How to Rebuild a Small Block Part 7: Install Pistons in Block

  1. krazykuda

    krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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    • pishta

      pishta I know I'm right....

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      When you are pushing the pistons down into the bore with a tapping motion of the mallet (I use the heavy end as a handle and the grip end as the ram) , pay attention to the sound. If it goes from a tick tick sound to a hollow thud and progress stops, DON'T PROCEEED..you popped a ring: back it out and start over. I broke a stroker piston compression ring land during install and I wasnt even tapping them hard! By a stroke of luck, I remembered an old post of a guy who had a set that was the wrong size and he gave me a replacement out of production stroker piston! Thanks again!
       
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      • krazykuda

        krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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        It's not hard to get a ring hung up when installing the pistons... :BangHead:

        That's why I say to not force it when installing them in case a ring hangs up... It's hard to keep the ring compressor sleeve held up to the block when pushing the pistons in...

        Ring lands are very easy to damage...

        Thanks for reinforcing that point... I know you've built your share of engines and are knowledgeable from seeing your posts on the forum over the years... :thumbsup:
         
      • frozenfish

        frozenfish Well-Known Member

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        Just read through all of this series, very well put together. Thank you!
         
      • trebor75

        trebor75 Well-Known Member

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        Thank you for making this series.
         
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        • jcwren

          jcwren Member

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          Three questions:
          1. When is chapter 8 coming out?
          2. I notice that you don't set the thrust bearing clearance. For a 318, it's 0.002 to 0.007, measured between the front of the thrust bearing and the crank. Would this be covered in one of the next chapters?
          3. What's the best time in the assembly process to paint the engine?
          This a great series of articles, thanks for taking the time to write them.
           
        • JDMopar

          JDMopar Well-Known Member

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          Another tip to remember while installing pistons. While you're holding the ring compressor tightly against the block with one hand, and tapping the piston down thru the compressor with the hammer handle using your other hand...DO NOT let any part of your fingers on the hand holding the ring compressor protrude over the top edge of the ring compressor. If you accidently miss the piston, guess what you will probably hit?!?!
          :mad::eek::BangHead:
           
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          • Danny Boy

            Danny Boy Well-Known Member

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            I can't say it enough, but THANKS again!
            I always had fears and doubts that rebuilding an engine was impossible for mere mortals
            I never thought I'd be making plans for rebuilding a SB Mopar and thanks to your instructions I now know that I can do it.
            Best regards,
            Danny
             
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