Sorry for the very late posting, but I got the rings and everything on and it runs great (about 1.5 months ago)! It's quieter than before (loud popping noise is gone). Thanks for all the help. Now there's no more overheating and white smoke, except for the disgusting smell of built up carbon during the time it wasn't running.
I ended up having to take the piston off the crank, slide it in the cylinder, and then reinstall. All the seals are working good, no leaks so far. Runs and accelerates smoother than before, but I can't really see a different in speed, but that's okay, just as long as it runs.