A Turbo for MR2 San

I had briefly debated a few different options for turbos on the new engine. I could buy a rebuilt, upgraded CT26 (rebadged as a CT27) from ATS Racing, I could have one of my three turbos rebuilt, or I could buy an upgraded turbo kit (such as a GT2860RS aka disco potato). I decided to get my small CT26 (aka CT20b) turbo rebuilt and replace the ceramic turbine with an Inconel turbine (for durability at >17 psi boost). This was the best bang-for-the-buck option ($550 vs $900 for a CT27 which is pretty much the same performance or $2000 for a GT2860RS which is about +30 hp). I chose Alamo Turbocharger Services since they said that they could get the parts for this option, that it would all be covered by a 1 year warranty, and they quoted me an extremely low price. They thought that it would count as a standard rebuild plus $50 for the new turbine ($450). After they had my turbo in pieces, they told me that they could not, in fact, get the parts since it was an unusual turbo only sold in Japan (which I had told them up front and they had OKed). They said they could piece together a custom rebuild kit for it, but it would cost a lot more and would not be covered by their warranty. Since my turbo was now in pieces and they had seemingly pulled a bait-and-switch, I was furious. Additionally, the sales person there had called me a liar on the phone and was generally extremely rude.

I sat down with the owner of the shop in person and hashed it out. She apologized for how I was treated and said she would work with me to figure out a solution that would work for both of us. She also said that the employee in question was new and was getting treated poorly by some of the clientele so was instinctively defensive. Additionally, he was wrong about the warranty (the turbo would in fact be covered). I did some research and discovered that they were a Mellett distributor (the only one in Washington state) and that Mellett did in fact sell everything to rebuild these turbos (including the upgraded Inconel turbine). I brought this up with Alamo; they had forgotten that they were a Mellett distributor and didn’t know that Mellett provided all of the correct parts. They gave me a new quote for the rebuild ($550) and I agreed to have them proceed. Their communication was excellent and I was treated extremely well from this point on. After a little bit more drama involving Mellett shipping the incorrect parts (which didn’t matter to me since I had to wait for the block from Josh anyways), they completed my turbo. As part of all of their rebuilds they repaint everything on the turbo with high temperature paint, cut new gaskets for the oil and water lines, and provide all new nuts and bolts. I was extremely pleased with the end result. It looked like a brand new turbo.

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