Possibly found the oil burning issue…

I finally pulled a piston on the Civic, and found two things that may have been causing all the oil burning.  There was a lot of carbon on top of the pistons, as well as the underside of the cylinder head.

The first issue? Cross-hatching.

Or, lack thereof. Only faint lines remain. The factory specifies a 60 degree angle, and you can barely see what’s left.

After honing the #4 cylinder…yes, that’s more like it.

Without the cross-hatching, the oil has nowhere to adhere to the metal, and can result in oil burning if oil is forced past the piston rings.

The other problem may have been the oil rings.  Only, the rings were not fouled with carbon, as I had expected.  Instead, the oil rings were embedded flush with the piston, and did not move at all.  The top and bottom rings of the complete oil ring did not spring out from the piston, in other words, as the top two compression rings did.

It took a bit of digging to get the old oil ring out (the right-most rings with the savy spacer between them).  Upon getting the rings out, the grooves were quite clean, although I did still run something into the grooves to make certain they were completely clear.

I did not get a photo, but when installing the new oil ring pack, the rings were expanded beyond the sides of the piston, as they should be.

Two tool fiascos went along with this.

I had purchased a Lisle piston ring installation plier, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find it anywhere in the house. I had to buy another one locally.  Also, the piston ring compressor I had did not close fully on these small diameter pistons and would not work, so I had to get a new spring compressor locally as well. Thankfully the local O’Reilly had both of these in stock.

The final frustration was getting the bearings and cap back onto the connecting rod, since the engine is still in the car and the bearing/crankshaft bridle is in place. But after devising a method for this first piston, the rest should go much easier now, now that I’ve seen how it’s all assembled.

One week from today is the departure of the Rust Belt Ramble. Today is also the final deadline to enter the rally.  So if things go well and I can possibly get things reassembled so I can start the engine, I’ll register this evening.  If not, I’ll debate staying home, or taking the daily driver again.