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LT1 : MAF vs. Speed Density

OldSkool

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Messages
51
Location
Newport, RI
I've been doing some research on the LT1, and found out the the Gen 1 from 92-'93 was a Speed Density system, which was upgraded to Mass Air Flow in '94.

I'm a bit confused bythe "upgrade".

I remember from my L98 F-Body days that the original TPI system was MAF, and that was upgraded to Speed Density in '90, IIRC. I remember that the SD cars were considered superior to the MAF cars, at least as far as the F-Bods were concerned.

Going from SD to MAF almost seems like a step backwards, at least as far as that line of thinking goes.

So I'm just curious, which is the better system?

Any downfalls to the SD as far as the LT1 is concerned?

Thanks!

Mike
 

toptechx6

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
404
Location
south florida
Corvette
1993 Coupe, Bright Aqua
You will get different opinions on this one but believe MAF is supposed to be superior since it measures air flow directly, SD cars calculate it based on engine speed and, you guessed it "density" or manifold pressure. Remember too when a manufacturer refers to something as an "upgrade" that can often be interpreted as cheaper:D
MAF systems still use MAP for altitude readings and many function quite well even when the MAF fails using the MAP program as backup.
 

aboatguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Messages
424
Location
Slidell Louisiana
Corvette
AI head/cam/intake, Vig converter, D44, EM LTs etc
I've been doing some research on the LT1, and found out the the Gen 1 from 92-'93 was a Speed Density system, which was upgraded to Mass Air Flow in '94.

I'm a bit confused bythe "upgrade".

I remember from my L98 F-Body days that the original TPI system was MAF, and that was upgraded to Speed Density in '90, IIRC. I remember that the SD cars were considered superior to the MAF cars, at least as far as the F-Bods were concerned.

Going from SD to MAF almost seems like a step backwards, at least as far as that line of thinking goes.

So I'm just curious, which is the better system?

Any downfalls to the SD as far as the LT1 is concerned?

Thanks!

Mike
I believe MAF is superior although both types of LT1s make similar amounts of power when modded and tuned.
However, the later C4s also have sequential fuel injection vice batch fire and a better opti. I'd go with the later models.

Mike
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
MAF systems are more adjustable on the fly. Basically, the computer generally has a greater ability to adjust for changes.

SD are simpler, because of all the emissions laws these are basically gone... they are just not precise enough

Better / Worse depends on what you are looking for. I don't think you'll find too many people that will tell you that a MAF system isn't better in todays times. Computers are faster than they were back in the late 80's/early 90's so they can accept a ton of data and use it on the fly.

On the flip side, MAF sensors are expensive and somewhat fragile. If you are just looking for a daily driver, the SD setup is practically flawless and cheap to maintain. If you are looking for a specific set of upgrades, the SD system will need to be updated 1 time and you are done... if you are more of a 'part at a time' upgrader, the MAF setup will compensate better between computer tuning.

In stock form, neither runs better than the other IMO. And, I like the SD setup because you don't have to put the whole intake back together after doing work to the car just to test start it.
 

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