Basic Affordable Piston Head Types for the small block chevy
Several types of pistons the market
Here is a look at the basic piston head types for the Chevy small block V8 engine. The three types listed below are the most common and basically the cheapest. When rebuilding most Chevy 350’s you will most likely be using one of these. Mostly because they work well for most combos and provide the best bang for the buck. Also the basic compression ratios that work for the common performance cams.
The Worst of them all
The first we have is a very bad design for high performance engines. Its the cast replacement piston with a Beveled Dish.
The Standard Flat Top
The Flat top dish. These are good for mild higher performance build where 64 cc heads and pump gas. These are better than the beveled edge pistons for detonation but still not the best.
The normal performance flat top. These are best pistons for most high compression applications. With small cc heads and flat tops with normal or lowered deck height is good for many combos. With zero decked blocks they are good for more high compression racing engines. Low compression street engines these can be used on a regular basis with larger combustion chamber heads. This piston type also creates the best combustion chamber floor for most applications. Dish and pop up style pistons can cause be more prone to detonation. This shape can provide less detonation risk with higher compression ratios.
The D dish Piston
The D shaped pistons are good for lowering compression to manageable levels and still providing good quench area. Providing a dish below the combustion chamber and a flat area where the heads quench area is located. This allows for better combustion and less chance of detonation. With standard dish pistons this area is open and allows for the flame front to travel under the head. This causes poor combustion and possibility of detonation.
These are your very basic high performance pistons. These are made by Badger and sold as Sealed Power brand now. They may not sell them at all. Its a rather old piston design for mild performance rebuilds.