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Thread: Older Pistons

  1. #1
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    Default Older Pistons

    Am I correct in thinking that pre-Ivey logo pistons (lower piston) are not allowed in SCCA? I have two sets of them in standard diameter.
    Are there other groups that might allow them?
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    Contributing Member TimH's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the Ford pistons were, and are, completely legal until they fail unexpectedly. Ivey's are the only others that got approved as equivalent in performance.
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    No, they aren’t the older cast pistons. I believe the history is that CP made replacement pistons for some period of time between the cast pistons and the current rule requiring the Ivey logo. They are identical to the current specification piston but they lack the logo.
    Picture shows, top to bottom, current Ivey logo piston, intermediate CP piston (no Ivey logo but obviously CP), original cast piston.
    .

    BTW: These pistons were installed by name-brand professional engine builders “back in the day”.
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    Last edited by Dave Harmison; 03.08.24 at 3:08 PM.

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    Contributing Member scorp997's Avatar
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    I would bet you could get Ivey to ‘certify’ the older version if they were produced by them (by CP). There was a few sets of counterfeit pistons out there that they were trying to pull out of circulation, I think they even offered to trade counterfeit ones for real ones at one point.

    I would call Ivey and see if there is some unique identifiers on the fake ones or see if they would confirm what you have.
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    Contributing Member DanW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Harmison View Post
    No, they aren’t the older cast pistons. I believe the history is that CP made replacement pistons for some period of time between the cast pistons and the current rule requiring the Ivey logo. They are identical to the current specification piston but they lack the logo.
    Picture shows, top to bottom, current Ivey logo piston, intermediate CP piston (no Ivey logo but obviously CP), original cast piston.
    .

    BTW: These pistons were installed by name-brand professional engine builders “back in the day”.
    The FF1600 pistons were the earlier official replacement pistons from Ivey. I still have a set. They are still legal. The ones with the Ivey logo are the later ones. They are legal.

    There were some counterfeit pistons with a fuzzy version of the Ivey logo and no CP logo (they were JE clones by Pick in SoCal). Ivey was successful in defending his trademark and IP, but it was expensive.
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    Default The real story

    Quote Originally Posted by DanW View Post
    The FF1600 pistons were the earlier official replacement pistons from Ivey. I still have a set. They are still legal. The ones with the Ivey logo are the later ones. They are legal.

    There were some counterfeit pistons with a fuzzy version of the Ivey logo and no CP logo (they were JE clones by Pick in SoCal). Ivey was successful in defending his trademark and IP, but it was expensive.
    Probably best to get your facts straight, this rumor of fuzzy pistons, cheater engines etc. has gone on far too long.

    Here's the actual story; In 2018 "Formula Ford the Series" (a 12 year old group of 15 plus So Cal FF racers) which had been racing within the Vintage category with VARA and other organizations for many years decided to move to SCCA as an invited group. The Formula F competitors within SCCA are very serious bunch of fast racers with mostly Honda power cars. Our group was initially concerned that maybe the Ford engines couldn't compete with the Hondas, so before we consummated a deal with Cal Club and SF Regions we commissioned Pick Racing Engines to figure out what the actual comparison was and what potential adjustments to the historic FF rules might be necessary to get the Ford engine's performance equal with the Hondas. As an invited group with our own classification "FFT" we we were able to establish our own class specifications regarding tires, (we use Hoosier R-60 Bias Ply Slicks) engine components, etc.,as long as all SCCA safety and other regulations were complied with. Accordingly, Pick Racing Engines ordered a several sets of JE pistons in different configurations for dyno testing purposes to determine the most competitive component package for us to run (again the objective was parity with the Honda, not to cheat or be greater in HP out-put; and FYI NONE of these testing pistons ever were on the race track or ever left Pick's shop). Interestingly, the test program revealed that in fact the SCCA people that originally figured out the parity between the Honda Fit Motor and the Ford were pretty much on the money. As it turned out, Pick determined that a well build Ford (not an assembly line motor) was very close to the Honda. Accordingly, the ultimate package we submitted to the regions was minimal, simply a change from the antiquated and expensive fused technology Ford valves to a single piece Manley stainless valve of exactly the same specs (but a third of the cost of the Ford valve) additionally JE agreed to build forged pistons to the exact SCCA spec (but for half the cost). The result was a much more reliable and less costly Ford motor. Interestingly, as we began to race with the fast Formula F guys from the West Coast the races became highly competitive with both Honda and Ford winning races and incredibly close racing. In 2019 we were at Laguna Seca for a race meeting and there happened to be a wheel dyno rig there to monitor another class. For all to see, we tested a Honda and a Ford car, both cars were the fastest of their type. The Honda dynoed at 103 HP and the Ford dynoed at 100 HP even. Since 2018, the "Formula F the Series" (see facebook page) FFT designated group has grown to become awesome. Today the "Formula F the Series" group on the West Coast has competitors from all over the country. Come race with us, bring your "A" Game.

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    Ya, that’s the facts. NOT! Todd

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    Senior Member Kim291's Avatar
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    I AGREE WITH TODD!! Norm’s version is NOT the facts of how the “Cheater Pistons” developed.
    Kim Madrid

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    Default FF Pick

    And exactly how did the Ivey logo get on some of these pistons? Exactly why did Pick never send the pistons with Ivey's logo on them to Ivey for destruction. And exactly why did 2 competitors refuse to have their engines inspected after a Vintage race long before these competitors were "INVITED" to fill out the fields in SFR regional races. (There was a reasonable protest bond available to put the engines back together if they were legal.) Do the Manly valves really have the stock Ford profile? Please post a picture of one next to a stock legal Ford valve .....etc.....etc
    Roland Johnson
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    Gentlemen:

    Please, I know there was an issue with some pistons, but my thread was just to ask about legality of some old pistons I want to sell, not about illegal pistons.


    Thank you.

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    Default FF Pick

    Dave I am sorry you got caught up in the crossfire in this issue. While I am almost 100% sure your pistons are legal, without someone who knows FF and has the equipment to inspect them, they are in question. Formula Ford only exists because of the stringent engine rules. When there is contamanation of the supply stream everyone in the Formula Ford world should know about it. It is much too easy to get extra power from a Ford engine if you just do not follow the rule book. There have been a surge of engines going in for rebuild that the owner has been told were legal that have non legal parts and modifications. I blame the SCCA also for not bothering to keep the lid on the rule book and allowing what I call, a field filler look alike class. The SCCA have successfully driven most of the Formula Fords into Vintage Racing. A place where we sometimes have former champions like Dennis Firestone and Jimmy Vasser still playing.
    Roland Johnson
    San Diego, Ca

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