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  • 1983 185s piston talk

    So I purchased a 83 185s and there was snapping coming out from the top end gaskets or something. It was blowing smoke like crazy. I pulled it apart and noticed it was put together with liquid gasket. I purchased a complete gasket kit. I've got the piston out and the cylinder wall looks great as well as the piston. I assume I need new rings, is the oil ring smaller in diameter than the rest? Its a stock piston, what ring set should I get .25? This is the first time I've actually done piston rings myself and am ready to order the set but not quite sure it needs it. The rings look fine, could it be possible that the crappy liquid gasket was causing a leak somehow and making oil in my exhaust. Im pretty sure thats why there was popping coming from the left side of the top end, it was deafening loud. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    On top of the piston maybe covered by carbon should be some numbers. STD standard, .25 .50 ect This is the size if over bored.
    The cylinder wears the worst just below the top. This is where the rings stop.
    If you have a lip worn in the cylinder Take the piston and cylinder to a machine shop and have them check it out.
    Worn out is measured in thousandths of an inch and eyeballing can be way off.
    Usually you can get by with just rings, but if it has been done before and there is a lip already you may need a larger piston and a bore job.
    At the very least new rings and a good hone.



    The snapping noise could be valve adjustment, or more likely cam chain.
    Good idea to replace the cam/ timing chain when you do rings.

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    • #3
      There was no carbon on the piston itself and no lip either. The top of the piston said IN but that was it. I don't know if that means original or not. The cylinder walls look clean no dings or scratches.

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      • #4
        In means this side tward intake. Most likely std but needs measured to be sure.
        Can you see a cross hatch pattern on the cylinder or does it look like chrome? Cross is a hone for new rings witch wears away.
        The bottom should still have a little hatch left to compare.
        Take your fingernail and scrape up the cylinder to the very top. No lip?
        If you can borrow some calipers measure the cylinder width. The rings are purchased in .5 mm increments.

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        • #5
          The caliper I have isn't that fine, but the piston measured 2.48". The cylinder isn't chrome smooth, you can still see honing marks. Could it have been the liquid gasket? It was pretty sloppy. Not a cross but horizontal. **No its crossed but really fine had to get it under better light sorry about that.

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          • #6
            Forgot to mention that on the three dowels there was only one with an o-ring. Who ever took it apart before me must have lost them or they were unusable. They're there for a reason but not sure if it would cause oil to get into the combustion chamber. The exhaust valve is pretty gummed up, I got valve compount to rehone and clean them.

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            • #7
              About 63mm I think that is stock size.
              Did it have a 3 piece oil ring or 1?
              Take the thin oil rings and stick them in the cylinder.
              Do they fit snug? How big of a gap is there on the ends? Thicker then 2 sheets of paper. If you have a feeler gauge check the width. Use the piston to push one up the bore tward the top and center it.
              Check the compression rings the same way.
              Start at the very bottom and see the gap. Then check it near the center then 1/2 inch from top. If the gap grows alot you need bored.

              Gasket maybe, but rings are more common. There is a dowel pin and rubber seal on one stud. Oil line/ passage.
              If they were in place then most likely no, bad rings or bore.

              Can always stretch the oil ring expander a little and slap it back together and see, But if it still smokes then you will need a new head gasket next time.

              You also need to put the cam in the head and make sure the rockers and cam are not shot. Hammering from lack of maintenance and ruin them.

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              • #8
                Thanks so much for the info. I'll give it a shot tomorrow and let you know what I find out. The oil ring was a three piece. I guess I need to buy some more gauges... There was some of the liquid gasket in what looks to be an oil passage but not sure. Whoever did the gasket job was very sloppy! it was hanging off like half and inch both ways. We'll see what happens, if the cylinder looks good after I try what you described I'll put it back together with the right gaskets and see if it still smokes. If so than I'll just buy a head gasket with the rings. Again thanks for all the info, this is my first piston job and it helps having a site like this where someone can give me tips at this time of night.

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                • #9
                  The rings must be shot, put it back together and it still blows smoke. Picked up a standard piston ring set today and will redo the whole process when it comes in. All I can say is its good experience. Should have just ordered the set to begin with. I hope I can get the gaskets off without having to buy a whole new set. We'll see. I'll be posting pics of my rides soon.

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                  • #10
                    ****UPDATE**** Took the engine to a mechanic I know that works on older European cars (I know this is not a European model) We tore it apart and checked the tolerances of the piston to cylinder, piston rings, valve's, cam shaft wear. First we found that the cross hatches from the previous owner honeing it was not the proper angle and was nearly horizontal. The cylinder was worn and is going to need to be bored over, the rings gap was to wide, the exhaust valve had play so he suggested a new valve guide. I trust his judgement being he was manager at a racing school and race track then moved onto doing restorations on old Jags and Porches and alike. Just wondering if this all sounds correct, and is there anything else I should replace or look at while it all apart. I got an estimate of around $300 for parts including gaskets, piston, rings, valve guides, valves, and boring. Does that sound right?

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                    • #11
                      Timing chain! 20$ on ebay. Adds 30 minutes tops to labor.
                      Pull flywheel and stator cover. Pulls out.
                      http://www.ebay.com/itm/DID-TIMING-C...b47775&vxp=mtr

                      300$ is a little steep to just machine those bits, but with shop rates markup might be a good deal.
                      93$ wiseco piston ring top end gasket set on ebay. Shop 150+ If you want more power and dont mind it being MUCH harder to start, xr200 piston. make it a 198 and 10-1 compression, not 8-1.
                      http://www.ebay.com/itm/281040986981...84.m1497.l2649

                      gasket kit Full 30$ ebay, 50-80 shop. Above kit has top end if you are careful you will not need this kit.
                      Guide 10$ 10$ press it in 10$ grind lap. Let them do it.
                      20-50 for boring out, Depends on minimum shop times.

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                      • #12
                        I did not double click. Had message leave or stay on page clicked leave. Double post.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, I was wondering about timing chain. Is there a master link on a timing chain?, I ask because I would think I could just link new to the old and just follow it through. I'll figure it out, already have a gasket kit from Versah so that should take care of that. Thanks for the response. This is my first total engine overhaul so new to the processes and need to knows. Yeah Ebay is the way to go with parts, the Honda dealer here is ridiculous, especially when it comes to special ordering, found that out the hard way.

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                          • #14
                            No master link. Must pull the flywheel. If you do it yourself you will need a flywheel tool. DO NOT use a gear puller and hammer. Mess things up.
                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Flywheel-Pul...c9863d&vxp=mtr

                            Also need a feeler gauge to set valve lash.

                            Tube of sealer for top end valve box. I used yamabond in the past. I am curious what others use. Rtv ect?

                            If you do not have a working decompression better get a standard 8-1 piston. Many on ebay, but they are not wiseico.
                            Maybe china knockoffs. Name brand less likely to be forgery.

                            Might also get a new pull rope. Many threads on recommendations for good stuff on them. I have just been using some local true value stuff.

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                            • #15
                              Yea I use the local hardware stuff as well. Man, your full of information and I greatly appreciate that especially the links because I'm a hands on learner, I like to see what people are talking about. I have a decompression lever but not the cable that goes to the pull start, and honestly cannot see how the damn thing would hook up, just have the hole on the recoil. I would like to get some extra power out of it, would it be that much more noticeable? I have another stock 185s that I would like to compare it to, but not sure if it would be worth the extra cost. I will definitely pick up a flywheel puller because I don't believe my mechanic friend has one for something like this.

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