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piston cleaning

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  • piston cleaning

    i reasently pulled the motor and trans on my 63 champ pick up. the ring gear is all chewed down and wanted to replace different things on the motor. if anyone has a ring gear for a 63 champ with a 289 would love to have one insteand of haveing to pay what they go for new. this may sound like a stupid question but when pulling the heads off the head ports and the pisons are black and all caked with 45 years of fuel running though the motor but what would be safest way to clean the top of the pistons and the heads.


  • #2
    CHEAP dollar-store Oven cleaner and a wire well on the heads/valves. You can use it on the pistons, but don't let it just sit there for hours. Spray it on, work it with the wire brush (wear safety glasses/goggles), and rinse it off. It may take several passes to get them clean.
    I assume you want to remove/replace the piston rings, hone the cylinders and re-install???
    You should ONLY use a ring-groove cleaning tool, 1n the grooves of the pistons, you can damage/round them over otherwise.

    Specializing in Studebaker Restoration
    Specializing in Studebaker Restoration


    • #3
      An approach I've used to clean piston tops on a head exhange job, after a couple of thousand miles was as follows (assuming you are not interested in pulling the pistons): carefully scape the crud off the cylinder ridge area with a dull paring knife with the piston almost at TDC. Suck off the crud with a shop vac and sqirt a little oil on the exposed cylinder surface, drop the piston a bit and wipe off the oil and adhered crud from the cylinder surface. Acquire a .004" thick strip of brass shim stock and fashion a ring of shim stock 3/4" deep and the proper diameter to slip around the piston tightly. Raise the piston almost to the top and slip the ring between the piston and cylinder, resting on the top compression ring as a fence of sorts. Scrape away with the paring knife, sucking the crud off the top periodiclly with the shop vac. When you are finished oil and wipe the cylinder surface a couple times as done previously. I can't say how this will work with 45 years of crud though.