"Budget" ESE355 #40
Used LE heads, custom cam by LE, Budget ESE shortblock
This is a budget motor using stock the LT1 main caps and a stock reconditioned LT1 crankshaft


Customer supplied LE ported heads


Customer found these on the web.  My machine shop inspected them and they are not warped and the springs are in good shape.


Block donated by good friend Nabil Guffey.


It's a good LT1 core but coated with cooked on conventional oil.


Photo of the block prior to delivery to Machine shop.


Used LT1 crankshaft which was reconditioned by turning the rods to .010" and the mains to .030" under standard.


This crankshaft was also balanced for the lighter rods and pistons


Here is the block returning from the machine shop.  They bored and honed to 4.040" and checked the main alignment.  One thing about doing a budget build is that you'll have to do a lot of the block cleaning yourself.


The stock main caps with ARP main studs.


The block after painting with POR-15.  This block was bored .040" over a opposed to the usual .030" over.  


A photo of some of the better quality parts.  It's only a few more bucks to use quality bearings.  Here are the Dura-Bond cam bearings and the Mahle rod bearings.


Block clean and ready for cam bearings


Premium Durabond cam bearings


Cam bearing installation tool


Clevite "P" series bearings (,030" under) for stock crank


Thrust clearance at .035"


All other main bearings at .025"


Crank installed.  Spins nicely.  ARP main studs torqued to 80ft-lb


Lloyd Elliott custom camshaft


Cloyes double roller timing set


ARP Cam bolts


Threaded oil galleys.  Using double roller timing set and electric water pump so oil cooling holes not needed.


#1 piston at top dead center.


0.020" in the hole.


Forgot to show crank endplay, (0.008")


Ring File-Fitting.  This is an old .040" over piston to use as a ring squaring tool


Gap is .020" for street/strip


piston/rod assembly


Piston/rod #1 is already installed thus you only see 7 here.


Piston/rod pins test fit.  All good except one.  I had to slightly hone one rod to make the pin fit.


This is my set up to measure rod bearing clearance.


All rods were 0.0025" clearance except #7 rod was 0.00275"


Installing into block


Rubber handle on mallet


Torquing rod bolts to .004" stretch, (75ft-lb)


Rod side clearance is .020" by the way.


Cam degree check.  With the crank sprocket at "O" (straight up) the intake centerline is 109*


Cam card calls for 109* ICL and so timing set is good right here.


Lloyd Elliott heads supplied by customer. (purchased used)


Brand new GMPP stock head bolts. Head gasket is .026" VR


Customer supplied Comp cams rocker arms, (self aligning 1.6 ratio, 3/8 stud, Pro Mags)


Pushrod length 7.10 and 7.050 mix


The pushrods are from CV Products, One Piece 4130 Chrome Moly


Showing the new Melling oil pump.  Part number 10552.


All rocker studs installed.  All rockers installed and set at 3/4 turn past zero lash.


Here is a view of the rear main seal housing.  I planned to clean up a used core and could only find a brand new one.  :)


The pushrods here are a mix of 7.050" and 7.010" 5/16" thick one piece Chrome moly from CV products.


New windage tray.


Oil pump pick up installed.  This is for 7.5" deep oil pan, (stock).


Measuring for oil pump pickup clearance.


Used stock oil pan.


The timing cover is also used but reconditioned.  I have it sandblasted and powder coated by the guys at Ship Point Machine in Hollywood Maryland.


Final assembly test.  Pressure is 56psig.


All rockers have oil via the lifters-pushrods.

Ellwein Engines 2013,, email Karl Ellwein