The purpose of this paper is to investigate the piston temperature and stress distribution resulting from varying coating thicknesses of Partially Stabilized Zirconia (PSZ) thermal barrier coatings for the performance in diesel engine applications. This analysis is based on the premise that coating thickness affects the heat transfer and temperature distribution in the piston. A gas dynamic engine cycle simulation code was used to obtain thermal boundary conditions on the piston then, a 2-D axisymmetric Finite Element Analysis (FEA) using ANSYS was performed to evaluate the temperature and stress distributions in the piston as a function of coating thickness. Coating thicknesses studied include 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0mm. The results indicate increased piston surface temperature with increasing coating thickness. The maximum stress on the coated piston surface was high while the substrate stress was less than the coating yield stress for all coating thicknesses. Further, the analysis showed that the interface stress at all coated conditions is low enough such that no separation of the coating is expected. The FEA results suggest an optimum coating thickness of 0.1 to 1.5 mm for diesel engine application to avoid unduly high stress in the ceramic.