1929 Super Six pistons

chrispeachrispea Posts: 2Member
edited February 2017 in The Flathead Forum
Hi, I have recently bought a nice tidy, low mileage 1929 Super Six. However, the engine is suffering from quite a bit of piston blow-by, which smokes out of the side cover breathers. I am keen to rebore the block but see that replacement pistons are quite expensive (over $1000). Has anyone played with installing "other" pistons into a 1929 Essex? I see that Triumph 650 motorcycle pistons are a pretty close match - 71mm OD, the right compression height, 18mm gudgeon (which could be bored out to suit the standard Essex) and only around 2.5mm shorter overall piston length. Good quality pistons are available for around half the cost of aftermarket Essex pistons.


  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,575Senior Contributor
    How about the weight of the Triumph pistons?  You need to take that into consideration.  Anything around 8 oz. - 12 oz is okay.   Otherwise new pistons are available from JP Pistons in Australia, or Egge machine Co.   Caterpillar D2 and D4 Starter Engine pistons are also an exact match for the  Essex pistons.   I have Vauxhall LIP pistons in my Essex which have a slight wedge on them and they perform very well, but do require a bit of modification, and are probably very hard to get now also.  Good luck,
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,890Administrator
    Have you tried Egge?  https://egge.com/product/kits.php?action=Search+MMY&kit_make=ESSEX&kit_model=CHALLENGER&kit_year=1929&kit_engine=
    They list a set for $692.  Also, I saw another inquiry about pistons (from 2008) where someone suggested trying the following manufacturers:
    and  http://www.venolia.com/
    It is possible that there are still NOS pistons for sale out there.  Have you checked with various Hudson vendors in the H-E-T?  Maybe some of your pistons are salvageable so you don't need all new ones.
  • ESSX28-1ESSX28-1 Posts: 1,349Senior Contributor
    A few years ago I got pistons for my 29 Essex block (sleeved back to std) from Lester Harris in Minden Nevada.

    Dave Young
  • chrispeachrispea Posts: 2Member
    I live in Canterbury, NZ. JP pistons have quoted NZ$1,000 for a set and the Egge pistons are over NZ$1,000 landed here. Although I take it with a grain of salt, I have seen quite a few negative comments on the net about both JP and Egge pistons. There is also a local company that can make them for NZ$1,250, but again, I am not sure about quality. I don't want to do the job twice. There are a few brands of Triumph pistons available and they seem to be pretty well tried and proven in quality. They also have options for crown heights to enable me to play with the compression ratio a bit?
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,575Senior Contributor
    Go for the triumph ones then.   Have you contacted Graeme Shaskey in Chch?  he may be able to help you out.  I may have a set of Vauxhall pistons here that would do . I am in Nelson.
Sign In or Register to comment.