More Footage of the C7 ZR1 Corvette With a Huge Rear Wing

We’ve all seen the spy photos of some sort of GM mid-engined car being tested. Everyone presumed it was the Corvette ZR1, however new footage has proved that the ZR1 will stay front engine. This new footage shows what could be a ZR1 Corvette with a massive rear wing. It’s in a pack of other Corvettes, as well as what appears to be a Hellcat.

Not much is known about this possible ZR1. My guess is it’ll make 700-750 horsepower, and have lots of aero. This new Corvette model probably has the Viper ACR in its sights. Except an improved version of the LT4 that’s currently in the Z06 model. Chevrolet will definitely need to work on cooling, as the current Z06 can’t even stay cool with only 650 horsepower.

This new Corvette should be revealed in 2017. After seeing this footage the question is now up in the air, what is the mid engine car that GM has been testing?

Picking The Perfect Bug Out Vehicle

Disaster has come, an apocalyptic tragedy has struck the world, what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? How are you going to get there? This is where the “bug-out vehicle” comes in. A bug-out vehicle, is a vehicle designed to get you to a safe location, or to keep you mobile indefinitely.

The most commonly used scenarios are a “zombie” apocalypse, civil war, economic collapse, and general civil unrest. 

What are the necessary items to have in/on your bug out vehicle?

  • CB Radio – When all forms of mass communication fail (cell phone, internet, etc.), you may need to be able to contact other survivors. CB Radios offer a way to keep in contact with others, when all other communications fail.
    We’ve covered CB radio information in our CB radio install guide
  • Tools – What good is a bug out vehicle if it breaks down? You need to have plenty of tools on board your vehicle as well as a repair manual if you’re not mechanically inclined.
  • Gear – This goes hand-in-hand with having tools, you need to have gear such as: tent, clothing, compass, flash light, portable stove, binoculars, first aid kit, etc.
  • Weapons – Hopefully you’ll never have to need weapons in an apocalyptic scenario, but when resources become scarce, other survivors may use weapons against you, if you want to survive than you need to have weapons to protect yourself.
  • 4×4 – You never know when you’ll get into a sticky situation, having 4×4 can be the difference between life or death in a zombie apocalypse.
  • Food – You might be on the road much longer than expected, remember to keep a good amount of dry food stocked in your bug out vehicle

As you might be able to tell from this list, cargo space is going to be incredibly important. You basically need to be able to live out of your vehicle for an extended period of time, without dying. Now that we know the bare necessities of a bug out vehicle, lets look at a few different vehicles.

Honda Civic

BugOut1

Chances are that you or somebody you know has a Civic, or a 4-door sedan like a Civic. They have decent cargo storage capabilities, and they are decently fast. But they lack 4WD, which may be absolutely necessary in a disaster situation.

Pros:

  • Very reliable
  • Great gas mileage
  • Decent room for people
  • Decently fast

Cons:

  • Not 4×4
  • Little space for gear and supplies
  • Not heavy duty

Jeep Wrangler

BugOut2

The most known 4×4 in the world, it’ll take you nearly anywhere you need to go. It’s very reliable, and has somewhat decent gas mileage (15-20 mpg). But it doesn’t have much cargo storage and very little room for more than 2 people.

Pros:

  • Great 4×4, it’ll take you far away from civilization if need be.
  • Reliable, the Jeep 4.0L is a bullet proof engine.
  • Decent gas mileage, when fuel is scarce this is extremely important.

Cons:

  • Very little space for gear, weapons, tools, and other survivors.
  • Removable top makes it more susceptible to attacks from others.
  • Not heavy duty

Chevy Suburban

BugOut3

The Suburban can be found nearly anywhere in suburban areas of any city (I wonder why its named the Suburban). It has a massive amount of storage capabilities, and a massive amount of room for other people. Its very heavy duty and strong. But its fairly slow, and sucks up fuel quickly.

Pros:

  • Decent 4×4 ability
  • Reliable (especially the older ones)
  • Great space for gear.
  • Massive space for people
  • All steel body, very good protection
  • Heavy duty

Cons:

  • Really slow and hard to maneuver
  • Awful fuel economy

Chevy Pick-Up Truck

BugOut4

If you live in America you can find a pickup basically anywhere. Has massive amount of cargo space in the bed, but it’s outside of the cab in the open. It lacks space for other people, and is bad on fuel economy.

Pros:

  • Decent 4×4
  • Massive space for gear
  • All steel body
  • Heavy Duty
  • Reliable

Cons:

  • Little room for people
  • Slow and hard to maneuver
  • Awful fuel economy

Jeep XJ Cherokee

BugOut5

Last but not least, our favorite 4×4. XJ Cherokee has room for 4 people and plenty of gear. Its not very heavy duty, and doesn’t get the best fuel mileage (mine gets around 15 mpg). Overall its very well rounded at doing nearly anything you need it to.

Pros:

  • Great 4×4
  • Decent space for gear
  • Decent space for people
  • Extremely reliable

Cons:

  • Unibody construction, not heavy duty
  • Bad fuel economy

M35A2

bovupdate1

You’re probably not going to find one of these laying around in the city somewhere. Basically the only way you could use one of these in a disaster situation is if you already owned it. The M35A2 is going to get pretty abysmal fuel economy, but you can basically drive through whatever you want.

Pros:

  • Great 6×6
  • Massive space for people
  • Massive space for gear
  • Extremely heavy duty
  • Very reliable

Cons:

  • Extremely slow
  • Horrible fuel economy
  • Mentally hard (cabin noise)

Summary

We’ve given you a list of typical vehicles that could be used to make a bug out vehicle. But any vehicle can be a bug out vehicle, we just recommend that you could with something heavy-duty and 4×4, which will allow you to combat ANY task at hand. The key things to look for are:

  • Interior space for gear
  • Interior space for people
  • Reliability
  • Toughness
  • Gas mileage
  • Offroad ability

Our choice would be the Chevy Suburban, simply because of its space for gear and people, 4×4, and heavy duty. If the disaster situation requires good fuel economy, than something like a Honda Civic would be our choice. If the disaster isn’t super fuel constricting, than the Chevy Suburban is the perfect bug out vehicle for almost anyone.

6.6 Duramax: Everything You Need to Know

GM has been putting diesels in their heavy duty trucks since 1982. Granted diesels back then kind of sucked, but none the less they have been doing it for quite some time. In 2001 they introduced their all new 6.6 Duramax, which was built with the help of Isuzu. Since then they have continued to modify the 6.6 Duramax to suit the current needs. Before I tell you everything you need to know about the 6.6 D-Max, let’s take a look at the 6.2 Detroit Diesel.

6.2 Diesel

What’s really interesting is how many people absolutely love the 6.2 Detroit engine. I mean, it only makes 160 horsepower, and 285 lb-ft of torque. It’s literally no better than a gasoline engine in terms of horsepower and torque. Luckily GM knew this and marketed it as fuel efficient alternative to their gasoline engines.

RELATED: 4BT Cummins: Everything You Want to Know

The 6.2 Detroit was used in the AM General HMMWV (Humvee), as well as the CUCV vehicles. I have a slight feeling that its military history is part of the reason so many people are fond of the 6.2 Detroit. AM General liked the 6.2 Detroit so much that they now run the modern turbocharged 6.5L.

6.6 Duramax: Engine Basics

The 6.6 Duramax engine has been around since 2001. Although it has gone under drastic changes, the architect has remained mostly unchanged. Every year emissions get stricter and it has forced GM to make major changed to the 6.6 Duramax over the years. Let’s take a look at the D-Max over the years:

6.6 Duramax: LB7

The LB7 introduced in 2001 and continued until mid-2004. The LB7 featured a 32-valve design with high-pressure common-rail direct injection. Unfortunately the LB7 is somewhat remembered by its fuel injector failures and overheating. GM now warranties these issues but it will always stick with the LB7 name.

Horsepower: 300 hp @ 3,100 RPM
Torque: 520 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM

6.6 Duramax: LLY

The LLY debuted in 2004, and was produced until the end of 2005. It featured many of the same components as the LB7, but with some improvements. The valve covers were modified to allow easier and cheaper repair to the fuel injectors. Unfortunately the LLY featured a few new emissions components which diesel lovers seem to hate.

Horsepower: 310 hp @ 3,000 RPM
Torque: 520 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

6.6 Duramax: LBZ

Interestingly enough, in 2006 the LLY and LBZ are identical other than the tune. It was slightly detuned, and made less power than it was really supposed to. That changed in mid-2005 when the tune was updated and it made more horsepower than it had before.

Horsepower: 310 hp @ 3,000 RPM
Torque: 605 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

6.6 Duramax: LMM

In 2007 GM introduced a new body style for their pickup truck. With it they brought forth the LMM engine. The LMM is similar to the LBZ engine, but with more advanced emissions controls. The LMM featured a few upgrades with ultimately boosted power to 660 lb-ft of torque.

Horsepower: 365 hp @ 3,200 RPM
Torque: 660 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

6.6 Duramax: LML

The LML is a further improvement upon the LMM. Most of the changes are to the emissions system, however there are a few mechanical changes. Unfortunately the LML does not allow you to easily plug a tuner in and crank the power up like you can with the LMM.

Horsepower: 397 hp @ 3,000 RPM
Torque: 765 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

 

6.6 Duramax: Performance Specs

We’ve pretty much listed off all the performance specs for all 6.6 Duramax engines up to this point. To recap: The LB7 engine had 300 horsepower and an impressive 520 lb-ft of torque by the end of its production life. The current LML engine has an insane 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque. The LML is likely nearing the end of its production life, what will the next Duramax hold?

6.6 Duramax: Tuning Potential

This is pretty much the only part that really matters to anyone. Diesels are known for being able to crank out insane power numbers. The 6BT Cummins for example can crank out well over 1,200 lb-ft of torque on stock internals. But, can the 6.6 Duramax hold its own in the diesel world?

RELATED: 6BT Cummins: Everything You Need to Know

From what I can gather from diesel forums, the factory 6.6 Duramax internals can hold up to about 550rwhp, or 1000 lb-ft of torque at the tire. Thats plenty enough for basically anything you want to do. Interestingly enough the transmission will only hold to about 400rwhp.

Common Mods

I suppose it’s no use to tell you that the 6.6 Duramax can handle 1000 lb-ft of torque, and then not tell you how to get there. From everything I’ve read on forums, the single best modification is EFI live. The EFI live system allows you to crank the power of your Duramax way up without having to do any real modifications. Things like exhaust and intake are also very common mods.

Reliability Mods

Diesels are known for being able to chug along for millions of miles. However, with the new emissions systems on modern diesels the longevity of the engine has decreased. The 6.6 Duramax has a few emissions systems that almost everybody ends up deleting:

  1. Diesel Particulate Filter – Also known as DPF, is basically like an extreme catalytic converter. You can thank the kids “rolling coal” for making this become a federally mandated emissions item. However, many people delete it because it is known for essentially destroying your engine prematurely
  2. EGR – This is typically deleted for a few reasons. It’s just another system that can fail. Deleting it makes under the hood look better. If you turn the fuel up, the black soot won’t re-enter your intake system. There are no real performance gains to be had from it, however if you want over 500 horsepower it’ll be a big gain in turbo response and reliability.

Summary

Over the last 15 years the 6.6 Duramax has gone through quite a bit of changes. It makes way more power than it used to, but it also has more complex emissions systems. They are all very good engines that will last you 300k miles easily. Let me know what you think of the 6.6 Duramax in the comments below!

90’s Sport Trucks, An Industry Fail.

The pick up truck is America’s bread and butter. Used by farmers, construction workers, and millions of hard working men and women everywhere. But what happens when you want a sports car, but need a truck? American manufacturers, Chevrolet and Ford, tried to answer that question in the 90s.

Chevy 454SS

sporttruck1

Chevrolet saw the gap in the pickup truck market. There was no “sporty” trucks at the time. So, they took the standard 1/2 ton single cab chassis, stuck the largest engine they had into it, and called it the 454SS. The “454” in “454SS” rather obviously stands for the 454 cubic inch (7.4L) engine they put into it.

You would think a 7.4L would put down at least 350 or 400 horsepower, especially since it was supposed to be a sporty truck. However, the 454ci put down a hilariously small 230 horsepower and 385 ft-lbs of torque. That is a lot of torque, but 230 horsepower is just pathetic by any standards.

The 454SS was only available in black, with a red interior, and GM only made 17,000 of them. So, yes they do have a collector value due to being rare, but serve no legitimate purpose in the real world. It’s low, heavy, loud, sucks up gas, and isn’t even that fast. Let’s be honest, its not very pretty either.

Performance Data:

  • Horsepower: 230 horsepower
  • Torque: 385 lb-ft of torque
  • Weight: 4,400 lbs
  • 0-60mph: 7.1 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 15.6 seconds @ 87 mph

Ford Lightning

sporttruck2

 

Ford answered back with the SVT Lightning, which was very similar to the 454SS. The Lightning was also a single cab, short bed truck, and could only be had that way. Ford had a slightly different recipe for their sport truck. They used the existing 351W (5.8L), but added GT-40 heads from the Mustang Cobra,and stronger pistons. The lightning put down 240 horsepower, and 340 ft-lbs of torque.

 

The 351W under the hood of the lightning makes slightly more horsepower than the 454SS, but slightly less torque. It is impressive that the Lightning makes more horsepower with less displacement, but it’s still weak compared to any other engine, especially modern engines.

The SVT Lighting was only available in black, white, and red. Ford only produced 11,500 of the 1st gen lightning, making it even more rare than a 454SS. Later down the line Ford also produced the Harley Davidson edition, which was basically a 4-door Lightning

Performance Data:

  • Horsepower: 240 horsepower
  • Torque: 340 lb-ft of torque
  • Weight: 4,300 lbs
  • 0-60mph: 7.6 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 15.6 seconds @ 87 mph

GMC Syclone

sporttruck3

Out of all the sports trucks in the 90s I think the Syclone is the coolest. It was a light duty truck which meant it weighed less than the 454SS and Lightning. It was also very unique because its power plant was nothing like the other two. The Syclone used a single turbo 4.3L, which produced an impressive 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

The Syclone was also unique because it was all-wheel-drive, and had a 4-wheel ABS system which was a first ever for a pickup truck. Many automotive magazines at the time found the Syclone’s acceleration to be comparable to the Corvette, and even some Ferrari models.

Unfortunately the Syclone only lasted 2 years of production. Around 3,000 Syclones were produced, with only a few being a color other than black. Out of all the sports trucks the Syclone was definitely the fastest, and most innovative with its AWD system and advanced ABS system.

Performance Data:

  • Horsepower: 280 horsepower
  • Torque: 350 lb-ft of torque
  • Weight: 3,550 lbs
  • 0-60mph: 5.3 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.1 seconds @ 93 mph

Summary

All of these trucks are very interesting in concept, but just don’t work in the real word. The chassis of the pickup truck was never designed to handle well, so sticking a powerful-ish engine under the hood really just makes the problem worse. Dodge later attempted the same with their SRT-10 Ram, but that also ultimately failed.

It’s clear that off-road style trucks are much more appealing to the public. Ford’s Raptor has been a massive success since it was released in 2009. It has become clear that sport trucks will never really catch on in the automotive world.

Let me know what you think of sports trucks down in the comments below!

 

5 Reasons Why You Need a Cavalier Z24 Today

We’ve all seen the beat-up cars running around your town, Honda Civics, Chevy Cavaliers, and various other cars. But, Chevrolet hid a gem in a pile of garbage. Chevy first introduced the Z24 in 1985, and unofficially deemed it the little brother of the Camaro. But, does it live up the Camaro’s standards? Here are the five reasons why you need to buy a Cavalier Z24 today.

5. Body Styling

When it comes to Z24 Cavaliers, you have quite a few options to choose from when picking a body style that you like. If you like older looking cars, you could purchase a 1st, or 2nd gen Cavalier Z24. But, nobody will even recognize what you’re driving and just assume its another beat up old car.

The real star of the Z24 lineage is the 3rd gen. It features styling cues from the Camaro, as well as ditching the 1980s looks for some updated 1990s looks.

RELATED: What Makes Buick Regal GS the Ultimate Sleeper?

The 3rd gen Z24 came in a coupe and convertible the entire time it was available, and the general public loved it. However, they were missing a four-door sedan, which could provide a perfect equal medium between a sporty car and full sedan functionality. So, just before it was ended Chevy offered a 4-door sedan version, but only produced it for a short amount of time. This makes the sedan fairly rare and sought after.

Additional Cavalier information can be found on Wikipedia.

If you look at the front and rear tail lights of the Cavalier Z24 you can definitely tell it was influenced by its Japanese competitors as well as the 90s as a whole. Seriously, look at an EG Coupe (92-95 Civic coupe), and try to tell me it doesn’t look similar to the Cavalier.

The body of the Z24 is sleek, but so simple it’s a little boring which is absolutely perfect for the average consumer. The unsuspecting looks definitely add to the sleeper factor of this car.

4. Parts Sourcing

Some of the parts of the Cavalier chassis (J-body) are shared with the Dodge Neon, and the a few other J-Body vehicles that were built at the time. The rear drum brake system can be swapped to disc brakes from the Neon Sport and R/T with slight modification. This gives the Z24 a massive improvement in braking performance, as well as track-ability if you ever decide to begin racing on the track.

The factory solid beam rear suspension can also be swapped to an independent rear suspension from the N-Body (Grand Prix/Aero) cars. Solid beam rear suspension isn’t a terrible design, however the fully independent suspension that can be swapped in gives it much greater rotation mid corner.

RELATED: 6 Things That Make the IROC Z28 the Ultimate Muscle Car

On top of all of that there is a decently sized aftermarket backing for the Cavalier Z24 and the J-Body chassis as a whole. This is because of the sales success of the the sporty little Z24, as well as it being an American car in the American market.

3. Power to Weight Ratio

Depending on what generation Z24 you have, you’ll have between 120 to 150 horsepower. Sounds pretty slow right? Well, you have to remember that back in the 90s 150 horsepower was actually a decent amount. The Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro were at about 220 horsepower at the time. But, that 150 horsepower is able to propel the Cavalier Z24 from 0-60 in 7.6 seconds. That 7.6 second 0-60 time puts it right next to the Civic SI which is its main competitor.

Funny enough that 0-60 time is also not to far behind a 2015 Scion FRS. Not to bad considering the 15+ year difference between the two.

5777789724_23a5a60b4e_z

The Cavalier was a light car to begin with, its around the same size as its biggest competitor, the Civic. The Z24 weighs in at around 2,500 – 2,700 lbs. That makes the Z24 lighter than a modern Mini Cooper and really makes it a fun little car to drive. If you’ve ever driven anything that weighs less than 3,000 lbs you know how much fun they are to toss into a corner at a ridiculous rate of speed.

Why do you think Lotus is even in business? Because really light cars are stupidly fun, but not that comfortable. I know 7.6 seconds sound really really slow, but in a car as small as the Cavalier it doesn’t actually feel all that slow.

2. Optional Eaton Super Charger

The golden option of the Z24 was an Eaton M45 supercharger kit, which was only available through specific GM dealerships and could only be installed by them. The supercharger kit only ran 4.7 psi of boost, but bumped power output up to 190 horsepower, and dropped the 0-60 times to around 7 seconds flat.

IMG_1508

If you really want more power you can install a smaller pulley on the supercharger and step it up to 220+ horsepower. If you’re really crazy, then you can even build the whole bottom end of the engine and crank the boost way up. The M45 is a very small supercharger and isn’t capable of making huge amount of boost due to its size.

1. Sleeper Factor

If there was such a thing as a sleeper factor, this car would be nearly off of the charts. I don’t know about you, but I see beatdown Cavaliers every single day. I’ve never thought one could actually be kind of fast, and thats whats so great about Z24 Cavalier’s. Along with the rise in popularity with sleepers, the Cavalier Z24 has started to rise in price due to a large amount of people wanting one in a short period of time. In a world of loud, bight colored cars its a nice change to see a car that is hidden amongst regular boring cars.

1993_Chevrolet_Cavalier_Z24_in_red

Thats the best part about owning and driving a Cavalier Z24, almost nobody knows that fast Cavaliers even exist, so when you smash a Mustang in a race the look on their face is “What just happened? Did I just lose to a Cavalier?!”. You also are way less likely to get pulled over by police for some strange reason, to them you’re just a regular person driving a regular car.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why Chevy LS Engines are so Great

Is the Cavalier Z24 for You?

The question you might be asking yourself now is “Should I get a Cavalier Z24?”. If you like sleepers than the Cavalier Z24 is a good fit for you. If you like “tuner” cars, then the Cavalier Z24 is a good fit for you.

The problem with the Z24 is the same problem the Miata has. Regardless of how awesome and fun it is to drive, people will still make fun of you. If you drive a Cavalier, Civic, Miata or anything else small and fun, people are bound to make fun of you. If you can deal with the hate and like small sporty cars then the Cavalier Z24 is definitely for you.

Summary

So, the Cavalier isn’t any sort of sports car, but it is a great daily driver to have some fun with and with the right modifications can actually become a mustang killing beast. Unfortunately, due to its drum brake rear and suspension design it can never become a true performance car.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Top 3 Beginner Off Road Trucks

Are you looking to get into the off road “scene”? But, you have never owned an off road truck? There are a few things you must consider when deciding what you want out of your off road truck.

Do you just want to go camping? Do you want to go trail riding? Rock crawling? What about desert prerunning? Here’s what you need to look for in an off-road truck:

  1. Price: If you’re just getting into the off road lifestyle, you probably don’t want to break the bank. Picking up something cheap to wheel on the weekends is ideal.
  2. Durability: You want something that is tough, and can survive harsh conditions and treatment.
  3. Size: You obviously don’t want to wheel a school bus, but maybe a Wrangler is to small for you. Small off road rigs like the Wrangler don’t allow you to bring many friends and/or gear. Big off road rigs like the Chevy Suburban can’t easily fit on many trails.
  4. Articulation: Depending on the type of wheeling you’d like to do, articulation may be important. If you just want to do simple trail riding or camping, then this is much less important.

Now that you have a good understanding of what you’ll want, let’s look at the candidates. Here are the best beginners off road trucks:

1. Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep XJ Cherokee was made from 1984 to 2001 and was the Predecessor to the original body-on-frame SJ Cherokee. The XJ Cherokee was unlike the SJ Cherokee; it was small, it didn’t have a standard frame, and didn’t come with a V8.

Robert Cumberford, from Automobile Magazine said: “Great designs never grow old, a truth no better confirmed than by designer Dick Teague’s masterpiece, the Jeep Cherokee. Possibly the best SUV shape of all time, it is the paradigmatic model to which other designers have since aspired.”

XJCherokee1

 

Generally speaking, most XJ Cherokees are four door, 4.0L inline 6, and 4WD. Which is perfect, 4 doors to more easily hold gear and people. The 4.0L is notoriously bullet proof, and the 4WD system is great for the trails. Since the XJ Cherokee is unibody and 4 link suspension up front, they articulate very well and ride very smooth.

Since the XJ Cherokee was made for such a long period of time, they are everywhere and dirt cheap too! With so many of them around, a huge amount of off road companies started making aftermarket parts for them, making parts dirt cheap too!

Prices for the XJ Cherokee generally range from $1000 to $6500

Too see what a commonly modified XJ Cherokee looks like, check out Coles XJ Cherokee.

2. Chevrolet K5 Blazer

The Chevy Blazer/GMC Jimmy was made from 1969 to 1994 and was made to compete with the Jeep CJ-5. Almost all Blazers came in 4WD with a 305CI (5.0L) or a 350CI (5.7L) small block chevy. The Chevy Blazer is a frame-on-body design, with leaf springs front and rear of the truck.

Being that they are frame-on-body, they are very heavy duty and very strong. Leaf springs front and rear allowed for cheap manufacturing and add stability while driving the truck.

BestTruck1

 

The leaf spring design doesn’t articulate, or ride very well, but with some modifications can perform very well. Since Chevy trucks have been around for so long, it’s impossible to run out of factory used or aftermarket parts. Much like the Cherokee, the Chevy 350 is also a great engine,it makes plenty of power and torque and retains the old-school, but proven engine design.

The US Military used the K5 Blazer from 1983 to 1986, they named them “CUCV M1009”. The M1009 came with a 6.2L Detroit Diesel and an Eaton Gov-Lock rear differential, and served many purposes in the US Military.

Prices for the Chevy Blazer range from $1000 to $5000

3. Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco was made from 1966 to 1996, and was also built to compete with the Jeep CJ-5. The 302CI and the 351W were the most common engines that the Bronco came with. The Ford Bronco, like the Chevy Blazer, was also frame-on-body, making it heavy duty and strong.

The Bronco had a leaf spring suspension design front and rear until 1980. In 1980 Ford introduced the TTB (Twin Traction Beam), to allow for a smoother ride, on and off road. The TTB suspension system worked very well, it improved handling and ride comfort, but sacrificed wheel travel and is notoriously hard to align.

BestTruck2

Both the Ford 302 (5.0L) and the 351 Windsor (5.7L) are great motors, making good power while still being reliable and cheap to maintain. Parts for the Bronco aren’t nearly as abundant as the other two trucks, but parts are still easy available.

The TTB system, lead to the Twin I-Beam suspension, which is the same as TTB, except its not 4WD. I-Beam suspension is what many “pre runner” trucks use and works great for high speed off roading.

Prices for the Ford Bronco range from $1000 to $5500

Summary

The XJ Cherokee is great for rock-crawling, the Blazer is great for mudding and trail-riding, and the Bronco is great for going fast in the dirt.

All 3 of these trucks are very cheap to buy and easy to fix, and can take a hard beating off-road. Making them all perfect candidates for a beginner off road truck. The choice is yours to make.

LT1 vs LS1: What’s The Real Difference?

Chevrolet has been in a clash with Dodge and Ford for a very long time now. Die hard fans refuse to budge from their brand, even if it’s inferior. For Chevrolet fans, the question may arise: “Which one is better? The LT1 or the LS1?”. Both were available in the 90s Camaro and 90s Corvette. The LS1 is word renowned for its power and reliability. It’s the most debated engine in the world, but what about the good ole’ LT1? Let’s dive in and compare LT1 vs LS1.

LT1

In 1992, General Motors created the all new LT1 small-block. The LT1 used a reverse-flow cooling system that cooled the cylinder heads first. This allowed for higher compression ratios which increased power output compared to its predecessors. All LT1s featured a cast iron cylinder block, with aluminum heads for Corvettes and Camaros, and cast iron heads for all other models.

If you are ever in the market for an LT1, find a Corvette LT1. The Corvette block featured 4-bolt main bearing caps, all other LT1s have 2-bolt main bearing caps.

LS1

If you’ve poked around other parts of this website, than you’ll know that we absolutely love the LS engine. The LS1 was much more advanced than the outgoing LT1 engine. The LS1 featured an all aluminum block, and aluminum heads. This reduced weight significantly whilst increasing heat dissipation. This allowed for more performance while keeping temperatures safe.

All LS1s featured 6-bolt main bearing caps. This makes the LS1’s bottom end incredibly strong, especially when compared to the LT1’s 2-bolt main bottom end.
More Chevrolet small block information is available on Wikipedia

LT1 vs LS1: Factory Performance

This shouldn’t surprise you to much, but the LS1 was way more powerful out of the factory than the LT1. How much better was it though? Lets look at the factory LT1 Corvette and Camaro performance numbers:

  • LT1 Corvette HP: 300 bhp
  • LT1 Corvette TQ: 330 lb-ft
  • LT1 Camaro HP: 285 bhp
  • LT1 Camaro TQ: 325 lb-ft

Now lets look at the numbers for the same generation Camaro and Corvette, but with the LS1 engine.

RELATED: LS1 vs LS3: Which One is Actually Better?

  • LS1 Corvette HP: 345 bhp
  • LS1 Corvette TQ: 360 lb-ft
  • LS1 Camaro HP: 305 bhp
  • LS1 Camaro TQ: 340 lb-ft

As you can see from these numbers, the LS1 is way more powerful. Not only does it make more peak horsepower, but it also makes more peak torque. This is due to the massive advancements such as the distributor-less ignition system.

Many Chevy fans argue that the LS1 Camaro made the same amount of horsepower and torque as the LS1 Corvette. After all, they were physically identical. The only possible thing that could made the Camaro less powerful would be the tune.  Many LS1 Camaro owners have put their cars on the dyno completely stock and put down 315-325 rwhp, which equates to around 345 bhp.

LT1 vs LS1: Cylinder Block

All small block Chevrolet engines were cast iron block with cast iron heads. The LT1 cylinder block is basically no different than any other small block produced before it. The Camaro and Corvette received aluminum cylinder heads, which helped increase performance.

The LS1 received a massive upgrade to the cylinder block. The block material was changed from cast iron to aluminum. This helped reduced weight a huge amount, but it also increased heat dissipation. This is important since the LS1 made way more horsepower than the LT1 did. Horsepower creates heat, and cast iron holds heat in much longer than aluminum does.

RELATED: Here’s Why the Chevy LS is so Good

The LS1 is also a Y block design. This increased the strength of the block greatly. Chevrolet increased the size of the camshaft core on the LS1. This allows for much higher lift camshaft profiles without harming the camshaft bearings.

LT1 vs LS1: Price/Performance

Price is basically the ultimate deciding factor when purchasing parts. Many of the people reading this right now own f-body Camaros, and want to know if they should mod their LT1, or swap in an LS1. It’s a tough decision, and 8 years ago I would’ve said mod the LT1. Now LS engines are so insanely cheap that it makes way more sense to go with an LS engine.

You might be able to get an LT1 for a couple hundred dollars cheaper, but you’ll already be behind 50+ horsepower. A few thousand in LS1 mods will bring it up to 440+ rwhp. On the other hand, a few thousand in LT1 mods will bring it up to around 400 rwhp, and likely won’t run as good as the LS1.

RELATED: Chevy LS vs Ford Modular: Which One is Actually Better?

I have nothing against the LT1 engine, but lb for lb you get way more for your dollar with the LS1 engine. Its cheaper to buy, and now in 2016 its cheaper to modify too. Many parts manufacturers have hopped on the LS bandwagon and are making a fortune doing so.

Summary

This shouldn’t have surprised you too much, but the LS1 is the clear winner here. Its lighter, costs nearly as little, makes more power, and has just as big of an aftermarket. The LT1 is a great engine, but the LS1 is an amazing engine. There’s are reason the LS1 is one of the most talked about engines in the entire world.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!

6 Reasons Why Chevy LS Engines Are So Good

Chevrolet LS Engine Family

Have you noticed that a lot of car enthusiasts are putting Chevy engines in their project cars? It almost seems like the Chevy LS is more preferred than building the factory engine. Well, there are a few good reasons why you should swap an LS engine into your project. Especially if you’re looking for high performance and reliability.

Gen III
The Chevy LS Engine was first debuted in the 1997 Chevy C5 Corvette. GM called it the “Gen III small-block” now known as the LS1. The LS1 is a 5.7L engine and it featured an all-aluminum design. It also featured coil near plug ignition, and various other new engine management features. These new features made it vastly greater than the previous generation small block. In 1998 the LS1 replaced the LT1 found in Camaros and Firebirds. Chevrolet then began producing an iron-block Gen III small block which came in the pick-up trucks and SUVs.

Gen IV
Chevrolet later produced the the “Gen IV small-block”, which featured MPG-boosting cylinder deactivation. Gen IV also featured larger displacements compared to Gen III and reengineered camshaft sensing. These were all great improvements for the LS engine family, making it a word class engine. The Gen IV family includes the LS2, LS3, super-charged LS9, supercharged LSA, and the all-mighty LS7.

6. Engine Strength

What would a good engine be without a solid foundation? Chevrolet knew that the strength of the block was extremely important when they developed the LS engine. Let’s start with the block design. Chevrolet designed the Gen III (LS) block as a “Y” block. The Y-block design helps increase rigidity in the main cap area. Previous small blocks didn’t have this design.

The Y-block design allows them to use 6 bolt main caps on the crankshaft. Four bolts are facing vertically, and two bolts horizontally that clamp the block wall to the main cap. This is what GM engineers call snap-fit cross-bolting. This design provides great crankshaft and block rigidity.

RELATED: RB26 vs 2JZ: Which One is Better and Why?

ChevyLS1

Chevrolet took it a step further by not just designing an incredibly strong bottom end, but also a strong top end. Chevy designed the block to take extra long head bolts that thread deep into the block. This minimizes cylinder bore distortion and variation in the head bolt torque spec. This can help with mass manufacturing of engines. Subaru and Toyota are currently facing these kinds of issues with the FA20.

RELATED: LS1 vs LS2: Which One is Actually Better?

Chevy also raised the camshaft up and farther away from the crank which allows them to clear a 4-inch stroke crankshaft. Chevy used a 4″ stroke crank to acheive the 7.0L displacement of the LS7. To further increase the strength of the top of the engine block they used a valley plate. The valley plate is a large plate of metal that covers the valley where the lifters reside. This increases the strength of the block by bolting each side of itself onto one metal plate.

The pistons are the weakest point in the LS engine. They are pretty strong, but when you start getting into serious performance they are the first to fail. All of this combined made the LS engine stronger and smaller than any other GM small-block before it. There are people out there making close to 1,000 horsepower on stock bottom end LS engines.

5. Price

Chevrolet has produced the LS engine since 1997, and they came in everything rear wheel drive. Since they were put in so many cars, there is a slight over abundance of them. This has kept prices fairly low, and with the rising popularity of LS swaps the prices have dropped further. You can walk into any junkyard in America and find an LS engine within a few minutes.

RELATED: Chevy LS vs Ford Modular: Which One is Better and Why?

Chevy LS Engine

Replacement parts are also very cheap, and this is due to a number of reasons. The main reason is that Chevrolet is one of the largest manufacturers in the US, and many companies make parts for Chevy products. Although some parts can be expensive, parts are generally dirt cheap compared to high performance Japanese engines.

A great example would be the world famous beater bomb. Which is the true meaning of balling-on-a-budget. Beater bomb is a world famous street racing Fox Body Mustang. He has blown up a few LS engines from spraying a ton of nitrous. Luckily all he has to do is walk into the junkyard with a couple hundred dollars to get an LS engine.

4. Displacement Options

Since the LS engine came in a variety of automobiles, Chevrolet needed to develop different size engines for different uses. Chevy trucks came with iron-block 4.8L and 5.3L they also came with all-aluminum 6.0L and 6.2L engines. Car engines came in 5.3L, 5.7L, 6.0L, 6.2L and 7.0L size engines, some configured for front-wheel-drive. There are also options when deciding if you want an iron or aluminum block.

The rise of stroker kits has also increased the amount of displacement options. The LS7 can be pretty expensive, but you can always buy a stroker 427 ci kit for your LS3. Another popular stroker size is a 383ci LS1 stroker.

RELATED: 7 Reasons to Buy a Foxbody Mustang Today

Chevy LS Burnout

If you count Chevy Performance’s LSX engines, then the biggest available LS engine would be the LSX 454 (7.4L). The cheapest of the LS engine family is the 5.3L truck engine, since it came in most of the trucks and SUVs that Chevrolet has produced. All of these engines have been pushed past 1000+ horsepower by racers, and have done so reliably.

3. Aftermarket

As you can imagine, the aftermarket for the Chevy LS has exploded since its massive rise. From just the basic bolt-ons like an intake/exhaust, all the way up the race-spec cylinder heads and turbo kits. The most common modification being a high-performance camshaft, which is really the best bang-for-buck upgrade you can do on the LS engine.

RELATED: 6 Things That Make the IROC Z28 the Ultimate Muscle Car

The rise in popularity of LS engines has also helped mold some of the world’s best engine builders into LS masters. Companies like Nelson Racing Engines have become extremely popular to do their knowledge of the LS engine. These companies really know how to get the best bang for buck performance out of them. From mild builds, to high horsepower street cars, to full race cars, companies like NRE can build you one incredible little LS engine for your application.

Built Chevy LS

Chevy also jumped into the aftermarket game of its own engine. Chevrolet Performance produces the LSX, the holy grail of Chevy engines, the most powerful being the LSX454r crate engine which produces a whopping 770 horsepower and 620 ft-lbs of torque. Chevrolet Performance also produces high strength engine blocks, as well as many other components to hop up your LS engine. The aftermarket also makes a lot of swap kits, making it a breeze to swap an Chevy LS engine into basically any automobile you want.

2. Performance

Chevy really knew what they were doing when they designed the LS engines, they designed an engine family that made good horsepower and good torque. How did they do this? The factory heads flow nearly as good as nascar heads did at the time (300+ cfm). They achieved this by using modern computer technology to test different port lengths and designed to find the best performing head design. You may be surprised by how the port shape, size, and length can affect torque and horsepower ratings.

Chevrolet also designed the intake manifold using similar technology, they aimed for the LS engine to produce usable power really low in the RPMs, and decent power up high. They also focused on small features like the cam size, they made the cam core massive, which means you can easily fit a .600+ lift cam and it won’t be that harsh on your motor.

RELATED: LS1 vs LS3: Which One is Better and Why?

All Chevy LS engines are known to respond to modifications really well, even an intake/exhaust will gain you substantial amounts of HP, the typical head/cam swap is known for gaining over 100 HP. Some people even leave the stock heads on and just have them worked over, combined with a big cam and many LS engines are making over 440rwhp with just head work and a cam. What other engine can you name that makes that much horsepower with just a cam swap?

The internet sensation, the LSX Willys Jeep, is a perfect example of this performance that can be achieved with these engines.

1. Size/Weight

Would you believe me if I told you that a 5.7L LS1 will fit into a 1.6L Mazda Miata? The LS engine family is known for having smaller proportions than its competitors engines, making it much easier to swap into cars with small engine bays. The Chevy LS platform is banned from some motorsports, because it can be swapped into smaller cars and give them an unfair edge over the competition.

The main reason that they’re such a compact engine is because of they’re “old-school” pushrod design, as well as all of the modern designs they used when designing the engine block. The push-rod design that they continue to use is unlike almost all modern engines which have overhead cams. You can achieve better performance and economy with an overhead cam, but at the cost of a much larger and heavier engine.

RELATED: LS2 vs LS3: What’s The Difference?

Thanks to the all-aluminum design, a fully dressed LS1 is nearly as light as a cast iron 4 cylinder. For example, a stock 1995 Nissan 240sx with a full tank of fuel weighs in around 2917lbs, the same car under the same circumstances with an LS1 swap weighs in at 2950lbs. Thats a gain of 32lbs, which is pretty much nothing consider you’d be gaining hundreds of lb-ft of torque, and hundreds of horsepower.

Ls1 Miata

When it comes to engine vs engine, the LS engine typically weighs less than a cast iron 4-cylinder, its not until both are fully dressed and filled with fluids that the LS engine becomes the heavier of the two. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen a 4 cylinder vs V8 debate going on and the opposing side always seems to say “heavy” whilst referring to V8’s, and specifically LS engines. But little do they know that they weigh nearly the same amount as their little 4 banger.

LS vs The World

Is the LS as good as I say it is? Well yes and no. Depending on how you look at it, the LS is the best street V8 available, but things like the Ford Modular are better race V8s. DOHC V8s such as the 1UZ, VH45DE, and Coyote are superior on paper and in design, but just don’t make as much power as cheaply as an LS.

To put this simply, there are superior V8s on the market, however the low cost of the LS makes it the better option for most people. The LS will remain king as long as its prices stay low. You can read a lot more about this topic in our Chevy LS vs Ford Modular article.

Summary

Here’s the bottom line; the LS is cheap, light, compact, and makes a ton of horsepower. It can fit into nearly anything you want, and it can be done on a tight budget. From the average Joe, to a professional racer, the LS engine is perfect for nearly anything.

There’s a lot of controversy about swapping an American engine into a Japanese car. Some call it blasphemy, and some call it genius. But with so much power, reliability, and such a large aftermarket backing, swapping an LS engine into your car just makes sense. Don’t take it from me though, check out some videos and see for yourself how fast LS swapped cars are.