ring gapping and basic piston ring info YOULL NEED

Discussion in 'Rotating Assemblies' started by grumpyvette, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    Building a 1984 Buick Grand National V6 engine today Grumpy.
    File fit tge rings.
    Forged CP Carillo pistons.
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member




    a dremel tool comes in very handy, it takes a great deal of patience, and caution and a good understanding of what your trying too accomplish , plus constant checking, but a dremel tool can be used, to gap rings

    be damn sure you verify the rings are installed in the correct location , with the correct clearances, bore surface finish,with the correct part,and the correct side of the ring facing the top of the piston
    but like you stated I find its a bit odd that I find most machine shops are instantly able to quote the cost to "TORQUE PLATE HONE" several of the less popular engines like the pontiac, olds, AMC caddy, and early hemis etc. yet they don,t own the required TORQUE PLATE, and in some cases I don,t think they care or want to discuss that minor technicality
    (years ago the thinking was that because the second rings did not endure the same high temperatures as the top ring the second lower ring could have less gap as it would expand less from heat, modern thinking resulting from testing shows the second ring should have a slightly wider end gap to prevent the stop ring from loosing its seal pressure and developing RING FLUTTER at higher rpms, the problem is that "higher rpms" differ with every combo built)
    bores must be honed with a deck torque plate to simulate the stress of a installed cylinder head stress , the torqued bolts exert on the bore walls, the torque plate induces and duplicates that stress so that the bore walls will be pulled into the same relationship when you hone the walls concentric, rings won,t seal correctly in a non concentric bore
    gaps must be correct for the application
    RINGS MUST BE MEASURED WHILE SQUARE IN THE BORE< A RING SQUARE TOOL HELPS, I USUALLY PLACE THEM ABOUT 1" DOWN THE BORE THEN MEASURE END GAP, see later in the thread for how to make a good but dirt cheap ring square tool
    ring ends must be, correctly gaped, cut parallel and de-burred before installation



    these tools come in various ring sizes ,(but the various piston diameters are not as critical as ring width, it should be obvious that you MUST USE the tool that places the drilled gas port at the correct place in the upper ring groove roof and you damn sure better not drill deeper than the rear edge of the ring groove or youll destroy the piston

    while these professional ring filing tools ,(LINKED BELOW) would be great to have on hand,
    during your engine assembly
    , the price makes owning one as a hobbyist unlikely
    early in this thread theres pictures and links to the manual piston ring filers
    and if your very careful you can use a cut-off wheel on a dremel tool

    yes as always theres cheap,functional, and theres expensive precision ring filers

    http://www.abs-products.com/specialty-t ... nder.shtml


    Home » EN » How to Use a Cylinder Bore Gauge To Measure Cylinder Block

    How to Use a Cylinder Bore Gauge To Measure Cylinder Block

    Why engine can perform a rotation outpu ? it because the engine generating power from a combustion. The power of combustion pushing down the piston. But the movement of piston must produce a friction between the cylinder and the piston ring. In a long time, this friction will cause wear between the two components. That's why older engine have less power complaints with low compression pressure.
    If the cylinder is worn out, it means the power is also hampered. So it needs to be over size or replacing this one. But to know whether the engine cylinder is still feasible or not, we need to make measurements. It will calculating the size of the cylinders and engine block wear out. So how to step, consider how measure cylinder block using cylinder bore gauge below.
    Differences Tautness And Wear out
    Before we go any further, let's understand the meaning of these two words. Tranquility and innovation have different meanings.

    • Tautness, is a cylindrical wear when viewed from the side of the cylinder. This form of is tapered because there is a different size of the lower and upper cylinders. This difference will show a great tune.
    • Wear out, is a form of engine cylinder wear when viewed from the top. The normal cylinder, will definitely be a perfect circle when viewed from above. But when it form more oval, then it might be a signal that showing the cylinder wear out.
    How To Measure Cylinder Block Diameter ?
    To measure the diameter of engine block, we need a special tool called Cylinder Bore Gauge. This tool can measure the diameter of the cylinder with precision reaching 0.01 mm. But before making a measurement, we need to make some setting on this tool.
    cylinder bore gauge component and function

    • Dial gauge. This component will show the size scale with units of milli meters.
    • Lock position. This component serves to hold the dial gauge remain silent when bore gauge is used.
    • Grip. This component serves as a handle when applying a bore gauge.
    • Replacement rod. Component of a rod of varying length to measure many cylinders having different diameters.
    • Replacement washer. Similar to replacement rod, but replacement washer has a small thickness. Ranges 0.5 mm.
    • Measuring point. In the form of a bulge, when pressed it will move the needle of dial gauge.
    1. Steps to adjust the bore gauge cylinder.
    To make the adjustment, we need to know normal specification of cylinder diameter, you can find this specification on the service literarure each car or you need to measure directly using vernier caliper. But you need to know that this measurement is not a real measurement, because we just need a scale to set the right replacement rod.
    If you already know the diameter of cylinder then, continue to assemble the cylinder bore gauge. Start with installing the right replacement rod on the bore gauge. Suppose the diameter of the cylinder is 62.05 mm. Then we choose a replacement rod with a length of 60 mm plus replacement washer with a thickness of 3 mm. So a total length is 63.00 mm.
    Why is it higher?


    Because we will measure a wear. Components that experience wear and tear must have an enlarged diameter. If we choose the replacement rod of the same or smaller than the diameter of the cylinder, then the measuring point can not be depressed when taking the measurement.
    Once installed, set the dial gauge to zero using the micrometer. Position outer micrometer at size 62,05 mm, put the cylinder bore gauge (replacement rod parts) on timble micrometer. Then the measuring point will move and the dial gauge needle moves. Set the dial gauge scale to zero position on the dial gauge needle.
    2. Step to Measure Cylinder block diameter.
    Perform measurements inside the cylinder. There are three measurement positions of each cylinder that is on the X and Y axes of each upper, middle and lower positions. The X axis is the line that intersects the engine horizontally. While the Y axis is the line that cuts the machine vertically or elongated. So total, there are six measurement each cylinder.
    How to measure it ? input the cylinder bore gauge into the cylinder. Then, shake this tool left and right while watching the dial dial indicator. We need to pay attention to the farthest point of moving needles. Because this point will show the difference in diameter of the cylinder with a standard diameter. Perform this measurement at each position of each cylinder.
    To calculate wear out, we need to find the difference between the measurement of X axist and Y axis at each position. While the tautness, we can know by finding the difference in measurement of the top and bottom diameters on one axis.
    Another way of measuring the diameter of the cylinder.
    The step above is the correct procedure to measuring size of cylinder block. However, in its application sometimes encountered several constraints such as measurement results that are smaller than the standard. It could happen because each engine has a different diameter even made in the same factory. For that there is simple way that many technicians use to measure engine block diameter.
    The first step, we need to see the standar diameter on technical specification. Remember, we need to know the right specification and dont measure with vernier caliper. Why, bceause this data will be our benchmark to get the wear out. Once you see the right standar diameter then assembly the bore gauge and, make direct adjustments inside the cylinder.
    Like the above procedure, there is six position each cylinder but for first enter the cylinder bore gauge to the bottom position of cylinder to set the bore gauge. In this case, we are based that the bottom position is an area that does not experience friction with piston rings. So the diameter is still standard.
    Continue to move the bore gauge right and left. Notice the farthest point of the dial gauge needle. Position the dial gauge scale to zero position exactly on the needle moving to the furthest point.
    Furthermore, we directly conduct the measurement of the diameter of the cylinder in the six positions as described above. In this case, to know the cylinder diameter you should looking for the difference between standar diameter as benchmark and the result of measurement.
    Once you find the correct diameter, you can calculate the wear out and tautness of cylinder. From this data, you can conclude the condition of engine block.

    Similarly, guidance on how to use cylinder bore gauge to measure the diameter cylinder. Aside from the cylinder's sharpness and wear out, diseases of the engine can also be caused by non-standard pistons. Check how the piston check to be more clear. Hope can be useful.



    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  3. Loves302Chevy

    Loves302Chevy "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."

  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

  5. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    I want an electric motor powered ring filer Grumpy.
    Built alot of engines in that race shop last year.
    I did all rings with a hand crank Childs & Albert Ring Filer.

    Do my own later this year.
    Ling time coming.
    Strictly Attitude likes this.
  6. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member


    How to Break-In Your Piston Rings, The Right Way!
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    JE Pistons


    Captain Kirk in the now-classic Star Trek TV series was constantly badgering poor Scotty for “More power!” That’s what everybody wants. More power! One way to ensure the horsepower built into your engine is achieved is to seize every opportunity to seal that cylinder pressure on the push side of the pistons.

    A great way to take full advantage of the 21st Century engineering that goes into piston rings is optimize the break-in / ring seating procedure. This goes way beyond just choosing the right break-in oil, although that’s an excellent start. As we’ll see, the process is somewhat specific and less than rewarding if you screw it up!

    Bore finish will have a lasting effect on both how well the rings break in and the extent that they seal both cylinder pressure and keep oil out of the chamber.
    Idealizing ring seal starts with proper cylinder honing. It’s beyond the focus of this story to get into specific procedures, but a proper torque plate honing with a 45 degree included honing angle is certainly moving in the right direction. That included angle helps both retain oil and also promotes ring movement within the grooves, which is important to maintain sealing.

    The somewhat rough surface of a freshly-honed cylinder is established in part to promote a wear pattern between it and the ring face. In order to do this, the rings will remove the microscopic peaks created by the honing process. Creating the proper height of these peaks and the depth of the valleys will significantly improve the potential for ring seal. Lubrication is another critical element in this process but oil can only achieve its intended goals of lubrication and improving ring seal when the other conditions are also met.

    When assembling the engine, JE recommends using either engine oil or a light machine oil for the cylinder wall and rings. This lubricant will be present only for the initial revolutions until the engine starts. Highly viscous or sticky engine assembly lubes should be avoided around the ring package.

    Cylinder wall taper or out-of-round makes the ring’s task of sealing and break-in much more difficult. This places a premium on proper honing technique and finish.
    This brings us to how the engine should be run after initial startup. The ideal combination is to tune the engine so that it starts on the first or second revolution. For carbureted engines, this means pre-filling the fuel bowls and accurately setting the initial timing. As soon as the engine starts, immediately bring it up to an above-idle speed. According to JE’s Senior Technical Account Manager Alan Stevenson, “You don’t want to break-in an engine at idle. You want to keep the rpm above 1,500 and vary the speed continuously for about the first 20 minutes.” After bringing the engine up to normalized coolant and oil temperature, put the engine under load. The cylinder pressure from 50 to 75 percent and eventually to 100 percent load will place additional pressure on the back side of the rings which will quickly establish the proper wear pattern for seating. With today’s rings, especially moly-faced versions, this can be achieved in a very short period of time and certainly within 20 to 30 miles of street driving. In WOT dyno testing, likely the rings are seated by the end of the first few runs.

    Note how the second ring is worn only on the bottom half – which is where this oil control ring should wear. The top ring wear is difficult to see but is actually only contacting in the center of the moly inlay finish.
    Engine enthusiasts are often quick to condemn a ring as “not seated” because the wear pattern is not spread across the full face of the ring. This is unfortunately an incorrect assumption. Nearly all top rings offer a barrel face where only a portion of the ring at the widest point is actually in contact with the cylinder wall. So only a small part of the ring will exhibit wear. A top or second ring that exhibits full face contact should be considered worn out. Proper ring performance and sealing is based on the rings sliding across a coating of oil between the ring and the cylinder wall in much the same fashion as a crankshaft journal rides on a thin film of oil between it and the bearing.

    Glazing is a term often used when discussing a cylinder that is not broken in properly. This often occurs after an engine has been run at idle or very light load for a sufficient enough time. This creates a case where oxidized oil has collected on the cylinder walls and created a somewhat shiny surface coating that has completely filled in the peaks and valleys of the honing process. As a visual reference, imagine the microscopic cross-section of a freshly honed cylinder wall as similar in appearance to the side view of a hack saw blade with multiple peaks and valleys. Now imagine looking at a used hack saw blade where the teeth have worn nearly smooth. That’s what a glazed cylinder wall would present to the rings.

    Establishing ring seal begins with proper assembly and that means cleaning the cylinder walls. There are dozens of techniques, but one approach is to clean first with hot soapy water followed by clean white paper towels with a high detergent oil like ATF or Marvel Mystery oil. This towel still shows grit after four earlier cleaning passes. Keep going until each bore is clean.
    With the peaks and valleys filled in, the glaze creates an extremely smooth surface, making oil control very difficult. The net result is excessive oil usage. Sometimes this glaze will exhibit excessive oil consumption with or without the presence of the classic blue oil smoke. A quick way to evaluate above-normal oil usage is to pull the spark plugs and look for oil on the threads of the spark plugs. This is a common warning sign of a loss of oil control.

    If you suspect the rings have not seated, sometimes this can be addressed with a top-end cleaner. This does not mean dumping a couple of teaspoons of Bon-Ami cleanser down the intake. While laughable, that flathead era recommendation has somehow survived the electronic age. But reputable top end cleaners have been used with some success.

    Glazing can also be traced to an over-exuberant choice in break-in oil. There are probably almost as many choices for boutique engine oil as the Kardashian girls have in shoes. According to Stevenson, selecting a break-in oil should focus first on ensuring the oil is compatible with the camshaft. A flat-tappet cam will require a greater concentration of high pressure lubricants like zinc dialkyld-dithiophosphate (ZDDP) compared to pistons rings so selecting a break-in oil should prioritize in that fashion. There are no industry ZDDP level standards for break-in oils. For a high performance, non-API break-in oil, a common concentration would in the neighborhood of 1,000 to 1,500 parts-per-million (ppm).

    Engine test stands are great for checking for runs, drips, and errors but should not be used to break-in rings. Proper ring break-in requires a load be placed on the engine as soon as possible.
    Problems can occur when the “more is better” theory is applied and ZDDP concentrations radically exceed the above-mentioned levels. An excessive ZDDP level accompanied by low levels of detergents is a poor combination. ZDDP tends to molecularly bond with metal while detergents work to strip these same additives from areas like the cylinder wall. If excessive ZDDP levels are used, this can cause cylinder wall glazing and loss of oil control.

    Of course, the rest of the engine configuration must be properly prepared as well. A common cause of ring seal failure is created if the engine is run with an overly-rich air-fuel ratio. Carburetors are often accused of this malady, but a poorly-tuned EFI system running at 10:1 air-fuel ratio can do an equal amount of damage. Excessively rich air-fuel ratios allow raw fuel to strip oil off the cylinder wall, minimizing the lubrication at the precise time that the rings and cylinder walls need it the most. Part of a rich mixture mistake is the widely-maintained misconception that lean idle air-fuel ratios cause an engine to run hotter. The reality is that lean idle mixtures minimize temperature gain as less heat is exposed to the cooling system because less fuel is combusted.

    Choosing the correct break-in oil is pivotal for proper engine break-in. Almost every quality oil company offers a break-in oil that dispenses with some of the additives that can inhibit the break-in process.
    If an engine is allowed to idle in an overly-rich condition for as little as 30 minutes, this can cause sufficient cylinder wall damage where the wall may exhibit a dull, dark grey color. If this occurs, the engine will likely require complete disassembly and fresh honing.

    Break-in oil should also only be used for initial engine run-in and then changed along with the filter and replaced with the engine oil you intend to run. On a street engine, this would mean less than 100 miles. Changing the break-in oil removes the impurities that will be present in the oil from the break-in period. This is especially true with race engines that use less restrictive filters. JE also recommends avoiding synthetics during break-in in order to take full advantage of establishing wear patterns. Synthetics sometimes can do too good a job of reducing friction so that the rings cannot seat properly.

    When breaking in an engine, it is important to vary the load on the engine. A dynamometer often has a preset break-in mode that varies load and engine RPM.
    What should also be avoided is custom blending your own additive package either for break-in or long-term operation. Lubrication engineering is a complex game of blending a base oil and additive package brew that is intended for a specific application. So choosing the right lubricant is a great way to ensure your new engine starts life in the best way possible.

    Piston ring break-in and optimized sealing isn’t difficult if you pay attention to the important initial steps on the way toward proper care and feeding of a high-performance engine.

    This article was sponsored by JE Pistons. For more information, please visit our website at www.jepistons.com
    Maniacmechanic1 likes this.
  7. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    Nice Read This Morning Grumpy.
  8. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member


    Posted by Jeff Smith on January 15, 2016 at 10:18 am
    I’ve heard that late model engines now run much thinner rings than the older production engines. Are these thinner rings just there to improve fuel mileage or is there a power advantage with these new rings? I’m about to rebuild my small-block Ford and I’d be willing to try something newer if it’s better. Thanks


    Jeff Smith: According to the old Hollywood line – you can’t be too rich or too thin. In the case of piston rings – those two items are pretty closely tied together. Thinner is definitely better but that reduced girth will also cost you some coin. But that’s way too simplified an answer.

    Let’s jump into this area with some interesting details.

    In the muscle car days, the standard ring package was a 5/64-inch top and second ring with a 3/16 oil ring set. This dimension refers to the ring’s thickness as viewed from the side of the piston. This 5/64-inch thickness (0.078-inch) required a significant amount of load pushing outward to ensure an adequate seal. This load – called radial tension – also produced a significant amount of friction. The most friction in any three-ring piston package is created by the oil ring but the combination of all three rings in this width is significant.

    Moving closer to the 21st Century, OE engineers revised these specs and realized that a thinner ring package would help reduce friction and improve better fuel economy. The GM LS engine family, for example, came with a 1.5mm/1.5mm/3.0mm ring package. This equates to 0.058/0.058/0.118 compared to the older thicknesses of 0.078/0.078/0.187. This is a 25-percent reduction in ring thickness. As the ring becomes thinner, the amount of radial (outward) tension required to seal it to the cylinder wall is reduced. This occurs because as we reduce the total surface area of the ring touching the cylinder wall, the radial tension can be reduced to produce the same amount of load on the ring. Think of it this way. A woman can easily walk across wet ground with normal, flat shoes with lots of surface area. But if she attempts to walk on soft ground in a pair of spike high heels, that tiny area under her heel will sink right into the soft ground. Her weight hasn’t changed, but that spike high heel concentrates that same weight (load) in a very small area. So if we think of a thin ring as that spiked high heel, it now requires far less outward load (radial tension) on the ring to present the same amount of sealing load against the cylinder wall.

    By reducing the radial tension on a thin ring, this also reduces the friction created as that ring slides up and down the cylinder wall. This occurs with all three rings, including the oil control rings. So now we’ve just added a slight amount of horsepower just by reducing friction. But the news gets better. Thinner rings also tend to seal better to the cylinder wall, which means blow-by past the rings is reduced and more cylinder pressure is retained above the pistons to make more power.

    So for performance engines, the industry has been slowly migrating toward thinner rings. Not all that long ago, the drag racing standard performance ring was a 0.043-inch wide Dykes ring with a step that improved ring loading. That equates to roughly to a 1.1mm ring. Until recently, Mahle’s performance ring package on most of its PowerPak performance forged pistons utilized a 1.5/1.5/3.0mm ring combination. The top two rings were equivalent to a 0.059-inch wide ring. But last year, Mahle introduced a new ring piston and ring package that now trims the rings to 1.0/1.0/2.0mm dimensions (0.039/0.039/0.078-inch). It’s clear that the movement is toward increasingly thinner ring packages.

    Total Seal seems to be the company that is leading the way with an entire line of thin ring packages with top ring offerings in their Ultra-Thin Advanced Profile series with 0.9mm top and second rings with a 2mm oil ring. This 0.9mm equate to 0.035-inch thick top and second rings with the 2mm oil ring at 0.078-inch. According to Total Seal, replacing a typical 1/16/1/16/3/16-inch ring package with this Ultra-Thin 0.9/0.9/2mm combination would reduce ring friction by 90 percent!

    You might also think that using these ultra-thin rings for example might demand a custom-built piston. But Total Seal’s Keith Jones says that they also offer ring spacers that allow the use of a thin ring package in pistons with wider ring grooves. As an example, you could go with a 0.043-inch wide top and second ring with spacers to fit within a typical 5/64-inch ring groove piston. The original reason for this was to accommodate NHRA Stock Eliminator engine builders were forced by the rules to use stock replacement pistons. The rules only governed the piston dimensions, not the rings. Enterprising racers began demanding spacers to allow them to run ultra-thin rings in these stock ring grooves.

    If you take this idea a step further, long-stroke engines will especially benefit from this reduced friction since the longer the stroke, the father the piston must travel. This additional travel creates its own friction but you can mitigate that somewhat by using thinner rings.

    As you might imagine, none of this new thin-ring technology is inexpensive. A typical Total Seal Classic 1/16-inch ring set from Summit Racing for a 4.030-inch bore for example runs around $112 for the complete set. Step up to a set of 0.043-inch rings for the same bore size with a Total Seal Gapless Second ring and the price jumps to around $380 for a set of rings. Spacers will bump that even further –potentially placing a set of rings near $500. Compare that to a stock replacement set of 5/64-inch iron rings for a small-block Chevy at $21 and you can see that technology comes with a steep price.

    We also looked into a set of Mahle PowerPak pistons and rings using the 1.5/1.5/3.0mm ring package in a typical small-block Chevy 383 flat-top piston combination and that would run just a touch over $700 for the pistons, rings, and wrist pins. That’s just one example of how you could take advantage of this new ring technology, but there are as many different avenues as there are creative engine builders. You might want to think about taking advantage of some of this technology – the savvy engine builders are already doing exactly that.

    good related info




    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  9. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    Just my opinion this morning Grumpy.
    No one has serious Drag Race intentions but You and me.
    Specialized Drag Race individual items like Advanced Diametric profile rings made of Tool steel or stainless steel not needed.
    Not for your 6000-6500 rpm redline street engine builds.
    And entire rotating assembly prebalaced is best fit for most.
    Keep the costs down.

    Only guys that will spend $400-800 for a set of Race Piston Rings is you and me.

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