Installing Pistons on a Connecting Rod

  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 125-250
What You'll Need
Work gloves

The connecting rod and the piston help create compression with the movement of the crankshaft. The rod connects the piston and the crankshaft. In order to install the pistons, a few basic steps need to be followed. Read on to find out more.

Step 1 – Precautions

Before you start installing the pistons, make sure you have taken all necessary precautions. Avoid clutter in the work space. Wear work gloves while dealing with the engine.

Step 2 – Prep Work

Start off by moving the car to an open area or a space that has enough light. Let the engine cool before you start working on it.

Step 3 – Cleaning the Pistons

The very first step is to clean the pistons. The pistons need to be rid of any dust or dirt before you place them on the connecting rod. If you are not using new pistons, then make sure they are squeaky clean.

Step 4 – Removing the Wrist Pin

The rod's end rotates in the wrist pin. The C clips on the wrist pin have to be removed with pliers. Squeeze the clips and pull them out from the groove between the piston and the wrist pin.

Step 5 – Caution

The wrist pins have to be removed from each and every piston. Make sure that you do not mix them up. Each pin should rest with the corresponding piston.

Step 6 – Lubricant

Slightly clean all the components. Now apply lubricant on the connecting rod, wrist pin and piston holes. This will help in easing the installation of the pistons on the connecting rod.

Step 7 – Lining Up

In this step, you start with the actual placement of the piston. You need to first partially insert the pin on the piston's side. Now line the connecting rod and the hole through which the pin will pass.

Step 8 – Sliding the Pin

As a final step in the placement, continue sliding the pin. Keep sliding onto the rod and later through the piston’s other side.

Step 9 – Torching

Torching will help in the installation process. The rod needs to be heated up with this torch. This will ensure that the metal expands and give the pin a snug fit.

Step 10 – C-Clips

Now you have to make sure that the pin is held in place. The C clips will help achieve this. The pliers will help squeeze the clips into the pin and piston grooves.

Step 11 – Caution

The clips have to be installed for all the pistons. While doing so, be extremely careful not to damage the clips. There should not be bends on them, use specially designed pliers for this purpose.

Step 12 – Final Step

Finally check the functions of the connecting rod. Make sure the rod moves freely, there should not be any binding nor should it get stuck while performing. That's all you need to do to install pistons on a connecting rod. Once you are done, finish up and turn on the engine and check if all is working well.