Wrist Pin Locks Part I

Pins 1
This is the tool that eliminates the Spiral Loc pain. It’s made by a company called “Lock-In-Tool”.

The wrist pin links the connecting rod to the piston in your engine.  That’s simple enough.  But the job of the wrist pin is absolutely critical.  Should the pin move laterally, then sudden (and utter) engine destruction is pretty much guaranteed.  It’s that simple.  Now, there are a number of ways to keep a wrist pin locked within the piston.  The most common is some sort of pressed pin arrangement or a floating pin with a lock ring of some sort. There are components out there called pin “buttons”, but for the most part, buttons are only used on supercharged drag race applications (blown alcohol, top fuel, etc.).

Pins that are pressed are likely the most common in passenger car applications.  In this situation, the wrist pin is press fit into the small end of the connecting rod.  The reciprocating motion necessary in the connecting rod-piston component of the engine occurs between the wrist pin and the wrist pin bore inside the piston.  Engines designed with press-fit pins must have the rods and pistons assembled by an engine (or machine) shop using specialized equipment.  Essentially, the small end of the connecting rod is heated and the piston is set in place over the rod small end.  Next, the pin is pressed into place (through the pin bore in the piston, into the connecting rod small end).

In order to use the Lock-In-Tool, place this clip (which is supplied with tool) into lock groove of piston. It stops the wrist pin from sliding completely through the piston. Next, lubricate the pin with conventional 30 wt. oil and install it so that it seats against the clip.  In this example, the piston was configured in a manner that really didn’t require the use of the clip.  Here, both locks on the “open side” could be installed on one side without the wrist pin in place.
In order to use the Lock-In-Tool, place this clip (which is supplied with tool) into lock groove of piston. It stops the wrist pin from sliding completely through the piston. Next, lubricate the pin with conventional 30 wt. oil and install it so that it seats against the clip. In this example, the piston was configured in a manner that really didn’t require the use of the clip. Here, both locks on the “open side” could be installed on one side without the wrist pin in place.

 

Wrist pins that “float” are regularly found in high performance engines.  In this configuration, the pin physically floats within the connecting rod small end.  Instead of being pressed in place, the wrist pin is held in place by way of one of three different types of locking devices – Spiral Locs, Round Wire Locks or Snap Rings (most often referred to as “Tru Arcs”).  High performance pistons are machined with special wrist pin retainer grooves that accept the locking device (many are machined for double retainers per side). The most effective retainer, and perhaps the most common is likely the Spiral Loc (this is manufactured from a flat coil of hardened steel).  Unfortunately, the Spiral Loc is also the most difficult of the wrist pin retainers to install. The photo below gives you a little more advice for installation.

Spread the Spiral Loc apart using your fingers and spin it onto the Lock-In-Tool.  You have to spin the lock until the end of it reaches the registration mark on the end of the tool.  The “registration mark” is a notch on the tool where the end of the Spiral Loc is positioned
Spread the Spiral Loc apart using your fingers and spin it onto the Lock-In-Tool. You have to spin the lock until the end of it reaches the registration mark on the end of the tool. The “registration mark” is a notch on the tool where the end of the Spiral Loc is positioned

 

Copyright © 2005-2017 RacingJunk.com All Rights Reserved.

Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the RacingJunk.com
Terms of Use, Classifieds Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy