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Old 08-07-2003, 09:24 AM
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Piston Installation Frustration

Installing pistons today. Ring end gaps all fall within spec. The problem I am having is as I tap the piston down into the bore, the bottom thin oil control rail pops out and then all progress stops. I am clamping the band as tight as I can, I am gently tapping the band down between taps on the piston to keep it on the block, but the thin ring just wont go down. Ring compressor is made by "Powerbuilt" purchased at Kragen. Any tips would be appreciated

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Old 08-07-2003, 09:27 AM
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you can try to sand a bit off of that ring to make it close a bit more.
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Old 08-07-2003, 09:29 AM
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A hose clamp near the bottom edge of the compressor may assist in getting the rings under the bore size and allow you to get the pistons in. Zip tie works too.
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Old 08-07-2003, 09:55 AM
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:28 AM
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I always have a friend tap the piston in while I hold the compressor, this way I can keep the compressor firmly against the block.
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:51 AM
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Im with you GT, I have found this to be a two person job.

keep it square to the block.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
I am gently tapping the band down between taps on the piston to keep it on the block
This may be the problem... If going to slow this may be what cause is...? Good firm bumps will make the rings slide by and transistion into the bore better and less chance of hanging on the edge... Care should be taken but its not glass... Plenty of lubricatin oil should also be applied...
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:52 AM
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I'm with bumpstick, I give them some firm drives with plenty of lube. I also use a ring compressor that clamps in a ratcheting plier holder. As long as you keep it square, I've never encountered the problem, also I don't use an extra set of hands. If something should get f'd up at least you won't think it was your buddy's fault.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:56 AM
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That's why I hold the compressor, if I thought my buddy couldn't use a hammer, I wouldn't even let him in my garage..
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:07 PM
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Turns out I was being a bit tentative. I find that clamping the well lubed piston good and tight, holding the compressor firmly down and using the handle of a 5 pound mallet does the trick. I was using the handle of a rubber mallet with oily hands. That didn't work too well. Once they are in though, there's no going back to check if everything is OK-one has to have a little faith that nothing breaks on the way down.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:31 PM
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funny.. I've never had this problem with piston rings I never even filed them down any and they fit in a buick 3.0 nicely. weird.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:36 PM
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so you didn't check the ring gaps?
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:41 AM
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Check the top of the cylinder bores. There should be a slight taper so the rings slide right in. If the taper isn't there the first ring will pop out and everything stops. Use a little emery cloth and put the taper in by hand. Just be sure to re-clean everything before you install the pistons.

Good Luck
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Old 08-08-2003, 04:53 AM
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It takes a fim, steady and rapid push to slide the piston into the bore. If you pause for any instance as the rings go past the end of the ring compressor, it will hang. I have seen some people tap the piston down and have problems, a firm push has always worked better for me.

Vince
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Old 08-08-2003, 10:21 AM
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*Tapered* piston ring compressor for your particular bore size (or adjustable bore model tapered ring compressor.)

Once you try it, you will never go back.....
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