Witch pistons are better

I have a 1965 mustang it has a 1974 302 motor and I’m wanting to make a hot rod to get out on the street and play nothing major I plan to do a engine build next year I’m wondering what pistons would be better ford racing pistons or flat top pistons and (my plans are fresh pistons rings I’ve got a oversized cam (lift is 522-544) plan on getting a set of edelbrock 170 cc E-street aluminum heads and I have edelbrock 4 bbl carb 600 cfm with edelbrock streetmaster intake) So I guess my question is what pistons should I use with this build? Later few years down the road I might make it a blower car. Thanks in advance

Have you contacted Edelbrock?

My 47 year old Ford truck is 302 equipped and when I’m interested in performance parts I pick up a copy of Mustang Monthly magazine for idea. That magazine might not be available in print format any longer, not sure, but in any event it should still be publishing an on-line version. Try googling “mustang monthly 302 performance”, something like that. I see one of their articles suggests Wiseco Pro Tru Street forged pistons.

I would advise calling Egge Machine, telling them what engine you’re building, what you hope to achieve with it, etc. Those folks know more about pistons than anyone. When I was building Mopar racing engines I bought many sets of pistons from them.

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My advice is to do a lot of consulting with people who have successfully built and drive a Ford with the power that you want. I’ve seen a few great looking engines under the hoods of some nice looking cars that weren’t driveable. Too much cam forces idle speeds of 2,000+ rpms and a few red lights foul out the plugs and that’s if/when they can be started.

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No I haven’t yet but plan to start buying parts here and there as I get extra money

Ok I know a few people around home that has hot rods I will holler at them and see what they are doing with there cars

Is there prices pretty competitive and do they have a web sight I can look up

I will try and look this web sight up soon as I get off work and see what I can find

Their website is www.egge.com. As to price, they custom make the best pistons in the world. That ain’t cheap.

Have you considered a crate motor?

Witch pistons are better ? I guess the ones that can cast a spell on demand for you.


I believe the later mode ( late 80s and 90s)l 5.0 flat top pistons are forged aluminum so stock should be fine and should also work well with a blower. Verify this as I’m working from memory only.

You really need to decide now on whether you want to run a supercharger or not. If not, then you will want to look at higher compression for good performance. If you run a blower, you will need lower compression.

Unless you have an engineering degree in automotive engines, you will want to look at either a package deal with all the components that have been tested together and are successful or look at what others have done successfully with parts they picked for themselves. You need to have the end picture in focus before you start the build or else you will be doing a lot of teardown and rebuilding.

These guys are pretty interesting to watch as you save your money and make your plans. Their shows are usually on late night TV so check your local listings or TitanTV.com


Exactly. Just picking pistons based on some comments from strangers on a general forum (us) is a really bad way to build an engine. I know there are better places to do just what you suggest.

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No experience here w/hot rod type engines, but I’ve seen recommendations in magazines that it is best to avoid big flow carburetors for similar reasons.

All the hot rod magazines pump up products that pay for ads with them. The worst/best that I ever saw was a 1950s Fiat with a 350 small block and a TH400 transmission hooked to a Ford rear end. Everything on the engine was the biggest and best but nothing matched. The dual line Holley would have been overkill on a 396. The owner bought the engine from a local McParts store and replaced the camshaft and installed all the performance pieces and took it back demanding that the warranty pay for getting it to run right.

But then there was an El Camino with a 396 that wouldn’t get out of its own way and died idling at lights. It was another dual line Holley with a hot cam that had 2 wiped out lobes. The owners son had “tuned it up.” luckily all the original parts were saved and I installed a school bus/RV camshaft and put the Q-Jet back on it and the owner and his son were amazed that in normal driving the engine had more response than it ever had with the hot cam, etc., it ran out of wind at just over 3200 rpm but that was beyond safe driving speed for the truck.

I mostly avoided working on performance engines and long ago recognized that response from a standing start and highway passing were what people could feel and wanted and big horsepower numbers didn’t matter unless you were at Bonneville or Daytona.

The mere mention of forced induction…would mandate the use of Forged pistons. I didn’t see you mention which type the two pistons were in your choices… Maybe they both were? If not…forced induction = Forged…it also favors lower compression levels.

You really cannot have it both ways (high comp and forced induction)…until you apply direct injection…and that’s not happening I’m sure.

Personally I would refine my criteria for what this engine needs to do and what it needs to be…the answers will then float to the surface as far as build parts. The formulas are well known by this day and age. Not many mysteries left in that engine as far as what parts make what happen.

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Another factor to consider is lack of an EGR system with a manifold change. This also ties in with ignition timing. I’ve seen the results of severe pinging and it’s engine destroying. With a blower the odds of damage due to pinging is vastly increased.

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In my experience that damn blasted EGR only induces detonation. EGR along with Air injection pumps can go pound sand and I am glad at least one of them are long gone.

Anyone else remember the lunacy of those late 70’s early 80’s Air injection pumps? I do not have fond memories myself.