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  • Engine: Piston rings

    I just tore down two 259's. One is a full flow which will need to be bored and the other is a partial flow that looks like a hone job and new std. rings would work. Where would anybody recommend buying a new ring set? What should the ring end gaps be? one source I looked at said only a gap of .008" which seems really tight to me.
    1958 Transtar 3E6-122
    1958 Transtar 3E13-31
    1959 Transtar 4E7-122
    1959 Lark 2 door Wagon
    1960 Transtar 5E28-171
    1960 Lark Gasser
    1963 Daytona

  • #2
    specs are .008 to .016 in the shop manual. Most of the vendors have the rings in stock. Cast rings aren't too expensive.
    Jamie McLeod
    Hope Mills, NC

    1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
    1958 Commander "Christine"
    1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
    1955 Commander Sedan
    1964 Champ
    1960 Lark

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    • #3
      Your one stop Website for all Studebaker Parts: http://studebakervendors.com
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Try to avoid Hastings rings as they are hard on cylinder walls also chrome rings, they take a coarse cylinder hone job and are still hard to break. stick with basic cast iron and you wont go wrong. Good Luck ,Doofus

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        • #5
          break in, I meant break in, they will break like any other. Doofus

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          • #6
            What should the ring end gaps be? one source I looked at said only a gap of .008" which seems really tight to me.
            The only reliable source for specifications is the Studebaker Shop Manual for your year. Can't really work on the car or engine without it. After fifty years, I still have it in front of me when building. No one's memory or experience is good enough.

            jack vines
            PackardV8

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            • #7
              The standard formula for cast rings is .003" for every inch of bore.
              Bez Auto Alchemy
              573-318-8948
              http://bezautoalchemy.com


              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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              • #8
                You won't have to worry about trying to get .008 on a worn engine. You have to remember if you check the cylinder at the most excessive wear point, Just where your top ring stops at the top of the cylinder, and then down lower, you will have a problem if you "Fit" new rings to a worn cylinder too tight. .019 is the break point on end gap to me on a used driver..

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                • #9
                  I recently purchased a set of GRANT cast iron rings from Dave Thibeault that worked well........978-897-3158.....Massachusetts

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                  • #10
                    In the last 289 I rebuilt about 2 1/2 years ago, I used hyper pistons, and set the (chrome) rings at .022", IIRC. That was per a hypo piston manufacturer's recommendation. It turned out great; cooled down quickly, and got over 5000 miles per quart for the first 20,000 miles or so, once broken in. For the chrome rings I used a 220 grit hone in the cylinders, but it still took a good 5000 miles or so before I could switch over to Mobil 1; too much blow by till then, at much above 3500 RPM.

                    The rebuild now has about 29,000 miles on it and still runs great, but only gets a little over 2000 per quart now days.
                    Last edited by JoeHall; 12-10-2014, 07:31 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Joe. The hardest part on our old cars on a rebuild is driving them far enough to set the rings. I built a 302 ford for a guy a few years ago and he said it always used a little oil from the day he put it in. He had it maybe two years and set out to make a trip from here in MN to southern Iowa so he said he put a half case of oil in the trunk because he knew he would need some. Told me it used just over a quart on the way down and didn't use a drop on the way back and has been great now that the ring have finally set.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                        Joe. The hardest part on our old cars on a rebuild is driving them far enough to set the rings. I built a 302 ford for a guy a few years ago and he said it always used a little oil from the day he put it in. He had it maybe two years and set out to make a trip from here in MN to southern Iowa so he said he put a half case of oil in the trunk because he knew he would need some. Told me it used just over a quart on the way down and didn't use a drop on the way back and has been great now that the ring have finally set.
                        Moly rings break in real fast. Chrome rings take longer, and more aggressively wear the cylinders. Really, don't know what I was thinkin with chrome rings in that last build. They are old school technology. Molys are better all around.

                        Cast rings are cheapest price, and break in quickly. But they wear out quicker, usually in about 50,000 miles. Certainly OK for a TQ, which accounts for about 99 percent of Studes out there now days.

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                        • #13
                          If you plan on keeping the car for a while, this might make the purchase of a set of Total Seal rings worthwhile.
                          Yes, they do cost about twice the cost of other rings....but they also afford MUCH better piston/cylinder seal, and as they wear, they continue with a better seal thru most of their life.

                          A "good", properly sized (end gap) ring when new, with the correct hone grit and pattern, properly broken in , will provide about a 2% to 4% leakage.
                          The Total Seal rings have produced from 1% to 2%, new. BUT, they maintain less than 4% - 6% thru most of their lives, well up into the 70,000 - 80,000 miles. Where as a standard cast iron ring will see 10% - 12% (or more) at 25,000 - 30,000 miles.

                          I put a set in my daily driver stock bore 259.

                          There are a few caviots of course, oil type, oil maintenance, air cleaner maintenance, overheating, etc.

                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            Agree with Mike; good rings are worth the money. However, don't pay for the best piston rings unless also paying for the best cylinder hone finish on which to run them. From experience and observation, this requires the cylinders to be done on a powerstroke hone and verified with a Sunnen dial bore gauge. We hone one bank of a V8 to within .001" over desired finished diameter, turn to the other bank, hone to .001", then come back to the first side after it has cooled and finish all cylinders to within .0005".

                            FWIW, if a Studebaker block is not being overbored more than .060", a deck plate isn't absolutely required for the finish hone and we don't see much difference with/without. For .093" - .117" overbores, a deck plate is nice to have.

                            jack vines
                            PackardV8

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                            • #15
                              Jack, how much cylinder shrinkage do you see as the block cools from honing?
                              Jamie McLeod
                              Hope Mills, NC

                              1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                              1958 Commander "Christine"
                              1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                              1955 Commander Sedan
                              1964 Champ
                              1960 Lark

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