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67-4-fun 09-21-2011 12:09 PM

piston rings 1/16 vs 5/64
I know this has been discusses before, just trying to get more up to date info on using 1/16 piston rings vs a 5/64 the pros and cons, what can each handle? Reading ive found seems not to realy matter which to use but wounder if there is a neg side to using a smaller ring thickness, ive always been told to use a 5/64 ring, but like to try a 1/16 if i knew more about the usage of a smaller ring thickness..

thanks for your time

techinspector1 09-21-2011 12:16 PM

I'm not sure if my information is bogus or not, but I'm told that the thicker ring will seal a little better due to more contact area on the wall, but is heavier and will produce less seal at high rpm's because the ring is too heavy to stay on the ring land, having a tendency to flutter. I'm told that the thinner ring will not seal quite as well at lower rpm's, but will hold its position in the land a little better and have less tendency to flutter at high rpm's due to the lighter weight.

I have no scientific data to back this up, so make your own choices based on what seems like it would work better for you. Most of the stuff I have built was street driven and I used the thicker rings.

67-4-fun 09-21-2011 12:28 PM

thank you for the info tech... that will help sum it up and give me a more idea on what to expect

ap72 09-21-2011 12:48 PM

I mostly used the thicker rings as the pistons and rings are cheaper, BUT almost all major car companies are trending towards thinner rings...

Also keep in mind bore finish, piston finish, and ring material/finish is not what it was 30 years ago.

cobalt327 09-21-2011 12:52 PM

Convention holds that thinner rings are "racing" and thick rings are "street". But what was thin ten years ago is considered thick today. It's not unusual for high end builds to use 1/16" rings for a street engine, but there's a lot to consider if you go that route and cylinder finish and roundness are key- plan on a torque plate hone (which should be done anyway).

The link below is to an '09 article in HR mag on rings. I looked at it previously and saw no glaring inaccuracies, if you want to give it a look-see:

67-4-fun 09-22-2011 12:54 AM

thank you again for the info.. its a good education on this, maybe minor, but it all adds up in the end.. so thanks again, I will read the article

lg1969 09-22-2011 12:47 PM

Cobalt327 is correct on the rings. The thinner ring are for racing to reduce friction and reduce the heat it generates at high RPM. It's used in NASCAR racing. The problem is you will get more blow-by and consume more oil if it is used for street use.

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