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scott12180

Are Egge pistons any good?

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Does anyone have recent experience with Egge pistons?

I heard alot of bad things about them. Managemnet changes, Mexican labor, poor quality, etc.

My last car was done with Arias pistons which were beautifully

made. Trouble is they are well over twice the cost and take four weeks to make.

Egge pistons are in stock and off the shelf. If they have improved then I might give them a try,

but I am still wary.

Any opinions on Egge these days?

--Scott

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I have Egge pistons in two collector cars. My '38 Packard V-12 (which has a wedge-shape piston - the Packard V-12 was one of the first production auto engines to have a fully-machined combustion chamber with wedge pistons to increase performance) and my '36 American La France V-12. Both are frequently subject to sustained extreme speed operation. Assuming your shop/overhaul proceedures are in order, I would not expect you would have ANY problems with Egge products.

I did "spec" them out to be a loose fit - there is a TRACE of piston slap noise when I first start up when they are VERY cold. As the engine warms and the aluminum expands, this disappears.

Remember, as we get towards the late 1930's and later, some cars had "autothemic" pistons, meaning pistons that had a "split" and a steel insert spring, to control/reduce expansion as the piston heats up. That is why some people get into trouble with hard-starting engines when they get hot - they forget the piston clearances called out in the factory shop manuals were based on "autothemic" pistons - what you get from any of the modern piston manufacturers, is a simple solid "slug" which has a higher rate of expansion then what came originally in some of the more expensive cars.

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I've also heard that Egge pistons "ain't what they used to be". The machine shop I use recently ordered a set for a DeSoto hemi and the shop owner said "they were junk and we sent them back". He ended up ordering from Ross. If you get some of the older stock they may be fine, but I hear the new stuff is made in Pakistan or India and the quality is suspect. Compared to the cost of machine work, build labor, installation etc I'd want to be sure. What kind of car?....if cost is a factor, you might also try Kanter...they seem pretty reasonable.

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Over 40,000 miles on a set of Egge pistons in my 1934 Eight and no problems. Recently removed them to rebabbitt the rods, and they looked as good as they day they went in. However, if I could have sourced autothermic strut pistons as the originals were for the 3-3/16 bore engine, I probably would have done so but I believe they are only available for the Super Eight (3-1/2 bore). I've looked at some recent Kanter pistons for the later Packard eights and I must say they looked to be beautifully made.

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We tried them and sent them back - it is nice to have 8 or 12 the same size and weight. In this case you get what you pay for. If you use a high silicon forged aluminum piston you will pay more, but it you can fit it closer to specs. Newly manufactured steel strut pistons are very hard to find. If you search, you can find some NOS ones. I have several sets in oversizes for Packard 8s. Dave Mitchell packard12s@hotmail.com

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Greetings, All,

The general concensus among the V8 builders is the Egge pistons are just "hole fillers." The factory tolerance is .0015" piston-to-bore. If the Egge's are fitted to less than .0035" they will often have so much friction the engine will run hot. They definitely have to be balanced, as the weights vary. The quality control problems are not new. I bought an engine rebuilt with Egge's more than ten years ago. When it was started, there was a knock which got worse as the engine heated up. Upon teardown, nothing was obviously wrong. We finally found the skirt of one of the pistons was brushing the crankshaft counterweight.

Any of the custom piston manufacturers, JE, Arias, BRE, Venolia, can make a custom set of forged pistons for $800-1200. Egge's cost less than half that, but are not worth putting in a car which will be driven long and/or hard.

thnx, jv.

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Arias pistons will probably save you alot of money in the short and long run. That's what I have now in my '54 Caribbean and it runs as smooth as a vodka martini served with kina lillet and of course shaken, not stirred. I originally bored out my 359 cu.in. engine to .020 over bore when I rebuilt it. I used egge pistons. Worst thing I ever did. The connecting rod on the pistons elongated over a short period of time and ruined the block bores. Had to take apart the engine [not cheap, you know] and had to rebore another .020 for a total of .040. Sent egge the pistons back with a bill for the second engine rebuild. They sent me a refund for the pistons only. A really great business !!! Had a friend with a 1923 Bentley 3 Litre rebuilt his engine the same time as mine with egge pistons. 550 miles later as he was gently breaking in the motor a piston crown came off the piston - you can imagine what the did to the head and block! I told him to send in the $8,200 repair bill with the piston bill and he got his money back - for the pistons.... I have 3 more stories if anyone's interested, i just don't want to take up all the space on the post board. .......................Steve

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After a trip home from Oakland back to San Jose late one night, my 1954 Patrician started knocking slightly but only when I gunned the accelerator. Upon removing the head the next day, I discovered that the top of a piston had come off! The engine was freshly rebuilt with Egge pistons. They informed me that they had had a "bad batch" of the 359cid pistons and that I should send it back. In disassembly I found several others with cracks. They replaced the set and the replacements are still in it but it also hasn't been driven at all in almost thirty years.

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Has anyone ever wondered if there are OTHER vendors using Egge as their supplier???? What really makes me wonder is how they stay in business. I've never bought from them. I've heard identicle complaints on a vintage motorcycle web site i've belonged to for over 9 years.

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re : egge Pistons

I have two motors I installed (myself) Egge pistons in. In both cases, they have given great service over many TENS of thousands of miles, MOST of my driving is at high speeds (yes, both vehicles have "trick" rear-end gearing, otherwise stock. Both are "long stroke" V-12' that are completely stock except for raised compression ratios.

The '36 American La France V-12 is an over-head cam 800 cu in monster - story & can be seen on the cover of ENJINE-ENJINE-ENJINE magazine ( the fire engine club ) (issues "1989-4" and "1988-2"). Egge pistons installed in the mid 1980's, amongst other trips, took me to the Detroit and New York fire engine musters & back, and this included charging up the famous Kingman and Needles "grades" in July heat!

The Packard V-12 also has a high compression head, but is otherwise stock (except, again, for a "trick" rear axle to lower the rpm at extreme speeds. I have NEVER heard of a Packard V-12 with Egge pistons coming apart.

Now - a word about fitting pistons - side-wall clearances. Late 1930's era Packards had a steel strut "auto-thermic" piston, that could be fitted a LOT closer than a standard aluminum "slug" type like I bought from Egge (these have to be fitted "sloppy loose" to make up for expansion when they get hot). If you use the much tighter factory clearances from an engine with "auto-thermic" pistons you WILL have problems, and COULD break a piston or two - when they got hot, at the very least, the "drag" will cause over-heating and will slow cranking speed way down when trying to start "hot".

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I rebuilt the engine in my daily driver in 1980 using EGGE pistons. The engine now has 481,000 miles on it (325,000) since overhaul and I have not had any trouble. Of course I balanced the ring, pin, piston and rod assemblies and checked every ring for clearance, both in the piston and in the cylinder during assembly.

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It's easier for a rebuilder to blame the parts supplier than it is to admit he didn't check something he should have. Nothing wrong with Egge parts properly specified and properly installed. We recently rebuilt an early engine where Egge couldn't supply us pistons. We had to go to forged pistons from a well known performance piston manufacturer. Nice parts but almost twice the price of Egge. Egge also made us valves and guides for the same engine using our originals. We've encountered no problems with Egge parts in almost 30 years of restoring. If NOS parts are available we prefer them, of course.

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Guest BJM

I'm sure we want to use suppliers that have a perfect reputation for quality. None of us want to have to re-rebuild a motor. It's an expensive proposition on any car. Some of the early posts/comments reference rebuilding Bentleys and Packards and such, so I am pretty sure those motors got fitted/rebuilt well, it was piston quality and manufacture that failed.

In other cases, the Egge pistons performed just fine. No manufacturer can stay in business if it's products are more bad then good, so I undersatnd the comments above to state that Egge pistons overall are decent options.

But because I hope to restore my cars only once, I want no doubt about it, and will try first for premium pistons, followed by Egge and closely inspect and fit the Egge pistons if that is my only choice. So this is, I think, good overall advice for anyone. Those who have had bad experiences with Egge as noted above- are not purposely lying, nor are those who have had good experiences. Proceed with caution.

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I agree 3Jakes. What I glean from this discussion and in talking with my machine shop guy (he does a lot of collector car work) is that Egge used to be topflight, but the quality of their pistons in particular has been spotty for the past few years. The machinist described the DeSoto pistons as being crudely machined and he said the weights were all over the place...to the extent that he recommended sending them back and ordering a set from Ross.

Yes, the custom forged pistons may be $400 more for a set, but what is the cost of a piston failure?

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Jeff, thanks. The owner of Egge has privately contacted me and I am going to give him a chance to respond if he would like. All of you know our policy is no public thrasing of any vendor. As stated in the past, you guys can PM all day long or find other sites where there are no checks and balances in what people say. You can also say, please contact me privately, etc.

Egge has been in business forever! I bought pistons from them for my very first car in 1970. They are well known and have a lot of very satisfied customers. Have they made mistakes, probably. I am sure every business has screwed up once in awhile based upon human error or problems with the raw materials. The mark of a quality vendor is what they do when confronted with a legitimately unhappy customer.

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If you had bothered to take the time to read my post you will see that I responded based upon a contact I got from the OWNER of Egge Pistons. He is a reasonable guy and objected to some of what was said. He did not ask for the post to be pulled so I did not and he is considering his response. Now once again YOU know why I brought the subject up!

I did not say it was uncivil just stating a policy. I have read the posts on the Packard blogs and you guys are welcome to thrash me personally.

Have at it, I take my job very seriously and do everything I can for members and non-members alike. My responses to moderating fucntions have always been to be reasonable in spite of what you may think.

We are now in negotiations for major improvements to our website and anticipate spending a huge amount of additional money in providing this free service. I will not apologize for protecting our ability to maintain these forums for AACA and other clubs. This is part of my job.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Steve Moskowitz</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> This is part of my job.

</div></div>

i and i'm sure most members will agree that you and the other moderators are doing a 'Great Job' to! smile.gif

i would love to see a rep from Egge get on the forum and tell their side of the story, since our debates do get one-sided some times.

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Steve,

I personally think you do a great job. I understand the constraints you are under. I find this service quite remarkable, and I have learned much from all.

Cheers,

Tom

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I don't own a Packard, but I saw the title of this thread and could not stay away...

I used to own a 1927 Stude President Big Six. When I got the car, it needed a complete rebuild, since the previous owner allowed sand blasting sand to get into the oil. I had to bore it .020 over and replaced all of the valve guides, lifters, valves, pistons, every moving part in the engine. I ordered all the parts from Egge and gave him the hole sizes and let him handle the rest. I could not have been more happy with the parts and the fit. I sold the car approx 12 years later and it was still going strong when the new owner took it to Utah. Now, I admit, it was around 1985 when the engine was rebuilt, so I can't speak of the recent quality issues, but I think I got more than what I paid for.

I would buy from Egge again...

Frank

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Rick and Tom, thanks for the kind words. They were not necessary but appreciated. I work very hard for this club and will not allow a few to spoil it for everyone else.

John, you are welcome to your opinion of me or the rules I follow for the club. They pay my salary and set my guidelines. Obviously you would like to make this personal but I am not about to bite.

It is up to Mr. Silvers to respond if he wishes, he was not aware of these posts until someone contacted him recently. I know Ernie and he gives an awful lot back to the hobby.

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Gentlemen – Please excuse the late response as I’ve had some internal “technical issues.” Nevertheless, there seems to be a bit of confusion regarding who Egge is and what it does and doesn’t do. I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to several of the previous comments listed on this forum. First of all let me clarify that Egge Machine, established in 1915, is (still) a family operation, currently in its third generation of ownership. Egge has supported and endorsed the AACA and its members for generations by supplying internal engine components for antique and classic vehicles from the early 1900s to 1985.

And, as it has for generations, Egge continues to cast and machine aluminum pistons in our Santa Fe Springs, CA facility (just east of Los Angeles). Regardless of what you may have heard, we have never outsourced these operations to offshore vendors. It is my job as CEO to ensure that we manufacture Egge product as efficiently as possible so off-shoring does not become a reality – as it has for some of our competition. It is true that, on occasion, we must source some components and raw materials from overseas vendors because we are not able to source them on this side of the pond. Nevertheless, our pistons and valves are made in America - by Americans. Some have commented about “Egge pistons not being as good as they used to be…” The fact is the quality of Egge pistons produced today is superior to any product we’ve previously manufactured – I guarantee it.

We are always concerned with improving our products; therefore, we are very interested in hearing from any customer – whether you purchase product directly from Egge or one of our distributors – especially if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase. Of course, it’s tremendously helpful if you actually call our sales desk (800-866-3443) for help as opposed to airing the issue out on a discussion forum.

Our goal is provide quality products along with the best customer and technical service possible – we’re all on the same side in this regard. If you’re not happy we’re not happy – and we’ll do whatever we can to make it right.

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