Cylinder Sleeve Installation 101

Cylinder Sleeve Installation 101

1. Preparing the Block

Boring and Honing

A BMW S58 Engine Block getting prepared for Cylinder Sleeving. Photo Courtesy of SpecJ Motorsport.

After boring out original aluminum in preparation for sleeve installation, we recommend honing the block’s parent bore aluminum to ensure better interference pressed fit of the alloy and sleeve surface. 

Honing the aluminum will effectively plateau, or knock down, the microscopic peaks and valleys caused by the boring cutter tool for a better mating surface and more effective heat transfer from the sleeve to the aluminum. 

Courtesy of SpecJ Motorsport.

When using the honing method, no Loctite or sleeve sealer will be needed. If you prefer not to hone the aluminum wall surface, Loctite sleeve retainer under the seating area will assist in fitment sealing.

You will notice the steam passage breaking through the aluminum wall when you bore to size; this is not a problem as the press fit will seal the area. Optionally, Loctite can be used in this location for additional protection.

2. Installing the Sleeves

Press Fitting

We recommend an average 0.0015” pressed fit and a minimum fit is 0.0005”. There is no pressed fit needed on the outer diameter of the flange against the outer water jacket area – we recommend a slip fit.

Heat block from 250 to 290 . Sleeves will fall into place with no resistance. 


OR Freeze sleeves with liquid nitrogen and install sleeves into non-heated block.

3. After Installation

Pressing the Block

Once all sleeves are installed, we recommend holding the sleeves down into the block with a hydraulic press. Using a steel plate or torque plate, use approximately 1 ton of pressure to hold the sleeves down into the block is cooling and crushing the sleeves into place. 

Once the block is completely cooled, heat again to approximately 180℉ and repeat the hydraulic press.

Resurfacing the Block

Decking the top of the sleeves after installation is recommended; install the sleeves and deck both the aluminum and sleeve tops all the way across the deck for zero sleeve protrusion above the deck surface. Ensure that the sleeves have “bottomed out” on their seating surface.

The Process is complete! Refer to normal boring and honing processes for the block and continue with standard machine shop procedures.

A Sleeved BMW S58 Engine Block with Installed Fire Rings.  Photo Courtesy of SpecJ Motorsport.
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