Q: Why is GoWesty's 2.2 liter piston & cylinder (P&L) set more expensive than the cheaper sets I find online?
1. Our pistons are made correctly—theirs are not. The piston dish is too large (49cc compared to 48cc), and the wrist pin location can be as much as 1mm too high (the piston does not come all the way up to the top of the cylinder!). This means that, once you install the made-in-China set, your compression ratio can end up as low as below 8:1. The fact that the piston does not come right to the top of the cylinder means you lose a critical "squish volume," which is critical for proper combustion. Thus, even though the engine is 100cc larger, it is very likely to make less power and torque than your original 2.1 liter, 90 horse-power engine, get worse gas mileage, and may not pass smog. Read more here.
2. Our pistons are made by top-name USA companies. You might think, "Yes, I want to buy U.S. products, but I don't want to waste my money for the same thing I can get for less, even if it's from China." We get this, and we feel the same way. If we could get Chinese manufacturer to make pistons correctly, we would consider buying them. But they won't or can't, and so we opted to do it right, by a US company, which is expensive.
3. Our pistons fit the cylinders correctly, every time—theirs do not. We make absolutely 100% sure each piston is fitted to each cylinder with the correct clearance. This is critical for quiet running and for longevity. This is especially important in order to survive a short period of extra stress for some reason, like blowing a hose, or just an ultra-heavily loaded vehicle climbing a steep hill on a hot day, for example.
4. Our liners (cylinders) are sized correctly, every time—theirs are not. This is actually one of the most difficult parts to get right, and is critical for quiet running and for longevity. We make absolutely sure each cylinder is machined to fit the piston correctly. To accomplish this, we designed and built a special fixture to hone cylinders several at a time and “rough” bore them to .005” smaller than the size of the piston. Then the cylinders are transferred to an even more elaborate fixture that simulates how they are loaded when installed in the engine, and then finished-honed in a state-of-the-art Rottler honing machine. The lower section of the cylinder that slips into the engine block is particularly tricky to get right because it ends up very thin and flexes if too much honing force is applied. All said and done, this is where we end up, every time:
96mm or 3.7810":
-000/+.0010" finish bore size for the 2200 & 2300 engines with Silvolite hyper eutectic cast pistons.
-000/+.0005" finish bore size for the 2450 engines with JE forged pistons.
100mm or 3.9730":
-000/+.0005" finish bore size for the 2700 engines with JE forged pistons, new custom US-made, GoWesty cylinders.
We have checked every cheap Chinese-made set of pistons and cylinders available. We have actually found the cylinders to be super high quality and indeed supplement our OE OEM VW, used cylinder core supply from time to time with Chinese cylinders. But even the cylinders cannot be used right out of the box! They vary so much in diameter, we have to measure every single one and group them in size batches! They just vary too much in size!
We have spent hundreds of hours measuring and checking, and have verified that none of the low-cost piston and cylinder sets are made correctly. None of them!