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Thread: Setting cylinders on a chief

  1. #1

    Default Setting cylinders on a chief

    I am about to place the cylinders on my 45 chief in the frame, which requires having the pistons in the cylinders and holding them up while pushing in the wrist pins. Any tricks to this?

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi,

    I usually install the cylinders with the motor out of the frame, but on occasion have installed them with the motor in the frame. The biggest requirement is to have a strong helper to support the cylinder while someone else installs the wrist pin. I found lining up the piston and the rod is the hardest part.

    I made a tapered shaft from an old pool stick to facilitate lining things up. I cut the pool stick at the point where the diameter of the stick matches the outside diameter of the wrist pin. I turned down the big end of the stick to allow for a tit to fit snugly into the inside diameter of the wrist pin. Stick the wrist pin onto the tool, insert the small end of the stick through the piston, into the rod and gently tap the wrist pin into the piston. Using this tool you'll have to install both retainers after centering the wrist pin in the piston. Make sure you cover the openings between the rods and the cases while installing the keepers. It would be a bad thing to have one drop into the engine! Here's some pictures of the tool:

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]2002.jpg004.jpg2526[/ATTACH]

    Good luck,

    Steve Slaminko
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    612

    Default

    My method was to cut two blocks of wood for the cylinders to rest on. Each block spanned a pair of the cylinder base studs, left to right (versus front to back), the blocks had to be cut out for the piston shape and I drilled holes for the cylinder studs to go into.. but not all the way through the blocks. Then I used some electrical wire wrapped between the top fins and secured above to the frame to keep the cylinder from moving around. It worked pretty well for me but I think I spent more time on making the wood blocks than I did installing the wrist pins and clips!

    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  4. #4

    Default

    I agree with Steve, have a strong (and Patient) helper is the key. One person to hold the cylinder and another to insert the pin. I have used a small stick of wood to hold the connecting rod centered. I like the pool cue idea, I might try something like that next time.




    Kevin

    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    331

    Default

    easier to do with the cams out so they can be set to accept both manifold nuts and best tappet to valve stem alignment.
    If the cams are in do one cylinder with pushrods down,snug ,then rotate to the other.dont use stud to pull the cylinder down against valve spring pressure.
    Tom

  6. #6

    Default

    What I ended up doing was threading the base nuts partially on the studs, setting the cylinders on top of them, and screwing some short fine thread studs through the bases into the base nuts. This held the cylinder up and pretty close to the right height. Then I was able to jockey the rest of it around to get the wrist pins in. It was a pain, and I had to get my Zen together to do it. I was considering making the wood blocks till this came to mind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,735

    Default

    I'm a strong proponent of having the motor out of the frame to build up the top end. I think you can do a more proficient job of sealing parting surfaces, head gaskets, and aligning the intake manifold. You also can time your distributor to an exact piston location. Not to mention the opportunity to clean an examine the motor, trans cases, and frame. If you are going to have a helper, you might as well have him hoist a few more pounds, and have a good feeling about putting a well assembled motor in the frame.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,564

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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I'm a strong proponent of having the motor out of the frame to build up the top end. I think you can do a more proficient job of sealing parting surfaces, head gaskets, and aligning the intake manifold. You also can time your distributor to an exact piston location. Not to mention the opportunity to clean an examine the motor, trans cases, and frame. If you are going to have a helper, you might as well have him hoist a few more pounds, and have a good feeling about putting a well assembled motor in the frame.
    I did a complete top end on an original-paint '50, Folks...

    And never even removed the tanks.

    ....Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 08-08-2018 at 08:06 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  9. #9

    Default

    Eric, after doing it this way, I must agree with you. I am comfortable with the gaskets and Intake manifold, but felt it was an awkward and rough way to install the wrist pins, and access for tightening (versus torqueing) the base nuts and some of the head bolts does not allow for precision. I will be able to time the distributer properly since the heads are off. But, I was told by an old bike mechanic, don't worry about it, they have been doing it this way long before I was born.

    Cotton, I can't imagine doing that with the tanks on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,735

    Default

    Sorry to be a second guesser, fizz. You got the job done and that's the important thing. The last Chief motor I put in by myself, was the last Chief motor I will ever put in myself It wouldn't be bad if it was a bare frame that could be layed over a complete motor trans assembly, but grunting one into an upright frame is a prescription for a slipped disk, hernia, smushed foot, or all three.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

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