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  1. #1

    Cylinder Install Tricks?

    Any tricks to installing the cylinder on the piston closest to the front of the ski? I cannot seem to pinch the piston rings with my hand while trying to slip the cylinder down. I don't have a ring compression tool small enough for the piston. I tried a hose clamp, but didn't have any luck. Any tips or suggestions for specialty tools would be great.

    I sure hate to think I have to pull the motor to install the cylinder.

    96 SLX 780

  2. #2
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Make sure you have the ring gap aligned with the pin in the piston..

  3. #3
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Boulder City, NV
    It is doable with just your hands. Just make sure the index pins line up w/ the ring gaps and compress w/ one hand and gently slide the cylinder over it. If you can get a third hand it would help so you can use both of yours to compress the rings. Heres a lil vid of me doing it w/one hand. I know its not on the engine, but you get the idea. Lube up the rings and cylinder, and You Can Do It!
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #4
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Cleveland OH
    Are they new rings or the old ones?

    New ones will need to be gapped properly, or you'll have seizure/scuffing issues.

    Make sure the indexing arrow is pointing towards the front of the ski or exhaust manifold. (depends on make of piston) Otherwise the rings will fall into a port opening and scratch the cylinder up.

    As mentioned above: make sure the ring gap is positioned over the pin inside the ring groove on both rings. (Do 1 ring at a time)

    As you hold the ring closed with your left hand, slip the cylinder over the lubed piston. (For the MAG, or front cyl, it helps to have the piston towards Bottom Dead Center to clear the hull)

    Repeat for the second ring.

    NOTE: DO NOT torque the cylinder down to the case. Install (or temporarily install) the exhaust manifold first before tightening the cyl base nuts. This will align the cylinders, and prevent possible gasket damage.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Mesa, AZ
    try one of those industrial sized zip-ties to hold the rings. It sometimes helps to use the zip-tie to hold one, while you fingertip start the other.

  6. #6
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Boulder City, NV
    Nice tip Mark! I found it a bit awkward getting the tie on the piston and aligning the gaps on the pins(probably just my clumsy self), but it slipped easily into the cyl. My tie was able to cover both rings.

    If ya know an hvac guy, he can get ya the ties. The elect. isle in Lowes has large black ones, but not sure if they are as wide as what I have. They should help anyhow.
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  7. #7
    make sure you let your nails grow or I guess try the HVAC Panduits like mark uses '' He has sensitive hands

  8. #8
    rlharrison60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Orange, Texas
    Zip ties look like a great idea. I broke three sets of rings, before I got someone else to put them in.

  9. #9
    dr.ipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Tallahassee , FL.
    i've used the hose clamp off the water box to get the job done , work very well , same theory as the zip tie.

  10. #10
    Tony's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Carolina
    I originally posted the pictures and explanation in the next two posts in July of '07 when rebuilding the top end of my 780.

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