Ring Installation in Small Bores

The event of engine downsizing has caused many changes in almost every engine component. Piston rings are no exception. Rings have been reduced in diameter as cylinder bores have become smaller along with corresponding width and wall reductions.

This reduction in the cross sectional size of the ring has caused the ring to become somewhat more fragile with respect to handling and installing. For this reason it is necessary to use great care whenever these rings are being installed on the piston.

Care should be taken to follow the instructions below:

  1. Use proper piston ring installation tools.
  2. Keep the ring absolutely flat when opening to install on the piston.
  3. Place the ring squarely in the groove and carefully release the tension of the ring installer.

If these procedures are not followed, damage will occur to the axial and/or radial shape of the ring, as illustrated below.
Axial Point MisalignmentRadial Point Misalignment

If the rings are installed after this type of damage has been inflicted, engine performance will be affected. Blow-by will increase and oil control will suffer.

Compression rings must never be spiraled on the piston. Remember, these procedures are always important for all piston ring installations, and the more fragile the ring the more care must be exercised

Tough Guy Tech Tips: Piston Rings

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