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Thread: Oil Ring Question!

  1. #1
    Muskie Fishin' Fool JEFF's Avatar
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    Default Oil Ring Question!

    Is it possible to install oil rings upside down? Or are the scrapers the same shape - topside and bottom side? I have not installed the new valve seals yet, but i keep thinking about other possibilities. When the engine(freshly honed & ringed ) is idling it smokes alot of oil smoke. When i shut it off it drips oil out of the open header. It only drips from the pipe that comes from the front 3 cylinders. Thats a lot of oil going through the combustion chambers don't you think?? Any thoughts on this??

    - Jeff
    FUEL INJECTED '72 L24

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    As far as I know, there is no difference in the top and bottom rails, or scrapers. But, the question is, did you set the gaps correctly?

    The expander ring should be set with the gap over one end of the piston pin, and the top rail is then put on the piston with the gap set at 10 o'clock( with 12 o'clock the gap of the expander ring) and the bottom rail is then put on and the gap set at 4 o'clock.

    Also and just as important, is that the ends of the expander ring spacer ends cannot overlap, but must only butt together. This needs to be double checked after installing the side rails as you can disturb the expander ring spacers when you are installing them...

    If the engine is pumping out that much oil, I guess it is entirely possible the oil ring end gaps aren't set correctly and that is the problem. I know you didn't want to hear that.....
    If you aren't sure, you might be better off to take it back down and double check now instead of taking the chance of damaging the bore or pistons....
    "If it weren't for fools, the rest of us could not succeed." Mark Twain.

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    Muskie Fishin' Fool JEFF's Avatar
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    2ManyZs - When I assembled the pistons/rings the gaps of the oil scraper rings were set 180 deg. apart, But probably not at
    10 o'clock & 4 o'clock just that they were 180 deg. apart was what I thought was important. The 1st & 2nd compression rings were also set 180 deg. apart - starting at 90 deg. to the gaps on the oil scrapers. Compression is at 180 psi across all 6.(oil wet w/ all 6 plugs out.)

    When I get back over to the shop I am installing new valve seals - cross your fingers for me that I find something wrong with the seals on one or more of the front 3 cylinders. To pull the engine yet again would be faster than previously but STILL no fun!

    - Jeff
    FUEL INJECTED '72 L24

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    Registered User tanny's Avatar
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    I hope it is the valve stem seals. Way too frustrating to disassemble and pop the pistons again. Does sound like you got the compression rings right. It's amazing how easily the rings can accidentally move out of alignment when applying the ring compressor. Don't know what the exact theory is behind the 12:00 10:00 positioning, but must be important if all the manuals make a stink about it. Hope Murphy's laww isn't working in this case. Good luck.

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    Sounds like you did alright with the oil rings, as far as setting the end gaps. There is always the slim possibility they might have moved a bit when you put the ring compressor on and installed the pistons.

    I'd go ahead with checking the valve stem seals and if nothing looks bad enough to be causing the problem, I think you should figure on pulling the head. I know, a head gasket isn't cheap, but it's a lot easier than pulling the engine...If you pull the head and don't find any scratches in your hone job in the cylinders, you can pretty much rule out the rings as the problem.
    Which will leave you with two more alternatives. You could have had a defective headgasket, or there is a probem with the head itself.

    BTW, did you happen to check the oil pressure? Just wondering if it showed anything abnormal...
    "If it weren't for fools, the rest of us could not succeed." Mark Twain.

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    Muskie Fishin' Fool JEFF's Avatar
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    The oil pump is new & the pressure reads as it always has - high side of center on the guage at idle.

    - Jeff
    FUEL INJECTED '72 L24

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