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Thread: Big end bearing failure signs?

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    Guest jay1017's Avatar
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    Post Big end bearing failure signs?

    Are there any IN ADVANCE signs of the big ends going in a CA?

    Did a comp test today and saw 145 across the board on a 134k mile engine.. now I'm currently running full stage 1 but I'm worried ill spin a bearing sooner or later, so I'd rather replace the bearings before they decide to go.


    Any recommendations on what bearings to use, what rod bolts to use and any other tips I'll need when replacing them? I've never touched a bottom end, so will be completely new to me.

    Thanks

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    There is a good write up on here on how to do it. I'll see if I can find it. Mine went last year and I just recently replaced mine with ACL race bearings. They cost about 50. They can be replaced in a day. I did mine over 2 days. 4 hours at a time.

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    http://sxoc.com/vbb/showthread.php?1...31#post1860731

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asad.C View Post
    There is a good write up on here on how to do it. I'll see if I can find it. Mine went last year and I just recently replaced mine with ACL race bearings. They cost about 50. They can be replaced in a day. I did mine over 2 days. 4 hours at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asad.C View Post
    http://sxoc.com/vbb/showthread.php?1...31#post1860731

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    Thanks man, did you do yours with the engine in the car or did you pull the engine? & which do you think would be easier and less hassle?

    Also, did you re-use your rod bolts (I read that they can be re-used) or did you use new ones?

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    Dorset & Hants Rep pointz's Avatar
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    Pulling engine is definitely easier although more time consuming.

    Rod bolts are fine to re-use unless you want to upgrade to arp bolts.

    Personally i think i would pull engine and check clearances with plastigauge to be safe but then if its not knocking it's probably not so important.

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    When big ends are on the way out there are distinct signs that tell you before the bearing spins (assuming you are using it on the road not drifting it) then you will get warning in terms of a tinkling at the top end.
    If I were you, I'd leave it until it becomes a problem.
    The CA doesn't have weak big ends. It just has a small oil capacity so is susceptible to oi starvation if the oil level is allowed to drop. If the engine has been looked after, it will last a lot of miles.

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    Guest jay1017's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointz View Post
    Pulling engine is definitely easier although more time consuming.

    Rod bolts are fine to re-use unless you want to upgrade to arp bolts.

    Personally i think i would pull engine and check clearances with plastigauge to be safe but then if its not knocking it's probably not so important.
    Is there any benefit in upgrading on a standard motor?

    Also when I start my car (cold) I can sometimes hear a faint noise from the engine, I'm not sure if its knocking as it is really quiet but it has me concerned. It's definitely not the head as the ticking sounds completely different. It goes away after about a second of running.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Wilkinson View Post
    When big ends are on the way out there are distinct signs that tell you before the bearing spins (assuming you are using it on the road not drifting it) then you will get warning in terms of a tinkling at the top end.
    If I were you, I'd leave it until it becomes a problem.
    The CA doesn't have weak big ends. It just has a small oil capacity so is susceptible to oi starvation if the oil level is allowed to drop. If the engine has been looked after, it will last a lot of miles.
    The car is full street, moderate 20 mile drive to work & back and sometimes have a bit of fun in her. I do plan on taking it to the track though once I can. The engine is absolutely silent when running though & since I've owned the car I've tried to service the car as often as possible (every 1-2k with 3.5l oil) to flush out the engine as much as I can of any gunk.
    Last edited by jay1017; 28-07-2017 at 00:02.

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    Also, recently installed a sandwich plate and fitted an oil temp gauge and am seeing around 85-90c regular driving & around 95-98 motorway. Approx. max of 105 if I get on it when on backroads & giving it a fair beating.

    Not to sure if thats a decent temperature range. Currently not running an oil cooler, but is it necessary?

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    When you hear a bearing noise it's already too late, bearing will be shot and the crank will be damaged. If you are worried do it sooner rather than later

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    Guest ANDY black s13's Avatar
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    change them asap imo, fit a cooler for the capacity not so much it needs cooling ,
    a thermo stat mocal or similar take off plate is best for a mainly road use car (so it don't over cool the oil),
    if you are going to keep it and tune it for more power look into doing a mod to the sump when it's apart to increase the sump capacity
    and some form of trap door to prevent oil surge rearwards imo will save it from killing bearing,s if you track it
    more power more grip more oil surge,
    compression readings are good but maybe consider pulling the motor and going through it to lessen future failures

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    Before I changed my bearings I've recorded a video/audio of it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8yoHeNKw6g

    I could hear the rattle only when cold and around idle. I changed the bearings and had two upper ones definitely worn. I've measured the clearances with a plastigage, when installing the new ones and everything was within tolerances.
    So if yours is worse than that, expect crankshaft damage etc...

    p.s. I managed to do everything in situ. It's definitely doable, but I would never ever do it without taking the engine off.
    Last edited by m17ch; 28-07-2017 at 08:19.

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    If u drop the subframe. It does make it a lot easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_mac View Post
    When you hear a bearing noise it's already too late, bearing will be shot and the crank will be damaged. If you are worried do it sooner rather than later
    I don't know if its a bearing noise, it doesn't sound like the video though.

    I'll always be worried, it's a CA

    Quote Originally Posted by ANDY black s13 View Post
    change them asap imo, fit a cooler for the capacity not so much it needs cooling ,
    a thermo stat mocal or similar take off plate is best for a mainly road use car (so it don't over cool the oil),
    if you are going to keep it and tune it for more power look into doing a mod to the sump when it's apart to increase the sump capacity
    and some form of trap door to prevent oil surge rearwards imo will save it from killing bearing,s if you track it
    more power more grip more oil surge,
    compression readings are good but maybe consider pulling the motor and going through it to lessen future failures
    So i'm guessing my temps aren't a problem but the oil capacity of the engine itself. Will get a cooler asap then

    Quote Originally Posted by m17ch View Post
    Before I changed my bearings I've recorded a video/audio of it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8yoHeNKw6g

    I could hear the rattle only when cold and around idle. I changed the bearings and had two upper ones definitely worn. I've measured the clearances with a plastigage, when installing the new ones and everything was within tolerances.
    So if yours is worse than that, expect crankshaft damage etc...

    p.s. I managed to do everything in situ. It's definitely doable, but I would never ever do it without taking the engine off.
    Mine doesn't sound anywhere near that or that loud neither. I'll record a video when I have time

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    Guest jay1017's Avatar
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    Just recorded that now, its literally so silent you can hear the fuel pump over it. Not sure if I'm just being paranoid

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    Quote Originally Posted by jay1017 View Post


    Just recorded that now, its literally so silent you can hear the fuel pump over it. Not sure if I'm just being paranoid
    I hear no issue here.

    Only issue i see is that ebay filter ����

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    Guest ANDY black s13's Avatar
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    increase its oil capacity as 3.5 litres is not enough for any turbo engine making 200 ish bhp
    short of taking the engine apart and checking for wear and measuring with a micrometer,
    the only way to 'hear' if the big ends are worn and close to knocking would be to leave it at least 24 hours and if the cold start works
    (it cranks 2/3 times and fires up) get some one to start it from cold with you as close to the sump as poss and during the first few seconds of it running
    you may hear a knock (2/3 seconds possibly) that goes away as the oil gets up to pressure and pumps through the bearings

    my now dead CA did this 2/3 seconds of knock when I first got it 10 years ago, I managed to keep it alive at stage 2+ powers for 30k miles
    by simply fitting a kill switch to the fuel pump and the coils and cranking it over from cold till the oil light went out,
    then flick pump and coils on and start it,changed oil & filter every 2k max as well
    new forged CA is getting every mod possible to make it reliable,as well as ACL race and ARP everything,
    I'm doing cylinder head oil drain mod with AN12 braided lines to return excess oil build up in the rocker covers from high revs to the sump
    also making a Greddy SR20 sump fit the CA sump as a bolt on removable thing that can be removed/cleaned every oil change if need be
    ,too much to detail here but can advise on more in depth mods to keep it alive longer

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    A sign of the bearings starting to go is if you drop the engine oil and there is a silver or copper sheen on it.

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    Guest jay1017's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointz View Post
    I hear no issue here.

    Only issue i see is that ebay filter ����
    lets hope so!

    & eBay catch can

    Quote Originally Posted by ANDY black s13 View Post
    increase its oil capacity as 3.5 litres is not enough for any turbo engine making 200 ish bhp
    short of taking the engine apart and checking for wear and measuring with a micrometer,
    the only way to 'hear' if the big ends are worn and close to knocking would be to leave it at least 24 hours and if the cold start works
    (it cranks 2/3 times and fires up) get some one to start it from cold with you as close to the sump as poss and during the first few seconds of it running
    you may hear a knock (2/3 seconds possibly) that goes away as the oil gets up to pressure and pumps through the bearings

    my now dead CA did this 2/3 seconds of knock when I first got it 10 years ago, I managed to keep it alive at stage 2+ powers for 30k miles
    by simply fitting a kill switch to the fuel pump and the coils and cranking it over from cold till the oil light went out,
    then flick pump and coils on and start it,changed oil & filter every 2k max as well
    new forged CA is getting every mod possible to make it reliable,as well as ACL race and ARP everything,
    I'm doing cylinder head oil drain mod with AN12 braided lines to return excess oil build up in the rocker covers from high revs to the sump
    also making a Greddy SR20 sump fit the CA sump as a bolt on removable thing that can be removed/cleaned every oil change if need be
    ,too much to detail here but can advise on more in depth mods to keep it alive longer
    My oil light doesn't seem to work, it lights up with all the other lights on the dash but doesn't flicker as it should on startup, just turns off. Dead sensor?
    Last edited by jay1017; 28-07-2017 at 22:16.

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    Mine never flickered in the 18 years I had it. Why do you think it should ?

    Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Wilkinson View Post
    Mine never flickered in the 18 years I had it. Why do you think it should ?

    Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk
    Thought it would on startup as it builds oil press. I'll have to get an oil pressure gauge

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