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Tips and Tricks for Gen1 Cruze Turbo Replacement

16271 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Christopher_2
Tips and Tricks for Gen1 Cruze Turbo Replacement

I didn't get enough pictures to make a complete tutorial for this one, but I'll try to walk you through the process, and focus instead on the difficult parts. I've had people tell me this was a pretty difficult job, but I didn't find that to be the case once you figure out a few key aspects. I recommend having a means of alternate transportation available in case you need to run to the hardware store for anything.

Tools Required
- 17mm wrench
- E-socket set
- Metric hex bit set
- Metric socket set
- Torx bit set
- Flathead screwdriver
- Pliers
- Flex extensions (Available on
- lb-in and lb-ft torque wrenches

Parts Required:
- 2 gallons of 50/50 coolant mix (or 1 gallon 100% with 1 gallon distilled water to mix yourself)
- Shallow bucket/pan
- Turbo gasket (Available on
- Turbo oil return pipe (Available on
- Turbo oil feed line (Available on
- 8 Exhaust manifold nuts (Available in a pack on

Note: you technically only need to replace the seals on the turbo oil return pipe and the turbo oil feed line, but with the return pipe being brittle and breaking easily, and the feed line having o-rings that do the same, and the price being not much more to just get entire new kits, it's better to just replace them altogether.

Always remove the negative battery terminal when working on your car.

1. Start by removing the downpipe. That's the exhaust pipe containing the catalytic converter that comes right off the turbo. Use some penetrating oil if you need to. The downpipe bolts won't come off easily so use some heat if you need to. There's a hidden bracket bolt as well in front of the oil pan that you need to remove, and a bracket it is connected to. Remove this bracket as well! If you don't remove it, you won't have enough clearance to get the coolant lines off.

2. Remove the heat shield on the turbo and the turbo oil feed line as explained in this tutorial: Also remove the anchors for the bolts that hold the heat shield on.

3. Remove the wastegate actuator. You'll need this off to get access to the copper nuts.

4. Remove the intake, and disconnect the bypass valve.

5. The turbo is being held on by a series of copper nuts. These are one-time use. The most difficult one to get to will be the lower passenger side bolt. I have a trick for this. Use a socket on a flex extension to get to it. If you decided not to buy the flex extensions, you're going to hate life for about 15 minutes trying to get that one nut off. Remove all copper nuts except the one on the top right, leaving it barely threaded on, so the turbo doesn't fall off. Should look like this (but with the wastegate actuator off)

6. Drain the coolant, following this tutorial:

7. Next, get underneath the car, and you should have a clear view of the turbo. First, remove the turbo oil return line. Disconnect it from the turbo first. On the engine block side, it simply lifts out.

8. Using the 17mm wrench, take your time to loosen and disconnect the coolant lines, starting with the bottom one, then going to the top. Note, even though you drained the coolant from the system already, you'll still lose quite a bit of coolant in this step, so be prepared for the waterfall. This is a departure from the GM procedure which has you removing the coolant lines from the block, not the turbo. You'll be glad you separated the turbo from the engine block at this point as you'll have much more clearance to work under there.

9. Once the cooler lines are off, you can remove the turbo from the engine bay.

10. Put everything back together in reverse order. Torque specs are as follows:

- Turbo copper nuts: 71 lb-in. See attachment for tightening sequence.
- Turbo oil return line: 71 lb-in
- Turbo banjo bolt: 15 lb-ft
- Turbo feed pipe retaining bolt: 71 lb-in


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