Turbo Snort?


Oct 28, 2003
I'm wondering what I'm dealing with here and any help is great. I have the famous turbo snort when under throttle and then let off the gas, but what I don't understand is that it happens all the time, even under normal driving conditons (or those where the turbo kicks in a little bit...and I mean just a little bit) that I get the back snorting or back pressure. I know it's the turbo back pressure of exhaust gas and that it can be real detrimental to the turbo's bearings, but I barely get into it such as passing on the road and it does this. Do I need some sort of pressure relief valve like ATR used to sell or what. My mods are the usual street items like adj fuel, 204/214 flat, RJC, 340 Wal, Hot Wire, ported heads, 65mm TB/plenum, 100 lb springs, 36 lb'ers....but to be honest with you, I'm not sure what turbo I have. It could still be the factory Garrett, but the 49's have Garrett stamped on the housing also :redface: I'm reading 0 knock all the time and have plenty of power...I just don't wanna bust something up on my very menial budget....thanks fellas!....Glenn
I'm running a smaller GT3255E on the 87 and it spools quick and compressor surges easily.
FWIW, mine also makes the snort sound under normal driving conditions. The sound is there on all cars, but you don't hear it until you install a free flowing air filter setup. The stock setup muffles it. If I get the vacuum anywhere less than 5in and let off, it makes the noise. I can't comment on how "damaging" this is. My turbo is a stocker with unknown age (could be original for all I know), car has 200k miles, and I've put the last 50k miles on it. Frankly, I wish the turbo would take a dump so I can more easily justify an upgrade, but my antics haven't killed it yet!
Turbo snort

Yea, thats for sure about where it's coming from because I hear it coming from the K&N behind the drivers air dam....well, maybe nothings wrong then :confused:
Mine has almost 200,000 miles on the original turbo, and the "noise" hasn't hurt it yet. The ricers have a blowoff valve, which substitutes a different noise, and takes the load off the thrust bearing, but it doesn't seem to be needed on the Buicks, unless maybe the ones with the big turbo/small shaft combo. Not on the OEM turbo, anyway.
Turbine flutter

Do a search for that. There was a long post about it a few months ago. For part throttle, it has something to do with the exhaust side not moving as much air out as is coming in. When you let off, I think it is the air not moving out the exhaust going out the path of least resistance (K&N).
I have the "flutter" at part throttle, but less at WOT.
I think the majority opinion was that it was not damaging, all else being in good shape.
Don't quote me on this. It is what I remember...

Thanks for the help fellas, I've always known about the snort with our cars, but it's more noticeable on my T and sounds like crappola to me. Again I don't seem to suffer any power loss of any kind and the wheels really break loose on the street. I'm still in my break-in period with the motor and never really looked at the turbo, but I did figure it out to be a 49.....any other opinions or ideas are appreciated