Bluebaugh Racing’s – JE Pistons Spotlight
By Crew Chief- Deborah Woodard
“Bluebaugh Racing will soon round out another racing season and the second year of being fortunate enough to have JE Pistons aboard our racing program.” Crew Chief for Bluebaugh’s racing operation, Deborah Woodard explained “JE Pistons is one of few company’s that has not only maintained their standards through tough times, but is also improving them on a regular basis. JE Piston’s has one of the most rigorous standards of manufacturing and quality control out there today in the piston business. I know that when new pistons arrive, that I can depend on them being right.”
JE Pistons currently uses State-Of-The-Art CNC machines for manufacturing with capability of making tolerances to millionths of an inch. But that’s not where things start. Each custom JE Piston begins in the engineering department on a computer aided design program before it ever sees a machine. The computer allows engineers to create a 3D rendering and complete a “Finite Element Analysis” (FEA). FEA enables the engineer to calculate amounts of stress and fatigue that are placed on the piston during competition. Design enhancements are then made on the computer model and re-tested until they exceed needed tolerances.
Woodard said “We put our JE Pistons through a real beating with every run we make. Over 800 horsepower in our engine is being produced in our primary three Nitrous Oxide systems before the fourth stage is added. Nitrous and pistons are not exactly friends. Exact tolerances, integrity in the quality, and durability are a must. A piston failure can cause thousands of dollars in damages and put us out of competition. This is why we have chosen JE Pistons continuously through the years. When we decided to buy a larger cubic inch engine, we threw away the pistons that were in it and turned to JE for help. The engineers listened to what we wanted in our pistons and then applied their knowledge and expertise to come up with the best design.”
Design advancements in racing engine technology are making it possible to increase cylinder pressure. Forced induction and Nitrous are added for this purpose alone. The basic concept behind power production is to cram as much air and fuel into the engine as possible. Pistons are caught in the middle with the engines cycle attempting to both eject the pistons through the head and jam them through the oil pan.
Woodard said “We rebuild our big cube Nitrous engine every ten passes as a measure of preventative maintenance. The proof that JE is building a higher quality piston is in the fact that the pistons are going back in the engine and show good durability over time. Our relative cost for piston replacement due to wear is low compared to our competitors who use other brands.”
While years ago JE Pistons started out making both cast and forged models of pistons they have since switched to forged and billet models exclusively due to these increasing performance demands. They are also 100% American made in JE’s California based manufacturing facility. Once a JE Piston completes the machine process, quality control kicks in full force. Each piston is cleaned by hand and de-burred. The quality inspector then places each piston in a coordinate measuring machine that double checks that machining has been completed according to specification. This process is followed by a hardness test and visual inspection before packing for delivery.
Research and development from custom design projects like the one completed for Bluebaugh Racing has trickled down into JE’s off the shelf piston and parts line. Innovations developed for professional racing such as lightweight forging design, a unique skirt profile, and ultra-flat ring grooves has resulted in horsepower gains that can be appreciated by all racers in both the JE and SRP product lines. New for drag racing are SRP Pistons for LS1/LS2 engines, SRP Pistons for Ford BOSS 302, F.S.R. Honda B-series VTEC Pistons, and high performance coating. Additionally JE has been doing research and development to add big bore nitrous engine pistons to their product line.
Bluebaugh Racing would like to thank JE Pistons for their continuing support and design expertise that has contributed to our years of success in racing.
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