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Simple inexpensive mods for an LT1

Old 11-02-2018, 12:25 PM
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RetroGuy
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Default Simple inexpensive mods for an LT1

Not sure if this has been posted before, but what are some "sure thing" simple inexpensive performance mods that one can do to their LT1 engine? Other than air intakes and a catback exhausts, what else is there to do that's inexpensive and DIY? I've already opened up the stock metal air intake box holding the air filter, and did the throttle body coolant bypass too. Any other DIY mods that one would suggest that are good for performance or to prevent future problems?
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:39 PM
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Most "simple and inexpensive" aren't really what I'd call "proven" -they don't don't make much or any power.

I would say a cam is the best "sure thing" that is inexpensive (~$300) and is definitely proven....but that would be really "pushing" DIY for some people.

Port your intake. That's cheap and DIY. Won't do a lot on a stock engine though. 1.6 Rockers would be cheap and pretty easy.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:20 PM
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Not knowing what you are working with. A 2.59 auto car would benefit from a gear change. Thr D36 with a 3.07 performance gear would relatively easy to swap. Used assemblies can be found in used parts channels..
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:30 AM
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Op's avatar shows a 96 LT1 so it's an auto trans. The gear change would be my vote. I bought one of those Hypertech programmers and used it to have the cooling fans come on earlier along with one of their thermostats. You can change the shift points in your transmission along with raise your rev limiter and even correct your speedometer for any gear changes. I also did a MAT sensor relocator. I did like the fans coming on sooner made the car run cooler. I wish I had done the gear change though.
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:05 PM
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Years ago when you walked into a "Speed Shop" you usually would see a sign that said: Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

Changing the diff gears would be one good way to see improved acceleration and not cost a lot in terms of gas mileage or driveability.. Something like 3.54 gears would help. The D36 diff that came with auto trans cars is somewhat weaker than the D44 that came with the manual trans cars. You may want to find a complete D44 rear end and change the ring and pinion. That's still going to be a few hundred bucks if you can't do the work yourself.

A set of headers and true duals would add some power but if you have to deal with emissions testing, that could require more expensive parts. And any aftermarket internal parts could be an emissions issue. A tune will help to increase power, but again, emission tests may be an issue when it comes time to get new tabs.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:55 PM
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I did this to my 95 LT1.
Cut the louvers out of the air filter box, removed the screen from the MAF , did the coolant/throttlebody bypass, and added a set of shorty headers. I reckon I got a realistic 10-12 horsepower out of that. Was it a lot? Nope. But the headers were 200$ and everything else was free. I needed to replace the stock exhaust manifolds because they were cracked anyway and didn't feel like spending 6-800$ for long tubes.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by c4cruiser View Post
A set of headers and true duals would add some power.
Headers some, "true dual" probably not. An LT1 already comes from the factory with a decent true dual exhaust system. Not much (no) power to be found there on a stock or stockish car.


.

Last edited by Tom400CFI; 11-03-2018 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sluggballz View Post
I did this to my 95 LT1.
Cut the louvers out of the air filter box, removed the screen from the MAF , did the coolant/throttle body bypass, and added a set of shorty headers. I reckon I got a realistic 10-12 horsepower out of that. Was it a lot? Nope. But the headers were 200$ and everything else was free. I needed to replace the stock exhaust manifolds because they were cracked anyway and didn't feel like spending 6-800$ for long tubes.
Ah Ha! I've read about this before: "removed the screen from the MAF", PLEASE explain this mod in more detail. Sounds like a definite DIY mod for me!
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:56 AM
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not rocking the boat, leave the screen in.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:29 AM
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What would any benefits be of removing the MAF's screen???
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:44 PM
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The wire mesh that covers the opening to the MAF does reduce the amount of air flowing by some %. Thus removing the screen will allow the passage of a higher volume of air.
I have read a number of times in several places that the purpose of that screen is to smooth out the air flow over the MAF sensor.

The MAF being one of the key sensors that feeds info to the computer that controls engine management ..... one might not want to screw around with it and you sure as heck don't want anything to touch or interfere with the wires that hold the sensor in the center of the air flow.
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:54 PM
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I removed mine a little over seven years ago right after I first got my 95. She was my daily for almost four years. No ill effects as of yet.
http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/vem...ngine-buildup/
This was the article I read all those years ago.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ZWILDZR1 View Post
Op's avatar shows a 96 LT1 so it's an auto trans. The gear change would be my vote. I bought one of those Hypertech programmers and used it to have the cooling fans come on earlier along with one of their thermostats. You can change the shift points in your transmission along with raise your rev limiter and even correct your speedometer for any gear changes. I also did a MAT sensor relocator. I did like the fans coming on sooner made the car run cooler. I wish I had done the gear change though.
How does the MAT sensor make the fans come on cooler? Or do you mean that the Hyperjunk made it turn on sooner? Besides making you feel good, has it reported to do much on the track? We tried that on an L98 C4 where it was running off battery power but that didn't seem to make it run better at the track.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroGuy View Post
What would any benefits be of removing the MAF's screen???
IF you can benefit because you actually can use more air and it doesn't mess up the calibration (which you won't know unless you can test at most points), sure. Worst case scenario, I have seen people do that with bad results. Best case, it makes you feel good since it might not hurt much that you can notice. I'd be fine doing it if you really need the extra air and you have the thing tuned for it. I'm not usually a fan of trying to fool the system with some gimmick like say a MAT relocation.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Most "simple and inexpensive" aren't really what I'd call "proven" -they don't don't make much or any power.
.
What you mean? The throttle body airfoil mod mustíve been overlooked here
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ElisTwoCents View Post


What you mean? The throttle body airfoil mod mustíve been overlooked here
Less weight in the wallet translates to higher speed.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sluggballz View Post
I removed mine a little over seven years ago right after I first got my 95. She was my daily for almost four years. No ill effects as of yet.
http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/vem...ngine-buildup/
This was the article I read all those years ago.
That was certainly an interesting article and it did look like the removal of the screens resulted in a 9hp gain. Glad there were no ill effects on yours.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Peabody View Post
That was certainly an interesting article and it did look like the removal of the screens resulted in a 9hp gain. Glad there were no ill effects on yours.
http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/vem...ngine-buildup/

Ditto, on this was an interesting article...
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:09 PM
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Good tires an even better alignment and driving lessons.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:41 PM
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Back in the day, I had an 86TPI with a MAF... I removed the screens and the heat sinks. Don't expect to notice a difference.

Also, MAFs are calibrated based off the air flow they are tested with.

I have not repeated this mod with any of the cars I have now. FWIW.
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