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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Anaheim, CA

    Default Lube Cyl. Walls & Rings During Assembly - How?

    At last, I'm finally able to get back to building the Buick 350 that had to put aside to attend the GS Nats. So, naturally, I have a burning question:

    What is the best method/product to lube your newly machined cylinder walls, rings and pistons during assembly?

    1 - In the past, I've wiped generous amounts of the break-in oil on to the cylinder walls, brush generous amounts on the pistons in the areas of the rings and below, then popped them in. These were all H-D and Honda motorcycle engines and always seemed to break-in well and have good oil control.

    2 - Back in the olden days (the '60s) a highly skilled mechanic friend wiped a STP/motor oil blend on the walls and piston OD, especially at the ring area. He also use STP as an assembly lube, by the way. I believe this may have been prior to the availability of modern moly engine assembly lubes.

    3 - Yet another friend of mine plans to wipe the walls and piston ring land area with engine assembly lube.

    How do you do it? And with what?

    Thanks in advance,
    Best Regards,
    Dan Gerber
    Anaheim, CA
    '72 Skylark Custom 350 Convertible

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default wd40

    ive read that most people use wd40 but only if u start the motor fast and dont let it sit for long

  3. #3
    TXGS's Avatar
    TXGS is offline The United State of Texas
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    a mix of 30wt oil and marvels mystery oil is what I have used in the past.
    Phil Green
    72 GS350 449hp 447tq , 390 gears, and 200 4r
    1981 RX7 with 5.3L LS (Project)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Pullman, MI


    I cut the bottom of a milk jug and put some motor oil in it. As I am putting the pistons in I dip the piston and rings into the oil, put the ring compressor on it and install.

    If you are not going to store the engine for a long period after rebuild it shouldn't be an issue.

    '72 GS350 with 462 and 700R4 Back on the road.
    '70 Skylark parts car
    '90 Reatta body shell for sale
    '65 Rivi waiting on restoration

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    That is how I have always done it. But recently a friend who worked for Pontiac way back when said that the factory puts them together dry.When we put our pistons in yesterday we simply dribbled a little oil on the rings and on the wrist pin. Worked them around a bit, rechecked the gaps to make sure they were staggered right and popped them in.
    Last edited by Oklahoma!; 07-22-2005 at 07:36 AM. Reason: misspelled word

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Michigan, USA


    After the cylinders are cleaner than clean, I apply a thin film of 30w using my hands (no lint!). I lube the piston pins well & then a dab of the oil on each piston skirt, that's it...send 'em home.

    I used to completely immerse the pistons & rings in oil before installation, but I decided it was too much. Probably doesn't matter either way, really, since most excess oil will end up in the pan after an hour or two anyway.

    Fuel & Brake Systems Engineer
    "I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Feynman
    "Good data is precious. The problem I have is when some damned fool fails to use it properly." - Slingerland

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    mineral ridge, ohio


    Carefully clean the cylinder wall with brake cleaner and paper towels until a dry white paper towel comes out clean, then a quick shot of wd-40 on the piston and rings is all you need. This will promote quick ring seal. I have assembled over 100 engines this way and never had a ring seal problem or any cylinder wall scuffing.




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