LS Fun C4

My first real car was our 1986 Chevrolet Corvette. Now, previously I’d driven a 85 GMC Jimmy and a 97 Chevy Blazer, but those weren’t mine. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the ’86, and am glad that it’s still in the family. However, it’s currently my sister’s car, and she has utterly trashed the thing (crashed it, ruined a full paint job, nearly destroyed the motor a few times, trashed the interior). I already know that when she’s “done” with it, my dad will be taking it back and likely driving it some, and eventually it’ll end up back in my hands when he’s done with it.

Some web browsing over the past few days as I’ve been replacing the heater core in the ’86 revealed to me an interesting fact – it’s not uncommon, or difficult for that matter, to swap in an LS1 (or better) Corvette motor in to the C4. For those of you not familiar with Corvette motors, “LS1” is the aluminum engine that sits under the hood of my 2001 Corvette, and it’s a family of motors that’s continued into the C6 generation as well. To say that this prospect excites me is an understatement. I’ve always considered the 86’s engine and transmission to be a blast to drive, but quite lacking in overall power and rev range. The LS1 solves these issues right out of the box without any changes needed. So… now I just have to wait for that fateful day to come, and cross my fingers that my sister doesn’t completely destroy the car before then.

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8 Responses to LS Fun C4

  1. Dan says:

    It saddens me to hear how your sister is treating the ‘vette. Once the kids have completely moved on, and I no longer require a 4 seater, I plan to buy my first vette. I’m not sure atm which model I plan to get, because that will all depend on time, but no matter what version, it would definitely be respected.

    • flaagan flaagan says:

      My recommendation would be a low mileage, 2001 or newer C5. If prices have dropped enough (or are within your price range), a mid / late model C6 is also recommended. The C4’s are fun cars but you’re going to end up with a bit of work on them no matter what, so that’s a fair warning on that. The ’73 and earlier C3’s are fun, but may need a horsepower bump.

  2. Dan says:

    It will mainly be about affordability when the time comes. I really love the first gen (50’s) vettes, but obviously, those aren’t easy to come by, especially here in Michigan.

    I wasn’t as big of a fan of the 80’s generation, but still like them. I loved them at the time (it’s when I fell in love with Corvettes), but I like the other generations better.

    BUT who knows. Maybe I’ll be better off financially when the time comes, and I’ll get a new vette (depending on where things go). They are starting to make the driver’s compartment smaller, and being 6’5″, I may no longer fit a new one, if they keep shrinking things 😉

    • Dan says:

      Damn, that was suppose to be a reply to your reply 😉

      btw, what’s the latest progress on the Mog? Anything new coming along?

      • flaagan flaagan says:

        Nothing new on the Mog as of late, project’s been sidetracked due to weather, space, free time, family stuff, etc etc etc. I’m at the point where the new chassis needs to be built, and I unfortunately think it could sit at that point for a couple of years now.

        As far as the interior space goes, I’m 6’4″ / 230 lb and the C5’s comfortable. I can’t personally comment on the C6 but I know a number of guys my size and bigger who own them with no complaints.

        • Dan (notman) says:

          When I was at GM, the Corvette was one of my responsibilities, but unfortunately, I never got to drive one. The execs kept stealing with the ones I had signed out for testing.

          Anyway, I was there when the C6 was in development, and the Cadillac XLR came first. So I actually got to work on the XLR, before losing my job, when they started the cutbacks. I couldn’t fit into the XLR. I had to have a coworker drive it for me. The main reason was because the XLR has that convertible hardtop, so the seats couldn’t budge. I know the C6 didn’t suffer that condition, it just worries me that GM may do something stupid like that to the vette some day.

          • flaagan flaagan says:

            My dad’s got an ’06 XLR, I can drive that just fine, granted I’m no fan of how it rides (too soft for my tastes).

          • Dan (notman) says:

            Really? I had to press the gas pedal with my toes, and only near the bottom. My shin hit the dash, so my leg couldn’t physically bend to reach it 🙁

            I didn’t like where they put the power band, but it’s the northstar engine, which wasn’t meant to have low end torque. It’s meant to move when you’re rolling at 50mph, for the old guys 😉 It’s still fast, but I prefer to take off hard.

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