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Cheap eBay turbos - A review


ClioSport Club Member
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Shamelessly stolen from another forum, but might be of interest to some:

Originally posted by jay1017

Some of you on here might know me and the fact that I professionally recondition turbos as a side hobby for the 200sx community going by the name JK Fab. Throughout my time of doing that I've never had my hands on a Chinese turbo and have heard both the good & bad stories from them. It's peaked my curiosity for a long time.

Funnily enough about a month ago I was browsing another forum I'm frequently on and received a message from a company named "MaxPeedingRods", asking if I'd be curious to try one of their products. Long story short, they ended up sending me one of their GT2871/T28 copy turbos. Little did they know I kinda know my stuff with these. :D


The unit came packaged well. It came with a manifold to turbo gasket , banjo bolt for the oil feed and a couple of washers. Personally, I would disregard the gasket, it's a thin and cheap, same as the regular stuff on eBay. The washers and banjo bolt look ok.

First Impressions

At a first glance, the unit looks pretty good. No fancy marking or identifiers anywhere though. It utilises a cheap Aluminium cast compressor housing like most Chinese made turbos.

Just like the 2871R, it utilises a billet machined seal plate that mates to the compressor housing. This was attached with some sort of hard glue. However, since this copy turbo is a journal bearing core, I was hoping for the O-ring style seal plate. That allows for easy adjustment and a proper seal, I don't trust the machined seal plates from personal experience.

Turbine housing looked to be great, very nice machining and clean casting. HOWEVER, the wastegate port under the actuator flapper is absolutely TINY in comparison to the flapper! This will certainly cause boost creep issues.
I would advise to port this if you plan to run this turbo.

Mounting hardware & brackets are all of high quality, arguably on par in quality with the OE Garrett ones.

It looks to be balanced due to the markings on the turbine wheel, compressor wheel and compressor nut. This indicates that the parts have both been individually balanced and then the whole CHRA balanced on a VSR machine.


Since I have access to a VSR balancing machine, I decided to stick the core on. Usually a big killer of these Chinese turbos seems to be a lack of balance. However, since this unit looks to have been balanced I'm really hoping that it doesn't shoot off the charts in the VSR.

Surprisingly the unit was very well balanced. It "passed" on our Turbo Technics VSR and kept below the maximum amount of vibration up until 70.000rpm. Due to this turbo having such a large compressor wheel, 70.000rpm is sufficient in this test. However, as rotational speed increased so did the vibration of the unit during testing so it may be slightly over the acceptable amount at a given rpm such as 100.000.


Parts & Quality

Now I've had the unit on the VSR, I got to disassembling it and this is what I found:

Compressor Wheel

Single plane balanced only. Otherwise looks and feels quality, although it is only a cheap cast wheel.

Turbine Shaft

The turbine shaft is identical to one you would find in a T25 or T28 turbo. The turbine end however, has a bigger turbine wheel to the same specs and design as a genuine GT2871R. It should be noted the GT2871R is a ball bearing unit and this copy is a journal bearing unit.


This unit uses a 270* thrust bearing, stock in what you would find in a T25 or T28. However due to the size of the compressor wheel I feel like this would not suffice, and would certainly wear at boost levels above 12 psi. Ideally you would want a 360* thrust bearing due to the increased amount of oil flow and coverage.

The journal bearings are the same size and dimensions as the T28 journal bearings which are bigger than the T25 bearings. Nothing wrong with these at all, look to be nicely machined too.

It should be noted that the core design is completely identical to a T28 turbo. All of the machine work inside the unit looks nice too.


Overall, I don't think that there is much wrong with this unit. For a low boost application I think this turbo would work quite well. HOWEVER, if MaxPeedingRods would like to offer something even better, they should definitely change to a 360* thrust bearing & enlarge the wastegate bleed port. For a cheap unit that costs less than £100 if you know where to look, you can't really go wrong if you want to turbo for the lows. :)

Alternatively if your too lazy to read this, I made a more indepth review on my YouTube channel here:
The images I took were to big to add to the thread without looking silly, so I have uploaded an album on IMGUR. Link is here:
You can find this turbo on their website on:
And if you'd like a discount & free shipping use my forum name "Jay1017"

I would like to make it clear that this is a completely UNBIASED review. I'm just going off what I can see, and being honest on what I think. At the end of the day I'm just another customer. :sxoc: