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Should I hone my cylinder when replacing my piston rings?

To make a long answer short, you should probably hone your cylinder when replacing piston rings. But, the full answer depends on a few things, including the type of piston you order and the age of your cylinder. When you order a new piston kit, cylinder prep instructions should be included and that should determine whether you hone your cylinder when replacing piston rings.

Depending on the application, instructions for your new pistons will specify that the cylinder needs a bore and hone, bore/replace, or deglaze/hone. More often than not, you will need to hone your cylinder when replacing the piston rings. That is because honing creates small crosshatches in the surface of the cylinder, to allow the wall of the component to retain oil and provide lubrication for the piston ring.

Even though the instructions for the new piston may specify that honing your cylinder is required, you can also manually check and see if your cylinder requires it. Simply deglaze the cylinder with hot water and SOS pads to thoroughly clean it, and then look inside. If you can still see the original hone marks (cross-hatching) then you likely will not need to hone the cylinder. If those cross hatches have worn down, you will need to have the cylinder honed to allow proper lubrication of the piston ring.

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