Forged pistons

Heick Resources
Tue, 5 Aug 2003 09:36:47 -0500

FWIW, when we build 3S-GTEs we rarely coat them, and almost always use
forged pistons. We have very litle piston slap or "rattle", if any. As far
as strength, the 3S-GTE is extremely strong. The engine management seems to
be the weak point -way too much timing for some reason at certain load
points, and seemingly only for certain people, but that's another thread ; ^
Aside from that, these are extremely durable engines. Jeff Fazio, a good
friend of mine, is running 12.1s on a T3/T4 (T04E-50 trim, .48/Stage 5
wheel) on an unopened engine with 196,000 miles. Only mods are the turbo,
IC, intake, dropped exhaust, drag radials and a 2 step. 196,000 miles is a
lot of miles ; ^ ) Another member, Al at Garage Advance, made, IIRC, 528 WHP
on a stock block -point being, our OE pistons are strong, contrary to what
SCC might have said. We don't "need" forged pistons, they are simply an
excellent insurance policy -rebuilds are expensive and pulling these engines
in our mid-engined setups is a PITA. If there is some "piston slap when
cold", who cares? My engine has been run, with forged pistons, Blitz metal
HG, and ARP headstuds (only internal mods) for 25,000 miles now, and shows
perfect compression across the board. Runs mid 12s with just a 20G and
bolt-ons, on street tires, and is as durable and reliable, and more so, than
the factory setup.

As far as coatings, though some of "us" use them, generally speaking we
don't mess with it. We have seen too many instances where they flake, and
not enough hard data that it's worth that risk or the extra cost. We also
stay away from Iridium plugs (7 documented cases of them breaking a tip and
lodging under the valve seat or squish area on piston), as an aside ; ^)

If you guys don't wanna hear what other communities, like MR2T guys, are
doing, lemme know. I don't mean to "pollute" threads with non-Nissan
content. I hope to be helpful and provide another perspective, rather than
otherwise. I don't *have* a Nissan (yet), so 99% of what I can offer as
experience is with another engine, and I can see that much of that "wisdom"
I have gleaned often varies from what is accepted knowledge in the Nissan
community. Reversed, I am here exactly for the opposite -so I can learn from
what you all do, and shed any dogma I am burdened with ; ^)

Terry Heick
Modern Sports Car
Heick Resources