How To Replace Piston Rings Without Removing Engine


Replacing piston rings is not something that should be done unless you have performed advanced engine repairs before or it is very clearly explained how-to videos. Only experienced technicians should attempt this process!

Regularly replacing piston rings can cause serious internal damage to your vehicle, especially if you are unaware of what kind of ring goes where and when. If you do decide to replace them yourself, make sure to only use quality equipment that is safe for your motor.

There are several types of pistons in an engine, so which one we choose to change depends upon which type of car the engine belongs to as well as whether there is any debris trapped inside the cylinder.

This article will go into more detail about each type of piston and why they need to be replaced every once in a while. Once those information sets are complete, then we can talk about how to properly remove and install new ones.

Make sure the engine is not flooded

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

While replacing piston rings can be done at any time, it is important to make sure your engine is not flooded first! If it is, start from step 1 and do that thing before moving onto the next part of this process.

Removing or changing the thickness of a piston ring requires very careful handling as too much pressure when removing it may cause the ring to break off completely, causing a leak.

Likewise, if you try to push the old ring away with excessive force, then it could get stuck in the groove, which would also result in a loss of seal. Both of these situations will require you to take the car out of gear and check for dry leaks before proceeding.

We recommend using paper plates to help you press down on the ring while pulling it off. This way you can see what kind of shape it comes out in and whether there are still some clumps left behind.

Look for cracks in the engine

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

The most important thing when replacing piston rings is making sure you do not remove the engine! If you have to, make sure you are very careful so as not to damage the engine or cause any kind of contamination.

By having correct tools and knowing how to use them, you will be able to avoid damaging the engine too much.

There are several different types of engines that require various sized pistion rings. Some poppet valve engines only need small push-back rings, while other engines like those with overhead cam require larger intake valves.

Removal and installation of these rings can sometimes be tricky without the right tool and knowledge.

Look at the piston rings

There are three main components of an engine cylinder that require replacing before you can run your vehicle. These are the intake, compression-release and rebound rings. The intake ring is used for with the process of taking air into the engine chamber, the other two reset after they have done their work, so they do not need to be replaced as often.

Try tightening the rings

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

If your engine does not seem to be pulling down hard, try changing out the pistons first! Simply take off the old ones and buy new/replacement parts, then reassemble!

Engine manufacturers design their engines with certain gaps or spaces for each piston ring to fit into. These gap designs are always slightly larger than normal so that the ring will still slide in even if there is some pressure. By replacing these rings you may have to purchase extra-tight rings because they will not move easily without interference.

By doing this it also helps prevent excessive friction which could cause damage to the engine.

Use a thin piece of metal to replace the rings

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

Replacing piston rings is not as difficult as some may make it seem! It’s actually quite easy if you use the right tool for the job.

There are several types of tools that can be used to remove or install engine parts such as a hammer, screw driver, pipe clamp and tongs.

Tongs are the best way to go about replacing an internal part like a ring. You also need a source of heat to help melt off any leftover adhesive. A hairdryer works great for this!

If you do decide to use a hammer to take down the ring, be sure to hit it slowly so as to avoid breaking the cylinder. Also remember that hammers are designed to break hard materials, not soft ones like plastic and rubber.

And lastly, never force anything when trying to work with engines.

Use a lubricant to help the new rings slide into place

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

As mentioned before, replacing engine piston rings is not too difficult of an operation if you are careful with all of the components. Make sure to use a good quality lube such as oil when changing them!

Many people do not know how to replace car engine pistion rings correctly due to there being so many types. It can be tricky trying to tell which one is right unless you have some knowledge about cars.

Replace the engine piston rings

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

The other way to do this is to replace the engine piston rings! This is much simpler than replacing the head or block, as you will only need to purchase new rings.

Engine manufacturers make many different types of pistons for their engines. There are also many different styles of ring that each manufacturer uses. You can usually tell what type of ring a part belongs to by looking at it. For instance, if the part has very thin washers then it is probably a valve seat insert. If there are thicker plates attached to the top of the ring then it is most likely an oil control plate.

By changing out your current rings with ones that have been professionally made and installed, you will get the best performance from your engine.

Reassemble your engine

how to replace piston rings without removing engine

First, you will need to re-attach the cylinder head. Use heavy duty clips or glue to do this. Once it is attached, you can move onto replacing the piston rings!

The next step is to remove the old ring seal washers. You can either use a hammer and punch to do this, or if you have a drill you can use that instead.

Once they are out, you can now install the new seals! Make sure they fit properly before trying to push them down over the top of the piston. They should be pressed into place slightly as we did earlier.

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