Pistons

The pistons are the mechanical components that bear the pressure from combustion that is ultimately turned into vehicle motion. Piston rings form the seal between the pistons and cylinder walls, and the connecting rods connect the pistons to the crankshaft, converting the reciprocating motion of the pistons to the rotating motion of the crankshaft, which turns the gears in the transmission, the axle shafts, and ultimately the wheels.


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Pistons are cast or forged from aluminum alloy. The forging process increases strength and resistance to damage, and forged pistons are generally used for extreme conditions like racing. The piston rings fit into grooves near the top of the piston, called the head. The most common construction is 2 compression rings with a 3rd ring below them for oil control. Most oil rings consist of upper and lower rails with a center expander to maintain tension.

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