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  1. #1
    Pistonwash's Avatar
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    Best way to install pistons

    I was talking with someone last month who was having a hard time putting their cylinders on a new set of pistons. He said whats the trick to getting the rings to stay in place, with the ring pins, without getting arthritis in your hands?

    Here's a little tip that has worked well for me and you can put your cylinders on in minutes.

    I start by putting the circlips on one side of the pistons first (usually facing forward), then I will take a Sharpie pen and mark where the ring pins are on the pistons (more later) with a verticle line (up and down) slide the wrist pin (after coating with Yamalube) in cylinder rod/bearing/thrust washers #1, it will stop when it hits the circlip (make sure your base gasket is on). I will now attach the other circlip and make sure they are secure and set in properly. Next, making sure the rings are at (top) position from their markings, I will put them on, sliding the first ring onto #2 ring channel. Then taking the second ring and putting it into the first ring channel.

    The rings are now in their intended places and should fit loosely and slide easily into their place. I then use a over-size zip tie about 12-16 inches in length, I will wrap it around the piston and ring #2 and tighten it making sure the ring gap closes on the ring pins..I use the Sharpie line (see above) to help me guide the ring into it's place visually. I repeat this to #1. I now have zip ties holding the rings into place, so I can easily slide the cylinder over them (they are oiled with Yamalube too), one by one until the cylinder is safely past the rings and now easily slides down the piston. I leave enough gap below the cylinder so I can take a set of snips and cut the zip ties, then remove them. Voila'! Cylinder will easily slide down to the case guide pins and I can let it rest on the case until put the other 2 pistons on the cylinders and begin torquing down the cylinders (30lbs.).

    This will save you time and your hands won't get cut.


  2. #2
    Hmm. I always just pinched the rings tight with my hand facing up - then slide the cylinder the piston while keep the rings pinched with fingers. Better yet when Fernando does it for me!!!

  3. #3
    Pistonwash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay
    Hmm. I always just pinched the rings tight with my hand facing up - then slide the cylinder the piston while keep the rings pinched with fingers. Better yet when Fernando does it for me!!!
    Nando does'nt have hands, he has paws..but at least my way is a heck of alot easier than havign two people cuss at each other telling one another which way left and right are. "Go to your right, now slide it toward you...no, no the other way!"

  4. #4
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    The real value of this was seen firsthand by InsandiegoJoe when he did a multiple cylinder install...one cylinder block for all three pistons. Now, if you have 3 hands maybe you can pull this off, but trying to do this while the engine is in the ski is tough.

    Good tip PW.

  5. #5
    Let me get this straight.
    You are able to compress the rings to a point at which the cylinder clears the ring with the additional thickness of the zip tie ????

    Holly end gap, Batman.

  6. #6
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    Incorrect.
    As the piston slides up into the cylinder, the zip ties continue to compress the rings to the very, very, last moment, which makes them slide up into the cylinder smoothly and cleanly.

    Much better than your dick-beaters will allow.

  7. #7
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    The zip ties get pushed out the bottom, and need to be cut off.

  8. #8
    Pistonwash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Let me get this straight.
    You are able to compress the rings to a point at which the cylinder clears the ring with the additional thickness of the zip tie ????

    Holly end gap, Batman.
    You should try it..it is a snap no kidding.

    Just what Mark said. The cylinder just pushes the Zip tie out of the way and the ring continues it's collapsing without springing open prematurely.

  9. #9
    OK, I just read it wrong.
    The zip tie works like a regular spring compressor.
    I thought you were gaping the rings so loose where you could compress them to a point where the whole lot would clear the bore.

    Don't mind me,
    back to Hooked on Phonics I go

  10. #10
    Moderator Insanediego Joe's Avatar
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    :P :P :P Boris your killing me!

    The zip tie thing works. Made my 65u rebuild trouble free.

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