Piston Rings

Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:03 pm

Ok folks....Back in January, I bought a '64 Lo Boy as a parts donor for my '63 Cub. It came complete with stuck engine.
Over the last few months, I've been cannibalizing the Lo-Boy for the better parts (mainly the rear tires), but decided I might see what really caused it to lock up.
Of course, you experienced folks know that it locked up because of a water leak into a cylinder. In this case it was #4. Bet money that is the typical one.

I pulled #1 and #4 rod caps (was sure PO ran it out of oil, but he hadn't) and fed #4 a diet of Hy-tran for a few days. The hand sledge on the wood block was able to persuade the piston to move. It even tapped out the top fairly easily once it broke loose and I cleaned the corrosion from the stuck spot.

Bore is not bad considering - I've put worse back in service with good results. (Ask me about that 2.2 Corsica sometime)
Ring end gap had worn to darned near 0.100, but there is not enough ridge to catch your nail on it. Calculates to less than 0.003 wear but still plan on measuring it.

I don't want to spend a ton on this tractor until I know it runs, as just about everything I touch on it has been busted by the PO, but if it's running, I may actually have a use for it...

So...the question....
I've been researching ring and find the genuine IH parts that look to be quite pricey and chrome (I think top ring only)
Ebay guys have everything from Bob's $52 aftermarket ones to $30.00 Powermax(that I've never heard of)
Napa and Summit have the Federal Mogul FP5098kx/x. The economy cast rings are only $23.99 at Napa, while the chrome ones are $92!!!
(BTW Summit is the cheapest flexhone I have found - BC25824 is only $19.95 2.625-240 grit)

I see where several folks have used the Napa/FM economy parts - have they given you decent service life?

This also may be a warmup for the '63 at some later date....I know - don't take the hood off!!!


Re: Piston Rings

Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:16 pm

I get most of my engine parts from the local auto parts store.

Done a lot of engine overhauls in the 15 years I've lived in Missouri. So far the rebuilt engines still have the rings from the auto parts store.

Re: Piston Rings

Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:51 pm

Just the plain old cheap ones, like the $30 Napa ones? That's where I was going. Thanks...

I'm pretty sure the PO rode this one hard and put it away wet. Funny that I have 0.003 or so bore wear and 0.025 equivalent ring wear - assuming they were properly gapped when new.
Also seems like the chrome top ring wore just as much as the iron 2nd ring..

Haven't been rebuilding much lately. My '86 S10 has 298,000 on the clock and still has all the original factory internals untouched.

Re: Piston Rings

Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:26 am

Federal Mogul is the ring set the local auto parts store usually supplies. I really don't know if one brand is better than another.

Cast iron rings were common in the early 1950's and would last around 60,000 miles in an automobile engine.

I have found engines with the cast iron rings worn out but the cylinder walls and pistons were still in excellent conditon. I wouldn't hesitate to reinstall the less expensive cast iron rings. It's really the owner/rebuilders choice.