First off in order for your turbo to be rebuildable it has to be in a working condition - if your turbine housing or propeller housing or the turbine or propeller it self are damaged then it is not rebuildable. Or at least not with the kit I used.
What this rebuild does is - replaces the "piston rings" or seals that prevent oil from leaking out of the turbo bearings into the exhaust or intake and it replaces the bearings on the turbo which reduces the play in the shaft.
I did it because I had a lot of play in the shaft and the propeller was almost touching the housing and I also suspected that the seals might be bad and oil could be leaking out of the turbo bearings into the exhaust.
I got the kit from here:
eBay Motors: GARRETT T3 TURBO MAJOR/MASTER TURBOCHARGER REBUILD KIT (item 180340017675 end time Mar-31-09 12:14:01 PDT)
but there and the guy even offers free balancing.
Here it goes:
1. Take the turbo out of the car.
2. Spray all the bolts of the turbo with your favorite loosening stuff.
3. The turbo consists of turbine housing, cartridge and propeller housing. You will have to mark them with a punch or something like that so that when you put your turbo back together you can align it the way it was because any of these 3 parts can be rotated around the rest once the bolts are loose.
4. Loosen/remove the bolts which connect the cartridge and the turbine housing first.
5. Separate the cartridge from the turbine housing (you might have to put it in a wise and use a hammer to carefully separate them - you don't want to damage the shaft or the turbine it self).
6. Loosen/remove the bolts of the propeller housing and remove it.
7. Remove the nut of the propeller - I think it was 13mm at the turbine and 9mm is the propeller nut.
8. Take the propeller out. Mine was stuck really bad so I had to put it in a wise and I used a hammer to drive the shaft out of it (be careful as to not let the turbine hit the ground once the propeller is out of the shaft).
9. Remove the bolts of the cartridge cover and remove the cover (the aluminum round on top of which is the propeller)
10. Now that you have taken everything apart you can start replacing parts. The shaft with the turbine will take the bigger "piston ring".
11. The cartridge contains the sleeve bearings. To remove them you will have to remove the C clips (good luck with that).
12. After you have the two sleeves and the four c-clips out - install the new c clips and the sleeves (lube them with oil).
13. Slide the turbine and shaft in the cartridge (it will click when the "piston ring" seats in its place in the cartridge). If you tried doing that with the old ring - it barely clicks because the ring is so worn out.
14. Install the two new parts that go on the shaft on top of the cartridge (i do not know their names). Make sure you have the new ring installed on there too.
At some point send your stuff for balancing to that guy or somewhere else. I did not balance mine since I decided that the factory balance should be retained and I was lazy (that might be a bad mistake not to balance it).
15. Install the cartridge cover back (it will click when the new ring seats in its place). And put all the new bolts.
16. Install the propeller and the new nut.
17. Put and align everything back the way it was.
18. Install the turbo in the car.
You might notice that the shaft has some resistance when you try to spin it but once the engine lubes it with oil it frees up and it spins freely.
You will notice that there is very little play (little play is normal from what I hear
I have no results yet. The turbo does work great and is building boost. The problem is that I did not align it right when I was putting it back together so now because of that my oil return line is not making a tight connection and I have a huge oil leak (it is extremely bad) and I will be dealing with that as soon as I get a chance.
FIXED. I REALIGNED THE TURBO AND THERE IS NO MORE OIL LEAKS FROM THE RETURN LINE. IT WORKS GREAT. should last another 300k miles with no problem i hope.
This is the cartridge and in front of it is the new and the old sleeve and the c clips. The new bottom c clip is already in the cartridge.
Slide in the new sleeve.
New sleeve is in.
Install the new c clips and repeat everything for the back side of the cartridge.
The new parts that go on top of the cartridge. I do not know their names.
Installing the new piston ring on the shaft.
Installing the new piston ring on the part that goes on top of the cartridge.
Everything is installed back into the cartridge. The shaft is in and that round gasket is being replaced. After that you just install the cartridge cover.
This is just to help you understand better. I call the compressor wheel - propeller. Center housing - cartridge and back plate - cartridge cover.