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Trying to change a Piston with Engine and Crank in Place (TD)

Subject: Trying to change a Piston with Engine and Crank in Place (TD)
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 23:44:32 EST
As several list members advised, I was able to remove the piston and rod from 
the bottom past the crank. I found this had to be done on the camshaft side 
of the engine and it's a bit tricky. The crank rotation, piston and rod all 
had to be manipulated in order to "sneak" the assembly out. Once out I could 
not get a socket to go over the wrist pin clamp bolt because it's so close to 
the rod. Horst Schach in The Complete MG TD Restoration Manual suggest using 
an open end wrench, but my wrench couldn't get a good enough grip on the bolt 
and it started to round off the head. So next I tried grinding down the 
outside diameter of my 1/4 W socket as far as possible, but it still wouldn't 
fit. I then used the flat side of my Dremel cutting wheel to grind down the 
ridge on the rod adjacent to the bolt head. This provided just enough 
clearance for my modified socket to fit over the bolt head. This did the 
trick and I don't believe I removed enough metal to cause any balance 
problems (I hope). 

Now does the new piston go in from the top or the bottom? I can envision the 
piston going in from the top and pushed down just far enough to allow the rod 
and wrist pin to be attached from the bottom. Now that I can get my socket on 
the pinch bolt, I could tighten it with an extension. Or should the rod and 
piston be assembled and then installed from the bottom the same way they came 
out? If done from the bottom, can you get a ring compressor in there past the 
crank? If not, can one compress the rings with ones hands?

By the way, the shop manual seems adamant about the rods being assembled with 
the pinch bolts on the right hand side of the engine. Naturally the DPO had 
them in the other way. Should I turn all the connecting rods around the right 
way or leave them alone?

Thanks for all the advise. You should see how badly the old piston is beat 
up. No matter how I get the new piston in, it's got to be a big improvement.

Bob Donahue (Still stuck in the '50s)
52 MGTD - under DIY restoration NEMGTR #11470
71 MGB   - AMGBA #96-12029, NAMGBR #7-3336

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