Project C7 Corvette Stingray: Introduction Part 2, A Closer Look at the LT1 Engine

Project C7 Corvette Stingray: Introduction Part 2, A Closer Look at the LT1 Engine

by Mike Kojima

 

In the last edition of Project C7 Corvette Stingray, we were doing an overall look at the car including it's mostly all new LT1 engine. As we were saying, although the LT and LS share the same architecture, they are indeed very different engines. They are so different that they only share a handful of parts. 

The LT1 is a vastly different engine that has a lot of development differences over the already excellent LS3 engine and deserves a closer look at some of its unique internals. Most of the differences are to improve fuel economy, emissions, torque and powerband width, but there are are some tweaks to make more power overall as well.

Of course, you are probably interested in more than what the typical press release info about the LT1, so let's take a look inside of it!

 

First, let's talk about the part of the older LS engines that drove us nuts- the oiling system! If you have had much experience trying to race or drift an older LS, you know that oil starvation can be a bitch on these engines under extreme cornering loads. Aftermarket baffled pans, windage trays, and Accusumps were needed if your LS was to see hard use on the track.

The engineers at Chevrolet have been hard at work to improve this system much to our joy, and the LT1 has a bunch of things to address this issue. The first change is a greatly improved oil pan with extensive baffling and a sump designed to keep oil around the pump pickup. 

 

The next thing that the LT1 has added is this windage tray, which is designed to strip oil off of the rotating crank and return it to the sump quickly. This reduces drag losses and oil temperature as the crank has less of a churning cloud of oil to cut through as it spins around. 
 
The standard LT1 uses a pretty sophisticated variable volume oil pump. It pumps a lower volume at light throttle loads to reduce the engine's frictional pumping losses, but it ramps up volume and pressure at high rpm and high loads.

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