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Build Some Power With a '92-'96 Gen II LT1

Don't step over it in the mud. The forgotten small-block is supercheap to procure. Get to building.

Photography by Chad Golen, Courtesy GM Media Archives, Evans Cooling Systems, , SAE International

'The oddball, the anachronism, the redheaded stepchild-the Gen II small-block can be considered all these things. Conversely, it can also be regarded as the ultimate production version of the original small-block Chevy and a testbed for the technology that would advance the small-block into the new millennium. Since its introduction in 1992, much ink has been spilled (some in the pages of this very magazine) about the Gen II engine. We'll spare you the nostalgic musings on Chevrolet engine families and get to the heart of the matter: LT1s are available in junkyards right now. Complete engine, transmission, and ECM/wiring harness combinations are selling on eBay for less than a grand. So we thought it was time to take another look at these engines. We wanted to know why they were made in the first place, how they differ from the original small-block Chevy, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what their performance potential is, and what people are doing with them.

LT1 BY THE YEAR
1992: Debut in Y-body
1993: Introduced in F-body
1994: Introduced in B/D-body
* Mass Airflow engine manage- ment replaces speed-density system
* Sequential fuel injection
* Smaller-displacement 4.3L L99 available in Caprice
* Opti-Spark upgrades made to B/D
applications
1995: Upgrades to Opti-Spark applied to
Y- and F-body
1996: LT4 in manual transmission Y-body
OBD-II computers
B/D-body line discontinued
1997: LS1 replaces LT1/4 in Y-body
LT1 remains in F-body, LT4 installed
in some special-edition models
Y-body: Corvette
F-body: Camaro
Firebird
B-body: Caprice
Roadmaster
D-body: Fleetwood
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2 comments
plozier
plozier

Where do I find a pulley to replace the ac pump on an lt1 engine as mentioned in the articlePat

imgerry
imgerry

Since I just purchased a swapper out of a 1996 B car along with the 4L60E trans, brackets, wiring, ecm and periphials I was gratified to learn the answers from the questions I had about it before rereading the article online. I'm planting it in a '78 Z-28'ed frame under my 1958 Chevy Apache panel truck! By the way, the tech tip of the Y body accessory-drive system may keep me from having to dodge my frame rail...Thanks!!

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