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Old 02-11-2012, 07:13 AM
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Using LT-1 engine in rod, electronics?

I'm looking at the purchase of a rod that has an older chev LT-1 engine in it. I believe it came out of an Impala SS, owner is not sure the year though. He's 72 and had the car built for him in 2008 and really doesn't know much about the technical side of his own car.

I own an 03 corvette with an LT-1 now, and I know they can have their issues with all the electronics to run the engines what with the mass air sensor, throttle position sensor, power train module, DTC diagnostic code module.

Any of you that have an LT-1 can you shed some light on what you did on your rod. Did you just grab all the electronics from the donor car, defeat the electronics with some new system, any problems keeping the system running? I really just preferred the old school system using a carb and not all this electronic bs, but the car is really really nice

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Old 02-11-2012, 09:49 AM
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Moving this to the new electronics forum.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsaengine
I own an 03 corvette with an LT-1 now, and I know they can have their issues with all the electronics to run the engines what with the mass air sensor, throttle position sensor, power train module, DTC diagnostic code module.
Not to be rude, but you either have a 93 Corvette with an LT1 or an 03 Corvette with an LS1. These engines share nothing in common short of the 4.4" bore spacing.

I hate to be a bear, but it is possible (although a very long shot) that the Impala-sourced V8 could be from either generation, which is why pinpointing the difference is so important. As far as if it is an LT1 out of one of the last generation B-bodys, the most simple solution would be to transfer everything from computer to drivetrain over to the new car. As long as you keep all the vital systems working, there's absolutely no reason why the new drivetrain should know it's in a different car. I'd contact the shop it was done at to see what info they have, and if none, how they would go about doing this swap usually.

Also if it's a Generation II SBC, you should probably verify that it truly is an LT1 and not an L99 which is externally identical, but only displaces 4.3L.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie5.7
Not to be rude, but you either have a 93 Corvette with an LT1 or an 03 Corvette with an LS1. These engines share nothing in common short of the 4.4" bore spacing.

I hate to be a bear, but it is possible (although a very long shot) that the Impala-sourced V8 could be from either generation, which is why pinpointing the difference is so important. As far as if it is an LT1 out of one of the last generation B-bodys, the most simple solution would be to transfer everything from computer to drivetrain over to the new car. As long as you keep all the vital systems working, there's absolutely no reason why the new drivetrain should know it's in a different car. I'd contact the shop it was done at to see what info they have, and if none, how they would go about doing this swap usually.

Also if it's a Generation II SBC, you should probably verify that it truly is an LT1 and not an L99 which is externally identical, but only displaces 4.3L.
I stand corrected, my 03 is LS-1, and the rod has LT-1. This is an existing car (thats 600 mi away) that I was trying to get a feel how much electronic garbage might be controlling the engine. Attached is a pic of the engine. It described the engine as "LT-1 with matching 700 R4 trans"
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:54 AM
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If it really is the "matching" 700r4 (called a 4L60 at the time) it has to be from a 1992 Corvette, as it was the last year you could get that trans before it was replaced with the 4L60-E, and it was the first year for the LT1. Block castings would probably help pinpoint what it really is.

Another alternative is that it's any year LT1, matched up to a 700r4 that isn't the trans it came with and is running a computer from a vehicle with a manual transmission. Pretty common.

The final option is that the seller is mistaken and that it's a 93-97 LT1 with a 4L60-E which is essentially just a electronically-controlled 4L60/700R4.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie5.7
If it really is the "matching" 700r4 (called a 4L60 at the time) it has to be from a 1992 Corvette, as it was the last year you could get that trans before it was replaced with the 4L60-E, and it was the first year for the LT1. Block castings would probably help pinpoint what it really is.

Another alternative is that it's any year LT1, matched up to a 700r4 that isn't the trans it came with and is running a computer from a vehicle with a manual transmission. Pretty common.

The final option is that the seller is mistaken and that it's a 93-97 LT1 with a 4L60-E which is essentially just a electronically-controlled 4L60/700R4.
Thanks for the info. Probably the best thing is have the owner get me the block serial number, then see if any of you can tell me what it really is.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:46 AM
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Just look at the ECM/PCM. 1993 LT1 is just like any other ecm, an aluminum box mounted inside car.

1994 up LT1 had a much improved OptiSpark distributor and the PCM was mounted underhood/weatherproof. It looks more like a big aluminum heat sink.

Both these are completly tunable to remove emmissions functions not found in transplant cars. Early is done in chip in ecm. later is done by reflashing PCM through ALDL port.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:42 PM
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Sorry wrong info! 92-93 were black weather proof under hood PCM. But still way differant look than 1994 up underhood PCM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:19 AM
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Not much to add here, other than Make sure its a 5.7 LT1 (just a note LT-1 was the 350 V8 that debuted in 1970, the top Small Block available then)
Not that the smaller 4L is useless in a street rod, there is just very little aftermarket support available for the smaller motor.

I have a friend with one in a 3rd gen camaro (mid 80s). He used a early LT1 from a manual gearbox car, and the recipient camaro's th700r4. Swap went well, although he had a few trouble codes to sort out, it was nothing insane.

The trick is to get as much of the factory stuff to do the conversion as possible. Beware the OptiSpark...it was a good idea that wasn't executed well at the time; there are a few things you can do to either improve or replace it. If you intend on driving the car a lot, familiarize yourself with the system. Its not a deal breaker by any means whatsoever, just make sure you have the necessary parts on hand when you take a road trip and stick em back on the shelf when you get home.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:57 PM
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Not disagreeing... just adding... Most 1994 up have an improved OptiSpark, they did get a bad rap earlier as not vented and seemed to die at the thought of getting wet. I put a garden hose on my 1994 with no issues.

Maintenance on Optispark Distributor is replace cap and rotor(which comes with new O ring) at 100,000 miles and inspect for signs of any leakage and vent system.

If the Oring seal on cap deteriorates then it is not vented properly and if water pump leaks it drips on distributor. But if you can't catch that for the 6 months to a year it would take to compromise the Oring? Well you probably have other more serious mechanical issues as well...

Optispark distributor was the most advanced best distributor ever made! DIS changed the ballgame. DIS can be installed on LT1 with 24x system by EFI connection.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:16 AM
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Eagle. the opti is a good system, least the vented models, but I would never just change the cap an rotor. 9 times out of 10 its the optical sensor that goes out on em, best thing is to just install a new one in its place and that is only and I mean ONLY if you are having opti problems IE you did plugs and wires and its still missing, if it runs good leave well enough alone, I have seen stock optis go 250k and never need the cap changed.

Also if the engine has Iron heads its not a "Vette " engine, its from wither a 94-96 b or d body car, IE caprice,Impala,or fleetwood caddy. those are the only cars to get the better flowing iron heads.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rockford
Eagle. the opti is a good system, least the vented models, but I would never just change the cap an rotor. 9 times out of 10 its the optical sensor that goes out on em, best thing is to just install a new one in its place and that is only and I mean ONLY if you are having opti problems IE you did plugs and wires and its still missing, if it runs good leave well enough alone, I have seen stock optis go 250k and never need the cap changed.

Also if the engine has Iron heads its not a "Vette " engine, its from wither a 94-96 b or d body car, IE caprice,Impala,or fleetwood caddy. those are the only cars to get the better flowing iron heads.
I was told engine came from Impala SS, so cast iron vs alum heads would be a good indication to look for, thanks. As you can see from earlier pic of the engine, its in an open engine compartment (highboy), so chance of water getting to opti is pretty good. I was considering putting on side panels from aesthetic preference, but protecting the electronics might be an even better reason.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:05 AM
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Iron heads would be a good determining factor. Iron heads flow better they say but can't beleive GM would use worse flowing head on performance car? Not doubting because data has shown it, just stupid of GM I think.

Only other difference is Corvette had bigger cam, with lower flowing aluminum heads? Still makes no sense... and you have the Corvette cover over the LT1 runners which looks way better then the big home plate air baffle used on Impalas, Caprice, Buick...

If your Opti distributor and vent system is well maintined there is no reason to fear water or moisture! I have proven that by running a garden hose on distributor and ICM with car running and with no issues!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:12 PM
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One issue to consider with an 93-97 LT1 engine swap is that it uses a reverse flow engine cooling configuration. This will need to be addressed when making connections to your 'rod'.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike 96 ws6
One issue to consider with an 93-97 LT1 engine swap is that it uses a reverse flow engine cooling configuration. This will need to be addressed when making connections to your 'rod'.
just a matter of Hoses, you can make anything work, just avoid the ribber metal universal hoses, those ribs create alot of drag, and yes a good vented opti will have 0 problems with moisture.
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