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  • 1 Post By 53 Chevy5
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  • 1 Post By 53 Chevy5
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  • 1 Post By 53 Chevy5

Thread: LT1 engine ?
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    53 Chevy5's Avatar
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    LT1 engine ?

     



    What are your thoughts on this motor, I know nothing about them. I have the opportunity to get a 1996 Caprice with an LT1 in it for the price of scrap plus 20%. The car actually looks good, I don't know any history of the motor. I was thinking it would be a nice upgrade from the 4.3 going into the 53 Dodge, or a nice motor swap for the 82 Camaro.
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  2. #2
    shine's Avatar
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    not a fan . i would opt for an LS

  3. #3
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53 Chevy5 View Post
    What are your thoughts on this motor, I know nothing about them. I have the opportunity to get a 1996 Caprice with an LT1 in it for the price of scrap plus 20%. The car actually looks good, I don't know any history of the motor. I was thinking it would be a nice upgrade from the 4.3 going into the 53 Dodge, or a nice motor swap for the 82 Camaro.
    Chit, if it runs and drives put a cage in it and get ready to run an enduro or two this fall, they're a blast! As for the LTI, I never messed with them much, Jerry Clayton does have a bunch of experience with them though, hopefully he'll check in!
    53 Chevy5 likes this.
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  4. #4
    53 Chevy5's Avatar
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    Have you been reading my mind Dave? Christian has shown some interest in running in the sportsman class that would be a perfect car for it. I think I'd pull out the LT1 and drop in a standard small block though. Race season is going to be winding down here shortly, and I haven't gone to a single one yet. Hopefully we'll get a chance to meet up this summer yet!
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    Seth

    God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. C.S.Lewis

  5. #5
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    This is not the same as the high-output Generation I LT-1 of the 1970s. Reverse cooling.......... can be a bit of a nightmare.
    "Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty." John Basil Barnhil

  6. #6
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    I think the 2 worst things about the LT1s of the 80s -90s were: The coolant system is reverse flow, and they use an opti spark unit instead of a distributor. The optispark is behind the water pump driven off the cam so when it fails it is real fun to replace. Tuning used to be very limited for them too. For a street rod you wanted to drive and get great economy, they were awesome. But if performance is in mind, be prepared to spend some money and time waiting. They are good engines for the most part.
    Ryan
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  7. #7
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    They run great but as said before, the Optispark ignition had its issues. Whoever decided that the distributor should be located close to water needed to have his head examined.
    1 Corinthians 1:27

  8. #8
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    Okay, I was looking for something a little different than an LS or regular small block just for fun but it sounds like it could be more headache than it's worth.
    Seth

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  9. #9
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    The LT1 in a Caprice probably has iron cylinder heads-----------

    Even with the amount of keyboard experts harping about the opti spark-never had an issue with that----------

    reverse flow is great -------
    get all the wiring even dashboard studd, computers ( ecm and body ) key (key has an resister in it that mathes the body control puter) wiring back to fuel pump and possibly the complete tank system----------

    transmission?????????

    averaged about 30 LT1 builds per year for several years------we added splayed 4 bolt main caps-----
    Have done manifol mods to put distributer in rear and there are pics on here somewhere of that
    Dave Severson and 53 Chevy5 like this.
    By popular opinions-just a grumpy old man key board bully--But really, if you are going to ask for help on an internet site, at least answer questions about what you are asking about-----

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your input Jerry, I googled it and the biggest thing that came up was the opti dist. A few people never got over it but for the most part after a few mods or an aftermarket one was installed the problems were far less. I think it would be a nice change of pace vs and LS. I think it would be far easier, cheaper and less common for the 82 Camaro than an LS, and look pretty good in it to. Could I get a reliable daily driver 350 hp out of it? If it's a problematic motor I'm not too interested in the swap.
    Seth

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  11. #11
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    GM had pretty well fixed the opti-spark "issues" by '96. Like Jerry said this will be an iron headed motor with TONS of potential! I have three of these engines in my "fleet". A '94 Formula, a '94 Roadmaster and a '94 Astro. I have never had an issue with the ignitions in any of them.
    I would get the car and drive it for a while (if possible) just to work out any issues and go from there. When you decide to pull it out do like Jerry said and get EVERYTHING that goes with the motor. Harness, trans, everything.
    Mark
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    My wife had 2 different Formula Firebirds. A 96 and a 97. They both had issues with the opti spark so I must be a key board expert..... The 96 she even raced. She loved it. It got stolen off the trailer in Iowa Falls the night it ran it's first 11.50 pass.
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    [QUOTE=jerry clayton;583992]
    Even with the amount of keyboard experts harping about the opti spark-never had an issue with that----------
    QUOTE]

    Seems to be a lot of that these days, I would venture to say that is the reason Pat McCarthy quit posting and why we don't see much of you anymore.
    I don't comment on something I haven't personally done or witnessed being done. Working on aircraft teaches you there is only right and wrong as there is no in between since you are dealing with the lives of others and BS is just that, BS.
    Last edited by NTFDAY; 08-06-2019 at 06:11 PM.
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    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53 Chevy5 View Post
    Have you been reading my mind Dave? Christian has shown some interest in running in the sportsman class that would be a perfect car for it. I think I'd pull out the LT1 and drop in a standard small block though. Race season is going to be winding down here shortly, and I haven't gone to a single one yet. Hopefully we'll get a chance to meet up this summer yet!
    It's a good class! Withe all the expense putting a car together, there are some nice B-Mods that come up for sale every fall/winter, sometimes you can grab a roller for less then what it would cost you to build a cage and rebuild the chassis to run sportsman! I will instill all my worldly wisdom on circle burner cars to your son, Go fast, turn left!
    53 Chevy5 and 34_40 like this.
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  15. #15
    53 Chevy5's Avatar
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    Well, I checked it out and I'm going to leave it sit. This was the newest one out of a fleet of about 6-7 that I seen there, this one was complete but well over 200K on it as they were mail-man cars. The last date of a service on it was about 4 years ago and I don't know the reason why it was parked as he passed away about a year ago. Between the spiders ( I hate spiders, I really really hate spiders!!) and mice that have heavily moved into it and with the questions of if it's any good I think I'll pass on it. It's cheap enough but I don't think I work that cheap anymore. It sounds a lot easier to build the 350 Vortec block I have and throw a Holley Sniper injection and distributor on it.
    Dave Severson likes this.
    Seth

    God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. C.S.Lewis

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