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Thread: Best cylinder mounting tricks?

  1. #1
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    Default Best cylinder mounting tricks?

    Hey everyone,
    I just honed my cylinders with a flex hone and put on new piston rings. Managed to get the first cylinder in with lots of marvel mystery oil, a slice of an arizona tea can (thinner walls than a soda can) and a hose clamp.

    Second piston's not going in worth a damn. Picked up a couple of ring compressors from local auto parts store, only to realize you can't take 'em off after the rings are slipped in. D'oh.

    Does anyone have a better way to do this for 2021?
    1982 GS 450L aka Lil' Red
    1980 GS 1000G aka Big Red (Resto-mod WIP)

  2. #2
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    If the tin can is too thin that will be more problem. I just use a jubilee clip first on the inside two pistons then the outside pair, slipping a piece of wood the right thickness under the barrel block helps a lot if you're on your own but it helps a lot if you have a second pair of hands holding the barrels while you deal with the pistons and rings.
    Ebay flog a ring compressor that looks pretty good.
    Maybe one day I'll get a pair of them... but I'm pretty sure I could make something like these..

    Piston Ring Clamp / Compressor 70 - 75mm Classic Motorcycles | eBay


    Don't say can't, as anything is possible with time and effort, but, if you don't have time things get tougher and require more effort.

  3. #3
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    On my Honda CB750 I used slices from a plastic windshield washer fluid jug and hose clamps, oiled them up and they were slippery and not a risk to slice myself. Did the inner two first, bracing the pistons from the bottom with a couple pieces of PVC pipe that I cut to the right size and wired in place so they didn't slip around.
    Tom

  4. #4
    cowboyup3371's Avatar
    cowboyup3371 is offline Forum LongTimer Past Site Supporter
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    I don't know about the 450s but on my 550 you place a fork shaped block of wood under #2 and #3 pistons, slide the cylinders down to the top of the piston then while using your fingers to push in on the rings slide the cylinders down. Once they clear the bottom rings, pull the blocks out and insert #1 and #4 using the same method on the rings (don't need the blocks). Working slowly and carefully will get all four in.

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  5. #5
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    Cowboy's method (with a bit of modification) works on a 450 (and other twins).

    A block with a slot in it will hold one piston up, while you wiggle the other one to get it in its cylinder. Once you have the first one, remove the block and repeat on the other one. Note that the cylinders will not slide down easily (probably not at all) if the first piston is a bit crooked inside the cylinder. If the second piston is crooked, there is NO hope of the cylinders dropping down. Before you force anything, be sure your rings are fully in their grooves, or you will break a ring or scratch the cylinder wall.

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  6. #6
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    For my 1100G Nessism and I used our fingers from memory... we had the head strung from the ceiling on Bungee cords

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  7. #7
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    So, great news. I considerably rounded the sharp edge of the chamfer at the bottom of the cylinders using an oval cross-section swiss file, then applied a thick silicone grease.
    Pistons slid right on without even needing a ring compressor!

    Gave the engine a spin using the bolt by the pickups, no scratches on the cylinder wall from the rings. So, onwards and upwards!

    Thank you all for your suggestions. If a ring compressor is necessary, use a hose clamp, but snip the worm mechanism off. Fold the two ends backwards, and grasp these points using a vise-grips.
    1982 GS 450L aka Lil' Red
    1980 GS 1000G aka Big Red (Resto-mod WIP)

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