A Slug’s Life — Pistons take a lot of abuse in a high-performance engine. What causes them to fail?

For builders and racers pushing engine combinations to the limit of their capability, piston failures can be an on-going concern. When a piston does kick the bucket, the type of damage that’s created generally falls into one of three categories: fractures, heavy abrasion, and melting. While that damage can provide some insight into what caused the issue to begin with, it’s not necessarily a straight-forward proposition.

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