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TR4/4A Looking for piston & liner recommendation

AHS

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I've just removed the pistons & liners from my TR4, 2 of which are seized from 30 years of storage. So it should get a new set of pistons, liner sleeves & rod bearings and be good to go. It's 50K miles, and the crank journals all look & measure perfect. I'll probably install a 87mm set.

Anyway, does anybody have recent experience, good or bad, with piston & liner sets from the various vendors that they'd care to share? I'm finding conflicting info searching here. One post says Moss sells AE brand and are 3 ring, another post says they are unmarked and 4 ring. TRF sells "County" brand. I've heard of one piece and three piece oil rings. I'd appreciate hearing what brand or vendor's product has worked for others.

Another odd question, are the #2 rod bearing shells supposed to be grooved, and the other 3 sets are not grooved? That's what I found. There are no signs this engine was ever apart prior to today.

Thanks,
Andy
 

charleyf

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Last that I heard A&E piston and liners are no longer available. Several years ago I bought a set from TRF that I believe were Mahle. The only other brand that I have seen is County. I recently bought a County set from British Parts Northwest.
I just looked at a set of NOS A&E rod bearings and they have NO GROOVE. So I would guess that your #2 set is a replacement. My best guess.
Charley
 

bobhustead

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The nonconforming rod bearings are a high level sign the engine has been apart before. A call to Moss or TRF will probably get you the skinny on the piston stuff.
Bob
 

Geo Hahn

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I used the 86mm set from Moss about 2 years ago. I do not recall any brand on them, they appear to have 3 rings.

Moss%2086_zps6kr0tsdc.jpg


So far everything seems fine.
 

Foura

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Repeating from an earlier thread. Years ago, (decades?) I rebuilt the engine on my then TR3A. Being a poor student, I bought Vanguard pistons and sleeves which were cheaper than TR ones. They were 85mm, giving 2088cc and they had 3 rings above the gudgeon and another oil ring below the gudgeon. I was later told that TR pistons had only 3 rings, all above the gudgeon, to give greater oil supply to the pin. Presumably, TRs were expected to be revved harder than Vanguards, and the owners were more likely to accept a slightly greater oil use. I assume that 3 rings also gave less friction and thus more power than 4 rings.

My current 4A has 87mm Mahle pistons and liners and has 3 rings. It has done 20,000 miles since the rebuild and only uses 500ml in 2000 miles. Like Hansel and Gretel, some of that goes to leaving a small trail so that it can find its' way home........:friendly_wink:
 
OP
AHS

AHS

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Thanks all. I'll ask Moss for specifics on what they supply today and let you know.
Andy
 

Jerry

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People in our club have rebuilt 4 of these engines in the last two years. 3 out of 4 had problems with the 3 piece oil ring not sealing. The cars burned oil, which you could see come out the tailpipe. The one car that did not burn oil happened to have a Hastings type oil ring which was one piece. The curvy spring on the 3 piece broke at the ends, but I still can't see how that affected the scrapper rings top and bottom to cause the oil burn problem. These three cars had the rings replaced by Hastings brands and all is well now.

Jerry
 
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AHS

AHS

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Thanks Jerry, that's very useful information. I've no answer from Moss yet but I see they do sell Hastings rings separately. Perhaps I'll buy their piston set and pitch the rings that come with them for as little as the Hastings rings cost.
Andy
 

charleyf

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Andy,
Just for the record the set of pistons and liners that I got from BPNW which are County ( name is on the underside of the crown) are three ring and came with a a set of Grant rings.
Charley
 

Jerry

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I am pretty sure the oil rings from Grant are those we had problems with. Do you have a picture of the oil ring?
 

ghawk16

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I am pretty sure the oil rings from Grant are those we had problems with. Do you have a picture of the oil ring?


0204160705.jpg0204160701a.jpg

Jerry,
Here are the pictures I have of the oil rings. I also bought the 87mm piston/liner set from BPNW and they do indeed come with Grant Rings. I'm having my engine rebuilt by Del's up in Sacramento (recommended by PatGalvin here on the forum) so if I can save myself from issues I will go with Hastings. I do notice on Hastings website they have three ring ones as well. Do you know which Hastings rings the people used that had issues had replaced them with? There seems to be four types. Also, they sent steel figure 8's but I've heard it's better to use the copper. I do have a set of those that came with my engine gasket kit. Should I use those? Thanks
 
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AHS

AHS

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Info from Moss is that 86mm & 87mm sets they sell are both County brand and come in the door with Grant rings. Hastings rings are available separately but they only have the 86mm set, the 87mm set (or 86mm+.040" over) is not available any longer through them. Perhaps it is available other places. 86mm is fine with me so that's what I'll do. Thanks Jerry, you may have saved me from creating another oil-burner.
Andy
 

charleyf

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The Grant rings are as shown in Gary's pictures. I will as well look for some Hastings rings before I use the Pistons.
Thanks ,
Charley
 

Geo Hahn

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FWIW - I had no problem using the rings supplied by Moss (I think they were Grants). They were the ones with the different colored ends (red & green?) that have to be installed with no overlap - hence the colors to make it obvious if you screw up.
 
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AHS

AHS

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Here are a few pictures for everyone showing the 2 86mm ring sets & pistons I just received. Charley, perhaps the part number will help you locate the similar 87mm set. I'd have done 87mm if the Hastings rings were easily available.
Notes:
-The hasting oil rings are 3pc like the Grant. the notable difference is the tighter serpentine pattern on the Hastings. They both look OK. It might be possible that the problems some others have had with burning oil with Grant rings is the sealing of #1 and #2 rather than the oil ring. But that's speculation. I'll go with Hastings since everyone seems to have good luck.
-Pistons clearly say "COUNTY" inside the skirt and do have steel plates in the sides
-Groove depth is .170". The ring widths are in the engine data & printed on the Hastings box so no sense repeating them.
Andy
DSCN1433s.jpgDSCN1436s.jpgDSCN1438s.jpg
 

Jerry

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Our rings that had problems were from MOSS and the pictures above show them. They must work, but we had engines that blew smoke and when we took them apart, the ends of the oil rings were broken. These rings were fitted into the cylinder for size prior to installing so we don't know why the break at the ends, but the cars blew smoke and required oil addition. After about 600 miles, we gave up and installed the hastings brand of oil rings. No more problems.

Jerry
 

ghawk16

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The Grant rings are as shown in Gary's pictures. I will as well look for some Hastings rings before I use the Pistons.
Thanks ,
Charley

Charley,

Should you find a source for the Hastings can you PM me and let me know where you found them? I'd prefer to have a piece of mind even though the Grants may be fine. Thanks

Gary
 

charleyf

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Gary,
I have the 86 mm piston set. I decided that the 87 mm set didn't do all that much more and it just made the gasket that much narrower against the water passages and therefore increased the possibility of a head gasket leak. I am likely about six months away from getting to the engine. It looks like the set in Andy's picture is for a 86mm . With that number I should be able to go to the local car parts store. I'll let you know what I find.
Charley
 
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