If its burning oil then the rear seal is leaking. Unfortunately VF39's and all other IHI VF RB55 series turbos( VF30,VF22,VF34,VF43,VF48,VF52,VF40,VF23,VF23,VF28, VF29.........)are not rebuildable. Some shaft play is normal for journal bearing turbos.
TroubleshootingandWhat causes a turbo to fail?
If you have a problem with your turbocharger, here are some potential things to look out for:
Oil Consumption:Oil coming out the turbine (rear) side on a recently replaced turbo.We have seen lots of this type of concern:Check PCV valveCheck compressionCheck oil outlet - must NOT be obstructed or kinkedCheck oil inlet sizeMost times, especially on new or rebuilt turbos, when the turbo leaks oil out the turbine seal, it is not necessarily a bad turbo. Things such as improper oil drain can cause this. The oil cannot drain out the bottom of the turbo so it passes out the seal. Low compression or bad PCV valves can also cause this problem. These can lead to higher-than-normal crankcase pressure, which will not allow the oil to flow out the drain tube, and again leak out the turbine seal. In some rare occurances, vehicles need an oil restrictor in the oil supply line. Many cars that run very high oil pressure and large diameter oil supply lines will need this to prevent actually blowing oil through the turbo, and straight out the turbine seal.Oil coming out of the compressor (front) side:Some of the same problems as above can cause this symptom.Check PCV valveCheck compressionCheck oil outlet - must nOT be obstructed or kinkedCheck oil inlet sizeStrange NoisesIt is usually quite easy to hear when something has gone wrong with your turbocharger. Rattling, scraping, or screeching sounds are VERY bad.If you hear a noise that does not sound normal, IMMEDIATELY shut the car down. Make an attempt at minimizing damage.