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Thread: Stuck Piston

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    234

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    Craig,

    I recently managed to save a set of Excelsior cylinders in the same condition. Soak, for a long time!!! I started with diesel fuel. I also like marvel mystery oil as a penetrant. Maybe the best mix is the 50/50 acetone and ATF, the Acetone really creeps in.

    Next, disassemble the cylinder and crank. Hopefully all you have is one cylinder with a piston and rod stuck in it. Make a solid base to mount the cylinder on so you don't damage it. steel or aluminum is best but even good 3/4" plywood will work. Bore a hole for the base to rest on with the locating flange in the hole. Bolt all 4 ears down solid. Now you can work on the cylinder without fear of damage to the base. Remove the plug at the top center and the intake valve cage. Soak some more! Bead blast the bottom of the cylinder to make as clean a path as possible for the piston to come out. Soak some more. Put the largest piece of steel you can slide in through the intake cage pocket and onto the top of the piston. Use a steel rod to go through the top center hole to push or drive. Rest the end on the steel plate and drive the piston out if possible, or use a press, carefully! Of course, support the base as much as possible all the way around to avoid damage. Soak some more.... Use some heat..... Tap, tap, tap, heat, soak, and continue. It may budge, or come all the way out, or not move at all.

    I was able to get one out this way, the second was so bad I had to remove the steel disc, bust out the top of the piston and pound on the top of the rod (wrist pin actually, as my pistons were not attached to the rods) Finally had to make careful relief cuts with a hack saw and then break them out.

    Once removed, the bores were in decent condition, except where water got into the top and sat for decades! Huge pits all around. Those cylinders are getting a NikaSil lining as we speak.

    Good Luck! Patience and perseverance pay off...

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,826

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    Quote Originally Posted by gharper View Post
    ... It may budge, or come all the way out, or not move at all... .. bust out the top of the piston ...Good Luck! Patience and perseverance pay off...
    You're scaring Folks, Gene!

    I only had to do it a coupla times.

    My pertinent note is that after such abuse, the rods MUST be scrupulously inspected for "straight", and re-aligned, after a full refurbishment.

    As any and all should be anyway. But more so. "Patience and perseverance pay off" with a lot of 'observation' along the way.

    ...Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 05-15-2020 at 02:40 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  3. #13

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    Gene, not to get off topic though, I am curious as to who you are getting to apply the Nikasil linings for your cylinders? Thanks.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    281

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    Well, I just pulled the motor out from under all the debris ( My shop is a wreck right now ) and the piston IS at top dead center. I tried to remove the intake housing to get a better look, but the cap nut is stuck. So now I'm soaking it. This may be why I shelved it years ago. Meantime I'll finish my '50 EL and then start to put my '42 EL motor back together. It's a good thing that I retired 3 years ago so that I can relax.
    Craig

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    25

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    the antique tractor people plumb a hydraulic hose to the spark plug hole. Hook the hose to a tractor's hydraulic outlet. The piston will move ,I am sure it will be messy.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,398

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    Now that is funny, Arley; but I'll bet that works like a dream. Oh yeah, and you don't want to be at the aft end of the stroke either.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts
    1,372

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    Arley Another thing I have done is use a grease gun. Make an appropriate fitting out of an old spark plug. Close the valves, fill the cylinder as full as you can with oil and then start pumping in grease. It is unbelievable just how much pressure a grease gun will put out.

    Hey are you the Arley that I met on The Chase and owned the Indian that Panhead Fred rode?

    Jerry

    Quote Originally Posted by Arley View Post
    the antique tractor people plumb a hydraulic hose to the spark plug hole. Hook the hose to a tractor's hydraulic outlet. The piston will move ,I am sure it will be messy.
    Last edited by Jerry Wieland; 05-18-2020 at 05:22 PM. Reason: speeling

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Headingley Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    487

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    I will wade in here and echo ATF..used that for 35 years and let it soak, let if soak, let it soak..Then I took a sawed down hockey stick, hey I'm Canadian..very light taps on the top of the piston and then all of a sudden there was a little movement one time, and then more soaking...The last 10 years or so I have been using a product called DEEP CREEP...I will point out that this procedure of mine was with at least 4 engines over the years from 1911,12 and 13..all cast iron pistons..in each case only a hone was required and the pistons buffed up nice after wards. I guess I was lucky..
    Ross

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    25

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    Yes Jerry, PHF told me about this forum. He has now gotten the Indian bug. I hope we can ride together next time. The grease gun trick shouldn't be as messy as the hydraulic trick lol.

  10. #20

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    It's gonna need heat to swell the cylinder and allow all those penetrating fluids to creep in around the rings. Because you have poured all that stuff in there an open flame heat source is not a good idea. A good heat gun should get it unstuck within a 1/2 hour.

    For future reference heat with a rosebud torch then apply your penetrant of choice while it's still hot.

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