The Hidden Cost of Chinese eBay Parts | WheelHouse

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(gun shots) – So, you want to turbo your car, huh? But you’re a little short on funds? Relatable. Is a cheap turbo worth your money? (upbeat music) (engine revs) It’s WheelHouse time baby. Ooh wee. Sure, we’ve all heard horror stories of cheap turbos blowing up or
lasting a hundred miles. But as of late, there have been more and more success stories. Stories of people having no issues at all. Aside from figuring out what to buy with all that extra cash they’ve saved. (triumphant horn) A big thick boy thank
you to NOS Energy Drink, for partnering with Donut, and this show. Not only do they help out
WheelHouse, but they specifically asked to sponsor this week’s
Hot Take segment as well. I mean have you seen the
guys like BoostedBoiz. They’re making piles of power and putting miles per hour on
some pretty cheap stuff. (car engine revving) Their running 9s. – [Spectator] That’s it, that’s it. (crowd cheering) – Yes! (loud engine) Nine eight in 147, woo hoo! (piano music) – So let’s review what
a turbo actually does. They have a pretty tough job. Their environment is
really, really, really hot. Being bolted on to your exhaust and all. When bearing tolerances are out of spec, it can cause premature wear,
which can lead to oil pushing past the seals and turning into blue smoke coming out
the back of your car. Anything from poor casting processes, to the temperatures
molten metal is poured at, to the specific blend of
metal being poured can cause imperfections in important
parts of the compressor wheel. Don’t they check all that stuff? Well, with the advent of the internet came a wave of manufacturing
facilities all over the world. Email and computer-aided design, CAD, allowed companies to communicate and share designs with ease. That meant great things for
companies in places with expensive labor, like America. Boom! Get things made in places
with cheap labor, right? Wrong, kind of. There are all sorts of growing pains, with all the countless
fledgling factories. Even factories that make good
turbos can have mistakes. If there’s no one inspecting
your turbo before it ships to your door, then you’re
at the mercy of Lady Luck. And let me tell ya, she can
be kinda mean sometimes. But luckily for these factories, many of the companies
asking them to make parts, provided them with knowledge and cash. In a relatively short time, the ability of these overseas manufacturing
plants skyrocketed. But that doesn’t mean that all the factories themselves,
stepped their game up. Is it a complete gamble? In short, yes. But we can try to swing
the results in our favor. (bouncy music) First, buying the cheapest of the cheap is never a good idea. The cheapest new turbo on eBay hovers around a hundred bucks. That’s ridiculous. Too cheap, don’t buy it. Second, read the reviews. This goes for pretty much
everything you buy online, but especially with car parts. Look on the forums. Even forums that aren’t for your car. There are gonna be a lot
of opinions and people throwing their two cents
around like grenades. There’s one thing I
know about the internet, it’s that people like other
people knowing their opinions. But if you can find people with
actual hands-on experience, you’ll find the useful information. Third, look for information
about the company you’re going to be buying from. Have they been around for very long? Do they make any overall quality
or quality control claims? And most importantly is there a guarantee or a return policy if
your turbo does blow up? Beyond checking reviews and
snooping on the company, there isn’t much you can do
to insure that the cheap turbo you might buy will be a good one. It’s still gonna be a bit of a gamble When you’re talking a quarter of a price of a brand name turbo. So now it’s time to look
inwards, to find out if you really are about
that cheap turbo life. You need to think about the what if. What if it does fail? Do you gamble on another or
do you shell out the money for a name brand turbo after all? Some folks’ philosophy
is that since you can buy four or five cheap turbos for
the price of one good one, they’ll just keep replacing
them, if and when they fail. They probably will. That brings up another question. Who’s doing the work? If you’re paying someone
to install your turbo, the money you spend on
labor will quickly add up and make your cheap turbo
a little less cheap. Another big question is,
how hard is it gonna be? Are we talking a top mount
super easy accessible turbo? If so great. But on some cars, replacing
a turbo or turbos can be a total nightmare or at
least a really long dream where you have a
perpetually bloody knuckles. Check out HiLow and
you’ll see what I mean. – [Eddie] Good now? – No, Eddie, not good. What the (beep) you think dude? (high energy music) Did NOS Energy Drink partner
with Up to Speed first? Yes. Did they then move on to Bumper to Bumper? Yes. But did they save the
best Donut show for last? Hmm, as someone who is
completely impartial, someone who has no skin in the game, someone who is 100% unbiased. Yes. Yes they did. WheelHouse number one, baby. (can popping) (loud drinking) (satisfied sigh) NOS Energy Drink, baby, drink it. (laughing) (high energy music) If you are a bit of a mad scientist, there are a couple of other things you can do to potentially improve the odds of cheap turbo success. There have been many accounts
of people dismantling their brand new turbos
before installing them, cleaning them out a little bit and putting them back together. Another thing some people have
done is rebuilding the turbo with new higher quality
bearing, seals, and rings, right out of the box. This only works if you can find rebuild parts for your cheap turbo. But if you can definitely do that. All of that stuff, replacing, cleaning, and rebuilding the turbo takes time. How much time do you have
to spend on this stuff? And again, what will you
drive in the mean time? If your project car isn’t your daily, then your probably in okay shape. But if you’re playing
doctor on your daily, uh, you’re kinda rolling the dice. Another thing you can do is to make sure you install it properly. Give it the best possible chance. I’m talking about making sure
your oil and coolant lines are properly routed for the
best lubrication and cooling. Even if it means a little extra work. If your oil return line is all kinked up, even the most expensive turbo
in the world is gonna fail. (loud engine noises) (piano music) So here’s the deal. Whether or not a cheap ass
turbo is a viable option for your car isn’t really a simple answer. A lot of it comes down to you. Are you the kind of person
that loves to tinker? Are you a bit of a risk taker? (tires screech) If you do your research, read
reviews, and accept all the potential outcomes you
might even be able to make your gamble a little less risky. Otherwise, you should definitely save up and get the good stuff. Through my job, I’ve been
super fortunate to meet people from the automotive aftermarket. I’m talking people from
Vortex, Feal Suspension, Magnussen, a ton of people,
and they’re the ones that put the blood, sweat, and tears into making the aftermarket so great. So what I think the right thing to do is, instead of being impulsive
and buying the cheap part from some nameless factory,
is to reward the people that put the work in and support
small businesses really. Because you might
unintentionally be taking, literal labor away from someone that you might know, you know. It’s just the right thing to do. Planters NUTmobile is at the office. – So we like to say that we
always drive the smoothest peanut butter when we’re on
the salty streets of America. (laughs) – Huh, you’re serious? – [Woman] Yes. – Jeez. – [Woman] So they got to roll up and everybody was looking at them like, “Oh my gosh, wow they’re really–” – This thing’s nuts! – Be nice, see you next time.

100 COMMENTS

  1. This is funny, coz you can buy the turbo kit, and literally tos the Chinese turbo in the trash and get you a nice brand turbo in the cheap turbo kit… there you have it, or you can go to a junk yard and get a nice turbo from a diesel truck (Mitsubishi, gmc, ford, hino, Isuzu , Nissan, ) and just swap it… done that works great and is cheap as fuck

  2. I run 18psi on stock turbos that normally run on 8. And ofcourse they are lodged in the catacombs of my engine bay underneath an oh so sweet N54 3.0 I6 from BMW. Lol I'm blowing a bit of blue smoke these days

  3. The thumbnail preview video describes the antilag at the beginning as gunshots 😂😂😂 prepare to have this video demonitized and taken down by the YT overlords.

  4. Even an expensive turbo is going to eventually grenade , some quicker than others , with all the technology we have we still can't build an enclosed blade fan working at high temperature that can be reliable , even today Mercedes is having problems with their turbos not lasting the life of the car .

  5. Great video! Good advice for most all purchases. Support local business! Side note: I will never watch your videos on Facebook. Facebook is the devil.

  6. I bought a stock Chinese turbo for my Mazdaspeed3 after mine blew and I've had it about a year and haven't had any problems

  7. I was hoping he would actually buy a cheap Chinese kit, install it and test it. Kinda like what the computer channels do with electronics.

  8. I like donut but this sounded like a plug to buy named brand parts because those named brand companies are supporting them some how. With everything in life you have to do research to prove everything and that goes with car parts as well.

  9. 2 years ago i ran the cheapest ebay turbo.

    Quick review. Oil seal went out in 2 months. Contacted company, got a replacement for free..

    The replacement lasted over a year and 30,000 miles. Its a gamble.but it the return policy is good. Go for it.

  10. If your running low boost on your POS just coz then sure run the eBay special but if you want actual performance go the good stuff

  11. No one purposely makes them to fail. Methods, technology and materials have come a long way.
    Its like phones. 10 years ago, $100 would get you a crappy Chinese phone. Now, $100 can get a more than decent phone.

  12. Dealing with Chinese factories products is the same across the spectrum. A factory will make the quality $500 turbos for Federal Autoparts. In the same factory on a different line they will make the $100 turbo. To them it makes perfect sense because they know the market wants… a cheaper turbo. To them it’s about the YEN. They know it’s cheaper so they will sell cheaper. If you pay more for the cheaper turbo they ARE surprised but they will sell it to you. Although if you communicate to them you want the better quality turbo, they will sell that to you. Or if you spec a medium value one they make and sell to you. When I delt with Chinese factories I found this out. The end product you ask for is what you get you just have to speak their language and be VERY specific with quality and terms. You will get what you want. It’s odd… end product doesn’t matter profit does. It’s like saying you want an animal with 4 legs that can pull a cart. To you that might be an oxen or mule. To the ingenious Chinese, it’s wide open😀 So if you are trying to mod a car, you know better!

  13. Yeah don't buy the cheap stuff because when they do find the shit themselvesand then fill your engine up with aluminium chunks from the compressor wheel.. good luck

  14. It'd help if you had a 10 second delay for this. Instead the loud noise starts at ~0:01 seconds into the video! 😖😵🤦‍♂️

  15. Arashi has been one of those brands that got very little attention then out of nowhere hit the scene in a huge way. Now many a WRX and EVOs run them, my STI included and couldnt be happier. Extremely high quality, reliable, and while not super cheap, still pretty affordable for most.

  16. Turbo Charged my miata using a turbo and manifold from eBay. Now my engine management and electronics are name brand, but I’m sitting at just over 5000 miles on my build with zero issues. Research your parts friends and builds are way more fun

  17. I am all for supporting my local turbo company, but the funny thing is they probably contracted a Chinese company to make the turbo anyways

  18. Ive been drinking Nos since i was 1 nothing tastes more unique or colorfull i really do wish theyed bring bak the cans that would pop when you opened them but its whatever

    Ohnest oppinion
    Go pick one up
    Dat shit guuuud

  19. Vs racing keeping the sloppy guys going.. I've had great luck with vs. And had a precision ball bearing billet wheel fail in 40 miles. Crap happens lol it's part of the process
    And yes my precision had oil

  20. Audi allroad here with K04 rs4 turbos. I’ll only put in Borg Warner’s! Everything else is trash for the amount of labor involved.

  21. Your g35 has a 2500€ twin turbo system?
    Well my Honda Civic has 4 YING YANG SPINNY THANGS THAT I BOUGHT FOR 650€

  22. Is Science Garage dead? I guess you can only teach so much. Even Jason from Engineering Explained has gone to top 5's, car reviews and other stuff outside of pure education

  23. 2000$ ain't expensive just save some money during a month oh wait it cost as much as getting a used car fuck it's worth it

  24. That last bit is sweet and all but its easy to say when your makeing good money on youtube and other ventures. Some of us are on a tight budget.

  25. Ive had 1 burn out the bearing and stupid shaft play resulted, leading to the compressor wheel pinging off the housing sides with some really tight clearance, chipping,off couple blades, ending up in the combustion chamber and getting jammed into the piston heads, finally playing tag with the valve heads, lodging inbetween a few, and bending the valves, and or chipping off part of the valve head. This was my first turbo build, and this was waaaaaaaay back in the late 90s, when ebay turbos where just making an appearance, it was one of those GodSpeed turbos. Luckily it was only bolted up to a single cam F22A4. ever since then, till recent about 3 yrs ago,i have either used Garrett, Turbonetics, or Apexi. The past 3 yrs i have used ebay GT35R turbos, after noticing the growing positive reviews. I looked into the manufacturer, and they are the same ones that made the GodSpeed ones. But seems manufacturing quality overall in china has improved substantially in all things metal fabricated, and cnc machined. I have a bunch of RC cars and trucks ive built completely all aluminum converted from chinese parts. And they are just WOW!! compared to early days (10-15 yrs back). However, i didnt just slap on the GT35R turbos out the box. NOPE. just for a peace of mind, all 3 ive used so far, ive pulled apart, replaced the most important pieces, the bearings, and then the retention c-clips. Any metal to metal seal, lock tight with high temp threadlocker. And all 3 still spooling smooth, no issues. Power figures lowest is a mild street setup 430-450hp, and highest is for them mexico runs, with money on the line. 715-720hp, on a now my daily driven, on a day to day use has a low boost profile running at 350ish max, high boost only when needed. This is on the first build to have used the Gt35r on. Has accumulated upwards of 26k miles so far. So i suggest anyone interested, or considering the ebay route for boosting, definite rebuild the turbo out the box before putting it on.

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