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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys

I'm about to install my piston rings on my 289 engine.

A buddy of mine says; " . . . you don't need to buy a piston ring installer." You just place one end of the ring in the slot and run you finger all around the ring into the piston rings slots."

Well guys I felt that he's not right. But I don't know why but it just doesn't seem right.

They sell PISTON RING INSTALLERS for a reason.

Can you guys tell me if my buddy is right or wrong and please give me the reasons why.

THANK YOU
GOD BLESS

Schooner
 

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You can do that, you run the risk of the inner edge of the end of the ring scraping your piston. I was simulating a piston installing tool with my hands to install rings and broke two. They were a special size ring set only made by one company. $70 for a set, or $20 for one replacement. A piston ring tool is like $6 at sears.
 

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Either way works just fine. Without the installer, it's harder on your fingers more than anything, that's why they sell the tool. I have done it both ways on many, many engines and not had a problem either way.
 

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USE IT!

I've built too many engines and broken too many rings screwing off and doing it by the finger method...

Use the cheap little ring spreader tool, it don't weigh much and it's cheap, and you don't break the rings that way.


FE
 

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Auto Zone has a cheap one that works well. Get one, and not worry about breaking a ring.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To all the guys

THANK YOU GENTLEMEN FOR STRAIGHTENING MY OUT ON THE ;
PISTON RING INSTALLER.
I will buy the P/Ring Installer.

THANKS AGAIN GUYS
GOD BLESS YOU ALL

Schooner
 

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Good choice!

I ran Speed-Pro for a dozen years. Over that time I got to see literally dozens of rings that were screwed up by professional race guys who were sure they could install them by hand.

The guys that broke them were the lucky ones - - there are lots of guys (most of them swear they've been doing it for 30 years) installing by hand that put a twist or a bend in the ring. The damage doesn't show up until the motor is together and not performing up to expectations. They then sent the "defective" rings with "funny" wear patterns to us for analysis...
 

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I used the "finger method" on my first engine. Ended up buying two sets of Hastings rings. I have a cheap ring spreader tool in the toolbox, have yet to break another (Kings X!)
 

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The tool doesn't do anything your fingers can't do, it just does it easier. Now if you're talking about wrapping the rings in a spiral to get them on the piston, you bet, you'll probably mess them up, especially if you have big dome pistons.
 

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I have done it both ways. Using your fingertips to spread the ring just far enough to get them in place works fine - its slow and hard on your fingers but it does work. I use the piston ring installer - I am yet to see it bleed.
Paul
 
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