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How to get rings to re-seat?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dynaflash_8, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,009

    from Auburn WA

    Iv been driving my ol buick for a while now, and its got alot of blow-by. The motor only has bout 50k on it, so i highly doubt that the bore is worn that much. The motor sat for a long long time as well, so im thinkin that the rings might be eithor stuck, or not seating.

    Any tricks to make old rings seat again?

    its a 320 inline 8.
  2. shemp
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 496

    Alliance Vendor

    You can try a little Marvel Mystery oil in the crankcase, and then give it some exercise to see if they'll un-stick themselves. If they're not seating the cheap-o way is a teaspoon of Bon-Ami down the carb while the engine is running.
  3. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,777

    from Texas

    Marvel Mystery Oil, or ATF, down each spark plug hole, let sit overnight, push outside before starting, start, after huge smoke cloud covers neighborhood, pull out before neighbors can identify the source of the smoke and head for the highway, a nice 40-50 mile trip at varying speeds should fix you right up. It did the flat six in my old 48 Plymouth Woodie Wagon that had been sitting for about 20 years.
  4. Yeah, don't put the Marvel Mystery oil in the crankcase, that won't help your situation and will just thin out the oil. In the spark plug holes is the ticket.
    I once has a Porsche that wouldn't seat the rings after a rebuild so as a last ditch effort before pulling it back down, we poured Ajax down each barrel of the Weber's and damn if it didn't work! Don't know if it would help for stuck rings though, probably not.
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  5. norby48
    Joined: Dec 21, 2004
    Posts: 742


    I once got an (ACK!) Pinto for free that had a stuck motor. I really needed a beater. I poured a liberal amount of liquid wrench in each plug hole, then, the next day, I dragged it around the block in gear for a while, popping the clutch occasionally and it freed-up. I then changed the oil to 10W30, put in the plugs and battery, and it fired up!. I got it hot, and it smoked like hell. I changed the oil to 70W Valvoline nitro oil and drove it for 18 months, 'til the body broke from rust. Try that on a modern car.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  6. Grinderspark
    Joined: Aug 12, 2006
    Posts: 213


    My Grandfather was a Ford mechanic for 34 years, and also worked on friends and neighbors cars on the weekends.

    His old trick was to pull the plugs and saturate the rings with Liquid Wrench and let sit overnight.

    He'd change the plugs and oil the next day and fire it up outside. The smoke cloud looked like one of those old mosquito spray trucks was in the driveway, but after it warmed up and ran for an hour, those rings would pop out and the compression would come back like it was new.
  7. norby48
    Joined: Dec 21, 2004
    Posts: 742


    Great minds think alike!
  8. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,491


    Liquid wrench, MMO, and or kerosene in each cylinder. Let it soak overnight, and then give it an italian tune-up... Should do the trick. :D

    Repeat if nessecary.
  9. Over the years we've had customers buy the small bottle of GM posi-track additive (#1052358) to add to their motor oil to help free up sticky lifters and piston rings. It's a detergent additive designed to clean the varnish and glaze off the posi clutch plates that makes the diff pop and chatter when making turns at low speeds. Seems to perform a similar function in the crankcase, at least some of the time.
  10. tomslik
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 2,168


    bon-ami ma friends.....
    paul harvey can't be wrong....
  11. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,074

    Alliance Vendor

    I second the Bon-ami. I heard that back in about 56 chevy had a prob with the rings not seating on the new cars, they brought them back in and gave them the Bon-ami treatment. Poured it down the carb with the motor running.
  12. Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 963

    Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    from Dixie

    Shoot Kroil down the carb while it is running.Works great to free rings up.:)
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,594

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Although Bon Ami has been known to work, before resorting to that I'd try some G.M. Top Engine Cleaner. The old style pour can part number is 1050002; I don't have the part number for the newer style spray can in my head. I've had good luck with it as far as unsticking rings from the ring lands goes. It'll also do a good job of decarbonizing the combustion chambers and piston tops---not that a Buick straight eight would ever have such problems!
  14. concreteman
    Joined: May 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,171


  15. The Bon-Ami will do it as we gave an engine a pretty heavy cocktail of this,, like 2 inches in a pop bottle and fill the rest with gasoline,, Shakin Not Stirred,, and pour it down the throat. We then ripped the engine apart and there wasn't even as much as a scratch in any of the cylinders but the rings had a fresh look. We did this test just to see if it would rip up the cylinders >>>>.
  16. Ahh shit I'll never get another engine job now as you cats now know my secret !! >>>>.

    Attached Files:

  17. A quart of Rislone will do the trick...if the rings are in fact stuck, not worne...
  18. MMO is great! In the spark plug holes to un-stick rings, (whether they're stuck in their grooves or to the cyl. wall), down the carb for valves, in the crank case for sticky lifters and valves. As suggested above I've used kerosene to un-stick stuck stuff too. 2 qts of kersene and 3 qts of oil at oil change time makes a pretty good wash for the inside of an envine too.

    I have an OT car out back I'm going to try the BonAmi thing on. Will it work on a fuel injected 4 cyl?
  19. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,491


    A note of caution to everyone listening.

    The title of this thread, "How to get rings to re-seat?" is in contrast to the question being posed by the OP, which is how to get the rings un-stuck, presumably from excess carbon or gunk buildup inside the engine.

    Using bon-ami will score the cylinder walls, basically put 20,000 miles worth of wear and tear on an otherwise new or "not yet broke in" cylinder bore.

    Yes, the bon-ami trick will work to seat new rings... Or even old rings in an old engine that have never seated in the first place, but it will do absolutely nothing to "un-stick" gummed up or frozen rings... Except maybe make the problem even worse! :eek:

    I would advise everyone reading, or considering this to use some common sense!!!!!!
  20. 85-percent
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 323


    One piece of info.

    Bon Ami = yes

    Ajax = no

    for what it's worth, the only 'approved' stuff is Bon Ami. Ajax and generics are a no-no. the bad stuff either just dont work, or can do bad things to your motor. I unfortunately do not have a good explanation for why this is so.

    -90% Jimmy
  21. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,491


    Because bon-ami is a polishing agent, and ajax is an abrasive scouring agent. Using ajax in the engine would be like droping a fist-full of sand down the carb of a running engine! :eek:
  22. parksquijada
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 316

    from norcal

    what he said plus after you let it sit for a day or 2 with MMO then spin it around a few times with the key off to push down into rings and then pull the plugs and spin it again to get some of that oil out. then start it and run.....
  23. Any abrasive down the engine or in the crankcase is bad, Bon-ami, Ajax, ect. Chevrolet back in the '50 did this to "seat" the rings in the 265. It was factory approved but still not good. If your motor smokes because it has been sitting a long time it is not the compression rings anyway, MM in the crankcase will do more to free up the oil rings and wont hurt your engine. Just change your oil and drive it, they will free up sooner or later. ( all this is just BS if it had this problem when you parked it)
  24. This would work too!
  25. Mizlplix
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 170

    from S/W USA

    Every now and again, Caterpiller has a run of engines that are hard to break in and they will supply you a box of "Magic dust" to apply to them. It is dusted in dry while the engine is running. About a cup full per session. Then change oil and filter. Run for a week and if oil use stops...fine. if not dust again. Repeat until oil usage stops.
  26. I like the idea of Liquid Wrench or Kerosene. I've used GM Top Engine Cleaner I didn't know that would help but it couldn't really hurt. It will result in an amazing smoke show, make sure you have a video camera handy.

    Using those abrasives as suggested sounds like a good way to unstick an engine you plan to junk.
  27. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,966

    Shifty Shifterton

    Water can work wonders. Get the car fully warmed up with a drive, then trickle about 16 ounces of water into the carb with it revved to 2k. Don't go nuts, you're not trying to hydrolock it and bend rods.

    Steam is 1000X the volume of water. It's going to raise combustion pressures way higher than they normally go, and help pop a lot of loose stuff out. You can also do overnight soaks so the water goes deeper into the ringlands & carbon deposits, do a quick crank without plugs to clear it, the start up and watch a cup of carbon come out the tailpipe.

    If the budget's higher do the same with "foaming intake cleaner". First half of the can when running. Second half with it shut off and the throttle propped open, with 3 or 4 cranking revolutions to spread it around. Let it sit for an hour, and make sure there's a breeze when restarted.

    good luck
  28. loburban
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 154


    Warm it up, block radiator(airflow) let it get real warm Not HOT HOt then let it cool down and drive it see what happens.
  29. ####---- Didn't read post #15 eahh--???
  30. Thanks for the heads up Darryl, I guess I won't try Bon Ami on my high miler. I know the rings are just stuck from sitting because it didn't smoke when I parked it there 5 years ago. I'd better buy a can of MMO.

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