Performance Engine Rebuild Page 5

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All the images below are thumbnails. Clicking on them will bring up the bigger images.

Piston Installer
Now comes the time to install the pistons. What you see here in the picture is a "sleeve type" piston ring compressor. It is a sleeve that is internally tapered and the bottom 1/2" or so is exacty the size of the bore. If you've fought with the ratchet type ring installers, you know what a pain in the ass they are. The rings try to pop out, and hang going into the bore, or the ring compressor tries to wedge itself between the piston and the bore. This type of compressor completely eliminates this type of nastiness. You will need to know your overbore size (since there are 4.020,4.030,4.040, and 4.060 compressors). It is $26 well spent.

Lets go through and clean the bores with brake cleaner one last time. This is the last chance to get the dust out that's been accumulating in the bores since you pressure washed it. A light spray of fogging oil will help the rings go into the bores easier. Wipe out the inside of your ring compressor while you're at it.

First you remove the rod cap from the big end. If you have rods with bolts, you will need to protect the crank from damage by slipping a set of rod bolt covers onto the bolts. Then take some motor oil, and put a puddle in your hand. Lubricate the outside of the piston, and the rings. Then check to make sure that the rings are still at the correct "clocking" (oil rings at 8 and 10 o'clock, second ring at 4, and top at 2). Drop the piston into the sleeve until the skirt is just out the bottom of the compressor. Now set the compressor flat on the deck of the engine. Using the butt of a hammer, gently tap the piston into the bore, while holding the compressor down.

Place a small strip of Plastigage on the rod side bearing. Torque the cap in place. Now remove the cap, push the piston from the bottom side up in the bore, and check the Plastigage.

Now clean off the Plastigage, lubricate the bearing surfaces with ARP Moly Lube, put a little oil on the crankshaft, and retorque the rod cap. Repeat for all 8 cylinders.

Pistons Installed
Pistons Installed

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Last updated: Mon, Feb 18, 2002.
Copyright © Mike vanMeeteren, 2002.