Garrett T25 turbocharger replacement performed on a 1996 Saab 900. The procedure is more or less similar for all Saabs using the B204-B235 engine families. Use new copper crush washers for all banjo bolts. It is also a good idea to get a new oil feed line, or at least clean the old one from sludge and deposits.

This article describes replacing a stock turbocharger with another OEM unit. For upgrade information, refer to this document.

Tools and supplies:

  • 13 mm wrench and socket (downpipe and turbo nuts);
  • 12 mm wrench and socket (banjo bolts);
  • 10 mm wrench (turbo inlet pipe);
  • 8 mm socket (shield screws);
  • 7 mm socket (hose clamps), or flat screwdriver;
  • large pliers (oil return hose clamps);
  • torque wrench;
  • ratchet handle;
  • ramps or jacks and stands;
  • fresh oil and coolant.

 

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10.10.2005: Shields down
Raise the car and remove the lower shields (8 mm hex screws). If you have a 9-3, you might be able to access the radiator drain plug without removing the shield.

 

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10.10.2005: Drained fluids
Drain coolant, engine oil, and remove the oil filter.

 

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10.10.2005: Downpipe
Disconnect the downpipe from the turbo (three 13 mm nuts). If you have a subframe brace, you might need to remove that too to allow more room to move the downpipe aside.

 

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10.10.2005: Intake hose
Disconnect the return hose from the bypass valve if you have it (my car has a BOV). Remove the rubber elbow between the airbox and the turbo inlet pipe.

 

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10.10.2005: Oil lines
Unbolt the turbo oil feed line from the filter housing (12 mm socket), remove the oil return hose and undo the bolt that holds the turbo stay to the engine.

 

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10.10.2005: Coolant line
Undo the banjo bolt on the lower coolant line (12 mm socket). On newer cars the line goes to the water pump instead of the block. Put a catch pan under the car as there will be coolant dripping.

 

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10.10.2005: Coolant line
Undo the banjo bolt on the upper coolant line (12 mm socket) on the left side of the engine. Don't forget the pan again.

 

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10.10.2005: Banjo bolts
Disconnect all three lines from the turbo (more coolant drips) and remove the lines if you can. On my car, I was unable to unbolt the upper coolant line.

 

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10.10.2005: Turbo hoses
Remove the intercooler hose from the compressor housing. Unhook the BPC hoses. Unbolt the turbo inlet pipe. On T25+B204L, you might need to remove the brass BPC hose nipple to gain the access to an inlet pipe bolt.

 

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10.10.2005: Inlet pipe
Remove the turbo inlet pipe together with the metal PCV line (there are newer versions that allow you to unbolt the PCV line from the inlet pipe instead). Undo the nuts connecting the turbo to the exhaust manifold and pull the turbo down.

 

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10.10.2005: Old turbo
The turbo is removed from the car. You can see some of the lines still attached to it.

 

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10.10.2005: New vs old
The turbo is being replaced with a recently rebuilt unit.

 

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10.10.2005: Old vs new
Compare my old style inlet pipe to the new style (this one came from a 1999 9-3), which allows an easy access to the PCV pipe bolt.

 

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10.10.2005: Inlet pipe
With my new upgraded inlet pipe, I can bolt it to the turbo prior to installation and save myself some hassle. From this moment on, be extra clean, as even a tiny grain of sand can ruin your new turbo.

 

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10.10.2005: Back in
Put the new turbo back in, and don't forget a new gasket for the exhaust manifold flange.

 

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10.10.2005: Oil lines
Install the oil return hose. Pour some oil into the turbo and install the oil feed line.

 

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10.10.2005: Banjos
Start connecting the lines to the turbo. Consider new copper washers for all banjo bolts.

 

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10.10.2005: Coolant line
Connect coolant lines to the engine and tighten all six banjo bolts to 16 ft-lbs.

 

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10.10.2005: Manifold
Tighten the nuts on the exhaust manifold (18.5 ft-lbs).

 

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10.10.2005: Downpipe
Connect the downpipe to the turbo, and re-install the subframe brace if you had to remove it.

 

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10.10.2005: Intercooler hose
Fit the intercooler hose on the turbo, intake elbow and the BPC hoses. Connect the bypass valve return hose, as well as the PCV line.

 

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10.10.2005: Oil filter
Refit the oil filter, fill engine oil and coolant. Before starting the car, crank it with the ignition cassette harness unplugged to ensure there's enough oil in the turbo.

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