ERE 396 #41
396 Rebuild, (Callies crank, Ai CNC ported LT4 heads)


What an awesome shop!  This engine is an already built LT1-396.


Motor arrives in Maryland without a scratch.  We'll look deeper into the motor and see what can be left alone and what might need an upgrade.


An Ellwein/Stef's oil pan is always a good idea.


Since we have a 3.875" stroke motor I think a pan with stroker notches might be a good idea.


The Stef's pan is build to my specification with an oil level sensor bung and front notch and room to fit a Titan gerotor oil pump.


Check out that notch in the front.  That is required when the motor lives in an Impala SS due to the steering center-link.


quite a bit of cooked on oil but clean otherwise.


GM LT4 heads, (unported)


Looks like SRP -16cc D-dish pistons


Bone stock main caps.


A very nice Callies USA crankshaft.


Connecting rods of unknown brand.  They look a bit like Oliver billet, (but they are not).


Main bearings are in bad shape.  All worn down to copper.  The rod bearings were all out of shape too. 


3.875" stroke.

The cylinder heads will be shipped off to Advanced Induction.
The block will be set aside and we have a fresh block on order from Chad at Golen Engines.


Freshly machined block


Main caps a little rusty on the non-machine surfaces.  All will receive a buff and a good POR-15 paint job


Here is the Callies crankshaft on the balance machine.


Advanced Induction ported LT4 intake manifold.  I like how they remove the core plugs so that they can clean it and I can verify that it is in fact clean.


Powder coated Red


The block is a bit "more" red than the GM LT4 red but a pretty good match.


Custom piston from Diamond.  Notice the pin boss area is polished.
Piston is 406.5g, Pin 119.4g, rings 34.8g, wire lock 2.7g


I weigh the parts individually and as a unit. 


563.4g added up individually and 563.0 as a unit.


While the Crankshaft is at the balance shop I will clean the block, add freeze plugs, install oil galley plugs, install cam bearings and file fit the piston rings.


Here the block is posing with the freshly installed freeze plugs.


Then cam bearings


Notice that the oil galley plugs are threaded.


This is the oil galley plug that goes under the rear main cap.


One method I like to use to measure piston to cylinder wall clearance is via feeler gauge.  Here I have .004" and the recommended clearance from Diamond is .0045"


Ready for piston ring file fitting.


Top ring at .024" (just in case the motor gets a small hit of nitrous in the future.).


2nd ring at .0020". (Mahle and Total Seal both recommend the 2nd ring gap to be smaller than the 1st ring gap.  This is a change from the past.


The pistons are "L" and "R".  This helps me organize and acts as a 2nd check to the proper orientation.


All rods and pistons assembled, (except rod #4 which is at the machine shop).


Picking up the crankshaft tomorrow.  Soon you will see final assembly.


Main bearing clearance check.  Mostly a mix of .001 under and standard in order to make the bearing clearance slightly tight.  .0017" to .0020"


Notice that I enlarged the oil hole in the bearing to match the oil hole in the block.


Thrust is .008"


Rod bearing clearances set with a mix of .001 and standard bearing half shells.  Generally .017" to .0022"


This is a 4.035" piston.  I don't have a tapered ring compressor for 4.035" but I do have this super duper tool and it's working quite well.


Pistons are .003" out of the hole


Advanced Induction camshaft.


Single roller timing set from Cloyes set on "0"


1st check 103.5 degree intake center.  2nd check 104 degree intake center.  This is with crank sprocket on the "0" position.


Titan gerotor oil pump installed.  Modified stock windage tray installed.


All rod bolts torqued to 65 ft-lb. Rod side clearance is .018"


Last look at the chambers of the Ai CNC ported LT4 cylinder heads.


Very nicely stress relieved and finished valve springs.


ARP head bolts cleaned and loaded with thread sealant.


Cometic MLS head gasket.


Crower shaft rocker sits right on the valve tip.  Nicely centered.


Pushrod length check.  7.2"


You can just make out the mark.  Right in the center of the valve.


New oil pan from Stef's.  The other one had to be sent back for repair.  Then it was lost by UPS.  (1st time UPS messed up a shipment for me).  Now this new one has a billet rail.


....And we ordered it with an 1/8" NPT bung for oil temp sender.


Final view of the bottom end.  I only used RTV on the ends of the oil pan gasket.


The firm billet pan rail compresses the oil pan gasket very nicely.


I am hoping that the oil pan does not seep oil when the motor is installed and running.  It looks to be a very good seal by eye and feel.  The pan fits very well and there are no crank or rod bolt clearance issues.


One head had to go to the machine shop to have the valve cover hold-down bolt boss fixed.


Now the head is reinstalled and ready for the shaft rockers.


Shaft rockers on.


LT4 head gasket on and ready for intake manifold.


Before the intake manifold goes on I will do an oil system test.


2500rpm drill gives 58psig with 30W oil.


All lifters pumped up and sending oil up the pushrod to the rocker.


GM LT4 intake manifold gasket #1236777


A nice thick bead of Right Stuff RTV


Old (non-LT1) thermostat on the left and new Hypertec 160T-stat on the right.


I drill holes in the T-stat if the motor has an electric water pump.  That allows for bleeding of the coolant system without running the engine.


Taped up and ready for shipping.


Extra long tranny dowel pin transferred from old block to new block


Wrapped up tightly and ready for R+L Carriers


Nice wire loom and oil line set up.


Notice the Meziere starter and looms


Stainless oil fittings.


Custom oil line support

Very clean and well made remote oil cooler lines.

Ellwein Engines 2014,, email Karl Ellwein