Chevrolet Nova/ChevyII 1962-1979

Pistons and Connecting Rods



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Fig. Fig. 1 Piston and connecting rod assembly-4 and 6-cylinder engines

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Fig. Fig. 2 Piston and connecting rod assembly-small block V8 engines

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Fig. Fig. 3 Piston and connecting rod assembly-big block V8 engines

  1. Drain the crankcase and remove the oil pan.
  3. Drain the cooling system and remove the cylinder heads.
  5. Remove any ridge or deposits from the upper end of the cylinder bores with a ridge reamer.
  7. Check the rods and pistons for identification numbers and, if necessary, number them.
  9. Remove the connecting rod cap nuts and caps. Push the rods away from the crankshaft and install the caps and nuts loosely to their respective rods.
  11. Push the piston and rod assemblies up and out of the cylinders.


  1. Before replacing rings, inspect the cylinder bores. If the cylinder bore is in satisfactory condition, place each ring in its bore in turn and square it in the bore with the head of the piston. Measure the ring end-gap. If the gap is greater than the limit, get a new ring. If the gap is less than the limit, file the end of the ring to obtain the correct gap.
  3. Check the ring side-clearance by installing rings on the piston and inserting a feeler gauge of the correct dimension between the ring and the lower land. The gauge should slide freely around the circumference of the ring without binding. Any wear will form a step on the lower land. Replace any pistons having high steps. Before checking ring side-clearance, be sure the ring grooves are clean and free of carbon, sludge, or grit.
  5. Space the ring gaps at equal intervals around the circumference of the piston. Be sure to install the piston in its original bore.


Install the piston and rod assembly with the connecting rod bearing tang slots on the side opposite the camshaft, on V8 engines. Inline engine pistons must have the piston notch facing the front of the engine. Install short lengths of rubber tubing over the connecting rod bolts to prevent damage to the rod journals. Install a ring compressor over the rings on the piston. Lower the piston and rod assembly into the bore until the ring compressor contacts the block. Using the wooden handle of a hammer, push the piston into the bore while guiding the rod onto the journal.