LT1 Based Engine Tech 1993-1997 LT1/LT4 Engine Related

Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Old 04-22-2019, 02:28 PM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

We love the shape of the gen 3 Camaro. That's why my son and I are so deep into this project. My Vette has the LT1 and it is a great motor. So the marriage of the LT1 and his 83 Camaro works for us. I'm hoping to gather enough PCM knowledge and equipment to keep up with the tuning. I've gained a lot of info from this site and hope it doesn't fade away.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:31 PM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Don't mind my repetitive rant..... I just get frustrated with the fact that so many people, including most of the moderators and the administrator have abandoned it.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:01 AM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

No worries, I totally get where you are coming from. I agree it would be an uphill battle with the LS sites already established.

This is just me being optimistic, but brand recognition is a powerful thing. If Chevy was to bring the Z28 badging back to the base models like in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, I think this site would see an upswing in traffic. However with base V8 prices being right at $40K, I think that puts what should be the target market out of reach. I was sweating 26K on a new Z28 back in '96, could not swing it, and went with a new 3.8 V6/5 speed Y87 custom order for $18.5K. Kept it until '99 when I found my current Z28 for $14,500. New car prices are just insanely expensive.

I've thought on selling mine a couple times. I doubt I ever will, but my wife mentioned that a gentleman from this board has spoken for it if I want to let it go. I think he and his wife are around the Atlanta area if I'm not mistaken.

Whenever I get the Corvette bug, I think about my Z28 is paid for....got plenty more I could do to the LT1...if I wanted to get really deep in the weeds with it I could swap in an LS3. I guess the bottom line is that I can do so much to keep me busy wrenching and programming on this car for a reasonable price, I don't see the need to move to a Vette or another platform.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:06 AM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Originally Posted by moparman View Post
I still visit this site, everyday. It's helped me with my Firebird from time to time. But, I'm getting old now, and find it harder and harder to get on and off a creeper. Then, I think of the alternative to getting older.
At 45, I'm finding the same....hehe, don't trade that creeper for a bed! =)
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ACE1252 View Post
No worries, I totally get where you are coming from. I agree it would be an uphill battle with the LS sites already established.

This is just me being optimistic, but brand recognition is a powerful thing. If Chevy was to bring the Z28 badging back to the base models like in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, I think this site would see an upswing in traffic. However with base V8 prices being right at $40K, I think that puts what should be the target market out of reach. I was sweating 26K on a new Z28 back in '96, could not swing it, and went with a new 3.8 V6/5 speed Y87 custom order for $18.5K. Kept it until '99 when I found my current Z28 for $14,500. New car prices are just insanely expensive.

I've thought on selling mine a couple times. I doubt I ever will, but my wife mentioned that a gentleman from this board has spoken for it if I want to let it go. I think he and his wife are around the Atlanta area if I'm not mistaken.

Whenever I get the Corvette bug, I think about my Z28 is paid for....got plenty more I could do to the LT1...if I wanted to get really deep in the weeds with it I could swap in an LS3. I guess the bottom line is that I can do so much to keep me busy wrenching and programming on this car for a reasonable price, I don't see the need to move to a Vette or another platform.
To me, owning a Vette is a life style. From the C4 and newer models, Vettes are really good in the curves. Don't get me wrong, gen 3 Camaro's can be built to tackle the curves and the lines of the gen 3 (I think) are just cool. We used to say a Camaro is a poor man's Corvette. Camaro's are a great platform for newbies to dig into how to and learn how to build and improve performance of a car without spending that much. And this site and one's like it are important to them.

I have to ask, was there a Z28 in the gen 3 era?
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:54 AM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

The Z28 option package originated in 1967 to provide a low production model to compete in the SCCA “Trans Am" sedan racing series, with it’s 305 ci displacement limit, hence the use of the 302 ci small block. After that it became more widely available, and in 1970 included a 350 ci/360 HP engine, which I believe was essentially the same as the LT-1 (note the hyphen) used in the Corvette. The Z28 package option was discontinued in 1975, although records indicate at least one was built. It returned in 1977 as a separate model. It continued in the 3rd Gens through 1987.

In 1985 the Camaro added an IROC option for the Z28. In 1988 the Z28 model was dropped, and was replaced with the IROC-Z, which existed through the early1990 model year. In 1991 the Z28 returned. The change to IROC-Z was done because of a brief contract Chevrolet had with the International Race of Champions.

Basically, info from the “Camaro White Book”.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:44 PM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Originally Posted by Strick View Post
My original web sight that has everything I've done on this swap is having problems. I can't post pictures anymore. So, this might be a good time to condense what I've done and continue on this sight which appears to be working just fine.

This is where we're at now.
Looks beautifully painted and the engine looks fresh and brand spanking new! What made you go this route with the engine selection if you don't mind my asking? Hopefully the day will come, and hopefully sooner than later, when I get to introduce a prominent modification to my f-body LT1, the intake manifold!

Originally Posted by Injuneer View Post
Unfortunately, the “Manage Attachments” feature no longer works consistently for photos. Doesn’t make any sense, but that's what Internet Brands, owner of this site tells me. When posting a new message or reply, at the top of the message field there is a new row of icons. In the middle, just left of the smiley icon is the upload photo icon.

See this sticky:

https://www.camaroz28.com/forums/sit...28-com-699204/

I’d like to see what you have done. Hopefully others will be interested as well. But be forewarned - this site is dying a slow death. I'm the only moderator that is on here every day. The Administrator hasn’t signed in for 15 months. Other than a dozen or so diehard LT1 fans, like Shoebox (who no longer owns his Z28), there are very few regulars left. Depressing.
Well, I will spring up from time to time on this site so long as it exists. Let me know how we can help keep it going. All I know is, I love my LT1 Small Block Chevy. The problems going into the future will be how to keep all of the emissions equipment going once they start breaking down. I take it I will need some special custom shop like Dan Smart's "Fantom Works" to adapt newer emissions devices on to my old LT1?! Yeah, I understand the lure of swapping in higher horsepower small blocks from the LS family but the LT1, as I see it, is just right for me as a daily driver, and not to mention taking a step backwards and throwing on it's older sibling's intake manifold to give me what I am seeking and a new build dynamic to pursue.

Last edited by Phoenix'97; 04-23-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:35 AM
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Wink Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Why did I go this route? Let me see if I can reconstruct my path. First of all my son loves this 83 Berlinetta, it was his first car (and who knows what he has done in it) and refuses to get rid of it. I have a 1992 Corvette with the LT1 and it runs great. I did some upgrades to it and I learned a lot about the LT1. I also bought many tools specific to the LT1. When my son's 305 finally died, we decided to replace the engine. As luck would have it my neighbor had a 95 Chevy Caprice with the LT1 and he wanted to get rid of it as the opta-spark failed and he didn't want to pay for the cost of replacing it. So, I bought it for the engine. So for $500 I got the engine and then sold the body to the auto dismantler for $200. That's it in a nut shell. I like the looks of the LT1 anyway.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Originally Posted by Strick View Post
Why did I go this route? Let me see if I can reconstruct my path. First of all my son loves this 83 Berlinetta, it was his first car (and who knows what he has done in it) and refuses to get rid of it. I have a 1992 Corvette with the LT1 and it runs great. I did some upgrades to it and I learned a lot about the LT1. I also bought many tools specific to the LT1. When my son's 305 finally died, we decided to replace the engine. As luck would have it my neighbor had a 95 Chevy Caprice with the LT1 and he wanted to get rid of it as the opta-spark failed and he didn't want to pay for the cost of replacing it. So, I bought it for the engine. So for $500 I got the engine and then sold the body to the auto dismantler for $200. That's it in a nut shell. I like the looks of the LT1 anyway.
Are you still using the cast iron cylinder heads and Caprice camshaft in that LT1 or have you swapped those over to the F-body/Corvette configuration?

Pretty much my "vision" looking forward is doing a-lot of things seemingly backwards with my LT1. I actually want the cast iron cylinder heads though I end up taking a 50 pound added weight penalty but for a daily driver it won't be an issue in the least. While we are on the topic of swapping, what are your thoughts about modifying a stock L98 TPI intake to be able to bolt directly onto an LT1, assuming you may have experience with the intake manifold and L98 engine.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:49 PM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

The engine is bored and stroked to 383cu.in. I have Corvette aluminum heads with 1.6 rockers and 7" push rods. The cam is the GM Hot Cam. I also upgraded the water pump to a Meizerie electric set up. That does away with the possibility of drowning the opti if the pump leaks and also does away with one possible place for an oil leak. The tranny is a Borg/Warner T-56 6 speed. The entire accessary package up front is from a 95 Corvette. No need to cut up the K-member.

I wouldn't worry about the iron heads, they just hold the heat a lot longer.

L-98s, I can't help out much here. Most small block engines are the same up to the intake manifolds, except the LT1 has that reverse flow cooling system. I do like the look of the L-98 sort of like a mini LT5 engine.

I watch Fantom Works also, and was planning a trip to Norfolk to see him and ask about wiring. Just a 4-5 hour drive, but I fly for free (retired pilot)
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:24 AM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Originally Posted by Strick View Post
The engine is bored and stroked to 383cu.in. I have Corvette aluminum heads with 1.6 rockers and 7" push rods. The cam is the GM Hot Cam. I also upgraded the water pump to a Meizerie electric set up. That does away with the possibility of drowning the opti if the pump leaks and also does away with one possible place for an oil leak. The tranny is a Borg/Warner T-56 6 speed. The entire accessary package up front is from a 95 Corvette. No need to cut up the K-member.

I wouldn't worry about the iron heads, they just hold the heat a lot longer.

L-98s, I can't help out much here. Most small block engines are the same up to the intake manifolds, except the LT1 has that reverse flow cooling system. I do like the look of the L-98 sort of like a mini LT5 engine.

I watch Fantom Works also, and was planning a trip to Norfolk to see him and ask about wiring. Just a 4-5 hour drive, but I fly for free (retired pilot)
Hey, don't worry if you can't offer an opinion on the mod I wish to undertake on my LT1. I just was curious what you would say.

So you have a nice stout built LT1, it sounds like the same formula that was offered to me on other forums to counter the mod I wish to have done. With the Meizerie water pump, do you have any external indicator to warn you if the electric motor has failed? This is the only area that can prove to be a serious problem if for some unforeseen reason the motor craps out and the engine now has no coolant circulation. I read somewhere that someone highly recommended getting this warning indicator and placing it somewhere in the dash or console. This is why I prefer the cam-driven set-up of my stock water pump, it has minimal parasitic drain near that of a pure electric pump and especially when compared to belt driven pumps. If you are concerned about the optispark, I have passed along a proven trick to help protect the casing from fluid penetration by coating all accessible seams with dielectric grease to effectively protect it from water/coolant/oil. As for oil leaks, replacing the timing cover seal at the shaft and ensuring that the seal is installed correctly will go a long way and preventing oil leaks. After three botched jobs by "experienced" mechanics at a shop I was forced to do the work myself and the oil drips I had are long gone!

I do plan to use cast-iron cylinder heads on my LT1 when the time comes since they are better suited for my daily drive and the added thermal efficiency for the combustion chamber is my main goal.

Let me know how your visit goes and when you meet Dan! My car is years away from the work I will seek from him and before then I am likely to get my engine built by a certified professional who works on street/strip and mix-use builds. We are only talking about the heads, true roller timing chain, a custom grind cam to work with the TPI intake and 1.7 RRs with those cast-iron cylinder heads, zero-gap seals/rings, and any other "ridiculous" build suggestions like lighter crank assembly and MicroBlue engine coating to improve upon the LT1 as far as we can take it for daily driving and maybe future autocross runs.

Last edited by Phoenix'97; 04-25-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:39 PM
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First of all, I drive with the coolant temp on the dash (Corvette). If the pump fails, you'll see the temp increase. If you don't monitor your temps, a check engine light will come on telling you it is getting hot. Your OEM pump can fail, too. But I can change my pump in 30 minutes or less. My pump has been in there for about 8 years and is still running great. I understand your concerns about electric pumps, I had them too,, just remember a lot of cars have electric fans.

The engine was built under the supervision of our local dirt track engine builder and our machinist who did the heads and block work. It's a good idea to farm out some of the machine work to knowledgable experienced builders. Oh, we built this car for mostly street use and are limiting it to under 6500 rpms. It might see some track use

I don't understand why you think iron heads are better for a daily driver. But they both work just fine.

Did you find out if you can mix the L98 intake set up with LT1 heads?
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:55 PM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Originally Posted by Strick View Post
........

I watch Fantom Works also, and was planning a trip to Norfolk to see him and ask about wiring. Just a 4-5 hour drive, but I fly for free (retired pilot)
Have you looked over the “LT1 into 3rd Gen” wiring guide? It's a “sticky” on the 3rd Gen / L98 Engine Tech” forum.

https://www.camaroz28.com/forums/3rd...ite-up-474185/
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:08 AM
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Re: Engine swap 95 LT1 to 83 Camaro

Originally Posted by Strick View Post
First of all, I drive with the coolant temp on the dash (Corvette). If the pump fails, you'll see the temp increase. If you don't monitor your temps, a check engine light will come on telling you it is getting hot. Your OEM pump can fail, too. But I can change my pump in 30 minutes or less. My pump has been in there for about 8 years and is still running great. I understand your concerns about electric pumps, I had them too,, just remember a lot of cars have electric fans.

The engine was built under the supervision of our local dirt track engine builder and our machinist who did the heads and block work. It's a good idea to farm out some of the machine work to knowledgable experienced builders. Oh, we built this car for mostly street use and are limiting it to under 6500 rpms. It might see some track use

I don't understand why you think iron heads are better for a daily driver. But they both work just fine.

Did you find out if you can mix the L98 intake set up with LT1 heads?
That is a thought with the temp gauge on the dash! Yeah, I habitually monitor my factory temp gauge on my cluster since I fairly recently solved the problem of why my coolant reservoir was not taking radiator overflow and then returning it after the engine cooled down. The feeding hose all these years was kinked and someone used black electric tape on the thing which I am left wondering if it was intentional sabotage or not. So, after getting it right and proper I have not had my low coolant sensor trigger and the engine stays pretty cool until it is allowed to idle for a while where it maintains it's rated operating temperature at 210. The case for the electric pump motor warning light is that instead of needing the temp gauge to reach a possibly dangerous high level before you realize something may be wrong the warning light will immediately let you know that the pump has failed giving you ample time to pull over and shut down the engine before the temperature spikes to a possible detrimental level! I am the type of person who wants an instant warning! Sure, my mechanical pump can and WILL fail but that is why I check the "weep hole" every time I change my oil just to see how the pump is doing. I have more peace of mind with the mechanical pump than I do the electric pump but to each his own!

With regards to my future build I need to have a professional work on it, I just can't do it myself! I also need to gain their input into my suggestions given the ongoing research I have been doing on the multitude of ways to bring my second-gen SBC LT1 up to the standard of engines today to improve fuel economy and power. On this note my research took me down the path of cylinder head material especially for the combustion chamber. Since iron retains heat it actually helps the combustion process with more complete burn. Aluminum tries to make up for this with higher compression though to mimic the complete combustion aspect of cast iron, ceramic coating piston heads and the combustion chamber have proven results in creating more power so instead of going that route I would prefer to just use cast iron cylinder heads. Also, the heat retention will come in handy since I want to see if a BAS system, the same used on the new Chevy Malibu, can be fitted to my LT1 to give the engine start-stop ability which will make the process easy on the engine. I will be able to have my cake and eat it too with improved city mileage added to whatever gains come from this build.

On the final note, I need to have the lower intake manifold modified to fit the LT1 heads, likely by having more aluminum added on and then having new inner holes drilled to allow direct bolt-on. Either this or perhaps just having the cylinder heads drilled and threaded to allow the lower manifold to directly bolt-on. Either way I am going to need to pay a machine shop to do this work but short of the lower intake manifold and figuring out if I can get away with reusing my LT1 fuel rail on the TPI mounts, the intake manifold is damn near interchangeable despite the shuffling around of the MAP sensor, EGR valve, and EGR pipe. I already bought a 1991 Corvette TPI base and have the entire assembly off of a 1991 Camaro. I am hoping this aspect of the project can be done in two years so that I can get a feel for this new intake with my current camshaft before the major work is done later on.
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