Question about 1993 Mazda 323

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Dome or Dish Pistons for Mazda FE3N 2L

I am seeking some technical information that I hope one or some of your members would be able to advise on. The information sought is however for a 1993 Mazda 323, 200i, DOHC 16 valve FE3N engine. I would dearly appreciate if you could pass on this request for information to your members.

I opened my son-in-law's engine in order to do repair work to it. As the vehicle was starting to smoke, the worst case expected was to re-bore and replace pistons. The bore's were fine with damage to number 1 and number 3 pistons. On trying to source aftermarket pistons, I found confusing information on the replacement units. Although the aftermarket data lists the number 60121 in different data books, the piston itself actually differs from the piston removed.

On comparing the two pistons, I found that the common replacement unit had a slight dome as opposed to a slightly dished pistons removed from the engine. Now this engine had previously been opened and re-bored to 0,50 mm oversize. On further inspection, I found that the piston from the engine had a KIA insignia on the inside. I have also learnt that Mazda had sold this base engine specs to KIA for fitment into their Sportage models from '98 onwards. The Kia units however operated at a lower compression ratio and were somewhat de-tuned compared with the original Mazda FE3 engines.

I would dearly like to find out which is the correct piston to bring the vehicle to it's original performance spec(giving the correct compression ratio), or alternatively, if the dished piston is the 'proper' piston to fit; what would happen if I now fitted the domed piston increasing the compression even more. Is their a conflict? Will the piston knock up against the cylinder head or valves? Will this increased compression ratio have a negative or detrimental effect?

Can anybody shed some light on the issue?

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards.


Ierfaan Williams
Tel. +27 21 9598170
Fax .+27 21 9598004
Cell. 083 649 6617

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  • iere Nov 11, 2008

    Thanks for your Reply and I agree but is it the right choice to get the motor back to original spec?



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The dome pistons will provide higher compression than the dished. the domed ones should have an eyebrow cut out for the valves. I believe you would be happiest going with the domes. you might run into spark knock with the increased compression

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

  • TripleTauto
    TripleTauto Nov 11, 2008

    apparently mazda had a 9.2:1 and a 10;1 compression version of this engine. As far as the kia insignia,Mazda is or was owned by ford And i know kia built some cars for ford And i believe ford owned a part of them too at one time. So this may be why the emblem is on there.Kia has been around a long time building engines and body parts. The old ford festiva was a kia rebadged as a ford.From what i have read I think the higher compression was used in japan engines. and the lower was american probably to help with emissions



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