Aluminum Piston Stuck on Champion R-14

by Eamon

Good Morning,

I am rebuilding an older Champion R-14, a project which was going swimmingly until I attempted to remove the head to replace piston rings.

The smaller piston slipped right out without difficulty, however the large piston withdrew only half of the way from the cylinder and then froze.

The piston is loose in the manner wherein I can turn the head fairly easily and it will rotate around the piston, but once the piston withdraws to that halfway point it freezes.

The cylinder for the large piston was pretty dirty as if oil was blowing by a bad ring. Sure enough, when I went to remove that large piston, pieces of broken ring fell out.

I'd appreciate your help and advice if you are familiar with this problem and a solution.

I just successfully repaired and rebuilt the 5 HP 230 volt 100-pound Centurion electric motor attached to the compressor, a task of some complexity and one that had me thinking that rebuilding the compressor itself would be a quick and easy task.

Thank you for your help,


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Nov 23, 2016
Aluminum Piston Stuck
by: Doug in

Good to hear you got it sorted.

Thanks for the update.

Nov 21, 2016
Thanks Doug
by: EJ


I apologize for the delay in my reply- being one of those "absent-minded professor" types I had rudely forgotten your response. I was also cleaning out the shed a few weeks ago and found three other restoration project air compressors out there which I had no memory of purchasing. So guess where all of my spare time has been spent over the last few weeks.

My own compressor is a combination of a Campbell-Hausfeld tank, a Leeson motor and a HF compressor. I was thinking of using one of these forgotten compressors as a new shop compressor but (and without meaning to sound vain) the restorations are turning out so well that I think I will just be cashing out via their sale.

As regards my stuck piston, that was a component of a Champion REN-14 restoration, the model being one with a cast iron block paired with aluminum pistons. A combination of rust and some debris (unit had been stored in seller's yard) was compressing the center piston ring, which was why the piston moved freely but would not fully exit the cylinder. Your advice was most helpful in determining the cause of my problem.

Thank you,


Nov 09, 2016
Aluminum Piston Stuck
by: Doug in

Either smooth off the cylinder above, or if the piston won't go far enough, take the bore off and pull it out from below.

It'll probably be a beach...

Good luck and let us know how you do, please.

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