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jfw432
11-30-2012, 11:07 PM
I pulled this engine because I was replacing the floor in my boat. The engine ran great, had an 8 psi split between the highest and lowest cylinders in a compression test, and all cylinders passed the leakdown test. Since I pulled the engine, I decided to give it a quick look to see if it needed any attention.

After cleaning a lot of carbon off the pistons, I found two pistons that had some damage. Are these pistons useable? If not, can I just replace the two pistons or do I have replace them all?

EricB
12-01-2012, 12:23 AM
Interesting....
Top pic looks like some sort of solid small object made dimples in the piston. Second one looks like some sort of erosion caused by detonation or coolant/water.
While there may be some irregularities on the tops of the pistons, it really is the damage and wear to the sides of the pistons and the condition of the cylinder block bores.
Does the top ring of the piston(s) rotate freely? Any other abnormal marks in the bores? Any marks in the cylinder heads (of the corresponding cylinders?). If not, those pistons are re-useable. Any other suggestions would require additional information.

You already have the heads and pan off, so how far are you going? If the engine ran fine and compression was good, what made you decide to go after the internals of a good engine? Might as well rebuild now....

wheelerd
12-01-2012, 12:32 AM
How many hours on the engine? Are you the original owner or do you at least know the history of the boat?

If it was running fine before and everything else checks out, perhaps a really light hone job on the cylinder bores and new set of rings and put it back together. I wouldn't touch much else.

Do the crank journals and con rod bearing shells look OK?

jfw432
12-01-2012, 02:21 AM
Well I pulled this engine apart because it was leaking a significant amount of oil and has roughly 1000 hours on it (to the best of my knowledge). After 2-3 days, there would be pooled oil in the bilge. I don't really know the history of the boat but it's had some neglect for sure. So between those three things, I figured the engine could use some lovin'.

The condition of the heads are fine and the ring gaps in the pistons appear to be undamaged. The cylinder bores aren't perfect but a good hone should clean most everything up. The taper isn't too bad. The worst cylinder bores aren't from these pistons though. My plans was to find the source of the oil leak and certainly replace the oil pump while I'm in there. The rod bearing were ok but the crank bearings were gouged up some. The rods and the crank still look decent though but I haven't measured them yet.

I was curious as to what my ring gap was after all these years so I measured 4 rings in their corresponding cylinders...I didn't think about it for the first 5 cylinders. Anyway, the cylinder with the detonation looking marks on it had a 1/4"-1/2" piece of one of the rings broken off. Yet that wasn't the worst cylinder in the compression test.

Here is a picture of the side of that piston with the detonation looking marks on it.

CantRepeat
12-01-2012, 08:24 AM
Well I pulled this engine apart because it was leaking a significant amount of oil and has roughly 1000 hours on it (to the best of my knowledge). After 2-3 days, there would be pooled oil in the bilge. I don't really know the history of the boat but it's had some neglect for sure. So between those three things, I figured the engine could use some lovin'.

The condition of the heads are fine and the ring gaps in the pistons appear to be undamaged. The cylinder bores aren't perfect but a good hone should clean most everything up. The taper isn't too bad. The worst cylinder bores aren't from these pistons though. My plans was to find the source of the oil leak and certainly replace the oil pump while I'm in there. The rod bearing were ok but the crank bearings were gouged up some. The rods and the crank still look decent though but I haven't measured them yet.

I was curious as to what my ring gap was after all these years so I measured 4 rings in their corresponding cylinders...I didn't think about it for the first 5 cylinders. Anyway, the cylinder with the detonation looking marks on it had a 1/4"-1/2" piece of one of the rings broken off. Yet that wasn't the worst cylinder in the compression test.

Here is a picture of the side of that piston with the detonation looking marks on it.

Well you found what dinged up the top of piston right there.

I wouldn't reuse any of those pistons at 1000 hours. If you are going to rebuild it might as well go 30 over and get the block cleaned up. You should probably go 10/10 on the crank too.

JDC
12-01-2012, 10:28 AM
I'll echo Tim's comments and say I would not reuse those 2 pistons. Replacing 2 or all 8 would depend on your MCOCD level. :)
You've come this far... add a few hundred $ in parts and do it right.

thatsmrmastercraft
12-01-2012, 11:32 AM
I'm with Tim on this also, assuming funds are there to get the it done. A proper job done now should give you another 1,000 hours of trouble-free service.

jfw432
12-01-2012, 11:51 AM
Ok well the rod, crankshaft, and cam are within spec with room to spare so I don't really see any point in touching those. Ring gaps after honing are around 0.025" on the first ring in the middle of the bore which I can see being a hair big for a mostly stock engine but would that really justify an overbore?

Rossterman
12-01-2012, 11:58 AM
If bores are good, hone and put in new pistons and rings along with rod and main bearings. Parts are pretty cheap for these engines and aren't marine specific.

mikeg205
12-01-2012, 12:07 PM
I luv the OCD... since I pulled the engine to fix the floor..I decided to disassemble the engine... :D If you know what your doin' it probably doesn't seem like a big deal...I for one am impressed and admire with those who have the confidence to rip down an engine and then put it back together... let's see the man cave where the work is being done :)

ahhudgins
12-01-2012, 12:28 PM
If bores are good, hone and put in new pistons and rings along with rod and main bearings. Parts are pretty cheap for these engines and aren't marine specific.

X2 on that and what CantRepeat said. If you're into the engine that far, I would do the hone/bore and replace bearings, pistons and rings.

1redTA
12-01-2012, 12:40 PM
i would get a rebuild kit from jegs or summit with new pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump and blah blah blah it would
be cheap insurance

CantRepeat
12-01-2012, 12:42 PM
i would get a rebuild kit from jegs or summit with new pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump and blah blah blah it would
be cheap insurance

Yup, you can get some screaming deals buying a master kit.

strad
12-01-2012, 01:14 PM
A bit of anecdotal experience here. I pulled the head on my BMW M20b25 engine (92 325i cabriolet) b/c it was leaking oil (common problem with an older M20) and I discovered damage to two piston tops similar to the first pic you posted op. My guess was that the engine was running lean and blew apart the insulators on a couple of the spark plugs. The white ceramic bits banged around in there and dimpled the tops of the pistons. I only guess this b/c right after buying the car I replaced the plugs and noted that some were damaged, and I noted which cylinders they came from.

Anyways, cleaned them up, put it back together, and it's been fine. There is about a 10 psi split between highest and lowest cylinder compression. The cylinder walls on those cylinders were damaged by the debris too, but the engine doesn't consume oil and compression is within spec, so I'm running it that way. I've since had the injectors refreshed, which should cure whatever lean issue the engine might have been having.

jfw432
12-01-2012, 01:17 PM
Yeah I got my entire kit minus pistons and oil pump from summit. Guess I can order some pistons too. Are the wrist pins pressed into the rod? That's the only thing I can figure. Any tips on removing them?

Kyle
12-01-2012, 01:44 PM
Yeah I got my entire kit minus pistons and oil pump from summit. Guess I can order some pistons too. Are the wrist pins pressed into the rod? That's the only thing I can figure. Any tips on removing them?

Yes they are pressed in.

Take the new pistons and the rods to a machine shop and let them press the new ones on. They will do it a lot faster and you won't have to rig something or beat the pistons up trying to do it by hand.

CantRepeat
12-01-2012, 02:55 PM
I'm sure the machine shop will tell you but, don't forget new cam bearings while you have the motor torn down; freeze plugs too(brass).

CantRepeat
12-01-2012, 02:56 PM
Yeah I got my entire kit minus pistons and oil pump from summit. Guess I can order some pistons too. Are the wrist pins pressed into the rod? That's the only thing I can figure. Any tips on removing them?

They are pressed in and most machine shops heat the end of the rod a little before pushing the pins back into the new pistons.

jfw432
12-01-2012, 03:49 PM
I'm sure the machine shop will tell you but, don't forget new cam bearings while you have the motor torn down; freeze plugs too(brass).

Got 'em but thanks for the reminder. Had to buy a used cam bearing tool though because I didn't have anything like that in my arsenal of tools.

Dino Don
12-02-2012, 12:35 AM
Check cylinder wall taper. If 12 thousands or greater bore it the ring mfg will not stand behind rings to seat in.