Have you ever been carrying on a technical conversation with someone that’s using terminologies that you don’t particularly know or understand and wish you had a little cheat sheet stored away in your brain or a lighting quick smart phone to look it up? This can often be the case when talking car parts. Take a piston for example: while their function to internal combustion is relatively straightforward, many elements make up the top, sides, and insides of a piston. And sure, anyone that’s ever built an engine knows exactly what each of those terms point to, but not everyone has that experience or knowledge.
Fortunately, JE Pistons has provided a nice little cheat sheet that even if you can’t manage to store in your brain, you could always print out and carry around with you. The Piston Terminology section on their website breaks down each area of a piston with tags pointing to the various elements to provide a little education in what all those big and little words mean.
The side view shows the deck, dome height, lands, forced pin oilers, lock grooves, skirt and other elements, while the side cutaway view points out the compression height distance, valve pocket, valve angle, pin bore center, gauge point, and valve pocket depth. Finally, the top view shows us things like the intake and exhaust centerline out, intake and exhaust valve relief, and the valve stops. Armed with this information, never again will you be lost when in conversation with an engine builder or piston manufacturer. So, get to studying.