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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking that at 170k on the clock (1998 SE Wagon with a Vulcan) I may be good to put in new piston rings while I'm this far. They'd be cheap compared to ever trying to do it again. I have a new water pump in as of last year, new alternator, some new suspension parts, new tires, the car is decent looking, and here's the kicker for me...

the cylinder walls still have the factory (I'd guess) crosshatching on them.

So would it be wise to re-ring at this point?

Anything I would need to know before doing the rings. I found an interesting link that applies to hondas. I'd guess it'd be the same on the Taurus but with our Ford specs. I've never done rings before but I'd think it wouldn't be that hard. Definitely easier now than after the heads are back on.
 

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If you run new rings, you also have to rehone the cylinder walls, and break the engine in again. . I would say not to unless you are building the motor for a special project. The original rings have a lot of life left in them, they are already broken in, they have not failed, and show no signs that they will anytime soon.
 

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^^^^ +1

With the modern materials used for rings these days (even back in 98), ring wear in modern engines has pretty much become a non issue. Unless you had low compression due to rings, broken rings (you would see the scratches in the cyl walls from this) or excesive blowby, just put it back together.
 

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You could get the heads rebuilt to restore some compression. (Valve seats, guides, rockers, etc...) Personally, if the rings aren't causing any problems I would save them for when you do a full rebuild. Otherwise, it will be almost as much of a headache without the full benefit.

I would also replace the studs and nuts on the exhaust manifold that hold the y-pipe on. They like to rust and break, even if they haven't done so yet. (Bad personal experience...) Make sure to use anti-seize on all of the bolts when you get it all back together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok thanks guys, back together it goes.

I appreciate it.

I will probably lap the valves and put new seals on them (came with the head gasket kit). Seemed like my compression wasn't bad when I checked it last summer (around 150).
 

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If you run a cylinder micrometer in it you will see that the cyl's are out of round. Maybe in tolerance but out enough to cause a seal issue for the new round rings.
Good idea to leave the old ones.
 

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War Story

^^^^ +1

With the modern materials used for rings these days (even back in 98), ring wear in modern engines has pretty much become a non issue. Unless you had low compression due to rings, broken rings (you would see the scratches in the cyl walls from this) or excesive blowby, just put it back together.
I agree, if there is no visible damage to the cylinder walls, leave well enough alone.

I have a friend who had a 70's Chrysler with a 318 and it burned a valve or two at about 130K. He took the heads off and to a shop for repairs. He asked me to come over and look at the bearings as he had taken the pan off. The engine was super clean and I looked at one main and one rod. Just like new. I also looked at the cylinder bores and you could still see the cross hatch marks all around.

I advised him to leave well enough alone, this engine has been kept in top shape. Anyway soon he called again and had a problem. He was advised by someone to replace the rings as the head work would raise the compression and make it use oil. He bought rings but said the end gap was too big. I said, if it is 0.010" over bore then the gap would be 0.031" over nominal. He said, it was double that so a +0.020 over. He borrowed a inside mike and confirmed it was such. He could not get rings and the Dodge dealer contacted the factory and they said they never made any such thing. A local auto supply who specialized in performance and racing equipment got him a custom set of rings, for $$$ and a month wait.

On the other hand, I had a '80 Zephyr with a 200ci with super high miles and using oil quite bad. Simple engine, easy to work on. It had about 0.005" wear on the cylinders and I just ridge reamed it and put std ring in it and it ran a long time and I sold it still running. Of course you might not call that slug "running", more like walking.

Hopefully the day of factory rework and such is over. I had a 260 in a Fairlane with -0.002 shaft and the bearings were not market. There were rumors at the time that they had some with mixed size bearings. I bought a badly running '72 Dart with a 318 cheap. It had two left handed rockers on one cylinder and another with the rocker spacer in the wrong order. The pushrods were binding in their clearance holes. Engine had over 60K on it. Ran fine after replacing the rocker, redoing the other shaft, and couple of pushrods. I had a Chrysler dealer tell me they had a 440 engine come in a new car with .060 over bore and standard pistons.

Happy motoring.

-chart-
 

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Old Dart

Chart, did that 72 Dart have the push button automatic on the dash?
No column automatic 3 speed. Never liked the car but it was rugged.

Seats were not comfortable.

My Taurus/Sables had the best seats of anyting, then or now. I spent a lot of time on the road, my car, company car, and rentals. Company Taurus had manual seats and all mine power seats. The power seat was made different and was much better. Some of the rentals made me sore.

When I selected my Tautus/Sables for my work travel, I had as a minimum requirement power seats.

Happy motoring

-chart-
 

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I would also replace the studs and nuts on the exhaust manifold that hold the y-pipe on. They like to rust and break, even if they haven't done so yet. (Bad personal experience...) Make sure to use anti-seize on all of the bolts when you get it all back together.
x 2 ..buddy of mine did a 60min torch job on my manifold studs after two of them snapped off. before that rode around with a pair of vicegrips on it for 3 weeks almost forgot they were on there :lol2:
 
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