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Old 06-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
02OrangeSC2
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Question Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

Well it's got to the point like all the S-Cars where Im using more than a quart of oil every 3K miles due to our brittle factory piston rings in my 96 SL2. I remember reading on here that some people have replaced their piston rings with aftermarket rings that withstand the heat of the Saturn engines running temperature better than the stock piston rings do, and therefor not becomeing brittle over time, causing oil consumption. I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation of a brand, and then what part number, and where can I get them? Im going to go ahead a do a re-build.

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Old 06-22-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

How much oil are you burning? A quart per 3000 miles? That's actually not that bad. I wouldn't rebuild until it got to a quart to less that 1000 miles. Just keep an eye on the level an top off when needed. Definitely not worth the cost and effort to rebuild. You might explore doing some MMO piston soaks or using a high quality oil to clean the rings.

P.S. It is not due to brittle oil control rings. The problem is the oil gunks up in the oil control rings and doesn't let them expand.

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Old 06-23-2009, 07:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

The oil can't drain back from the rings due to lack of drainback holes in the piston itself. The oil stays in the rings and gets burned into carbon which after time builds up and causes the oil control ring to stop moving, or limit its movement greatly, causing the oil burning.

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Old 06-23-2009, 07:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

If you're doing the rebuild anyway, you either want to drill holes in the piston in the oil ring lands or take them to a shop be drilled. There is also a company that sells the pistons pre-drilled. There are several threads about this that I've read in the event that I need to do a rebuild.

You may also want to read the thread where some people have reduced oil consumption through various methods: adding ATF to the engine oil (amount varies, 1/2 qt to 2 qts - the latter seems excessive), the MMO soak mentioned above, or piston soaks using: ATF, mix of ATF & Seafoam, straight Seafoam, mix of Seafoam and other cleaners.

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Old 06-23-2009, 08:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

FM sells the modified pistons. If you decide to bore it out to teh 1st oversize then you will need new pistons anyway.

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Old 06-23-2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

Quote:
Im using more than a quart of oil every 3K miles
How much more, a quart every 2000-3000 miles is nothing.

At that rate of usage, a piston soak may do the trick, or maybe an AutoRx treatment cycle.

Except for consumption rates approaching a quart per tank of gas, over the remaining life of the car adding oil is a lot cheaper than the cost (not to mention the time) of a rebuild, even a DIY if you have to buy the parts.

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Old 06-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

The speed pro pistons I bought for the daughters car over the counter at the local parts house had very generous drainback slots (vs holes). For the cost and time of altering your pistons you could just swap the old for new and put it back together.

I think it cost me about $100 for the set.

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Old 06-24-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

you will need at least 6 oil drain holes drilled of 1/8 inch size. Make sure the bottom of the hole is at the bottom of the oil groove.

A jeep Chrysler piston has 6 drain holes. I know cause I just rebuilt a 242 6 cylinder. They are not evenly spaced but are either inline with the piston pin or at 90 degress to the pin, each one bout a half inch apart. I thought about slots but you will weaken the piston skirt more so than a hole. I would just do the holes.

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Old 06-24-2009, 12:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

If drilling stock pistons they have notch drains by the pin so your 6 holes should be 3 on a side more to wards the center of the piston. Don't drill into the pin boss inside the piston.

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackeagle1 View Post
How much oil are you burning? A quart per 3000 miles? That's actually not that bad. I wouldn't rebuild until it got to a quart to less that 1000 miles. Just keep an eye on the level an top off when needed. Definitely not worth the cost and effort to rebuild. You might explore doing some MMO piston soaks or using a high quality oil to clean the rings.

P.S. It is not due to brittle oil control rings. The problem is the oil gunks up in the oil control rings and doesn't let them expand.
Done the MMO 3 years ago and it helped, but Im up to burning 3.5 quarts every 1000 miles. And yeah thanks, It's been awhile since I read about why we burn oil. Actually it was about 3 years ago when I ended up doing the MMO. I thought it was the brittle rings, but now that you mention that the oil gunks up, I think I do remember reading something about that.

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Last edited by 02OrangeSC2; 06-24-2009 at 06:20 PM..

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highmile View Post
The speed pro pistons I bought for the daughters car over the counter at the local parts house had very generous drainback slots (vs holes). For the cost and time of altering your pistons you could just swap the old for new and put it back together.

I think it cost me about $100 for the set.
I think I'll go this route. Summit Racing has them available online for special order. Did you use factory rings with them? Can you?

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Old 06-24-2009, 09:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

use chrome moly rings, much more durable than cast.
http://www.enginepartsstore.com/servlet/Detail?no=2598

I bought from them and it is good quality stuff.

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Old 06-25-2009, 08:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

A quart every 300 miles,
$100 = 50 quarts of oil
15,000 miles.

Not to mention other costs (gaskets, seals, fluids, etc.) and time involved.

Do the number, make your decision.

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Old 06-26-2009, 03:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonP View Post
A quart every 300 miles,
$100 = 50 quarts of oil
15,000 miles.

Not to mention other costs (gaskets, seals, fluids, etc.) and time involved.

Do the number, make your decision.
Im definitly gunna do it. Even when you factor the cost of oil vs. the cost of the rebuild, the engine isnt right burning 3.5 quarts every 1000 miles. Im gunna make it right. I want it to last.

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Old 06-26-2009, 05:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Oil Consumption and Saturn Piston Rings

+1^^^That is the correct approach. Oil burning only gets worse.

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