Ring Tech

Old May 31st, 2019, 02:41 PM
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Ring Tech

Some good reading.
Add to that a stroke of much longer than 3.400 (i.e. Olds 400E or 425) and going from a 5/64 ring pack instead of a 1/16 and I think gains of 15hp or better are not out of the realm of possibility as I've contended for quite awhile now. Remember this technology is now available for 350, 400E and 425 Olds engines.

https://www.enginelabs.com/engine-te...t-on-the-dyno/

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Old June 2nd, 2019, 06:49 PM
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So the cylinders continued to get smoother, and the power progressively increased with each change of pistons/rings.

This test should have ended with the first pistons/rings re-installed and re-tested. Ideally, every set of pistons would be re-tested to see if it was the rings or the cylinder wall finish that was making the difference. Unless the various thickness of rings repeat their earlier numbers, bore finish can't be ruled-out.

For that matter, the first set of rings did most of the "break-in", while the successive ring sets already had a smooth cylinder wall to seal against. Maybe the test should be re-run with new rings on the first set of pistons.

Last edited by Schurkey; June 2nd, 2019 at 06:56 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 04:01 AM
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I hear ya. But I can tell you that since I’ve changed to a similar piston ring pack in these last few builds, they’re all making more power, all else being equal.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
I hear ya. But I can tell you that since I’ve changed to a similar piston ring pack in these last few builds, they’re all making more power, all else being equal.
I don't think horsepower, especially a few is any big deal. But what intrigues me with the new rings is wear, as newer engines like the Toyota are going way up there on miles of service. Hitting a half million miles or more sometimes. And I don't think it is the computer controlled injection and ignitions doing all this. I remember when the first thin piston rings came out many decades ago in racing, and thinking those will wear out faster. But maybe its the opposite and there is less wear on the bore, and so they keep things sealed better and so much longer.

And that could add up to being more power down the road over time. The same thinking that made me put gapless rings on my 455 street pistons back in the mid 80s. I was thinking not just the moment, but a 100 thousand miles down the road, when normal rings would have a huge gaps from wear and wouldn't be sealing very well and losing a lot of power.

Thin rings with the new materials and coatings might also be the tickets way down the road. Its not just about power today, but power tomorrow down the road as well.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
I hear ya. But I can tell you that since I’ve changed to a similar piston ring pack in these last few builds, they’re all making more power, all else being equal.


I've noticed in the past you've alluded to your high TQ to cubic inch due to ring pack technology. Example:

1/16 ring 1.21 TQ per inch
1 mm ring 1.25 TQ per inch
1.35 HP per inch
347 Cubic inch


347 @ 1.25 TQ per inch 455 @ 1.25 TQ per inch=568 TQ
347 @ 1.35 HP per inch 455 @ 1.35 HP per inch=614 HP

Most engine builders use the newer ring technology along with other HP helping features. How do your engines routinely get above 1.3 TQ per inch with inferior head flow? Could you be specific on your cylinder finish process with grits and stone numbers? Thanks.

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Old June 6th, 2019, 08:57 AM
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The reduction in engine heat with the thinner lower tension ring pack along with a increase in power is a win win.
The question I have is their a greater chance that the rings will not seal if the machine shop is say average?
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Old June 6th, 2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
The reduction in engine heat with the thinner lower tension ring pack along with a increase in power is a win win.
The question I have is their a greater chance that the rings will not seal if the machine shop is say average?
If the machine work is suspect, you're likely to have problems no mater what pieces you use.

Vortecpro - "Most engine builders use the newer ring technology along with other HP helping features. How do your engines routinely get above 1.3 TQ per inch with inferior head flow? Could you be specific on your cylinder finish process with grits and stone numbers? Thanks."

You MIGHT be sincere here, but I'm still not going to answer your question, keeping my promise on another thread here. To bad too cuz I have a good, valid answer for it as well.
You've trashed me and virtually everything I've done here from the first day you came on this board, sometimes relentlessly. I could've been a big help to you, just like I have been to countless others here and elsewhere. But you blew it so quit asking.
Thank you.

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Old June 6th, 2019, 11:13 AM
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[QUOTE=cutlassefi;1177644]If the machine work is suspect, you're likely to have problems no mater what pieces you use.

Not so much suspect more toward not using a TQ plate or nailing cylinder wall clearance and finish.
Lacking the exactness of a true performance engine building shop was what I meant about average.
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Old June 6th, 2019, 11:29 AM
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[QUOTE=Bernhard;1177647]
Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
If the machine work is suspect, you're likely to have problems no mater what pieces you use.

Not so much suspect more toward not using a TQ plate or nailing cylinder wall clearance and finish.
Lacking the exactness of a true performance engine building shop was what I meant about average.
I am not so sure about all this. Race engines and regular engines were built and performed fine well before torque plates or modern machining methods/equipment.Now look at the ring sealing still left, even though the cylinders are way out of round on a higher mileage engine and possibly with little to no crosshatch left.

The rings themselves may have more to do with how fast they seat and how well.
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Old June 6th, 2019, 02:42 PM
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Even an "average" automotive machine shop is building thin-ring engines for imports and modern domestic engines every day. I bet it's getting so that 5/32 rings are the uncommon ones now.
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Old June 6th, 2019, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
If the machine work is suspect, you're likely to have problems no mater what pieces you use.

Vortecpro - "Most engine builders use the newer ring technology along with other HP helping features. How do your engines routinely get above 1.3 TQ per inch with inferior head flow? Could you be specific on your cylinder finish process with grits and stone numbers? Thanks."

You MIGHT be sincere here, but I'm still not going to answer your question, keeping my promise on another thread here. To bad too cuz I have a good, valid answer for it as well.
You've trashed me and virtually everything I've done here from the first day you came on this board, sometimes relentlessly. I could've been a big help to you, just like I have been to countless others here and elsewhere. But you blew it so quit asking.
Thank you.

Just curious, how could you possibly be of any help to my operation?
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Old June 6th, 2019, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by VORTECPRO View Post
Just curious, how could you possibly be of any help to my operation?
Who’s asking who for what they’re doing? Kinda says it all right there doesn’t it?
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Old June 6th, 2019, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
Who’s asking who for what they’re doing? Kinda says it all right there doesn’t it?
What exactly I would be saying is this, I don't believe the data from your testing. The people I know don't trust your data as well. I know you would like to explain your TQ per inch by trying to make the uninformed think you have some type of low drag ring seal advantage, the fact is you have absolutely no control over the machine work you have done, because you don't do any of the work yourself, heck I doubt you even have the proper equipement to ck the farmed out machine work. Hopefully the machine work you have done is more accurate than the dyno testing you promote. Again-how are your cylinders finished? Stone numbers and grit and procedures? I know how this is done, do you?

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Old June 6th, 2019, 07:03 PM
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You mean measuring piston to wall and bearing clearances with a snap gauge and ruler isn’t the way it’s done?😳
And a borrowed dingleberry brush doesn’t give you the right wall finish? WOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BRINGING THAT TO MY ATTENTION!
Why you think 1.18hp/ci corrected is so great is beyond me. Isn’t it pretty easy to make 525 or so from even an oval port, iron headed 454 BBC? That equates to the same hp/ci.
Tell us all what dictates torque and MAYBE we can have a conversation.
Btw, compare my numbers with Trovato and you’ll see they’re pretty similar, and he runs his stuff way cooler than I do. Go argue with him.

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Old June 6th, 2019, 07:30 PM
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[QUOTE=Firewalker;1177650][QUOTE=Bernhard;1177647]

I am not so sure about all this. Race engines and regular engines were built and performed fine well before torque plates or modern machining methods/equipment.Now look at the ring sealing still left, even though the cylinders are way out of round on a higher mileage engine and possibly with little to no crosshatch left.

The rings themselves may have more to do with how fast they seat and how well.[/QUOTE

Bernhard wrote:
The engines did run well they were just not maximized to extract every HP/TQ.
I agree its not just the fact the rings are thin its also how they are constructed.
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Old June 6th, 2019, 07:40 PM
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[QUOTE=Bernhard;1177728][QUOTE=Firewalker;1177650]
Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post

I am not so sure about all this. Race engines and regular engines were built and performed fine well before torque plates or modern machining methods/equipment.Now look at the ring sealing still left, even though the cylinders are way out of round on a higher mileage engine and possibly with little to no crosshatch left.

The rings themselves may have more to do with how fast they seat and how well.[/QUOTE

Bernhard wrote:
The engines did run well they were just not maximized to extract every HP/TQ.
I agree its not just the fact the rings are thin its also how they are constructed.
I agree, that its not just being thin probably but also how they are built and possibly what coatings used on them and do they function as intended in the ring grooves..
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Old June 6th, 2019, 07:54 PM
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Mark, Bill Travoto has drag racing data to back his claims-you don't, which surprises not only me seeing the number of engines you have supplied this forum. I would also add Bill's engines generally do not peak @ 5100-5300 RPM, driving the VE into a unrealistic area, that a cartridge rolled Edelbrock head could never achieve. I'am just sayin it would be nice to see some of your engines at a drag strip so a real HP number could be applied.

My good (production) headed BBC make 1.39 TQ per inch. The aftermarket headed engines make more.

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Old June 7th, 2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by VORTECPRO View Post
I am just sayin it would be nice to see some of your engines at a drag strip so a real HP number could be applied..
Why you continue to chastise me for what my customers do or don't do is beyond me. You obviously have a problem.

"I would also add Bill's engines generally do not peak @ 5100-5300 RPM, driving the VE into a unrealistic area,"

For the final time, the dyno is approx 200rpm off (low) as compared to reality. And the last time you questioned one of my dyno sheets over on ROP you got your *** handed to you. Again you're the one with the problem.

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Old June 7th, 2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
Why you continue to chastise me for what my customers do or don't do is beyond me. You obviously have a problem.

"I would also add Bill's engines generally do not peak @ 5100-5300 RPM, driving the VE into a unrealistic area,"

For the final time, the dyno is approx 200rpm off (low) as compared to reality. And the last time you questioned one of my dyno sheets over on ROP you got your *** handed to you. Again you're the one with the problem.

I understand the dyno is off compared to reality, carry on.
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Old June 9th, 2019, 08:18 AM
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Whoever posted the clean shop with all the machines it’s quite impressive

I will say that those here probably just drive these cars and just want what we have as a viable foundation.

For me it would have been much easier to go to TSP here in central Texas and get a LS then to redo my last Olds. Nice to have some Olds options still to use modern rings and such.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:55 PM
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Those pics are of VORTECPRO's Shop in Colorado Springs. The shop really is nice and clean and all of his equipment and gauges are kept in a climate- controlled room.

The sad truth is that a lot of engines are machined by mediocre to crappy machinists, and the engines that so many people pour their hard-earned savings into can quickly turn into a big hunk of scrap metal, or have to be re-machined by someone who is hopefully better than the first "experts" that someone took their engine to in good faith.

VORTECPRO is the real deal, an awesome person, racer, machinist, and engine builder. He has a no BS, no messing around, no unfounded promises attitude, and he knows how to run a dyno, and how to improve engine combinations and make them push out 50-100hp more than a similar build would make at another shop.

He personally saved us from lots of other machinists' mistakes on our 455 Olds build and helped us improve our combo to make an additional 130hp (even with ignition issues showing in the distributor that we had, it went from 474hp to 604hp) more than the engine made at first after we had first assembled it with poorly machined cylinder heads, and a bad cam grind choice that we couldn't control with normal valve spring pressures. This engine is still fully streetable and was tested on pump gas, and it will be driven on the street and at the drag strip nearby.




My take on thin rings....... Sure, they help with frictional HP reduction, but the engine must be properly torque plate-honed with the proper hone grits in the correct succession to get the plateau finish correct for the thinner rings to seat correctly.


Our engine made it's power with good ole' fashion Heavy Forged pistons with thick Plasma Moly rings with normal tension and a less than optimum finish on the cylinder walls (NOT VORTECPRO'S machine work- prior work before him). I figure we could have seen another 15hp+ more with a better piston design with thin rings and lower friction with a lighter weight design and a better cylinder wall finish. In fact, just optimizing our combo even more than it is currently might net us an additional 30hp +/- with better pistons with more compression with thin rings, bigger custom intake valves instead of off the shelf valve sizes, and a distributor that isn't scattering spark and melting the rotor button..... that would mean a streetable, stock-stroked 455 making 635+ hp reliably. Our engine peaked at 5750rpm, by the way.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Battenrunner View Post

VORTECPRO is the real deal, an awesome person, racer, machinist, and engine builder. He has a no BS, no messing around, no unfounded promises attitude.
Really?! He might be a good machinist but otherwise he’s done nothing but bash me on here and ROP for no reason since day one. I’ve helped dozens and dozens of people on here and elsewhere for nothing, and have many, many satisfied customers. I pride myself on that. Yet until recently he never “politely” asked me anything, always in attack mode. Do a search for yourself and you’ll see.
And he doesn’t know how to read a dyno sheet quite as well as you think. Just sayin’.

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Old June 11th, 2019, 08:31 AM
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Vortecpro Mark is the real deal as is Bill T.
Clean well equipped shops with proven dyno numbers.
They both race. When you race you are testing your ability to build a reliable engine, at the same time maximizing HP/TQ .



The above does not take away from anything you have done it is just a fact that the above are the real deal.
If you have a happy customer base your company will grow.
You have done well in bringing new products to the Oldsmobile community.
Good Luck with your business.
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