Top 10 'DOs' of Piston Ring Installation - Engine Builder Magazine
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Top 10 ‘DOs’ of Piston Ring Installation


1. Insert rings squarely into the bore and measure end gap with feeler gauge;

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2. Adjust gap if needed by filing both sides of gap equally;

3. Use ring expander tool to install rings on piston, so as not deform ring – do not spiral on rings;

4. Install directional rings with the dot up (otherwise oil pumping may occur);

5. Install 2.0mm 3-piece oil ring with expander points up to  avoid catching in drain-back hole/slot in oil groove bottom;

6. Stagger location of end gaps on each ring 180 degrees apart;

7. Clean bores with hot soapy water & scrub brush, wipe with clean white rag to check for any residue;

8. Lightly oil cylinder walls and rings with regular non-synthetic motor oil;

9. Properly tighten ring compressor so rings don’t catch on edge of cylinder or pop out in bore (don’t force piston if it is hung up);


10. Typical engine break-in: use conventional motor oil – change oil after first 3,000 miles. Use only synthetic motor oil if originally specified by manufacturer.

Source: Hastings Piston Rings

Engine Builder Magazine