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Piston and Sleeve Finishing and Break-In Tips

When finishing diesel cylinder bores or sleeves, a two or three step process that results in a plateau finish is usually best to reduce ring break-in and seating time. The type of honing stones, feed and pressure used to finish the cylinders will vary depending on what kind of finish you want to achieve.

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Though they’re heavier than automotive products, diesel sleeves need plateau honing too, and careful attention to detail.

When finishing diesel cylinder bores or sleeves, a two or three step process that results in a plateau finish is usually best to reduce ring break-in and seating time. The type of honing stones, feed and pressure used to finish the cylinders will vary depending on what kind of finish you want to achieve.

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As a rule, you should try to avoid removing too much metal too quickly, using too much feed pressure and excessive dwell time to minimize heat build up that can distort the bores.

Use of torque plates is always recommended to improve bore geometry.

After the cylinders have been finished to specs, they must be scrubbed clean with hot soapy water and a brush to remove all traces of honing residue. Once the cylinders are clean, they can be lightly oiled with break-in oil.

Use a conventional oil or a break-in oil for the initial start-up and break-in process, not a synthetic oil. Prime or pressurize the oil system prior to starting the engine.

Once it starts, rev it up to 2,000 to 2,500 RPM for 30 minutes while varying engine speed as the rings seat.

Once the break-in process has been completed, drain the oil, change the filter and refill the crankcase with whatever oil will be used from that point on (conventional 15W-40 or synthetic 15W-40 or 5W-40 typically).

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