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Metallic look of oil from new built engine.

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Hey folks!

I am going to try to make it as short as possible. Issue is that my oil looks like a metallic paint even after 5 oil changes.My R34 GTR ended up with a bad bearing earlier this year, so i decided to buy a brand new engine, Fresh 2nd hand Rb26 block, brand new head, Brand new cams springs etc, Brand new Nissan OEM RB26 crank, brand new nitto oil pump, New pistons and rods etc, Not a single part from my old engine was reused. I replaced all hoses and coolers etc etc.

The engine is assembled by a reputable shop in my country that i trust fully, They do forged engines on a daily basis so all clearances etc and machine work is done by someone who is doing it all time.

I did start up the Engine with my tuner, we took it for a spin to drive it warm and he was checking all values while i was driving (had to retune it a bit since i got other cams and Injectors)Engine did run about 1 hour then i replaced oil and filter to Motul Chrono 10-w40  (oil pressure is on idle 900rpm is at around 4bar) Warm oil 85 degrees. RUNNING E85

For some reason i did collect the oil and noticed that it looked All like a metallic paint. you cant feel the "flakes" but if u have a really strong Led light you can clearly see "shimmer" in the oil, At first i was like oh this is a normal thing running a garage 101 oil pan so its around 9liters of oil in the car + oil cooler.

After this oil change we did some roadtuning (this time we drove the car 2 hours approx) and gave the Engine some boost (base pressure from gates) and it all was working perfect. Once we have tried everything out we decided to take it on the dyno next session.  Since i couldent really relax from the metallic look of the oil so i went with another Oil change and it did still look like metallic. Maybie not AS much as first but still if u were having a strong LED light you could still see the flakes but not feel them. Since the car was already on the lfit then i Started it and ran it until oil temps was 85 degrees again and did 2 more Oil changes and i could see that the "shimmering" was reduced a bit.  Also i have a Magnetic oil plug and there is barely ANY debrises on it

We did then Hit the dyno and made 707 AWHP on a safe tune (E85) GTx3584 gen2, And the car runs like a dream but i still get the "shimmer" in the oil. the Car has now been running around 400kms Since it was built and i did my 5th oil change and could still see all the metallic "flakes" Oil pressure is unchanged on idle and while driving, Engine sounds really good and healthy.

Have you inspected the oil of ur new engines with a really strong led? if so how did it look?

Some people have told me that it should be ZERO shimmer, Some people say its the normal wear you can see, Some say its normal run in stuff but it doesent feel magnetic at all. Some say that the ARP lube + LOCTITE assembly lubes can make the oil look like metallic paint. I would accept all of those things at first 1-2 changes but now i have done 5 oil changes in a really short period and run time tho but it makes me worried, should i pull out the engine again and check the bearings before i ruin my new Crank?

Here is some pics of the oil 








20210726_133205 (1).jpg

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If you've done 500klm at 500kw and it sounds and goes good, then your engine is fine. You would have heard or seen a major failure by now.

I can see the glittering in the oil, but is there anything at the bottom of your oil drain pan after you slowly poor the oil out? Bearings etc will fall to the bottom of the pan, you would expect bearing material for a bottom end issue or potentially aluminium if there was a head problem

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On 29/07/2021 at 4:30 AM, Duncan said:

If you've done 500klm at 500kw and it sounds and goes good, then your engine is fine. You would have heard or seen a major failure by now.

I can see the glittering in the oil, but is there anything at the bottom of your oil drain pan after you slowly poor the oil out? Bearings etc will fall to the bottom of the pan, you would expect bearing material for a bottom end issue or potentially aluminium if there was a head problem

No bits falls out of the oil pan at all just the "flake thing" in the oil. even if let the oil stay in a 10 liters bucket over night the "shimmer" doesent end upp falling to the bottom so there is no bigger particles in the oilpan.

However when i cut open the Oil filters i can see some particles stuck in the filters, but i looks like "dirt" or more cylinde block material wich my engine builder think is normal since the car has just been running for so little time.

Im going to continue to Drive the car now and let it go with the same oil for a little bit longer this time and see how it ends up lookin in the oil filter. 





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Hi i had a similar problem with my first rebuild and it turned out to be camshaft and lifter problem there was too much lift on the cams and the head had not been machined to suit the extra lift causing lifter and cam lobe damage which resulted in the same problem you have i would be checking cam lobes and lifter surfaces for wear and damage incase you have a similar problem. 

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I've just gotten mine going, and I don't notice anything like what you're seeing. What oil are you using?

I used basic semi syn for run in and now running full syn - My oil doesn't have shimmer at all.

Do you see any of that crap in the filter if you cut it open?

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  • 3 weeks later...


Few things to look in to, firstly is camshaft tunnels and then lifter bores. Thats quiet fine aluminium by the looks. From there, look into crank thrust (measure this with the box off and a dial indicator on the crank end) as it could be walking and chewing up the thrust.


Report back from there

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  • 1 month later...

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