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Oil additives/balance shaft knock

Discussion in 'VR - VS Holden Commodore (1993 - 1997)' started by Dunlop, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Hi everyone - have just joined after reading much on this site over time. About four years ago my VR (V6) Acclaim developed a distinctive knock in the engine when starting from cold. Turned out to be a worn balance shaft. It doesn't seem to have got any worse, and goes away after about five minutes or less as soon as the engine warms up and the metal tolerances close. My mechanic says it would cost about $2000 to replace the shaft as the engine has to come out. Accordingly, I did some extensive research and have put the following additives into the oil:

    300 ml Engine Restorer
    300 ml Nulon worn engine treatment
    250 ml Nulon long term engine treatment
    300 ml Xcelplus (the original Siick 50 formula)

    The knock is still there but bit quieter, but the car seems to be running more economically after i just made a trip up and back to north east Vic. Seems to have a little more power too, but I'll probably have to drive bit further to get the full benefit.

    Anyone like to comment on this issue? Thanks.
     
  2. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

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    Some people remove the balance shaft. AFAIK the shaft can be removed with the engine in the bay.
     
  3. BowTie

    BowTie Active Member

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    Removal of is not needed. Just remove the gear drive from the front of the shaft with the timing cover off.
     
  4. Wozza

    Wozza Well-Known Member

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    Dont remove the shaft just the front drive sprocket...there is an oil feed at the rear of the shaft......problem is if you do remove the balance shaft sprocket, you will end up worrying endlessly if the noise is still there :) These things rattle and bang as they get old, embrace the noise or turn up the radio ;)
     
    woteva likes this.
  5. stick3

    stick3 Active Member

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    what grade of oil are you using
     
  6. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Thanks Losh - my Holden mechanic (who is pretty honest) told me the engine had to come out to replace the bearing housing as over time the bearings can wear (I assume) a 'track' in the end of the balance shaft.. How do you replace it without the engine coming out?
     
  7. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Thanks for that - I'll ask my mechanic. He might say "Have you been reading those forums again??"...
     
  8. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Standard grade 20W 50. Oil was replaced very recently as mechanic originally thought the noise was due to a tappet lifter sticking; the engine wasn't cold enough for the full sound to be heard...
     
  9. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Thanks - will check with my mechanic, but it really sounds like the shaft is bouncing around in the bearing race to me (but that's only my opinion).
     
  10. Wozza

    Wozza Well-Known Member

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    Yeah mechanics hate forums/social media..It costs em their lively hood....Meh Its your dime.....but if your running a 20+ year old car you need to learn to do it yourself or they become financially unviable....
     
  11. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    I think he uses forums himself actually...I've had fair bit of work done on the car since I bought it - it was actually a country car - not a city used car. You are right about maintaining it myself, but if you stuff something up fixing it yourself, it can make sense using a good mechanic. I hardlly use the car as I have quick access to public transport - I really bought it to go up to the north east maybe once a year if that. Since I bought it in late 2007, I've spent an average of about $195 a year on maintenance, but a lot of people would spend ten times that amount on fuel. It's a bit like having a car loan that you only have to pay a bit off whenever you drive the car a long distance. It's basically in pretty good condition both body wise and mechanically, so I know the car pretty well. It also handles really well (I've owned a Peugeot 504 and an Alfasud).

    I think the VE's for example are great cars, but at least mine has the thermostat at the front and uses pushrods, so you don't have any stretched cam chain issues.
     
  12. VS_Pete

    VS_Pete Donating Member

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    I think you should put some pics up mate
     
  13. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Well, short of taking the shaft out for a photo, I might be able to make a short video of the engine starting cold - if I can load it on here from my phone. Will see what I can do... (don't hold your breath yet..).
     
  14. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    OK. VN-VR you can remove the balance shaft without removing the engine and it won't effect the oil pressure as it was the ecotec engines that got the oil feed to the rear balance shaft bearing. Having said that, like others have said, you can disable the balance shaft by simply removing the gear.

    The problem with the balance shaft is that the rear bearing is a needle roller type bearing which on the 3800 V6 motor does not receive any lubrication other than oil splashing around the valley. With age it seems crud or other contaminants that build up in the crank case/valley seems to contaminate the bearing and lead to failure over time. They added the oil feed for the bearing on the ecotec engines to try to eliminate this issue it.

    To replace the rear balance shaft bearing the engine does indeed need to come out but considering it's age and the fact that the engine will run ok without it it seems like a waste of time and effort to do this.
     
  15. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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  16. Dunlop

    Dunlop New Member

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    Thanks for that - he was right. My mechanic said that - as you've pointed out - if I was going to spend that amount of money, I might as well try to find a reconditioned engine. He also said that a background rattle caused by the shaft when then engine is warm is something that can 'basically go on indefinately'. When I added the Engine Restorer, the knock literally disappeared, but i suspect this could have been caused by it thickening the oil viscosity. I was hoping the Xcelplus - which a friend whose father owned a country Mazda dealership, and who swears by the original Slick 50 formula - would fix the problem but it didn't. I'm hoping that the amount of teflon now floating around in the system will act as a buffer to prolong the life of the balance shaft for quite a while...
     
  17. Wozza

    Wozza Well-Known Member

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    Doh thought the OP had a VS...my bad :)
     

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