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post #21 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 06:19 AM
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No point in setting the gaps at 120 degrees to each other then? Or do they all rotate at precisely the same rate?
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post #22 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:46 AM
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(No point in setting the gaps at 120 degrees to each other then? Or do they all rotate at precisely the same rate?)

I wasn't gonna say it. And at 4000 RPM, one revolution every 15 seconds.

Let me add a fire suppression blanket, Art.
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post #23 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 09:26 AM
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The lower rings usually rotate at a slightly lower rate ( not all the same rate).Occasionally 2 ring gaps will be aligned for a second;it's not a problem.
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post #24 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 11:47 AM
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Only one comment on the use of a wire brush in a bore? That's the comment that I thought would have brought out the flames.

Wire brushes create point contact and the ends of the wires, which are spring steel, seek out the softer materials in the surface and tend to "dig" them out. What you are left with is a surface of smooth hills, valleys and craters. The wires also have nothing limiting them from just how deep they will cut into the surface. If one wire is particulary sharp, straight and stiff, it could cut much deeper than the rest.

A hone on the other hand is a flat surface that simply imparts a relatively shallow and uniform finish on a surface without creating highs and lows other than the depth of the scratches determined by the grit size. Even a ball hone does not dig out the softer material.

The wire brush in the bore success story, IHMO, is probably due to very little contact, meaning a short brushing session and not a lot of force on the brush. I would say that you got lucky. What you did is probably akin to re-ringing without honing.

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post #25 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 12:33 PM
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Well Mr. Pete I owe you an apology. You challenged core beliefs that I have held for a long time but your level of confidence was such that I was forced to start doing some research. I find that there is a great deal of support for the idea of rings rotating in the bore during operation.

I read several articles referencing it, some of which I was not necessarily confident of, but taken in total I find that I am going to have to reevaluate what I think about this.

Once I am forced to accept the idea of them rotating every thing else is called into question. Spacing the rings at 120 degrees goes out the window. Honing gets called into question. Even reusing old rings is no longer folly. My head is spinning.

So, Mr. Pete and all whom I have misled, please accept my humble apology for doubting you.

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post #26 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by loxx101 View Post
Why would you use a wire brush?! I see no reason to do that. It's simply not going to give the same finish.

Honing tools are cheap. Just do it right!
Its always worked for me.Been doing it for many years.When building race engines,it was good practice to score the bores horizontally to aid oil retention.Never had a problem with this method
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post #27 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:25 PM
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If you just want to do a very light hone/deglaze then you might want to try what I do, I make a cardboard tube attachment for a standard hone and cover it with scotchbrite material and use very little spring pressure on the hone.
It leaves a beautiful surface without being harsh.
I use liquid detergent as the lubricant and it cuts right through the glaze and oil burn residue beautifully.
Very gentle yet hard enough to leave a good crosshatch on my Ducati nikasil bores which can't be honed with stones.
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Last edited by Old Cafe Racer; 11-30-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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post #28 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:08 PM
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Not really sure I want to wade into this one, but what the heck.....

Your specs for bore diameter are largely to ensure proper clearance for the piston to expand, as they will do so at a different rate than the cylinder itself. The rings primary purpose is to allow this to happen while containing the combustion gasses effectively on one side, and oil on the other. Unless it is a 2 stroke, the rings rotate freely within the bore. They put a pin in 2T pistons to prevent ring rotation so the ends do not get caught and broken on a port.

Specs are setup to compensate for expansion/contraction, avoidance of piston slap, proper ring spring tension among other factors. Modern materials and forging instead of casting allow for tighter tolerances, which is something to consider when you are replacing components. Original bore specs may be too loose for a modern forged piston to avoid psiton slap and other related issues.

Ring gap is measured to give you an idea of ring/cylinder bore wear and fit. You can also consider ring width and thickness if specs are available and factor this in. Primary thing you are checking with end gap is tension of the rings against the cylinder walls. You can have a great end gap clearance, but rings worn across thier width or to thin, you end up with a terrible seal anyway.

If you checked compression and it was solid, and you have not removed the psitons/rings you can easily put it back together without bothering to hone it and you should be in good shape. The rings will quickly find thier groove once more and down the road you go.

If you have remove the psitons, hopefully you have marked which side was which to ensure they go back into original bores. Early piston sizes were nowhere near the "exact science" they are today. This was why early engine builders "blueprinted" engines by measuring all components specs and creating the ideal match on each component. This would rarely have been done (if it was even considered) on a production level. This was how you ended up with "A" and "B" graded pistons for example.

If the rings have been removed, the ring lands need a thorough cleaning, and I would go ahead and consider new rings based upon end gap and overall condition of the rings themselves. Is the evidence of blowby, carbon buildup in a land, a hung ring? If you are going to install new rings it is important to remove the glaze from the cylinder walls, and it won't hurt to recreate the crosshatch pattern while doing so. There are many methods, but the best for a quick once over is probably a bead hone. I would avoid wire wheels as much to avoid the small bits and pieces from contaminating the bore more than from worry due to an uneven surface.

Ideally, if you are reusing the old components, pistons/rings need to go back into thier original bores. If dissasembly and cleaning has taken place, I would go ahead and run a bead hone through it. Additionally, replace the piston pin clips while you are at it, as these can easily be marginal after being removed.

If you are to far out of spec, go ahead and get a new set pistons/rings and have your cylinders machined accordingly.

OK, you can all take aim now.....

A GOOD friend will bail you out of jail, a TRUE friend is sitting on the bench next to you saying "Damn, that was fun!".
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post #29 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:14 PM
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What's a bead hone you may ask?
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post #30 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:29 PM
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OK, so there is no point at all in spacing the ring gaps at 120 degrees when reassembling an engine? They might as well be put on the pistons randomly, gap-wise?

I take the point about 2 stroke rings being pegged to prevent movement, but I always thought this was just done as a precaution against the unlikely but distinctly possible event that the rings could one day rotate to the point where a gap coincided with a port, with obviously disatrous results (and also as a precaution against ham-fisted owners installing new rings without a thought about ports & ring gaps)?

If there's some kind of evidence that rings rotate freely in 4 stroke engines I'll willingly accept it, but in view of the fact that every manual I've seen, and every decent mechanic and engineer I've known recommends 120 degree spacing, this is what's ingrained in my brain and it will take some convincing to shift it!
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