Pictures of how I removed the pistons, then cleaned them, set the rings, and reinstalled the pistons on my 89-09 Suzuki GS500 motorcycle.
But first, lets pay some bills:
- Put bike on center stand. Removed seat, gas tank, and carbs.
- Removed Cylinder Head and Cylinder Block.
Removed piston pin retaining circlip using medium needle nose pliers. Though it serves the same purpose, this is not a snapring, so no snapring pliers needed. The piston pin is also called a wrist pin or a gudgeon pin.
Sometimes the piston pin slides out easily, sometimes, not so much. For those difficult, not so regular days... Anyway, this is a piece of pipe, a bolt, a couple of washers, some wood scraps. Easy peasy.
Before and after on cleaning the pistons. Same deal as cleaning the inside of the head, wire brush, WD40, and a flat screwdriver.
I chose to mark left and right on the pistons. I figured they might have worn into the shape of their cylinder, so I'll put the Right one back on the Right, and the Left on the Left.
Both pistons are already marked for front, which definitely matters. The mark is circled, and on the left there is a cutaway for the intake valve.
I am glad I have a Factory Service Manual. I am not sure it really matters how the piston rings are lined up, as long as all the ring gaps are not stacked. I hear that the honing marks cause the rings to rotate anyway. But basically the manual says start with the top ring facing the intake valve, then each ring down is 120 degrees further clockwise, 1/3 of a circle, both pistons the same (Thanks "badguy" for finding an edit).
Piston goes back on, piston/wrist/gudgeon pin goes in (might have to use the home made wrist pin puller bolt). The wrist pin clip goes back in with the gap up.
As I rotated the crank to let the second rod up so I could attach the piston, I noticed I had to be careful with the first piston because the piston skirt hit the engine case. I had to hold the piston going down with one hand while I rotated the crank with a wrench with the other hand while I took this picture with my other hand.
Here are both pisons installed!
- Next I sold out to make 02¢
so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.
But no minivans!
- Then I finished my beer.
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Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy. Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives. If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities. If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic. The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle. For all you know I made this up. Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.
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Last modified: 11/22/2014