Can steel pistons in diesel applications be reused?

The simple answer is… potentially, but determining if the piston and pin are in reusable condition can be a challenge. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) publish various procedures for cleaning, inspecting, and possibly measuring these components. While some are very detailed, other OEMs can be pretty vague.
The processes vary based on the design of the piston (one-piece steel vs. welded steel). The point of this article is not to attempt to address all the variables, but simply to point out some of the major areas of concern, and encourage those involved to fully understand the details of a particular engine they may be rebuilding before these components are reused. Not doing so can have catastrophic results.
One common detail in most of OEM publications regarding the reuse of steel pistons that tends to get overlooked is that the piston and pin must stay as a matched set, and the pin must be reinstalled in its original orientation. Mixing used pistons and pins, or simply reversing the direction of the pin in the piston, can cause the pin to no longer rotate and/or result in seizure. This will be covered in more detail further in this writing.
To read the entire article by Steve Scott please download below
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