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Technical Doing a ring job the old way

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by squirrel, May 19, 2019.

  1. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,184


    I got this 51 Hudson Hornet, and got it running, and it seems to be using quite a bit of oil. The engine is a 1954 308, that had been swapped in long ago. It looks nice, and runs ok, is quiet, and only leaks a little bit, and smokes occasionally. But a quart of oil every hundred miles is just too much.

    I don't plan on restoring the rest of the car, I've just been getting it running, but I would like to take a long road trip or two. I'd like to get 10k miles or so out of it. I also don't want to sink a lot of money into the car.

    Reading the shop manual, it appears that the pan will come off without much effort (drop the center link first), and I can pull the head off without disturbing much else. I'll have to spend a few hundred bucks for gaskets and rings, and another hundred if the rod bearings look like they won't last long.

    How long has it been since you did a ring job without pulling the motor?

  2. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,716


    Many years ago I used to help my Dad do this on 50's Chevy ranch trucks with 6 cyls. Tear down, pop out pistons-clean ring grooves. He would take head to town and have valves done or we would lap with compound if not too bad. Put em back together. Also did a 283 in a 55 this way as well. The 6 cyls were much easier. I still have his valve lapping stuff around here somewhere.
    Malcolm, tractorguy, pitman and 2 others like this.
  3. Last summer... LOL. My oldest kid bought a '64 Jeep (with that weird 'F' head 4-banger) that started making a bit of noise. Tracked the problem down to a bad piston, pulled the head/pistons, honed the cylinders, replaced the cracked piston, replaced all the rings because it was just as cheap to buy a full set, put 'er back together.

    One thing nice about those old design engines; they're not as touchy about tolerances... even after honing the snot out of the cylinders, taper was still within specs! LOL...
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  4. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,479


    First time for me was '82 on my '64 Rambler American flat 6. Last time a bout 15 years ago on a mazda pickup 4 cylinder.
  5. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,767

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    How long ya asked,about 2 years ago,an only on 1 cly.*,started getting too much blow by ,spit oil drops out the filler tube on the way home from a show. That was broken rings from a backfire I think . I knew my Ford Y 292 really needed too be bored out along with some new pistons even 8 years back,but hay,didn't have piggy bank for even new ring set this time ether. I did what I had too in car,pulled head n pan,piston/rod,put used rings in after hone. So far it's holding,an running around town. I'm on borrowed time,but better then parking it !.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  6. All the time, in my world of heavy trucks, this is called an in-frame overhaul. On a B Cummins or 3100 Series Caterpillar, we use a flex hone to deglaze the cylinders and clean up the crank as well as possible and reassemble. Good to go for another 400,000 miles. All the other diesels get the liners swapped out. I have also done gas engines the same way.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  7. Dominick Hide
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 200

    Dominick Hide

    A couple of weeks..... Got a new timing chain as well. '55 Thunderbird. IMG_3743.JPG
  8. I do it all the time on farm tractors. Many tractors have the exhaust pointing straight up at the sky. and it rains in the exhaust and usually rust one cyl. I buy those locked engine tractors cheep. tear them down and maybe change the sleeve on the rusty cyl. sometimes all that is needed is a hone job and new rings on one cyl. Ive got partial new ring sets and save good cranks & bearings and sleeves pistons ect. from old froze and busted engines. I often will reuse the head gasket.Back in the day it was more often a inframe ring- Rod bearing and valve job than it was to pull the engine and spend $$$ rebuilding it. On U Tube this Guy Jonathan W. He just got a Studebaker with the 352 Packard mill. it had low compression and smoked. And he pulled the heads and oil pan. He found stuck rings and two damaged pistons. He is only going to replace the rings and bad pistons. Nothing wrong with just fixing what is broke.
  9. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,854

    jimmy six

    I've put rags over the crank and carboned balled my GMC 6 in my race car more times than I can count including this winter for my next run at El Mirage. A new ring package this year too. It's very typical for me to do it every other year. This time I had the valves professionally done and just not lapped them myself.

    Yeah, you can do it to a Y in a 54-56 Ford pretty ez once you get the crank in the right position the pan can come off. One thing that's pretty cool is Zero Gap and Total Seal make rings for just about any bore and ring thickness if just call and ask. I've even used 2 thin 2nds (cast iron) where a thick single belonged and stopped oil consumption entirely until a complete overhaul came. Good luck Jim
  10. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,485

    oldiron 440

    I didn't do it in the car but I did a 289 reringed with a ball hone. Motor only had 50k and worked better than expected.
    This was in 2001.
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    Deuces likes this.
  11. We used to use Bonami cleaner to reseat the rings....on our sprint car.....
    wheeldog57, verno30, pitman and 3 others like this.
  12. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,777


    Been thirty years since the last time I did one. It was a 300 Ford Six in a pickup.

    Deuces likes this.
  13. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,563

    Marty Strode

    I did this one in 1965, in the barn in the background. It had a 54-324 engine, bought the kit from Montgomery Wards. I had a lot more desire back then. 2012-11-27 165602.jpg
  14. Many, many, years ago my buddy did what you're planning to do but on a beat up old Plymouth Fury with a 318. Dingle ball honed the cylinders, cleaned the pistons, new rings and rod bearings. Back then as kids we didn't know any better. We never checked the clearances on anything but it ran pretty well as basic transportation until he got rid of it.
  15. 61 Sunliner
    Joined: Oct 24, 2012
    Posts: 47

    61 Sunliner

    Not a ring job but when I was 16 I put a reground crank kit in my 1961 Galaxie with a 292 without removing the engine. At the time it had a rod knock and leaked a quart of oil a day. Must have done ok because that engine lasted for quite some time.
  16. Last one I did was a sick-six in my neighbors Chevy pickup about 35 years ago... dirt floor garage in the wintertime.
    tractorguy likes this.
  17. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,417


    Done it many times. Ball hone, cast rings... Good for 50-60k no problem.

    After you hone it wash the cylinders down real good with brake clean until a paper towel comes out clean after wiping. A little ATF wiped on the bores and good to go.
, loudbang and tractorguy like this.
  18. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    He sure is inspirational to me, no complaining about what he does not have, but does more in a day than I can imagine....while running a 24-7 towing company out of his home.

    I once wondered how he knows so much about everything, but I bet he is self taught just by tackling anything under the sun and knowing he will figure it out. That and originally from Kentucky and money was probably tight, so you did stuff yourself... since forever.
  19. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 428

    from Louisiana

    Not rings. But I did cam, cam gear, cam bearings, lifters, rocker arms, pushrods, oil pump and new distributor. In a f100 with a 240 after that damn fiber cam gear came apart. FYI if you ever find a fiber gear just change it with an aluminum gear for a 300. No questions just change it.
    6-bangertim, Frankie47 and Boneyard51 like this.
  20. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,966

    from Berry, AL

    Couldn't do that on today's cars. Half the engine is under the cowl and windshield, can't even get to the spark plugs on some of them.
  21. Jim, Trying to think, but have to say never. I put an 836 kit in a 750 Honda, in frame. Homemade ring compressor sleeves and hose clamps..Sorry, wrong forum.
    Anyway, I'll bet you could have that engine out in an hour ,with your shop, tools, and skill level. To me , you'd waste more time than that climbing up and over the fenders a few hundred times.
    Don't forget the ridge reamer. I guess they still sell them...
    Snap a couple of old rings in half to use as a groove scraper....and don't measure nothin' !
    If I was in Az. right now, I'd come down and help ya.
    J.Ukrop and 283john like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,308


    In the early 80's I worked at avvery reputable shop here that didn't believe in pulling an engine for repairs all were done in chassis. In GM pickups and suburbans the last 2 cylinders on the right side were under the AC plenum si you had to hone those 2 cylinders from the underside. What a bitch that was. I would much rather have the engine on a stand.
    tractorguy likes this.
  23. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,609


    I watch that guy all the time. He said he was from West Virginia and used to do tractor pulling. He is doing an in-frame Packard rebuild in a Studebaker right now. Fun stuff to watch.

    Edit: I see old wolf already said that.
    Randall, Old wolf and F&J like this.
  24. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,047


    My Dad used to do it all the time on his used cars. I did it once on my '55 Chevy six and it worked fine. It's a bitch working over the fenders as you get older though.
    Good tip from Jimmy six above; if the pan won't come out first try, rotate the crank
  25. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,777


    I did the cam gear change on the truck I owned previous to the 300. After I put steel gears in it raddled real bad. So I tapped in my oil galley with some air equip hose and drilled a hole in my timing cover to dump oil right on the gears. I brazed up the fitting and drilled a small hole to restrict the oil so I did lose all my oil pressure. Quited the gears down considerably.
    Still have both trucks!

    alanp561, pitman and King ford like this.
  26. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,621


    When I was in the Army in 1972 I had a '63 Chevy 4x4 carryall with a 230 six in it. I was home on a 3 day pass and blew a hole in a piston. I drove it to ask an old time auto machinist if he thought it would make the 500 mile trip back to my post. He proceeded to pull spark plug wires while it was running and when he go to number 3 piston he told me to go home and drop the pan and pull the head and bring him back #3 piston and rod. When I returned he pulled a complete piston and rod assembly out of a core engine that was exchanged for a reman engine and sent me on my way. I installed the new used piston and rod assembly and buttoned it up (but I did use a new head and pan gasket). Made it back to post on time with no problems. Ran so well I drove it the 1,000 mile round trip home on another 3 day pass. Finally replaced it with a 327 and then sold the six to another GI to put in his '63 Wagon. Life was much simpler then.
    R A Wrench, Malcolm, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  27. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,957

    from Ioway

    What's the best way to keep any dingel ball hone and cylinder grit out of the bottom end? I was thinking greased rags to catch it, stuffed down low in the cylinder?
  28. Turn the crank throw as far away from the cyl as possible and cover it with cardboard. I always scrub the cyls with a bristle brush and hot soapy (dishwashing liquid) water after honing. then wipe them with paper towels soaked in auto trans fluid until they are clean. The old timer Tom McCahill of Popular Machanics Fame.. He stated in the thirtys they would scratch the cyl walls with 36 grit sandpaper to break up the glaze!
    Truck64 likes this.
  29. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,391

    from Nicasio Ca

    Little tougher spinning the ridge reamer. What weight oil you using?

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