ERE-104 for 400 small block (407ci)

ERE-407 #104
This is a 400-SBC with 3.75" stroke and .030" over bore (4.155)

The block has been fully machined prior to arrival at my shop.  It has a lot of anti-rust wax on it.

Now just have to give the block a good cleaning.

I started with WD40

Then figured I would take out the cam bearings to get all the nooks and cranies.

Hot pressure wash

Oil soaking with more WD40

I put one piston in to verify that it's the right size and I also measured piston to bore to be .004"

Prior to installing the cam bearings I'm going to mock up the rotating assembly.  The main bearings are installed temporarily so that I can install the crank.  This King bearing will need to have the oil hole widened.

The crankshaft is from Callies.  This is a full Compstar kit.  Mahle pistons, Compstar crank, Compstar H-beam rods, Fully balanced by Callies, King main and rod bearings.

Washing the preservative off of the Callies crank.

One rod/piston combo for mock up.

The rod/piston placed in #1 hole showed good block clearance...the photo did not "take".

Now just a minor delay.  The rear main cap gets bound up a bit by the ARP stud.  This causes the crank thrust to be 0.000"   Without the cap on the thrust is .005"  I'll have Uncle Randy machine the bolt hole a bit wider.
The cap is still prevented from moving into position because of the main stud.  I guess I had Uncle Randy machine the wrong side of the hole.  Well the cap needs to be able to move forward and it cannot. (see to the right)

But with ARP main bolts the cap can move into position and the top and bottom bearing thrust surfaces can align. (see below).

Now the thrust is .006" after all is said and done.

Thrust is .006 with rear main torqued to 77 ft-lb

From memory the mains are 2.6484".  This is obviously the 400 SBC size.  This is larger than the LT1 small block Chevy.

All mains measured .0030" except the rear main is .0040"

Oil galley plug.

Now waiting on a new oil pan.  This one has the dip stick provision on the passenger side.  It needs to be on the driver's side.

Now installing the proper rear main seal #2909.  This one was supplied by the customer and is for the 2.841" seal bore diameter.  I measured 2.836 at the seal bore and that is pretty close.  This feels tighter than the seal I had in there and gives me confidence that it will seal.

Blurry photo:  I followed the directions and used this supplied "shoe-horn" to keep the seal from nicking.

3/8" offset and a dab of RTV just like the directions show.
Then I torqued the main cap and re-checked the crank thrust is still at .005".
Yes I did put the other bearing 1/2 shell in there prior to installing. :)

Here is the 8.25" oil pump pickup I ordered.

Measures 7.75" off the block. The oil pan is 8.25" deep and so factor in the oil pan gasket so that gives between 3/8" and 1/2" pickup clearance.

The oil pump is a Melling shark tooth 10554ST with the 3/4" inlet and the pick up is Melling 24360 for 3/4" oil pump inlet.

Ring gap calculated for performance street. I am shooting for .020" top and .018" 2nd ring.

Over shot just a bit and I'm at .021" top and .018" 2nd ring.

Rod bearing clearance at .0022" using King CR807XPN

Cam design by Dennis Staff.  This is from Erson
230/234/106ICL, .584"/.584" lift with 1.6 rockers.

Block went to Bill Koustenis (Advanced Automotive Machine in Waldorf Maryland).  He cleaned up the deck in order to allow me to install MLS head gaskets.  He also drilled and tapped that hole for a clutch pivot.

Here is a first attempt at getting proper cam end play.  Spec is .001" to .005".

Not shown in the photo but I gave up on the thrust bearing.

This is the part number for the nice 2-piece timing cover.

Instructions for cam end play.
In the end we went with a nylon button.

More about the cam button:  I trimmed too far again (by about .005") and so I put a .005" shim behind the button.  It actually worked.  Right now the cam end play is .001".  It changed later to zero (after changing the crank sprocket position to +2*) but I'll tackle that later. 

So here we are after spending 2 days getting cam end play right I certainly want to degree the cam shaft again after having the chain off.  In the end the +2* position is the closest to perfect..

Perfect being 106 deg intake centerline.  The A2 crank sprocket position gave 105 deg intake centerline (actually 1 deg advanced).

I etched a circle around the A2 spot for future reference.

I've had the bolt locking plate on and off a few times you can see.

I thought better of using that plate.  I took it off and now am relying on blue Loctite on the bolts and 20ft-lb

All pistons in.

Hydraulic lifters blown off with air and soaking in oil.

AFR heads

Cometic MLS gasket (.027" thick)

Rocker geometry with 7.200" pushrods.

This is the rocker tip sweep with 7.250" pushrods.  I'm happy with this slightly narrower sweep compared to the 7.200" pushrod.  I don't want to go to a 7.300 pushrod and have the rocker too far on the outer edge of the valve tip. 

Grease on the valve tip and oil on the pushrod.

Used ARP head bolts all cleaned up.  Up until this point I only had the passenger side head on.

Now both heads on and all rockers on.

I really like the valve covers.  They are on temporary for dust intrusion prevention.

Intake manifold on without gasket to check for fit.  It looks good.

Just a nice view of the AFR heads.

Buttoning up the bottom end.  Rods are torqued to 75ft-lb and rod side clearance is .018"

Notice the windage tray studs.

Now they are swapped out with regular sized studs.  The dip stick is on the opposite side for my windage tray that I was going to install.  So the oil pan will have to deal with windage.

Oil pan gasket and oil pan look like a good fit, *by eyeball*.
<----To the left is the .005" shim that I put behind this cam button.
A bit of a story here:  I attempted to verify the cam end play with the timing chain on.  The cam would not move.  I believe that the chain tension prevents that.  And so that must be why the instructions say "measure cam thrust with the timing chain off".  And so I took the chain off and verified cam end play for the last time.  The final result is .0025" to .003"

Then prior to final installation of the cam sprocket I squeezed a little bit of grease on the thrust plate and also made sure the cam seating surface was clean.

Here the cam nose was wiped clean and verified clean prior to final assembly.  There was some dried up Loktite on it.

The cam bolt retainer plate looks a dinged up but the metal is good quality and soft.

This is the Powerbond neutral balance damper.  Good quality.

The instructions require a .001" interference and it was 003" (crank diameter 1.246" and hub inside diameter 1.243").  After a few moments of honing the hub is now 1.245".

I did not forget to install the cam thrust checking access plug.

Here it looks like I'm taking off the damper.  I am taking it back off (not all the way).  Turns out the timing cover bolt cannot be removed with the damper on.  I need that bolt for the timing pointer.  The press/pull tool makes it easy.

ARP crank bolt torqued to 90ft-lb and then TDC verified and pointer adjusted.  I put the tape on to help me see the left side of TDC. No timing marks after 5* ATDC because that is where the PB logo is.  The pointer went to 9* BTDC and 9* ATDC with my piston stop inserted at the spark plug hole for #1 piston.

I have the Summit #316104 (5") lower radiator hose nozzle on order.  This one is too close to the 8" damper.

Darn near complete and ready for the dyno.
To Do:
1.  Fuel pump block off plate
2.  Water pump 5" nozzle
3. Oil pump spin with drill

Photo of the flywheel for the SFI record.

Last view of the heads before I put the intake manifold on.

First spin of the drill shows 70 psig for oil pressure.

The lifters sent oil up the pushrod and onto the rockers and springs.

Smoke test of the crankcase (to look for leaks).  Only leak found was where the front two bolts are and at the fuel pump block-off plate.  RTV on the plate gasket and will check again tomorrow.

Windage tray time.  I should have procured one earlier in the build.  It's not too late.  The oil pan gasket is only RTV'ed to the block corners.  The pan came off nicely.

I'm choosing the black tray for it's oil shedding coating.

Back to the windage tray studs.  I do them one at a time and make sure I don't forget to torque them.

No bending of the tray needed.  It fits well.  The oil pan fits over the tray without interference.

So it looks like if oil is just up to the bottom of the tray then that is "full".

POR-15 Black engine paint.  Ready for the engine dyno.

This will probably work for the dyno but an even longer water pump nozzle is needed for the future.

Neutral flywheel

Dyno ready.

 Ellwein Engines 2021