How to install a piston into an engine

by Contributor

I will show you how easy it is to install a piston into a cylinder and how to do it properly to prevent premature engine failure.

Stagger the rings 180 degrees with the openings on the ends where the wrist pins are located. This will minimize blow by of compression gasses.

Oil up the piston really good, make sure oil gets around the rings and on the sides of the pistons. Lubrication is critical. I used assembly lube.

Lubricate the cylinder walls

Install piston ring compressor and tighten to pull rings back into piston. Install the connecting rod bearings and lubricate. Rotate the crankshaft to the lowest part of it's stroke. This will allow you to put on the connecting rods caps and tighten the bolts/or nuts.

Insert piston into the cylinder that it corresponds to, this is #1 piston and there is an arrow to indicate the front of the engine. Using the handle of a hammer, tap and push the piston downward towards the crankshaft. Using the other hand to guide the connecting rod around the journal of the crankshaft. You really don't want to scratch the surface of the crankshaft. Install the connecting rod caps and torque to specification and you are done!

Items you will need

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