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#831547 11/30/20 4:55 am
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I was gifted a 1974 Norton Commando which was left out in a junkyard for many years without spark plugs in place and I have started the strip-down on the way to a (hoped for) restoration. Not surprisingly, the motor is locked solid. I removed the head and saw that the piston crowns are approximately 1/2 inch below the cylinder rim - but also are covered with about 1/2 inch of rust (presumably, the rings rusted to the barrel).
I had intermittently sprayed Kroil penetrating oil down the plug holes for the last 2 months in preparation for this. With the head off, I have cleaned up the surface crud, used Kroil extensively, heated the barrels and bashed on the piston crowns with a hammer over a block of wood, but to no avail. I have attempted to fashion a hydraulic press by using a bottle jack and using relatively gentle pressure - all attempts have been unsuccessful.

Anybody have any smarter ideas that will put these crude attempts to shame, please?
Thanks in advance,
Paul.


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I do not have the stroke and rod dimensions but I think with the pistons only a 1/2" down from top the crank is not far from TDC so hitting the top of the pistons will not put much torque on the crank to make them drop. Maybe unbolt the cylinder from the case and turn the crank to TDC then use a rubber mallet to hit down on the cylinder.

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If you unbolt the cylinder, can you lift it up off the base studs - and dismantle the crankcases out from underneath it.
This way you may be able to get at the conrod bolts, and undo the caps.
And end up with just the pistons and rods stuck in the cylinder.

If the rings are REALLY rusted to the pistons/bore, you may have to smash out the pistons.
Don't ask me how I know this.

But pistons are cheap, if you can salvage the rods and maybe even the cylinder you will be doing well.
If the cylinders are otherwise good other than a rusty patch in the bore, they can be sleeved.
This is a cost, obviously, but are better than no cylinders..

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With cars, fill the cylinders with your releasing fluid of choice; I have previously used various combinations of Plusgas, brake fluid, white spirit and diesel, the Kroil looks to be purpose made though. Engage 1st gear and rock the car back and forth a few times a day. Don't stand in front of the plug holes when the engine releases.

Heat?

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And add some heat by using a torch on the barrels and alternatively the pistons, it's a long and slow process, take a spanner to the crank mainshaft nut daily and apply pressure to tighten the nut to look for movement. It took 2 weeks on a Briggs engine to free that but it did move eventually.

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Thank you all for your responses. I thought of releasing the barrel but didn't as the pistons are so near TDC and didn't think I'd have enough lift to get the barrel over the studs.
Yes, I have tried heat many times. I have tried wrenching on the crankshaft nut to the point at which I worried I'd strip the thread.
Removed the clutch and primary chain in case the gearbox or clutch were solid and preventing crank movement - apparently, they are not.
I've even considered cutting out the piston crowns but that would leave the skirts welded to the sleeves and I'd have even less purchase on the pistons to work them free.
Thanks again,
Paul.


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I've had two stuck motors that I used heat, burning oil, BFH against a wood block, to no avail. Finally did as Rohan suggested and pulled the cylinder up far enough to cut off the rod on a B50 motor. Sent the cylinder with piston still in to Ed. V. who pressed the sleeve out with the piston still in it. On another one, a Bridgestone I used the heat and BFH, but ended up with a cracked crank which let go the first time I had it to the track.

So, I have heard of another trick which is to fill the cylinders with oil and fashion yourself an adapter that fits the spark plug thread with a Zerk fitting in it. Then use a high pressure grease gun to pressurize the cylinder, but it could be dangerous. Of course it will only work if the valves are seated.

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Originally Posted by koncretekid
I've had two stuck motors that I used heat, burning oil, BFH against a wood block, to no avail. Finally did as Rohan suggested and pulled the cylinder up far enough to cut off the rod on a B50 motor. Sent the cylinder with piston still in to Ed. V. who pressed the sleeve out with the piston still in it. On another one, a Bridgestone I used the heat and BFH, but ended up with a cracked crank which let go the first time I had it to the track.

So, I have heard of another trick which is to fill the cylinders with oil and fashion yourself an adapter that fits the spark plug thread with a Zerk fitting in it. Then use a high pressure grease gun to pressurize the cylinder, but it could be dangerous. Of course it will only work if the valves are seated.

Tom

As long as its a fluid you pressurize the combustion chamber with its low risk, the high risk version is using air. Air is compressible so if you compress it 10 to 1 then once it lets go the parts can and do go far. With an incompressible fluid that might accept 2 or 3% of volume reduction then once it lets go not a lot happens other than a small movement. I regularly check water heating systems for leaks by pushing in more water into a sealed system and taking it to 2 bar pressure, when I release the pressure its gentle. Oil would be the same and its also what I use to push brake cylinders out with.

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If you cut out the piston tops a machinist can cut out the remainder. It might be your best option since the viability of the pistons after pounding on them is questionable.

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Finally! A combination of Aerokroil (sorry, misnamed it earlier) hammering, breaker bar, heat ....and did I say hammer, hammer, hammer... and she broke loose. What finally did it was getting the mallet head directly onto the crown of the pistons.
Thanks for all your help
Paul.


Paul

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DMadigan #831582 11/30/20 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by DMadigan
If you cut out the piston tops a machinist can cut out the remainder. It might be your best option since the viability of the pistons after pounding on them is questionable.
Absolutely, I have dealt with vintage car engines left exposed to the weather...Pounding on pistons can damage rods...I have hole sawed the piston crown in several places, and it seemed to be easier to get it to move a bit without brutal pounding
You may be able to rig a tool like an automive harmonic balancer puller over the cylinder..Then turn down the puller screw and hope the pistons breaks free, it only has to move one thousand of an inch.

In a lifetime of working on junkers, I can say that Kroil smells the best when the 6500 degree F oxy/acet torch makes it's appearance...
They call that stuff penatrating oil, but if and when the bolt or part comes free it usually has no trace of the miracle oils....


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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
You may be able to rig a tool like an automive harmonic balancer puller over the cylinder..Then turn down the puller screw and hope the pistons breaks free, it only has to move one thousand of an inch.
Sounds like a recipe for broken fins...


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Hot ATF seems to be the fave in power squadron circles.
Cyborg?


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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
You may be able to rig a tool like an automive harmonic balancer puller over the cylinder..Then turn down the puller screw and hope the pistons breaks free, it only has to move one thousand of an inch.
Sounds like a recipe for broken fins...
It's a bolted on tool not like a gear puller... Use the head bolts or studs to secure it.....


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Hi All,
A long time ago I rigged up a jacking system using a 1/2in steel plate drilled to match up with the head bolts when attempting to remove the cylinder from a Triumph 5T
Various length spacers on top of the pistons and then a pair of grease jacks between the plate and spacers
I managed to get the pistons to move down far enough so I could split the cases and remove the crank
I thought I was home free then and continued to press the pistons downwards, Bad Mistake!!!! once the piston ring area got to the bottom of the fins the cylinder the cylinder split all the way round that piston
The cylinder had rusted between the bore and piston, the rings pushed the rust down before it making it tighter and tighter until it reached the weaker section of the cylinder then BANG !!
Since then when faced with similar problems I cut away the piston crown and work downwards with drills and die grinder to remove the rod

John

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Any hitting risks crank and cylinder damage, using a puller risks cylinder damage. The safest way would be to cut the piston up.
Cut the crowns off then use a Dremel or similar to grind away the back of the ring grooves and release the rings


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I was worried about the effect on the con-rods and crank of bashing on the pistons but felt that vertical shocks which are spread through the gudgeon pins were probably not much worse than the explosions of ignited gases - but if they are, I was prepared to replace what is necessary. The pistons and rings were toast before I started, of course, so however much I damaged those mattered not.
Thank you all for the informative discussion - I have newer options should I run into this sort of thing again.


Paul

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Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
Hot ATF seems to be the fave in power squadron circles.
Cyborg?

Around these parts, they seem to be fond of diesel. That may have evolved from it’s use to flush saltwater out of engines that have been submerged. I think diesel would be more likely to penetrate into the ring lands etc. faster than ATF.
I bought this originally for hydroforming, but it would come in handy for forcing some liquids in there if the head was still on. Depending on the situation, I would rather use something that will attack the rust. If it were mine, I would be tempted to use the pump to force something other than a petroleum product in there.... but that can be a road laced with land mines, so don’t really want to recommend anything. Rather than the head, I’d be tempted to use a plate bolted to the barrel to seal it so it could double as a puller. Easier said than done unless you have access to a mill with DRO.


[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]038D56D6-EEF2-4096-95F6-5336F13995DF by First Last, on Flickr

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Cyborg #831614 11/30/20 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Cyborg
...I bought this originally for hydroforming...
OK, I'll probably regret it, but I gots to know.


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You use hydraulic pressure to force something - usually a sheet of metal - into a shape.

For engines, you close all the valves and pump it into the spark plug hole.
And hope it moves the pistons. Before it blows the head gasket !!
Or breaks something ...

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I don’t think you could damage anything.... other than maybe the head gasket with this pump. Certainly safer than the grease gun.

Hydroforming.... remember you asked. My first go at it was an oil tank. I beat the tank out of alloy sheet, but I don’t have anything that resembles an English wheel, nor do I have the patience or skill to just hammer everything until it looks like something. The tank ended up looking kind of industrial/agricultural and at the risk of sounding a little light in my loafers (although nothing wrong with that) I wanted something a little more organic looking. That’s where the pump comes in. The only thing standing in my way was the fact that the tank was a snug fit in the frame. Frame tubes on all 3 sides and a shock rocker mount right behind it (I suppose now you’re going to want to know what a shock rocker is). So any sensible person would just submerge the tank in molten metal and encase everything that shouldn’t change dimensions and pump it full of water. Ignore the DDI.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]8FF8A37A-38FF-4806-8E68-5B480FC580BE by First Last, on Flickr

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]30D7D265-9850-4B28-B9AF-8AB67FCE362B by First Last, on Flickr

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]96BEA6F4-9CD3-4E7F-A8BD-AFD49865E790 by First Last, on Flickr

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H.R. Giger has an heir.


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Those little hydraulic pumps are useful for all sorts of things.

When I did a course in welding pressure vessels, we tested the welds by pressurizing the vessel,
and seeing that all the welds held.

At 3000 psi, this little 3" metal cube has 54 sq inches of wall space,
so is resisting ~160,000 lbs of force. You may notice it has bulged, a bit ...
Since been nickel plated.

My welds held, but they won't win a prize for prettiness.
(It was my first attempt at this...)

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Thats enough force to crack a cylinder head in half ?

However, the OP has got things to move.
We'd be interested to see if the cylinder walls make it salvageable at all ?

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Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
H.R. Giger has an heir.

If that were true, I’d like to think that my head would be slightly more f*#@%d up than it is now.

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