bt50 turbo timer

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 07:13
ThreadID: 135167 Views:7017 Replies:5 FollowUps:12
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has anyone got any firm ideas re the need for fitting a turbo timer to a Mazda BT 50 2015, 40,000klms, 3.2 5cyl auto? Some say its essential, some say its a waste of money? Whats some owners opinions?
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Reply By: Kazza055 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 07:45

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 07:45
"Some say its essential, some say its a waste of money?" Add to that it is illegal to leave a car unattended and running.

In the old days of added turbo's they might have been OK but not these days. How often do you go from 100k/h to stop withing 30 seconds? Most the time you slow down way before you come to a stop, plenty of time to allow the turbo to spool down and cool.

Bit like running the motor for 15 minutes before taking of in the morning - just take it easy for a short distance before taking of at a great rate. This is my pet hate in caravan parks.
AnswerID: 612201

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:37

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:37
The instructions for the early Discovery diesels was to idle them for 11 seconds. In addition to the slow arrival driving give the motor 10 seconds before switching off. If you put a turbo timer in you will be waiting around for a few minutes so you don't get pinged for leaving your motor running unattended.

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FollowupID: 882375

Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 08:05

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 08:05
How have you been led to believe it needs a turbo timer?
When turbos first came out they were not watwr cooled in the body of the turbo bearing area. Hence required cooling down so the oil in the turbo sump didn't turn to charcoal because of heat soak from the exhaust scroll.

Your turbo, like all other BT50's have a water cooling to remove heat from the area.
It is unwise to stop quickly any vehicle immediately, but if you slow down and pull up, simply let the engine run for a short time while you undo your seat belt and apply the handbrake and take it out of drive/gear. If you enter a town which means slowing down, the turbo will cool and ready for shutdown when you stop.
No you don't need one like all the others don't either.
AnswerID: 612202

Follow Up By: Member - Jim B8 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 08:19

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 08:19
Good point, are you 100% sure re the water cooled?
I was advised by a mechanic that they arent water cooled on the 4 cylinder 2.2 litre models, maybe the 3.2's are different?
He says that it would be a different story if it was water cooled.Maybe its a model thing?
FollowupID: 882358

Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 13:31

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 13:31
Jim - Turbo timers are a device designed for heavy trucks and equipment, driven by careless, unfeeling operators and drivers.

In the case of heavy prime movers, hauling substantial weights and often, multiple trailers, over undulating and hilly terrain, there is a need for "engine temperature equalisation" after pulling up, after a long stretch of heavy pulling.

Engines develop hot spots and the problem areas are in exhaust valves, exhaust manifolds, and turbochargers. That is why most heavy vehicles have pyrometers.
I used to own a '72 Mack with the Maxidyne motor, and Mack were strident on the need to watch exhaust gas temperature and how EGT was to never exceed 900 degrees F or valve damage would result.

On a hot night, pulling a full load up a long grade, the old Mack would hang a dull flame out the end of the exhaust pipe! (which came out in front of the rear wheel and which could be seen in the rear-vision mirror).

Often I have pulled up after a long run with a vehicle at night, opened the bonnet immediately, and seen the entire manifold glowing a dull red!

In the early days of turbochargers, they were very free-spinning devices with heavy impellers and compressor wheels, and these units took a long time to slow down, and had a response lag due to their weight.

It was all-too-common for operators/drivers to shut engines down quickly without engine temperature equalisation and without allowing time for the turbocharger to spool down.

Another common stunt was revving the engine just before shutdown. This was a technique learnt on old petrol truck engines - it dragged a lot of cool air into the engine as it wound down with the ignition off, and this assisted in valve and combustion chamber cooling.

However, this technique is a no-no with the diesels - but it didn't get through to a lot of operators/drivers when they moved on to diesels in the '50's and 60's.

In a modern 4WD, a turbo-timer is pretty much unnecessary, even if you are pulling maximum GCM with a big 'van or trailer - provided you allow around a minute for engine temperature equalisation when you pull up after a long run in high temps and with a heavy load.

Many turbochargers are water-cooled today to equalise heat loading - but the Mazda BT50/Ford Ranger turbocharger is not water cooled.
The EGR valve in the Mazda BT50/Ford Ranger is water-cooled, but the turbo isn't.

(couldn't find any Mazda engine specifications, but because the drive train is identical to the Ranger, these engine specs apply to the Mazda BT50 as well).

Modern turbochargers have light weight impellers and compressor wheels, and they are very responsive, and speed up and slow down probably 3 times faster than the early turbochargers.

Normally, a turbo timer is not really a necessary addition to a modern 4WD, unless you are hauling maximum gross weights in high ambient temperatures, and unless you're the type of driver who has little engine feel, and shuts down the engine, the instant the vehicle stops rolling.

However, the Ford/PSA 3.2L engine fitted to the Mazda BT50 and Ranger is known to have some "issues", and amongst them is occasional turbocharger failure.

Some of these failures are linked to poor quality bearings and other QC issues.
The 3.2L turbos are made in India, which leaves some lingering suspicion over their long-term reliability.

Some of the turbo failures are obviously poor-maintenance issues, with careless repairs and dirt ingestion leading to turbo failure.

Rather than pouring money into a turbo timer, I would investigate an upgraded aftermarket, performance turbocharger, which usually has better quality bearings, is better balanced, has better QC, and which has improved vane design for improved air flow, leading to improved engine performance and more power.

Ranger 3.2L engine "issues"

XPT aftermarket performance turbo for Ranger

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 612209

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 19:49

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 19:49
I can't see anything which indicates a BT50 or Ranger doesn't have a water cooled turbo. Most makes do have water cooled turbos for life reasons. Water cooled EGR has nothing to do with the issue. The rate they speed up in relation to older turbos is irrelevent.
FollowupID: 882394

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 22:29

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 22:29
RMD - Well, here are multiple photos of a new Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50, 5 cyl, 3.2L Duratorq engine turbocharger.
The black device is the electronic actuator for the variable vanes - because this engine uses a variable-geometry turbocharger.

If you are still convinced the 3.2L Duratorq turbocharger is water-cooled, I'd be very pleased if you could point out the coolant passageways and coolant connections that it possesses, according to you!

I've been around diesel turbochargers since 1965, and I can assure you, I've replaced hundreds of them, and had hundreds apart - and I know the difference between a water-cooled turbo and a non-cooled turbo.

FollowupID: 882400

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 22:47

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 22:47
Quote - "The rate they speed up in relation to older turbos is irrelevent."

Yes, that statement is true - but you only quoted part of my statement.

I said, "they are very responsive, and speed up and slow down probably 3 times faster than the early turbochargers."

The important part I was getting at, is the current turbocharger turbine wheels, slow down rapidly because of their light weight - as compared to the older, heavier turbocharger turbine wheels, that kept spinning, long after the engine was shut down - and long after the pressurised oil that lubes the bearings, stopped being supplied by the oil pump.

As a result, there was a risk with older turbochargers keeping on running for a period, after a fast shutdown - without oil being supplied to the bearings.
This naturally leads to increased turbocharger bearing wear.

In addition, there is another and even greater problem with rapid shutdown for turbos - and it is heat soak.
An engine shut down quickly with a very hot turbocharger results in the oil in it, being "cooked".

This "cooking" of the residual oil in the turbocharger leads to deposits of oil varnish and nasty chunks of carbon residing in the turbocharger oil gallery.

This buildup of nasty burnt oil deposits can lead to oil gallery blockages, damage to turbocharger bearings, and reduced levels of lubrication reaching the turbocharger bearings - and therefore, turbocharger failure.
FollowupID: 882401

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 16:18

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 16:18
Ron, where did you hear about these turbo failures on the 3.2l ranger/bt50 engines.

I can't even find one failure on the Newranger or Australian ford forums even with people installing 3 inch exhausts with the danger of the turbos over spooling.
FollowupID: 882419

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 21:41

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 21:41
Tony, there's one 3.2L turbo failure outlined in the link below ...

Ford Ranger engine failure

I've personally seen 3 turbo failures on mining company vehicles, one of which resulted in total engine failure. 2 were sighted in auction yards, one in the link below - [see "ACCIDENT DAMAGED: ’13 Ford Ranger Dual Cab(engine)].
As you can see from the photo, the Ranger hasn't been in an accident, it's unmarked, it just had a U/S engine.

Ross's Auctions

Reviewer "Macca" on Product Review, reports a blown turbo, followed by a blown engine (page 3) ...

On page 4 of Product Review, reviewer "Nick0489" reports a turbo failure and "dusted" engine.
He reports Ford blamed it on "excessive dust in the air filter".
Sounds to me, more like an intake hose failed when the air filter became excessively clogged.

Product Review - PX Ranger

Overall, a fair number of "unhappy campers" amongst the PX Ranger owners on the above site.
I have found Product Review to be a fairly honest site, with reviewers being asked to present proof of purchase. (I reviewed my Hilux there and they wanted to see the contract).

There is likely to be more turbo failures not listed amongst the corporate world.
I have heard from a mining associate that BHP has had a number of problems with the Ford 3.2L engines, not all of them turbo-related.

I've also had reports from South African friends that there have been turbo failures in SA with the 3.2L engine, and I have found them listed on SA forums.

Turbo problems on new Rangers? (South African forum)

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 882432

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 22:56

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017 at 22:56
What a backwards step to fit a non water cooled turbo and also have it sourced from India too. Perhaps it has a larger than normal oil flow supply to take heat from the turbo housing in the absence of water cooling.
FollowupID: 882435

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 06:05

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 06:05
Ron, thanks for that but you and I know you should never use mining as a bench mark for any make of vehicle problems. I have a bit of inside info on new model vehicle that is being used in the mining industry and they have had quite a few engine and gearbox failures. I wouldn't even bother with printing any of it due tot what happens in mining.

The South African Rangers are not imported into Australia.

To put the perceived turbo problems into perspective, there would be between 50,000 and 75,000 PX rangers running around Australia.

Couple of the known common faults are the hose from the intercooler cool slide to the engine can split and there were software problems with some of the autos, although that seems to have quietened down of late.
FollowupID: 882438

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 09:53

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 09:53
"The South African Rangers are not imported into Australia."

That may be true - but the Ford/PSA Duratorq 3.2L engine is a "global engine" and it is sold in a large number of countries with only slight modifications, and fitted to quite a range of vehicle models.

I consider South African operating conditions to be very similar to Australia, unlike North American, British and European conditions, where ambient temperatures, road conditions and hazards encountered are substantially different.

Manufacturers are not concerned with 100% engine reliability and infallibility.
I've been informed from a reliable source within manufacturing that they aim for a reasonably low failure figure, that is "acceptable" to them.

To an owner, engine failure is a disaster. To a manufacturer, it's merely an opportunity to sell more parts and components, and improve their bottom line.
They don't really care if 1 in 2000 engines fails due to a manufacturing fault or some other reason related to poor design. That kind of numbers doesn't affect sales in any serious manner.

The engine problems we have today, with current engines, are related to increasing complexity and a "low tolerance" style of construction.
A "low tolerance" engine has little tolerance to going out of spec, or coping with a component failure, or tolerating some kind of owner ignorance.

The old engines from pre-emission control days were "high tolerance" engines, they could cope with wear in components, adverse operating conditions, owner/driver/operator abuse and ignorance - and they would keep running.

Today, we have engines that run on very tight tolerances, they have little margin for wear, so construction materials have been improved to try and lower wear.
However, if an adverse event happens (hose failure, dirt ingestion, overheating, etc), then the engine fails rapidly, and in a big way.

Todays fuel injectors are a typical "low tolerance" item, they run at half the clearance of the older injectors, as well as incredible pressures, with the resulting low tolerance to dirt and water.

The Duratorq design has a number of "European" features that I consider undesirable. A water-cooled EGR valve that is prone to failure on an unacceptably high basis. This device is complex in its construction and is obviously prone to manufacturing faults that only appear after some use. An EGR cooler failure results in a seriously-damaged engine.

The coolant hose abrasion problem, which was a simple, poor assembly design, appears to have been fixed with a recall. There may be a number of engines out there that missed the recall, this is common, due to the poor Ford response as regards carrying out recalls - and also due to owners doing their own maintenance.

The Duratorq engine utilises bearing shells with no locating tang - unlike earlier designs. The tang was originally a standard design in all bearing shells that ensured proper location of the bearing shells and to ensure they did not spin inside the conrod or block.
The Duratorq bearing shells have no tang and are merely clamped in position by the tightness of the main bearing cap, or the conrod bearing cap.

As a result, if you are lax with maintenance and do not change oil regularly, or use an incorrect type of oil, the bearing shells are likely to "grab" and spin in their housings. Once again, a low tolerance to abuse. The old engines would run happily with oil like tar.

You are correct, the number of engine failures with the Duratorq engine is still relatively low, as compared to the number of vehicles in use.
However, they are a complex engine with a need for particular care in operation, frequent servicing and regular inspection to pick up potential developing problems, and owner knowledge of the situations and conditions that they will not tolerate.

Here's a list of Duratorq 3.2L recalls and known faults. I don't believe this is an entirely complete list, and there are other, known faults that owners need to be on the alert for.

Ford Ranger (2011-on) recalls and Ford-recognised faults
FollowupID: 882443

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Jul 01, 2017 at 05:01

Saturday, Jul 01, 2017 at 05:01
Ron, you said they were having turbo failures and that is not correct. Australian bt50 and rangers are not having turbo problems and please don't quote the odd run of the mill failure of turbos. Remember this is what the post is about.

FollowupID: 882459

Reply By: Member - abqaiq - Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 14:23

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017 at 14:23
As many noted the timer would be illegal if left unattended. Perhaps a better option if you are worried would be an after oiler, Moroso makes one (I think). A buddy and I discussed how to do after oilers in the early 1980s, didnt have a vehicle to put it on at the time. My master Toyota mechanic says, "If Mr T thought it is needed he'd have put in on."
AnswerID: 612210

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 15:52

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 15:52
It is my view that Turbo timers are one of those accessories that is totally un-nesessary, performs no real functions and it's existance is pretty much bassed on ignorance.

IF you have driven a diesel vehicle with a pyrometer/ EGT guage you will realise how fast exhaust gas temperatures return to normal.

Remember that a turbo is a fan, and regardless of the temperature involved, there is a lot of air flowing thru that fan and that will rapidly cool the compenents to reasonable temperatures once the engine is unloaded

Yes I have seen turbos, exhausts and manafolds glowing red ..... also on speedway cars with the inlet side showing ice ...... but these are extreem situations.

Most normal people will never get their vehicle doing this ......... even if the turbo gets very hot .... what sort of idiot runs their engine incredibly hard then turns it off straight away.

Most non competition 4wders and touring exploerers would be running their vehicle realy hard and then not slowing down and letting the vehicle idle for a few seconds before turning it off.

It is interesting that pretty much none of the major engine manufacturers, vehicle or machine manufacturers fit turbo timers or offer them as factory options.

There are far more important things to worry about, things that will make a real difference to the life and reliability of your vehicle.

AnswerID: 612250

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 15:54

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 at 15:54
How about starting with an EGT guage, a precision water temperature guage and a catch can on the PCV line.
FollowupID: 882448

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