Engine Building Fundamentals: Ring File
- Filing piston rings is a common task we'll be completing when building performance engines.
And it's essential to have a quality ring file to complete this task.
A piston ring file uses a rotary abrasive disc to file the ring ends, and there are a lot of options on the market.
They vary from low cost manual files, that are turned by hand, through to electric powered files that incorporate dial gauges and fixtures to keep the end of the piston ring square as you file it.
While the low cost, hand powered files may be appealing, you're usually better off spending a little more money and buying a quality file, as it will be easy to achieve accurate end gaps.
In particular, some of the low cost files have a lot of slop or free play in the hand cranking mechanism.
Which affects your ability to do a good job.
The dial gauges fitted to some of the more expensive files are a nice touch that makes it very easy to make fast and accurate adjustments to the ring end gap, rather than constantly fitting the ring back into the bore in order to check on your progress.
Electric ring files will also seem like a great choice if you're expecting to build more than just a couple of engines in your life.
As they greatly speed up the process, and make it much easier to achieve accurate results.