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Old 06-24-2008, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wrist Pin Installation

Is it possible to install the press fit wrist pins by heating the connecting rod and freezing the pin or is it best to have it done at the machine shop. I'm rebuilding a ford 302 out of a 71 Bronco. I have all the machine work done but I'm wondering if this is something I should myself?
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Wrist Pin Installation

There is a perfect depth for them to be pressed to.

Freezing your wrist pin WILL NOT shrink it enough you need sub zero temps to make that wrist pin shrink at all. You do however need to heat the rod, and then press in the pin.

You dont want to heat it too much or you'll weaken the rod.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Wrist Pin Installation

Does a machine shop have a jig or something to make sure it's in the right depth? I live at least 100 miles from an engine shop and I would like to do it myself but then again I want it done right.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Wrist Pin Installation

We use a small ceramic insulated electric heater.

The piston is held against a template with a pre-set depth for the pin to stop at making it 'center' in the rod end.

You can fabricate something like that I'm sure.

BUt it's all for naught if the rods are floating and the piston uses retainers
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Wrist Pin Installation

It is a pressed fit. Thanks for the help I'm going to give it a shot. Any other hints you can think of is certainly appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Wrist Pin Installation

Hints? Pick up a junk piston and a rod, and practice. The 2nd time you do it, you'll have it down pat.

I do my own here at the house. There's two ways to do it. I normally use a propane camp stove with the grates removed. The small end of the rods lay directly on the burner. With this setup they won't overheat...they don't get hot enough to turn colors. I usually cook the rods for about 5 min on one side, then flip them over, and then on the other side I'll heat 'em until the rod's beam starts smoking (the oils from your hands burning off). You HAVE to have good clean pins AND bores! If the pins aren't perfectly clean, they'll bind up going through the rod and then you're screwed. If there's dirt in the pin bores, theyll bind in the bores and again, you're screwed. I use contact cleaner to get the pins and bores perfectly clean. No oil! Oil cools the pin while it's going thru the rod and it will stop halfway through usually. I usually have the pistons upside down on the kitchen table, cleaned, with them marked front. Usually I mark the rods as well just to be sure. Once they're hot, pull it off the stove, insert it into the piston and push the pin through with my thumb and center the rod in the piston and center the pin in the pin bore as close as you can get it. It ain't gotta be 100% perfectly centered as they're offset a little in the engine anyway. You have about 7-10 seconds before the rod cools and freezes the pin into the bore when I do it this way. While it's cooling off, you'll notice that the pin will bind up in the piston for a while. Normal. The piston is cold and the pin gets hot so they kind of seize temporarily. Just leave it alone and let it air cool and the rods will "flop" over when they cool down enough.

If ya get one off a little or mess up somehow, be sure to let the whole assembly cool off OVERNIGHT before trying to press it. Doing it with an even warm piston/rod/pin will result in a broken piston--guaranteed.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Wrist Pin Installation

That's EXACTLY the way to do it
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