Originally Posted by AndyT ©
Oh, and make sure you take note of the direction the piston went in before you remove it
Blahah, I been there man!! Put one together wrong and she just didn't want to run.
To get the sleeve popped up, stick a couple zip ties thru the exhaust port. You do have the manifold off right? ; )~ Then with a wrench on the clutch nut or flywheel nut roll the engine over and the sleeve will pop up. If it's tight it may cut the zips in half and you'll have to try multiple times to get it to pop.
When you go to take the rod off the crank pin, rotate the piston all the way to the top and turn the engine upside down. Hold your hand under it though so the piston doesn't fall to the ground. And yes mark the top with a dot or sharpie so you know for sure how it is supposed to be orientated in the engine. The dot will wear off so when you get it out look to see if there are any holes or skirts in the bottom of the sleeve to see which way they go.
Good luck to ya man!! You're the guy with the novarossi right? I'd really replace the bearings in a engine that expensive also!!