Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson a year ago 34
DIY

You Can Make An Engine Run With Wooden Pistons, But It Won't End Well

A Russian YouTube channel managed to make an old Vaz run on wooden pistons, but not for long!

Remind me later

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not a car could run with wooden pistons, we’ve good news: a rather resourceful Russian YouTube channel called Garage 54 decided to give it a try. The answer? Yes, it works, but not for long.

The initial issue came when the beautifully crafted ash lumber pistons soaked up a load of oil and expanded, seizing the piston rings. After widening the grooves and reinstalling the pistons, the Vaz 2106’s 1.6-litre engine did briefly fire into life, but it wasn’t happy. It misfired badly and even spat out its dipstick. The host noted that they “did at one point sense a strong wooden odour.”

There’s a good reason why: the pistons had “burned straight through” after an estimated 15-20 seconds of running.

Now this highly important question has been answered, why not find out what happens when you replace your engine oil with cola…?