More Piston work


All this piston work would not be necessary normally.  If you buy a nice new set of pistons then the only thing you might want to do is balance them some.  But, I have these pistons and I’d like to go with them.

A note on the balancing. I got all the pistons down to about 657g.  I happen to have a set of R1 .040 pistons on hand so I thought I do a weight check.  It turns out they are a full 60g lighter! Not too surprising when you look at how short the skirt is, but note how massive the pin supports are.  The heavier pistons will likely mean slower revving and harder on the engine at high revs.  Those R1 pistons remind me of the very short 427 Chev high performance units. Studebaker was thinking right when they kept the weight down.

R1 piston verses the domed pistons I’m planning on using below.

On with my piston work.  I used the broken ring to clean out the ring groves being careful not to gouge the lips.


Another bad shot, but here’s what some of the crud looks like.

Cleaned off pretty well and with a good wire brushing with a bronze brush (a heftier one that the one in the shot above) they look just fine.

Here’s another little tool I picked up from Ebay when I would looking for something to remove piston pins.  This is meant to fit various applications including Studebaker pins.

I’ll use a heat gun, the pin removal tool and a small crescent to remove the pins. I use the crescent to give the arm of the pin remover 1/4 extra turn to snug it up well.  It’s aluminum so I don’t put too much pressure on it.

The piston supplier recommends warming the pistons in hot water or oil to loosen the pistons!  I’ve used an oven on low heat, but I’ve also used a heat gun.  I move the heat gun around the piston to heat it evenly maybe 6 or 7 times and then try to wiggle the pin.  Usually that’s all it takes.  Sometimes the pins come out without any heat at all.

And out they come.

Some staining and a little damage to some of the pins.  A quick lapping with 2500 grit and then crocus and most of the discolouration goes away.  Again, these will far outlast the probable mileage then engine will be driven.

Near the end of it all I noticed that one end of the piston pin had the  remains of green dye.

I also noticed that there was a green mark on one of the pin supports in each piston.  The instructions with the pistons said that the pins were matched to the pistons.  So I went back and put the pins in their correct position.

All cleaned up and ready for the next step.

Next with be fitting the rods and then checking the rod bearing clearances before the pistons are fitted with rings.

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