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PSA: TPC20 - not recommended

Navi

Autocross Champion
Location
BK/NYC/Hamptons
Felt I had to post this after seeing so many advocates and incorrect information being thrown around about the TPC20.

Been running the TPC20 for awhile. Will be removing it from my car because I am not confident in this turbos quality or reliability. Also the customer service is questionable at best. I had a Littco L460 (never installed) that I ended up selling to purchase the TPC20 based on the marketing and the input from Ryan @Lord_Flexington. He spoke very highly of the turbo and has been running it in some timed racing events. So I get the turbo, install it, replace all the necessary hardware and prime it with oil. The turbo was tuned by @Ed @ EQT . The first thing he asked me was if I have a boost leak because the car had high IAT and high waste gate duty cycle. He stated that "this turbo is not very efficient." (compared to his EQT Vortex, obviously there is some bias there that can not be dismissed, but the truth remains that the TPC20 does spool slower than a EQT, and makes less power). So we wrapped up the tuning session and I scheduled a boost leak test with Tyrol Sport. They ended up doing a visual inspection of everything and a boost leak test. No leaks. Ok so maybe the intercooler sucks which has been brought up by a couple people running the same intercooler, as well as Tyrol Sport and Ed. I also asked Nick/TPC what he thought to try and get some info about it and he tried to blame Ed for tuning it incorrectly (see pic below). Swapped out the IE for an AMS intercooler. Much better temps. Proceed to finish the tuning with Ed. Ed is happy with how the tune is coming along as we have finally started to make more power than an is38 lol, but on the last revision (what great luck), no boost. Little more trouble shooting, and as suspected, the turbo is blown. Less than 1000 miles on it.

Ok, so I message Ryan about it to ask him what he thinks could be the issue or if he has any problems with the turbo since he beats on it day in and day out on the track. I asked him bc I felt he has put the turbo through its paces more than anyone, as there were not a lot of them out in the wild. As soon as I send him the video, I get a message from Nick (owner at TPC) asking me why I'm sending videos of the turbo to people and why am I telling people about it. (I guess Ryan ran and told him what happened). Nick then proceeds to tell me not to tell anyone or to post about it anywhere. Which is why I never did mention it to anyone, because I needed to get it warrantied obviously and he was putting me in a tight spot. So whatever the fuck, end up getting it warrantied. The whole time, Nick kept saying it was foreign object damage even though I had two shops (Tyrol Sport and Elite Motorsport) look at the turbo, as well as spoke to two guys on here who helped me a ton along the build of my car (@Hoon and @Diggs24) All four parties were of the opinion that it was a turbo failure from most likely bearing and most likely not foreign object. So even though everyone was thinking it was not foreign damage and an actual internal turbo failure (which is what I also thought), I had the engine scoped and compression tested. Everything checked out fine. I've also ran the car for 5k miles after that turbo blew. No issues, no epc, no burning oil, no smoke, no nothing. So I am of the belief that nothing went through the engine. Also on the turbo damage in the video below, you can see that the damage to the turbo is on the exhaust side, not the intake side. I was already turned off when right away he was trying take all liability off himself, but I just wanted a working car and I had high hopes for this turbo. When TPC had the turbo for repair, I asked them multiple times what failed on it and they would answer every other question but deliberately ignored the question about what they found when the opened the turbo. Got a new turbo, installed and it has been working fine up until now, but more on that later.

So my friend @BecauseMotor ended up getting a TPC20 and guess what. His blew around 2k miles. What are the changes of that? Two of these blowing at low miles? With different tuners? And different installers? Initially I was giving TPC the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I did receive a defective turbo. Despite them trying to point blame, I was happy they replaced it it was working. But now after seeing Springers blow, I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of time before mine blows. There is also another TPC failure out there that no one has mentioned because it's another one of those "secrets - don't tell anyone" kind of things. And since Nick tells everyone who has a blown turbo not to post it on the forums or tell anyone, who knows how many have failed.

So back to my replacement turbo - it has started to make a weird whistling sound as if metal is scraping on metal. I have a feeling it is shaft play and I will have to remove the downpipe and check it out but at this point I am just going to remove the turbo and trash it. Unless one of you guys want to buy it and take your chances LOL. So I messaged Nick asking him for a different turbo with the ball bearing setup because I felt that would be more reliable. He said he would upgrade me to a ball bearing TPC38 for $500, which is the same he had offered my friend with the other blown TPC20. I was asking him more info on it and he never got back to me. He must have been too busy posting pics of half naked chicks and cars instead of dealing with customer service - check his IG if you need some good lubriderm content. Finally he got back to me about a week later and started telling me about a new turbo that is an is20 hotside with is38 coldside which sounded promising. I figured I would go with this instead of the TPC38BB. Well then he proceeds to tell me it's $1000. WTF? Ok I figured this turbo must be more expensive to make than a TPC38BB - which doesn't make sense but I don't make turbos, so what do I know. I told him I would go with the original plan of the TPC38BB for $500. Oh guess what, he can't sell it to me for $500 anyone. It was a "special promotion." Which he never mentioned. I was never told there was a deadline for this promotion. It is no where on their website. So all of a sudden to replace my TPC20 the price has gone from $500 to $1000, even after telling him that I do not feel comfortable running this turbo anymore.

um.. thats pretty much it. If I remember anything, I'll add it in the future. But check the videos and photos below for evidence, so that you know I am not blowing smoke.

And also, I guess you guys can all expect @Lord_Flexington and @THEREALVRT to jump in here and defend TPC. Just remember that they either work for or are sponsored by TPC and are very biased with all the BS info they have been posting lately. I would disregard anything they have to say. And I guess

I feel bad that my friends turbo blew up because I had to keep my mouth shut in fear of not having a warranty honored. Shitty position to be in. Don't want it to happen to anyone else out there and wanted to give full disclosure and information on the company as there is not much info on them out there. And I guess @jimlloyd40 will chime in with his support for EQT tuned 416hp TPC20. I just hope it doesn't blow on you now that it's cooling off in AZ lol.

thanks to @Diggs24 @Hoon and @ZuMBLe for all the help along the way. Many messages and hours of trouble shooting with these guys. Couldn't have gotten it done with out you all. If I have left anything out or misconstrued anything, please comment with the truth.

photos and video:

Blown turbo:


Photos:










 

ZuMBLe

Autocross Newbie
Location
NY
Car(s)
Alltrack 6MT
Failures happen, but mass produced products for public consumption should not fail in the infancy of their lifetime. I'm not sure how many TPC turbos are out there, but there are two in the NY area alone right now (possibly 3!?) that are blown. It would not be irresponsible to conservatively extrapolate that number to all 50 states. Let's say there are 100 TPC20s out there, even 200. Let's conservatively say there are 10 blown TPC20s in all of the 50 states. That's still an insane failure rate.

Let's now look at the time it took for the two (or maybe now 3) to fail. I think they average to about 3000 miles! Extrapolate those facts and it's pretty scary looking. Without the hard numbers from TPC, we can only make educated guesses.

Before someone says all hybrids may fail blah blah blah. These turbos popped in an average of 3000 miles. I know for sure these two turbos went through a break in period before being subjected to full boost for long periods of time. So subtract 500-1000 miles from that 3000 average of the 2 (or 3) turbos. Pretty crazy.

I'm not bashing anyone, I'm just saying the facts out loud. I'd like to see TPC post their side of the story. They may need to explain to us what they think happened with these two turbos. If it was not a problem on their end, they should educate us to what the problem was.
 

ZuMBLe

Autocross Newbie
Location
NY
Car(s)
Alltrack 6MT
This is my opening! Let's race! From a stop, uphill, 1st to the end of 4th gear, let's make sure ambient temps are at least in the mid 70s. Ideally I'd want ambients in the high 90s, but I suspect your turbo would have shit itself out the tail pipe before the temps warm up again.

You have AAA? :)
 

Navi

Autocross Champion
Location
BK/NYC/Hamptons
This is my opening! Let's race! From a stop, uphill, 1st to the end of 4th gear, let's make sure ambient temps are at least in the mid 70s. Ideally I'd want ambients in the high 90s, but I suspect your turbo would have shit itself out the tail pipe before the temps warm up again.

You have AAA? :)
I have triple A platinum. Unlimited mileage.
 

launchd

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York
Car(s)
2018 GTI, 2019 S5
Hybrid turbo fails, can you believe it? More on this breaking story at 11.

Up next: Why you shouldn't install poorly reconstructed OEM parts in your performance car.
Followed by: Paying to play, how true is this concept?
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2016 GTI SE
So what are you going to swap to @Navi? Going to finally bite the bullet and get a Vortex XL and upgrade fueling since you have easy access to corn?
 
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