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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
alright so i thought takin her apart was a bitch lol i'm down to the crank shaft i've cleaned the pistons and cylinder walls also all the old residue where the jug gasket grease was. now i'm ready to put the jug gasket in but i realized that i have no idea how i'm gonna be able to put the cylinders over each piston while i try and pinch the piston rings together. so i was looking in the manual and it says nothing about a special tool needed to do this... also saw that each piston ring needs to be in pointing in a certain direction. is this super extremely important to get that 100% accurate?? also my 1&4 piston are at top dead center the manual wants me to move them so that they are all level in the middle will moving them throw any of the timing off? and to my last question is there anything i should look into checking out while i've got it cracked open or resync all tips and advice is welcome and appreciated thanks guys

tyler
 

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First of all why did you take it apart? Just the gasket? Are you using assembly lube? What did you do?

As far as the rings make sure the gaps are not lined up, they move around anyways when it is running. Keep them at least 90 degrees apart.

The crankshaft timing/piston position you shouldn't have to worry about until you do cam timing.

They make ring compressors.
 

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Those 3 little bastards are dowel pins that line covers/parts up. I believe you have them inside your clutch cover and also to line up the cylinder head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First of all why did you take it apart? Just the gasket? Are you using assembly lube? What did you do?

As far as the rings make sure the gaps are not lined up, they move around anyways when it is running. Keep them at least 90 degrees apart.

The crankshaft timing/piston position you shouldn't have to worry about until you do cam timing.

They make ring compressors.
i took it apart because i had a blown head gasket a.e coolant started getting into the oil and when i wringed its neck coolant would leak from the thermostat housing(possible build up of pressure in the coolant). and since i haven't started assembling it i've yet to use lube on anything.
 

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not going to lie to you, the way the manual tells you is a pain in the ass but it can be done. no tools, just some patience. what you can do is line up two cylinders (1 & 4 or 2 & 3) and then do the same with the opposite cylinders. there is a chamfer on the lower section of the cylinder skirt which allows you to squeeze the rings into the piston and insert it into the cylinder by hand.

the orientation of the rings is important mainly to ensure there is a least direct route that air can escape past the rings in a straight shot (if all the ring ends were aligned you will have a straight shot).

If i were to do anything differently would be to install the crankshaft bare. install the pistons and upper connecting rods into each cylinder, then install the gasket and then the connecting rods to the crank to complete the assembly before installing the head. but unless you plan on buying all new rod bolts to replace the NEW bolts you just installed.... (yes that is important) do it per the manual
 

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assembly lube should go on any moving part. engine oil on the chains, gears, cylinder walls / pistons. assembly grease on all the bearings and cam lobes
 

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Have you removed all the rings, slid them down into the top of the bores and checked their end gaps? Have you cleaned the tops of the bores where the rings stop at TDC? You can use stainless radiator hose clamps as ring compressors if you don't have the proper compressor clamps. Position each ringset with the gaps as recommended and slip the clamps on, tightening just enough to compress the rings but not enough that the clamp grabs the piston crown. As you slide the cylinder down onto the pistons, the clamps will be pushed down onto the piston skirts and you can remove them before you set the block all the way down onto the crankcase.
 

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i took it apart because i had a blown head gasket a.e coolant started getting into the oil and when i wringed its neck coolant would leak from the thermostat housing(possible build up of pressure in the coolant). and since i haven't started assembling it i've yet to use lube on anything.
Did you have the head surface and checked? Are you sure it was the headgasket not cracked head or something else? Did you check the deck surface? Also please do not tell me you used a die grinder and scotch brite pad to clean the surface. Big no no with MLS headgaskets.

Use a good assembly lube. Assembly lube is better than oil in protecting parts after assembly. Might be a good idea to crank the engine with the plugs out when you have it back in to prime the oiling system. Leave the cylinder walls dry and put assembly lube on the skirts only of the pistons.

You shouldn't have to worry about measuring the end gaps if you left the same rings on and left them where they were. If you put new rings in you should have had the bores re-honed and re-nicacceled (if needed).

The dark gray stuff, moly. Or what you use on ARP bolts is not a good assembly lube. Redline liquid assembly lube is good stuff. I do not like any type of "grease" for assembly. Once the oil reaches the place it is supposed to be lubricating you do not want the assembly lube to stay in place which tends to happen with "grease".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Did you have the head surface and checked? Are you sure it was the headgasket not cracked head or something else? Did you check the deck surface? Also please do not tell me you used a die grinder and scotch brite pad to clean the surface. Big no no with MLS headgaskets.

Use a good assembly lube. Assembly lube is better than oil in protecting parts after assembly. Might be a good idea to crank the engine with the plugs out when you have it back in to prime the oiling system. Leave the cylinder walls dry and put assembly lube on the skirts only of the pistons.

You shouldn't have to worry about measuring the end gaps if you left the same rings on and left them where they were. If you put new rings in you should have had the bores re-honed and re-nicacceled (if needed).

The dark gray stuff, moly. Or what you use on ARP bolts is not a good assembly lube. Redline liquid assembly lube is good stuff. I do not like any type of "grease" for assembly. Once the oil reaches the place it is supposed to be lubricating you do not want the assembly lube to stay in place which tends to happen with "grease".
i left the rings alone. i cleaned the pistons with some carb cleaner and a wire brush :/... the head is level and to my there are no cracks (i will give it a more detailed look tomorrow). and i've yet to really clean the surface i've just sprayed some solvent and wiped it down with a lint free cloth. how would you clean it before applying o'ring paste?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Have you removed all the rings, slid them down into the top of the bores and checked their end gaps? Have you cleaned the tops of the bores where the rings stop at TDC? You can use stainless radiator hose clamps as ring compressors if you don't have the proper compressor clamps. Position each ringset with the gaps as recommended and slip the clamps on, tightening just enough to compress the rings but not enough that the clamp grabs the piston crown. As you slide the cylinder down onto the pistons, the clamps will be pushed down onto the piston skirts and you can remove them before you set the block all the way down onto the crankcase.
thanks for the tip i'm gonna snag some of our hose clamps at work
 

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i left the rings alone. i cleaned the pistons with some carb cleaner and a wire brush :/... the head is level and to my there are no cracks (i will give it a more detailed look tomorrow). and i've yet to really clean the surface i've just sprayed some solvent and wiped it down with a lint free cloth. how would you clean it before applying o'ring paste?
Use a razor blade and take your time being careful not to knick the surface. Then also use carb/brake cleaner. Visibly checking wont tell you much. How did you check that it was level? Usually when a headgasket blows the head is going to be warped somewhat. Sometimes it might just have a low spot that a machinist straightedge won't show. The way you check for cracks in heads with coolant issues is pressure testing (not like your thinking for radiator testing).

If I had coolant in the oil and a blown head-gasket I would have a reputable machine shop pressure test it and surface it with the correct RA finish. MLS head-gaskets need an extremely smooth glass like surface. They can actually vacuum test the head too (usually free) to check the valve job.
 

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You can get a flat slab of glass, spray a layer of spraypaint on the head, and then lap the head with a big sheet of sand paper.

It is more involved than that, but that is how you make god damn sure the head is straight on a ninja 500 (which if you dont lap the head and jugs, you blow the head gasket repeatedly until you do). The paint is to show the low/high spots.
 

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You can get a flat slab of glass, spray a layer of spraypaint on the head, and then lap the head with a big sheet of sand paper.

It is more involved than that, but that is how you make god damn sure the head is straight on a ninja 500 (which if you dont lap the head and jugs, you blow the head gasket repeatedly until you do). The paint is to show the low/high spots.
Not a good idea.... Like I said MLS head gaskets need a extremely smooth RA finish to seal properly. I would never take sand paper to the deck surface on a MLS head. IMHO I would not dick around, you have it apart, do it right and get it surfaced. Usually around $40 or so.
 

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Not a good idea.... Like I said MLS head gaskets need a extremely smooth RA finish to seal properly. I would never take sand paper to the deck surface on a MLS head. IMHO I would not dick around, you have it apart, do it right and get it surfaced. Usually around $40 or so.
MLS gaskets are not as picky as you think.. They are worse than standard gaskets but not that bad. Just use 1200 grit paper on a piece of slate or granite, (glass works too) and make sure it's good. Just do not press or lift the head while "decking" I have an MLS gasket on my Neon and it's boosted with a 9.6:1 static comp ratio and never had an issue out of it doing the glass decking method.
 

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MLS headgaskets are very picky. If the RA is not correct the gasket can "weep" or just not seal. I have seen people do this before and have issues. They have the head surfaced and do the sandpaper on the block and can't understand why the headgasket still leaks. Until the block is fixed and then oh look no rpoblems. I am an engine machinest/builder by trade, I see stuff like this every week. Sometimes you will get away with it like on your neon, but its not the correct way, it is backyard mechanic stuff....like plastigauge lol.
 

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Not a good idea.... Like I said MLS head gaskets need a extremely smooth RA finish to seal properly. I would never take sand paper to the deck surface on a MLS head. IMHO I would not dick around, you have it apart, do it right and get it surfaced. Usually around $40 or so.
You say that like I just suggested you need 50 grit sandpaper to do this.

You can use much finer paper, and if you really think you need it THAT smooth, you can continue on and wet sand it if you must.

Do you honestly think a shop that is going to surface a head is going to get it straight up polished? Ive seen many resurfaced heads that are riddled with machining marks and never had any trouble.

AFAIK (never had one apart myself) a 500R uses an MLS gasket as well, and what I just described is the ideal method. In fact, if you do not lap the head and jugs of the 500 when just removing the head, let alone replacing the gasket, you will blow gaskets repeatedly.

Chances are the ones that had the thing leak did something wrong... Like trying to use their countertop as a slab.

These heads dont come mirror smooth from the factory you know.

I've seen shops resurface a head the fancy expensive CNC way, and by hand using this method.
 
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