ERE-397 #83 built for 5 time ECIRS season champion Bill DeBlasio


ERE-396 #83 Rebuild (for)
5 Time ECIRS Season Champion Bill DeBlasio
Callies Stealth Crankshaft, Howard's Billet Rods, Callies steel main caps, Ai CNC heads.

Fresh off the boat from LonGuyLan

PHOTO to the LEFT:  I made sure to clean around the intake prior to removing it.  The manifold is nicely powder coated in an aluminum color.  With the intake removed I can see all looks quite normal inside.  We are searching for the reason #6 cylinder has no compression. (and there is an occasional funny valve train noise).

#6 intake runner looks OK.

Each rocker is set on the valve tip like this.  It is unusual to me but the engine had run quite strong with this set up.  There are no unusual marks or wear.

Here is the passenger side head directly after removal.  I did not immediately see something....

And here is the block.  We are looking at #6 cylinder in the center and #4 to the right.

Driver's side head, (looks normal).

Driver's side block, (this side has a FelPro 1074 gasket due to a past repair).

Back to #4, #6 area of the block, the head gasket was burned through.

The head is gassed-off in between #4 and #6 cylinder.  This is the mechanical problem.  How did it happen?  That is the big question that needs to be answer so this does not happen again.  Could be a simple answer such as a blown head gasket due to over heating.  I see no signs of detonation.

Oil pan blue gasket debris...It came from the oil pan gasket getting chewed up by the rods. No-harm-no-foul.

Also to the right is the as-found conditon of the oil pump shaft.  This is unusual.  The pump was still pumping so we can call this "no-harm-no-foul".


A very stout bottom end.  Callies billet caps, Extreme timing set, Billet or forged rods of some unknown brand, SRP pistons, Callies steel crankshaft.

Melling HV oil pump with ARP oil pump stud.

All pistons and rods removed.  Rod bearings are in pretty good shape.

Rod journals are not in the best shape but not so bad that the crank cannot be polished.

Rod bearings not so good.  Nothing that a crank polish cannot fix.

Camshaft bearings are in perfect shape.
The cylinders look pretty good too.

The plan is to have the block check out and honed.  Then order Mahle pistons with 1mm ring package.  Also have the head repaired or replaced and the crankshaft polished and balanced.


Howard's Billet I-beam rods, 5.850", 2.100" rod journal, good condition.  Part # HRS-BR5850, $850 at set if purchased brand new.  Contact Bill DeBlasio if interested in purchase.


Crankshaft bob-weight is new 1725g with the lighter piston and longer 6" rod.  Everything is lighter in this set up.  The crankshaft is next in line at the balance shop.

Block cleaned up.  Before that I took the opportunity to grind away the sharp edges.

New cam bearings installed.

New oil galley plug.

Freeze-plugs.

Lately I have threaded every block for screw in galley plugs weather they have electric water pumps or mechanical.  The big block Chevy oil galley plugs have threaded plugs with oil holes and so I'm using them in all of my LT1 builds.

Mahle -18cc pistons (#930211240) mated to Compstar 6" rods.

Ring gap calculated for up to 200hp nitrous, (although Bill just has a 100hp set up).  This is in case he wants to up the nitrous later.  Top ring a .024"

The top rings is 1mm made by Mahle.

2nd ring at 0.020"

All rings installed.  The oil ring is 2 mm

I don't have the crankshaft yet.  It required a re-grind and re-balance. The previous builder made the neutral crank "external" for some odd reason.  The crank is being balanced neutral by filling in all of the rear counterweight holes and adding mallory metal.

While we wait for the crankshaft:  I installed all of the piston/rod combos for the heck of it.  I'll need to remove them later to check rod bearing clearance.

I have not cc'ed the heads yet to know the chamber volume but I'm guessing 54cc.  That gives 11.10:1 static compression ratio with these 4.040" pistons, 18cc D-dish, 3.875" stroke and .039" head gasket.

See the Ai heads on the bench.  You might notice heads studs laying there too. (these are used).  I have a set of head studs on order.  

Might as well check a few things now while I have the time and we wait for the crankshaft.  Here are the thread-in oil galley plugs.  I installed the Ai camshaft too.

Recently I've had 2 camshafts where the nose was not ground to fit the opti shaft.  The TorqHead uses a duplicate of that shaft to ride the cam.  I want to make sure it fits well.  Sometimes the cam pin is too long.  Here is the test fit.

Perfect fit.  TorqHead now has a billet housing and it's made with many improvements.  I noticed they made the cam pin slot deeper, (to allow for cam pins that are slightly too long).  Paul de Boer has the TorqHead system refined to perfection.
Now let's think about the valvetrain.
I installed 6 head studs and snugged a head down on the FelPro 1074 gasket to check pushrods and geometry.

This is the current set up with raised pushrod guide plates.

The rockers ride the valve tip way off to the side.  It worked for many years like this.

Here is a Manley guide plate #42355

This lines the rockers "almost" dead center to the valve tip.

The Manley guide plates have no wiggle room in the stud.  Many other guide plates allow for a tiny bit of movement under the stud until torqued.  I'm thinking this is a good thing, (the tight fit).

I enlarged the rear main oil hole just a bit.  The performance bearing oil hole never lines up well to the stock block journal hole.

Look closely and you'll see.

Silly photo of the rod/piston installed with no crankshaft.

Ellwein spec Stef's oil pan.  8" deep sump.  1/8" NPT fitting for oil return, (If you have a blower or turbo).  Also has a provision for the stock oil level switch (or you can put a sight glass or oil heater in there).

Test fitting to make sure the oil cooler adapter fits.

57cc combustion chamber and -18cc piston with .039" head gasket gives 10.8 to one compression ratio.  This is a bit lower than previous combo which was 11.0 to one.

 Ellwein Engines 2017 & 2018