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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I am reasonably sure my Chinese reman turbo is the source of my low boost, I am strongly considering an upgrade to the VNT-17. Along with an increase in performance, I understand that the VNT-17 is perhaps more durable than the stock Borg-Warner unit. I have some questions for those who understand what is involved in this upgrade, or have done it themselves:

Other than the EGR cooler tube, does this bolt straight up?
Can I use my current exhaust manifold and swap the turbos themselves?
Is it necessary to swap larger injectors at the same time the turbo is installed?
Is it necessary to chip or re-tune the ECM at the same time?

If the VNT-17 is the stock turbo for the European TDI's, I might assume that the swap is quite easy and that the required parts can all be had from O.E. sources. I would like to keep things as "stock" as possible, even while upgrading performance and reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Nobody has ever upgraded a BEW engine from the stock Borg-Warner turbo to a Garrett VNT-17??? Come on, I know somebody has...Hook a brother up; I need some wisdom here!
 

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Not sure but I believe almost everything is bolt up except a hose. idparts.com sells the EGR cooler adapter which you have mentioned.

The exhaust manifold is part of the turbo so no problem there, it bolts right up.

You don't have to swap injectors or the ECM. These supporting mods can be done later and will not cause any damage by waiting. However, until you change the ECM the turbo won't increase power because the computer isn't giving any more fuel. In fact, it may feel very slightly slower until you chip it, then it will feel a lot faster. Reliability with this setup will be unchanged except for the stock clutch.

If you document the swap with pics of every step and differences between the new/old turbo like the egr cooler hose, it will qualify for the writeup contest and help many others who would be interested in this.
 

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VNT-17 on a BEW

The Garrett VNT-17 is a plug and play installation on a BEW, except for the EGR system. If you want to keep your EGR intact then you'll need a replacement lower EGR cooler hose, which is about $70 bucks. The BEW Intercooler piping works perfectly with the VNT-17, unlike the ALH.

The 17 works awesome on a BEW, its an upgrade for less than the factory Borg-Warner unit.
 
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