RickGTO, think of it like a math problem. If a cylinder for a 289/302 is bored .030 the circumference of that cylinder is pi x 4.030, or 12.660 inches. 1% of that would be ~.125 inches, 1/2% would be ~.065 and 1/4% ~.032 inches. So if you had my proposed .030 ring end gap, the top ring will catch more than 99 & 3/4ths of whats there. The second ring will catch 99 & 3/4ths % of what might get by the top ting. If your engine is running at 1000 rpm, thats 8 power pulse per second. There just isn't time for much to sneak through the end gaps. We have to remember ring tension comes from the shape of the metal ring, end gap does little or nothing for tension. So, if one wants to chase the 1/4 of 1/4 % percent,.....I guess you can do it if you want to. But if the gap is ever too small, for whatever reason, instant disaster ! If the gaps are large, you lose nothing but worry. LSG
Your reasoning is faulty. What about at 2,500 rpm where a street engine will spend a significant amount of time, say for 100,000 miles? Or a racing engine? Or a boat engine? Now do your “power pulse” math.
Why would you throw away efficiency and add contaminants to the oil by building a new engine already out of spec? If you think it’s a math problem, then spend the time to calculate the gap requirement for your particular piston and ring combo, and it’s intended usage. And then trust the expertise of those who manufactured the parts, and your experience.
There is a reason for the specification range, on both ends. By not following those guidelines, you’re just being lazy.
I assume you’re playing with semantics and trying to be cute, but if I used your shop for machining and/or building, and later found the ring gaps out of spec, we would have a problem. If your response was stated as above, we’d see each other in court.
Most of us know you get what you pay for on the internet, but the information here lives forever under Google. Why give out bad advice on purpose?