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    Thread: How To - Installing OEM rings and new rods

    1. 05-21-2008 11:44 AM #1
      Since most people who are upgrading 1.8t's these days haven't built motors before, I thought I'd throw together some pics of how to install aftermarket rods and new OEM rings on OEM pistons. If you are uncomfortable with anything contained in this post, pay to have professionals do the work, but most people's hesitance to get in there and do the upgrades themselves just stems from a lack of experience, so hopefully these pics will help some of you out.

      First off, this covers installing brand new OEM rings on OEM pistons. I do not file OEM rings, simply install and drop in, but technically you should measure ring gap and adjust accordingly. Secondly, this install covers a freshly honed block. I would NOT reuse OEM rings or install new rings in a block that hasn't been freshly honed. Third, this install does not cover measuring rod bearing tolerances, and this should be done accordingly as well. This is mainly to introduce people to the internals of the 1.8t so you know what you're looking at when you get in there, but in reality this is very general info that applies to all engines. On to the pics.

      Here is the aftermarket rod, a 19mm IE rod in this case.

      Here is the used OEM pistons, 19mm wrist pin version, still attached to the OEM rod. Note the retaining clip inside the bore for the wrist pin.

      This is my tool of choice to remove the wrist pin clip. BE CAREFUL as the wrist pin clip is essentially a spring and will FLY OFF INTO WHO KNOWS WHERE upon removal. I always place the tool in position, then cover the piston with a rag, then apply pressure, so the pin will be trapped in the rag when it shoots out of place.

      Said wrist pin clip removed. DO NOT LOSE.

      Wrist pin clip removed. Scratches on this area of the piston don't really matter, obvoiusly don't go nuts.

      Wrist pin being removed.

      Piston and pin seperated. Marks on the pin here are varnish, the motor that these pieces came from ran on non synthetic oil for its life, which will leave the brown stain of varnish everywhere. Motors that run synthetic don't do this.

      Relube your wrist pin, insert, and prepare for rod install.

      Insert rod.

      A 10mm socket with a tap from a rubber mallet will force in a stubborn pin (tolerances are tight here).

      A little lube preparing for wrist pin clip reinsertion.

      Inserting the wrist pin clip can be tricky. Again, cover the clip with a rag so as not to lose it, use force to "compress" the clip so it'll pop into its groove. Once you get the hang of it, it's really simple to do, but the first one will be a PITA if you've never done this before.

      Clip in its new home.

      Half of the rod and piston assembled.

      This is the OEM oil scraper ring set, three pieces.

      Two flat rings and one "corrugated" ring, the two flat rings will sandwich the third.

      Slide the first ring down over the ring lands (the three grooves around the piston that contain the rings), careful not to scratch the skirts of the piston. The rings have some flexibility but can and will break with too much force, so be careful. Obviously, the ring lands should be cleaned to remove any carbon buildup before installing rings.

      Put the scraper ring into the third groove.

      Insert the lower flat ring.

      And then the upper flat ring

      This is the second compression ring.

      Notice the orientation.


      First compression ring.

      Work the compression rings into place.

      Now, you're ready to rotate your ring gaps so they are 120* apart, and insert the piston rod into the block. As usual, I'm not responsible for any damage you do as a result of this post. I hope this helps out the community and gets more of you to build your motors while saving a little money and learning how to do it yourself.


      Modified by Adam@Unitronic.ca at 10:50 AM 5-21-2008


    2. Member NOLA_VDubber's Avatar
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      05-21-2008 12:13 PM #2
      Great write up

      As a recent first-time rod installer, I can say that it is not that difficult as long as you take your time and have the right tools for the job. I def lost my first circlip, though, but they can be had from the dealer for $0.79 a piece. i wish this was around a couple weeks ago


    3. Member Issam Abed's Avatar
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      05-21-2008 12:19 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by Adam@Unitronic.ca »


      Move the opening of the clip to the window in the piston.
      Otherwise

    4. 05-21-2008 12:25 PM #4
      just great! now there's going to be a ishtload of noobs with fully assembled rods and pistons, but no idea how the hell to put it in the motor.


      i keed, i keed. nice job adam.

      Quote Originally Posted by Travy View Post
      error404: Stance not found.

    5. Senior Member 87vr6's Avatar
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      05-21-2008 01:17 PM #5
      Keep these DIYs coming!

    6. 05-21-2008 01:20 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by inivid »
      just great! now there's going to be a ishtload of noobs with fully assembled rods and pistons, but no idea how the hell to put it in the motor.


      i keed, i keed. nice job adam.


      like me.

      Now someone make a rod bearings + rod cap install!

      but seriously. do it por favor.


    7. Member Blu--Pearl's Avatar
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      05-21-2008 04:00 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by inivid »
      just great! now there's going to be a ishtload of noobs with fully assembled rods and pistons, but no idea how the hell to put it in the motor.


      i keed, i keed. nice job adam.

      ahhahahhahahahhaha


      nice write up adam.


    8. 05-21-2008 10:20 PM #8
      Wheres part 2? DIY of putting em in

      Always love seein my name on the rods.


      Modified by themachasy at 5:48 AM 5-22-2008


    9. Member AllofurVWRbelong2me's Avatar
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      05-21-2008 10:43 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by themachasy »
      Wheres part 2? DIY of putting em in

      =Ian.


      Speaking of which, am I sensing some "How-To Testosterone"

      Good ish, D-man.


      Modified by AllofurVWRbelong2me at 10:44 PM 5-21-2008

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    10. Member GTI3309's Avatar
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      05-21-2008 10:55 PM #10
      Nice I'm tackling this myself in the next few days
      Destiny cannot be changed. But it can be challenged.

    11. 05-22-2008 06:33 AM #11
      Add to FAQ?

    12. 05-22-2008 07:32 AM #12
      good effort putting these together guys. wish there were more of these in one place!

      tip: position ring no's 1 and 2 gaps at opposite sides of the piston and do the same with upper and lower scraper rings.
      this will maximise the seal


    13. Member 18T_BT's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 09:19 AM #13
      Good job adam, wanna install a set for me for free and save me money?

    14. Member Volar's Avatar
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      05-25-2008 10:05 PM #14
      im having a hard time getting the wrist pin in the 1st rod i did it slid right in and it was all free moving the other one i did didnt move so freely in the rod is this normal?
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    15. 05-25-2008 10:22 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by Volar »
      im having a hard time getting the wrist pin in the 1st rod i did it slid right in and it was all free moving the other one i did didnt move so freely in the rod is this normal?

      no. the proper way would be to have the pins, pin-fit to the piston/rod. you can check the clearences with a micrometer, and have a machine shop dust them to offer proper/same clearence across each set. don't force them in as mentioned in this diy. they should always be checked. my machine shop charges me 1 hour labor, to pin-fit and balance them. as for the clearences, well....


    16. 05-25-2008 10:34 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by Volar »
      im having a hard time getting the wrist pin in the 1st rod i did it slid right in and it was all free moving the other one i did didnt move so freely in the rod is this normal?

      What rods and pistons? If you're reusing OEM pistons and pins like I did, then you don't need to have them balanced or clearanced. If you're using new aftermarket pistons, then again, you don't need them balanced or clearanced as they should be close enough out of the box. The only time you'd be balancing or even weighing them would be if balancing the rotating assembly. The pics from the DIY are from the motor I'm currently using, dyno in sig, over 15K on the bottom end, no problems. Hetzen did have a problem with pins fitting a set of Scat rods, and had to have them machined accordingly. That wasn't needed for these IE's or several other sets I've assembled.


    17. Member Volar's Avatar
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      05-25-2008 11:10 PM #17
      same pistons and ie rods for now this is gonna be my temporary motor till i get a 2.0l built but the 1st rod i grabbed the wrist pin slid right in it was tight but still spun freely then the next 3 didn't fit for some reason i don't know if maybe i got a bad batch or something they all have the same weight and all the hole just doesnt seem to be right with me having to knock the wrist pin in the hole then it being hard to move and even take out and im usuing moly lube to do this not doing it dry
      Frankenturbo f4, 3" tb exhaust, cai, front mount intercooler, revo stage 2, forge splitter, 034 track density mounts, 14 lbs flywheel stage 1 clutch keep it quick not fast doesn't look cool going fast with a car seat in the back

    18. 05-26-2008 12:23 AM #18
      Fitting pins is just part of the game. They are machined extremely tight on purpose, that is easily fixable with a quick hone, loose is a whole other story. I've had to fit pins from virtually every manufacturer.

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      05-26-2008 12:50 AM #19
      Most pin fitment problems with Scat and IE rods are from the holes in the wrist pin bushing not being deburred and sticking up a bit. They are a bit tricky to smooth out without touching parts of the bushing, but can be done.

      When installing pins that don't want to go into the piston itself, I suggest mildly heating the piston with a propane torch rather than driving it in.

      Nice writeup- how about something on setting the ring gap?

      Performance and replacement parts, engine building www.qedpower.com

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    20. 05-26-2008 10:45 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by bobqzzi »

      Nice writeup- how about something on setting the ring gap?

      No, I don't file OEM rings, but Issam just did a writeup on filing rings.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3849749


    21. Member Pisko's Avatar
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      05-26-2008 11:25 AM #21
      may I sugest, for those( like me) who is in the learning fase and want to learn more about installing rods, get a copy of the dvd called
      `BoxWrench Basic Engine Building`.
      They use a v8, but the principle is the same.
      It covers every aspect of rebuilding a engine and its only like 29$. A cheap investment to get it right IMO..

      https://boxwrench.3dcartstores....html

      Great writeup on the rings btw..


    22. 05-26-2008 12:13 PM #22
      If we're using OEM brand new rings on stock pistons, we don't have to worry about ring gap, right? just a quick hone and we're good to go?

      For the bottom end, are you guys replacing the main bearings as well?


    23. 05-26-2008 03:03 PM #23
      i've never had to file fit the rings on an oem bore/piston/ring combo. but, i always check. depending on power, i open them up a bit too.

    24. 05-26-2008 11:12 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by Adam@Unitronic.ca »
      What rods and pistons? If you're reusing OEM pistons and pins like I did, then you don't need to have them balanced or clearanced. If you're using new aftermarket pistons, then again, you don't need them balanced or clearanced as they should be close enough out of the box. The only time you'd be balancing or even weighing them would be if balancing the rotating assembly. The pics from the DIY are from the motor I'm currently using, dyno in sig, over 15K on the bottom end, no problems. Hetzen did have a problem with pins fitting a set of Scat rods, and had to have them machined accordingly. That wasn't needed for these IE's or several other sets I've assembled.

      Yea I had to take mine to a machine shop. I asked who's fault it was, the rods or the pistons and he gave me a wierd look saying you should always machine them when putting rods and pistons together. It was only 50$, so it's kinda why not.


    25. Member DK_GTI_racer's Avatar
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      06-03-2008 02:56 AM #25
      This is great writeup , so why hasen´t it been added to DIY thread?

      One thing do, would like to see the last part of this build, putting rods and piston back to place

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    26. 07-30-2008 09:17 AM #26
      sick write up! IN!

    27. 07-30-2008 09:55 AM #27
      Nice one. Came in handy having the in person DIY when you were here lol.

    28. 07-30-2008 12:26 PM #28
      Quote, originally posted by themachasy »
      Nice one. Came in handy having the in person DIY when you were here lol.


    29. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      07-31-2008 09:30 AM #29
      Awesome Adam, can't wait to see you finish the short block
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      Quote Originally Posted by SSLByron View Post
      TCL Weather Service Bulletin: Winner Weather Advisory in effect until 2:00 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters predict significant fappage with a chance of skeet.

    30. 07-31-2008 09:46 AM #30
      Quote, originally posted by l88m22vette »
      Awesome Adam, can't wait to see you finish the short block

      Unfortunately, it'll be about two weeks. But this is definitely needs the other half added as that's what I'm getting IM's about. lol


    31. Member theswoleguy's Avatar
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      07-31-2008 10:08 AM #31
      NICE!! but as someone else mentioned, i too will use the OP assist me.
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      08-28-2008 09:10 AM #32
      Its been more than two weeks Adam Lets see you put these in the motor
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      Quote Originally Posted by SSLByron View Post
      TCL Weather Service Bulletin: Winner Weather Advisory in effect until 2:00 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters predict significant fappage with a chance of skeet.

    33. 08-28-2008 10:11 AM #33
      Quote, originally posted by l88m22vette »
      Its been more than two weeks Adam Lets see you put these in the motor

      I built that motor last summer. lol I have some pics to upload of the 2.0 stroker I just built, will try to have those up later today.


    34. Banned JB FTw's Avatar
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      12-12-2008 05:16 AM #34
      what about how to remove them and install them?

    35. Member badger5's Avatar
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      12-12-2008 08:09 AM #35
      inserting a locking c clips things back in I made a tool which some might find handy if they were to replicate.

      A turned sleve which had internal taper from the 23mm natural spring diameter of the c clip to the 20mm it needed to squeaze down to (or 19mm if diferent rods) which als had a plastic pusher made with 2 slots down its centre to allow it to push square whilst allowing it to compress as it slid down the narrowing taper in the sleeve.

      Added to this I bought a small g-clamp which I chopped off the end of, leaving the screw end intact, then welded the sleeve mentioned before in line so that this becomes a clamp across the piston. The sleeve I should mention had some detail to sit in the recess (spot face) on the pistons to centre it, and some relieving of material to clear the radii on the piston in that area.

      end result was clamp the thing on the piston, centred on the spotface, insert the c clip, push it in with the plastic plunger and for the final "shove" it needed to walk across the slight leading chamfer in the piston itself, it goes in with a nice "click"

      I wish I could come up with a tool to get them out as easily..

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