Building LT1 Performance


I purchased my second car, a 1992 Chevrolet Corvette, on January 15, 2001.  At the time I would have been hard pressed to tell the difference between a lifter and a rocker arm.  I had an interest for all things mechanical, but little practical experience.  For as long as I could remember I had wanted a Corvette; I knew they were fast and I knew they had looks.  When I finally figured out a way to buy a Corvette I was only 19 years old, I considered myself the luckiest teenager on earth.  I was the proud (very proud) owner of the car I had always wanted.  I was young and it was too fast for my own good, I had no business driving something with that kind of power, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

That was then, this is now.  I somehow managed to overcome the urge to do anything too stupid so I still have the car, but it's not exactly the same car I drove home as a foolish teenager one cold January day.  Over the past few years I have learned a good deal about Corvettes and the LT1 engine.  During that time I have managed increase my rear wheel horsepower from a mere 269 horsepower to a fairly respectable 382.  Torque is up too, from 301 to 356.  I've managed to make these power gains while retaining very good street manners.  I drive my car every day and still get better gas mileage than any SUV and better than most V-6 sedans.

At some point after I bought the car I discovered internet forums  On these web sites I found some very knowledgeable people who share the same passion for Corvettes that I do.  I've asked a lot of questions on the forums and have met some great people.  After a while though I noticed that I wasn't asking as many questions as I was answering.  My experiences had taught me a few things and I was actually able to offer useful information to fellow forum members.  Eventually I found people were asking me questions directly and other forum members were pointing people my way for help.  I spend a lot of time on the forums and I will gladly help anybody I can.  In my experiences I've answered some of the same questions repeatedly.  I never mind to answer these questions, I think of it as a way for me to repay the debt to those who have helped me over the years.  Answering the same questions can require a lot of typing, and with it enters the opportunity for mistakes.  There is always the possibility that I will not answer the questions fully or will fail to point out an important detail.  I have decided to create this portion of my web site in order to answer some of the most common questions that I am asked.  In this way I feel that I can better serve the people who are asking by getting the general information out of the way and concentrating on the specifics.

I have created this page as an informative guide based on common knowledge, fact, experience, and opinion.  I will try my best to mark opinions clearly, every body has an opinion and mine might not always be the best.  Expressing my opinions as fact will do nobody any good and it will make me look like a fool.  Let me also state that there are often many ways to achieve the same result.  My way might not be the only way, it might not be the best way, it is simply one way.  Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions you might have about any of the information you find here.  If you feel something is incorrect please let me know and I will be happy to discuss the matter.  Incorrect information does nobody any good and can potentially do a lot of harm.  I will do my best to keep the information here as accurate as possible.

With all of the background information aside allow me to welcome you to my guide to building LT1 performance.  I hope you enjoy reading my pages as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

The Basics
How a car engine works
What makes the LT1 special
How do you increase performance
The Not So Basics
Cylinder Heads
The Camshaft
The Rocker Arms
The Exhaust
The Water Pump
The Timing Chain
Other Considerations
The Total Package
The Tune
Still Not Fast Enough?
Increase Displacement


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