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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a very nice 383 short block yesterday, and proceeded to immediately tear it down. One thing that I noticed when tearing it down was that the shop that assembled the engine had set up the top ring gap facing the thrust surface, and the second behind it.

Is there a reason for this? I don't know why, but it kind of freaked me out, I always put the gaps over the skirts where the gaps have less of a chance of messin' stuff up. Am I off base here?

And on a final note, this motor was supposed to have been built with 6" rods, but they sure look like stock 400's (~5.5). Rods are measured from the center of the small end to the center of the big end right?
 

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The ring gaps are staggered. As you look at the top of the piston, I put the top ring at the four o'clock positiion, the second ring at the eight o'clock position, and the end of the oil control ring spacer at noon. Then I place the top and bottom rails of the oil ring at two and ten o'clock respectively. It doesn't matter where you place the gaps in relation to the skirts, rings rotate on the piston while the engine is running anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the rings can rotate while the engine is running, can't they line up and leave a nice big whole for compression to go down, and oil to go into the combustion chamber? I know they aren't' "locked in", but I thought they'd pretty much stay put.

As far as how you set up the gaps, that's what I've been told, but this engine was supposedly built by a pro, so I was curious if there was any reason to set up the gaps at noon and 6 using your example. Thanks for the tip though, I'll probably follow your lead on this one.
 

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Yes, it has been known to happen, but odds are it won't.
 

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cdan,
The Chevy Power book shows them lined up exactly like your guy has them. Ask 10 engine builders and you will probably get ten different answers !

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Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md

1971 Heavy Chevy - original owner
Team Chevelle #100
 

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Ask 10 engine builders and you will probably get ten different answers !

Agreed!

I was once told this and it made some sense to me at the time, I place the top ring gap at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock which every side the intake valve is on. The scond ring is opposite and is on the side with the exhaust vlave. The theory is that the top ring sees more heat and it should be nearer the cooler intake valve. And the second ring sees less heat and so it can be by the hotter exhaust valve.

In my current opinion, this arrangement works and my partner swears by it. I don't think it is a big deal as Randy side the rings rotate anyway. But for now it keeps peace while we build engines and we can argue above other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd love to see someone test that idea. It sounds good enough to me though. Now i'm wondering if I ever did this before, or did the exact opposite for that matter. I had put the gaps at 3 and 9, but never paid attention to the valve location. Thanks for the help guys.
 

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"But for now it keeps peace while we build engines and we can argue above other things."

I like that!
 

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Are you guys sure the rings rotate? I just tore my engine down and I'd swear the ring gaps are exactly where I put them. I always thought that if they move they would loose their "seat"???

Lonnie

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70 Chevelle 15.01 @96
67 Camaro street strip 11.63 @117.6
67 Camaro daily driver 12.10 @110.6
www.geocities.com/lonnie67_1966
 

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I think rings move, but not that much at all. And I agree with placing the top ring gap right at the intake valve to keep it cool with that charge of air/fuel. Second ring opposite.
 

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All the rings spin/rotate in the bore relitive to the other rings. That means they all spin the same. We're not talking RPM spin, just a rotating thing. Problems occur when one ring spins at a different rate than the others, or one gets frooze in place, and the possibility of the gaps lining up occur. Good lubing on the install should take care of them freezing in place.

That's the reason for the angle on the Hone. to get'em spinning the right way.

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71-72 Malibu
"I'm high all right, but on the real stuff
High octane gasoline
A clean windshield
And a shoe shine"
 
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