>1. Have I blown the Oil rings on one (or more) of my pistons??
Oil-coated plugs are not a good sign. Has the car
started at all since this incident? There are only
two paths for oil to get into the combusion chamber:
The head gasket (hard to see how a single-point
failure in the head gasket would put large amounts
of oil in all cylinders, though...) and the rings.
(Also hard to imagine how all 4 cylinders would go
all at once...) Have you checked compression with
a compression meter?
>2. Now that I have started to pull the head, I want to replace all the
>rings for all four cylinders. Moss sells them in a kit, but what is the
>difference between the ring kits which say:
> a. std. (I assume this means standard)
> b. 0.020
> c. 0.030
> d. 0.040
This is how much bigger each ring is than the "std" size,
in inches. I would suggest:
1) Pulling the head AND SAVING the old head gasket
for examination by your machine shop.
2) Stripping the block of everything in the way
of external components that can be removed
from the block.
3) Pulling the block.
4) Taking the head, the block, and the gasket to
a competent machine shop, and letting them
see what the problem is. They will know, since
they can measure, cast an experienced eye, etc.
5) While you have the engine out, you can have them
also check the "bottom end", and replace the
-fail-when-the-block-is-back-in-the-car parts like
a few of the bearings, the oil pump, etc.
>3. Should I wait to measure the cylinder walls before phoning in my
>order to Moss for the standard rings?
Nope, you should let the machine shop order the rings,
since they will make the decision of how much to bore
the cylinders, if any. You can "order" a bore-out to
get slightly more displacement, but you would only do
this after you heard their suggestions. ("Since we
are forced to bore the engine out anyway, let's go to
0.030" [say "thirty-thousandths" to sound like one of the
guys...]) Before boring MORE than suggested by the shop,
recall that rings can only be so much bigger than their
pistons, and that big bore-outs can paint you into a
corner if you have similar trouble in, say the year
2025, when rebuilt MGB blocks may cost $50,000.
>4. Should I also order new cylinder liners?
Let the shop worry about this.
A) They have the proper tools, and unless you have
your own machine shop (in which case you would
not be asking these sorts of questions), you don't.
B) They have the skills. All the diagnosis in the world
comes from one glance at the head and block by an
eye that has seen 10,000 blocks in the past 10 years.
C) They are faster than you could ever dream of being.
Less than a week, in many cases, faster than your
D) They can order rings, sleeves, et al from the same
folks that Moss buys from, thus making the
price you pay LESS than Moss's price. They also
know EXACTLY what to order, where you have very
basic questions about rings...
E) If you do the strip and removal of the block, and
can put everything back together, you have saved
yourself about $400-$500, and have learned much
about your car in the process. I am an engineer
with more gray hair than I'd like to admit, and
I would NEVER even think of messing about with
the issues that are the domain of machine shops.
F) A good local machine shop is easy to find. Ask
your local car club, and 90% of the members will
narrow your down to one of two shops that they
"swear by". Pick either one, since both are the
sort of shop you want.
G) Make sure you order the copper head gasket either
through the shop or from Moss or whoever. The
copper head gaskets are wonderful, and worth
every penny on any small-block engine. Let the
shop put the head on the block, and you then
have a complete top-to-bottom job that they
will stand behind for some number of miles
against any and all major failures.
Scientists and Engineers try to make the future some sort of theme park.
Humanist Intellectuals wish the future did not exist.
Ecologists point out that the future may not exist, after all.
james fischer email@example.com