Installing the New Cylinders

Although this is a pretty straightforward job if you've done it before, I admit to being a little stressed about tackling it. Steve was going to come down from Canada to help get this started, but the weather wasn't cooperating, so he had to turn around. With the Test and Tune in July only a few months away, I felt like I needed to keep pushing forward or I would fall behind and run out of time.

This would have been a lot easier with an extra set of hands, but it is doable by yourself—at least I was able to get the cylinders installed by myself.

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The ignition got in the way when I pulled the cylinder, so I moved it out of the way before I started to get the cylinders ready.

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I started by pushing the cylinder to the top of the piston and slathering extra assembly lube into the inside of the cylinder (NHRS sent the pistons with the cylinders installed and lubed, but they had been sitting on the shelf for a couple of weeks and I felt like a little extra lube wouldn't hurt anything). Dan at NHRS suggested that it was a good idea to install one of the circlips that retain the wrist pin before installing the cylinder—so I installed the clip on the piston opposite of where I would be inserting the wrist pin. I was glad I did.

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Installing the cylinder and the wrist pin is the part of the job where an extra set of hands would have been very convenient. Because I was doing this alone, I inserted my finger through the opening on the opposite side of the piston and felt for the opening on the crank. After lubing both the opening in the crank, the corresponding openings in the piston, and the wrist pin with assembly lube, I pushed the wrist pin through until it set on the retaining circlip that had been pre-installed.

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With the shop rag reinserted into the engine case (incase I dropped the circlip), I installed the clip into the retaining slot on the side of the piston facing me while holding the cylinder. This was probably the most challenging part of the job. I did lose the clip at one point and was very happy I had the rag in place so it didn't drop into the engine case.

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After pulling the rag, I gently eased the cylinder down onto the engine case. (Follow the same procedure on the rear cylinder.) On the rear cylinder I had forgotten to install the gasket and had to pull the cylinder off, install the gasket, and reinstall the cylinder. Doh!

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With both cylinders now installed, I've put the shop rags into the top of the cylinders so that nothing falls in while I get ready for the squish test and measure clearance for the rockers.

The next step will be the squish test.