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Measuring Piston Ring Endgap

When assembling new pistons and rings, one important measurement to make is the piston ring end gap. You must ensure that the end gap for each piston ring is within spec prior to installation.

You will need a set of feeler gauges to do this.


Before making any measurements, you must be sure the cylinder walls are clean. If it was freshly honed then use some brake cleaner to wipe it off and then spray a light coat of WD-40 onto the cylinder walls to keep it from rusting. Otherwise, use some Scotchbrite and give the walls a quick once over and then clean them as mentioned above.
Measure one ring at a time. Place the ring into the cylinder and use the piston to push it down about 2". Use the feeler gauges to measure the end gap. Then push the ring down about 5" from the top and repeat the measurement. Make sure the gap is within spec at both positions.
Use the feeler gauges to measure the end gap. Then push the ring down about 5" from the top and repeat the measurement. Make sure the gap is within spec at both positions. Repeat the process of all the rings for each of the cylinders. If any of the rings are not within spec, then you must either increase the gap or if the gap is too large, purchase a new ring.

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