ERE-395 #95

ERE-395 #95
4-Bolt Splayed cap 395 short block forced induction
Callies H-beam rods, Wiseco -32 dish blower pistons
Eagle forged crankshaft

Starting off much like every other engine project and that is with the crankshaft balance calculation.

It all added up to 1710 grams for the bob-weight.  The Eagle crankshaft will now be balanced to that value and while it's at the balance shop it will have the rod and main journals polished.  Even a brand new Eagle crank can benefit from a polish. 

Big time delay on starting this project.  I have all the parts but was finishing up ERE92 and ERE93.  Here is the block after machine shop work of bore/hone/deckplate finish hone/install main caps.

Today's job is to check that the block has enough clearance for the stroker crank/rods.  I had the machine shop pre-clearance.  I'll mock up the entire rotating assembly and mark any spot that needs more grinding.

The block will need a final wash and grind of sharp edges and painting.

#1 piston/rod combo has good clearance.

Here is a nice close up of the Wiseco -32cc dished forced induction piston.

A good day today.  All of the rods will clear the block without additional grinding.  Next step is to remove piston/rods and grind the sharp casting areas of the block and clean it an make it ready for paint.

I figured I would snap a photo of #1 piston at TDC while it was here.

Storing the piston/rod assemblies while I work on the block.  I also tap the front oil galleries for threaded plugs.  That alone will cause me to have to wash the block.
Photo not shown...but the block was cleaned up and it will be ready for paint tomorrow.

Love this paint.  I believe it is stronger that POR-15.  It is certainly more expensive than POR-15.

I painted outdoors and just rolled it in for the nice indoor climate for drying.  See my Pandora ZZ-TOP channel playing in the background.

OK, the block is cleaned and painted.  Let's get to work on assembly.  Cam bearings installed.  Durabond CHP8.

Photo of the rear of the camshaft for future reference.

It has the proper longer LT1/LT4 pin and also the 1/2" pilot hole for the opti or TorqHead.

Camshaft in background cleaned and ready for installation.

Cam core plug installed.

Now the cam is installed.

Every motor gets a photo of the rear main cap oil galley plug.  This is more for my records than anything else.  If I don't see this photo then I don't know that I put this plug in.

Main bearings are a mix of "x" and standard sized King HPX (the best of the best).  Clearance is from .0025 to .0030"  

More tomorrow.

Thrust initially too tight.  Sometimes the bearings need to be massaged with scotch bright to get more clearance.

Now she's at .005"

Well dang.  I ran into something weird that I cannot explain as of this typing.  After measuring for main clearance the day before I then put the crank in and torqued the mains.  The crank felt a bit tight, (not binding but just did not spin freely).  I decided to plastigauge and found #4 main too tight.  .0015" and I double checked bore gauge and it still showed .0025"   
Why so different I don't know even now.  Also all the other mains showed .0020" on the plasti gauge and .0025" via bore gauge.

Here is my plastigauge check.

I re-measured the mains with the bore gauge and plastigauge and #4 went to x/x (.001" over on each bearing 1/2 shell).  All the mains are X for both 1/2 shells except #1 which is standard size.  So in the photo above the top numbers are with bore gauge and the bottom numbers are plasti-gauge. The most important part is that the crank spins very nicely as it should.  The #4 being too tight may have lead to a spun main if I had not added the "feel" or gut feel check to the building process.

Degree check came out to 105 deg intake centerline on a 106 deg cam card.  As close as I can get to perfect.  One thing about being a tad advanced is that as the timing set stretches then cam timing will retard (back to 106).

Piston is in the hole ?"  I forgot the number and it's written down in the folder in the shop.

Nice timing set.  The Cloyes extreme duty.

Ring filing of the Total Seal steel 1st ring.  Mild boost up to 15psi gap is .023 to .024"

2nd ring is same gap as 1st ring according to Total Seal.

I wanted to show how nice a job my Goodson ring filer does.  This nice clean cut is very hard to get.  It really takes a good tool and careful technique.  This is the Napier 2nd ring.

Compstar rods getting torqued to 75ft-lb which gives the proper stretch.  Here is .0055"

All the rod bearings came out to .0020" to .0022" clearance with King XP standard size.

Here I am installing the pistons

All 8 pistons installed.

All 8 rods torqued and checked for .005" rod bolt stretch.

Here is a new way that I'm measuring for piston-to-deck height.  Since the piston rocks in the bore I am taking an average (at the piston center-line).  I made sure the piston was at top of bore then zeroed the gauge at the block deck.

Then measured this spot..

Then this spot...and take the average of the 2 for a -.015" IN the hole.   I don't deck the blocks any more than needed and most of the time the piston is in the hole.  I'll be ordering a .027" MLS Cometic head gasket set and so the piston to head will be .042" 
  By not decking more than needed the intake manifold will fit much better.
Crower lifters need to be soaked in motor oil prior in installation.

Here is a new rear main seal housing with the premium seal.  I have .003" feeler gauges at the 3 alignment nubs to validate that the housing is centered.

Then I measured one chamber of each head to get a record of the combustion chamber volume.  This one is 53cc.

This one is 52cc.
Static compression ratio calculation:
52cc combustion chamber
5.9cc gasket
-32cc piston
-0.015" in-the-hole
3.875" stroke
4.030" bore
9.7:1 static compression ratio

Time to clean the packing oil off of the head stud threads

This photo is taken just after the SafetyKleen washing.

I put in the hydraulic lifters prior to installing the heads just in case they won't fit with the heads on.  I know that these stock style crower lifters can be installed with the heads on but it's a good habit to stick to just in case.

Cometic MLS head gaskets.  This is a .027" compressed thickness and with the pistons about 0.015 in the hole that gives 0.042" piston to head clearance.  I aim for 0.035" but in this case I would not want the gasket to be any thinner than this.

Heads on

Torqued to 80ft-lb

Checking for pushrod length.  Typically stock heads and stock style lifters want 7.20 to 7.30" and you could just put an actual 7.20" pushrod in and test it but why not use a fun tool when you have it.

This measured out to be 7.125" but don't forget to factor in that you need some lifter "pre-load"  So I added 0.050" which rounds close enough to 7.20...."try a 7.20" pushrod" what the tool is saying to me.

Manley 7.200" pushrod leaves a very nice witness mark.

The Lunati 1.6 rockers and very nice.  They were supplied by the customer.  I have never used this particular rocker in an engine but I like them.  They look like a sturdy design.  These are "self-aligning"

I like my small (on-purpose) engine building area.

Notice the GMPP lifter guide I use instead of dog bones.  These are LS style which will allow for a camshaft change without removing the intake manifold.  They are very reasonably priced too.  Cheaper than dog bones.  GMPP 88958652 $17 each.

Time to tackle the finding of and washing of a timing cover core.

Cleaned up on the outside....

...and inside.

New seals and a Kennedy 1/2 $

Putting the TorqHead hub on.  I stopped just in time because the sensing unit is difficult to install with the hub on.  The hub 24x reluctor gets in the way...And so I pulled the hub off, (it was on only 1/2 way).

And then I remembered to put in the spacer ring which takes the place of a stock reluctor.  If you don't have a 1996 with a stock 4x reluctor then this ring will be used to take up the space of the stock 4x reluctor.  That gives better pulley belt alignment.

Notice that nice Callies crankshaft stud.  I use these whenever I have them in stock.  They make for a good way to install the crank hub and they give good clamping to the hub and replace the crank bolt.

Sensor alignment tool.

Shim of the crank sensor.  It only needed 1 shim but it may take 3 or 4 shims.  You always have to measure.

Cleaned up this used set of Corvette composite valve covers.  The previous owner must have used conventional oil because they were brown inside.

Turns out that these nubs must be removed in order to clear the rockers.  Not a very difficult procedure.  You just take vice grips and break them off or grind them off.

That work will be for tomorrow.

Today's work.  

The damper is a Powerbond PBBPB1481-SS

Making room for the dipstick.  Here I have cut the windage tray to allow the stick to pass into the oil without being diverted into the path of the crankshaft.

And here is a close up of the rod clearance to the windage tray.  This tray always needs to be massaged in order to allow the rods to clear...especially the 3.875" strokers.

Here I marked my target timing for the dyno...36* BTDC.  

Now trying to get the Corvette valve covers to fit.  I just needed to grind off the nubs shown here.

Dyno intake manifold is on.

Notice I do not have the customer's Corvette valve covers on the engine.  I was not able to find an oil filler cap to fit the passenger side valve cover.  Also could not find a grommet for the PCV hole.  Those are not all too common (at least here in my shelf stock).

Ready for the dyno.
Now for an update.
At the dyno I suspected that the intake manifold gasket seal failed and allowed oil to be sucked out of the valley and into the chambers.  The exhaust pipes were oil smoky at idle.  The heads are highly modified and no matter what intake manifold I use they fit poorly.  But I do believe that a good application of Right Stuff RTV at the gasket ports will make for a good seal.   I'm going to try that out and run the engine on my new test stand.  If it runs well then I can ship with a certified good intake manifold seal.  If it runs poorly then I need to investigate further.
Below are photos of the stand prior to assembly of the fuel system and EFI wiring.

This is quite an undertaking.  But the days spent making a good EFI harness will pay off big time at the chassis dyno.  I spent time making fuel line connections and hoses and terminating electrical connections.  I found 3 used fuel rails and made one good fuel rail out of the 3.  I bought a brand new stock fuel pressure regulator.  Lots to do.

Still to-do....make spark plug wires for the coil packs, make a water pump electrical connection, terminate the battery cables with good lug crimps, wait for a few more parts such as 10mm to 6AN fuel pump adapters and radiator hose adapters.  Most everything was provided by Summit for this engine run stand but not exactly everything.  Still a very complete kit.  I'll tune the engine with the tune from my car and change the fuel injectors to 30lb/hr.  I have an exhaust system to add when it's time to run the engine.  More to come.......

Making good progress on the wiring.  This is a Painless brand harness for F-body.  I tried to communicate with my PCM and it failed.  Looked in the instructions and it mentioned adding a wire to the ALDL position #2 and #7 Blue PCM connection (don't quote me I'm going by memory).  The "additional serial data connection".  Once I did that then I could communicate with the PCM.  HP Tuners for the win.

Now while I wait for the fuel line fittings to arrive from Summit I can finish off a few things.  Here I have the spark plug wires terminated.  It is looking more and more complete.
The engine ran quite fine on my test stand.  All good.  The water hose mishap was lesson to me to double check everything.  Now it is time to ship.

 Ellwein Engines 2020