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Big end shells are the bearings surrounding the crank shaft at the bottom of the engine. On some vehicles you can replace them by dropping the sump and gaining access through the bottom. It all depends on the condition of the crank, this may require replacing or machining if scorred. Has she run short of oil? or gone extended periods without oil changes??

If it is the big end, it will not be cheap. I suggest a good mechanic take a look, I could tell you but its very difficult to diagnose over the internet as people's perception of knock can be totally different... A goosed big end is characterised by a knock at idle which changes into a rumble as revs increase - especially under load.
 
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