The Standard Specifications on a Chevy 5.7 L Engine

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The Standard Specifications on a Chevy 5.7 L Engine
For many years, Corvettes featured the 5.7 litre Chevy engine. (Don Johnston/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Two different but related engine families in Chevrolet cars had a displacement of 5.7 Liters: LT1 and later LS1. Both engines proved exceptionally reliable, produced immense low-end power and have propelled numerous Chevy icons, including the Corvette, to superstar status. Although these engines have evolved over the years, they all used the relatively old "push-rod" technology, which has disadvantages as well as benefits.

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LT1

GM introduced the 5.7 litre V-8 engine in 1992, with the Corvette as the first recipient in the Chevy family. The LT1 had a cast-iron block and aluminium heads. The bore and stroke were 4 x 3.48 inches. During the first two years of its existence, the LT1 had an engine control module, which is a small computer controlling key engine parameters. In '94 the LT1 switched to a power train control module, which managed the engine as well as transmission for better teamwork between these drivetrain components. A second catalytic converter and an additional oxygen sensor were added to the engine in 1996, to increase efficiency of power. By 1997 the Corvette had already switched to the next generation engine. As a result, the Camaro was the only product in the Chevy line-up to feature the LT1.

All LT1 engines had 8 cylinders, 16 valves activated by a pushrod system and a compression ratio of 10.4:1. The 1992 versions made 300 horsepower and 330ft.-lbs. of torque in the Corvette but by the time it was featured in the Camaro, between 1993 and 1995, it produced 275 horsepower and 325ft.-lbs. The Camaro LT1 saw a power upgrade in 1996, resulting in 285 horsepower and 335ft.-lbs. of torque.

LS1

By 1997, it was time for a change, and the 5.7 litre LS1 made its debut in the Corvette. It was both lighter and more durable as a result of its aluminium construction The bore and stroke were 3.9 x 3.62 inches. The new architecture allowed the fuel injectors to be located very close to the intake valves, resulting in better mixture of fuel and air as well as a greater control of the combustion process. The compression ratio of the engine was 10.25:1

The LS1 was used in the Corvette with very few changes until 2001 and produced a constant 345 horsepower and 350ft.-lbs. of torque. A minor upgrade in the intake system in 2001 bumped up these ratings to 350 horsepower and 365ft.-lbs. of torque. In the Camaro and Firebird, the engine produced slightly less power, varying between 305 and 325 horsepower depending on model year and trim level. Production of the LS1 ended in 2005 with the introduction of the larger and more powerful LS2 engine.

Pros and Cons

The defining trait of the Chevy 5.7 litre is the pushrod design, which results in only two valves per cylinder. This makes the engine cheaper to manufacture and easy to service, and increases durability due to fewer parts compared to the overhead-cam designs, which allow for at least twice as many valves per cylinder. Such engines are also light, considering their displacement. The drawback is that maximum engine speed is somewhat limited and variable valve-timing technology, which improves fuel economy, is difficult to implement in these engines.

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