Very good post. And subject. Most of the high performance engine builders use Diamond piston or Ross. Or Venolia. Arias beautiful, but huge $. I did get correct pistons for a 392 from Ross, but a lot of errors and hassles along the way, one was major.(dome height way too high, 13;1, mistake by them . ) .pistons are good, guys on the phone less so. Dim bulb issues. But I would not cross off , especially straight replacement, if you know exact dimensions like compression height. 700$ range. That said, my engine builder (well known guy,100’s of race engines year, including 6 second ones ) had same trip with Ross errors and bumbling a few times. So he uses Diamond exclusively now. Diamond advised him how to fix the Ross problems.
I only add this in , as I believe today really good forged pistons are often custom machined for you by CNC without a large premium, from forged blanks in any size you want. So nothing good or great is on the shelf at Jeg’s for a 413. . The Egge pistons I believe are all cast “replacement” pistons. Without getting into it too far, they can be fine for street use, and I believe the 413 came with cast pistons(correct me someone if wrong—I do not know for sure). Forged pistons are far stronger, most need to run a little looser in bore , a tiny bit more noise, but to me worth it. Brings up “slight wear” with cast pistons might be perfect for forged. Gets right at your concern of actual finished bore size to shoot for. . And balancing.
Unheard detonation ,poor gas, hi RPM etc can stress cast pistons, might hurt your cast piston motor. So no right or wrong here, you choose. I do go forged personally if possible. The 392 was a stroker adding to Ross’ difficulty, maybe it all goes smoothly on ‘stock size replacements” . I now understand , recent learning, that quench distance (piston flat area to head) under the head at TDC is more critical than I ever knew, for good mileage ,anti knock, and power, much discussed in Studebaker tech forum, (Studebaker Co - operator) by guys who really know, (proven by winning “all stock” drags , in 12’s killing our 426 hemi and six packs, with old 289 stude wedges)--- so that needs to be right on, and compression ratio is apparently controlled, if done right , by such other things as depth of valve reliefs. They know how to do all this, tell them 10;1 and dimensions, and head CC . While at it oversize exhaust valves from later wedges really perk up early 413. Chrysler did that!
I also had good luck with Keith Black, “hypereutectic” pistons, kind of between forged and cast, in two JEEP 4.0 . I had been told Ross bought many of those other companies, or made the pistons for them .
Last--- does it really need new pistons? As mentioned here before, much excess cost and hassle is incurred when just reassembling with new rings, and especially Viton valve seals , stock umbrella type, will do it, even if slight wear. . Is there a real problem, ??or just seems like a good idea to “get overbore”?
Some of the best performing engines I ever put together were back when I had no $ at all , rolled around on a sheet on ground in back yard, new rings , valve seals and bearings, no machining at all, except crank undersize, could not afford it, went 220k, no oil use, despite not even honing it. . (57 301 poly) Others I spent a fortune at machine shop overboring, honing to some fancy crosshatch spec, new pistons, balancing for them , pin fits, etc burned oil for 5k then wore out at 60k. (221 Ford (.020 taper in that one at 60k ) and 327 chev) . Just my experience. I go lightly now—can I just use it like it is? ; “oil burning” is often in fact old failed “garbage rubber” intake valve seals, = carboning up the rings. New seals, and a hard run fixes that. Hope some of this makes ‘common sense” . So far so good…..
The block is out and I'll be taking it to the machine shop soon . I wanted to know my options for pistons before it goes in the tank , however, and searched the archives to see what others were doing. I've also searched the net for possible sources. Given the lapse of time since some of those e-mail exchanges in this forum, what may have been available then may now be dried up. There were also references to sources without the inclusion of a link. Current searching for a link turned up nothing. The intent of this post is to update the existence of any sources for 413 pistons as I found it so if someone knows of another source I missed they can let us know..
Summit Racing, Jegs , etc. seem to only have 413 pistons for truck (low compression) applications.
Pistons from Sealed Power, Badger , etc. seem to have dried up although I'm sure ebay may occasionally list one.
Boring out to a 426 seems plausible but I haven't seen pistons designed for a stock 426 wedge engine that will produce a reasonable (mid 10s) static compression ratio. Am I missing a source of viable 426 pistons?
Pistons for a B 383- fine diameter but low compression height.
E-bay has for example (falcon global, old parts source) some "Rebuilder's Choice" in original, and various oversize to .060 over, same compression height as Egge, see below, which should be 10:1 with original dimensions. Anyone have experience with Rebuilder's Choice pistons?
Foreign sources were mentioned (including "Down Under" and Turkey) but no links were found.
Egge - I see they sell up to .080" oversize for a 413. I assumed a .060 overbore and calculated a static compression ratio of 10.2 - 1 ( using std deck height, 3.75" stroke, .020" gasket thickness, head chamber of 73cc etc). Those who have used Egge- does that sound about right from your rebuilds? What has been the experience of using Egge pistons?
Kanter Auto lists pistons for early '60's Chryslers. When asked for a compression ratio or compression height I was told they are "original type" and they just need to know 2-bbl or 4-bbl.
If you know of any other sources this may be a good place to list them.
Posted by: "John Grady" <jkg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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