Ellwein Street Engine ESE-395(396) #34
Ai heads, Ai cam, USA made Callies crankshaft, SCAT H-beam 5.850" rods, SRP pistons.
This will be the 1st ESE-395(396) built by Ellwein Engines. ESE means, (street), and in simple terms the block is supplied by the customer and we use the stock main caps, (instead of billet splayed main caps). 

The core is from Crazy Ray's junk yard.  It was only yesterday that it was a full LT1 engine.  Today it is a bare block.

ARP and Milodon main studs and stock main caps.

Another view of the block

Grinding dust everywhere.  I clearanced the block in areas where the rods may hit.

Directly out of the box..here is the 3.875" stroke crankshaft from Howard's Cams.

Wiped up a little bit with brakeclean and oil.

I measured all the mains and rods prior to sending to the balance shop.

5.85" H-beam rods arrived.  Here we weigh things to call to the balance shop.

All pistons are within 1 gram.  (But the rods are from 631 to 633 grams and so I'll buff off some weight on the rods to make them all 631).

I weigh things individually and also as a group just as a double check.

More work on the motor...here is a broad view of the 399 Race Shop.

Block is now painted black with POR15

Crankshaft set in place.

Various size bearings.

JE-SRP pistons.

5.85" SCAT H-beam rod and SRP piston.


All rod-pistons assembled.

Rod bearing clearance...(0.0025")

Crank/rod/piston in place in order to see if my block clearancing was good enough...it was not.  I checked every cylinder and I have to clearance more in all of them.  But that is the process with a 396 stroker...lots of clearancing.

And a major snafu...the crankshaft counterweight hits the bottom of the piston.

I replaced the Howard's crankshaft with a Callies Magnum crankshaft and the counterweights clear.  This is because the counterweights were shaved.  You can see that in this photo.

There is a mile of clearance here with the Callies crank.  No wonder the Callies cost so much....they are always perfect....perfect journals, perfect crank cam counterweight profile.

Crankshaft is almost ready for pickup but in the meantime I finish up on the block.  Here is the thread tapping of the front oil holes.

More block clearancing.

Oil galleries.

Ready to file the piston rings.

Top, (1st), ring at .022"

2nd ring at .025"

I have always been curious as to how many grams are shaved off a ring.  Here is a freshly filed ring = 15.1 gram

And a non-filed ring = 15.3 gram, (0.2 gram difference).

Rings are all filed and stored in the bores.  Main clearance now being checked.

.0022, .0020, .0020, .0022, .0025" from #1 to #5

Now the cam bearings in.

The cam grind #MIELHAM

Photo with cam installed.

Photo to prove the oil gallery plug is installed.

Callies magnum crankshaft installed. 3.875" stroke.

Rear main torqued and end-play checked to be .008"

Rod bearing clearance checked. (torqued to .005" stretch)

All rods at .0025" clearance.

Degree check of camshaft.  Piston is at -.010" deck-height.

Intake CL = 105, Exh CL = 113, (cam card spec 106/114)

Installing piston/rod combos. #1 and #5 bump the camshaft.  This blurry photo shows where I clearance on the rod so that it does not bump the cam.

A few shots of the piston.

SRP piston with JE rings.

#2 and #6 rods hit the camshaft too.  Here is a clear photo of #2 and where I clearanced it for the cam.

Notice the rod bolt is clearanced too.  The bolt needs to be torqued to spec prior to milling.

Cam clearnced on the left...no clearance on the right.

After installing all rods/pistons I still had a few spots where the rods bumped the block.  More clearancing needed.

Cam and crank back in after clearancing.  Camshaft bolts are ARP with locktite.

Just enough.

Now all rods being torqued to .005" stretch.  .018" side clearance.

Windage tray bent up to clear #5/6 and #7/8 rods.

Melling 10552 oil pump and pickup.

oil pan on with no gasket to check for interference.

#1/2 rods bump and some spots on the side at the pan rail.

After messaging the oil pan.

Lifters in.

ARP head bolts cleaned and thread-sealant applied.

Owner supplied Ai heads, rockers, pushrods.  All on and fitting well.

Almost ready for shipping.

ATI damper on. Final check of bottom.

Owner's supplied oil pump gear drive has a crack on the plastic tab but it will hold very well even with the crack.

Wrapped up for shipping.

Ellwein Engines 2011,, email Karl Ellwein