We are seeing more and more thrust bearing failures on PTE turbos. Even though PTE uses the same rebuild kits as TO4E garrett, Comp Turbos, and some turbonetics, they are failing because pte is using a steel thrust bearing. The steel is stronger but it doesn’t not dissipate the heat as well as the brass. All turbo manufactures that make turbochargers trucking companies, automotive manufactures, machinery, etc use brass thrust bearings. Some aftermarket kits use steel thrust bearings, but we highly recommend not using them. The result of the failure is that turbine shaft welds itself to the thrust collar because so much heat is generated do to the metal thrust bearing. Changing out the metal thrust bearing with a brass one will prevent these failures. The failure usually happens within 2,000 miles of use. The metal thrust bearings are very sensitive if they are not oiled properly, with the correct oil weigh and oil pressure. I recommend changing out the metal thrust bearing with a brass bearing, mainly because the brass bearing removes heat better and will prevent the turbine shaft from fusing itself to the thrust collar.
What happens is the heavy rotating assembly pulls on the rotating assembly and loads the thrust system. The higher the boost level, the higher the thrust load. The friction from the steel-on-steel thrust system causes heat to build rapidly when the improper oil is used, and the result is the thrust washer (which is the thinnest part of the entire thrust system) overheats and explodes causing the failure. The use of a steel thrust plate is not necessary though I have seen that Force Performance had used some steel thrust bearings in the past as well. From what I could tell from the turbos i received for rebuild, fp used started out with brass thrust bearings, then changed to steel bearings, and then changed back to brass thrust bearings. The steel bearings are causing more failures when they were meant to help with durability. As the old saying goes “If its not broke don’t fix it.” You don’t need to use a steel thrust plate on a turbo with a thrust system that is well-designed in order to gain necessary durablilty, proven by BW, Holset, Mitsubishi, and Garrett. However it is necessary to use a 360 degree thrust bearing for performance applications. It is also very important to use and upgraded thrust bearing kit for the mitsubishi turbo chargers that are using an upgraded rotating assembly. The upgraded thrust bearing kits come with a thicker thrust collar, thrust spacer, and 2 oil ports on the thrust bearing for maximum strength. We have had no failures from manufacture defects from the parts that we use in our turbos. We highly recommend people that want to build their own turbos to buy the correct kits from us, so you know you will have the reliability and strength of a Turbo Lab built turbo. You can order the proper rebuild kit here:
We offer a Reverse rotation rebuild kit here:
Evo9 turbo rebuild kit reverse rotation on Square Market