Discuss How long do they last? - LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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How long do they last?

I just picked up a 97 Formula and was curious.....How long will an LT1 last? My "new" one has over 242,000 miles on the original motor and still runs great. The heads haven't even been off yet! It has had a new timing chain and gaskets in front but thats it.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:04 PM
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As long as you take care of it. The highest I've seen one is 315,000 miles and it was still running awesome. Guy said all he's ever done is change the oil and plugs an opti and a water pump.

94 Formula, .224/.234 .561/.576 110 cam, 1.6 RR,LE2 Heads, AZ&M headers, 54mmTB, 3000 Stall. New Stall and spray coming. Tuned by gregrob.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:22 PM
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I once read on another forum that one of the major cab companies in Chicago,during the mid 90's, had a fleet of Chevy caprice sedan LT1 taxis and a few of them had 500,000 miles on their motors. That sounds possible
if they were well cared for,but on the flip side I am not sure what kinds of repairs the motors had undergone. Alot of guys run cars on the drag strip with over 100,000 miles on them,but personally I wouldnt. ed
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:46 PM
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Care makes a large difference.

I read something similar by D. Vizard the Yellow cab taxi's used the 350" sb chevy - which is pretty much same short block as our GEN II's - and got a regular 350k mi between over hauls (short block that is). The old GEN I flat tappet cams lasted like 135k mi but were only cast iron cores where the GEN II used mostly billet steel cores - rollers too. And of course the LT1 aluminum heads have alloy vlv seats that should out last the old hardened cast iron seats of GEN I motors - something like only 65k mi before vlv jobs for those GEN I heads.
All that said my last LT1 engine (original motor) lost >50lbs compression in #8 cyl and pulled it with only 135k mi. Upon dissemble found all kinds of sealer oozing and solidified out in front of #1 cyl.
So i guess what i would do if the engine still runs with good compression then used it - don't cost a dime and makes the same power.

Hope this helps,
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racy Roadmaster View Post
I once read on another forum that one of the major cab companies in Chicago,during the mid 90's, had a fleet of Chevy caprice sedan LT1 taxis and a few of them had 500,000 miles on their motors.......
Yeah.....cab companies all over this country will tell you that a well maintained LT1 will last upwards of 500K miles.

The thing with your 'new' car is.....you don't really KNOW that it's been well maintained.

HOWEVER.....the fact that it's lasted 242K miles is a good thing !

KW

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1996 Impala SS, 398ci Solid Roller LT4
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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I know the history of the last 120,000 at least,And he fixed and added anything and everything! I would never consider one with this many miles had It been anybody else's. He bought it from the original owner in about 01 or 02. I just hope he sells me the '10 Camaro he just replaced it with in 10 or 12 years! LOL


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 07:08 PM
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This makes me happy to see, as my 94 Z has only 130,000 miles. Can't wait to swap an LT1 into my 88 RS.

I need some help, but at least I can admit it.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 08:18 AM
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I know a guy that had a 97 Z28 M6 (stock} that had 184k on the motor. The car looked rough as he had a problem of running into things permanent fixtures like.. curbs, fence posts and all. But the engine and trans were bulletproof. He was good about keeping the car tuned and changing the oil, but didnt really care what it looked like. He drove the car for 10yrs and and made regular trips to the dragstrip where it ran 13.80's. Last time I saw it run with 180K plus it clicked off 14.00 flat @100 mph. He said the clutch was starting to slip a little and probably needed to be replaced. He drove this car everywhere and in any kind of weather. Also the car was on its 2nd clutch the original died at 100k, he replaced the original opti at 140K. Pretty dam good motor and trans for sure !

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 09:25 AM
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Do you guys mean how long do they last before a rebuild or last before they blow up?

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1994 Camaro Z28 19x,xxx miles New LT1 and built 4L60E - K&N CAI, Elbow, Air Foil, kooks LT headers, True Duals w/ Dynomax Bullets dumped, 160 stat & fans on early, EGR & AIR delete, EWP, 255FP, ProTrorque 3200 stall, Pcm for Less tune, ET Streets 12.886 @105.12 1.779 60'
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 01:39 PM
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mine has 166k on it right now, i live in northeast arkansas and have drove it to memphis, kentucky, mississippi, central missouri..... and she has never let me down, and since about 120k it has had tons of hell, during the summer it pulls a boat and goes to one of two dragstrips on a weekly basis
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 02:24 PM
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thing is with cabs, they are run pretty hard, and they go over their maintaince intervals pretty regularly.

but they are always at operating temperature during the entire work day.. it's a testament to engines lasting longer if you actually DRIVE the things

keep in mind too, miles and operational hours are different things.

an sbc under regular use can last 2500+ hours, a car driven on regular highway runs might rack up 400,000 miles in that time, whereas a car driven only in town might only get 100,000 miles, and the car driven in town will be WAY more worn out, every single part will have more fatigue and wear
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo View Post
.....an sbc under regular use can last 2500+ hours, a car driven on regular highway runs might rack up 400,000 miles in that time, whereas a car driven only in town might only get 100,000 miles......
A car driven normally for 2500 hours might roll about 50K miles. Trust me on that.....but this is mox-nix

Your point is absolutely spot on! An engine that is run pretty continuously at constant RPMs will darn near run forever; where-as an engine ran intermittently at varying RPMs will see a more normal 'wear & tear'.

KW

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1996 Impala SS, 398ci Solid Roller LT4
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 11:29 PM
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I could see one lasting 500kish, that's with regular maintenance and the engine ran well and by well I mean it's no stranger to high rpms and normal operating temperatures. Getting the engine up to temp is important I think, helps evaporate all the condensation and gas out of the oil which causes less wear.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 09:57 AM
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Letting an engine warm up properly is key to lasting a long time too... but yes... modern engines are a lot stronger than the gen1 sbc. the 5.3 vortecs are lasting 300K regularly... cylinder ridge removal, slight over sized rings, slap back together with new gaskets, good to go for another 100k or 200k, or more... the metallurgy is a lot better than it used to be... LT1's are good motors, good designs... there just hated on by the LSx community because they are inferior in power, and ease of working on.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 11:52 AM
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The fleetwood my spare transmission came out of had over 330,000 miles. The engine went on to be transplanted as is into a friend's daily driver Caprice and still running strong. My parents have a Roadmaster Wagon with just under 550,000kms on it (roughly 345,000 miles) of not-stellar but acceptable maintenance throughout it's life. And the Roady's had some hard hauling miles put on it..
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