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superbman101

How much better are the Chrome rings vs Standard?

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BLT

I personally have never had a problem with them. As long as the bore was smooth and the ring end gap was low, just installed them on a glazed liner like the book says and away you go. I think I have have that last two chrome sets for the 16 HP CI engine. There is an Italian co, Caber I think, they was to come out with set but, after waiting a year. I think they gave up.

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HubbardRA

I have heard many people brag about chrome rings. I, unfortunately have had better results with just the regular softer rings. I know of several instances where the harder, slicker, chrome rings would not seat into the bore of an engine and would cause the engine to smoke like it was worn out. In all the instances that I am aware of, the owner of the engine pulled out the chrome rings and put in the regular rings and the engine worked fine after that.

For the engine to operate properly the rings and the cylinder walls must seat (wear in) together. If this does not happen, then the engine will have blow-by that will cause a loss of power and oil burning.

We can discuss this for days, but it is just like which is better a Chevy or a Ford, we all have different opinions.

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MikeES

I am with Rod, I have never used them myself (though I have used them on snowmobile engines), but I know of a couple of incidences that chrome rings were tried and failed. Worked fine when replaced with regular rings.

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MrSteele

Yep, we all have opinions just like we have an opening to remove waste.

Personally, I use a chrome ring any time it is available for any engine with a steel or cast iron bore. Yes, they take a while to seat, but do seat. Next time you tear the engine down for a set of rings, which will be longer than with the softer rings, you can likely still see the hone marks, and can put another set of the same size right back into the hole. That is, if you took care to keep a clean air cleaner on the engine.

I can't say that about the softer rings, they break in easier, and start wearing into the bore the first time they move in it. Has anyone ever wondered why a hydraulic cylinder is chrome? It does not wear near as bad as if the rod was simply mild steel, as in the case of the soft cast iron ring.

Like I said, an opinion, but one I will adhere to like the Ten Commandments, for the reasons above.

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dhardin

Any true, round cylinder should be prepared properly will take a Chrome ring. It's all the the cylinder preparation, and if it's true.

But this is easier said than done if one does not have the proper equipment that is good condition. Reading a book on cylinder honing and deglazing or glazing is one thing. But to have someone show you that knows what it should look and feel like before you install chrome is the key. Thanks God for my fathers.

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HubbardRA

My Dad had a 1952 Jeep pickup. He rebuilt it from one end to the other. He put chrome rings in the engine. Three years later it still was low on power and smoking pretty bad. I told him to replace the chrome rings. He did and it immediately ran great.

Chrome rods on hydraulic cylinders are for two purposes. First, because plain steel rusts very quickly. Secondly, since the chrome is much harder than steel, the dirt that gets on the rod will wipe off very easily when it hits the seal on the way in. Chrome is also more resistant to the moisture that gets in the hydraulic fluid and does not pit like pure steel will. By the way, I really do not see how this analogy has anything to do with what is happening in an engine.

On an engine with the standard rings, there is normally a break-in sequence that is required. During this break-in period you are developing a glaze on the cylinder, after the rings have seated. This makes the surface of the cylinder harder and helps prevent wear. If you take one of these engines and immediately run the dickens out of it, then you can ruin the engine. Chrome rings were developed for high-performance applications where the engine would be exposed to immediate abuse without any break-in.

I am not saying chrome rings are "bad". I am just saying that is difficult at times to get them to seat properly to the cylinder. Snowmobiles and other engines that turn very high rpms almost always use chrome rings. The relative surface speeds between the ring and the cylinder has a major influence on what the materials should be.

After 35 years as a mechanical engineer who developed new technologies for weapons systems and ammunition for the U. S. Navy, I definitely understand the relationship between the characteristics of different materials when used in extreme situations. So I have quite a bit of experience to back up my opinions.

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MysTiK

all that glitters is not chrome.

all that's chrome does not glitter

translation: the wowee factor is usually an illusion designed to distract from reality.

(example: watch tv for 15 minutes - the examples are near continuous, especially the "flash" bombardment during commercials) (or "bragging" about chrome rings)? wow.!

relevance? only if you see it for what it is.

also: facts have no regard for opinions. facts are simply relevant. regardless. facts glitter, without the wowee factor.

all things have their qualities. "hard chrome". "soft steel". this is strange language that communicates something of "quality". Quality is; but it's not something that can be bought, or even owned.

ref: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - (Robert Pursig).

http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Motorcycle-Maintenance-Inquiry/dp/0060589469

Thank you all for this interesting discussion so far. and the illustrations of the simplicity of technology and experience.

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HubbardRA

Graham,

I do not know what point you were trying to make.

I do know that your circular ramblings have no realistically useful purpose and add basically nothing to the discussion of the materials and processes relative to installing piston rings.

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goodtimo

:D I didn't get it either, sorry.I thought Chrome rings were used for engines run in very poor conditions, like sandy conditions, or very dusty/dirty conditions? Dirt track racers, or engines without air filters...stuff like that?

quote:Originally posted by HubbardRA

Graham,I do not know what point you were trying to make.I do know that your circular ramblings have no realistically useful purpose and add basically nothing to the discussion of the materials and processes relative to installing piston rings.


id="quote">
id="quote">

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MysTiK

My point was elucidation in appreciation. I made that much clear.

I am disappointed in your second comment. What you have said does not describe me. However, if you view my comments in that manner, it's ok. I cannot control such things; nor would I even want to attempt such futility. I can only say that what you say does not describe me. Someone else perhaps; but it does not describe me. I am very clear on that. It would likely require some very circular fantasy to suggest otherwise.

There are times when I do not see value in the posts of others. I usually read it again, to make sure I didn't miss something. If nothing changes, I move on. There is nothing to be gained. And that's ok too. It perhaps wasn't meant for me; or perhaps at another time, I will find some little spark of truth in it, that I could not see today. That happens; but the continuum of truth is not disturbed. And I don't need to control that either. I just follow as I am able; and sometimes I get it all wrong. So from there, I check my motive, and if that's clean, all will be well. I allow myself to make mistakes. I try to allow others the same freedom. I have discovered also, that there is no lack of forgiveness. My many discoveries came from years of hard work and hard research; much like your own I suppose. I would do it again; even as I do it always - because it's an endless process. Endless is a long time. And my work began a long time ago. What you have said does not describe me; I am the only one who knows that; and that I know more than many; but I have no exclusive rights on the process. It's available - to anyone who wants it. However, there are circumstances that can affect possibilities - same as anything else. If someone does not want it, that's ok as well. There is nothing restrictive, or compulsory, or evil in what I say, or do. Take what you want and leave the rest. As a moderator, you have far greater leeway than I. Do what you like. If it offends you, delete it. That can be a long difficult road also. Like I said, I check my motive first. If that's clean, I can do no wrong. That simple check of motive, can stop a freight train. It's takes about a millisecond. You already know this. I'm writing this off as a minor disturbance. There is no lack of forgiveness, ever. And if it helps, I will del all of this, or anything else for that matter. pm and it's done, by my hand. And my disappointment? no big deal. I'll get over it asap. I far prefer my initial and ongoing impression; and thanks for that, as it is of far greater value than any of this. the channel is open.

Graham

aka MysTiK

.

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MrSteele

I have been building engines since the 60s, the first few, with my father looking over my shoulder, then without him in the building, through the 70s and 80s, and now, since he is no longer with me, I wish he would have been even harder on me. But, he was meticulous, did show me all the wrong things and how to avoid them by planning ahead, and learning to do it right the first time. True, there were times that we 'skirted' or presidentially maniplulated something because a customer could not afford a complete overhaul, but needed the farm truck or tractor back in the field. We were always busy, though, and worked the shop til someone made him an offer he could not refuse in a municipal maintenance shop. I continued rebuilds, brake work, tune-ups, and so on, and finally settled on mostly lawnmower engines and riding lawnmower problems up to hay equipment, before going to college.

I am not an innocent in a shop, some of my tractor engines are still running, a few of the trucks are still going, and every flathead Ford is still running. I will always trust a chrome ring in cast or steel. And yes, the cylinder does have to be round. A cylinder that is not round, will not seal even the soft rings, if it is too bad out of round. I had a boring bar to be certain of round, took several passes, and checked the bore between settings. Then, a good hone, not with a glaze breaker, but a good Ammco cylinder hone, several washes with fine oil and finally Mineral Spirits, then a light oil coating, oiled ring lands, and installation of the piston in the bore. I follow that regimen on Briggs engines, as well. If a job is to be done right, it takes time and effort, and good parts. My experience has shown me that a chrome ring does not eat a bore, as does moly or cast iron. The only time I use either, is if chrome is not available. It might cost me more, but, experience taught me what cheap does.

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Willy

It's true cast iron rings will wear faster then chrome

but the softer ring seats faster and being softer will

not wear on the cylinder as much. MHO

I cut my teeth on old Flathead engines and still have

people wanting me to work on them,I have no idea how

many I have rebuilt but it's been a bunch.

Never had a problem with cast iron rings.

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superbman101

I agree. They made them for a purpose :P I've put Chrome ones in my 12HP mower and they have ran like butter for years. The key is that the walls need to be honed with that nice crosshatch to hold oil. To each their own

quote:Originally posted by RayS

They must of had a usefulness or Briggs wouldn't have made them;). Maybe they were all wet.


id="quote">
id="quote">

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HubbardRA

Briggs sold both kinds. The cast iron rings that I have bought were all from B/S too. I am sure they knew of this disagreement way back when the engines were designed. As I said earlier, like Ford vs. Chevy. There is no exact answer, just opinions, from people's experiences. There are reasons for using both types and also both types have drawbacks. If you are aware of the drawbacks and take care to eliminate them, then both will work well.

Chrome rings will "in theory" last longer because you have the very hard chrome running against the softer cast iron cylinder. This is required for a good, lasting, sleeve bearing type setup (hard against soft, like brass bushing on steel shaft). Also, because of the hardness of the chrome, the ring flex less(bend downward toward crankcase on outer edge) than a cast iron ring will and are not as likely to become rounded. However, because of this dramatic difference in hardness, it more critical that the cylinder be machined to fit the rings very well when assembled. Since there is a very hard ring against a softer bore, the friction is lower and there will be less wear to produce seating. These rings should be used with heavy loads and high rpms immediately to make sure they seat and eliminate any irregularities left after machining. Start it up and mow with it at WOT. If you baby them and run the engine slowly, the cylinder can glaze before full seating, and prevent the rings from ever seating into the cylinder. This will require a teardown and deglaze to get the rings to seat. Either this or replace with cast iron rings.

When using cast iron rings, they will seat into the cast cylinder almost immediately. With this setup it is critical to give the engine a break-in period of varying engine speeds without extremely heavy loading of the engine. The break in period starts the glaze build-up to make the cylinder surface harder than the ring and thus setup a similar sleeve bearing system as I stated above in the previous paragraph. The glaze is essentially the result of the combustion going on inside and the effects of the combustion and burn residue on the surface of the cylinder. On a factory engine, there is usually a short run-in at the factory to test the engine and this produces a partial break-in, which is enough in most cases. If there is no break-in period to start the glaze forming, the cast iron rings in a cast iron cylinder can both just keep wearing till the engine either locks up or wears itself out. This causes a shortened life span.

Cast iron rings seal and work better at lower rpms. Chrome rings are better for high loads and rpms.

Also cast iron rings can be installed in a cylinder with much less preparation than chrome rings. I have fixed at least three engines that were burning a significant amount of oil by just using a piece of sandpaper on the cyinder and installing new cast iron rings on the piston. i know this will not last as long as a perfect "to spec" rebuild, but I did not have to bore the engine and can still do a bore next time it needs a rebuild. Cast iron rings can seat into a cylinder that is not perfectly round, since both the cylinder and the ring wear during seating. This is a benefit to a cheapskate like me who would rather do a $60 rebuild, than a complete $400 rebuild. Don't get me wrong, I do check the engine and fix any other items that must be fixed, just don't routinely do everything. Mine will run just as good as anyone elses, just may need another rebuild before my Grandchildren start using them.

Chrome rings may not seat in at all if the cylinder is not prepared properly and the rings are not seated at the heavier working conditions (higher cylinder pressures). As every proponent of chrome rings has said so far, "preparation is critical".

As I said, they both have benefits, and both have drawbacks.

If somebody always runs at WOT, they probably should use chrome rings because of the high cylinder pressures. If someone hardly ever runs over half throttle, then they would probably be better off with cast iron rings.

Even after writing this explanation I still say it is a matter of opinion.

I will say no more about this subject.

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