Click for high-resolution photo (turbo on the left is fake, turbo on the right is genuine)
Yesterday we had an interesting question to the guys working at Maptun Performance from one of our readers. He asked why some turbos cost between 2-300 dollars and the one from Maptun was so expensive? The answer was pretty simple, most often the cheap turbos out on the market are faked copies as Maptun only sell genuine turbos. After a bit of research we’ve even found that some companies sell these faked copies as genuine at the price of a genuine turbo.
So how do you know if what you’re buying is the real thing or a copy?. The answer, look for the logo. On all TD04HL Mitsubishi turbo’s which was used by Saab in the high power models of the 9-5 and 9-3, has the Mitsubishi logo on the exhaust housing right next to the beginning of the article number of the turbo, as seen on the turbo on the top (logo 89-11300). The fake copy version on the left does not have a logo but only the article number of the product.
By comparing the fake copy, on the left and the genuine on the right, you’ll also see that the waste-gate is of a much weaker construction than the genuine (right) version which often lead to waste-gate failure and also miss-alignment of the waste-gate compared to what is commanded by the engine management software.
When replacing a turbo with one you’ve bought compare the fan-blades of the compressor as these are normally of a much more rough cut and not as well machined in the copied version compared with the genuine. Reduced performance and failure is fairly common with these copied version, especially on tuned cars.
Garrett GT1752 turbos normally used on all low-pressure turbo engines in Saab has the name GARRETT written on the compressor housing, the copied versions do not have this text but only the type GT1752 written on it. There are many companies selling faked versions of the GT17 which is only natural as its widely used in many brands around the world.