Remanufacturing Turbochargers at Owen Developments

04 August 2016

Why do we remanufacture turbochargers?


Due to rising global fuel prices and stricter emissions regulations turbocharged road cars have become the norm; some 65% of road cars in Europe are turbocharged with that figure expected to have increased to 85% by the end of this year. The United States isn’t far behind, with 40% of vehicles being turbocharged and that number set to increase as well.

This widespread adoption of turbocharging since the late 1990s had led a vast increase in the number of turbos manufactured for new production vehicles, which will reach 50 million per year at the end of the decade.  Manufacturing this many turbochargers consumes a significant amount of earth sourced materials and energy, some of which can be offset by remanufacturing used units. High-quality remanufactured units offer the same level of reliability and have the same life expectancy as brand new units, but at a reduced cost to the end user. When these schemes started the aim was focussed on supplying the end user with a replacement turbo at a reduced cost. Over the years the emphasis has changed towards sustainability and the importance of recycling and taking care of the planet we call home. 

Why pick Owens to remanufacture your turbo?

For 30 years Owens have been remanufacturing turbochargers for motor manufacturer’s exchange schemes, which have proved highly successful both for the manufacturer and customer alike. Owen Developments has been a remanufacturer of turbos for Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Subaru, Daihatsu and Toyota, as well as being the official remanufacturer for Hyundai UK.

Owen Developments are able to offer remanufacturing on historic units such as the Garrett MI63 on this Peugeot 405 T16 GR without altering the look or performance of the vehicle or engine bay

Owen Developments is also an experienced remanufacturer of motorsport turbochargers, from units designed and built in house, such as the current British Touring Car and Indy Lights turbos, to World Rally Championship turbochargers. It’s not just contemporary turbochargers we can remanufacture; we can also provide this service on a number of historic units, maintaining their historic performance and look but as a zero miles unit. Motorsport rebuilds are an extremely popular service and therefore we hold full stock lines and employ specific staff to ensure we have everything we need to turn a motorsport turbo around quickly. We know the problems and time restrictions involved and that the date of the event is the date of the event - it can't be changed; therefore we do try to make every effort to help in these circumstances.

We can offer rebuilds on any turbo, wastegate or BOV we stock as well as on products from other manufacturers. If you’re unsure if we could rebuild your turbo just give us a call or an email and we’ll advise you accordingly.

The Process


Once a turbo has arrived at Owens we look at the Turbo Inspection Form that came in with the turbo, this lets us know what problems the owner has experienced and lets us know what to expect when we dismantle the unit. The turbo is then stripped to its component parts ready for cleaning and inspection. There are some components which are discarded and replaced regardless of their condition, such as ring seals, as they are the first to fatigue and wear.


The parts then go through our five-stage cleaning process.  This may seem like overkill, but in order to inspect a unit for faults properly it must be clean, we have to remove any carbonised oil or fuel so we can see what we’re doing and so we don’t contaminate our VSR rigs later in the rebuild. Ferrous metals, especially if they’re cast, can rust very quickly once they’re cleaned this effectively so these parts are treated with a rust inhibitor to prevent corrosion. Some components are inspected as they are cleaned, such as bearing cartridges, as any debris present heavily indicates wear and damage.


With the turbo apart and cleaned we can now inspect the unit in detail. Any parts which are outside manufacturer tolerance, contaminated or damaged will be replaced with new parts. As the turbo is being inspected a report detailing any damage found and a quote for repair are prepared for the customer.

Assembly and Balancing

Once the go ahead had been given reassembling the turbo can begin. As the turbo has been used we will rebalance the turbine wheel and shaft; over time with wear some material will have been lost, so the shaft will usually be subtly out of balance.

With the shaft rebalanced the core can then be reassembled with new parts as needed and balanced on one of our VSR machines. At Owens we take pride in having extremely tight balancing tolerances and this extends to turbochargers we remanufacture; they all leave Owens balanced to a better standard than the OEM specifies. For a more detailed explanation of core balancing, follow this link.

With the core assembled and balanced the compressor cover and turbine housing will be reattached to the core in the correct orientation. If the flange face on the turbine housing is distorted it will be skimmed so the gasket can seal the join effectively.

Setting the Actuator

The wastegate actuator assembly is then re-fitted (assuming the turbo in question has one) and calibrated. This is an important step in ensuring reliable use, preventing overboosting and other potential problems.


The turbo is then given a final quality control inspection before it is signed off to leave. With the unit inspected it can then receive its Owen Developments tag and serial number, this way we can track the turbocharger’s past and keep record of its rebuild, balancing trace, who rebuilt it and so forth for future reference.

Owen Developments

Owen Developments is one of Europe’s premier high performance forced induction specialist, with a proven track record of supplying turbochargers to a global customer base covering the motorsport, performance aftermarket and OEM sectors. Owen Developments are the sole turbo suppliers to the BTCC, MINI Challenge and Indy Lights.



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Owen Developments Ltd
28 Kingston Business Park
Kingston Bagpuize
OX13 5AS

t: 01865 821062
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