Ai/ERE 396 #46
USA-Howard's crankshaft, Compstar rods,
 Mahle pistons, Ai CNC ported TFS heads


Billet splayed main cap block freshly machined by Golen Engines.


This block has Howard's main caps.  Previously I used ProGram brand main caps but the Chrysler bankruptcy put ProGram out of business. (Chrysler stiffed 'em on a very large order).


While waiting on the Advanced Induction TFS cylinder heads and billet camshaft I decided to move forward and assemble the bottom end.


Here is where I weigh each item individually....


...and then again weigh as a combo.


And then compare the results.  This time there was less than 1 gram difference.


Before I send the forged made-in-USA Howard's crankshaft to the balance shop I mocked up the rotating assembly to see if the rods clear the block and to see if the bottom of the pistons clear the crankshaft counterweights.


The 1st 396 Mahle piston that exist in an LT1 engine.


Thanks Mahle for adding this part to your catalog


The bottom of the piston (thankfully) clears the crankshaft.


Compstar 6" connecting rod


All of the rod bolts clear the block but they are a bit too close.


While the crankshaft is at the balance shop I will clear the block a bit more.


Crankshaft have been back from the balance shop for ages.  Just waiting on the cylinder heads from Ai right now.  Should be here in a week.  Now let's put in some expensive coated camshaft bearings.


Can you see the cam bearing?  I cannot.  My photography skills are slipping.


Measuring for main bearing clearance.


Now filing the rings.


Top ring at .022" / 2nd ring at .018".  These are Mahle rings, (1.5mm/1.5mm/3.0mm)


A few days later here is a good photo of a Callico coated Cam bearing


Main caps #1 (stock) and #2 Howard's Billet.


Crank thrust at .006"


The bottom end before rods/pistons are installed.


Piston #1 installed and deck-height checked to be -.006" (in the hole).


Rod bearing clearance all at .0020" with Clevite HN (standard).


Ai camshaft Grind: Ai-3442-8HR. A somewhat mildly aggressive street 396LT1 camsahft.


The mostly complete bottom end.


Rod bolt stretch at .005" (75ft-lb)


Don't forget to plug the oil galley.  I always take of photo of the plug for verification.


Sticking with the streetable stock water pump and that calls for a good stock timing chain upgrade:  The Cloyes version of the LT4 Extreme. 


The Cloyes comes with a water pump drive gear upgrade.


Cam card calls for 103.7 deg. intake centerline and I measured 104 with the crank sprocket at "zero".


Advanced Induction Cylinder Head Development (Ai CHD).
These are the Trick Flow 215cc LT1 Competition Head.  (64cc chamber).


The 64cc head, -5cc piston, .039" head gasket, -.006" in the hole, 3.875" stroke and 4.030" bore equal 11.33 to One static compression ratio.


Mock up of the Ai heads with the Crower Shaft rockers.


This is my new favorite hydraulic lifter.  Each and every lifter is bleed tested by Crower.


Crower stainless shaft rockers mocked up to test for fit and pushrod length.


I have 7.000" pushrods here and will need 7.100"


The rocker tips are nicely centered on the valve tips.


Sealing up the ARP head bolts.


Heads on.


Manley Pushrods


Shaft rockers installed.


Nice view of the sturdy pushrods.


For your viewing pleasure.


Test fit of flexplate, (TCI)


Removing old LT1


Bone stock.


Air pump and all.


A good view of the flexplate for future reference.


ARP stainless 12pt timing cover bolts.  All motors in the future will have this nice touch.


Final details.  The oil dip stick should not hit the crankshaft.  I verified.


Pay no attention to the cloth fuzz.  I removed that.  This shows a bit of a rough way to make sure the stick pokes through the tray.  Due to the splayed cap the stick is diverted a bit.  So I opened up the tray to allow the stick to go where it wants to.  This keeps the stick from hitting the crank.


Oil system test.  All good.


EGR delete plate.


Yank torque converter


Old stock injectors laying on the towel.  New Racetronix 37lb/hr high Z injectors in the rail.


The headers are used.  They are/were my Grottyohann long tubes with Swain coating.


Right side header?  where are you?  I'll get photos later.  In the mean time the car needs to head off to the exhaust shop to have a few transition pipes fabricated.  Then off to the gear shop for 4.11 gear installation.

Ellwein Engines 2014,, email Karl Ellwein