How hard is it to replace piston rings?

I just recently got my drivers licence and got ownership to my dads 93 sonata v6. It eats oil, smokes, and its not very peppy; the mechanic my dad always brings it to said it was the rings and it would cost $600
for him to replace them. I, now the owner of this car, think paying 600 for this is crazy and would like to attempt this myself. I have had experience with small engines, in fact my 78 skidoo needed a ring job, and I pulled that off without any problem. If I followed the manual step by step, is there anything that would be overwhelming that would justify paying the 600 dollars? And speaking of manuals, should I buy a repair manual like the Chilton one or is the hma one online sufficient? And are there any 100% necessary "special tools" needed for this job?
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Adam wrote:

Far more difficult than the actual ring replacement is the removal and re-installation of the engine. That should be your bigger concern. How much equipment do you have access too and how long can you afford to have the car laid up?
Before you consider doing a ring job, I suggest that you check the compression first. If it's good, it indicates that the rings are sealing properly and probably don't need replacement.
Next, I would rebuild the head with new valve guides and seals, which are a more likely source of oil consumption and smoking problems than the rings. That's not a particularly difficult job and it probably needs to be done even if the engine does need rings.
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Ack, I wasn't aware I had to remove the engine to get to the rings. I have no engine lift to do this, but time is no issue, but work is, I'm lazy and if it requires that much work I will work on it because I like to procrastinate. I might look into doing the head-rebuild, that sounds like it would be relatively painless and could solve the problem.
I still am open for suggestions on the repair manual choices.
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Adam wrote:

I hear ya'. I have a tendency to do the same thing. Replacing rings is a top and bottom job. Perhaps it would be possible to do it without removing the engine, but I wouldn't bet on it and I'm sure it would be a pain.

The head rebuild shouldn't take more than a few hours. Depending on how it's designed, you may need to heat it and it's likely to require some specialized tools to press the guides and seals in place, but they should cost considerably less than having someone else do it. For that matter, you could remove and strip the head, then have someone install the guides and seals, and do any necessary valve grinding for you at a modest cost.

I the online manual is available for your car, I'd consult it first. Having written instructions handy can be useful, so perhaps a Haynes manual is worth buying, IF it has info on YOUR car. Sometimes, they're too generic or don't cover specific model variations. A Hyundai dealer should be able to order you a factory manual.
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Adam wrote:

If you know what you are doing and have the proper equipment it is not a very hard job, but those are big ifs. $600 is extremely reasonable considering the labor hours involved.
John
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