2014 Corvette – LT1 Cam Swap

Bump & Grind, Take 5 - We try one of Comp’s new Gen V LT1 cams in a ’14 Corvette.

Dan Foley May 7, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Limiter Block 2/30

16. Here, the limiter block is put into place inside one of the cam phaser control chambers. The slotted end went in first. Then the phaser was reassembled and ready to go.

Reinstall Timing Set 3/30

17. Notice the oil pump and dry-sump pan are missing. It’s the only way you’ll be able to reinstall the timing set with the modified cam phaser gear. All the block, timing cover, and oil pan surfaces were cleaned up. Then we applied Permatex Ultra Grey RTV silicone to replicate the look and the way GM sealed up those parts.

Reinstall Oil Pump Pan 4/30

18. To reinstall the oil pump (and then the oil pan), it’s necessary to drop down the engine cradle and front suspension. Notice the American Racing Headers tubes from our first test. The missing oil pan is evident, but the disconnected oil lines for the dry sump tell you this Stingray has the Z51 package.

Engine Apparatus 5/30

19. This engine apparatus was fabricated for future C7 cam swaps. It will hold and support the engine for when the engine cradle and suspension have to be lowered for clearance to remove the oil pan.

Cam Beehive Springs 6/30

20. We didn’t want to buzz the motor over 7,000 rpm with the stock valvesprings and risk floating valves or possible piston-to-valve contact, which could be catastrophic. The cam card recommended using PN 26918 beehive springs. Comp suggested we try its new conical valvesprings for serious valve control at the high rpm (7,000) we intended to spin the LT1 during dyno testing. Here we’re removing one of the stock springs.

Stock Beehive Conical Spring 7/30

21. The beehive-type valvespring (left) was a major breakthrough in valvespring technology back in the 1990s. Now the conical valvespring (right) is the latest breakthrough in valvespring development. Notice the decreasing diameter of the conical spring from the bottom to the top. The conical design reduces mass for less parasitic loss, improved rpm stability, while decreasing dynamic spring oscillations. The springs we’ll be using (PN 7228-16) have a spring rate of 438 lb/inch, a seat load of 136 pounds at 1.800 inches, and an open load of 412 at 1.170 inches. Comp’s own testing of these springs has shown better valve control for more power over the traditional beehive and cylindrical springs.

Stock Beehive Spring 8/30
Spring Install 9/30

22-23. Here’s a look at the stock beehive (left) and the conical springs (right). To perform the spring swap, these parts were necessary—Lightweight Tool Steel Retainers (PN 1772-16), Spring Seats (PN 4680-16), and a Shim Kit (PN 4752) to set the springs at an installed height of 1.800 inches for the proper load pressure at each valve. To set the intake spring height, we used the 0.045-inch spring seat, 0.060-inch shim, and a 0.015-inch shim. For the exhaust, we used the same 0.045-inch spring seat and 0.060-inch shim but used a 0.030-inch shim for a tiny bit more spring pressure on the exhaust valves. We coated the springs with Comp’s Valve Train Assembly Spray (PN 106) to protect them during initial start-up.

Joe Gibbs Driven Ls30 Synthetic Oil 10/30

24. We fed the dry-sump oil system with Joe Gibbs Driven LS30 synthetic 5W-30 oil. Joe Gibbs Racing developed the Driven line of lubricants for the high-performance race and/or street engine. The Driven LS30 synthetic oil we’re using is ideal for the LS and LT1 engine that is naturally aspirated or with a power-adder. Driven claims its LS30 delivers industry-leading shear stability and HTHS-bearing oil film thickness. Additionally, there are higher levels of zinc (ZDDP) to deliver proper anti-wear protection for high-output engines with aggressive valvetrain designs.

Lt 1 Installed 11/30

25. The LT1 looks bone stock unless you notice the headers. Out back, the lopey sound comes courtesy of the new, more aggressive cam. It is just awesome hearing the tones going through the headers, cross-pipe, and out the stock mufflers. A proper break-in is very important for new valvesprings. We let it idle and varied the rpm between 1,000 to 1,800 rpm until the engine reached normal operating temperature. We let them cool down to room temp. This can help eliminate early breakage and prolong spring life.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Rear Dyno 12/30

26. On the dyno, the Stingray strut its stuff—to the tune of 450 rwhp at 6,400 rpm on Tune Times’ Mustang chassis dyno. That’s a gain of 37 rwhp for the LT1. Comp’s newly designed LT1 cam and conical valvesprings delivered the top-end power we desired. The new deeper breathing cam was inhaling so much more air, there was a major restriction in the stock air intake, causing a power loss across the power curve between 3,800 to 4,800 rpm. At this point, we knew a high-flow air intake system would be very beneficial to the heavier-breathing engine. This is a perfect example in which one modification needs another for optimum results.

Stock Baseline Dyno 13/30

27. The dyno graph shows the bone-stock baseline with the headers and the Comp cam. It’s easy to see how the headers increased power all across the dyno pull. The cam swap shows a slight (5-7hp) loss from 3,800 to 4,800 rpm, then starts to pull strong right through 6,600 rpm when we lifted. With the stock air cleaner restricting airflow, we knew a high-flow air intake system would help the cammed-up LT1 produce more power all along the power curve.

Halltech Stinger Skn Cold Air Intake 14/30

28. The high-flow cold-air intake system from Halltech (Stinger CKN) not only looks cool, it smoothly enabled the cammed-up LT1 to inhale/breathe much more easily. The Stinger air intake will bolt on a bone-stock C7 without any required tuning, but with the cam, tuning is required. Matt performed his dyno-tuning magic after ace technician Justin bolted on the Stinger.

Halltech Stinger Dyno 15/30

29. Here we can see how the Halltech Stinger cold-air intake allowed the LT1 to inhale better, thus producing more power throughout the power curve. Matt tells us the throttle response, low-speed driveability, and fuel economy have increased tremendously. The C7 realized a whopping 21-rwhp and 11-lb-ft gain from the Stinger air intake. Fifty-eight more rear wheel horsepower is quite a bit from two modifications.

Dyno and Dragstrip Results

MODS TQ HP 60-FT E.T./MPH
Baseline 395/4600 397/5900 1.82 12.13/116.64
ARH Exhaust/Tune 413/4700 413/6000 1.86 11.76/120.98
M/T Drag Radials 1.68 11.47/119.32
Comp Cam, Springs 413/4800 450/6400
Halltech Air Intake 424/4900 471/6100

Sources

Comp Cams
Memphis, TN 38118
800-999-0853
http://www.compcams.com
Driven Racing Oil
Huntsville, NC
866-611-1820
drivenracingoil.com
American Racing Headers
Amityville, NY 11701
855-443-2337
www.americanracingheaders.com
Tune Time Performance
Lakewood, NJ 08701
732-349-7800
www.tunetimeperformance.com
Halltech Systems, LLC
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
www.halltechsystems.com

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