How do I identify my turbo?
Identification tags on a turbocharger are normally located either on the front of the compressor cover, rear of the compressor cover on the backing plate or on the centre housing near the oil feed or oil drain...
Tags can vary quite a lot pending the turbocharger manufacturer, country in which it was manufactured, year in which it was manufactured as manufacturers tend to change their style of tag over time or from OEM requirements. Some turbo manufacturers such as IHI prefer to cast/engrave the turbocharger identification details on the compressor cover rather than use a tag.
I prefer IHI's method of identification as a tag can be removed, naturally just fall off or fall off during the cleaning process when reconditioning a turbocharger.
Regardless of all the above most turbochargers share common identification traits:
Model Number or Type:
This generally indicates the general size and/or type of turbocharger within a manufacturers range of turbochargers.
The specific part number of this turbocharger within the manufacturers specific range of turbochargers as mentioned above. This is best form of identification of your turbocharger for turbocharger specialists to identify your turbocharger.
The specific number for a specific turbocharger for the manufacturers reference to tell them from their records when the turbocharger was manufactured and/or when sold and to whom.
Customer Number or OEM Number:
This is the part number assigned to the turbocharger for a specific vehicle for a vehicle manufacturer. The tag may also show the logo of the vehicle manufacturer along with the turbocharger manufacturer. Performance turbochargers for generic use will not have an OEM number.
So how do you identify your turbocharger if the tag is missing?
Vehicle model, engine model and build date all assist in identifying turbochargers however I'm always reluctant to ship out a new turbocharger without the proper tag numbers since sometimes an owner or previous owner may have retrofitted a different type of turbocharger to his vehicle. An emailed or faxed image also assists in identification. In most cases we can tell you what type of turbocharger it is by just looking at it on our bench from years of experience however when it is an uncommon turbocharger missing a tag we may have to remove the compressor cover and turbine housing to measure the wheels to aid in its identification.
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