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Discussion Starter #1
I got an "Alltrade" (When I got it the box said powerbuilt?) piston ring compressor set. It has some raised bumps inside the band (where the hooks for the handle were attached I believe) and it turns out those bumps actually scored the piston.

When I look at pictures on amazon and other places, they all seem exactly the same. Who sells a decent set of pliers-type piston ring compressors that won't mar my pistons when I use them?

I'm thinking about maybe trying the typical 2-band ring compressor next. The pliers type just seemed tricky to use/hard to hold the same pressure on the tool while pushing the piston in. Ideally I'd have a full array of the ARP tapered compressors, but that isn't feasible for me right now, so I just want a more universal set.

This is the best picture I could get of the problem. in the innermost band, you can see the raised bumps. They scraped against the piston so much it actually rubbed the black paint off the tool.

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/895...essorbumps.jpg

Anyone have these? Thinking about getting them. The way they seem to be designed indicates that there wouldn't be bumps.

RC980, Ring Compressor Set
 

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i've never had a problem with the el cheapo advance auto parts kind. i too have problems with the plier type, maybe i'm not coordinated enough to use them, i dont know.

i see what you mean about those raised bumps, i wouldnt use that style.
 

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1988 Honda CRX
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I have used the Snap On example with zero problems.

I have used el cheapo like cyanide links to. They are more difficult and tend to scratch.

I have used tapered cylinders. They work best.

At a pinch, I even used fingernails and a small screw driver to push rings back one at a time and work the piston down. I never scratched a piston, but I did leave some small amounts of blood and skin on them. It seems to burn off with no damage, at least to the pistons
 

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1988 Honda CRX
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I have also used a big hose clamp. It left scratches and needed extra careful manipulation so as not to break a ring, but sometimes you need to make it run and you are a long way from real tools.

For air cooled VWs you needed a ring compressor that could be taken off the rod after the cylinder was slipped over the piston from the top. I made my own pliers type from some 1.5mm thick sheet iron and a pair of vice grips.
 

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1992 Civic Si
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El cheapo haven't given me any trouble. Lube it up good, tighten the shit out of it, and give the top of the compressor a couple little taps with a hammer around the edge to flush it up good. Piston pushes right in with one motion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I just ordered the Snap-on set, same style as the ones mike93eh linked to.

Hopefully they work!

Thanks for all the input guys. I had a thread on h-t and they were worthless. This place is great!
 

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1988 Honda CRX
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You really only need one type. The ARP type is best but only does one bore size. The Snap On pliers type is good enough and is versatile.
 

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I've used this type on all of my motors. After the first motor I learned you must tap the compressor sleeve onto the motor sleeve in order for the rings not to pop out when driving them home. LOL!

 

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Formerly weebeastie
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+1 for the tip on not cracking your rings on the way in with them. The plier type to me are good, but I like this type because its easy to lock out.
 

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I use the type like cyanide posted. Got them from the snap-on truck. Haven't had an issue and will probably never use any other clamp. Plus they came with like six different sizes(i like that they are in increments for specific bore sizes), so when the time comes for a rebuild on my tsx or suburban i'm ready to rock and roll lol!
 
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