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Engine Building Fundamentals: Ring Compressor

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Ring Compressor

01.28

00:00 - One of the easiest times to damage a new set of piston rings is when the piston is being installed into the bore.
00:06 In order to do this, the rings need to be compressed into the ring grooves on the piston, and this is achieved with a ring compressor.
00:14 Ring compressors come in a few varieties, but the most common being a low-cost style of ratchet ring compressor where a middle sleeve is placed over the piston, and tightened up against the skid of the piston to compress the rings.
00:28 The piston is then placed in the bore, and gently tapped into place.
00:33 When used with care, this style of ring compressor can achieve excellent results.
00:37 However, it's also possible to have a ring pop out during the installation process which can quickly destroy the ring, as well as potentially damaging the bore as well.
00:48 My own preference is to use a tapered-style ring compressor where the entire piston is pushed through a machine sleeve with an internal taper that compresses the rings as the piston moves through the compressor.
01:01 The down side is that this style of compressor will only work for a specific bore size.
01:06 So you need a ring compressor to suit each size of bore that you expect to work with.
01:12 This can understandably get expensive unless you only ever plan on working with one or two bore sizes.