Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.

Image courtesy of superchevy.com

Image courtesy of superchevy.com

 

The LS engine family made up a huge number of votes for your 10 favorite engines of all time, but the LS1 proved to be the most popular. The 5.7-liter, 346 cubic-inch LS1 is the cornerstone LS powerplant, spawning generations of people swapping LS engines into a vast array of automobiles, including non-GM vehicles.

According to gmhightechperformance.com, all LS engines share common traits, including:

  • 4.40-inch bore centers (like the original small-block)
  • Six-bolt, cross-bolted main bearing caps
  • Center main thrust bearing
  • 9.24-inch deck height
  • Four-bolt-per-cylinder head bolt pattern
  • 0.842-inch lifter bores
  • Distributorless, coil-near-plug ignition system

History

The engine launched in 1997 powering the all-new C5 Chevy Corvette. When first launched, the engine was rated at 345 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 350 foot-pounds of at torque at 4,400 rpm. The next year, General Motors stuck the engine into the F-Body cars (with ratings of 305-325 horsepower), including the Camaro and Trans Am.

Some of the notable changes in the LS1 design from previous small-block engines included a switch to lightweight aluminum for car applications and a coil-near-plug ignition, rather than a distributor setup. While previous GM small blocks used a traditional five-bolt pentagonal cylinder head pattern, the new LS1 used a square four-bolt design and featured flat-top pistons.

Top Aftermarket Upgrades

According to Summit Racing, these LS1 parts are the most readily available (number of options as of 1/23/2014 in parenthesis):

 

Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.

SOURCE: gmhightechperformance.com, ls1tech.com

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.