How to Install Piston Rings

What You'll Need
Piston rings
Engine oil
Tool Kit
Service Manual

Installing pistons rings will not take too much time. It is relatively easy and can be accomplished at home. Follow the steps below to successfully replace the piston rings in your car.

Step 1 – Safety Measures

Before you start with the installation of the piston rings make sure you have taken all safety measures. This job is fairly simple and hence basic precautions like wearing work gloves will suffice.

Step 2 – Prepping Up

Park the car in a well-lit space, so that you can view the components clearly. If the car was just driven, let the engine cool off before you start with the installation of the piston rings.

Step 3 – Understanding the Working

The main purpose of a piston is to generate vacuum, which helps in drawing the fuel and air to the combustion unit. The pistons are made up of three main rings that help in sealing the gap.

Step 4 – The Piston Rings

The three rings of the piston comprises of two compression rings and one oil control ring. These rings need to be installed correctly for the piston to function accurately. Make sure to measure the size of the piston ring that needs to be installed. The feeler gauge will help you determine the exact width of the rings.

Step 5 – Cleaning the Grooves

The ring grooves in the piston needs to be cleaned before you install the piston rings. Locate the three piston ring grooves and scrape out the debris and waste from the grooves with a scraper or you can use an old ring to clean it. Break it and scrape out the settlements.

Step 6 – Lubricating

After cleaning the grooves the next step is to lubricate the piston rings. Use engine oil or transmission fluid for this purpose. Lubricating the ring will ease the installation process.

Step 7 – Installing Oil-Control Ring

The next step is to introduce the oil-control ring into the piston. Place the ring at the head of the piston, stretch the ring and try sliding it down. Continue sliding it till it rests securely at the bottom.

Step 8 – Installing Compression Ring two

The next step is to place the compression ring. Start off with the second ring. Place it on top of the piston and slide it down into position. It should rest on the middle slot. Position the ring in such a way that the oil-control ring gap rests at 180 degrees from the compression ring gap.

Step 9 – Installing Compression Ring one

Similarly place and slide the first ring into the piston. Be careful not to overstretch the ring. Rotate the ring to make sure it sits at 90 degrees from the compression ring two and the oil-control ring.

Step 10 – Compressing the Rings

After the rings are placed in position the next step is to compress it into the piston. The rings should get compressed towards the piston's side. The compression will help the piston to slide into the cylinder.

Step 11 – Lowering the Rod

The next step is to replace the connecting rod into the cylinder. The rod is attached to the piston's bottom. Lowering it will help in sliding the piston into position.

Step 12 – Final Step

Tap the piston till it slides out from the ring compressor and enters the cylinder. Once the piston is in position the installation is complete.