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Chill Out

Keepin' Your LS1's Oil a Bit Cooler

Making reliable horsepower is considered a myth among Heartbeat enthusiasts. Why that is, we have no idea. Engines are simple machines. They require air, ignition, and fuel. The result is horsepower, heat, and stress. As many novice engine builders have found, the way to keep an engine alive is to treat it well and use the best parts that one can afford at the time of assembly. Aside from using high-quality components, the next most important thing is heat control. Less heat means less chance of detonation and a longer life for an engine.

A water-cooled V-8 is actually cooled by a bit more that water, namely oil. While most people consider engine oil a lubricant, it's also a cooling device. As such, any method to reduce engine oil temperature will prolong engine oil life and increase an engines cooling efficiency. While C4 and C5 Corvettes often came with oil coolers, many other vehicles did not, specifically the Fourth-Generation Camaros.

The LS1 is a high-powered, finely tuned engine that runs on the ragged edge 100-percent of the time. Due to emission restrictions, the LS1 is forced to run warmer to run cleaner. If you plan on hitting the track any time soon, you'll probably want to install an oil cooler and oil temperature gauge. We found that Flex-A-Lite and Auto Meter had just what we were looking for. Our entire installation took about 10 hours and required only hand tools and a bit of vertebrae twisting. Engine temperatures dropped an average of 30-degrees Fahrenheit! Better an oil cooler now than an entire engine later!

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