• Hello Guest, welcome to the initial stages of our new platform!
    You can find some additional information about where we are in the process of migrating the board and setting up our new software here

    Thank you for being a part of our community!

What's the Consensus on B234 Balance Shafts?


Professional Hack
Oct 1, 2019
Mississauga, ON (Canada)
Hey again.

I'm looking at buying a 16v 740 GLE (Hacked III), and I was looking to know a bit more about the B234 - specifically the balance shafts. I've read complaints about them leaking or sometimes causing premature timing belt failure or otherwise catastrophic issues and that people sometimes delete them. I can't find those threads again to verify, so I thought I'd start a new one to ask what the current consensus is on whether to keep/remove the shafts - whether it's "worth it" or does absolutely nothing.

I don't have the car in question yet, this is more of a curious/hypothetical question I guess. It's almost certainly been covered, but I have a hard time finding the right search terms, and pop up fairly old threads whenever I do. Feel free to link me to some useful threads.


Active member
Jul 31, 2017
Brooklyn, Neu York
Usually people just leave the belts off. If you manage to remove the balance shafts then you'll have gaps in your timing cover and you'll need to plug some stuff. If you were to upgrade the hardware and ran the belts I think you'd be fine. I'm sure a lot of people have a lot of different opinions on it.


Active member
Jun 19, 2009
Sydney, Australia
You cannot easily remove the shafts, there is oil pressure in the cavities where they are.

On mine, I just cut off the balance shaft belt, no issues


All idiot, no savant
Aug 15, 2004
The Netherlands, Europe
Easy fix is remove belt. You can even squeeze a pair of tin snips between the covers if you don't care about scratches. Downside is they will continue to leak oil. The assemblies are pretty mediocre in regards to oil leaks IMHO. They are actually made by Mitsubishi btw.

Removing them all together is not hard but with the engine in the car it is a hassle. Plugging the drain holes is easy, a cup style freeze plug will do the job. Feed, I remember we tapped exhaust side for a grub screw M6x1 and intake side for an M12x1,75 bolt.

Another option we did not fully check but which could be a good solution too.. The balance shaft assembly castings are the same left and right side of the engine. Just the exhaust side is bored out for feed and drain on the other side as the intake side assembly and vice versa. The maching for the O-rings was done on both sides of one assembly iirc but no oil passage.
So theoretically you could hacksaw or Mill away 99% of the balance shaft and use the leftovers from the exhaust side assembly on the intake side of the engine and vice versa..

Removed balance shafts, some LH tweaks, ethanol, better in/exhaust and lots of revs.. I was impressed with the gains.