Summit Racing Engine Building 101: Piston Ring Installation

Piston rings play an important role in the efficient operation of your engine. They create the seal between the cylinder wall and piston necessary for good compression. Plus, they keep combustion gasses in the combustion chamber (reducing blow-by), and they scrape oil from the cylinder wall and return it to the crankcase. Piston rings also facilitate positive heat transfer between the piston and cylinder wall.

To avoid sealing and oiling issues, proper piston ring installation is essential. In this episode of Summit Racing Engine Building 101, our LS experts Brian and Mike share the tips and tricks you need to install a set of modern low-tension piston rings on your pistons. You’ll learn how to get the correct ring into the correct piston ring groove, proper piston ring installation order, and much more.

Using a Summit Racing Pro LS forged piston, Brian explains the importance and correct installation of a groove lock spacer, and then fits a 3-piece oil ring using an expander plus lower and upper piston wiper rings. Next, he installs a Napier-style second ring which delivers the improved oil control important for boosted applications. Brian completes the job with a D-wall compression piston ring, always paying close attention to end-gap orientation in relation to the pin bore.

From tried-and-true small and big block motors, to modern LS, Coyote, or Hemi engines, has the best selection of competition-proven pistons and piston rings, and piston ring installation tools. Plus, we back it all up with the best tech support and world famous customer service.

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