I have a 1985 T Bird Turbo Coupe that smokes bad. I have done compression test and leak down test and all seems fine. I would like to keep the car but before i invest in a new turbo which is pricey i would like to know if there is someway i can be sure where the problem is. Can i run the car bypassing the turbo to see if it makes a difference? It’s fuel injected

Thanks, Dave Cross


Have you removed the intake boot between the turbocharger and intake to see if it’s grimy with oil deposits? If it is that could be a sign of leaking turbo seals.
(And I’m assuming here the smoke is bluish colored oil smoke.)

In retrospect, what kind of numbers do you have on your compression and leakdown tests? People have posted on here before with numbers in the 120 or even lower range and considered that great; which it is not.


I have found some oil in the boot. Yes the smoke is blue even at an idle As far as the numbers it was in the fall when i did it and dont remember. The car has been sitting since last year waiting for me to decide what to do. Like i said i really like the car but i dont want it to turn into a money pit trying all kind of fixes. My gut feeling is oil seals in the turbo.
Thanks Dave


You might consider rebuilding the turbo. You can get turbo rebuild kits for $100.00-$150.00 depending on the brand of turbo. I think your turbo is a Garret Air Research. And rebuilding a turbo isn’t that difficult. Just make sure you scribe the components before disassembly.

Also, to check if a turbo is rebuildable, rotate the turbo shaft by hand. If either the turbine or compressor blades come in contact with their housings, the turbo isn’t rebuidable and must be replaced.



Thanks for the info. Yes it is a Garret T03.I ordered a rebuild kit. Guess i’ll try it. Any secrets that you know of other than scribing. I know sometimes rebuilding things they dont tell you that you need to lube this first or turn this backward etc. but i guess i’ll learn.


Just use an assembly lube when reassembling the turbo. And before connecting the oil supply line, fill the center section with oil. Start her up!