Your Very Own Piston Trophy





Introduction: Your Very Own Piston Trophy

Every year, a friend of mine hosts a road rally race, and what's a race without a trophy!? The cost of the trophy in the past had came from the entry fee, with the remainder being donated to a local charity. As such, I decided to volunteer to make the trophy for free this year, and to make it automotive themed. I had recently rebuilt a Cummins 5.9L and was thinking I'd use the old piston from that, till I determined the piston skirt was too large to make a simple trophy.
**No dimensions will be used in this instructable other than stock material dimensions**

***Metal working can be very dangerous, I am not a skilled metalworker, merely a garage hobbyist, as such, some setups may be less than ideal, bordering on dangerous! Ensure you always were proper protective equipment so you can enjoy for years to come***

Step 1: Search Ebay for Used Piston

After realizing the Cummins 5.9L piston was too large, I decided to search Ebay for used piston. The group that hosts the rally had always used a new Challenger for their cover photo, so I decided to look for a Hemi piston and connecting rod to use. Found one locally and for the low, low price of $35.

Step 2: Every Piston and Connecting Rod Needs a "Crank"

I had an idea that I would attach the connecting rod to a crankshaft, which meant I need to make a "crank" on the lathe. After measuring the connecting rod journal bearing inner diameter, I got to work turning the "crank" with a 4" piece of 6061 aluminum round that I had on hand . In order to achieve the crankshaft throw I used a 4-Jaw Independent chuck and offset the the workpiece to accommodate the journal diameter.

Step 3: Mill a Flat on the "Crank"

Since I would need a base for the "crank" to attach to, I simply milled a flat on the bottom of the "crank" to accommodate a mounting platform.

**Not shown here, is drilling and tapping the flat on the "crank" to attach the crank to the base.**

Step 4: Make Your Base

I had some spare 1-1/4" x 3" 6061 aluminum flat bar that I had ordered in the past, so I used that to make the base. At this point, after cutting the aluminum flat bar, I needed to create a place to mount the placard with the rally's name and first place. I had also recently received a Tormach Tooling System SuperFly, and wanted to use it, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Step 5: Test Fit the Assembly

At this point, I attached the "crank" to the base, then the connecting rod and piston to the "crank" to see how it looked as an assembly. Not too shabby, could use a quick polish though.

Step 6: Much Better

Looks quite a bit better polished, still far from being done though.

Step 7: Turn a Center Cap for the "Crank"

At this point, I wanted to turn a center cap for the "crank", so back over to the lathe we go!

Step 8: Modify "Crank" to Accept Center Cap

With the center cap turned, I needed to modify the "crank" to accommodate the center cap. Using a boring head and bar, I began to bore 1" diameter hole in the "crank".

Step 9: Create Pocket in Base for Engraved Placard

I now wanted to create a pocket in the base for the engraved placard I would later make. After milling the pocket, I used a piece of 1/4" x 1-1/4" 6061 flat bar to check fitment.

Step 10: Mill Placard to Width and Engrave

After the base had the pocket milled and the fit was acceptable, it was time to create the placard. First I measured the width the base, and using a Sharpie marker as layout fluid, I scribed a lined for the width of the placard. Then got to trimming down the placard. After the placard was cut down, spent some time in SprutCAM creating a simple tool path to drill the corners, then countersink, engrave a perimeter border and finally the text.

**Not shown, using a transfer punch and layout fluid on the base pocket, mark the location of the 4 holes on the placard, then drill and tap the base for machine screws used later.**

Step 11: Attach Engraved Placard and Center Cap

We're almost done! At this point, attach the center cap to the "crank" and the placard to the base and take a glamour shot, as it's almost complete. But it's missing something, we want to engrave the center cap with 2015.

Step 12: With Center Cap Engraved!

We're 99.9% done! To make the engravings pop, we're going to fill the engravings with black paint. I used Testors model paint, don't be afraid of getting paint out of the engraving, a Q-Tip and a little pressure will clean it up easily.

Step 13: And We're Done!

With the paint all dried and cleaned up, we're done with the trophy! Hopefully this helped you come up with some ideas on how to recycle a used piston for an auto event in the future!



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Nice Job, gonna guess the "Rally" appreciated it.

Great work mate! Can't wait to see more projects!

Thanks for the comment! Hoping to add more instructables in the future!

That turned out looking great! Your machinemanship is top notch!

Thank you very much, you are too kind!