I have been holding off telling my tale of woe, hoping for a positive outcome, but your mention of comp turbo leads me to share this and I have left out quite a bit to simplify the story:
The turbo odyssey:
All cars have a culture around them. A non-working BMW turbo's culture is one where every car person you meet will know just what you should do to fix you BMW turbo problem.
But wait, let me go back to the beginning.
In 2009 I took my car to Sports Car Restoration and asked them if, amongst some other things, they would check the turbo. They did and found it wanting so they asked a turbo shop they knew, Eriksson Industries in Connecticut, to have a look see. They said they didn't have the parts to do a rebuild. So then SCR sent it to a shop named Durabuilt in Il., After many months, said they couldn't do it because there were no rebuild kits available. So I sent it to Hatton Marine after a recommendation from folks on the 2002FAQ site who had them rebuid two BMW KKK turbos and felt they did a good job.
After about 8 months Hatton told me they sent the case to a shop in Colorado as they didn't feel comfortable welding the aluminum in the shape it was in. They didn't like what the Colorado shop returned to them so they found and bought another case and used that returning the original case to me. It took quite a while but we got the turbo back and Sportscar installed it in the car which ran really great for the next few hours. But on a 2 hour drive back to NYC oil started coming past the turbo bearing and out of the altitude regulator creating a cloud of James Bondian white smoke. Back to Hatton Marine for another few months and then back to Sportscar who had no faith in Hatton's work as they had welded in an aftermarket bearing.
I called Sean Casey, the turbo guru here in the U.S., who said he had supplied the rebuild kit to Hatton and why hadn't they asked him for the correct bearings as well. He also said he was the one who had told Hatton to send the case to Colorado and it's normal that they would need to do some work on the case after they got it back.
Sportscar sent the Hatton repaired Turbo back to Durabuilt in Il. to have it checked out before they installed it again. Durabuilt seems to be run by one guy named Bob who tends to take his time. He wasn't happy with turbo we sent him and was about to write a report to us about it until he learned that Hatton Marine had done the rebuild. He does a lot of work for Hatton Marine and didn't want to do anything to mess up his business with them. He did eventually write sort of a report but this took another 6 months or so.
This all pretty ridiculousness at this point, no? Well it keeps going. Since Sportscar had no faith in Hatton's work I tried to come up with an alternative. I asked Sean Casey if he could build me a turbo from my original case that I gotten back from Hatton. He said send me the case and I'll see. I did that and he said, "This is just the case, you don't have any of the insides?" Nope I say. "Well we can't do anything with this," he tells me. I leave the case with him as I have nowhere else to send it
Durabuilt still had the Hatton rebuilt turbo and were being quite elusive about sending us that report. I read again on the 2002FAQ site about a 2002 turbo build that used a California shop to CNC a KKK style turbo for a 2002 Turbo. I contacted that shop, Comp Turbo in San Dina, California, and asked can they build a turbo inside the case I have that would match the KKK spec that was original to the car. Justin there told me that would be no problem soI had Sean send him my KKK case. On the phone Justin was clear about what he would do and that I would get an email from him detailing everything. When I never did get an email I started calling and he was hard to reach, uh oh. When I did reach him he was once again pretty confidant and in fact said he would have no problem working with the case I had Sean send him.
A couple of months go by and Sportscar Restorations gets the newly CnC'd turbo and calls me. Oh damn! Let’s see the studs are broken off and the housing is all fissured. Nor does it look like it will actually match the original turbos' specs. Apparently what I thought was a complete case was just one side. (I had just had the case sent from shop to shop and hadn’t seen it). Justin put on a new second side but it doesn't have the same connectors nor is it the same size as the original. The impeller they used is also too large compared to the original spec size.
Sportscar Restoration once again calls Durabuilt for advice. With a plan in place that is hopefully more detailed then the instructions I had originally sent Justin, both turbos went back out to Justin in California with the hope that the new turbo would be made to match the specs of the original. Two months go by and both turbos show up at my house. I don't even open the box, (which has the studs sticking out of it!) and take the sealed box up to Sportscar. Together we open the box and see the case is stilled fissured and though Comp Turbo has corrected some of the issues they haven't corrected all of the issues. The guys are Sportscar are somewhat dejected.
At this point its all too ridiculous for me and I'm starting to view it all as an art project, a process piece, like a Sol Lewitt instruction to a gallery, "send this turbo to Illinois then back to Connecticut then to Seattle then have them send it to Colorado then back to Seattle, then to Connecticut, then back to Seattle then back to Connecticut, then to Illinois, then to California then to Connecticut then to California then to NYC then to Connecticut then to Texas." I feel my research; much of it done on 2002.Faq has lead to no successful ideas and leave it in Sportscars hands to figure out a next step. They decide to send the two turbos I have down to Majestic in Texas who say, "You sent a turbo to Justin to work on! Hah, no wonder we are getting it, he has no idea what he is doing."
Majestic tell us that the spacers on the original turbo are damaged, perhaps when Bob at Durabuilt took the turbo apart to check, perhaps
somewhere else. They say there are no rebuilt parts available and they have never seen this sort of turbo before. They call Sean Casy to
see if he has any rebuild parts available and he says he sent his last kit to Hatton Marine. They tell me that Sportscar is going to look
around for parts for the turbo as none of us want them to take apart the Justin turbo and stick the non original parts into the original turbo.
Sportscar tells me that they are waiting for Majestic to find the parts!
Just got this from Nate at Sportscar Restoration:
"I have followed up with John (Majestic Turbo) regarding the two units. The destiny of the stock turbo is to eventually source the correct parts and reassemble. This may lead to a run of rebuild kits to justify the cost and make something available for your immediate situation and rest of the turbo owners out there. The turbine side will otherwise sustain damage if disassembled any further (this due to the tapered spacer installed by Bob at Durabilt.
Carl Nelson of La Jolla Independent has yet to source any bearing/seal parts. He is scheduled to speak with a Borg Warner representative next week. Borg Warner is the last possible source for factory rebuild parts.
The modern unit built by Comp Turbo can be used in combination with wastegate actuator or controlled boost leak due to it's larger compressor wheel and housing combination. Going this direction is a bit of a science experiment requiring fabrication and tuning time. I find this route to have potential, but strays from your original parameters of a functioning stock system.
I spoke with the previous owner of your car regarding spare turbocharger parts. He is not ready to sell either of his spare turbo units. John ( Majestic Turbo) recommended using factory compressor wheel/housing on your new unit due to the turbine wheel/housing being factory yielding a usable turbo for the car in it's current state.
I plan to speak with Carl and the cars previous owner next week to follow up on this week's conversations. Your cars previous owner has contact info for two additional/potential guys to service the factory unit. Carl will hopefully have a final answer from Borg Warner. John will speak with his bearing/seal suppliers regarding a minimum order of kits to make it worthwhile."
That was about two or so years ago. As this story is so crazy and byzantine I am not going to get into all my other conversations, with BMW about the turbo project they have been working on and how that had run off the rails, nor go into how a mechanic who works on a lot of turbos taking all my parts and making one good turbo that didn't actually work though "it should have" and I'll leave it here....to be continued!!! Ack!