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Old 10-24-2011, 12:18 AM   #1
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Question Too late for performance?

So I have just called Livernois motorsports, a pretty well know performance shop for camaros in the Detroit area and I first found out that they do not service my LT1 so i was SOL there, but i went on asking just for advice and he said with 133xxx miles and its being that old that he wouldn't recommend any performance upgrades without a lot of engine changes. So my question is, im just about to get a performance transmission rebuild done all the way from the torque converter to the clutches. If anyone could input it would be great because im trying to plan my future upgrades. Engine is in great shape just wondering if theres anything that would give me some more power in the engine.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:00 AM   #2
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you could stroke it..most shops wont give LT1 guys the time of day as there isnt a whole lot of money in doing so.. What are you looking for?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:06 AM   #3
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I mean anything really. I'm looking for any ideas that could help me gain some more power. I was told supers aren't a good idea without a lot of upgrades
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:29 AM   #4
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I test drove a 97 SS with a 383 with some head work, cam, headers etc.... made pretty good power.... sounded pretty sweet too, I've always thought the LT1 sounds better than the LS1's
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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I test drove a 97 SS with a 383 with some head work, cam, headers etc.... made pretty good power.... sounded pretty sweet too, I've always thought the LT1 sounds better than the LS1's
That they do, especially when a random Z with a TSP pulls up next to you at the wash. That iron block has a distinctive sound that just can't be replicated with an aluminum block. Heck even iron LS blocks sound totally different from their aluminum counterparts.

Like it's been said before, Stroke/Bore, LT4 parts, and change the Opti to an MSD or Coil system. Won't make as much as an LS car but then LT and LS cars are apples and oranges.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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thanks for the input guys, what lt4 parts would you recommend looking at. Also what would be required to switch over from the opti. what would you recommend between msd and the coil system?
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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pretty good information here:
http://www.ls1lt1.com/forum
http://lt1howto.com/
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:56 PM   #8
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I test drove a 97 SS with a 383 with some head work, cam, headers etc.... made pretty good power.... sounded pretty sweet too, I've always thought the LT1 sounds better than the LS1's


That is seriously lame. LT1 is a sweet motor, sad to hear it's getting the shaft. :(
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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That they do, especially when a random Z with a TSP pulls up next to you at the wash. That iron block has a distinctive sound that just can't be replicated with an aluminum block. Heck even iron LS blocks sound totally different from their aluminum counterparts.

Like it's been said before, Stroke/Bore, LT4 parts, and change the Opti to an MSD or Coil system. Won't make as much as an LS car but then LT and LS cars are apples and oranges.

They don't share the same firing order, that's why.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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thanks for the input guys, what lt4 parts would you recommend looking at. Also what would be required to switch over from the opti. what would you recommend between msd and the coil system?
LT4 upgrade kit explained: http://www.ls1.com/forums/f37/lt1-vs-lt4-kit-18382/

As far as upgrades on ignition I'd go with a Coil pack. Using a Bailey system, you wind up actually using GM oem coil packs wired into the refit kit that replaces the Optispark high voltage end.

Explained pretty well here: http://www.lt1howto.com/articles/coilpack.htm
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. this is a huge help the links actually are really useful. But is the opti really that big of an issue? Like I've heard a lot of poor things about it. What exactly is the problem and how does the other systems work better?
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:18 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. this is a huge help the links actually are really useful. But is the opti really that big of an issue? Like I've heard a lot of poor things about it. What exactly is the problem and how does the other systems work better?
The Opti is a good concept, but it was just executed in production half assed.

Optispark is a timing system that uses an optical sensor rather than magnets or other sensing elements to properly detect crankshaft location and thus time the spark for the ignition sequence in the engine.

GM installed the thing under the water pump on LT engines, and the one thing these things hate is MOISTURE! So if you had a slightly leaky pump or condensation from the pump, early non vented Opti's would short out. Also the bearings and seals were notorious for early failure. GM fixed it with a vented unit around '95 but they were still prone to failure until they phased out the LT engines.

Most swap systems take the high voltage side and use a coil or HEI system, while maintaining the timing/low voltage element from the Opti. This eliminates much of the issues as I understand it and allows for a more reliable ignition system. Doesn't TOTALLY remove the system, but builds on it to make it something less to worry about.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:40 PM   #13
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The Opti is a good concept, but it was just executed in production half assed.

Optispark is a timing system that uses an optical sensor rather than magnets or other sensing elements to properly detect crankshaft location and thus time the spark for the ignition sequence in the engine.

GM installed the thing under the water pump on LT engines, and the one thing these things hate is MOISTURE! So if you had a slightly leaky pump or condensation from the pump, early non vented Opti's would short out. Also the bearings and seals were notorious for early failure. GM fixed it with a vented unit around '95 but they were still prone to failure until they phased out the LT engines.

Most swap systems take the high voltage side and use a coil or HEI system, while maintaining the timing/low voltage element from the Opti. This eliminates much of the issues as I understand it and allows for a more reliable ignition system. Doesn't TOTALLY remove the system, but builds on it to make it something less to worry about.
so in your opinion what would you recommend in replace of the opti?
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:29 AM   #14
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Definitely replace the Opti-crap, for the reasons noted already.

You can do the standard bolt-ons: headers, intake, throttle body, pulleys, etc. Texas Speed still lists a good selection of LT1 parts on their website, all the way up to 383 stroker rotating assemblies.

The LT1 is a little long in the tooth, and doesn't enjoy the same aftermarket footprint that the Gen1 and Gen3+ motors do, unfortunately. An LT1 stroker is a blast stoplight to stoplight, though.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:41 AM   #15
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I'd refit the Opti, but not by myself. Now if I was just changing out a bad Opti, sure. Refitting the engine for coil packs or an MSD system, probably best to just send it out to get stroked and poked and have them redo the ignition system while it's torn down.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:33 PM   #16
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Might want to look into some local resources with a bunch of LT1 knowledge on mifbody.com....great bunch of guys willing to lead you in the right direction!
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:54 PM   #17
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Might want to look into some local resources with a bunch of LT1 knowledge on mifbody.com....great bunch of guys willing to lead you in the right direction!
thanks alot i actually just joined that forum it looks very helpful. also thank you everyone for your input its all very helpful.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:35 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone. this is a huge help the links actually are really useful. But is the opti really that big of an issue? Like I've heard a lot of poor things about it. What exactly is the problem and how does the other systems work better?

The opti... when it works... works wonderfully, when it doesnt work... it sucks

you can convert to the LS1 multi coil system (google Bailey LTCC). it can be a little pricey depending on where you find your coils (junk yards and forums are good places)
The LT1 can be a strong engine with the right combination of parts. no offense to the LT4 guys out there, but if you are going to do a heads and cam upgrade, your best bet would be to go with Advanced Induction or Lloyd Elliot Heads and cam package. Going deep into the engine is a good way to make some good power as well, but it takes a lot more time and money to stroke and poke the motor over a heads/cam upgrade. of course, all the bolt-ons should be done, CAI, long tube headers, EGR delete, TB heater bypass, etc. throw a can of seafoam in the gas tank as well as changing to a full synthetic oil and a quality filter to help maximize your power gains
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:13 PM   #19
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:10 AM   #20
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he said with 133xxx miles and its being that old that he wouldn't recommend any performance upgrades
Thats such a bunch of crap. My 98 ls1 was stock when I got it with 138k. It now has 152k with the mods listed below. I say as long as your engine runs right dont take to much oil or give you any problems its healthy enough for mods. I understand if you want a cam and he would say that. But that guy saying ANY upgrades at all is just stupid..
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:22 PM   #21
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Thats such a bunch of crap. My 98 ls1 was stock when I got it with 138k. It now has 152k with the mods listed below. I say as long as your engine runs right dont take to much oil or give you any problems its healthy enough for mods. I understand if you want a cam and he would say that. But that guy saying ANY upgrades at all is just stupid..
Exactly that's what I thought. My engine is strong so I'm excited to do some mods after the resurence from all of you guys
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:01 AM   #22
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Exactly that's what I thought. My engine is strong so I'm excited to do some mods after the resurence from all of you guys
As stated by CCPerformance (and reconfirmed with various owners in Detroit): Livernois, does shy away from LTX builds. Doesn't mean they don't do stellar work.. because they are badass at LSX builds! They just don't go out of their way for LTX builds. Just their business plan, can't knock them. Equipment limitations, supplier limitations.. various reasons could prevent them from touching LTX engines.
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