Protip: Piston Holding

Those of us who work on small engines will know the pain of inserting plain circlips (the ones without tabs to compress them) into fresh pistons. The way forward is clear enough, you just have to grip the clip hard with a pair of needle nose pliers and force it into the groove, but how to hold that delicate piston securely without ruining it?

Quite by chance I happened upon a very handy solution to this problem: You insert a scrap wrist pin into a bench vise, slip the piston onto the pin and tighten the vise. Compression will cause the pin to expand ever so slightly in one dimension, securely locking the piston in place with no risk of damage. I imagine this will come in very handy for cleaning ring grooves and the like, as well.


Mercury outboards have a sleeve tool with a plunger in it, very simple works great

Yeah, I like those, but I’m not aware of one for the last gen V6. They can be made without too much fuss, but I don’t have access to a lathe at the moment. The reality of it is that you don’t always have access to whatever special tool the job calls for, and then the needle nose vise grips and a bit of creative work holding are your friends.

There are two types of 2stroke outboard motors. Those that have blown up…

…and those that are going to blow up.

plenty of e-tecs out there over 2000hrs on workboats