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The effect of gravity on the pistons is neglibible compared to the forces they're subjected to in normal operation. A free-falling piston accelerates at 9.8 m/s/s at sea level, but how much do you suppose a piston is accelerated at 5000 rpm? Remember that (in the case of my engine) that piston has to move 86mm, come to a complete halt, reverse its direction, move 86mm, and come to a complete halt again - and repeat that process 83 times in a second!
 
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