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Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 03, 2010 11:34AM

In desperation to avoid taking my engine all apart (because of lots of smoking) I did some searching and found this in some Honda forum.

Re: What method to loosen up stuck piston rings?

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After a great deal of me lurking about on automotive sites because of engine smoke (sticking rings...replaced valve stem seals)to find out how to get them freed up without removing them, I decided to come back here, register, and report my success.

Here's what I did that finally worked for me:

The engine is a vertical 4 double overhead cam. Initial compression test was 176-150-176-176 out of a possible 191 max. I did this compression test after a tune up when I discovered one discolored plug (#2 cylinder). The #2 cylinder compression tested low. Right away I added acetone, let it sit a bit, then fired it up. Compression jumped up to 176 from 150. I was now noticing smoking at high RPM with heavy throttle. I believe I was smoking before but didn't see it.

I knew I had a stuck second ring and oil rings likely. I tried every chemical that seemed it may work to clear all the rings up, but nothing was working. My only success was getting the top ring working again. But, here's where I had success: I tried B12 Chemtool

Here's what I did: I drained my oil and left drain plug removed. I put the offending cylinder at TDC and poured in B12. Then, using an air fitting I pumped in 120psi (most I could) air pressure forcing the B12 down through and around the piston. I repeated this several times. I allowed some time between each air shot for soaking to occur. I then returned motor oil and drove. Oil pan did not contain any B12.

After the above procedure, I was impressed with the smoke reduction I was experiencing at high RPM. So...I did it again. This time I bought 2 cans of B12 and was very thorough. I kept soaking and blowing it through. (I also put some B12 on the spot under my oil filler cap to see what it did to varnish. Wow...too bad this stuff is bad for seals and some gaskets.)

I almost forgot to mention I did WOT runs after treatments.

Anyway, now I'm smoke free and plan to treat the other 3 cylinders to match them all up clean wise. Sure would like to see a 180 all the way across. Kinda doubt I'll get much more compression since their all matched up up at 176.

Anyway, that's it.
Read more at [www.honda-tech.com]

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: October 03, 2010 12:01PM

Vertical engines and horizontal ones are quite different. Same problems with compression checks after adding the spoonful of oil. tends to hit the bottom of the cylinder. No way I know of to get it to the top of the pistons unless it is with a small hose and camera.

There are lots of solvents out there. This company has several dozen with similar names, and one california formula as well. As long as the engine runs, I'd stick with a know good product like AutoRx that is designed to be compatible with seals and engine parts, let it run it's full cleaning and rinse cycles.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 03, 2010 12:18PM

Your right so that got me thinking. If I loaded up the combustion chamber completely with pour in carb cleaner down the spark plug hole with the both valves closed and the offending piston at TDC, then just kind of bounce the crank rotation back and forth a little bit by hand, this should hydraulicly force the cleaner through the rings like the guy did with the air except this time it would work for a flat cylinder engine because the cleaner is loaded all the way up to the spark plug hole.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: October 03, 2010 12:29PM

Plugs are about half way. There will be some "wick" action upwards, but I wouldn't count on it.

This may be a better method of getting a completely stuck engine to start turning, but once it is moving I'd go with the AutoRx as a safer, more complete method.

Restoration in Bolivia
Richard's Mini Pickup
Richard's Corvair
Richard's Renault Dauphine

Selection of the Right Motor Oil for the Corvair
Selection of the right transmission oil for the corvair
How to polish and restore stainless and aluminum trim

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: Tom Z ()
Date: October 03, 2010 01:41PM

..you're SURE it's "stuck rings"?..pull the sparkplugs,crank the engine over for 20 seconds or so,and look in each plug hole,see if there's a puddle of oil in the cyl..whether it's rings or guides,there's NO 'fix in a bottle' that will correct the problem ** IMHO **,just be careful not to dilute the oil with the stuff if you try it..

Tom Z,,Rochester NY


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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: October 03, 2010 02:55PM

Do what Richard1 says...and DRIVE it... just getting the engine HOT will free up many things.

And you don't get an engine HOT... unless you drive it...or leave the fanbelt off..





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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: October 03, 2010 03:45PM

Drive it, if hey are going to get freed up a bunch of road time will do it.

Sam Russell
Chapel Hill NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: 65 Crown Corsa ()
Date: October 03, 2010 03:48PM

It is possible he somehow got good results....compression numbers do not lie.

Ed
65 Crown/Wills Corsa
WPB Florida

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 03, 2010 10:24PM

We'll I believe all this trouble is a result of the previous owner letting the car sit for 4 years with the gas tank very low. I think condensation built up in the gas tank and when his buddy started the engine once a week it got into the cylinders rusting up the rings. Another problem to add to the situation is the guy used 20/50 instead of 10w30 as the manual recommends. Then he added half a bottle of "NO SMOKE" which everyone knows just clogs everything up. He said the smoking got way worse when he added that No Smoke. The engine is not seized it runs ok (little hard to start because of the carbs) but smokes like crazy when you hit the gas from the exhaust and the crankcase vent tube. It also spits out oil out the crankcase vent when it's running. I got this car to be a driver while I build my kitcar that's why I'm hesitant to take the engine all apart right away. It's a rust and bondo bucket also. I'll take care of the rust/paint/interior after my kitcar is on the road.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: October 04, 2010 12:53AM

Nothing the matter with 20w 50 you probably 50w 90!!! ggg


To limit the mess while 1st driving it.... make a "catchcan" for your breather tube that normally goes to the air cleaner housing.





MODERATOR
Somewhere between Sea Mountain and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
.............................PG...................................Turbo

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: chris ()
Date: October 04, 2010 02:06AM

Dan, your engine sounds like it has the same symptoms that mine did. When I pulled the heads, I found that one of the cylinders had dropped a valve guide!

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 04, 2010 07:01AM

Chris, boy I hope not. I know how to change valves without a valve compressor but I don't know how to change a valve guides. Doesn't mean that I'm not willing to learn. You guys know that your can unlock valve keepers with a hammer and a socket right? Just put the head on a level surface, put the socket on the spring washer and hit the socket with a hammer. It's so much faster/easier than a valve spring compressor.

Like I said..McGyver "Paper clips and bubble gum"

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 05, 2010 11:08AM

I'm pretty sure I didn't drop a valve guide. If I had, you'd hear it clanking in there before the engine wrecked itself. A cracked valve seat is possible but remember this a 110. 140's are known for that. Since I've been playing with this car in the driveway and in the neighborhood, I believe there is slightly less smoke then the day I first got it. I've been spraying water down the carbs to see if a little steam clean action helps but the benefits of steam take quite a bit of road time because it cools as it cleans which wont free up a ring. I cant really take it on long drive right now because of a problem with the title is slowing me down registering it.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: Bazzajd1 ()
Date: October 30, 2010 12:08PM

Carbon between the rings and the piston - ie; in the Ring groove. Steaming the engine for an hour has a good chance of freeing up the rings, cleaning the carbon out and finally getting the combustion gases behind the rings forcing them to the cyl wall to seal. Blocking the Exhaust pipe by 50% also assists back pressure keeping the cylinders pressurized while steaming.
Steaming; Find a free port on your manifold-carby, Tuned port or constant vac port is still OK, you will need a large container of water larger than a bucket and some clear plastic hose works well, about 4mm for carb ports. You will also need some type of restriction for the hose, maybe a clamp or water injection tap/valve as the hose will more than supply enough water/steam for a more than idling engine. Get the engine hot first then add your 4mm water hose at high idle rate, steaming process takes about an hour, so you'll need at least 3 or so gallons of water, watch the carbon come out of the exhaust!! After time, disconnect the hose and plug the port up again,let the engine run for a while to clear out all the steam and carbon, then take it for a run. The best only known method of freeing stuck rings with out disassembly. Also, make sure your Smoke Blower isn't just dong it because of your PCV valve, its not sunk into the oil where it sits is it?

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: October 30, 2010 01:32PM

65 Crown Corsa Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It is possible he somehow got good
> results....compression numbers do not lie.


You can have good compression numbers and still have stuck oil control rings.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 30, 2010 08:07PM

There is no PCV valve on a 80 hp. I think the engine needs valve seals and a steaming. I wish, I thought about valve seals before I put it all back together since I've changed them before in a Saturn. They aren't hard to change but I dont have really a big enough air compressor to hold the valves shut.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: Andrew ()
Date: October 30, 2010 08:14PM

The 1963 80hp engine came with a PCV valve.

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Re: Freeing stuck piston rings without taking the engine apart
Posted by: danyarger ()
Date: October 31, 2010 03:29AM

My 62 just has a road draft tube. I'm willing it bet it's a combination of dried up/cracked valve seals and stuck rings. I bet whoever gets this car can fix it for about $40 and a day worth of labor. New intake valve seals. I was thinking about steaming. My guess is, it would take less running time and water if one was to pour boiling water from a electric tea kettle down the carb throats. I've already ran water down the carbs when I got it and it didn't help any. The plugs are brand new and already have oil on them.

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