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  #1  
Old August 13th, 2020, 10:03 AM
Offthebeatenpath Offthebeatenpath is offline
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Default Pistons for a 230 Tornado?

Hey guys..... Jeep guy here, working on a '65 Gladiator J200 pickup with a 230. I'm trying not to pitch this whole engine in the garbage, but I can't find a friggen set of pistons anywhere!

I need a full set, looking for a source of any kind that's not custom.
My block is standard bore, but worn, so it will need to be rebored, but I don't know the definite size yet.

I've tried:
Kanter Auto - nope
Walack's 4wd - nope
Willy's Works - nope
Willy's America - nope
Kaiser Willys - nope
Vintage Power Wagon - nope
Memphis Equip - 1 set of standard bore
Surplus City - nope
Midwest Military - nope
Peter DeBella - nope
Rudy Phillips - nope
Border Parts CA - nope

Egge Machine - Custom made $1400/set, w/out rings.
eBay - hit or miss. Mostly miss in my case.


I live in SW Montana, so machine shops are few and far between. So far, resleeving a block will cost me $7-900, which is just a touch cheaper than custom pistons.
Any other ideas that I'm missing?
Thanks in advance!!!
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  #2  
Old August 13th, 2020, 10:25 PM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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You listed everything and more. I instantly thought of Kanter. Well never mind there... So I had a set of pistons made for an older 4 cyl mercruiser boat motor. The engine builder said they were not much more than over the counter pistons. He had trouble finding only 4 pistons and no parts places would break up a set of 8. So he had them made out of California.
M and S engine in Ponderay ID. Greg is his name. He has built a couple engines for me and some other machine work. He is slow but meticulous. The engines he did for me all run like a sewing machine.

You are left with sleeving and STD bore pistons, waiting for ebay to have oversize pistons pop up, or like some would suggest, repower....
I would keep looking and try to be patient. You never know.
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Old August 14th, 2020, 05:34 AM
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Wow, That's discouraging

I thought that Willys America or Kanter would at least have some.
They were my "go to" source of quality parts, when I was rebuilding my Tornado 230.
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Old August 14th, 2020, 08:33 AM
Offthebeatenpath Offthebeatenpath is offline
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I'm planning on exhausting all reasonable options before resorting to an engine swap. For better or worse, the difficulty of getting parts is strengthening my resolve to get this thing running and back on the road simply because it seems like it won't be getting any easier to do it.

Kanter made it sound like they had a production run of pistons made in China and were simply at the end of their stock, but made no indication that they would be ordering more. But they're at least set up for it.

For the purpose and condition of my truck, I won't likely be ordering custom pistons of any kind, if anything I'd sleeve and re-bore it back to standard, but even that's going to cost me $1k to do. Before I go that far, I'd probably just hone the block I have, take down the ring ridge, throw some new rings in my standard pistons and accept that I'm going to have some blow-by.

If nothing else, hopefully this will provide some info for others moving forward and running into the same issues I have.
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Old August 14th, 2020, 09:26 AM
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At this point if it were mine, I would do a minimal hone and rering it. Then run a high zinc oil like Valvoline VR-1. All older engines should have high zinc oil. The claims of new oils being backwards compatible is BS. If it were true then I would not be continually finding flat cams in the motors I am opening up. And in trying to keep up a questionable reputation, I must make a statement on fram filters and how you would be better off tossing a handful of sand in your motor.
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Old August 14th, 2020, 01:03 PM
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Does not say what size but does say newly made.
http://www.performancenowdirect.com/...waAtBLEALw_wcB

I would also message this ebay seller, they have a lot of parts for 230.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-JEEP-KA...YAAOSwl9BWHPoS
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Old August 17th, 2020, 06:43 AM
Offthebeatenpath Offthebeatenpath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m38inmaine View Post
Does not say what size but does say newly made.
http://www.performancenowdirect.com/...waAtBLEALw_wcB

I would also message this ebay seller, they have a lot of parts for 230.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-JEEP-KA...YAAOSwl9BWHPoS
Good call on both! I've messaged a couple other sellers, but I missed that one.

And I'll give the other place a call too, and report back. Thanks a ton!
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Old September 8th, 2020, 09:04 AM
Offthebeatenpath Offthebeatenpath is offline
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Just to keep this updated for future reference....

The seller "nos4jeeps" on eBay replied to my first email about 2 months ago, but has not responded to any other attempt to contact him. I found and sent him a message on Instagram- no dice. I found his company page on FB which had an actual email address, so I sent on there, no reply.

I've had similar trouble from Performance Now Direct. They never answer the phone, and the emails I've sent go about a week before reply. They did confirm that whomever they were buying pistons from is no longer producing them, so whatever they have in stock is the end of it. But then they can't confirm or deny what they have in stock. It's quite confusing.

All that to say, no progress.
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  #9  
Old September 8th, 2020, 10:05 AM
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Bummer, may have to wait until a set shows up on ebay. If you could find standard size rings you could freshen up the cylinder walls with a ball hone to cross hatch and call it good.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/230-JEEP-WI...AAAOSwjc5Z3Q~7

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Piston-Ring...QAAOSwjJdd2I11

Last edited by m38inmaine; September 8th, 2020 at 10:08 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2020, 07:29 AM
Offthebeatenpath Offthebeatenpath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m38inmaine View Post
Bummer, may have to wait until a set shows up on ebay. If you could find standard size rings you could freshen up the cylinder walls with a ball hone to cross hatch and call it good.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/230-JEEP-WI...AAAOSwjc5Z3Q~7

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Piston-Ring...QAAOSwjJdd2I11
That's exactly what I'm leaning towards. I've got 5 (long story, don't ask) serviceable standard bore pistons, so I only need one more, and a set of rings. The bore is worn, no doubt, but I can deal with a little blow-by more easily than $1200 and up for custom pistons.

Note: if you ever buy used pistons from someone, be very specific on how you would like to have them protected and packed for shipping. If you don't, the dumbass on the other end might just throw all 6 pistons and connecting rods loose in a cardboard box and drop it off at the post office. That's why I have 5 pistons instead of 6.
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