When is best to hone a cylinder? I torn down a engine that set since 78. It is still in the car and I don't want to remove the crankshaft. (I just realized why it is call a CRANKshaft!) I need to clean up the piston and rings, but didn't see any major issue there. The cylinders have some junk on the walls, but I think I will get most of it with steel wool. I was wondering if I should hone them. What do you think?
Can you still see any cross hatching on the cylinder walls?
No Greg, the walls seem smooth to me.
If the cylinders are otherwise OK scuff the walls with some fine emery cloth.
The last thing you want to do is remove any more material than absolutely necessary.
If the cylinder walls are smooth after cleaning and you have good measurements ( conic an oval) you can try to put the pistons in withe the old rings but if I was you I put new rings on the pistons and than you need to hone the cylinders. By honing them you will not take very much material from the walls you will just clean them up better.
I attachment a few photos from an engine I rebuild last year for my 1922 project.
I always hone the cylinders of a worn engine I take apart - if I don't have to let a machine shop bore it. The honing deglazes and smoothes the cylinder walls plus it gives them a cross hatch pattern that holds oil and let the piston rings wear in to best fit faster. Old worn rings without spinginess I change out, if the rings aren't worn out they may work for quite a few more miles - then they can be reused.
Nothing much to worry about, I pour some denatured alcohol in the cylinders when honing with a cheap honing tool from the auto parts store driven by a hand drill. Cleaning the engine after the honing shouldn't be much trouble, just use some diesel and change the oil soon after the first start.
That's also the way I work Roger.
I love pictures of a rusty block that ends up looking all sparkly and shiny
I would caution against honing cylinders with the engine in the car. You shouldn't hone dry and all the metal and abrasive laced fluid is going to drip down on the crankshaft and main bearings. It would be near impossible to get it all washed out.
As a side note; After 1914, Ford finished the bores with a roller pin plug. This brought the cylinders to final size and left a near polished finish. Prior to 1914, no cylinder finishing was done after boring.
Ok, there are a couple of oil holes for the crank shaft bearings that risks getting some of the alcohol/abrasive mix, so it would be best to put something in the oil holes while honing, like play-doh.. just remember to pick it out after cleaning with diesel.
What do you think that black goop on your magnets and if you have a magnet in your oil screen is?
It's the scraping of the rings on the cylinder walls.
You should not put a hone into a cylinder, unless you are finishing a bore job, or changing the bore size. You will end up with high and low spots. A flex hone, or "dingle berry" is best for de-glazing.
If we all were given a dollar for each model T engine that was honed in the car "in the day",we would probably be millionaires.
I've used the style of hone shown above for many engine refresh's and had no issues. Doesn't take long to break the glaze and bring back a cross hatch pattern. It would take you hours to hone any significant material off the walls. I use engine oil to hone then clean with WD40 or your favorite cleaner.
Roller burnishing is what Ford switched over to in the article above. I've used this to finish hydraulic pump cylinder bores. Extremely precise .0001 size control and leaves the bores straight. I suppose back in the day Fords machining department wasn't quite up to spec holding tolerances so they switched over to burnishing.
In the day, when I was a parts washer for my dad (in the gas bucket), Hastings piston rings instructions read: "De-glaze cylinder wall with soap and water". If the cylinder wall is tapered (which it will be on an old engine)use cast iron rings (check end gap at bottom of cylinder). This isn't the modern way but it gets more time on an old worn engine. I remember my dad re-ringing Chevy 6-cylinders for $120 parts and labor. He used to do two jobs per week plus general repairs. I wanted to be in that garage rather than at school and that's why I'm typing this with one finger and need my better half to clean it up and can hardly navigate the damn computer!!!
Perhaps a bit of terminology confusion around the term ‘cylinder hone’
A real cylinder hone (read expensive) like a Sunnen (if the stones were
well cared for and kept in original sets) could true or resize the bore with
some degree of accuracy.
Then came the 3 legged spring loaded ‘deglazing’ hone that is often referred
to as just a ‘cylinder hone’ and prefers the bore to be reasonably true for
effective deglazing. A little diesel fuel (or whatever) and a knack for matching
it’s rpm and travel will produce a nice cross hatch pattern to help seat new rings.
The relative new comer is the abrasive ball type deglazer that follows the
shape of the bore no matter what it’s condition, is simple to use and by
it’s design produces the needed deglazing and cross hatch like pattern.
The limited size range per hone and it’s high initial cost is a bit of a deterrent.
I have used fairly coarse sanding cloth cut from and scratched the walls up a bit by hand on my Model T's and Farmall tractor.
You don't want to hone the cylinders.......you want only to deglaze them.
Easy to do by hand.
Thanks guys! Now should I start a new thread:
"To deglaze or not to deglaze?"
I think I will want to deglaze a bit. Hopefully I will post some progress. I do want to keep the engine in the car.
But a quick search on ebay it is clear that you need to buy a "hone" to deglaze the cylinder;)
If you're going to re-use the old rings, de-glaze them too.
I'm out of my league here, but once you've gone to the trouble of removing the pistons and deglazing the cylinder walls why would you use the old rings? Isn't the whole point to replace the old rings?
Henry - I couldn't have said it better!
In my opinion, ANY "shortcut" apart from putting NEW rings in a perfect cylinder (no taper and especially, NO out-of-round) that has been honed to leave a pronounced cross-hatch pattern to aid in new ring "break-in", is asking for some degree of trouble.
It's simple! Once you have disturbed perfectly seated piston rings by removing the piston(s) from the cylinder, it is highly unlikely that they will ALL go back in exactly as they were originally. It would be a miracle if they ALL went back in the same way and "re-seated" as perfectly as they were originally. Throw them away and install NEW rings! They really don't cost that much.
In addition to Harold'a comments about seating, am I correct in thinking that old rings will have lost some of their "spring", meaning they don't press against the cylinder wall as hard as they should?
Rings do indeed lose their tension.
I have re-tensioned old OLD rings for big ol' engines when everything except the tension was good.
During WWII my dad worked for a friend overhauling car engines. Standard size piston rings were impossible to get but oversize were available. Dad said he spent many hours honing out engines for the oversize rings.
This is all depending on what you find as you clean the cylinders. If rust has resulted in any pitting, a hone will not be good enough. The cylinders will need to be machined. What is harder to detect is roundness as precise devices are needed to assess each cylinder. Of course machining will take care of roundness. If the cylinders are smooth, you may be in luck.
I also vote for new rings.
If you de-glaze, do cover the crankshaft well with plastic sheet covered with plenty of clean rags to catch the drippings.
Let us know what happens and please post photos if you can.
Best of luck