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TKART magazine Expert Advice | Easykart: the 5 checks (by real experts) to extend the longevity of an engine
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Giacomo Mantovani
15 April 2023 • 10 min. read
Knowing and carrying out these checks (or requesting them from your trusted mechanic) will allow you to extend the longevity of your Easykart as much as possible and always be sure that it respects its class fiche.
In this article we will deal in depth with the topic of piston rings. For example, can you tell if the segment is too worn from this picture?

This third episode concludes the cycle of articles in the "Advice from the experts" column focused on the perfect management and maintenance of Easykart engines (don't worry, in case you missed them, here are the first two instalments: "Advice from the Experts - The 9 basic checks to do on engines, periodically or before buying a used one” and “Advice from the experts | carburetor, piston, starter… The measures and tricks of the professionals for their management and maintenance”). Once again, we followed the advice of the Birel ART / BMB technical department (engine branch of the Birel ART group). On this occasion we will be exploring five periodic checks and maintenance interventions by… Super experts. They are therefore not activities within everyone's reach, such as checking the pressure seal of the cooling circuit of an engine head or checking its induction system distribution diagram. Specific tools and a lot of experience are needed to carry them out. Therefore, many will decide to get their mechanic to do them. In any case, whether you intervene personally or entrust the work to a third party, it is good to know these crucial activities to ensure the longevity of your engine.

Following a light lapping, such as not to significantly modify the diameter of the barrel (therefore remaining within the recommended tolerance limits between barrels and piston), to reduce the possible performance losses that would develop by a wide tolerance coupling, you can think about replacing the elastic band. By fitting a new piston ring to size on the little-used piston, the effect of an improvement in terms of performance can be exploited, which, however, will in any case be limited in time.
The same argument on the methods and frequency of replacing the piston ring can be repeated with regard to the piston pin and the respective roller cage, with a view to always optimising performance and reliability. Our advice, however, in this case is to change the piston pin and roller cage every two pistons. In the photo you can see the used piston pin of a BMB EKA 125 cc class engine.

1 Monitoring the wear of the piston ring and replacing it at the right time

In Easykart engines the frequent replacement of the piston ring (also called "segment", editor's note) does not lead to any tangible improvement either in terms of performance or in terms of general engine reliability. This is because Easykart engines do not give exasperated levels of performance and because they are "standardised" at a regulatory level as well as made with completely uniform components, from one type to another. What is important to underline, however, is that the replacement of the piston ring is necessary each time a new piston is used (which, as underlined in "Expert Advice | Easykart: the 9 basic checks to be performed on engines, periodically or before to buy a used one”, it must be changed approximately every 4 hours of use - editor’s note). Furthermore, to obtain a better seal, the piston ring can be changed when lapping (a topic that we will deal with later, editor's note). A band that is too worn, in fact, risks breaking more easily and this eventuality can cause serious damage to the engine.

Unfortunately, the segment does not give warning of breakage and its purely visual analysis is rather complicated, since already after a little time of use its surface begins to take on a "worn" appearance due to contact with the piston and the cylinder liner, as well as deposits in the combustion chamber. This is why, using a feeler gauge, analyse how much the gap between its two edges has varied with respect to the original setting (for further information on this procedure, "Advice from the experts | carburetor, piston, starter motor... Measures and tricks of professionals for their management and maintenance" editor's note), can be a valid parameter on which to evaluate its condition.

A chest of drawers full of pistons during a stage of the EasyKart Trophy.
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