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piston ring side clearance

This is a discussion on piston ring side clearance within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; i am rebuilding my engine and i have the rins you gota file to fit i just got done doing ...

  1. #1
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    99.camaro ss

    Unhappy piston ring side clearance

    i am rebuilding my engine and i have the rins you gota file to fit i just got done doing the end ring clearance and i when to do the side ring clearance and cant even fit a .0015 but the ring isent locked up or anyhintg , is it a big deal with the ring side clearance? do i gota sand them down to get into spec?

  2. #2
    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    1999 TA WS.6

    You must have sufficent side clearance. I assume you are talking about the distance between the ring and the ring groove. Having this right clearance is crucial. Combustion pressure needs to be able to get behind the ring to force it firmly against the cylinder wall. MOST compression rings require .002 to .004 inch side clearance to function properly. Are you sure you have the correct width ring? What do you mean sand them down? Your talking about "sanding" the gap in between the two ends correct? That is a different can of beans than side clearance of the rings to the grooves of the piston. If your file fitting your own rings, make sure you file from the outside edge of the ring to the inside. That is VERY important. And you bought at least .005in or .010 in oversize. Clarify your question with me.

  3. #3
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    99.camaro ss

    i already did the ring end gaps , the pistons are .010 over sized , i was wonder if i should just buy new rings so i dont have to shave down the rings for side clearance in the grooves , i was going to just take a fine sand paper and put it on a flat surface and go in a circle untill i can get a side clearance of .002,,,, you htink i should just call up the place were i got the pistons and order new rings that are already done , i dont feel safe shaveing these rings down just dosent feel right , feel like im going to f somthing up thats so easy

  4. #4
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    Personally, I would just order the rings. Ive never heard of filing down the sides of the rings or done that. Maybe someone here can tell you for sure, but I dont think you can do that. If there not crazy expensive, Ide say go for it. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Yeah something is not right with the ring gland. Eighther your pistons are 1/16,1/16,3/16 and you have metric ring pack or the other way around.
    The rings should be able to roll around the ring gland prior to being installed on the piston with NO friction!!!
    On file fit rings your filing the end gap and thats it.
    Don't be afraid of the bottle!!! Be afraid of your tune!!!

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