How to Use a Piston Ring Compressor


Piston rings keep oil from entering the combustion chamber of a combustion engine. Piston rings wear over time and will begin to allow oil to burn along with fuel. Blue smoke emitting from the tailpipe of your vehicle signifies burning oil and worn piston rings. New piston rings fit snugly against an engine's cylinder walls. Installing tight fitting rings requires a piston ring compressor to keep the rings from catching on the upper lip of the cylinder wall and breaking during installation.

Things You'll Need

  • 10W30 motor oil
  • Socket set
  • 3/8-inch ratchet handle
  • Wooden-handled hammer
  • Coat the installed piston rings and the inside of a piston ring compressor with 10W30 motor oil.

  • Push the latch located on the side of the piston ring compressor away from the tool.

  • Spin the piston rings to stagger the ring seams. Slide the ring compressor over the top of the piston. Push the latch towards the side of the compressor.

  • Select a socket from a socket set that matches the size of the bolt located on the side of the piston ring compressor. Attach the socket to a 3/8-inch ratchet handle.

  • Turn the bolt clockwise until the compressor sits tight against the sides of the piston.

  • Slide the piston rod into the combustion cylinder until the compressor sits on top of the engine block.

  • Tap on the top of the piston with the wooden handle of a hammer until the piston rests inside of the combustion cylinder and no part of the piston remains in the piston ring compressor.

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