Have you tried a piston ring spreader? IK that they work great for installing but they work well for removal and for 10$ it wont burn a hole in your wallet.Just a small update, I have everything off of the block now and I pressure washed it with very hot water. You guys do not want to know what came out of the cooling chambers... anyway, the next step in this process has given me a bit of trouble. I got my pistons out just fine. They look great - no scarring or pitting. However, the rings are just not budging. I got the oiler rings off no problem. But there are two more left on there. I have one piston that has all of them off. I soaked them in PB Blaster for about a day to see if that would loosen anything up to no avail. I stopped by my local Napa and a guy recommended a machine shop nearby to get them to see what the deal is. Next time I'm in the shop, I'll take pictures for you guys!