipes so you can take a look at the innards.

You cant tell by looking in the intakes. You need to look into the turbine (Exhaust) side by removing an elbow. If the nut in the centre is a 12 point, they're ceramic.

Regards
 

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NigelR32 said:
You cant tell by looking in the intakes. You need to look into the turbine (Exhaust) side by removing an elbow. If the nut in the centre is a 12 point, they're ceramic.

Regards
my bad, got it backwards. 12 point eh? how many points on a steel wheel center nut? Aren't the ceramic wheels whitish in color? My engine is out which is why I'm asking, ought to take another look myself at my own turbos.
 

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The Ceramic wheels are white, but stain with use. Some people assume the turbo's they have are ceramic, because the wheels are non magnetic...ALL the wheels are non-magnetic.

The nut in the centre is either 3 or six sided on a "Steel" turbo, in my experience.
 

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One of the tuners may have a borescope? they could remove the Oxygen sensor and look that way.
 

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NigelR32 said:
The Ceramic wheels are white, but stain with use. Some people assume the turbo's they have are ceramic, because the wheels are non magnetic...ALL the wheels are non-magnetic.

The nut in the centre is either 3 or six sided on a "Steel" turbo, in my experience.
righto, going to take a look at the nut again, but it looked dingy white to me when I had a look see this weekend, which means ceramic.
 

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kevinarnold said:
simple way to tell is stick i fridge magnet on the exhaust wheel, if it sticks its got to metal doesnt it?
nope, as per a previous post, metal they use is non-magnetic

mook
 

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i have a three sided nut on the inlet side (IIRC)....that means its steel blades on the exhaust then?

i just put a magnet to it and thought it was ceramic..be very cool if its steel!!
 

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So thats a ceramic?

i remember a odd 3 sided nut, cant remember what side it was on but from what you have said its 12 both sides for the ceramic anmd less for the steel?
 

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i assume so, thats both sides of the ceramics i just took off my '95 GTr

mook
 

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One way of telling without dissembling

The Steel internal ones take a lot longer to spool down when you shut the engine off, [park on a concrete floor in a garage to maximise the sound] so if you have a friend that knows exactly which type they have you could compare the amount of time it takes for them to stop rotating.
 
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