Proper method/lubricants for seating rings - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Proper method/lubricants for seating rings

My new rings are moly faced, and after researching I see anything from Tom Monroe's book saying dunk the pistons with rings in oil, to just a light oil wipe, to a product called Total Seal Quick Seat which is a dry powder you put on the cylinder walls.

It sounds like the dunk in oil is a bit out dated and may even not allow these rings to break in properly. Anyone use the Total Seal Quick Seat product? I have read nothing bad about this product, but it still worries me a bit.

This is a 302 bored .040.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:59 PM
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There are as many methods as there are engine builders it seems.

I used to use Childs & Albert Assembly Oil (they are long gone) on the skirts, rings and cylinder walls. I understand Akerly & Childs Xtreme Assembly Oil is the same thing now however I am confident Marvel Mystery Oil, WD-40 and 30 weight oil would accomplish the same thing.

In the end, whatever you use will be gone quickly upon start up, long before the rings are truly set.

I break in the cam, change the oil and filter, and during one of the first test drives find a long grade and accelerate nicely up one side, putting cylinder pressure on the top of the rings. And then when cresting the hill, downshift a gear or two while letting the car coast down the other side without any throttle. Engine braking builds high engine vacuum and pull the rings up. I repeat it two or three times, and done.

500 hundred miles, another oil change and begin to let it rip.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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Most critical is the cylinder wall hone or prep by the machine shop for moly rings. I'm not sure what they do or do differently if anything for this but I always am asked and I always tell them. After that is the initial run up to break everything in. What you lube them with is important but there are who knows how many choices now. I have always used straight 30 weight Valvoline oil and most everything I have built has moly rings. My truck had ductiles though but I did it the same.


Things might be different now for these modern whiz bang multi-cam/multi-valve tight tolerance engines some of which run 0w 20 oil. How can you have an oil with zero viscosity. Its a mystery to me.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 05:16 PM
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There isn't a ring break in anymore, chrome rings etc are a thing of the past. They will basically break in while the engine is on the stand being rotated. The only break in needed anymore is on solid or hydraulic lifter cams. If it's a roller cam engine fire it up and drive it then change the oil. Change it again at 500 miles then 3K as usual.

If you have a problem with ring break in on an engine its because it wasn't honed properly.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Great info so far.

My machinist told me which rings to buy so I know the hone job was done with that in mind.

After reading more, it sounds like the compression ring really only sees a minute amount of oil so I I were to lightly wipe the bore with oil and wipe the outer ring surface with oil that is enough.

Has anyone uses the Total Seal product?

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:52 PM
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It really all kind of depends on your machinist and what's done. If it's 'old school' machining, the hone produces a series of V shaped crosshatches inside the cylinder. Your rings have to match up by knocking the points off those V's, so they look more like \_/ instead.

In more modern facilities, they can do what's called a 'plateau' hone. Essentially, just one more step, where they knock the points off the crosshatching before the rings ever get installed, so it looks like the second pattern mentioned above. This is what modern carmakers use, because break-in is not nearly as critical.

Flat-tappet cams have their own stuff going on. Once that ultra-critical part of the startup process is done, if you have 'normal' hone in your cylinders, you still need to be careful with the initial miles. It's not a bad idea to follow the process, even if you have a plateau hone. Avoid full-throttle acceleration, but don't be afraid to give your engine some gas. Vary the engine speed as you drive, and avoid constant RPMs for long periods. As @bbmach was saying, acceleration 'seats' the rings, and then deceleration helps wash them with fresh oil. I would say that 500 miles is a bare minimum for avoiding long full throttle blasts. The more time you spend gently helping your rings seat, the longer your engine will thank you later, with a long happy life and good ring seal.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:54 PM
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From the Total Seal website: TechPage

I am a fan of Gapless Rings, have Childs and Albert's in my 460 and Total Seal's in my Stage-1 Buick.

I have not used their lubricant products, however I see no reason not too. Their rings, their recommended lubricants.

No need to over-think this :-)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimbrand View Post
I would say that 500 miles is a bare minimum for avoiding long full throttle blasts. The more time you spend gently helping your rings seat, the longer your engine will thank you later, with a long happy life and good ring seal.

I agree. Some people like to break engines in hard, but that's not my way. My Dad likes to say each engine only has so much horsepower in them - you can take it out a little at a time over a long period of time, or... I like my engines to last.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macstang View Post
How can you have an oil with zero viscosity. Its a mystery to me.
The "0W-20" means the oil provides the protection of a zero weight oil when its cold and the protection of a twenty weight oil when it's at operating temperature. This is the technology of a multi-grade oil which is achieved through additives. As the oil wears, those additives become less effective. The greater the spread between the first and second number, the shorter the life span of the additives. Thus, a 5W-40 will wear out faster than a 10W-30. Likely anyone here on this forum will change the oil long before it's worn out.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:00 PM
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I did it Tom's way on my 289
My GT40P already had 118K on it but the cylinders looked new still Factory cross hatch and no ridge
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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I have decided not to use the Total Seal product and just use a light coat of break in oil on the cylinder walls and a light coat on the rings. I think the Total Seal would work fine but isn't necessary.

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