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how to keep piston rings in good shape?

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Old 02-19-2014, 06:32 AM   #1
RazorGT
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Default how to keep piston rings in good shape?

My friend has a 06 gt just like mine and he takes amazing care of his car but found out he was leaking oil through his exhaust and his piston rings were messed up and basically saying he gotta get a rebuilt engine??

He has like 75k miles and I got 35k, why do u think his rings went bad? He doesn't ever dog his car and always keeps up with maintenance, and its 100% stock.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:33 AM   #2
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I assume there is blue smoke when he accelerates? Keeping the RPMs low, can cause the piston to not fully extend and travel the full distance in the cylinder head. Overtime, with wear, a ridge line is formed...if you then go WOT, the rings hit that, and may be damaged....take the plugs out and inspect the cylinder walls, also do a compression test.

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Old 02-19-2014, 10:11 AM   #3
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Make sure it is really showing blue smoke...oil normally does not drip out of a tail pipe unless there is a large hole somewhere or the car is smoking like a chimney. Just drive and maintain yours and it should be good. Never heard of pistons that do not make the full travel in the cylinder....many years of restoring cars....hmmmm.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:58 AM   #4
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Could just be a defective set of rings. Not feeling the ridge theory. A ridge will have a smooth transition not a hard edge and besides the oil ring is the lower ring, not at the top of the piston.
Oil starvation from one cause or another will shorten ring life. Running the right weight oil for the time of year is important. During a cold start up it takes time to get the oil to pressure up if its to heavy a weight, on the flip side the oil can be to thin when in high heat area or overheating takes place. Running real rich will wipe out the rings too as the unburned gas washes the oil off the cylinder walls and thins out the oil in general.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:12 AM   #5
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He needs to get a second opinion. What prompted him to get this "diagnosis"? The 4.6L is notorious for a puff of smoke if the engine is started, shutdown quickly (cold) and then on the subsequent start... puff. But this doesn't warrant an engine rebuild.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuke View Post
He needs to get a second opinion. What prompted him to get this "diagnosis"? The 4.6L is notorious for a puff of smoke if the engine is started, shutdown quickly (cold) and then on the subsequent start... puff. But this doesn't warrant an engine rebuild.
well he had oil coming out the back of his exhaust (actual oil, not just condensated water) and when he looked in his oil pan there was hardly any in there - i haven't heard him mention any blue smoke but he took it to the dealer and they said the piston rings were bad and recommended a engine rebuild or replacement.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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thats kinda weird ive seen the 4.6 engines run forever 76k miles is just breaking it in.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:45 PM   #8
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Sounds strange. I too have an '06 GT. Mine has 120K miles and uses virtually no oil.
Hass he had a compression and/or a leak down test?
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorGT View Post
well he had oil coming out the back of his exhaust (actual oil, not just condensated water) and when he looked in his oil pan there was hardly any in there - i haven't heard him mention any blue smoke but he took it to the dealer and they said the piston rings were bad and recommended a engine rebuild or replacement.
With that much oil coming out of the exhaust he would be driving with a smokescreen behind him. You couldn't miss that smoke unless you were blind and didn't have a sense of smell.

I'm not keen on the bad piston rings without evidence of it. What tests did the dealer conduct to lead them to that conclusion? A Leak Down Test (not blow down test) would check for compression in the cylinders but wouldn't necessarily point at piston rings. Valve stem seals can also leak and create similar problems.

With bad piston rings he would also have really fouled spark plugs which in severe cases would cause misfires. If he's blowing out that much oil I'm surprised he hasn't thrown a code yet.

Get a second opinion from a shop that specializes in engine rebuilding or engine customization. They are more familiar with how to properly diagnose things like this. Dealerships are great for general repairs but with internals they sometimes conclude with the worst news possible so that in the processes of going overboard they will indeed fix the smaller problem but they will also complete the bigger job which may not be the actual problem. This saves you nothing and if anything costs you more than what it should have cost you.

It's like getting stitches for a paper cut instead of a band aid. Sure, both fix the cut but one is overboard and costs way more.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:47 PM   #10
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With that much oil coming out of the exhaust he would be driving with a smokescreen behind him. You couldn't miss that smoke unless you were blind and didn't have a sense of smell.

I'm not keen on the bad piston rings without evidence of it. What tests did the dealer conduct to lead them to that conclusion? A Leak Down Test (not blow down test) would check for compression in the cylinders but wouldn't necessarily point at piston rings. Valve stem seals can also leak and create similar problems.

With bad piston rings he would also have really fouled spark plugs which in severe cases would cause misfires. If he's blowing out that much oil I'm surprised he hasn't thrown a code yet.

Get a second opinion from a shop that specializes in engine rebuilding or engine customization. They are more familiar with how to properly diagnose things like this. Dealerships are great for general repairs but with internals they sometimes conclude with the worst news possible so that in the processes of going overboard they will indeed fix the smaller problem but they will also complete the bigger job which may not be the actual problem. This saves you nothing and if anything costs you more than what it should have cost you.

It's like getting stitches for a paper cut instead of a band aid. Sure, both fix the cut but one is overboard and costs way more.


Sorry, you're correct - leak down, not blow down. Duh.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:53 AM   #11
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Keep in mind, the stock crankcase ventilation and "pcv" pulls vapors into the intake and will pul in oil as well, and of course, burn it.
And, when these cars are cold, they will naturally smoke a little.

Depending on how the smoke really is, there might be a serious issue. If the car was bought used, someone could have damaged the engine before getting rid of it.
As mentioned, compression and leak-down tests will test the rings. But also, spark plugs can tell a big story, if there's a lot of oil in a cylinder or two. That's where I would start, try to determine a possibly problematic cylinder.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:56 AM   #12
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy_R
I assume there is blue smoke when he accelerates? Keeping the RPMs low, can cause the piston to not fully extend and travel the full distance in the cylinder head. Overtime, with wear, a ridge line is formed...if you then go WOT, the rings hit that, and may be damaged....take the plugs out and inspect the cylinder walls, also do a compression test.
Pretty sure that unless the crankshaft or the rods are made of elastic materials .... the rings on the pistons will "go up to" .... and "stop at" .... the same point once on every revolution of that engine's life .... unless a catastrophic failure is experienced .... at which point it's life is likely to be halted in short order.

The ridge is simply the unworn portion of the cylinder wall up where the rings never ride. In most cases it gets cut out with a ridge cutter at rebuild time .... but if not severe and depending on planned use and budget, it may get left in place.

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Old 02-21-2014, 01:27 AM   #14
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Only way to verify a ring issue is to do a compression test and/or a cylinder leakdown test to verify you have compression issues. You can do this yourself with basic, cheap tools you can pick up at any AutoZone (plus an air compressor). Look up how to do the tests yourself. Super easy. Give you piece of mind they're not pulling a fast one on you.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorGT View Post
My friend has a 06 gt just like mine and he takes amazing care of his car but found out he was leaking oil through his exhaust and his piston rings were messed up and basically saying he gotta get a rebuilt engine??

He has like 75k miles and I got 35k, why do u think his rings went bad? He doesn't ever dog his car and always keeps up with maintenance, and its 100% stock.
well if oil is dripping out of the tailpipe, that means he has no catalytic converters, witch means its not stock. He probably has at least one set of rings that are pretty much gone. And I've never heard of someone not running a motor hard and this happening. Are you sure that's his original engine, never rebuilt? Ether way best way to keep your rings in good condition is to use the proper octane fuel, and the proper weight oil.Avoid using fuel and oil additives until your around 130,000mi., and only use one product every 3000mi., to insure you know what a particular product is doing to your motor
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
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well he had oil coming out the back of his exhaust (actual oil, not just condensated water) and when he looked in his oil pan there was hardly any in there
Meaning he pulled the drain plug and almost nothing came out? I'm not an expert but I'm pretty sure running an engine with no oil is kinda bad
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:30 PM
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