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General Tech Installing the Pistons and Rings


Luke Skywalker
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During installation of my new pistons and rings, I had to use the handle of a mallet to "rather" gently tap them past the rings. They just wouldn't drop in without the tapping. Was I reckless doing that? Was that expected?


Senior Member
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Some tapping is required to get the rings out of the compressor (which is oiled) into the cylinder. The movement should be consistent, though, with no points where increased force is required to continue the motion.

Geo Hahn

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I agree - I have the compressor pretty tight to be sure they go in to the cylinder easily, but that means some force needed to move them out of the compressor.


Obi Wan
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I always have to give them a good whack to make sure a ring doesn't catch and break. Make sure you use 'rubbers' on your rod bolts and protect the crank from any nicks. Lube everything up with your choice of motor oil...don't dip the pistons, just rub some on the pistons, rings, and cylinder walls and don't use anything more slick or the rings will have a hard time bedding.


Country flag
The top of the cylinders should have at least a small bevel. If you haven't cut yourself on the top edge while working on the engine, I am sure your's does. The bevel allows the rings to pass from the compressor to the cylinder without catching too badly...although light to moderate tapping is normal. You did good using the wooden handle!


Obi Wan
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Con rods can have sharp edges, protruding rod bolts, etc. that can damage the crank when the piston/rod assembly is inserted in the bore. They actually make little rubber or vinyl covers that slip over studs/bolts/con rod ends and most shops refer to them as rubbers. They actually extend a bit and help guide the rod onto the crankshaft.


Jedi Trainee
Ahhhh, OK...that makes perfect sense. Just never heard of them before. Thanks Rut for the explanation!
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