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  #1  
Old Apr 12th, 06, 1:52 AM
V8fan_russia V8fan_russia is offline
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Default Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Hi.
I'm rebulding sbc 350 and i need to install new rods and pistons. They are stock with press-fit pins. What is the best way to do it without a risk to broke something ??? Yeah, i understand, that the best way is to go to the machine shop, BUT - no chance here, in Russia I have some skills in engine rebuilding, but not related to the engines, made in USA... Also i haven't any expensive tools - just wrenches, torch and so on
Any ideas ?
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Apr 12th, 06, 2:12 AM
Sandy Sandy is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

The best way is to heat the end of the rod. Here we usually use a custom made electric heater that has a jig setup so that you can quickly insert the pin to the correct depth before the pin takes on the heat from the rod and is difficult to move.

It is a bit tricky and some experience is helpful.

You can probably fabricate an electric heater for the rod end and also fabricate a jig that will allow you to quickly slip the pin in to the correct distance.
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  #3  
Old Apr 12th, 06, 3:31 AM
jakeshoe jakeshoe is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Sandy is correct, heating the rod small end works best.

You do need to be sure and setup a jig though to properly locate the pins.

When you heat the rod, you must get it to temp, have the piston with pin inserted into one side.

You will place the rod in position, being sure the piston is settup to face correctly on the rod. The rod has a beveled side on the big end that MUST be towards the radius of the rod journal and NOT facing the other rod.
The rod bearing tang grooves should be towards the pan rail on an assembled Chevy V8. Piston arrow or notch towards the front of the engine block also.

Once you place the rod in the piston, you have to press the pin quickly into the rod and other side of the piston. Wear gloves and be QUICK
Then once it is in, squirt oil on the pin so that it will be drawn into the pin bores of the piston.

When you setup your jig, take into account that the rod will be slightly offset to one side of the piston when you drive the pin in, when you center the rod after it is all together, you want the pin centered too.
So basically you will push the pin in slightly too far, the rod will also be pushed against the "far" side of the piston from your hand as you push, and then after it sets for about a second the press fit will take effect.

Squirt your oil, and center it up, double check your assembly, check for any binding, and set it aside in a clean area.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old Apr 12th, 06, 8:50 AM
engineguy engineguy is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

WOW! Hot rodding in Russia, that has got to be a challenge!

The previous posts are correct, devise some sort of jig to locate the proper pin location/depth, heat the small end of the rod and install very quickly. Make sure that you have everything figured out in advance, because if the pin is not correctly positioned, it is almost impossible to remove it without damaging the piston.
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  #5  
Old Apr 13th, 06, 12:07 PM
charbilly2001 charbilly2001 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

In addition to heating up the small end of the rod to a cherry red level you should also put the wrist pins in your freezer over night. This causes them to contract. Heating the small end of the rod causes the hole to expand. The greatest temperature differential is desirable.

You can do this operation in a free hand manner but it is a tense moment while you try to get the wrist pin centered in the piston at the same time you try to get the rod to the center of the wrist pin before the whole assembly becomes immobilized.

I have done this operation several times freehand. Its a tense moment but I haven't failed yet.

FWIW I use my oxy acetylene torch for a heat source. It works very quickly.

Good Luck
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  #6  
Old Apr 28th, 06, 3:06 AM
V8fan_russia V8fan_russia is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Thanks a lot, guys... It was really easy to install pins About one minute for heating rod with oxy acetylene torch and pin comes in very easy
So the engine is assembled, today i'll install it in the car and will fire it up
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  #7  
Old Apr 28th, 06, 1:17 PM
Wolfplace Wolfplace is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charbilly2001
In addition to heating up the small end of the rod to a cherry red level you should also put the wrist pins in your freezer over night. This causes them to contract. Heating the small end of the rod causes the hole to expand. The greatest temperature differential is desirable.

You can do this operation in a free hand manner but it is a tense moment while you try to get the wrist pin centered in the piston at the same time you try to get the rod to the center of the wrist pin before the whole assembly becomes immobilized.

I have done this operation several times freehand. Its a tense moment but I haven't failed yet.

FWIW I use my oxy acetylene torch for a heat source. It works very quickly.

Good Luck
=

You absolutely do not want to heat the rod to a " cherry red"
A little brown to lightly blue is about as hot as you want them.
If you have not done this before get some temp sticks which are a crayon the melts at a certain temp & use it as a guide
You want about 600 degrees not 1500 degrees, this is a sure way to destroy a rod.
This is a bit tricky so it would be nice if you could get ahold of some old stock rods & pistons, press them apart & practice on them before starting on yours
Doesn't make any difference what kind, just something to get a "feel" for what you are doing here.
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  #8  
Old Apr 28th, 06, 6:10 PM
charbilly2001 charbilly2001 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

I used to spend a considerable amount of time at an engine builder back in Minnesota when I lived there. They had some custom built electric pots that were about 4 inches square and had an heating element in the bottom. They would stick the small end of the rod into those heaters and they wouldn't take them out untin they were cherry to nearly yellow (as in VERY hot). Those guys are still in business and still use the same style pots to heat the rods. By now they have built engines numbering in 5 figures all with the rods getting the same treatment.


I had a D/MP Chevelle w/ a 283 back in the 70's the rods in which were assembled to the 12 1/2 compression forged pistons in exactly the same way. That engine saw some 10000RPM missed power shifts on several occasions and was properly shifted at 7500 RPM Hunderds of times. There is NO one who can tell me that the method I outlined won't work.

I have tons of empirical evidence that it will do NO harm to your connecting rod. Of course if you are using aluminum rods then this method is NOT for you.

Using an Arbor Press to press in the pins is fine as long as you have all the correct fittings and really know what you are doing. However over time I have seen a lot of good pistons ruined bu guys that didn't know what they were doing.

Whatever, do what you want Wolfplace everyone has his pet method. I am sure you have had a bad experience with heat. I have not.
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  #9  
Old Apr 28th, 06, 9:14 PM
BillK BillK is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

char,
Nobody is saying not to heat the rods, just not as hot as you are saying. I have seen them come loose and they are always blue, like they were overheated. I use a Sunnen rod heater which is very similar to the setup you describe, but the rods never get any color in them other than a very occasional light brown tint. Try this test ..... take an old rod and measure the small end bore with a bore gauge. Then heat it up to a cherry red like you said, put a pin in it and let it cool down. Now press the pin out and measure the rod again. Let us know the results. I read somewhere that a rod can loose half of its press fit by getting it too hot.
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  #10  
Old Apr 28th, 06, 10:34 PM
Wolfplace Wolfplace is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charbilly2001
I used to spend a considerable amount of time at an engine builder back in Minnesota when I lived there. They had some custom built electric pots that were about 4 inches square and had an heating element in the bottom. They would stick the small end of the rod into those heaters and they wouldn't take them out untin they were cherry to nearly yellow (as in VERY hot). Those guys are still in business and still use the same style pots to heat the rods. By now they have built engines numbering in 5 figures all with the rods getting the same treatment.


I had a D/MP Chevelle w/ a 283 back in the 70's the rods in which were assembled to the 12 1/2 compression forged pistons in exactly the same way. That engine saw some 10000RPM missed power shifts on several occasions and was properly shifted at 7500 RPM Hunderds of times. There is NO one who can tell me that the method I outlined won't work.

I have tons of empirical evidence that it will do NO harm to your connecting rod. Of course if you are using aluminum rods then this method is NOT for you.

Using an Arbor Press to press in the pins is fine as long as you have all the correct fittings and really know what you are doing. However over time I have seen a lot of good pistons ruined bu guys that didn't know what they were doing.

Whatever, do what you want Wolfplace everyone has his pet method. I am sure you have had a bad experience with heat. I have not.
=
Fist off if you had a small block you were in fact spinning to 7500 what was it doing with pressed pin rods??
Even GM didn't use pressed pins in their 302's which were a fairly high RPM deal & this was from the factory.

Secondly, what do aluminum rods have to do with a press fit scenario

I am not here to argue with you. You "hung out at a shop that did something that if you are correct goes completely against the recommendations of every association, every production engine rebuilder, every private engine rebuilder & every trade school since the 60's that I know of
I have been doing this stuff for about 40 years & I have actually done a few engines in this time.

If you do not believe what I as well as Bill is telling you how about checking with say Sunnen that makes the rod heaters, AERA that is pretty well respected in this venue & has a few guidelines regarding how hot to get a rod, any reliable source to find out about what happens when you get over a certain temperature with different metals
I can tell you that it is absolutely not acceptable to get the rod to a cherry red condition regardless of what you may think you saw people doing.
If you turn a rod red to yellow & stick a pin in it, it will not return to the correct size when is cools
This does not come from hanging out at some shop, it comes from the people that make the heaters as well as the people who make the rods, from well respected trade associations & from personal experience.

As Bill stated, I never said not to heat the rod as this is in my opinion the only acceptable way to install "pressed" pins & I use basically the same heater as Bill does.
A press is used to remove the pistons

What I did say & I stand by is you do not get the rod "cherry red", This is too hot, completely unnecessary & is destructive to the rod.
Again do a little investigation from any of the above mentioned sources.
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  #11  
Old Apr 29th, 06, 1:01 AM
charbilly2001 charbilly2001 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

ok wolfplace..perhaps I mistated "cherry red" ok. Semantics. They were damn hot. They glowed. I call it cherry red you call it something else. whatever.

With respect to my 283 I had a set of 327 rods resized and balanced to use in my .030 283. They had considerably more beef to them than the 283 rods did. I raced the bejeezus out of that motor. I powershifted that rig countless times. and missed shifts at 7500 RPM more than once. Lord knows how fast I spun that motor when I missed a shift. I had VERY good valve springs. I never once broke that motor from start to finish. When they closed Minnesota Dragways AND Twin City Speedway in 1978 I gave up on dragracing. I sold the motor to some circle trackers and they took it and had some small success with it. Pressed pins? Man! Are you an elitist! Some of us youngsters back then didn't have the bread for full floaters. Golly I'm sorry no one at that time told me not to spin my motors all the way to 7500 RPM. I just naturally assumed that if I had the right stuff then I could do it.
Z28? 302? Bring it on bud. My little car was quicker than a stock Z28 by a large margin.


Those rods were heated to what I would refer to as "Cherry Red" and assembled on my pistons while I stood there and watched. Say what you will they withstood considerable abuse at my hands for three years before I sold the car.

The guys that assembled those rods/pistons are called Wagamon Bros. They have a monsterous engine rebuilding facility in North Minneapolis. They are still in business today. I personally did business with them from the early 60's to 1986. Over the years I got to know Wally and Perry Wagamon quite well. Since they were a bit older than I I have no idea if they are still alive but googling Wagamon Bros surely brings up their web site.

If you go look it says "Family owned and operated since 1957". Just for grins why don't you give them a call and tell them that they shouldn't heat rod ends "cherry Red". I am sure that they will have an answer for you since I imagine they have done several hundred thousand rods in the last 59 years.

FWIW the heating elements in those pots glow "cherry red" and the rods are set right on the elements ( well not right on. The elements are recessed in channels.) after a suitable time the rods glow the same way.


Finally I almost NEVER give advice on this forum unless I have considerable empirical evidence in my memory bank. I am not always 100% correct but I am normally pretty close. The "Cherry Red" thing is something I have also done with my own equipment. Once again without a failure.

One of the things I do on this forum is try to give guys methods or advice to solve their own problems reasonably and cheaply. I try to give practical advice for the real world. Thats how I learned what I know. By doing it. I'm not reading all this crap out of a book. I know what works and what doesn't cause i've done it and in most cases many , many times.

Last edited by charbilly2001; Apr 29th, 06 at 1:17 AM.
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Old Apr 29th, 06, 2:10 AM
Wolfplace Wolfplace is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charbilly2001
ok wolfplace..perhaps I mistated "cherry red" ok. Semantics. They were damn hot. They glowed. I call it cherry red you call it something else. whatever.

With respect to my 283 I had a set of 327 rods resized and balanced to use in my .030 283. They had considerably more beef to them than the 283 rods did. I raced the bejeezus out of that motor. I powershifted that rig countless times. and missed shifts at 7500 RPM more than once. Lord knows how fast I spun that motor when I missed a shift. I had VERY good valve springs. I never once broke that motor from start to finish. When they closed Minnesota Dragways AND Twin City Speedway in 1978 I gave up on dragracing. I sold the motor to some circle trackers and they took it and had some small success with it. Pressed pins? Man! Are you an elitist! Some of us youngsters back then didn't have the bread for full floaters. Golly I'm sorry no one at that time told me not to spin my motors all the way to 7500 RPM. I just naturally assumed that if I had the right stuff then I could do it.
Z28? 302? Bring it on bud. My little car was quicker than a stock Z28 by a large margin.


Those rods were heated to what I would refer to as "Cherry Red" and assembled on my pistons while I stood there and watched. Say what you will they withstood considerable abuse at my hands for three years before I sold the car.

The guys that assembled those rods/pistons are called Wagamon Bros. They have a monsterous engine rebuilding facility in North Minneapolis. They are still in business today. I personally did business with them from the early 60's to 1986. Over the years I got to know Wally and Perry Wagamon quite well. Since they were a bit older than I I have no idea if they are still alive but googling Wagamon Bros surely brings up their web site.

If you go look it says "Family owned and operated since 1957". Just for grins why don't you give them a call and tell them that they shouldn't heat rod ends "cherry Red". I am sure that they will have an answer for you since I imagine they have done several hundred thousand rods in the last 59 years.

FWIW the heating elements in those pots glow "cherry red" and the rods are set right on the elements ( well not right on. The elements are recessed in channels.) after a suitable time the rods glow the same way.


Finally I almost NEVER give advice on this forum unless I have considerable empirical evidence in my memory bank. I am not always 100% correct but I am normally pretty close. The "Cherry Red" thing is something I have also done with my own equipment. Once again without a failure.

One of the things I do on this forum is try to give guys methods or advice to solve their own problems reasonably and cheaply. I try to give practical advice for the real world. Thats how I learned what I know. By doing it. I'm not reading all this crap out of a book. I know what works and what doesn't cause i've done it and in most cases many , many times.
=
So,,, how many engines have you taken apart that had rods in them that looked like they were overheated from oh say GM, Ford, Chrysler??
Crap, never mind,,,

Ok,,, you are right & I am wrong, Bill is wrong, every other engine builder I know is wrong, every shop I know is wrong, GM, Ford & Chrysler is wrong,,,, every import engine that has "press fit" rods is wrong, the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association is wrong, the Production Engine Rebuilders Association is wrong,, every text book on engine rebuilding I have ever seen is wrong but you are right

I am done with this, people can do their own research or call anyone they wish that does rebuilding & form their own opinions,,,,
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  #13  
Old Apr 29th, 06, 2:27 AM
charbilly2001 charbilly2001 is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

If you go look it says "Family owned and operated since 1957". Just for grins why don't you give them a call and tell them that they shouldn't heat rod ends "cherry Red". I am sure that they will have an answer for you since I imagine they have done several hundred thousand rods in the last 59 years.

Wolfplace you are getting way to intense.

Wagamon Bros. 3719 3rd St. NE
Minneapolis , MN
763-789-7227

Like I said. Take a look at their web. Give them a call. The owners are Perry and Wally Wagamon.

I haven't been there since the mid 90's maybe they do it differently now. I know for a FACT that thousands of engines were assembled that way for years at Wagamon Bros. Maybe the industry doesn't like that any more. So be it. You do it your way and I'll do it my way and when we are at the end of our lives lets get together and discuss how many rod failures we've each had

My 383 rods are bluish on the small ends. Guess that means they heated them. Well that was last summer and many thousands of miles ago. Guess what? No failures yet. But I'll promise you this. If one of my rods break and I can see that its a fracture where it was heated I will immediately post it here with full apologies to you all. You can put that promise in the bank Mr. Wolfplace sir. You too BILLK.
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  #14  
Old Apr 30th, 06, 1:55 AM
CNC BLOCKS N/E CNC BLOCKS N/E is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charbilly2001
I used to spend a considerable amount of time at an engine builder back in Minnesota when I lived there. They had some custom built electric pots that were about 4 inches square and had an heating element in the bottom. They would stick the small end of the rod into those heaters and they wouldn't take them out untin they were cherry to nearly yellow (as in VERY hot). Those guys are still in business and still use the same style pots to heat the rods. By now they have built engines numbering in 5 figures all with the rods getting the same treatment.


I had a D/MP Chevelle w/ a 283 back in the 70's the rods in which were assembled to the 12 1/2 compression forged pistons in exactly the same way. That engine saw some 10000RPM missed power shifts on several occasions and was properly shifted at 7500 RPM Hunderds of times. There is NO one who can tell me that the method I outlined won't work.

I have tons of empirical evidence that it will do NO harm to your connecting rod. Of course if you are using aluminum rods then this method is NOT for you.

10000 RPM power shifts and 7500 RPM hundreds of times HMMMM If you want to blow smoke up our ass you better build a bigger fire then that my freind. From now on try to post some factual info that has some truth to it. Press fit aluminum rods now I have heard it all.

And if your using stock rods in 7500 RPM engine it can't be much for a power plant. LOL.


Quote:
Originally Posted by charbilly2001
In addition to heating up the small end of the rod to a cherry red level you should also put the wrist pins in your freezer over night. This causes them to contract. Heating the small end of the rod causes the hole to expand. The greatest temperature differential is desirable.

You can do this operation in a free hand manner but it is a tense moment while you try to get the wrist pin centered in the piston at the same time you try to get the rod to the center of the wrist pin before the whole assembly becomes immobilized.

I have done this operation several times freehand. Its a tense moment but I haven't failed yet.

FWIW I use my oxy acetylene torch for a heat source. It works very quickly.

Good Luck
I am with Mike and Bill on this one heating a rod up cherry red is very unexceptable in the engine industry or even turning a rod blue. At our shop we may only hang 2 or 3 sets of press fit rods a year and we use the Sunnen rod heater that does not heat the rod up CHERRY RED as in most casses the rods hardly changes color.

And using a oxy acetylene torch for a heat source sounds kind of back yard to me as its not a very controled heat sorce.
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  #15  
Old May 1st, 06, 9:51 AM
K-star automotive K-star automotive is offline
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Default Re: Best way to install press-fit piston pins.

Another vote for mikes method...

I use a sunnen CRH-50 to heat my rods... I also use temp sticks. I never get them over 450 deg... I usually shoot for 300/350 if the rods are the correct size this temp works well and you will not "stick" them..

I have a bit of back ground in metalurgy form my full time job and i can tell you cherry red will result in a damaged rod at some point.... It's just a fact, not and argument....Most steels will get red hot around 800 degrees. and along with that 800 degrees is right around the temp that most steels will normalize... The problem is that normalizing can either make the steel stronger/harder or weaker softer....(change the grain structer)
I personally never did the R&D on a stock rod so i cannot say witch way it would go but there is no need to since you can assemble the rod with half the heat....


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