FE-FC Holden Discussion Forum

Technical Board => General Technical => Topic started by: Rod on February 11, 2005, 05:33:53 AM

Title: Engine Noise
Post by: Rod on February 11, 2005, 05:33:53 AM
Hi all. The following problem has bugged me for many years and I am still unsure. I restored an FE beginning about 18 years ago. Some time after getting the ol girl on the road it began what I can only call a knocking type noise. It is quite noticable when the car is under load or accelerating and once it gets to constant revs it seems OK. A family friend who cut his teeth as a mechanic on the early Holdens, who has since passed away, used a stethoscope etc and couldn't come up with an explanation. I don't think its pre igniting as its a quite noticable and it is in time when set idling (possible vacuum or mechanical advance is faulty???)

I have a slight hunch it maybe due to excessive end float clearance. I think it may have developed after I had to replace the harmonic balancer. I worry the fellow who put the new one on may have hammered it on to hard and damaged the thrust main bearing. I have taking it off and re installed some time ago and the noise is still there.

Why I think it end float is because there is also a knocking / metalic noise when I depress the clutch (I'm unsure if this is the same type of sound). The clutch is extremely hard to depress. I've had brake fluid join me in the cabin. I replaced / kited master cylinder, slave and clutch line. The overide of the pedal is set correctly.

There could also be a problem with the pressure plate??? The clutch thrust bearing has been checked some time ago and seemed to be OK.

This problem doesn't seem to effect other performance other than what I call excessive oil vapor out of the breather pipe. As a result its using oil. (motor has done only 14000 miles).

I plan on taking the motor out and replace gaskets and seals as they have deteriorated due to lack of use and are leaking. But I hope to have a little insight into this problem. Or is it two problems masked as one??

I hope someone out there maybe able to help or who has experienced a similar problems. Cheers in anticipation  Rod

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: gp on February 11, 2005, 08:30:28 PM
Well, this could be many things, but here's a couple of suggestions. Check that the pulley on the harmonic balancer is tight. If it's been belted on with a hammer the rivets that hold the pulley to the balancer are probably buggered. Tailshaft Tim had this trouble about 10 years ago. Some of the more serious problems could be, gudgeon pins......this can be quite severe sometimes, especially if the circlips have fallen out. The one thing that I hope it isn't is a cracked/broken crankshaft. It is possible that it has a slight crack, and still be running OK.

Hope it's something simple.



Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: FE_225 on April 20, 2005, 02:04:29 PM
Hi Rod
Sorry for the slow reply.
The noise could be caused as Graham said. Also check for cracked rings. If cracked, they can bind in the cylinder at BDC (which does wonders for the motor:P ) giving a dull metallic knock noise that you cant quite pin point. If so, you could also notice oil dripping out the sideplate breather pipe and oil pooling inside the inlet manifold.
Hopefully this wont be the prob

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: Rod on September 08, 2019, 10:40:10 PM
Well where has the time gone? I can't believe I am responding to my own post from 14.5 years ago. That must be a record!

As mentioned in the orginal post, my plan was to pull the motor out, investigate etc... Since the post I have hardly driven the old girl (once a year if I am lucky). It has finally got to me and this weekend - out with the motor. Before doing so I was able to isolate what cylinder (or I thought so) it was. I took her for a drive and the knock was still there particularly under load. Coasting was ok. I then disconnected number 6 spark lead ie: to take the trust load off that cylinder and low and behold no noise what so ever. Out with the motor and before I had started to dismantle the motor, once the gearbox was removed, the problem was quite evident.

The flywheen bolts had clear evidence that somethings was making contact with them on the outer edge. On close examination on the back of the clutch (or is it the front) plate there was clear wear with the springs which were making contact with bolts. One of the springs had no wear but there was no tension in this spring as well.

I have read up on the newer clutch assemblies and the contact that they can make with the bell housing. This assembly is the old type. Bugger, I think the clutch plate was installed back to front. Interestingly when the knock was first evident almost 30 years ago, I pulled the gearbox out and checked for loose flywheel bolts as this can be a cause of the noise. Not that my memory serves me well, but I can't remember seeing any evidence of contact.

Still suspecting a gudgeon pin may still be in play, I was eager to check No.6 out. Not knowing exactly what I was looking for there seemed to be no wear in the pin and small end bush (the gudgeons were done on the last repair and there has been very few miles travelled). I did compare to others and there seemed to be no difference. I am glad I have pulled her down as there were many broken rings.

I measured up the bores and pistons to confirm what I thought was a 3 inch bore only to find that it is a 3.0625 bore. I always thought it was 3 inch. While it is 30 years since we rebuilt the motor I was sure we purchased 3 inch rings - maybe, maybe not. I measured one of the good rings in the bore and there was a significant gap between the ends - 60th plus so my thoughts may be confirmed. The motor is a replacement motor at some point as it has a Vic Police Engine Number. The second one I have, with the other being in my ute.

I was astounded by the condition of the Main and Big End Bearings. They were / are in unbelievable condition and could be reused again I am sure - Not that I am going to do so.

The final thing I did find was that there is a little movement in the harmonic balancer which I mentioned in the original post. I will replace that with a good original that I have. Is there anyone out there that refurbishes original balancers by popping the revitts and replacing the rubber???. I far sooner invest in this rather than the others that are out there.

I am excited as I work to put the old girl back together. Thirty years of wondering may be coming to an end.


Rod :) :) :) :)

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: my8thholden on September 09, 2019, 07:58:52 AM
Rod  .Are the bolts holding flywheel on crank the correct ones ,they have a " thin " head if you like ,and another thing to remember dowels and locking tabs ..cheers Vern ..

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: ardiesse on September 09, 2019, 10:30:45 AM

I can help with the harmonic balancer.


Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: JohnBM on September 09, 2019, 12:19:45 PM
Probably of no use , but i had a clunking noise in my grey , even went from WA to Canberra with it. It turned out to be crankshaft end float . You could put a jemmy bar down at the harmonic balancer and pihisically move it back and forth . Now has a new crankshaft ,

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: Rod on September 09, 2019, 12:54:49 PM
Hi All,

The bolts are the original thin ones. Needless to say the outer edge of each of them are much thinner now.

Rob, I will follow up your message in regards to the Harmonic Balancer.

John it is interesting that you made mention of the end float as in my original message from 14 odd years ago, I made mention of this. I am kicking myself that that I didn't check this before removing the crankshaft. Maybe I should put it back in and recheck.



Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: my8thholden on September 10, 2019, 07:20:06 AM
Rod ..Which way was the clutch driven plate facing when you dismantled ?..Vern ..

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: Maco on September 10, 2019, 08:19:18 AM
I can highly recommend Rob's Harmonic Balancers, the quality is outtanding.

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: Rod on September 10, 2019, 08:50:55 AM
Hi Vern,

Unfortunately the clutch plate was around the wrong way. Short side of the spline facing the flywheel. John I need to get in the shed and find a stash in a condition to be refurbished. Thanks for the feedback.



Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: my8thholden on September 11, 2019, 08:12:17 PM
Rod ..Sounds like damage is minimal ,and better to fix than a badly worn main bearing/ crankshaft thrust face that  was a possibility ..Vern .

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: Rod on September 11, 2019, 11:38:13 PM
Hi Vern, I only hope so. The pressure plate is in remarkable condition but the clutch plate is buggered. I am kicking myself that I didn't check the end float especially as I have already purchased Big End and Main Bearings (I couldn't get over how good the ones in it were) Cheers Rod

Title: Re: Engine Noise
Post by: my8thholden on September 12, 2019, 07:19:41 AM
Rod  .I have re read your post of 8/9/19 ..And the engine is currently dismantled ? ,and as you found broken rings ,it is not too difficult to put the main bearings in the block and put the crank in and check for end float ,if its excessive and enough to cause a noise that will soon be evident ,it would be no surprise that a 60yr old engine has wear ,but wear is really related to hours done operating . If the crank journals are STD then the crank has not been re ground ,so accidental machining of thrust face could not have happened ,and wear should be the thrust face of the bearing ,much less on thrust face of crank journal ,as you have a new set of bearings measure the thrust faces on the new and old and compare..The book says end thrust should be 3 to 8 thou.
cheers Vern ..