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Old 11-28-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
jscot
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Damaged piston removal

Hey guys, found the site unfortunately after a dropped valve seat. Thanks to you I quickly diagnosed it. Pulled the head off without too much effort, and have decided to repair rather than scrap (my first inclination). It's been a good car so far, only replaced the clutch.

2001 SE, SPI-5 speed, 170,000km

So it was cylinder 3(from the passenger side). Head is banged up, and that piston crown. No other damage I can see, cylinder walls LOOK perfect. So, I've sourced a new head for $500. Close to slapping the head on to get it back on the road, but I know I should do it right--come this far.

So my question (finally!): I know I should replace the damaged piston, so figure if I'm going to do that, might as well get a set of pistons and rings. I've searched and can't find info on the piston swap procedure. Can anyone give a brief step by step?

Much appreciated. I'm not a mechanic, but have done bigger jobs than this and can follow instructions!

Thanks!


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Old 11-28-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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wow sorry to hear the luck i myself wouldnt know where to begine to help but im sure someone will chime in that knows the how tos on this,

and welcome to the forum alot of great people and usefull info on the site
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:17 AM   #3
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Here's my thread on doing this work:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=273755

Unfortunately I couldn't post all the pictures I had due to site limits.

I think I have a spare new piston and rings I can sell, because I changed my mind and replaced all the pistons after buying this new one. Warning: there are two different types -- different top ring thicknesses if I'm remembering correctly.

Replace that rod too -- I bought one off eBay.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Hey thanks Lugnut, great documentation on a brave project. I was trying to figure out the logistics of pulling the pistons with engine still in car. I waffled back and forth for a while, then ended up just replacing the head to get her back on the road!
I'm going to start a new thread on how long that lasts.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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Hopefully you pulled and cleaned out the intake too -- lots of little metal chunks in there!

If the top of the piston is beat, there's a very good chance the rod is bent too. Mine wasn't obviously bent, but even a little bit could be disasterous.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Alright, I'm all the way to removing my damaged piston #3. Oil pan is off and I unbolted the end cap, but it's not budging.

How do I get the end cap off, just tap it until it breaks free? Tap the bolts up and out?

Then push the piston out the top?

Everything has gone pretty smoothly thus far. Just don't want to pry too hard and damage something...
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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First ridge-ream the top of the cylinder so the piston and rings can pop out. Clean/vac the residue out of the cylinder. Lightly oil the wall.

Take great care in lightly tapping the rod bolts -- you do not want to score the crank at all, and it is easy to do with the bolts' threads. After the cap pops off, put short pieces of fuel line, etc. on the two bolts so they won't scratch the crank journal or cylinder wall as the piston assembly goes up and out.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
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Sweet, I got the cap off by lightly tapping the bolts with a piece of wood and hammer. Then on the cap itself. I see the piston moved up a little.

So just to make sure, I just keep lightly tapping the on the bolts as the piston moves up (taking care not to scratch anything)? Just want to make sure that I'm tapping on the right components...

Once it's free of the crank should I tap on the rod, where the bearing is?
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
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You do not need to ridge ream the top of the cyl, I have pulled literally 50+ pistons out of SPI's and always do it by hand with 2 fingers pushing the piston/rod up from the bottom till its out, or use the other end of a hammer and push it out on one of the bolts, put some rubber hose over the bolts so you do not damage the crank. Replace ANY rod and piston that has even the slightest nicks in it! The rod always bends.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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I hate to add a difference in opinion but you don't need to replace the other rods and pistons if they have a little pitting. You have to make sure though that the top ring can move freely. It should be fine on all the other pistons, but I suppose you should check anyway.

My piston was hamburger meat on the top and I actually ran the engine for a good 20min after the seat dropped. drove it into the shop. When I later disassembled it, the whole skirt and actually most of the body were missing and sitting in the oil pan.
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