Mike Moran’s NMCA Pro Street Camaro is called “Casper” because of its ghost like appearance, which the competition sees as it disappears on its way to the finish line. Casper is stark-white; only the black tires provide any contrast. Under the hood and inside the engine however, it’s a different story. There you’ll find pistons with gold domes and gray skirts. These unusually colored pistons allowed Casper to become the World’s Fastest Street Car by being the first to break the 200 mph barrier in the quarter mile with a top speed of 201 mph and an ET of 6.96 at the U.S. Nationals.
Since that time, Mike and the guys at Mike Moran Motorsports have continued to push the performance envelope with results as impressive as 211 mph with an ET of only 6.80 and exhibition runs at 239 mph.
Worlds Fastest Coated & Non Coated
The coated piston on the right is from the engine Mike Moran used to break the 200 mph barrier in an extremely restricted “street legal” class. The uncoated piston on the left is an example of what happened with the same engine tuning less the coated pistons. Note the hole in the dome and the melted edge of the uncoated piston.
The initial elusive 200 mph pass was made possible by the use of Swain Tech’s Gold Coat thermal barrier coating on the piston domes and their super tough PC-9 friction reduction coating on the skirt. Before using the coatings, Moran had run consistently in the mid 190 mph range. Every time he increased nitrous, timing compression, the pistons and other parts were unable to take the added heat and punishment. The 195 mph barrier still stood between him and 200 mph. That hurdle was surpassed, clearing the way to the double deuce, by coating the giant gas-ported pistons. This allowed Mike to tune for optimum power without having to worry about burning pistons.
Swain’s Gold Coat Thermal Barrier Coating is applied .003” thick to piston domes. This unique ceramic is formulated for quick and extreme burst of heat that you find on nitrous, turbo, supercharged and nitro motors. Gold Coat holds heat inside the combustion chamber so more usable horsepower can be extracted from it, rather than allowing it to dissipate. The coating also protects the base metal by insulating it from intense, damaging combustion heat. Parts are protected from high temperature oxidation and heat transfer is reduced by spreading heat more evenly over the entire coated surface, encouraging proper flame travel and virtually eliminating hot spots. Less heat is conducted through the wrist pins and rods keeping the crank and bearings cooler and oil temperature lower.
PC-9 is a tungsten molybdenum disulfide matrix with an extremely low coefficient of friction. Applied .0008” thick to piston skirts, this lubricious coating reduces scuffing and friction caused by piston movement.
“When we tested the coated pistons on the dyno,” Moran says, “we could run flat out for seven or eight seconds. An engine without coated pistons would have self destructed in that time. Coatings give us added horsepower and protection against burning pistons.”
As Mike Moran Motorsports and Casper continue setting and breaking their own records, they continue looking to Swain Tech Coatings for the cutting edge in coating technology. The results have proven that these coatings are the most economical insurance anybody can buy.
Swain Tech is the original engine coating company. Ceramic engineer Dan Swain developed the first successful ceramic piston coating back in 1973. Since that time, Swain Tech has focused on developing coatings to solve the problems of heat transfer, friction, wear and corrosion. With extensive high performance, aerospace and industrial divisions, Swain Tech’s coating capabilities and experience cannot be matched. Check out Swain’s web site at www.swaintech.com to learn more about what Swain Tech can do for you.