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Old 04-06-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
mjm
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Default Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

Two questions:

1. the #3 cylinder in this 2000 Saturn w/ 1.9L DOHC is only pushing about 70 psi compression ... the remaining cylinders are at 120-130 psi. Did the "oil test", and the compression shot right up to perfect, so I'm assuming the valves are good and the rings are shot.

2. A friend said I could remove the oil pan and the head, disconnect the #3 from the crank and replace the rings through the TOP of block...that would be great, don't have to remove the engine.

3. Where can I buy rings for just 1 piston?? Or do they always come in a set of four??

Also, does this "technique" seem feasible???

Thx, Mike

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Old 04-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

They come in sets. If you have excessive cylinder wear changing the rings is a waste of time and money. You can not judge the condition of the bore by eye. It must be measured as the crosshatch is a bit over 6 thousandths deep. The maximum wear to just do rings is 4 thousandths.

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Old 04-06-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
acman
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Default Re: Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

The re-ring process you are proposing, removing the head and oil pan to gain access to the pistons, is entirely feasible and a common practice. The piston should be carefully checked both visually and with a micrometer as should the cylinder walls. The cylinder walls should be honed and rod bearings should be checked and replaced if needed.

The 120 psi cylinder compression spec you report is low, but probably due to a low quality compression gauge. Also, I would recommend removing all of the pistons, hone the cylinders and re-ring all of the pistons. It's not much more work once the head and pan are off. You might also consider drilling oil return holes in the piston oil groove lands.

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Old 04-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

The time and work involved in removing the timing cover, head , exhaust, lower support plate, and pan is greater than the time and work involved in removing the engine/transmission as a unit and dismantling it on an engine stand.

Honing cylinders with the crank in place is not a trivial task and has a real risk of later bearing failure if all grinding debris is not removed. It can be done but consider the potential risk.

The service minimum compression pressure is 180psi. Your engine is ready for a rebuild.

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Old 04-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #5
westwind999
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Default Re: Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

While you have the pistons out you should check the bearings too. Oil pump and timing chain isn't a bad idea either. I always struggle with where to stop.

It's tempting to just pop the pistons out, throw on new rings and button it back up.

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Old 04-06-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

But on an OHC engine "popping the pistons out" is not a trivial task. The best approach is either pull it out and do a proper overhaul or find a replacement motor.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing piston rings in 1.9L DOHC

I don't recall pulling the pistons being a trivial task on a non-OHC engine. However, I'll agree that pulling these engines isn't that hard. I have the tee shirt on that one. Having done a timing chain in frame, I'll even agree that if you're doing a rebuild it's easier to pull the engine. OTOH if you don't have an engine hoist, engine stand, and buddies to help you maneuver things when your moving that engine around it can be daunting.

BTW I wouldn't consider a rebuild done that didn't include rod bearings and a timing set.

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