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Nikasil or Iron liners?


GavinT

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What is the benefit in switching to iron liners?  

With my engine apart, now would be the time to make the switch to iron but if the Nikisal  liners are still ok it seems silly not to reuse them.  I did order a set from JAE but having googled around I’m finding that Nikasil is better than iron. Been reading the Porsche and the Ferrari forums. 

I really want to do my engine build with the right components, so if switching to iron is preferred over reusing in spec Nikisal liners I will.

This also opens the door to reusing the in spec Mahle pistons. If you go for the iron liners should you also change to CP Carrillo pistons to? Which is the piston manufacture that JAE sells.

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Hi Gavin,

Good to hear what you're getting up to! A machinist prepping liners for a pal quite some years ago advised the iron to be remarkably hard, which is a good thing. The late Tony Rudd wrote in his autobiography that Lotus were only out of the woods on oil consumption once they went over to Nikasil, however I've neither read nor heard that Esprit were unduly problematic in that regard. One anecdote I recall is the sound of a chap's quite new Stevens Esprit on start up circa '88, noting the distinct sound of piston slap. Nothing of the sort from my pal's S1 running forged TRW's in iron, though it was built with piston-bore clearance tighter than conventional. One would think that Nikasil's complimentary thermal expansion rate should facilitate the optimal outcome but the sound of that idling Stevens never squared with my expectations in that regard. CP Carillo are top shelf AFAIK, news to me that JAE are providing their pistons though pleased if that's true. The JE's formerly offered were broadly well regarded, I think.

In answer to the question posed, will the Stevens remain as stock in terms of tune? Also pertinent is how well the OEM liners' surfaces have remained to this point. The Nikasil coating is quite thin as I understand things.

Cheers

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Hello Steve, appreciate your thoughts. Things are progressing ‘slowly’. I was hoping to have the car back on the road by now but unfortunately it’s been a bit of the old one step forward, three steps back. I hate to say it but the engines been out for 18 months now. Almost there with the components assembled ready for the build. Liner and piston choice is really my last pieces of the puzzle.

 

 

 

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Iron liners are fine, unless you want to pay the king’s ransom for Nikasil. You will probably need to use different rings. Well worth checking out Westwood for liners, they supplied mine.

https://westwoodcylinderliners.co.uk

 

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Margate Exotics.

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@Chillidoggy

i just looked at the id numbers on the liners JAE set me and they appear to Westwood liners. That assumes that no other manufacture is using the same Part# LT1932, which is on the spigot.

Ian, I have read your rebuild thread but can’t remember if you reused your Mahle pistons?

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Thanks Ian. JAE supplies Deves rings which I know Garry is not a fan off. Once I know which piston/liner combination I’ll be using I think I will get the rings from him. 

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Just as a note. My Excel has iron liner and its been running with the SE Mahle pistons for a number of years at around 220hp and it is still running as good as new.

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