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Old 02-21-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Olympia , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 35
Wanted: a turbo for a 1981 6BD1A Isuzu engine (out of my 1983 Airstream 310

Yes, the turbo on my 1981 Isuzu turbo diesel is leaking badly causing oil to be injected and thus creating a beautiful smoke screen.

The engine is the Isuzu 6BD1A....Year: 1981 in my 1983 Airstream 310 TurboDiesel.

I am going to attempt to remove it just as soon as the weather warms up a bit here in Olympia, WA.

Any leads on how to do this and if I can get a rebuilt, or new turbo for this beast would be greatly appreciated.

Russell Decker
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:20 PM   #2
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Should be plenty out there rebuilt. I believe you need a turbo from a 1981 6BD1T engine. I think the Isuzu NPR of that era had it.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:12 PM   #3
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,805
The person you need to PM, (he's in his 1985 325 turbo diesel in Arizona right now) is Shepherd57. John had to replace his turbo entirely and I'm not sure which Garret model he used, (Garrett 7?). I do know the compressor housing has to be rotated for it to fit, and he had to slightly grind something for clearance.

Good luck
Sidekick Tony
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“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.” "Harry S Truman"
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:05 PM   #4
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,916
I have a Garrett number in my records but I don't remember the source. It is a Garrett, # 409080-9012. The original unit was supplied by BAE and they are still in business.

BAE Turbo Systems Inc.
Manufacturing Division
2275 Huntington Drive Suite 421
San Marino, California 91108
United States of America
(626) 576-7778 Phone
(626) 289-5576

Just remember it is a low pressure turbo because it is a naturally aspirated engine and doesn't have oil spray under piston coolers and other modifications that a true turbo engine has.
Cheers, Dan

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Old 02-22-2019, 09:09 AM   #5
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2018 27' Globetrotter
Jacksonville , Florida
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Diesel Powerhouse rebuilds turbos. 9048797440

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Old 04-10-2019, 10:33 AM   #6
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1983 31' Airstream310
Olympia , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 35
UPDATE on the turbo for my 310....

Hi everybody....

I just wanted to throw out a hearty THANK YOU for those responding to this thread. I value the expertise that many of you have on these beautiful motor homes.

Here was the problem I was experiencing.....SMOKE!!! Yes, I was blowing TONS of smoke mainly at low speeds. The smoke was oil burning. I did a bit of research and found out that the probable cause was a bad turbocharger. I did spend a little money to have a professional mechanic verify my suspicions when I was in Arizona. Now, the problem was....Where in the world do I get a new turbo? Or, if the turbo could be replaced. The Isuzu dealer in Tucson said that they could get a new turbo, but the cost would be $5,700 just for the part, not the labor. Well, after I picked myself off of the ground, I told them 'thanks, but no thanks'. I would just get it back home to Olympia, WA and do the work myself. (no, I have never dealt with a turbo before!). Well, with all the burning oil and dripping oil due to very bad seals inside the turbo, I used a little over 4 gallons of oil to keep the levels up. Even though the oil was blowing out of the turbo, I was still getting 12 MPG!

When I got the motorhome home to Olympia, I did a bit of research and found a company called "Turbo Technology, Inc" in Tacoma, WA. With the help of a friend who is a professional mechanic, we removed the turbo from my Airstream motorhome. I took it to Tacoma to be rebuilt. They did indeed rebuild it with a brand new internal 'cartridge' all for under $800. (a far cry from $5,700!!!!) I brought it back home and installed the turbo myself.....VOILÁ works. NO smoke!!! The old turbo cartridge was so bad, you could wiggle the vanes about a 1/4" side to side!!! Yes, YIKES.

But.....I still had a leak. With a little help, it was determined that one of the two tranny lines going to the radiator was leaking. I went down to my local parts store and bought a 4 foot piece of steel line - 3/8" OD with the 5/8" nuts on the ends. Bend here, bend there, and it fit! No need for cutting and re-flaring.

After checking all the fluid levels, no leaks, no smoke. Yes, I did perform a total oil change, as suggested by the turbo people. Now my Airstream 310 Turbo Diesel is ready for its next adventure.

So, if you are in the same situation, those Garrett AR Turbos CAN be rebuilt. My hats off to Turbo Technology, Inc. out of Tacoma, WA. They are awesome.

Russell Decker, Olympia, WA
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:02 AM   #7
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Russell, there's nothing better than reading a success story


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Old 04-10-2019, 05:53 PM   #8
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champaign , Illinois
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Right on!!!! Good research and good work!
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