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Mike Baker
Mike Baker
Asheville, NC
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A great technique to remove stuck pistons
#360001 02/25/11 1:33 pm
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 950
Swan Offline OP
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I discovered a new way to remove a frozen piston from a cylinder and it works great! My BSA Gold Star has been sitting for more than 40 years and the rings and piston were severely frozen to the rusty cylinder wall.
[Linked Image]
40 years of rust

I cleaned scrapped off all the visible rust and soaked everything in different solutions of ATF and acetone, PB Blast, Seafoam Deep Creep, DOT 3 and Marvel Mystery Oil for several months with no movement whatsoever. Next, I tried Naval Jelly, a gelatinous phosphoric acid, to attack the rust on the frozen rings. Still no movement.

It soaked everything for another week in Marvel Mystery Oil and was going to set up an electrolytic reduction to remove the rust and free the piston, but stumbled across another technique and it worked great! From an antique motor forum I found B. Kedrowski’s 12 steps to free a stuck piston. He and another forum member have used this technique on more than 100 old and rusty tractor motors. They recommended scrapping away as much rust as possible, using a 50/50% mix of ATF and gasoline with a bit a cloth as a wick, ignite it, let it burn for an hour and then cool down. The expansion and contraction by the heating and cooling cycle allows the ATF to work its way down past the rust and lubricate the rings.
[Linked Image]
Fire and ice

I then pounded the piston with a large wooden drift and a dead blow hammer and I finally had movement. Several more whacks pushed the piston down and I was able to finally release it from its rusty prison. Free at last, free at last!

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I hope this technique will get some old bikes back on the road.
Learn more about my 1962 BSA Gold Star barn find restoration.


Last edited by Swan; 02/27/11 6:30 pm.

1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
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Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
Swan #360049 02/25/11 6:36 pm
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Good to hear you got it loose

Ed

Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
Swan #360055 02/25/11 7:25 pm
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Absolutely brilliant!! and you can grille some shrimp while you wait!!!!

Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
Swan #360066 02/25/11 8:47 pm
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Did my T25 something like that, but heated the cylinder with an oxy/acetylene torch and brought the penetrants to a rolling boil.


When singing "Kung Fu Fighting" is outlawed, only outlaws will sing "Kung Fu Fighting"
Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
Swan #360133 02/26/11 2:26 am
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once again,science and technology overcome fear and superstition.a tip of the hatlo hat to you

Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
jaycee #360293 02/27/11 12:45 am
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I soaked mine for a year with no luck. I made a wooden drift out of a 2x4, put a couple of torches to the cylinder and pounded on the wooden drift. It took quite a few whacks before it started to free up. I cracked the sleeve in the process but the piston although unusable was intact.

Mr Mike

Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
Swan #360322 02/27/11 5:59 am
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i got a 64 t100 some years back, it was complete,but.thank fully near tdc,i made a plate that was bored to pick up 5 holes in the cylinder, i brazed 2, 1/2 inch nf nuts to the pushing plate and with breakfree ,freed the engine.that bike had sat in hawaii since 1974.hammers are a way but nothing has the finesse of a thread form

Re: A great technique to remove stuck pistons
jaycee #360454 02/28/11 1:03 am
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Good idea Jaycee. I try not to use the hammer much but sometimes it seems like the only option. I did resleeve the cylinder and had do over the bottom end, but it's a good running B50 motor now for about 5 years.

Mr Mike


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