The build is dedicated to Gerry Charlesworth, the engine builder's engine builder.
ERE383 #25 For RuSSty Neese

A mild street/strip/nitrous 383 with Ai GM LT1 heads and Ai custom cam.

Tool Time

Gerry Charlesworth from Canada provided this custom machined tool for me to help install these Mahle F1 style wire locks. 


The Piston: Mahle SBC125030I16, (inverted dome -16cc).  Mahle is very weight conscious.  This whole pile weighs 584 grams.

The rear main oil hole never lines up with the Clevite H-series bearings.  I widen it a little bit but not too much....(I worry about making a low pressure area).

I try to get the bearing hole wider, (the left side of this hole).

McKeown Motorsports Engineering did the block machine work, (square deck, bore/hone, machine and hone for splayed caps).

Main clearance is .0025, .0025, .0025, .003, .003" (#1 to #5)

Mains are torqued at 80ft-lb with oil on the studs and 65ft-lb on the outer bolts.

This Callies Compstar crank is a repaired crank.  The thrust surface was repaired and the mains are at .010".  The rod journals are standard.

The crankshaft spins nicely and the thrust is .009"

Here she is turned upright.  McKeown did a good job on the machine work, (they have a state of the art CNC work station to bore and square deck the block), but they did not media clean the block so the old cooked-on oil is still stuck on the areas not machined.

Now I'm using my Charlesworth wire lock installation tool for the first time.

This tool makes the wire slide in like a knife through butter.

More tool worship.  This ring file tool makes for extremely accurate and flat and bur-free ring gaps.

Top ring at .025"  This feeler is .024 at the tip and then .026" at the thicker part.  The feeler slips in at .024" and stops at .026" so I know I have .025".  The important thing is to have no burs and to have the gap ends flat.  That has taken a few years of practice to get the right technique.

Tool time.  The crank rod journals were polished and are a tiny teeny bit smaller than standard, (.0005").   So standard rod bearings give .0032".  I went with .001"/std. mix and that gives 0.0027".

This is #2 piston and I rotated the assembly and the rods have good clearance with the block.  All the others have to be checked of course.

All pistons/rods in and rod bolts torqued to 75ft-lb as per Callies instructions.  One rod bolt, (#6 rod), comes a tick too close to the block so at this point I'll just buff down the bolt head for more clearance.  This was the 1st program attempt at McKeown for LT1 SBC stroker clearance on their CNC machine and my job was to report for future corrections/adjustments.

Brand new Cloyes stock timing set.

The pistons are at .004" and the deck is square.

RuSSty has a custom Advanced Induction camshaft.  One thing I like about Ai cams is that they are billet and induction hardened and they have the "Everwear" distributor gear, (oil pump drive gear).  The cam is at 107.5 deg intake centerline and the cam-card specifies 108 deg and that is dang near dead-nuts-on.

I just have to show this work of art.  The deck is what catches my eye.  Ai's machine shop tooling does the duty and also the edges get hand de-burred.  The combustion chambers are measured 54.3cc by Ai.  

One head is on and here is the passenger side FelPro 1074 head gasket waiting for a head.  I use new GMPP head bolts here and they are torqued to 65ft-lb, (a little oil is squirted under the head of the bolt before torquing).

Photo here to show the water pump drive gear and the small holes drilled into the oil gallery plugs for timing chain cooling, (A few days when pre-lubing the engine I discovered the the holes I made caused oil pressure to be too low for my taste so I put plugs in with no holes.)

Windage tray bent up to clear the rods.

Yes this block needs paint.  That's next on my to-do list.

I measured for pushrod length and 7.100" seems like a good compromise. 

Showing how I buff down the outer main cap bolt and also slightly bend the stock dipstick tube to fit around the main cap.

Now the timing cover and oil pan is on and it's time to pre-lube the engine and see how much pressure I can make with a 2500rpm drill.

The guage in the background is showing around 58psig.

It took a while but finally all the lifters and pushrods filled with oil and dribbled out the top of the rockers.  This photo is taken before painting the block.  Block paint photos in a few days....

Final assembly photo.  The oil pan is a used part but it looks good with an ERE decal.  Then I coat the ATI damper hub with grease because it will rust at the 1st thought of getting wet. I leave the ATI damper shell off for shipping just to minimize chances of dings. 2008, Ellwein Engines 2008, , email Karl Ellwein