The history of the LS1

Mook

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The LS1 engine is a small block V8 engine that was produced by General Motors for use in high-performance vehicles. The LS1 made its debut in the 1997 model year as the powerplant for the Chevrolet Corvette, and quickly gained a reputation for its high power output and reliability.

The development of the LS1 engine began in the early 1990s, as General Motors was looking for a new engine to replace the aging LT1 engine that had been used in the Corvette since 1992. The goal was to create an engine that could deliver more power and better fuel efficiency than the LT1, while also being more compact and lightweight.

The LS1 engine was designed with a deep-skirt aluminum block, which helped to reduce its weight by over 50 pounds compared to the LT1. It also featured a high-flow cylinder head design, a high-lift camshaft, and a high-flow intake manifold. These design elements, combined with the use of lightweight materials, helped the LS1 to deliver a power output of 345 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

The LS1 engine was first used in the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette, and quickly proved to be a hit with both critics and consumers. The engine was praised for its high power output and smooth, refined operation, and helped to cement the Corvette's reputation as a high-performance sports car.

Over the next several years, the LS1 engine was used in a variety of GM vehicles, including the Camaro, Firebird, and GTO. It was also used in the Holden Commodore and Monaro, which were sold in Australia and New Zealand.

In the 2000s, the LS1 engine was replaced by the LS6, which was a high-performance version of the LS1 engine. The LS6 featured a number of upgrades, including a higher compression ratio, a more aggressive camshaft, and high-flow cylinder heads. The LS6 was used in the Corvette and Camaro and was known for its high horsepower output and improved performance.

The LS engine family continued to evolve and GM released many versions of it such as LS2, LS3, LS7, LS9 and LSX. The LS engines have been used in a wide variety of GM vehicles, and have become known for their high power output, reliability, and versatility. Today, LS engines are popular among car enthusiasts and racers due to its ability to be modified and tuned for high-performance.

In conclusion, the LS1 engine was an important milestone for General Motors and the automotive industry. Its advanced design and high-performance capabilities helped to establish it as one of the most popular and respected engines of its time, and it continues to be an important part of the GM engine lineup today. Its legacy is still alive in the car enthusiasts and aftermarket world.
 

IDAFC21

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SpeedSpeak2me

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This video is focused on the LT4, it's relevance is brought up about where the LT4 came from, and how it pissed off the GM Engineers, who went into full-on "hold my beer" mode and created the LS1.


That Hagerty channel does a lot of good little "history of...." videos.

LT4? Do you mean the LT5?


Also, he's wearing the wrong shoes, should be white New Balance.
 

Pro Stock John

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Before the LS1 came along, the scene was very mixed, you had some folks running 5.0-powerd Mustangs, some 4th gen LT1 people, and old school cars. Sure the GN was a cool car too but they were rarely seen out and about.

But when the LS1 debuted, it was game over. We had local guys running 13.0 bone stock which was unheard of back in the fall of '98. By May of 1999 we had run my buddy Hacker Joe's '98 Camaro down to [email protected] with nitrous, headers, tires, and a 9", Chicago had the first LS1 in the 10's (outside of the cars that W2W built for GM).

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Lead Pipe

See what happens Larry
Nov 4, 2010
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The book "All Corvettes are Red" details the development of the C5 going all the way back to the late 80's. There's some cool info on the LS development in there. GM had a real struggle with producing the aluminum block engines during development. The first C5 mules all had iron blocks which threw off the weight balance. I also think the LS1 was originally supposed to be a 5.3 like the truck, then was increased to 5.7 pretty late in development.
 

GLADIATOR

From Roman Bloodlines
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Why do you care what others power their mustangs with? Didn’t you have some boat engine or rv crap in your pink thing? Would of went fast with you driving with an ls
Someone famous once said:

"Ford in a Ford. chevy in a Chevy. This is the way..."

Gladiator

Yes, I had some F100 camper special 2 bolt Windsor making 300 RWHP in Pinky

engine (2).JPG
 

CMNTMXR57

GM & Holden nut swinger
Sep 12, 2008
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Elgin
Before the LS1 came along, the scene was very mixed, you had some folks running 5.0-powerd Mustangs, some 4th gen LT1 people, and old school cars. Sure the GN was a cool car too but they were rarely seen out and about.

But when the LS1 debuted, it was game over. We had local guys running 13.0 bone stock which was unheard of back in the fall of '98. By May of 1999 we had run my buddy Hacker Joe's '98 Camaro down to [email protected] with nitrous, headers, tires, and a 9", Chicago had the first LS1 in the 10's (outside of the cars that W2W built for GM).

View attachment 148739
I think you and I had some of the first heads and cammed LS motors in the country at that time.

And whatever happened to Joe? I know he closed up the body shop.
 

CMNTMXR57

GM & Holden nut swinger
Sep 12, 2008
20,946
9,173
Elgin
This video is focused on the LT5, it's relevance is brought up about where the LT4 came from, and how it pissed off the GM Engineers, who went into full-on "hold my beer" mode and created the LS1.


That Hagerty channel does a lot of good little "history of...." videos.

I was going to post, I seem to recall there were things that GM learned about aluminum engines from Lotus/Mercury Marine from the LT-5 that they incorporated on the LS motor.
 

Pro Stock John

Lord Mc'Graybush
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Sep 20, 2011
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I think you and I had some of the first heads and cammed LS motors in the country at that time.

And whatever happened to Joe? I know he closed up the body shop.
Yeah us MFBA'ers had some of the first heads/cammed cars in Chicago and were among the first across the US.

Joe used to work for his brother's body shop, he's with another one I think. Very talented guy. He's still around I saw him a BBQ at Steve Hengst's house 4-5 years ago and we still connected on FB.