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Engine - Turbo & Block Modifications and upgrades to maximize your Dodges turbo output & Improving strength and durability - pistons to crank.

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Old 10-06-2009, 05:57 PM   #1
Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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Nice little road trip 3 weeks ago, NY to VA, in the '89 Shelby. When I get there I notice a new noise, seems that when the boost comes in there is a howling-whining noise, not screaming loud, but definitely noticeable. Kind of like a soft train horn. it's there from when the boost starts to about 6 psi. above that you don't hear it. Oil level (synthetic) is good, gave a quick look and didn't see any vacuum lines off, car ran fine. SO is this the sound of impending turbo doom, or just some quirk I have hunt down?

Update: Changed the oil (Mobil 1), found a hose off on the aircleaner box, reattached that, repositioned clamp on intercooler bottom hose. Noise is still there, somewhat softer though.

BTW, if I were to put the car on a lift and run it with the wheels off the ground, would I be able to build up boost or would the lack resistance to the engine prevent that?

(it's an "89 Shelby TII 5 speed (essentailly stock)
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:16 PM   #2
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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Some turbo whines a bit, if it isn't not causing any problem, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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pretty much all turbos have that slight whistle to them when they're spooling up but if your hearing a howling noise then your compressor wheel is probably touching the housing due to the bearings having to much play in them. you can test by pulling the intake pipe off and grabbing the nut that holds the compressor wheel on and wiggling it back and fourth. The only issue with doing this test is that its a "feel" thing and if you havn't felt what a good one is supposed to feel like then this test is useless..

Howeverm you can take a mirror and flashlight and look inside the inlet of the turbo and see if the housing has been contacted by the compressor wheel. if so then its junk and time to rebuild it or replace it.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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I would see if the blades make contact as well. Then if it does get rid of the center section. I rebuild my turbos a lot, $40 to rebuild a Garret. It is a good idea to freashen them up every few years to keep them in new condition. That and it is too easy to do..
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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Mine was "howling" for a time. It started out soft and then became a high pitched whistle. Turned out to be a leaking intercooler hose. Nothing major.

That's not to say you shouldn't check the turbo though. Cover all your bases.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:08 PM   #6
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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your car will not make much boost on a lift unless you hold the brakes enuff to spool the turbo
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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Mine makes that "train horn" noise when the intercooler hoses pop off. Hope that helps
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:15 PM   #8
Re: Why is my turbo howling at the moon??  
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Turned out to be the hose from the intake to the PCV split down the middle of the underside. The hose was fairly new, under 10K on it. New from the dealer, no reenforcement in there, just plain formed rubber.

FYI, I was only about to get to boost up to 2 PSI on the lift, when I let off the brakes and kept the gas pedal in place the engine revved up to about 4500 RPM. So getting boost on the lift is a yes/no, yes you can, no not very much.

Just glad I don't need to replace the turbo.
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