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Old 12-08-2013, 05:11 AM   #1
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Default Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons

Hi all,

Just wanted to share some pictures of my Supertech 10.6:1 pistons that I received back from Calico coatings. I know a few guys on here are running coated pistons but I didn't see a thread with photos or a personal review.

Turn around time was fairly quick, sent everything out and got it back in about a week, and staff were very friendly and followed up with my order and to see if I was happy with what I got.

Tops have been coated with a ceramic coating, their CT-2 Thermal barrier coating which used to be copper in colour. I was told the change was simply in colour and its the same stuff they used to offer.



Piston skirts were coated in their CT-3 dry film lubricant coating. I was told that this is essentially the same coating used on Mahle pistons with added teflon. This stuff is seriously smooth, running your hand over it vs. the factory Supertech coating there is definitely a difference.



Just on a side note, has anyone had similar finishing on their Supertech pistons? I had quite a few nasty burrs on the inside from the drilling process. Can't help but relate this to the price though, cheap pistons will have cheap finishing I guess. Nothing a dremel can't clean up but that sort of defeats the purpose of buying a quality product.



Unfortunately didn't notice these burrs until AFTER I had sent them out... This was by far the worst burr I had seen. Sent an email to Supertech but of course didn't get a reply hah...



Hopefully should have results to post back to this thread after a few months, machine shop has a backlog of work and won't get my block until early spring at the earliest.
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Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-cp-9.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-cp-10.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-cp-12.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-cp-7.jpg  

Last edited by Raisin; 12-08-2013 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:00 AM   #2
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Even though your pictures don't show I had a similar experience with ST not smoothening the edges after machine work. My 11:1 pistons were sharp enough to cut paper.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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I got the top coating on my CP pistons but not the skirt coating since I was advised that it wears off eventually anyway - made sense to me and saved me some $$$.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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how much? wish i could see pictures!
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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I sure wish this forum would get its act together with regard to inline images. Just let us host our own damn images and this wouldn't be a problem anymore.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:20 PM   #6
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This may sound totally stupid, but I noticed this too when I went to this site from my mobile phone. What gives?

EDIT: Pictures added, although I still don't understand how I can embed them into the post.

Anyhow,

I paid about $160 for 4 pistons, that price includes both the thermal barrier and dry film lube. Pretty reasonable if you ask me.

I talked to Dave @ Calico over the phone as well regarding piston skirt coating as well. Although in theory the skirt does "wear" and the coating will eventually be gone in the long run, its also the area where the coating is supposed to show the most effect as well. The reduction in friction should theoretically help improve power as well as keep the area around the skirt much cooler. He said that if anything, he would chose to get the skirts coated over the piston tops if he only had to pick one. I guess this assumes that you chose to use a clearance which is reasonable so that the skirts aren't rattling up the bore (another topic to be discussed) and in turn scraping off the coating faster than normal.

Reasons that I went for a coated top was that a friend of mine saw huge improvements in his 700whp Subaru STI using coated pistons. Keeping the heat where it should be helped keep things more reliable. If I had the budget I probably would have tried thermal coating the combustion chamber as well as the valves.

Last edited by Raisin; 12-08-2013 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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How many useful hours on the Skirt coatings? 10, 20, 50, 100?
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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I wonder how many hours till the ceramic paint is burnt off; 5, 10?
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
I wonder how many hours till the ceramic paint is burnt off; 5, 10?
I had someone come in with a properly done ceramic coated downpipe that had a crack for me to repair with my TIG.

I couldn't grind the ceramic out of the downpipe. even if I ground off the color, it still wouldn't weld properly...the ceramic was blasted right into the parent metal.

Since then I have total respect for proper coating like the OP has done.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shlammed View Post
I had someone come in with a properly done ceramic coated downpipe that had a crack for me to repair with my TIG.

I couldn't grind the ceramic out of the downpipe. even if I ground off the color, it still wouldn't weld properly...the ceramic was blasted right into the parent metal.

Since then I have total respect for proper coating like the OP has done.
Yeah I'm not looking forward to having to fix any of my swain coated hot parts. I wouldnt worry about it if it was a coating like the op, welder would burn it right off without needing to grind.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiklasFalk View Post
How many useful hours on the Skirt coatings? 10, 20, 50, 100?
See the photos I've attached and you be the judge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
I wonder how many hours till the ceramic paint is burnt off; 5, 10?
Pictures speak a thousand words. These pistons were put into my friend's STI and were pulled out after 10,000miles after an unfortunate event when his meth didn't spray.

As you can see, piston tops look like they are almost brand new. Its not a "paint", its a coating as previously mentioned by schlammed. I'm not sure why your Swain coated parts would hold up any differently than Calico coating. "welder would burn right off"... umm yeah. Goodluck with that.

For an actual answer of how well the coating will hold up, well YMMV. Everyone's situation is different. These were taken out of a car running a much larger bore and clearance, much higher boost than most people here see and making much more power as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-2617_61294353260_6335984_n.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-2617_61294363260_2391907_n.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-28197_391956488260_5896221_n.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-28197_391956508260_2809207_n.jpg  
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
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Those look like they're missing a whole lot of coating, especially on the exhaust side of all but cylinder 1. The might actually have no coating at all and all the brown color could be carbon and smutz, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #13
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Actually if they had no coating at all they would be shiny, like in the picture shown below. Exact same pistons except uncoated.

Still curious why you think your swaintech coating is any different than how these pistons are coated.
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Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-img-20131209-wa0008.jpg  
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:00 PM   #14
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I would advise to stay away from Swain tech! One of the festiva guys did the swain tech here are his results
I just recived my b6 pistons back from swaintech, they are pretty! I had them do their "gold coat" top coat and their "pc-9" skirt coating. Grand total with shipping..... $228.88! If your thinking of doing a build read up on their site, there is A LOT of very technical articles and magazine excerpts that back what they claim. I hope they do what they claim. Swain Tech Coatings | Industrial Coatings | High Performance Racing Coatings | Technical coatings to solve problems of heat, wear, corrosion, and friction


after 20k

After less than 20k I had a loss of compression on #2&3, smoking and excessive blowby. #2 had 90psi dry and 172psi wet, #3 had 70psi dry and 185psi wet. Tore the head off to diagnose, and this is what I found. Not very happy right now.

Never had a antifreeze leak. It was running great till about 3 weeks ago. It had just the tiniest puff of oil smoke on start. Also it seemed to want to have spark knock, where as it never had at the timing settings it had the whole time this engine has been in the car (2 weeks before madness). The intake side has seemed to take all the abuse. It almost looks as though the fuel mix has eaten off the coating. The small holes in the center were there out of the box. The head and block mating surfaces aswell as the head gasket (cometic) look great. If you look closely at the pattern of the bare sections, it follows the shape of port swirl. I haven't pulled them out to see how the skirt coatings have held up, but it looks as though the top coat, erroded and causes that side of the pistons to overheat locally causing the rings or possibly the pistons themselves to fail. The walls look great, they all had beautiful cross hatching and a few very minor vertical scratches, that don't catch your nail
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Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-imag0183oy.jpg   Ceramic Coated Supertech Pistons-imag0344sf.jpg  
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot_Wheels View Post
I would advise to stay away from Swain tech! One of the festiva guys did the swain tech here are his results
Yes, it was definitely a coating failure that caused all the detonation that damaged the pistons/rings. It certainly wasn't detonation that blew apart the coating and caused a bunch of damage to the pistons and rings.

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Old 12-09-2013, 11:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Yes, it was definitely a coating failure that caused all the detonation that damaged the pistons/rings. It certainly wasn't detonation that blew apart the coating and caused a bunch of damage to the pistons and rings.

My thoughts exactly...
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:52 PM   #17
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Savington you beat me to it- Though I'm more familiar with detonation degradation in two stroke motors (jetskis, they like to eat themselves) detonation almost always eats the piston/ringlands at the exhaust ports... What did they do here to make it manifest on the intake side?
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Yes, it was definitely a coating failure that caused all the detonation that damaged the pistons/rings. It certainly wasn't detonation that blew apart the coating and caused a bunch of damage to the pistons and rings.

L O L...
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:57 AM   #19
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Just pulled my head recently after 20 something thousand miles... Swain coated pistons still look great.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:57 AM   #20
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Bump from the dead, these pistons are now in my block. Haven't started the car yet, but I came across some interesting stuff.

According to Calico's site the coating should vary from 0.5-2mil thickness after it's applied. When the block came back it was decked 0.003" for resurfacing. I have the 10.6:1 B6 pistons. I was told that these pistons now protrude past deck height at about 0.0013+. This seems about right given the thickness of coating and the amount that was taken off the block.

When I measured the pistons in a laboratory grade scale, the weights came out to:

283.42g
283.23g
283.25g
283.29g

Meaning either the coating is applied very uniformly, or I have mismatched piston weights and I fluked out getting the weights within 0.2g of each other. Gut feeling is that the coating is properly applied and its very uniform across the piston dome.

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