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older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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gmrocket
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older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:02 pm

whats the easiest and best way to use older, or new aftermarket heads onto the 96 style block. this is the style with cam driven water pump and opti spark ignition. the heads we already have, so would like to use them.

also want to use a belt driven stock style water pump..is there an aluminum pump that bolts to these reverse cooling blocks that is a direct bolt on?

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by ProPower engines » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:50 pm

gmrocket wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:02 pm
whats the easiest and best way to use older, or new aftermarket heads onto the 96 style block. this is the style with cam driven water pump and opti spark ignition. the heads we already have, so would like to use them.

also want to use a belt driven stock style water pump..is there an aluminum pump that bolts to these reverse cooling blocks that is a direct bolt on?
I think there was an electric pump available at one point in time but not sure if still can be gotten for that block.
Why change the cam driven pump they work just fine.

I have never tried the older heads on the newer LT-1 block but I thing a comparison with a head gasket will tell you if you have to plug a couple holes
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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:27 pm

ProPower engines wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:50 pm
gmrocket wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:02 pm
whats the easiest and best way to use older, or new aftermarket heads onto the 96 style block. this is the style with cam driven water pump and opti spark ignition. the heads we already have, so would like to use them.

also want to use a belt driven stock style water pump..is there an aluminum pump that bolts to these reverse cooling blocks that is a direct bolt on?
I think there was an electric pump available at one point in time but not sure if still can be gotten for that block.
Why change the cam driven pump they work just fine.

I have never tried the older heads on the newer LT-1 block but I thing a comparison with a head gasket will tell you if you have to plug a couple holes
Ya we took a quick look at what we have..the oil drain back holes in the aftermarket heads will not drain into the valley of the block.

They wil drain into the water jacket holes on all four corners.

That's one problem...and the gaskets either fit the head or the block..not both because of the mismatch

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by FC-Pilot » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:58 am

There is an electric pump that bolts into the housing so you can use a better timing chain. It does not replace the whole water pump housing but bolts into the existing water pump/thermostat housing.

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:17 am

FC-Pilot wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:58 am
There is an electric pump that bolts into the housing so you can use a better timing chain. It does not replace the whole water pump housing but bolts into the existing water pump/thermostat housing.

Paul
That's one reason why we want a different pump, to use a good chain and different cam... plus a stock rear distributor. We'll be blocking both holes in the cast aluminum chain cover

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by makin chips » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:24 am

There's been a few guys use a Jesel belt drive conversion and front mount distributor to get rid of the optispark on LT1's. You can find pics if you search for lt1 jesel belt drive conversion in a search engine. Along with the Meziere electric pump that gets rid of the cam drive, that could be made to work, couldn't it?


Here's one I just found

https://www.camaroz28.com/forums/lt1-ba ... or-667770/

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:28 am

makin chips wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:24 am
There's been a few guys use a Jesel belt drive conversion and front mount distributor to get rid of the optispark on LT1's. You can find pics if you search for lt1 jesel belt drive conversion in a search engine. Along with the Meziere electric pump that gets rid of the cam drive, that could be made to work, couldn't it?


Here's one I just found

https://www.camaroz28.com/forums/lt1-ba ... or-667770/
That's a nice set up but no room for it.

This is going in a boat

So far we figured that blocking the 4 large coolant transfer holes in the 4 upper outer corners of the deck will work,, then slotting that area for oil return to the valley

3/4 14NPT works perfect.. the holes were about right size to start with. All 4 plugs will be epoxied in place

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by Orr89rocz » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:27 am

Just curious what happened to the lt1 heads? They are really good stuff once ported

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by rfoll » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:47 pm

You could just put the rotating assembly in a standard block. It's not like they are hard to find.
So much to do, so little time...

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by rebelrouser » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:56 pm

Last one I did that we converted to a distributor and carb we used this adapter, and used the stock water pump to my memory.

https://paceperformance.com/i-6255102-1 ... rsion.html

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:13 pm

The reason for not using the stock LT1 heads is we got this real low mile short block without the heads.

So that's why we're using it and Doing a cam swap, going with belt driven water pump, stock rear drive distributor.

The aftermarket heads we already have
Last edited by gmrocket on Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:34 pm

rebelrouser wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:56 pm
Last one I did that we converted to a distributor and carb we used this adapter, and used the stock water pump to my memory.

https://paceperformance.com/i-6255102-1 ... rsion.html
The description doesn't make sense.. The pic shows a pretty big odd shaped cover but the hole needing covered for the dizzy is very small and round

We're going to make two round aluminum plugs for the cast aluminum timing chain cover..then make a couple adapter plates to mount a stock pump.

I haven't worked on Chevy stuff in a long time but it doesn't look difficult to do this...maybe I'm missing something?

If we use a better chain do we just need to order a hyd roller for a later year so it will locate on the cam ? These opti spark things have a smaller centering diameter for the chain gear and older style gear won't work

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by FC-Pilot » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:16 pm

gmrocket wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:34 pm
If we use a better chain do we just need to order a hyd roller for a later year so it will locate on the cam ? These opti spark things have a smaller centering diameter for the chain gear and older style gear won't work
You can use a standard cam (old style) and then a thrust button, or a later model stepped nose cam and use the thrust plate. Either way can work. I would do the later stepped nose cam as that would save some time and headache. Please post photos and details of the belt driven water pump conversion. I would like to see that. I just passed along an LT1 as I did not want to spend the time reinventing the wheel on little things to make a swap easy and convenient. If you can pull it of without too much of a headache maybe I should do it. They heads were decent for SBC factory stuff and they responded well to a carb, ignition and cam swap when done so that is why I was considering it. I was not looking to put gen 1 heads on it though.

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by cardo0 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:38 pm

gmrocket wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:13 pm
The reason for not using the stock LT1 heads is we got this real low mile short block without the heads.

So that's why we're using it and Doing a cam swap, going with belt driven water pump, stock rear drive distributor.

The aftermarket heads we already have
I think for a marine engine iron heads would be a better choice. You could make your engine swap much easier using the iron LT1 heads found on the B body cars like Impala, Caprice, Roadmaster and some Cadillacs. The iron heads flow better than the aluminum LT1 heads which were close to 220cfm @ 28"H2O. You have to be careful though as the small L99 has tiny heads on top 265 c.i. and won't work on a 350 c.i. LT1 block though the intakes and blocks look almost identical. The iron LT1 heads are overlooked as I see them in the boneyard all the time. The heads should cost pocket change and should be much cheaper to buy them then to rebuild them.

What I'm saying is no way would I try to convert sbc Gen I heads to Gen II block as LT1 heads are great heads for a stock Chevy head - and dirt cheap. Sell your Gen I heads. I know it's difficult to sell your favorite parts or even favorite cars but we can move forward much faster and have more fun without proving our ingenious.

Good luck.

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Re: older style heads fitted on 96LT1 block

Post by gmrocket » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:24 pm

cardo0 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:38 pm
gmrocket wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:13 pm
The reason for not using the stock LT1 heads is we got this real low mile short block without the heads.

So that's why we're using it and Doing a cam swap, going with belt driven water pump, stock rear drive distributor.

The aftermarket heads we already have
I think for a marine engine iron heads would be a better choice. You could make your engine swap much easier using the iron LT1 heads found on the B body cars like Impala, Caprice, Roadmaster and some Cadillacs. The iron heads flow better than the aluminum LT1 heads which were close to 220cfm @ 28"H2O. You have to be careful though as the small L99 has tiny heads on top 265 c.i. and won't work on a 350 c.i. LT1 block though the intakes and blocks look almost identical. The iron LT1 heads are overlooked as I see them in the boneyard all the time. The heads should cost pocket change and should be much cheaper to buy them then to rebuild them.

What I'm saying is no way would I try to convert sbc Gen I heads to Gen II block as LT1 heads are great heads for a stock Chevy head - and dirt cheap. Sell your Gen I heads. I know it's difficult to sell your favorite parts or even favorite cars but we can move forward much faster and have more fun without proving our ingenious.

Good luck.
Actually, anything that will lighten up the boat, especially the rear where reducing the wetted surface is crucial...the lighter the better. Going from iron to aluminum heads is like having one less passenger

Like I said earlier, we got this good 96 LT1 short block minus the heads. We also have some aluminum almost new pro comps because of the usual worn out guides...easy fix.

So far the block coolant transfer passages in the deck was an easy fix, and the oil drain back. Now working on finding a decent belt driven aluminum water pump to save weight and get rid of the cam driven water pump.

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