Cylinder Features

  • When Continental Motors® set out to deliver a high quality cylinder, we started at the beginning with metallurgy, the tools to cast the heads or forge the barrels, and the method of seating heads and barrels. Our cylinders include the best steel and aluminum materials. They are precision machined to tight tolerances and assembled with custom designed computer operating systems. Lastly our cylinders are durably tested under extreme conditions in advanced engineering test cells and high performance aircraft.

    Continuous improvements in manufacturing technology and advanced statistical process control have enabled Continental Motors® to hone in on the center of the tolerance band.


    Heritage with a future NiC3™ Cylinder Coating

    Continental Motors® has been innovating and leading the industry for over 110 years. Today, we bring to the market a new revolution: Nickel Silicon Carbide coating of our cylinders for Continental Motors®, Lycoming®* and Titan engines. This process offers corrosion resistance, abnormal wear resistance, increased strength, and a warranty extension of five years or TBO. If you fly less frequently than you wish, are based in a region where maritime or humid climate is prevalent, the NiC3™ cylinder family was designed for you!

    The Coating Process

    Cylinders are coated with the NiC3™ compound via electrolysis. An electrolytic nickel matrix is prepared, to provide perfect adhesion to the surface of the cylinder wall. Within this matrix are suspended minute particles of silicon carbide, which are almost diamond-hard. These particles are spread evenly throughout the matrix, and provide exceptional resistance to wear. The resultant coating becomes an integral part of the cylinder wall, and provides an extremely low friction coefficient, thus increasing the mechanical performance of the cylinder itself.

    NiC3™ Cylinders Better Performance

    Nickel silicon carbide is a chemical compound coating of nickel and silicon carbide, a strong ceramic. It is much harder than steel, with performance attributes that first made their appearance in the engine cylinders of sports and race-cars. Continental Motors® now offers nickel silicon carbide (NiC3™) as an optional coating across its entire range of cylinder products. The increase in performance, wear-resistance and cylinder lifetime are among the many reasons more owners and operators are choosing NiC3™.

    Better Protection Against Corrosion

    Piston engines used infrequently are more prone to internal corrosion, since the oil layer left following operation slowly fades away over time through lack of use. A cylinder coated with NiC3™ actually absorbs and retains a layer of oil, keeping the cylinder surface coated much longer than a standard uncoated surface. This greatly increases the protection against corrosion in engines that are not used regularly.

    Greatly Improved Surface Integrity

    Since aviation engines breathe ambient air, moisture can enter as a result of daily variations in temperature. NiC3™ coating enhances and protects surface integrity and provides a strong barrier against corrosion, while improving cylinder performance. The coating process is performed under strictly controlled conditions, with consistent and uniform coverage of the entire cylinder.

    Complete Range of Cylinders NOW Available **

    Our full range for Continental Motors®, Titan Experimental & ASTM-certified and FAA-approved cylinders for Lycoming®* engines are now available with the option of NiC3™ coating. These premium cylinders are backed by an additional warranty extension covering the new cylinder barrels for abnormal internal wear and/or corrosion for 5 years.

    Cylinder Barrels

    Cylinder Barrels start out as high grade aircraft quality, through-hardened 4140 forged steel. Then the cylinder bores, for our higher horsepower engines (300-500 series), go through a thru-hardening process which gives the cylinder barrels excellent resistance to wear and greater durability at higher temperatures.


    • As a corrosion-resistance and initial break-in measure, barrels also receive a manganese phosphate coating.
    • Plateau honed finish created by a two-step hone process resulting in less friction, more contact area, and enhanced hone pattern.

    Cylinder heads

    Cylinder heads are machined on computer controlled machining centers. Custom designed computer controlled equipment is used in the assembly of the critical head to barrel joint.


    • Advanced automotive style one step valve guide and seat machining for excellent valve sealing.
    • High flow venturi intake valve seats allow for improved flow and efficiency.
    • Intake valve process utilizing a gradual curved geometry improving airflow and efficiency.
    • Precisely matched cylinders eliminate the need for volumetric flow codes.
    • Use of corrosion resistant, stainless steel exhaust studs.
    • Exhaust valve rotators for reduced wear.
    • Through bolt or double bolt retained rocker shafts to reduce wear
    • Cylinder choke maintains compression for improved cylinder performance at operating temperature.


    Pistons are designed to be extremely wear resistant.


    • Advanced anti-friction graphite coated piston skirts enhances break-in during initial startup and reduces wear.
    • Cast in place steel ring carrier maintains integrity of top compression ring seal.

    ** Please check availability with our sales department.

  • * Lycoming® is a registered trademark of Textron Innovations Inc. Any reference to Lycoming® or associated trademarks, word marks, and products is only for purposes of identifying engines with which Continental parts are compatible, or for which Continental Motors® offers maintenance services. Continental Motors® parts compatible with Lycoming® engines are aftermarket parts and are not original equipment parts. Continental Motors® is not connected to, affiliated with, or sponsored by, or endorsed by Textron Innovations Inc. or Lycoming Engines, a Division of Avco Corporation, or any of their affiliate companies.