Piston ring seating

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Robert Bente
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Piston ring seating

Post by Robert Bente » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:30 am

What are options when you can’t get your piston rings to seat?
I’ve ball honed cylinders with a 45 degree cross hatch, new iron rings are of proper size and end gaps are good.
Cylinder walls are not ovaled.
First attempt I only got up to 20 lbs. on all cylinders and even at that I had blowby.
Upon disassembly the cylinder walls have a light burnish.
I’ve ordered a product called “Quick Seat”. Anyone ever use this?
Short of using Bon Ami, I’m at my wits end.
Any thoughts or suggestions.
r/s Bob


BobShirleyAtlantaTx
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by BobShirleyAtlantaTx » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:35 am

Did you check the end gap on the rings by putting a ring in the cylinder and pushing down just a little with a piston, to square it up, and using a feeler gauge to check the end gap? Should have a gap of between .012 and .020 And it should be a constant measurement up and down the cylinders.


Jerry VanOoteghem
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:30 am

Robert Bente wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:30 am
What are options when you can’t get your piston rings to seat?
I’ve ball honed cylinders with a 45 degree cross hatch, new iron rings are of proper size and end gaps are good.
Cylinder walls are not ovaled.
First attempt I only got up to 20 lbs. on all cylinders and even at that I had blowby.
Upon disassembly the cylinder walls have a light burnish.
I’ve ordered a product called “Quick Seat”. Anyone ever use this?
Short of using Bon Ami, I’m at my wits end.
Any thoughts or suggestions.
r/s Bob
How soon after installing your new rings did you take your compression test? Did you run the engine for any real length of time before testing? I had maybe 100 miles on my '21 before I noticed a big increase in power.


Norman Kling
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:35 am

How many miles are on the new rings? It does take a while to seat the rings. The engine should be fast idled for a while then cool off and re torque the head. Then drive a mile or two and re torque the head. Do this a few times. Then take out for a drive varying the speed up to about 25 mph and down a bit then up to about 35 and slow down a bit. Do this varying speed for about 500 miles. Then change the oil. If it doesn't seat by then, you do have a problem with the rings.

Note the gap should be approximately the same at the bottom of the cylinder as it is at the top. If it is much greater at the top than at the bottom, you need to re bore and replace the pistons and rings.
Norm


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Robert Bente
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Robert Bente » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:30 am

I have been unable to get the engine to fire. I believe it’s due to the low compression and blow by not allowing for enough vacuum to draw fuel vapor into cylinders. I’ve also splashed fuel into plug holes, no luck, not even a puff or pop.
I’ve rotated the engine for a complete cycle about 50 times.
Cylinder taper is less than .001.
Caveat, this is for a 1916 Buick. My apologies for posting here, but I’m a little desperate for a solution.
r/s Bob

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perry kete
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by perry kete » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:43 am

Have you checked the timing?
Do you have spark?
If you have spark is a strong spark?
Check all electrical connections
1922 Coupe & 1927 Touring

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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Susanne » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:01 pm

I'm wondering if it's somewhere else... check your valves and seats? Head torqued? Good head gaskets? Valve timing right?


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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:16 pm

Robert Bente wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:30 am
I have been unable to get the engine to fire. I believe it’s due to the low compression and blow by not allowing for enough vacuum to draw fuel vapor into cylinders. I’ve also splashed fuel into plug holes, no luck, not even a puff or pop.
I’ve rotated the engine for a complete cycle about 50 times.
Cylinder taper is less than .001.
Caveat, this is for a 1916 Buick. My apologies for posting here, but I’m a little desperate for a solution.
r/s Bob
It should still do something, even with low compression. Other troubles I think. Ignition timing 180 degrees off? You can probably do that with a Buick just as easily as with a T!
Last edited by Jerry VanOoteghem on Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Dan McEachern
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Dan McEachern » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:29 pm

Put a few squirts of engine oil in the cylinders so that the rings can seal. What is the condition of the valves? Low compression may not be due to the rings. Have you confirmed your valve lash? Good luck.


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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Kerry » Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:22 pm

Assuming this Buick is still running cast iron pistons? the ring gap needs to be 1/2 of what is used on aluminium pistons, if to much you have a high blow by resulting in your low compression.


Philip
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Philip » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:12 pm

Ring side gap if you are using old pistons is where the problem is.
If you want to use old iron pistons have the grooves cut side and fit
Ring spacers about .002 .003 is all you want. Philip


cessna53195
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by cessna53195 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:21 pm

One other factor not mentioned is an intake manifold leak or leak at the carb attachment. I helped a friend whos car was just not starting anymore, he had put a wood spacer between carb and manifold. { he thought that would make carb cooler} wrong. When I touched the bolts attaching the carb they were loose.....his wood spacer had shrunk and thus leaked air...got rid of the wood tightened up the bolts and it was running again. I know one year it happened to me at the OCF, the car just became hard to start, it was manifold bolts that had not been rechecked after installation...I know you have low compression so add a small leake and it won't draw... Robert


cessna53195
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by cessna53195 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:34 pm

One more thought, if you think it won't start because of the low compression you could pull start it. This might raise the compression in a dynamic way enough to get it started … Robert


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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Altair » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:57 pm

Make an adapter to the spark plug to fit an air hose and pump compressed air in to each cylinder while at TDC, not high pressure just 20 - 30 lbs and listen at he carb, crankcase and exhaust, you will hear where the air is escaping.


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Robert Bente
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Robert Bente » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:47 am

I have checked all the great thoughts you all have had.
Timing good, valve seating good, spark good, carburetor good.
Ring side spacing is between .001 - .003.
I have also made an air adapter for plug hole as suggested and at 20 lbs I get blowby.
I’ve ordered some replacement cylinder honing shoes, and I’ll try this along with the quick seat product. Maybe the ball hone gave a uneven surface?
I’m unable to tow and rotate engine because of 90 year old petrified tires.
Thanks for the responses.
r/s Bob

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paulmikeska
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by paulmikeska » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:41 pm

If the throttle was closed when you did the test you will get low readings. The throttle and choke need to be wide open while doing the test.

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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Mark Nunn » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:27 pm

Here is an old timey process that I never tried. With the engine running, dust some Bom-Ami into the carb to seat rings. It is said to work in down draft carb situations. Side draft, who knows. I mention it because some other old timers may remember it.


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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Erik Barrett » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:47 pm

Do a leakdown test to find out where you are losing compression. Lock the engine at TDC and apply compressed air to the cylinder. You will hear it leak at the carb, exhaust, or crankcase. These Buicks are prone to problems with the valve cages. They can move and misalign with the ports if the nuts are too loose and the seats can distort and leak if too tight.


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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Erik Barrett » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:49 pm

If it is a ring seating problem, Bon Ami does work with updraft carbs. Don’t ask me how I know.


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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Kerry » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:32 pm

Bon-Ami won't solve Robert's problem, engine won't run :o

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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by david_dewey » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:00 am

If anyone here would know what the issue is, it would be Erik B. Before you go dropping the pan again, do what he suggests.
then, you may need some way to spin the motor faster than the starter does. Used to be, tire shops had an "on the car wheel spinner" a motorized pulley they would put against a tire to spin it to check the balance--sounds like that's what you need--or take the rim off and jerry rig a belt and pulley to a motor to spin it. This is a bit hard on the rear axle though.
T'ake care,
David Dewey

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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Richard G » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:48 am

A LITTLE INFORMATION BOB PLEASE--WHAT YEAR IS THIS CAR--SELF STARTER, IS THERE A GOOD BLUE SPARK ? OPEN THE GAP 1 OR 2 THO ON THE PLUGS, WHAT KIND OF OIL IN ENGINE--TO DAYS ENGINES USE HIGH DETERGENT OIL, NO GOOD FOR YESTERDAYS ENGINES, FOR MANY REASONS [NOW THAT WILL GET SOME RAZED EYE BROWS, ] YOUR RINGS WILL SEAT QUICKER USING 30 --W-- NON- D ET- OIL, TRYING TO START A SLOW TURNING ENGINE ,WITH NEW RIGS THAT HAVE NOT SEAL'D YET,-- BON AMI WILL HELP,-- BUT THE ENGINE NEEDS TO BE RUNNING FIRST. I USED TO USE 20 MULE TEAM WITH CAT ENGINES, A FIST FULL AT TOP RPM, DON'T LET IT STALL, IF ITS A STARTER TYPE PUT A LITTLE NUMBER 30 OIL IN EACH CYL AND IF THERE IS NOT MUCH VACCUM TO PULL UP THE GAS, SHOOT SOME OF GAS IN WITH THE OIL, HOOK A TWELVE VOLT BATTERY UP BUT DON'T GET FOOLISH HERE, 30 40 SECOND'S AT A TIME, DON'T OVER HEAT THE STARTER, BUT IF IT'S TURNING FREE THAT WONT BE A PROBLEM, HIGH DETERGENT OIL HAS VERY LITTLE FRICTION , AND FRICTION IS WHAT WILL SEAT THE RINGS, [ HAVE THE BATTERY AWAY FROM THE CAR, ] HOOK THE CABLES TO THE STARTER AND GROUND ON THE FRAME, PUT THE POSITIVE CABLE ON THE BATTERY, AND TOUCH THE GROUND CABLE TO THE BATTERY WHEN NEEDED, HAVE A HELPER RUN THE CABLE ON THE BATTERY, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL TENDING THE JOB AT HAND. BE SAFE--AND GOOD LUCK. GREG

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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:20 am

I'd like to know, (perhaps I missed it), what caused the ring replacement in the first place and how did you arrive at the idea it needed them?
Forget everything you thought you knew.

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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by david_dewey » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:58 pm

Guys, it is a Buick, not a T, so the starting ideas for a T don't necessarily work for the Buick. The sharpest early Buick guy I know is Erik Barrett, and he gave some really good suggestions. If everything else is OK, I think the problem is getting the engine to spin fast enough AND long enough to work up some compression and it will then fire. Once it starts and runs a bit, it should start just fine afterwards. I'm just trying to save Robert all the effort of droppiing the pan, crank and pistons. The scary thing about these engines is if you let the piston go too high in the cylinder, the top ring will pop out of the bore and then you'll loose the piston getting it out. Besides likely doing other damage too. Some folks make a rod that fits in one of the valve cages that sticks in the bore deep enough to prevent the piston from going too high. Once the rod is on the crank, no more worries!
Detachable heads can be so handy!! For those that might not know, the Buick does not have detachable heads, you have to do the valves by taking the valve cages out of the block . And as Erik mentioned, you can put them in wrong!
T'ake care,
David Dewey


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Robert Bente
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Re: Piston ring seating

Post by Robert Bente » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:00 am

Update on progress. I found another set of nos rings that are .010 over. End gaps on old rings in the ring travel area were .035+. I will use a sizing hone to even out the cylinder bore and size the rings for an end gap of around .010.
I also received a email from Dan H. who read my post on this site, and he has some roller 34” tires he is willing to give to me.
I’ve had a wanted listing on the HCCA site for months with no luck. Thank you MTFCA.
Also, a thank you to Erik B. for his help. There is nothing that replaces experience.
r/s Bob

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