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Smokey turbo

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So my gc8 has a moderate amount of smoke coming from beneath the turbo heat shield. It starts smoking 3-4 mins after starting the engine. Turbo is a vf29


I initially thought it was oil burning on the uppipe from the leaking drivers side cam cover gasket. I replaced this and it is no longer leaking but the smoke continues. I have done maybe 100kms since replacing the cam cover gasket.


The car still drives and boosts normally with no strange noises.


I removed the turbo and replaced the oil drain hose, coolant drain hose and both exhaust gaskets. The turbo impeller has no side to side play and is not contacting the housing on the compressor or exhaust side. This did not fix the issue.


The front right cv boot is still intact.


Could this be the turbo's seal on only the exhaust side of the turbo? I checked the intercooler while it was off and there was not much oil in there. Just the very small amount that is normal.


Any ideas would be greatly appreciated as I am now at bit of a loss. At this stage all I can think of is just driving it some more to see if it is just residue burning off. The amount of smoke makes me think it would be something more than residue though.

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If you're leaking into the turbine side it should be very obvious if you remove the turbo; run it at idle for a little while so it doesn't get hot then remove the downpipe; the turbine housing metal is slightly porous and it will be very easy to see if you're losing oil through the rear.

A turbo pushing oil through the seals is most likely a worn shaft or oil control ring/seal; but it could also be caused by high crankcase pressure preventing the turbo from draining well.

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