Thing to Consider When Purchasing a Re-Manufactured Turbocharger.
Remanufacturing of engine components has been around for a long time. Often times it's the only purchase option when a new replacement is not available. There are many reasons reman may be the only option: the manufacture may have stopped supporting that model, or the parts are captive to certain supply chains, or possibly the part is not available in your geographical areas.
When reman is the only option, a working turbo is better then a broken turbo, but you should really know what you're getting for your money, or you may be right back where you started - with another down machine.
Independent: This can includes anyone from a Fortune 500 company, to a guy in his garage. An independent manufacturer takes core (old turbos) and refurbishes then. The level to witch the turbo is refurnished will vary depending on the party doing the job. Some independent remanufactures simply clean the part up, check for damages, and resell as "remanufactured". Other independent remanufactures fully disassemble the turbo and utilizes all new bearings, pistons rings (commonly referred to as seals) and any other worn parts. With an independent manufacturer, you don't exactly know to what level the unit has been remanufactured, nor do you know what type of parts were used in the process. Anyone can choose to remanufacture a turbo and resell it in the market place.
Authorized: This can include small turbo shops or much larger organization. An authorized manufacturer will be vetted out by the original turbo manufacturer. Often times, this level of manufacturer has set guides that they must adhere to in order to maintain their authorized status. These guidelines may include always replacing certain parts, no matter their condition, using certain brands of replacement parts, and even additional testing and grading to ensure a certain level of quality for the finished product.
Manufacturer: Many turbo manufactures will actually offer remanufactured units for sale in the aftermarket. These turbos are often looked at as the highest level of quality because they are assembled by the original turbo manufacturer. More often then not, these turbos may have completely new rotating assemblies and only utilizes the housings from the core turbo.
Pricing will vary depending on the level of remanufacturing you receiving. Independent will normally be the cheapest, followed by the authorized reman, and then the factory reman.
When a new variant of your turbo isn't available, now you can now be confident in the decision you're making when purchasing a reman.