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Old 04-18-2006, 01:23 AM   #1
quadesl57
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Default Has anyone performed a miracle and fitted Mahle pistons??

Guys , calling from downunder and I need help.
I purchased a set of Mahle pistons to do a 97 GC8 rebuild from one of the vendors here (who btw is proving difficult to contact)

Anyway these Mahle kits come with tangless circlips that are nigh on impossible to install.....The Mahle rocket scientist that designed this kit has obviously never seen a 2.0 litre subaru engine.

I initially thought I had a real bargain with these but it is now proving to be a major headache.....my mechanic wont touch those circlips with a 40ft pole.

Can anyone offer some advice on what to do?

My personal view is Mahle should offer all customers a refund or at least design a decent clip replacement.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
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I used the stock Subaru replacement circlips.
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zaxrex
Good luck. They have not logged on since '04 and their website is down.
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #5
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I think PDXtuning put some in a local guy's car recently. Could give them a call or E mail them. They are always quick to respond to e mails. If you go to PDXtuning.com you should be able to find all contact info.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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PDXTuning just put Mahle's in my car as well as several other sets recently. +1 for giving them a call...always plenty of information.

www.pdxtuning.com
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:08 PM   #7
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You can fit them in with practice. All you do is use a wide screw driver and work it in. What I did was unbolt the 1/3 rods and put both clips on with the piston/rod out of the block. Then I put the piston/rod combos in the block and bolted to the crank (like you do all non-boxer motors). This way you only have to do 2 clips while the block is together (#2 & #4). You tend to get good after a while. It took me about 45mins to do the first clip. But after that I could get them in about 2-3 min each. Just take your time. Many thanks to the Godspeed/tuning factory for the tech advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlane
I used the stock Subaru replacement circlips.
Jeff at Godspeed/TF said this should NOT be done. They fit but the groves aren't cut the same.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:10 PM   #8
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The only problem is, I don't know HOW THE H_LL one is supposed to remove them. I don't see how I'll be able to split the block or take out the pistons with this clip design. It's horrible. As the poster said, they obviously never tried installing these in a Subaru before releasing. There needs to be clips with tangs.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:14 PM   #9
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You can likely split the block (if you have to already) and remove the rod bolts, then pull the rod through the cylinder with the piston still attached. I'm not 100% sure that the rods are small enough to fit through the holes in the bottom of the cylinder as I haven't tried it, but it should be pretty close.
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
I'm not 100% sure that the rods are small enough to fit through the holes in the bottom of the cylinder as I haven't tried it, but it should be pretty close.
Nope, you can't get to all of the rod bolts through the pan. There isn't a way to split it without removing at least two of the pistons (the ones that can't be accessed through the pan opening).

I know because I wanted to take it apart at the end but couldn't because it's impossible to get the tangs out once they are in there.

If you made some sort of L tool that was narrow but hard you could get the tangs out. But once you did that I wouldn't reuse them because they'd be bent pretty good.

With all the design in the pistons I wonder why they decided to go cheap on the clips (I assume the tangless design is a cost thing).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
I'm not 100% sure that the rods are small enough to fit through the holes in the bottom of the cylinder as I haven't tried it, but it should be pretty close.
They will fit easily, that's how I described (above) installing two of the piston clip sets prior to bolting the block together to reduce the headache.
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeC
Nope, you can't get to all of the rod bolts through the pan. There isn't a way to split it without removing at least two of the pistons (the ones that can't be accessed through the pan opening).
You misunderstood me (or I didn't make myself clear enough). I meant going through the whole process of splitting the block, removing all the bolts and whatnot. Then when you split apart the block, make sure the crank is at the 45 area where all 4 pistons are in the middle of their stroke. This will buy you a good 80-90mm which you can split the block and get to all of the rod bolts. Once you've got at least two of them off, you can remove that side of the block, and remove the other two the same way.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
You misunderstood me (or I didn't make myself clear enough). I meant going through the whole process of splitting the block, removing all the bolts and whatnot. Then when you split apart the block, make sure the crank is at the 45 area where all 4 pistons are in the middle of their stroke. This will buy you a good 80-90mm which you can split the block and get to all of the rod bolts. Once you've got at least two of them off, you can remove that side of the block, and remove the other two the same way.
Damn good suggestion. You're right, I think that would buy you about 2 inchines which should be enough to get a wrench in there. I think I'll try it with one of my spare blocks.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:25 PM   #13
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Just use OEM subaru ones. I have them in mine and no problems.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeC
Damn good suggestion. You're right, I think that would buy you about 2 inchines which should be enough to get a wrench in there. I think I'll try it with one of my spare blocks.
I thought that too, then I realized, you can gain at least 1/2 stroke from both sides. So a full stroke, plus the "extra" room that is in there between when the piston is at BDC and very bottom of the cylinder. Hell, if you can't get bolts off with 3.5-4" of room, you've got other issues.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgknestrick
Just use OEM subaru ones. I have them in mine and no problems.
How many miles?
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgknestrick
Just use OEM subaru ones. I have them in mine and no problems.
What turbo setup are you using?
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeC
Jeff at Godspeed/TF said this should NOT be done. They fit but the groves aren't cut the same.
Ooooo - if true, that's not good. We used the Mahle set, but that would make me a little nervous if we hadn't.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeC
You can fit them in with practice. All you do is use a wide screw driver and work it in. What I did was unbolt the 1/3 rods and put both clips on with the piston/rod out of the block. Then I put the piston/rod combos in the block and bolted to the crank (like you do all non-boxer motors). This way you only have to do 2 clips while the block is together (#2 & #4). You tend to get good after a while. It took me about 45mins to do the first clip. But after that I could get them in about 2-3 min each. Just take your time. Many thanks to the Godspeed/tuning factory for the tech advice.


Jeff at Godspeed/TF said this should NOT be done. They fit but the groves aren't cut the same.
This is the proper way to install the clips. I think the screwdriver method is listed in the instructions.

Anyway, if anyone is running these (the 2.0L ProSeries) I'd like to hear how they're working for you. I know of one set that's been running for a while in Australia.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:31 PM   #19
quadesl57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycaster
Ooooo - if true, that's not good. We used the Mahle set, but that would make me a little nervous if we hadn't.

Yes thats what worries me, the OEM clips have a square filleted edge , whereas the mahle tangless are rounded, the OEM may well fit but what about in 3-6 months time?. Ill fitting clips dont exactly inspire confidence.
Yes they might last the distance but there would always be that nagging doubt.

Why Mahle dont just make a replacement clip is beyond me....I've also been told by Mahle that to use OEM clips the pins need to have 1/2 mm taken off each end!!
have any of you guys had to do this?

Anyway Mahle Australia have offered to machine my pins and supply a replacement set of oem clips free of charge, and considering I purchased these from the US thats very kind of them.
However I'd much prefer they supply user friendly parts in the first place.....I notice their pro series kit now contains "Easy install clips" so obviously I'm not the only one bitching.

Ravspec havent been much help to be honest...their reply was basically we dont build engines...just sell the parts. Fair enough but am I expecting too much for quick phonecall to Mahle on my behalf ??? Or is being on the other side of the world just too hard???

thanks for all your help guys
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:40 PM   #20
quadesl57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visceral
This is the proper way to install the clips. I think the screwdriver method is listed in the instructions.

Anyway, if anyone is running these (the 2.0L ProSeries) I'd like to hear how they're working for you. I know of one set that's been running for a while in Australia.

Visceral, Do you know how many K's this set has done?

Apparently Rigoli racing in Aus use Mahle, and swear by them.
They might be good for short term race engines but I'm more curious to find out long term reliabilty....particulary with the quick fix OEM clips

Regards Sean
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:09 PM   #21
Visceral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadesl57
Visceral, Do you know how many K's this set has done?

Apparently Rigoli racing in Aus use Mahle, and swear by them.
They might be good for short term race engines but I'm more curious to find out long term reliabilty....particulary with the quick fix OEM clips

Regards Sean
Last heard from the user a little over a year ago, and he had done 8000+kms at that point with no issues.

I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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Old 04-21-2006, 03:02 PM   #22
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Guys, don't look at this like a black art and trust everything people tell you just because they are in the business. If you don't understand how some things work, just try to learn as much as possible, just don't spread heresay without facts.

If the clips were normally stressed along the pin axis or if they didn't fit snugly it would be a different story, but that isn't the case. I just can't see the stock clips failing in the Mahles. Clips aren't exactly a moving piece, they are where they are. All they have to do is keep the wrist pin in place and if I or my builder had any doubt about them, they wouldn't be in there.

I agree that Mahle needs to change their clips, but until then I would not hesitate to use stockers.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:36 PM   #23
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Yea... circlips aren't exactly a wear item... they go in and stay in, there aren't many forces acting on them, most is on the wrist pin itself, rods, crank, pistons...

+1 for stocker idea
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Old 04-23-2006, 01:19 AM   #24
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Looking at the last 2 or 3 posts WRONG!!! these are highly engineered pieces that see a lot of Gs! The grooves and clips must be designed to gether! If you try to run the stock clips in these at high RPM it's only a matter of time...$$$
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX216
Looking at the last 2 or 3 posts WRONG!!! these are highly engineered pieces that see a lot of Gs! The grooves and clips must be designed to gether! If you try to run the stock clips in these at high RPM it's only a matter of time...$$$

Last edited by wgknestrick; 04-23-2006 at 02:04 PM.
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