Piston troubles are mostly caused by cracks generating in each part of a piston. The finite element method (FEM) has been used for stress analysis of the piston, but has not been applied enough to design optimum configurations due to too much time for making models. In this study, stress analysis was carried out by the boundary element method (BEM), with which it is easy to make models and to change configurations, with various improvements. In addition, methods to execute a thermal load fatigue test and an actual running test to confirm analytical results were also improved. BEASY was used as basic software for analysis by BEM, and some improvements such as reduction of CPU time and optimization of memory using methods were carried out. It was easy to change configurations of the models by BEM, and the effect of the change in the piston boss configuration upon the stress agreed well with the actual test result. Design and evaluation of the optimum configuration has become easier by feedback of the results of the newly developed thermal load fatigue test to the analysis by BEM. 5 refs., 12 figs., 2 tabs.