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I'm not sure if the European PD engines had smart vnt actuators, the one with the sensors. If it looked like the one in the writeup, watch the videos to see how it should move. If you didn't adjust the VNT actuator then it should be the same before you took it apart to clean it.

Can you move the vanes manually by hand easily and without binding? I think your post says yes.

Make sure the vac lines are all correct and not switched.

Look at the article on how to test the actuator, you use vaccum to test it and see how it holds.
 

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With the car off, the actuator rod should be extended. When you apply vacuum it sucks it towards the can. There's a spring inside the can so when you release vacuum it pushes the rod back up. I don't want to say up or down because some engines the can is above the rod, some engines the can is below the rod, and I don't know what yours looks like.
 
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