ERE-395 #71


ERE 395 #71
This is an ERE-395 D-Dish Short block
with customer provided top end
consisting of LE heads and cam.


The bare block with ProGram steel main caps and ARP studs.


Tapped for threaded oil galley plugs.


After a pressure wash cleaning with soap and water the block gets an oil spray with AMSOIL engine preserve and WD40.  Then the exterior is sprayed with brakclean prior to the application of POR15 engine black.

Here is our Callies USA steel Dragonslayer crankshaft. This is balanced by Callies to 1723g (Neutral).

Crank rod journals at 2.0987"

Callies Compstar H-Beam rod bolts torqued to 75ft-lb with King CR807HPN rod bearings.

A mix of standard and .001" under give 0.0026" bearings clearance.

We are using the Mahle D-dish piston with 1mm ring pack.  It it truly the best piston for the $$$.

Installing the F1 wire clip is a breeze.

The piston is a -18cc D-dish which will give us 11.07:1 static compression ratio with the 54cc LE heads.

Here I have assembled all the piston/rod sets and measured rod bearing clearance.  All rods are at .0026" bearing clearance.

The block is spending some time waiting for the POR15 to dry.  We can do main bearing clearance while we wait.

Rear main is at .0020 with a coated set of Clevite MS909-HK, (.001" under).  I had a set of these very expensive bearings in the drawer and finally found an engine that can use them.

The #2,3,4 mains receive my favorite brand of bearings, the King MB557HP.  Mix of .001 and STD.

Mains generally at .0020" except for #1 which is at .0017".  #1 has the coated MS9099HK.

Crank is in temporarily so that I can check for piston to deck height and if the block needs more clearance.

Right now thrust is at .005" but this is not final.

The rods do hit the inboard cam-side cylinder bottom.  The yellow marker is the general area that needs further clearancing.

Next on the agenda is to gap the rings and clearance the block, (the final cleaning of the block).

Bottom of cylinders, inboard near the cam-tunnel...that is the area clearanced today...(then re-wash the block).

Rear main oil galley plug verification.

All rods/pistons installed and clearance checked.  The rods clear the inboard area after I spent 1 hour grinding and 1 hour cleaning.  This is the typical bolt-to-block clearance....about .050"

Here is the only area that needs a bit more clearance.  This is #2 piston/rod combo.


I had the rear main bearing clearance too tight, (after review of my work).  Now she's at .0027" with Clevite standard and .001" mix.


The oil hole lines up pretty good.

Camshaft bearings installed.

LE spec camshaft.

Camshaft installed.

Crankshaft installed with rear main thrust check.

With the rear main cap torqued to spec. I measure .008" crankshaft endplay.

Brand new GM rear main seal housing.

1mm rings gapped for all natural and occasional small nitrous hit.  .020" top and .018" 2nd ring.

This is the top ring, 1mm, at .020" gap.

The 2nd ring at .018"

This is how the ring pack looks on the piston.  The thin rings conform to bore distortion and seal combustion gas better than ever.

Pistons carefully installed and rotated on the crankshaft with the cam timing gear installed to verify no interference between the rods and the camshaft.

All good.  No clearance problems.  All pistons are at .000" deck height.

And some touch up painting.

Callies rod bolts torqued to 75ft-lb with .020" feeler inserted which is the rod side clearance.

Cloyes extreme timing set.

1st time using my new larger diameter degree wheel.  Here I'm finding TDC.

106 ICL exact.  Crank sprocket at "0".

Cleaned up customer supplied timing cover.

Used 1996 crank reluctor installed.

This photo is to show the oil level dip stick tube modification to allow the stick to pass by the wide main cap.

The stock windage tray gets trimmed.

Melling 10552 oil pump installed via ARP stud.

And Melling oil pump pickup.

Oil pan test fit.  The bottom front of the pan was hammered so that the #1/#2 connecting rod bolts can clear.

Pan installed.

Photo view of the rear main seal housing...new from GMPP.


High quality stock style Crower lifters.  They are soaking in Amsoil 30W break-in oil.  Yes it's red.


Engine now ready for cylinder heads.

These are LE2 heads.  I do nothing to them except to clean them up in my parts washer.

FelPro 1074 head gasket, (.039").  Pistons are .000" in the hole.  This will give 11.07  compression ratio.

I spend quite a bit of time cleaning the ARP head bolts in the parts washer and then adding sealant on the threads and lube on the washer and under the head.

Head bolts torque @ 70ft-lb.

Lifter spider retainer and dog-bones all cleaned up and installed.

Stock 7.2" pushrods work well.

Holes getting filled in order to do the oil system pressure test.  Water pump drive plugged by plastic cap, (I have no more Kennedy $1/2 pieces).

Borrowed optispark and Jeg's hub to keep the oil in.

Good pressure test and lifters all filled with oil well.


Oil pump drive gear gets changed out but I'll use a better core for that.  The one above is cracked.  I found a good core in my take-off drawer.


Replacing oil pump drive gear with new AC Delco gear.

Here is another angle that shows the slightly worn gear that was on the core.

Gear installed.  It cannot take more than 20ft-lb torque.

Cleaned up intake manifold.  Not exactly pristine but all the major gunk is cleaned away.

The tray inside was totally black.

The outside of the manifold cleaned up very well.

A variety of crankshaft hubs.  Left is stock Bbody, middle is Jeg's Bbody, right is Jeg's Fbody.

The Jeg's in the center came rusted like that new-in-box.

Intake manifold on and torque to 32 ft-lb
Stay tuned. The motor ships soon.

 Ellwein Engines 2017