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Cleaning up cylinders
#1385453 Sun Nov 22 2020 04:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 124
W
Shop Shark
So while I have the head off getting a valve job done, I would like to clean up the cylinders and tops of the pistons as best I can, especially the ring of crud I can feel at the top of the cylinders. Any recommendations on doing this?

Thanks

Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385471 Sun Nov 22 2020 02:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,717
J
Shop Shark
Hi Eagle,
That ring you feel is mostly metal...what is called a wear ridge. You can use any solvent (gasoline, denatured alcohol, acetone, toluol) to remove any genuine "crud" from the ridge, but you shouldn't worry about trying to ream it. This will create metal shavings and you really don't want to do that. Plus there is no reason to remove it unless you're rebuilding the engine (which you apparently aren't). The bottom of that ridge is the highest spot your top piston ring is going to reach, so nothing will strike it...unless you try to push your pistons out, and then you'll discover they won't go past it. As for the cylinders, again...don't worry. Not much you can do without removing everything and boring or at the least honing will help much. And as far as the top of the pistons, you can use a razor blade to scrape the carbon off the top of each (when at the top of the stroke). Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up what you've removed. You can also use solvent, but please remember that solvent and what it dissolves are going somewhere...and that somewhere is down into the ring grooves and that won't make things any better for you or your engine. Good luck. I'm positive some folks will show up with other ideas here. Let's see what they say.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385478 Sun Nov 22 2020 04:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,193
J
Shop Shark
Run a razor blade around the top of the cylinder to scrap away what you can, and wire brush the piston tops. Then solvent to wipe away whats left. Non chlorinated brake cleaner works pretty good at getting the crud off.

Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385480 Sun Nov 22 2020 04:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,263
H
Boltergeist
Work over the tops of the pistons with a wire cup brush in a drill motor, with the piston near the top of the bore, then vacuum away the carbon dust or use a blow gun on an air hose to blow away the crud. That will also clean up any ring of carbon above the ring travel, but not the wear ridge. The piston isn't so fragile you're going to damage it with some energetic scrubbing. All this cosmetic cleanup work is simply "feel good" stuff- - - - -it isn't going to make any difference whatsoever in the way the engine runs. If there's actually a ridge worn into the metal at the top of the cylinders, not just a carbon buildup, the cylinder (and the rings) has enough wear that an engine overhaul is coming up in the near future.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385551 Mon Nov 23 2020 12:24 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 575
S
Shop Shark
Guess I will say..........your this far, pull the pan, pop the Pistons out:

Clean the piston tops and grooves

Evaluate the rings, maybe replace.

Maybe run a hone in the bores ?

Clean the sludge in the pan.

Check the rods bearings.

Freshen up the oil pump.


Yes........it is a slippery slope on where to start and stop.

Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385563 Mon Nov 23 2020 02:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,717
J
Shop Shark
Please see the attached 2 images. If you decide to remove any pistons, you'll need to rent, borrow, buy or somehow get one of these. It is a ridge reamer. If it looks old and worn, well that's because I've owned it for 50 years and I've used it hundreds if not thousands of times.
Here's how it works:
Clean the top surface of the block around the cylinders...at least 3/8 to 1/2 inch around the opening.
Expand the jaws with the top nut...tighten until the three overhanging tabs fit on the top side of the cylinder (the block) and the cutters slip inside the cylinder.
Tighten this nut with the reamer in the cylinder until the spring on top is about 1/2 compressed. Too much tension will cut faster but requires more effort and won't cut as evenly.
Add a little oil to the blades and turn the reamer by turning the nut built in to the top plate. 7 or 8 turns will usually remove the ridge nicely.
Make certain the ridge is removed and the wall is smooth.

If you fail to do this and try to remove any pistons, there's a good chance you could break the top piston ring.

Attached Files
MVC-354F.JPG (18.14 KB, 85 downloads)
MVC-355F.JPG (26.74 KB, 84 downloads)

Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385653 Mon Nov 23 2020 11:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,263
H
Boltergeist
My ridge reamer uses a lathe type action. Once the tool is clamped snug into the cylinder and the blade is extended, it climbs a very fine thread and the carbide cutter removes the ring ridge from the bottom up. I usually make two passes in each cylinder to be sure all the ridge gets cut away. If you can hang a fingernail firmly on the ridge (after sanding or wire brushing the carbon away) you need to ream the ridge before trying to remove the pistons.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Cleaning up cylinders
WarEagle1 #1385658 Tue Nov 24 2020 12:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 124
W
Shop Shark
Thanks everyone for all the advice. Good stuff. Like Mr. Hotrod said, probably just feel good stuff but you want to be sure and do all you can when you have the chance.


Moderated by  Woogeroo 

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