The time has come…and the schedule above confirms!
That’s right! This is the start of WEEKLY updates to our most recent and proudest build. You’ll get the opportunity to follow us with fresh new status each week. You’ll also get a chance to learn all about the inner workings of the LS1 and what makes it so popular in today’s car culture. But most importantly once the build is complete, you’ll have the knowledge to complete this swap yourself.
So here we are, collecting parts, making jigs, stocking up on raw material, and getting psyched to keep you all updated every step of the way!
The 1997-2005 General Motors Engine “LS1” is one of the most popular engines in the modern automotive tuning realm. First introduced in 1997 Corvette and then in 1998-2002 in the Camaro Z28.
Why is it so damn popular? Well, here’s a start:
- Lightweight – Aluminum block option, aluminum heads that flow so well from the factory, and don’t often weigh much more than the 4cyl/6cyl iron blocks they replaced.
- Simple – One Single Center Camshaft w/ pushrods, easy tune-ups. Low end “Y” Block has the fewest main bolts (6 bolts, 4 cap and 2 cross). One piece pan gasket with an oil pan that actually provides structural rigidity to the assembly.
- Compact Power/lb – +/-350hp and +/-365lb-ft, depending on year
- Attainable – Almost overabundant! Find it in the Camaro, Corvette, GTO, Firebird. Chevy trucks came with iron-block 4.8L/ 5.3L. And the 6.0L/6.2L engines were aluminum. Most of the car engines came in 5.3L, 5.7L, 6.0L, 6.2L and 7.0L sizes. Not only are there options when deciding on displacement, there are also choices when deciding if you want an iron or aluminum block. More on this below…
- Reliable – High Mileage LS1’s with tons of field data, Extra Long Head Bolts to reduce variation in mass production.
- Aftermarket – Replacement parts are cheap, not only because of the inherent mass production, but also that it’s american, making parts produced from hundreds of american manufacturers. Add a performance camshaft, Exhaust Headers, free flow intake and a free flow exhaust setup. just that will source you 400rwhp.
- Fuel Economy – Could push up to 30mpg!
- Price/Power Ratio – Off the charts. You can pick it up at the junkyard, do regular maintenance and get yourself an amazing swapped car.
Aluminum block really better? Actually yes…
Aluminum is better because it’s lighter (about 100# less compared to it iron LS1 counterpart), but requires iron sleeves. It cools better, and therefore extracts the heat through the coolant quicker than iron.
Iron is cheap, strong, can take a beating, and is great for turbo-charging over 1000rwhp. this version was primarily used in the Chevy Trucks.
In the end, aluminum is the future and best candidate for most tuners’ applications.
Let’s get technical. Here are the 5.7L Aluminum Block LS1 specs:
- Block: 319-T5 Aluminum, 90deg, Deep skirt with cast-in iron sleeves. (careful with a stroker kit though)
- Head: 356-T6 Aluminum, Cross flow, wedge combustion chamber.
- Pistons: Cast Aluminum, Flat Top, 15.5oz Ea
- Bore: 3.898 in, 4.4in Spacing
- Stroke: 3.62 in
- Displacement: 8*3.14* (Bore/2) * (Bore/2) * Stroke = 345.7 cu in (or 5.7L)
- Valve Intake: 2.00″ Dia, 200 deg, 0.5″ lift, 0.05″ duration
- Valve Exhaust: 1.55″ Dia, 203 deg, 0.5″ lift, 0.05″ duration
- Head Gasket: 0.052″ Compressed
- Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
- Firing Order: 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3
- Ignition: One COP (coil on plug) per cylinder. Saturation achieved in only 2 revolutions (4 in predecessor).
- Crate Weight: ~390#
- Spark Plug Gap: 0.06″
- Bearing Caps: 4 vertical bolts, 2 cross bolts
- Induction Type: One-Piece Composite Intake
- Throttle Body Dia: 75.0mm
- Transmission: Borg Warner / Tremec T56 6-Speed Gearbox
Tremec vs. Borg Warner:
TheT-56 was initially developed/built by Borg Warner. They were available in the 93-97 LT-1 cars (iron block). In1997, Borg Warner sold the T-56 out to a company called Tremec. Tremec began building the T-56 transmissions in Mexico out of inferior parts with cheap/weak synchros and gears. Every 6-Speed transmission you find in an LS1 Camaro, Firebird or Corvette is from the Mexican company Tremec T-56. Predominately early failure of the synchros are observed, causing the transmission to bind, grind, and whine.
Rebuilding a T-56 takes specialty equipment, expensive parts, and extremely detailed knowledge base in order to execute effectively.
So here we have Ares. Our signature V8 e30 ls1 build, sharing with our fans every step of the build. There’s a reason why they say the LS1 was built by the hands of God; The God of War – Ares.
And that’s exactly what we’re introducing to you. The BMW E30 colliding with the most ubiquitous, powerful, and insanely compact engine: The LS1.
(Image courtesy of lsxtv.com)