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Old 04-14-2008, 09:30 AM
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Compression Ring Questions

Over the weekend I assembled my short block SBC 283 but a couple of things about the piston rings are bothering me and I wanted to ask everyone what they thought.

First the limited instructions that came with the rings didn't specify which of the compression rings were meant to be the top ring! The rings were very similar with the exception that the top side mark on one places the inside chamfer of the ring on the top and the other ring places it on the bottom. I installed them with the one that has the inside bevel facing up on the top. Is this right/should it matter.

Secondly is the ring gap stagger. The way I installed the rings was this. The top ring gap is straight up towards the top of the motor, I placed the second 90 degrees away from that at the small hole that indicates the piston orientation. The bottom oil rings did decent have instructions and I installed them as per the directions.

Lastly the rings are a run of the mill set that were included with my bearing and gasket sets.

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Old 04-14-2008, 09:54 AM
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I think I would look around for a set of instructions that are a bit more descriptive. Every set I have ever used came with very detailed instructions and at the very least the bags that the rings came in should have been labled top ring or second ring.

As far as the gap locations they may not be 180 degrees from each other or anything but most manufacturers place the rings in a recommended part of the piston like 45 degrees from the line of the wrist pin, towards the top and front of the motor.

Each manufacturer is different so it is hard to give a straight answer.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:09 AM
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Usually the top ring if not marked or beveled can go either way. If bevel is present, it goes up. To tell the top from the second, look at the face of them closely side by side. The second ring face is tapered and acts as a scraper and it goes big side, or leading edge down. In all cases if dots are present they go up.

Stagger is not totally scientific, just mix the gaps fairly far apart and do it the same for all pistons. On a 'V' engine mirror the two sides.

That's the method to my madness anyway.
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:05 PM
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Ok well I know that I have the same stagger all the way around but I'm not totally sure about the top/second ring. I guess I'll push one piston out and then check to see if the sides appear any different as you suggusted C-10.

On your suggustion double_V they weren't bagged just in a seperate compartment in the box. I'll check if there was some sort of label I missed there but I don't think so. I know there wasn't a more descriptive set of directions in the box so should I see if I can find a web site for the manufacture? The probem is I think the distributor just repackaged them so that might be difficult
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:57 PM
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Yeah, try a couple of different manufacturers until you find one that has instructions that show the particulars of your rings. Like if top ring has a bevel with a dot on one side. Or you could call and find out who makes the rings from the distributor, if they were total seal they would have come properly bagged, so i think you can rule that out.
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