Ellwein Engines "Street" 383 LT1 #33
This short block uses a good quality forged rotating assembly.
In order to save about $1000 off the price of a billet cap ERE-383 the main caps are stock.
This short block will have .030" over Mahle piston, Howard's Billet Rods, Howards USA  forged crankshaft and stock main caps with ARP/Milodon mix of main studs. The motor is going in an F-body and the owner is supplying Ai/GM heads, Ai camshaft and Ai valve train.

Core engine delivered today.  I'll tear it down and send the block off to the machine shop.

The block will get a steel media tumble cleaning, decking, bore and torque plate hone, align hone of mains and final cleaning. 

Another pose of the core this time with camera flash.

The timing cover will change over to a vented opti.

This is the first new project to be completed in my new garage/workshop.  Signature ERE399 is hiding behind the blue tool box.

The place is becoming more like a shop and less like a 1.5 car garage.

Tearing apart the engine core.  I have numerous hub pulling tools.

This is the view after removing the windage tray and oil pump.

#6 rod bearing is spun.  The rest are mostly ok.

It is a nice day today and so I have the garage door open.   Good light for photos.

Main caps off.

Crank shows #6 rod and #4 main spun.

In the mean time...the oil cooler/oil filter adapter is cracked in half.

Maybe this caused coolant to seep into the oil and contaminate it, which caused the rods/mains to spin.

Look at the cam bearings.  They are all in brand new condition.

Cam bearing is absolutely perfect conditon.

The front cam bearing is pristine. 

Notice the black heat damage at #4 main.

Here is a close up.  This is from the spun main bearing.  The heat blackens the journal and makes it brittle.  I will have the machine shop check for cracks.

It is possible that this is brittle and cracked but chances are it is ok.  I have a 350 LT1 that has 2 blackened mains and it is still running strong after 10 years.

The block is ready for the machine shop.

The mains will be align honed using ARP and Milodon studs.

Balance notes:  Data for the balance shop.

Howard's billet rods, (6.0")

Rod is simply checked to see if it is in fact 671g total like the rod build card says.

It is 470g big end and 201g small end via the card and 671g total verified. by scale.

Neat packaging of the billet rods.

Love the shipping box for the rods.

For the piston/rings etc I weigh all separate and then all as a set.  Piston 413g, Rings 35g, locs 2g, Pin 116.5g (and weighed as a unit = 566.6g)

The block came back from the machine shop blessed off and in good shape.  So now I mock up the rotating assembly and mark the block for clearance grinding.

Mahle piston and billet rod.

Another photo of the billet rods.

Crank in place.  This counterweight is wide and I need to give extra clearance at this spot.

Rod/piston in and the block is marked at each location for grinding.

Block is now clearanced and cleaned.  Time to move forward.  Camshaft in.

Swain coated main and rod bearings.

Howard's forged crankshaft.

bearing/assembly lube.

Caps on and torqued.  Thrust is .007"

Piston/rod assembly.

Nice view of the billet Howard's rod and Mahle piston.

Ready for piston rings.

Ring file-fitting.  Top at .022" and 2nd at .024"

Rod bearing clearance .0022"

Degree of cam.  It should be 106 ICL

Nice view of the Rollmaster timing set from Scoggin-Dickey

Cam timing at 106 ICL (with the crank sprocket at -2)

Installing the pistons.

A photo of the Swain coated rod bearings.

Stretch rod bolts to .005"

Clearanced just enough.


Cleaned up the windage tray and bend the center of it to clear the rods.

Oil pump pickup at about 7.5"

Block head-deck cleaned and ready for gasket.

Piston is .010" down in the hole.  This is a GM Impala gasket at .029"

Head bolts with stainless outer row.

Ai provided pushrod length checker.


Water pump drive hole sealed with Kennedy $.50 piece.

Oil pan cleaned and blown with air.

I'll touch up that oil pan later with POR15

Oil pressure check...60psig.

Prep for intake manifold

Photo of the SFI spec damper.

New rear main seal installed, a bit more paint added in spots that were blocked by the engine stand.

Pushrods arrived yesterday.  Installed today and set a 1/2 turn past zero lash.

Ellwein Engines 2011,, email Karl Ellwein