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Antique Engine Archives All archived posts from 1999 to 2004 when SmokStak was on EnginAds. This is a read-only board.

Antique Engine Archives

Stuck piston ring trick

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Old 08-26-2004, 06:06:27 PM
Brian Lynch
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Default Stuck piston ring trick

Here's an idea I have used for years to help remove stuck piston rings. It works on small rings as well as the large oil field stuff. Everybody has seen those solid wire throttle cables used on pushmowers. The next time you break one or find one someplace, don't toss it away!

The inner wire is quite strong and bend/twist resistant. Take a length of it and use it to weasel under the stuck ring end. Keep working it under the ring with care and soon you will create a channel for your Kroil, WD40, Gibbs, etc., to get into. After while you will start to work out the rust, carbon and other chudd that is in back of the ring. Soon you will be all the way around the ring and see the wire appear at the other end of the ring. You will notice that while working it around, it pushes against the inside of the ring. This is the secret to this method of ring unsticking. Some times you will have the ring unstuck as soon as it gets around to the other side. Other times it will take considerable work and an slight increase of wire diameter to do the trick. In the end, if you take your time you will have a set of original rings and not ring pieces.

Try it and see how it works for you. Anybody else got a "trick" method like this? How do you unstick your rings??
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Old 08-26-2004, 07:53:48 PM
Kevin Davis
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Default Re: Stuck piston ring trick

Brian: Sounds like a great idea. I'm gonna try it next time. I usually just take a screw driver and break the old ones out, but if your way works I'd rather have the original rings if they're not worn too bad. Thanks: Kevin in Pugwash.
Old 08-26-2004, 10:07:38 PM
David in KCK
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Stuck piston ring trick

I soak the piston in Diesel for a couple weeks and then take a BRASS or BRONSE hammer and gently tap on the ring and turn the piston. I usually lay it in my lap when doing this, never set the piston on a hard steel bench! I just keep tapping until it starts to move. You can use WD40 while your working the ring too.....water works great also. Water made the rust, and it will help disolve it!

Old 08-26-2004, 10:37:48 PM
Andrew Mackey
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Default Re: Stuck piston ring trick

I use my 'Bust it loose stuff - 1 cup Kero, 1 cup Auto trans fluid, 1 cup WD40. if it doesn't loosen up with this stuff on it, it aint comin loose nohow, as my grandfather would say! Andrew
Old 08-26-2004, 11:18:46 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Stuck piston ring trick

I know a guy who repairs engines who will heat piston on a gas burner until almost red hot than throw in abucket of water. It may take a couple of times but usually works. Hasn't broke one yet.Dick in central Pa.
Old 08-27-2004, 01:13:00 AM
Kid Dynamo
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Stuck piston ring trick

If the piston is cast iron, I make up a lye solution and soak the piston for a day. Then, I blast it with hot water and repeat, if needed. I rarely break a ring but have cut my fingers on the sharp edges.

For an aluminum piston, I spray liberally with Castrol Superclean, let it sit for a while and then very hot water rinse. Repeat numerous times. I keep a close eye on aluminum pistons so as to not get surprised by any chemical reaction as Superclean does have some lye in it. Lye will eat aluminum, but Superclean can be used if you watch it closely.

You may be pleasantly suprised at how clean you can get the parts. Prying on the rings implies haste and broken rings.

I have very good luck with these methods but I don't hurry things. YMMVary.

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