How To: Remove MR2 Turbocharger

Here is a brief document describing how to remove (or rather how I remove) the turbocharger from the MKII MR2.  The reason for removing the turbo here is because a couple of the exhaust manifold studs have come loose and are stripped.  I plan on repairing them with time inserts.  If you have to stock exhaust system on your car, I can’t really help you out, as I had it removed by a shop.  The shop charged me $50.00 to remove the exhaust.  I then installed an aftermarket exhaust which is significantly easier to remove.
I start off by going in from the top and removing the X strut brass (2 bolts, 2 nuts), and piping going from the turbocharger to the intercooler.  Here is a picture of the exhaust (that I use) once it has been removed:

I then remove the heat shield from the turbocharger – EGT probes can be seen in the following photo:

Next up, is to remove the primary catalytic converter.  I feel this is one of the more difficult steps in the process, as some of the bolts are difficult to get at – particularly the bolts on the brackets holding the converter in place.  Here is a photo from underneath before the converter is removed:

At this point, I remove the oil filter, the heat shield attached to the pipe going from the exhaust side of the turbocharger to the converter, and the O2 sensor.

Next, I go back underneath the car and remove the engine mount shown in the following picture.  The bolt to the left of the engine mount is the driver’s side converter bracket bolt.  There are 3 bolts to this bracket, one to the converter as can be seen in the picture and two that bolt to the block.  Only one of those that go to the block needs to be removed.

Once the engine mount is removed by removing the through bolt, 4 bolts for one side of the bracket, and 2 for the other, the driver’s side converter bracket can be loosened.  The turbocharger is now clearly visible from underneath.

After removing the 2 bolts (on the passenger side) that go from the passenger side bracket to the converter, I go back up top to loosen the bracket.  There are 2 bolts that hold this bracket to the engine block.  I remove one, and loosen the other so as to be able to move the bracket aside.  They can be seen in the following picture:

I use a universal join and an extension to remove one of these 12mm bolts and loosen the other.

Underneath the two brackets holding the converter to the block can now be moved aside and the 3 bolts and 2 nuts that hold the converter to the pipe coming from the turbo exhaust to the converter can now be removed.  The converter is somewhat heavy, but can be held with one hand while removing the last bolt.  The converter is now removed:

Back up top, I remove the intake pipe to the turbo:

Next is to remove the water pipe leading to the turbo.  I do not find it necessary to drain the coolant, but some will spill out on this step.  When the turbo is put back in, I just re-bleed/burp the coolant system.  The metal coolant lines are shown in this picture:

First – the coolant pipe bolt must be removed – it is shown in this picture – 12mm:

The two nuts that hold the turbo coolant pipe to the turbo are then removed.  I had to use a universal joint here to remove the bottom bolt  The rubber air hose to the turbo is also removed..

The air hoses to wastegate actuator are then removed.

Next up is the 27mm oil bolt.  It can be seen in this picture:

I use the tool in this picture to remove it (the bolt is in the socket).  It can be very tight.

It is now possible to loosen the bolts holding the pipe that goes from the turbine side (exhaust) to the converter.  Some of the bolts are hard to get at.  If so, just wait until you can loosen the turbo and manifold in a later step.  The nuts for this pipe are shown in this picture:

Next is underneath the car again where the oil pipe to the turbo is loosened – it is attached to the turbo via two bolts on studs and the pipe is also attached to the block with one bolt shown in the following picture.

After that bolt is removed the two nuts (12mm) that hold the oil pipe to the turbo can be removed.  One can be gotten to via a straight extension, and the other with a universal joint.  One of the bolts can be seen in the following picture – the other is pointed to by an arrow.

The next two bolts to remove are on the turbo bracket.  These 12mm bolts can be very tight.  I used a 12mm wrench and another 13mm wrench connected together to make a longer lever arm.  It’s also possible to use a large socket and extension on the open end of the 12mm wrench.  Once the lower bolt is removed the upper one can be removed.  It is not necessary to remove the entire bracket from the turbo.

Again it is not necessary to remove the bracket, but if done, this is what it looks like – the oil pipe is now free.

Now the exhaust manifold nuts can be loosened (do not remove yet), and the pipe leading from the turbine side (exhaust) of the turbo to the converter (that has already removed) can be removed.  This is not necessary but significantly reduces the weight of the turbo assembly when lifting it out of the engine compartment.  One of the studs is very close to the oil cooler (where the oil filter attaches), but with the manifold loosened, it can be removed by moving the turbo assembly, and pulling the pipe out.  The pipe removed:

The turbocharger can now be removed by loosening the 4 nuts that hold the turbocharger to the exhaust manifold.  I needed to remove the rubber hose connection from the high pressure side of the turbo to get enough clearance for the 12mm wrench.

The turbocharger can now be removed from the engine compartment.
Close up of compressor side (TO4E-50 trim): Close up of turbine side:
Turbo and turbo oil pipe:

The exhaust manifold can now be removed (exhaust gasket still in place):
Gasket removed:

This documentation in no way replaces the Toyota MR2 Repair Manuals. The purpose of this content is only to provide supplementary information to fellow MR2 enthusiasts. Midship Runabout and its contributing authors will not be held responsible for any injury or damages that may occur as the result of practicing any of the methods or procedures described within this website. Article and photo submissions are property of the contributing author.

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