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Do it myself or hire someone?


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I've rebuilt Z engines a couple of times now. I have a new set of pistons and am about to begin prepping, polishing, and balancing the various parts.

When it's time to press pistons back onto the rods, I've always taken them to a machine shop to get the job done.

I'm thinking about doing this myself this time. I have access to a shop press, but I don't know much about what tricks might be involved in pressing the pins into the pistons. How many of you have done this step? How many of you have screwed up this step?


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I don't think there is much of a trick, mostly getting things started square and going slow. Along with having something of the right diameter to seat the pin once you reach the side of the piston.

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I have not done this operation, but we press bearings and gears all the time (I work for Boston Gear).

General advise:

1. Be sure you support your work.

2. Use the right size pressing head.

3. When you start to press, start, back off, start again. Do this twice. It will allow the work to self center if your press is square. If you start and the work is off, you can really damage parts.

4. Steady pressure.

5. When you hit bottom, know when to stop.

Good luck,


78 280Z

94 300ZX 2+2

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Thanks for the input. This sounds just a bit more complicated than I want to try. Especially the heating up and cooling down stuff.

Also, I noticed, when getting an emissions test last week, that my local full-service gas station had a shop press. I toyed with the idea of taking them to these guys, who are friendly but I don't know how expert they are.

So for this job I will stick with my trusted and proven professionals and make the 15 minute drive a lunch to drop off and pick up the pistons/pins/rods from my machine shop.

Fortunately, I have a lot of time.

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So for this job I will stick with my trusted and proven professionals

Good advice, ALWAYS choose someone with experience to press out wrist pins. Done wrong or by a Mickey Mouse mechanic your looking at terminal engine failure.

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