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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Chattanooga, TN

    Lt1 Upgrades and Modifications

    I'm looking for advice on cams, heads and torque converters for 1996 stock LT1. This will be a street/strip car so mods can't be to radical. Any idea of what HP gains can be achieved by just putting in a mild cam and performance valve springs without changing heads? Any ideas will help! Thanks. Current mods include muffler eliminators, TB air foil, 160 thermo, and TB bi-pass with cold air intake and underdrive pulleys coming. THANKS!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    There are a couple of things that come to doesn't increase hp, but makes the hp you have feel like more. What final gear ratio are you running? If you have the standard ratio it's 2.59, performance ratio is 3.07. I would suggest that you get at least 3.07, but for a little more oommf off the line something in the 3.33 or 3.45 ratio would be better and not hurt your daily driving much. Going with a much higher ratio (numerically) would tend to affect your daily driving gas mileage etc.

    I think that it is a given that probably the best bang for your buck for hp improvement is changing out the stock 1.5 ratio rocker arms for a set of 1.6 with either the roller tip or full roller rockers. Guys have dynoed 15-30 more hp for around $300. That's pretty cheap hp.

    If you consider this I'd suggest replacing valve springs as well, because stock LT1 springs are getting close to max tolerance (spring bind) with the 1.6 rockers. The LT4 engine came with 1.6 roller rockers so those springs work well on the LT1 heads. It's not expensive, you can buy LT4 springs/retainers/keepers for around $50. It's also a good time to replace the valve stem seals (you already have everything off if you are doing springs). I was able to do this job for around $150. I got lucky and found a slightly used set of Crane Gold Roller Rockers for $100, another guy gave me a set of LT4 valve springs/retainers/keepers ($7 for shipping), seals and new gaskets were $22, I even bought a tool to pump up the pressure in the cylinder and spring compressor (About $25). So it can be done cheaper, if you are patient and shop wisely.

    There is a "Hot Cam" kit from GM that includes most of what I talked about (1.6 roller rockers, springs/retainers/keepers, as well as the "hot cam"), which would do what you are asking about plus what I am suggesting. I don't know what the cost of this kit is, but it might be worth checking into.

    Good luck with your pursuit of more hp.

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