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Discussion Starter #1
Ok folks, need some first hand advice or reviews if you have them. I want to repair a couple motors (2nd gen) I have laying around for some fresh turbo pistons, but they have a little damage (oh, how the boost gods sneer at our hubris with every adjustment of the boost controller). Who has had any experience with a block repair/re-plating place? A little googling pops up with US Chrome and Millennium Technologies as the top hits.... anyone had good results & service with either one of those places? Hit me with your stories! :)
 

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I dealt with both of those Millenium i wont deal with again,not just a bad service 5 weeks over the claimed 2 but the coating was crap and only lasted a dyno session, they claimed i haven't cleaned the cylinders properly and won't re-coat them. US chrome at wisconsin iv used 3 times, first time dealing with a Guy called Ryan, first class real good coating and the pistons fitted superbly, the 2 other times they went well over there claimed turnaround by 3 & 5 weeks but the work has always been spot on. Millennium technologies in Canada are supposed to be better and im gonna try them next.
 

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I always got great service from US Chrome. At least 1/2 th etiem, I had my cylinders back before their promise date. When I was riding my dirt bike, every weekend, I had actually memorized their address because of how many different cylinders I sent to them. The finish was always an upgrade, too.

When you have cylinders coated, keep in mind this finish is not a "chrome" finish like you would use on a car bumper. Its not unusual to see tiny imperfections, or odd colors, in the finish. I hate to even use the work, "imperfection" , its really not that, its just that its often times not a pretty finish.

Yours will probably look perfect, but dont freak out if its not.
 

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better off buying a good set of used cases from my experience with millenium. last one i had repaired/replated had dropped a valve and dinged one cyl wall. no overbore, cost over $500 when they were done plus the wait time was too long. never could get a price quote, finally just a you're done and owe us this. wont do that again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought I'd heard some Millennium horror stories before.... good to know I wasn't losing my mind.

I thought about getting some used cases, but I've never liked the idea of dropping in new pistons without honing to to proper PTW clearances.... I am hoping that US chrome can do that if they have pistons in hand with the block.
 

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BigCat for Prez!
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When I was working to rebuild the BigCat, I called Millennium and they quoted me the same price to repair the cylinder as it would've been to bore out a new set.
 
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i just got a cyl back from carolina cycle who handled boring and plating a +3mm busa cylinder thru millenium. sent new cp pistons with exact measurements and specified .002 cyl/wall clereance. gen 2 +5 stroker engine at 1560 cc. piston wall clereance was .003, the industry safe standard on these motors. doesnt do any good to specify a certain clereance with millenium, you will get what u get.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wassup BigCat! Long time, no see. :)

I love this place.... I remember hearing some not so good stuff about millenium, and ya'll likely saved me quite a bit of headache. I did call US Chrome, and they sound like decent peoples; I'm going to give them a try. Their pricing is pretty transparent, and they said they'll give AMA member and 'Sanctioned Racer' discounts, so that's a plus.

Now I just need to find a set of low compression turbo pistons for 04-10 bike.... no one is showing any in stock! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What sort of pistons? I don't want you to break up your first gen motor if that's the one you already had running, though.

I really want to have a fresh, to-tolerance hone this time around. When I did 'Drop In' MTC pistons on the last motor without a replate & hone they were noisy little bastards... piston slap on start up had me thinking I fucked up on the rod bearing colors. :( I know it's not a huge deal, but every bit is starting to count... and not having it in the back of my mind in 5th gear is worth the extra money.
 

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What sort of pistons? I don't want you to break up your first gen motor if that's the one you already had running, though.

I really want to have a fresh, to-tolerance hone this time around. When I did 'Drop In' MTC pistons on the last motor without a replate & hone they were noisy little bastards... piston slap on start up had me thinking I fucked up on the rod bearing colors. :( I know it's not a huge deal, but every bit is starting to count... and not having it in the back of my mind in 5th gear is worth the extra money.
They're new in my back up engine, and i do understand where you're coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm getting a quote from CP to make a set, but if you have something new you're willing to sell PM me with the details. I'm in huge time crunch atm.

With that said, I had a good talk with Terry Stewart last night and got bombarded with piston info.... probably learned more about piston design in one hour than I have in 10 years. For the salt bike I'm pretty sure I'm going to have them make a set with all the bells and whistles, and it turns out there are a lot of bells and whistles to be had with piston design!
 

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I'm getting a quote from CP to make a set, but if you have something new you're willing to sell PM me with the details. I'm in huge time crunch atm.

With that said, I had a good talk with Terry Stewart last night and got bombarded with piston info.... probably learned more about piston design in one hour than I have in 10 years. For the salt bike I'm pretty sure I'm going to have them make a set with all the bells and whistles, and it turns out there are a lot of bells and whistles to be had with piston design!
Spill the beans....:heyyou:
 

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Well, I had them make me me a set... the cost wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, and the customer service was worth it all by itself.

JE/Carrillo can do some neat things with pistons, and if you invest the time in measuring everything they ask for (which is a lot), then you can get a pretty damn good piston for the money. It's a little bit of a waste in this motor, as I'm still on stock cams/timing/valve size, but there are still gains to be had.

There's so much to consider, I wouldn't even know where to start to spill the beans, but here were a couple tidbits: (Keep in mind that I haven't scientifically verified any of this yet, but a lot of it makes sense)

1) Get the exhaust valve as close as you can to the piston, and get the relief pocket as tight as you can to said valve, this creates a higher flowing exhaust situation that you can't see on a flow bench (almost like the quenching effect that close PTH gives). Conversely, open up the intake valve pocket as much as possible, and don't run it as tight to the piston... since the air is moving the other way it creates a shrouding effect.

2) They machine the barrel profile on the piston in different steps/places depending on the stroke/rod ratio, bore size, and the intended RPM/HP. I have a feeling that they can calculate side load with that pretty well, and that gives them the ability to to make the skirt and piston portions that actually touch the walls optimal... combined with long wearing graphite matrix coatings they are likely making an effort to reduce friction/contact area to free up HP and reduce piston rock at TDC. I also theorize that if you have better control over that you can get your PTH tighter. This does require that you measure your total valve travel for them, which can be fun with variables like milled heads and different cams, let alone the timing.

3) He was really interested in longer rod/shorter piston combinations for NA stuff (not as much for boosted). There's a lot of info on that out there already, but I've never heard anyone talk about cylinder filling benefits as a result of higher dwell times at TDC/BDC. He mentioned that piston speed (acceleration) gets interesting, but they can computer simulate the stresses and design a piston that doesn't exceed what they know works.

4)They go so far as to look at rod thickness over the wristpin bore to optimize the shape/size of the piston dish, and to reduce weight where applicable.

5) Lots of stuff about rings and gas porting. Too much to talk about, but did mention that gas porting can actually be a little detrimental for longevity of rings/cylinder bores in some applications.

There's more, but I honestly started to blur out a little bit at some point. The crazy part is you get that sort of design input on any custom piston... its just part of the flat fee. You could just tell them to take an off-the-shelf piston and change the dish, but for the same price you can really get a piston made for your exact motor combination; that kind of blew my mind. I have no idea how much power or longevity all of that may be worth, but they likely do it for a reason, right?
 

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BigCat for Prez!
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Well, I had them make me me a set... the cost wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, and the customer service was worth it all by itself.

JE/Carrillo can do some neat things with pistons, and if you invest the time in measuring everything they ask for (which is a lot), then you can get a pretty damn good piston for the money. It's a little bit of a waste in this motor, as I'm still on stock cams/timing/valve size, but there are still gains to be had.

There's so much to consider, I wouldn't even know where to start to spill the beans, but here were a couple tidbits: (Keep in mind that I haven't scientifically verified any of this yet, but a lot of it makes sense)

1) Get the exhaust valve as close as you can to the piston, and get the relief pocket as tight as you can to said valve, this creates a higher flowing exhaust situation that you can't see on a flow bench (almost like the quenching effect that close PTH gives). Conversely, open up the intake valve pocket as much as possible, and don't run it as tight to the piston... since the air is moving the other way it creates a shrouding effect.

2) They machine the barrel profile on the piston in different steps/places depending on the stroke/rod ratio, bore size, and the intended RPM/HP. I have a feeling that they can calculate side load with that pretty well, and that gives them the ability to to make the skirt and piston portions that actually touch the walls optimal... combined with long wearing graphite matrix coatings they are likely making an effort to reduce friction/contact area to free up HP and reduce piston rock at TDC. I also theorize that if you have better control over that you can get your PTH tighter. This does require that you measure your total valve travel for them, which can be fun with variables like milled heads and different cams, let alone the timing.

3) He was really interested in longer rod/shorter piston combinations for NA stuff (not as much for boosted). There's a lot of info on that out there already, but I've never heard anyone talk about cylinder filling benefits as a result of higher dwell times at TDC/BDC. He mentioned that piston speed (acceleration) gets interesting, but they can computer simulate the stresses and design a piston that doesn't exceed what they know works.

4)They go so far as to look at rod thickness over the wristpin bore to optimize the shape/size of the piston dish, and to reduce weight where applicable.

5) Lots of stuff about rings and gas porting. Too much to talk about, but did mention that gas porting can actually be a little detrimental for longevity of rings/cylinder bores in some applications.

There's more, but I honestly started to blur out a little bit at some point. The crazy part is you get that sort of design input on any custom piston... its just part of the flat fee. You could just tell them to take an off-the-shelf piston and change the dish, but for the same price you can really get a piston made for your exact motor combination; that kind of blew my mind. I have no idea how much power or longevity all of that may be worth, but they likely do it for a reason, right?
Sounds like some serious mad scientist type stuff. I dig it!

Maaaaan since I parted out the BigCat Ive been MIA, but Ive been working nights during my plants refuel outage for the past 80 nights so every now and then when I get bored Ill browse the forums once Ive seen everything on facebook. Ive got another 3hrs to go on and then I get to go home and go to sleep.
 

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i get to see a lot of wild engine builds at cooper performance, jerry custom cuts many piston domes from blanks depending on engine needs. he builds some of the fastest na busas in the world.shop is full of grudge bikes. 1800 cc with big stroke billet offset cranks, offset billet tall deck blocks with .040 raised deck and 86mm pistons. the pistons are machined with opposing slots cut in the piston where the pin slides thru, aluminium wristpin buttons machined exactley as a part of the piston skirt are fitted with tangs machined on them that locate them in the piston wristpin grooves and ring grooves are machined thru the alum wrist pin button. very short skirt piston with ring pac located high to keep the piston in the block at tdc and bdc with extreme stroke. engines make well over 300 hp on motor. yeah, piston design can get way out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Absolutely Gaz... I knew I was seeing just the tip of the iceberg there. Those guys that play with nitromethane are swimming in some really deep, murky water.... I remember being in some of the top fuel bike pits a few months ago really looking at their motors going together and realizing that I still don't know shit about more than I care to admit. :) One more thing to add to the study list, I guess. :)
 

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I really do like the idea of custom machining pistons. There was a builder over here"Tony Scott" who managed to persuade Honda to send him blank pistons so he could up the Compression in the RC45, as unlike the RC30 the height of Cams couldn't be adjusted when decking head, thats a real problem on gear driven Cams. Carl fogarty won the IOM TT on that bike.
 
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