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GaWajn

Egge or Kanter

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Hey guys,

I am rebuilding a straight eight Pontiac engine and the question I have is who has the better parts/service/prices/warranty ... Egge or Kanter or someone else?

What are your experiences ... maybe the differences are small ... maybe no difference?

Thanks for your input

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Egge is cheap junk,(Long story of defective pistons and soft valves.) canter I have not done business with. Use Aries for pistons. Check all valves you buy with a rockwell tester. Compare them to the factory valve. There is more junk out there than good stuff. Ed

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Rather than looking for vendors, how about if you look for brands of rebuilding parts/gaskets and then go from there, finding vendors (even local machine shops!) that can source the needed parts for you. Remember, too, that these older engines didn't see the rpms that more modern V-8s did, so heading toward a "race" parts vendor can be expensive overkill, in many cases . . . unless you might desire the prestige of using that vendor. All you need is just solid, OEM-spec (a minimum spec!) hard parts and gaskets. Usually, the gasket sets will have the more recent materials, which is good. Personally, I'd feel better about the parts IF they were genuine USA-made parts.

Just some thougths,

NTX5467

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I have been to the local engine rebuilders ... two of them ... one uses Egge ... the other Kanter. Seems that you can't get the hard parts from the normal sources ... they just don't make them any more.

I looked up Arias for pistons ... they don't make them for my application. I too would prefer USA made parts ... but that might be a pipe dream in this day and age.

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Kanter is merely a reseller, I don't think they make any of their own stuff. I bet buying pistons or valves from Kanter, they show up in an Egge box...

I have no experience with Egge parts, but they do have a good reputation and have been supplying the hobby for years. However, I also trust Ed's opinion a great deal, so I think this would warrant further investigation.

Also, for what it's worth, if you have an original piston, most piston companies will be able to make you a set to match. Arias (or any other piston company) will make you stuff that is like artwork, but you'll pay for it, too. Is it worth it? Maybe, but also bear in mind that our old cars are driven gently and sparingly--do you really need a $1200 set of pistons?

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When I made the comment about OE-replacement parts manufacturers, I was thinking about Sil-vo-lite pistons. They still catalog pistons for flathead Chrysler motors, some Chevies into the 1940s, and some later still in other brands. Used to be that Sil-vo-lite was what the local machine shops needed when they needed a cast piston for a rebuild. At that time, I'd not heard of them so I considered them "not too good", but in later years, I discovered that they were one of the better AND oldest piston makers in the USA. They had pistons for everything built in the USA, back then (1970s). In later years, they combined with Keith Black for performance hypereutectic pistons (strength of forged, fit as a "cast" piston, so they are quiet when cold). In later years, they have progressed into some other areas, as "claimer pistons" for certain race car classes.

Perfect Circle/Dana was another OEM piston manufacturer back then. Listings for engine hard parts for most anything made in the USA, back then, too. In some cases, the PC/Dana brands were re-packaged for more regional brands.

SO . . . if you can find one of those old engine parts catalogs, you might be able to do some searches or even contact the OEMs directly to see if there are any stashed away in any warehouses (kind of a slim chance, at this time) or if they might point you in a direction of where they might have shipped some in prior times. IF you can build a relationship with a local machine shop/auto parts parts person, they could make the inquiries and possibly get better information from the OEMs than an inquiry from an individual citizen with an old car they're fixin' up, by observation. But also be advised, once you issue a purchase order (or credit card number) to buy these things, they're yours to have and hold with NO return priviledges.

Most of the piston catalogs referenced factory casting numbers on the underside of the piston or on the inner side of the skirt. Much better than trying to use a model/model year reference! Perhaps . . . with and old-line piston maker as Sil-vo-lite, they would still have the old blueprints archived somewhere so that they might still be able to make a set of pistons at a somewhat reasonable price. Just speculatin'.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

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Arias makes great pistons, but as Matt states, they're expensive. I bought a set for my 1910 Buick, and they were "custom" made to the car's requirements.

My justification in spending the money was that the pistons are excellent quality, and I also thought of the old refrain concerning a car engine's operation.

"Well, the generator is genning, the carburetor is carbing, and the pistons are....working too!"

To much money in the rest of the car and engine to skimp on what makes it go......but agree it might not make sense for some other cars being restored...

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Try Terrell machine. Hard parts can be sourced for Auburns withoutusing either one of those suppliers. Check Diamond , Ross, Aries, Jhans for pistons. We used diamond pistons fitted with Honda rings in an Auburn with excellent results. Auburns have pourse babbit bearings. Think about inserts.

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Guest BJM

I like the comments about cost versus performance. I have a 73 Buick with a 455 and the owner of the V8Buick.com website was offering a set of 8 NOS cast pistons for $100 or 8 slightly used forged ones, a little more. I picked the NOS cast because I am not going to run my 455 up into 5500rpm range which could lead to an explosion. On the Pontiac Straight 8's I would go Egge or Terrill, both are long time advertisers in Hemmings. Egge has some negative comments but get the 8 pistons, provide them to your machine shop doing the rebuilding and have them checked out for roundness and fit.

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I know that at least one of the expensive brands of "racing" pistons are in fact sourced from Egge. Egge parts have run for years in many many restored cars with no problem. Machine shops (and restorers) like to blame defective parts when the real culprit is less than carefull assembly. We have had great luck with Terrill Machine and always call them first.

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A few months ago I needed a pair of pistons for a two cylinder I was rebuilding. All the piston companies I called said they only made sets of four. Egge said they would make them but only forged. I sent them a specification drawing and they would not accept it, they insisted on one of my original pistons being sent to them. Did that and they notified me they were processing the order. Shortly the new gorgeous forged pistons arrived with rings. They were packed and shipped in Arias boxes and yes they were expensive when I paid Egge. But they came through when everyone else danced around and the engine sounds great! ---Bob

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Guest BJM

Bob

Interesting story. Sounds like Egge acted as the middleman with Arias! I went cast with my 455 Buick because I learned in tech school that cast pistons are quieter and seal better cold. I was told and I could have been told wrong, that forged, while considerably stronger then cast, shrink and expand more and are thus noisier.

This information is offered to the readers as I am sure any old vehicle with just 2 cylinders is perhaps noisier no matter whether forged or cast pistons are used. However, the factory used cast pistons for years, due to cost and smoothness, and I am wondering if I would be putting forged pistons in what came from the factory as cast, unless there is a performance requirement.

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Brian-- I also wanted cast pistons, but was told by the Egge sales rep that there were no cores available for my application. ---Bob

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We had to use forged pistons in a '27 Kissel due to the unavailability of cast pistons of the proper size. Where you might leave 2 thou clearance between piston and bore with cast pistons you might leave 5 thou clearance with forged pistons. Being more dense the forged will expand more so more cold clearance is necesary. Once everything warms up forged pistons shouldn't be any noisier than cast but they definitely are noisier from a cold start.

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I've heard that's how you set up a Franklin air cooled engine, too....if it doesn't make noise when cold, it's set up too tight......

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OK, Long story as short as possible. 10 years ago, I along with several friends were building 31 Cadillac motors. We all ordered and used Egge pistons, a total of 4 engines, and the pistons were from two different batches. All cars were owned and worked on by people who know what they were doing, including myself. The first engine started suffered piston failure from poor casting with air pockets around the pin boss. Motor wiped out, Egge replaced the pistons, the block and bearing loss was not covered. I had my engine in the chassis. As I was pondering if I should pull the motor, another engine was started and suffered piston failure, again from the same problem, from a different batch of pistons. So, I pulled my motor, cut up 3 pistons, and found two bad ones. They offered to replace the two defective ones, NOT THE ENTIRE SET OR THE ONE I CUT UP THAT WAS OK. With no faith in their products, my money was gone, and I purchased a set of decent pistons from another supplier. While in the engine, I pulled a valve, it was so soft it was hard to believe. I can't remember the numbers, but it was below standard by about 50 percent. Again, throw out their parts, and get some good valves. We will not use their parts in our garage. 8 years pass, we manufacture more than 150 Pierce Arrow parts, including hard engine parts, as we will not buy junk. Egge called me to inquire to use us as a supplier for valves. They were looking to purchase valves for around three dollars......... I ask what kind of calve do you get for three bucks? The real story here is DO NOT TRUST ANY PART SENT TO YOU, We now have much more in house equipment as we cant seem to find quality reproduction parts. Too many people use the "it's just an old car" routine. Yup, my car is old, but we run the hell out of it. As far as what comes through the shop, the oldest regularly serviced car is an 1897 twin, the newest is a top fuel dragster(motorcycle) that runs in the 6.8's . Everything in the shop get ARIES. We have had only one failure in pistons from them, and could not prove what was at fault. You get what you pay for. To be fair, I have been told EGGE stuff is better today than it use to be. Most of the stuff we build is so rare, almost nothing is available over the counter. I won't go into the Stutz threaded valve issue....4 vendors, 12 months, and no parts that fit. We now make them. Ed

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I have used Egge pistons in 2 engine rebuilds over the last 20 or so years, both cars are still running well, however the engine re-builder at the time commented that they were a bit rough. More recently I had a 2 cylinder Maxwell engine rebuilt and I obtained a price from Egge and Arias, both required a minimum order of 4 pistons or in the case of Arias they were prepared to supply 2 pistons for the price of three.

The price for 4 pistons was significantly cheaper from Arias than Egge, so I bought them from Arias. The engine re-builder was very impressed with the quality however the quality of the Arias pistons is probably wasted on the Maxwell with its maximum of about 1500 rpm but at a cheaper price it was an easy decision. Delivery was very prompt

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If you clearance are not to bad, I always liked to nerail (spelled wrong) , then end gap over sized rings, engine run hard and carry a lot of oil to the clyindr walls, It old school technology. just remember if have them expanded .002, you get that all the way around and diameter will be .004 larger. we did with motocycle engine regular and a TR6 we build for racing. smooth out just above the factory redline.

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We used Ross pistons in the Kissel. Interestingly the Ross family is very much involved in actually building and modifying engines, especially early Olds Rocket 88s. We also had heard that Egge had solved their production problems but it's best to always check all parts for size and quality before installation if you can.

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Packards42, I think you refer to knurling, a system of upsetting metal in a diamond pattern which ultimately increases the diameter. I'm not a fan of this for pistons, since you've just created a greater number of wear points on the circumference of the piston.

Frank

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