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LT1 engine conversion

like2drive

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Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
149
Location
Lincolnton, NC
Corvette
1981 beige
I 'm thinking about converting to a 1995-'96 LT1 primarily for better gas mileage. While my engine (original) still runs ok, I'm tired of hoping for better gas mileage with the non-replaceable Quadrajet (15 to 17 mpg) that you cannot adjust because of its umbilical cord to the computer! If I have to run with a computer, and am going to replace the engine anyway, what would be wrong with the LT1?

does anyone know if there are any major problems to be aware of?, like hood clearance, bolting up to the muncie 4-speed, etc?
I know the LT1 has about 10:1 compression. Does that mean Premium gas? or can they run off of 87 octane?

You'all 've helped me a lot in the past. Let me know what you think about this idea. Thanks in advance! Jim
 

KANE

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Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
3,244
Location
KY
Corvette
Dark Blue 1982 Trans Am(s): Polo Green 1995 MN6
I 'm thinking about converting to a 1995-'96 LT1 primarily for better gas mileage. While my engine (original) still runs ok, I'm tired of hoping for better gas mileage with the non-replaceable Quadrajet (15 to 17 mpg) that you cannot adjust because of its umbilical cord to the computer! If I have to run with a computer, and am going to replace the engine anyway, what would be wrong with the LT1?

does anyone know if there are any major problems to be aware of?, like hood clearance, bolting up to the muncie 4-speed, etc?
I know the LT1 has about 10:1 compression. Does that mean Premium gas? or can they run off of 87 octane?

You'all 've helped me a lot in the past. Let me know what you think about this idea. Thanks in advance! Jim


Great choice of motors for a swap!

I'd say that you'd be amazed how much goes into the swap. I've done two carb to TPI swaps. Fuel lines wil ned modifications, the harness will need to be routed, etc.

Make sure you use a Vette LT1 otherwise you'll have problems with accessories hitting the frame and upper A-arms. Or- be prepared to swap the accessory brackets out for Vette brackets.

I've never seen an LT1 with V-belts... so, you nay find it easier to use what comes on the motor from the salvage yard.

If you want to save some money- you can always configure an LT1 intake to fit a GEN I small block-
http://www.lt1intake.com/

That way, you can re-use a lot more of what you have (brackets, heads,etc). You'll need some custom programming for a chip but it is a very cost effective means to an end.
 

bossvette

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
May 19, 2003
Messages
3,233
Location
West Unity Ohio
Corvette
1968 1997
I'm sure it can be done but the TPI swap is simpler. What improvement in gas milage are you looking for? Also keep in mind the most important thing in getting better gas milage is engine RPM the OD trans goes hand in hand with EFI for increased gas milage:
1 the EFI precisely controls the ammount of fuel the engine uses and runs much better then a Carb at low RPM
2 the gear ratios on a OD trans allow the use of a lower numerical rear and lower engine RPM at cruise
Like it was said before there is much more involved then just an engine swap to do it correct and get the results you want But when done you will be driving your Vette more!!!:upthumbs
Craig sr
 

like2drive

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
149
Location
Lincolnton, NC
Corvette
1981 beige
thanks DarkShark, Craig

Appreciate yo' good comebacks! regarding the OD, yea, I'm planning on either adding GearVendors Od or having Auto Gear to re-gear my Muncie so the 4th will be an OD ratio (less expensive...i think) I'd really think I should get in the 25-30 MPG with my 2:87 rear, OD tran, and a good engine solution. I'd really like to use the LT1 but its looking like a very time consuming undertaking especially since I'd be doing all the work and some week-ends is about it for time.

I'm also looking at the 290Hp GM crate w/the realization that I'll have to replace the current carb, distributor, & intake and scrape the computer. I'd basically be back to a non-emmission engine.

About the only time I push the rpm's is on interstate cleaning some mustang's, bmw, etc clock , or running hard in the mountain curves swappin'geers. jim
 

Evolution1980

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Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
I know the LT1 has about 10:1 compression. Does that
Run on 87 octane??? :boogie

Has anyone ever successfully run a vette on 87 octane? I don't even think the lowly 350's from the late 1970's could run on 87 octane.
 

Ripp 73

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2004
Messages
406
Location
Columbus, OH
Corvette
1973 L82 Blue Coupe
I do not know of many LT1 engines that people even try to run 87 octane gas in. However I do know of one guy and his Vette seems to run ok. Not the greatest out of the hole. You have to remember that with the computer if it senses knock it will retard the engine on it's own. This way helping to burn all the fuel that enters the engine.

As stated above, your transmission is what is going to really help lower your RPM's and get you better "fuel economy". I'm currently in a 96 LT1 Camaro with the 6 speed and when I'm not in the throttle I can manage 26mpg. If I'm just on the highway for a full tank it will go up to 28mpg. Otherwise city driving I'm down around 20mpg. I would really be looking for transmission options. Let us know what you decide.
 

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