Choosing tools to Build an engine

What started off as a cheap engine is quickly rising up to become what could be an expensive one,

As a result, cheaping out on things is not an option in some cases. while researching how to build an engine I’m finding many processes that need to be done that I didn’t expect and require special tools. To an expert these might be obvious things: like setting the ring gap, but to the inexperienced builder these seem like things you’d expect to be done when you purchase them.


Some of these tasks seem like they could be entirely skipped and there are many items that could be purchased cheaper. However, when it comes to the most complex, dynamic, and expensive part of the car: the engine, I refuse to destroy it simply because I was too lazy to check a tolerance or too cheap to buy the right tool.


In this post I’ll document the tools I purchased and update it with links to how I’m using each of them as I go along. Let’s get started:


Ring Compressor:

A ring compressor is a simple device made to compress the rings on a piston so that it can be installed in a block.

There are two options:

  • A universal winding type
  • A billet size-specific type


The universal type works by placing a coiled piece of metal around the ring/piston and winding it to tighten it, and works for almost any bore size.

The billet type works for a single bore size


At first glance the universal type seems like the obvious choice. However, you’re more likely to damage a ring.

Since the 1GZFE has 12 cylinders, there’s a high probability a ring is damaged and the engine gets ruined. As a result, the billet one was an easy choice.

I chose a Wiseco 81mm tapered piston ring compressor sleeve RCS08100 for $55 on eBay.


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