9.5 pistons are taller above the wrist pin than 8.5 pistons. I think you answered my question. You do a lot deeper machining on the 9.5 pistons. How does that work versus less machining on 8.5 pistons. I would think machining the pistons versus the heads would have the modifications in the piston tops filling with carbon? Despite you saying that you focus on squish band and not CR, it still sounds like you are running more CR with 136.5 rods than I am unless you are taking a whole bunch off the tops of those pistons? I am going to look on your sight for those pushrods. I am using 4130 but I think I could get by with less because I am running stock springs with stock preload. Another thing I like about 336's.