Do I need to Buy Upgraded Wrist Pins? Jay’s Tech Tips #28
Do I need to Buy Upgraded Wrist Pins? Jay’s Tech Tips #28

Hi, I’m Jay from Real Street Performance. Today, we’re going to talk about piston pins. So the piston pins are kind of an unsung hero in your engine. They’re not exotic to look at. They’re not exciting to talk about. You don’t tell somebody that you bought pistons and rods and pins. You just tell them that you have upgraded pistons and rods. The pins are very important. If you’re using a turbocharger or nitrous or supercharger. And you’re using the standard pin that came delivered with the piston, there’s a good chance that you’re going to overwhelm that pin. The pin was only designed for so much stress. And the way that they increase its durability is with an increased wall thickness or a material change. And that will allow the piston pin to deal with the stress and load of the forced induction or nitrous. better than a standard pin. When the pin breaks, if you use a standard pin and it breaks it is a catastrophic failure. Everything that was your engine goes in the garbage. And you have to start over again because when it breaks the small end of the rod is now free to roam. It knocks a hole in the cylinder wall. Kind of just a bunch of stuff swinging around. Just turns into a real ugly situation. So in the realm of upgrading your piston pins, it’s not a very large expense. When someone buys a 4 cylinder set of pistons from Real Street, and they want to do an upgraded pin, there’s normally just a $100 step charge to get them into an upgraded pin. In the realm of what thickness pin you should have, the 200s or 210s are enough for the general population. If you’re doing anything really hardcore, you can step into the 250. They even make a 300. There’s also some coatings available that will allow the pin to not gal the piston. Keep in mind that the pin is flexing, but the piston is also flexing. You know when the piston changes direction, when it goes from bottom dead center on its way up, or top dead center on its way back down. You know there’s 4,000 g’s of force available as that piston is kind of yoked in the opposite direction. So the parts are going to have some deflection. And you can see some of that deflection in a harder run engine in the pin boss as the piston flexes and the pin flexes. But again having an upgraded pin can avoid a catastrophic failure at a very, very affordable cost. So it’s really good insurance guys. So in closing again it’s not a very exciting part to talk about, but it’s a very affordable insurance policy for your forced inducted engine. The running clearance won’t change. So if you’re going to target around a thou for piston to pin clearance, it doesn’t change with a thicker pin. You do pick up a little bit of weight as you go to a thicker pin. So you know there’s a 15 or 18 gram step when you go from 200 to 250. Now that mass if you’re overly concerned about that mass, if you’re going to let that kind of drag the decision down, keep in mind that the small amount of weight that you’re gaining in the piston pin area is buying a tremendous amount of durability for the engine. If you can look around and see some failures that happen when pins break, it becomes very obvious that it is money well spent to buy the upgraded pin for the longevity of the engine. Thanks, and have a good week.

18 thoughts on “Do I need to Buy Upgraded Wrist Pins? Jay’s Tech Tips #28”

  1. Adrian Mendoza says:


  2. Craig Cundiff says:

    i just put my engine together…but I'll be going back in to do some upgrades in ~ a month…I'll be contacting you for some of your giant pins…thanks Jay…oh yeah….FIRST! never did that before…lol

  3. SI RICKO says:


  4. Buddha Bills says:

    Is it true that ball bearing turbos are better than Journal bearing turbos because of the lag in journal bearing turbos?

  5. KK Racing says:

    Good video, Whenever I bought a new set of rings for my cp pistons I actually got the upgraded pins also, It was alittle while back (purchased from real street) But great customer service, Even gave me the phone number to contact real street's engine builder if I needed any help and for questions on ring gaps. Thanks again. My longblock is complete, I'm working on getting my fuel/turbo setup and hope to see real streets dyno eventually, going for 600+whp maybe 1000whp if I get the proper turbo/fuel setup

  6. Matthew Angelette says:

    Hey jay what do u think about converting a press pin piston to accept a full floating rod.i really need high compression Pistons but can't find any full floating ones for my d series Honda na please

  7. Dylan Rice says:

    so a upgraded pin would be good to have in a high torque i6?

  8. K.K.A. Overhaul says:

    Shoot man learned a lot from this vid ( and his other vids too) #RTP4LYFE 😉 😎🚗

  9. Paul Aguirre says:

    what will the step in weight do for harmonics? probably not good right?

  10. I_auto_enthusiast says:

    Great videos… Thxs Jay

  11. itsjussjerry says:

    Hey Jay,

    So I purchased some Speed factory outlaw Arias pistons for my B-Series motor. My question was, they came with wrist pin buttons to hold the wrist pins in instead of cir clips. What's your take on that for a 50/50 street/track car?

  12. GordoWG1 WG1 says:

    The pins shown all seem to be parallel wall – taper pins are not only lighter but have the material where it is actually needed – the highest bending and sheer loadings are at the centre and the ends are only lightly loaded.
    It should be possible to source some of these stronger, lighter pins from the aftermarket – may be worth checking out?
    Again, not familiar with the "import" market, but some pistons are available in 'short pin' lightweight versions, which also reduces the bending stress on the pin, but increases the direct loadings – may also be worth checking out?

  13. Bram Biesiekierski says:

    Are titanium alloys ever used for big power forced induction engines? You could build a big thick pin, but wiegh only half of a steel equivelant.

  14. mark quirk says:

    Good video! I did upgraded pins on my 2.2 4g63 build

  15. thsu8 says:

    Can you open comments on the Macarthur/Furtick video? I think it would be helpful for Christians to have a healthy debate about the clip.

  16. jocktheglide says:

    Thx for the tip Jay just upgraded my HEMI wrist pins to .250 thickness wall as you said its a boring piece and I was made fun of for upgrading to it on my build of 1500HP on race gas.

  17. Franky Milad says:

    Fuck. My engine builder never mentioned anything about upgrading my the pin size with my JE pistons 😩

  18. MrClassiccarenthusia says:

    That's weird.. I just grabbed a spare piston from by Rover V8, and the pin looked identical to the "upgraded" pin.. I don't think I've ever seen a pin with such thin walls.. 🧐 Weird!

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