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'76 Stingray LS1 swap. I need a little help.

This is a discussion on '76 Stingray LS1 swap. I need a little help. within the Corvette forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I recently purchased a 1976 Corvette Stingray. I am deployed at the moment and I don't have the specs of ...

  1. #1
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    1976 Corvette Stingray

    '76 Stingray LS1 swap. I need a little help.

    I recently purchased a 1976 Corvette Stingray. I am deployed at the moment and I don't have the specs of the car itself, just the general info I was able to find on the internet. While I was looking through LS1 engines on e-bay, I came to find that some of the sites attached to the engines offered a compatibility bar. All of the LS1 engines on their site were incompatible with the '76, so, my first question is: Is that because the years just don't match with the engines on the site? Or is it more along the lines of--Am I going to need to find the correct year LS1 engine so that I can accomplish this swap?

    My next line of thinking is that I am going to need a new drive-train, as the original is a three speed automatic and that's not something I want in a car, that I am going to drop a beauty like the LS1 in. I read a few articles and not one of the mentioned, by name, a good manual transmission other than the T56. (I read in the forum that the T56 might be a good choice if I am going to be using the 98-02 LS1) So if you have any direction for that, I would greatly appreciate it.

    That's it for now. All help is appreciated. Please don't just call me a noob and tell me to go read a book. (unless you actually have the name of a really good one)

    Thanks
    Charlie

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    With enough time and money, just about any swap is possible and I have seen LS1's dropped into a number of Y-body cars. In a C3 (we have a '74), the engine sets back quite a bit so I do not believe that oil pan clearance should be an issue. Even with the hydraulic cylinder steering gear (which can easily be swapped for rack and pinion) there should not be a clearance issue. The problem may be the fixed transmission crossmember that is welded in place. Obviously, the tailshaft has to mount in that area and this then sets the position of the engine. I would take a look on Amazon.com for "LS1 Swap" and you will find a number fo publications that detail all the issues of dropping a late model powerplant into an older car.

    Known issues are going to be the engine mounts, gauge interfaces including speedometer and tach, fuel system upgrades to support the 58 psi needed for an LS1 (unless you are swapping over to a carbureted intake), and the electrical system as there are a number of sensors needed to run our engines. Your best bet is to grab a complete engine, transmission, wire harnes and Powertrain Control Module (PCM) from a donor car. There are a number of companies that are now making engine mounts and adapters to run the LS1 in just about everything out there.

    As to our specific model differences, the LS1 and its prodigy come with different oil pan configurations and alternator mounting setups. There are also internal differences between the LS1, LS3 and LS6 which are your common variants, excluding the iron block family and truck engines. I am curious to know the reason why it is thought that an LS1 is incompatible with a '76. The basic design of the Corvette was unchanged from 1968 through 1982 which is the model run of the C3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    With enough time and money, just about any swap is possiblecommon variants, excluding the iron block family and truck engines. I am curious to know the reason why it is thought that an LS1 is incompatible with a '76. The basic design of the Corvette was unchanged from 1968 through 1982 which is the model run of the C3.
    I don't understand why people cast aside the old small block. The problem lies in the engine itself. Not that they are a problem, it's that those cars were built around the gen I / gen II small block (1955 to 1997) and big block motors. If you really want to save some headache, find a built Gen II ( large journal) and put it in. You get very respectable power, parts are comparatively plentiful and cheap and it's a drop in replacement. If you want to spend more get a big block (396 cu in - 502 cu in) , you'll still be ahead of trying to adapt an LSx into that Corvette. Then you'll have lots left to put into suspension and brakes!
    If you plan to race it the auto is probably a better way to go. If your set on a manual The T56 is the best bet with an LSx. With a Gen II or big block you could look into a Muncie or T10 that they paired up with those engines. I'm sure if you look, you could find a Jericho trans to mate with the older block design.
    Last edited by SSnow; 09-03-2011 at 06:50 AM.

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    It's possible, do you intend for carb or fi? I helped out an ls1 swap into late 67 (no splitty tho) it was decent enough custom mounts, gauges didn't work... at all. Used a digital cluster and faked mph and a tack for RPM; But it was a decent fit he used an aftermarket bell housing to mate it up to the original trans, I'd have to ask him what exactly that issue was and manuf of parts. Also needed a decent amount of sub-framing and chassis work to sit right, and not ball up on hard acceleration (you could watch hood and fender lines change dramatically on the old fatigued body); About 50hrs of extra fab on top of a regular motor swap to pull it off.

    Secondly I was at the Monterey Historic races a few weeks back Edelbrock and MSD trucks had tons of new short height intake setups and ignitions for LS motors some of them were rather trick and I hadn't seen before. It's a budget vs effort / vehicle purpose kind of thing IMHO.

    Personally I adore Flat Heads and old Air Cooled stuff. As cool as period correct is, I'v noticed old stuff is heavy, hard find, and less efficient (usually); A good old BB sounds so great much meaner than any Aluminum block anythin but performs mediocre vs a good new school BB or large displacement small block (LSX) in rather stockish forms; More opinion I'd take the weight savings/part avail/fuel efficiency/technical advantages for a DD it may be worth the swap. For weekends stay with what it is, repair what ya got and love it. Fast isn't everything

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