Which pistons should I use on my rebuild?

d0n_3d

Boost is good.
Joined
Jul 14, 2001
OK I see there are two main brands of pistons to choose from. My plans are to run consistant high 10's while driving 95% on the street and the occasional trip to the track. I was looking at the TRW forged aluminum pistons which are $550. I also see there are JE pistons which are iron i believe for a little less around $350. Which pistons would be best for my application? Going to be running a stock block bored either .020 or .030 over, 206/206 CC roller cam, polished crank, stock ported and polished heads, steel main caps, etc. Somebody told me that forged pistons are not good for everyday driving on the street...I didn't believe him:rolleyes:
 
I think either of the 2 will be ok,Or you could also look into CP pistons.I have chosen to go with them over J&E I know nick male and a few other builders have started to use and like them.

cp pistons website

John
 
Originally posted by d0n_3d
OK I see there are two main brands of pistons to choose from. My plans are to run consistant high 10's while driving 95% on the street and the occasional trip to the track. I was looking at the TRW forged aluminum pistons which are $550. I also see there are JE pistons which are iron i believe for a little less around $350. Which pistons would be best for my application? Going to be running a stock block bored either .020 or .030 over, 206/206 CC roller cam, polished crank, stock ported and polished heads, steel main caps, etc. Somebody told me that forged pistons are not good for everyday driving on the street...I didn't believe him:rolleyes:

Forged are fine if clearanced right.
I've heard alot of noise complaints from TRW owners, and just had a bad experience with BRC, so IMO, I'd steer away from those 2.
 
pistons

Unless TRW has made some changes in the last few years-I would recomend to not use them. I had a set about 8 years ago that had no provisions for pin oiling-after a few months the wrist pin siezed. I helped a friend build an eng. last winter. He ordered J&E from a local speed shop--floating pins but set up for stock rings width---$500. Set wall clearance @ .004 and so far great. No noise on startup. The ones in the Jegs ad you put up is setup for narrow rings.
 
would the TRW forged pistons be good for a daily driver say 500 miles a week??? i see LOTS of guys with TRW pistons on this board...where they all at!:confused:
 
pistons

I was able to reuse the TRW by haveing a machine shop angle drill a hole from the oil ring groove into the top of the pin bore (force oil the pin) and opening up the pin bore .0005. Maybe they have addressed the problem.
 
I would use nothing but TRW's..;) No piston slap like my old JE's, and they are cheeper.. I drive my buick more than most on the street, and race at the track ( low 10's) every weekend in the summer, with no problems.... IMO, it comes down to personal preferance.... :)

Matt:cool:
 
so do the CURRENT TRW pistons have the revised oiling on the pins? i'm just trying to get an idea of which piston is better for 95% street and 5% track and will last a LONG time...not really concerned about weight or whatever...i just want the pistons to last long and be streetable everywhere i go...the impression i am getting is that the TRWs are best for street and JEs are best for full race applications...i'm probably going to bore the block out .020 over if that helps...unless someone convinces me to go .030:D
 
Originally posted by KendallF
I would use the TRWs..because it's going to be a daily driver. You can run the TRWs with closer wall clearance (.003-.0045 vs. .006-007 for the JEs) because the TRW's VMS-75 alloy expands less than the 2618 used in the JEs.

The TRWs are in many 10 second TRs, and in a stock block, you're more likely to blow a head gasket or hurt the crank before you burn a piston up. The JEs are stronger, lighter, and in an all out race application they're better, but for long term daily driver use, the tighter clearance TRWs will wear better.

Originally posted by KendallF
There is a lot of dated info regarding the TRWs in various responses in this thread. The TRWs are not a heavy piston, and they no longer come with the heavy pin. The pin oiling design has been revised with oiling grooves along the pin boss since the early pin problem days. Especially if the pin fit is checked (which you should do on any piston), in my experience they won't have problems.

Nobody's disputing the advantages of the JEs lighter weight, floating pin, tougher alloy, yada yada. I just hate to see misinformation spread. ;)


I don't know crap about chosing pistons, but it sounds like he does :D To me it sounds like some places still sell the old style, just make sure you check before you buy just to be sure.
 
Originally posted by d0n_3d
so do the CURRENT TRW pistons have the revised oiling on the pins? i'm just trying to get an idea of which piston is better for 95% street and 5% track and will last a LONG time...not really concerned about weight or whatever...i just want the pistons to last long and be streetable everywhere i go...the impression i am getting is that the TRWs are best for street and JEs are best for full race applications...i'm probably going to bore the block out .020 over if that helps...unless someone convinces me to go .030:D

Looks likes TRW only offers a standard and a .030 over. You can get them through Summit for $281 a set. In the vendor section on the board Mike Lincht has the Diamonds in a .020 over for a great deal.
 
pistons

Here/s a thought!! Before you spend hard earned $ for pistons, you say you want it to be a 10 sec. street car, better check as to what piston to wall clearance each manufacter calls for. Never used Diamonds, but have a friend who has some. His race car sound like a Cummins on start. If he runs them any tighter than .010-.012, they seize. Also don/t know about TRW clearance. Do know that the one good thing I like about J & E is I can run a 4.015 bore @ .004 and not have the eng. sound like the pistons are switching holes on startup. That is a good thing about hypers also, tight clearance = no piston slap.
Don/t skimp on the important parts--you/ll get what you pay for. Just get the best deal. If pistons are cheap--there is a reason.
I rest my case!!!!
 
longevity?

I've read a lot about differences in required clearances between, say, TRW and J&E pistons and the extra wear associated with the latter--

* Are there rules of thumb about how long one can expect to run a rebuilt motor with a combination of street and strip use (10.99 & low 11 sec ETs)? Miles, passes, whatever...

thanks,
Scott
 
Guys,

Kendall and FrankG have probably built more engines in the last 6 months than you will own your entire life. If they both recommend the TRW as a solid choice for a street car then be smart enough to listen to them. I have TRWs in my car and they seem to hold up just fine, I have no piston slap at start up and I have run as much as 25lbs of boost.

Weed out the good advice from the bad....Kendall and Frank are two that I would listen to. JMO.
 
Originally posted by BlownZ
Guys,

Kendall and FrankG have probably built more engines in the last 6 months than you will own your entire life. If they both recommend the TRW as a solid choice for a street car then be smart enough to listen to them. I have TRWs in my car and they seem to hold up just fine, I have no piston slap at start up and I have run as much as 25lbs of boost.

Weed out the good advice from the bad....Kendall and Frank are two that I would listen to. JMO.

I think Frank builds motors as a side business...I'm just an amateur who likes to do his own machine work. I build motors for friends..at least I hope they stay friends! ;) Lee Thompson's got loads of experience and I have learned a lot from him both online and over the phone.

I don't have a lot to add that I didn't say in the other thread, quoted here. The pin oiling problems Lee mentioned have been addressed in the current Speed Pro/TRW pistons. They can also be run at tighter bore clearances than the JEs. I believe their recommended range is .002-.0045".

Something Cal brought up in the other thread is that if you have a block that will take a minimal overbore, you can run .020" over JEs (or even .005" over, as Cal does). It's nice not to have to use the block up the first time. If you have a street motor that needs an .030" bore, I would pick the Speed Pro/TRWs.
 
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