Video: Texas Speed Builds The First LT2 Engine For Boost

When the C8 Corvette came on the scene, we jumped on the platform’s new powerplant, with an in-depth look at the engine from Jeff Smith. Since then, as the C8s have started reaching the general public, the aftermarket has been in full preparation to turn the new supercar into a hypercar. The one problem so far has been that no one has cracked the ECU yet.

That didn’t stop Peitz Performance and Emelia Hartford from putting a twin-turbocharger system on the car. After some testing, the car was deemed drivable, even without tuning. However, after some driving on the street, some unpleasant noises were heard, thanks to a bent rod. That led to the engine being pulled and sent out to the team at Texas Speed and Performance for some beefing up.

Inside The LT2

Once they got the engine, Texas Speed recorded the teardown, which provided our first look at the inside of an LT2 in the wild. As the teardown starts, we see that it uses the usual LT rocker arms, but an upgraded direct injection fuel pump.

As the valley cover comes off, there’s some question as to whether there would be the more traditional four-solenoid Active Fuel Management cylinder-deactivation system or GM’s latest eight-solenoid Dynamic Fuel Management system. The answer is, the LT2 used the older Active Fuel Management system.

The LT2 dry-sump system has three scavenge stages and one pressure stage. However, unlike a traditional four-stage dry-sump pump system, the LT2's front pump is a three-stage gerotor pump (two scavenge stages in the oil-pan, and one pressure) and is supplemented by a secondary, chain-driven pump in the valley of the engine.

Interestingly enough, the same DFM harness plug is used, but only wired for half of its receptacles. Also, unlike the old Displacement-On-Demand VLOM, the LT2’s manifold appears to incorporate the PCV as well. Beneath the DFM manifold, the valley appears to have some oil drainback to the camshaft, but a majority of the oil in the valley is captured by the oil-scavenging pump at the front of the valley.

Speaking of the LT2’s dry-sump system, the three-stage gerotor pump system uses a significantly longer crankshaft snout and mounting bolt than even the LS7. Upon removing the beefy LT2 front cover, the secondary oil-pump-drive chain and separate tensioner are revealed, all for the valley scavenge pump.

Looking inside the stock LT2 dry-sump oil pan, the scavenging system is an imposing sight, with two separate scavenging stages, in an odd arrangement. The unit’s size leads the team to wonder if it would interfere in a stroker crankshaft application.

Building For Boost

With the teardown complete, the TSP team replaced the stock connecting rods with the Texas Speed and Performance I-beam rods. Built from 4340 steel, the 6.125-inch Gen-V rods come equipped with ARP2000 bolts as standard and will hold horsepower into the four-digit range.

Also used were stock-bore Wiseco pistons with a -12cc dish, which brought the compression down from the factory 11.5:1 a little bit, to around 11.1:1, with Wiseco’s ArmorGlide skirt lubricant. While an aftermarket design, Wiseco uses the OEM angle and shape for the direct-injection pocket, since it is an extremely proven design.

The Wiseco pistons feature a -12cc dome volume, with the factory GM direct-injection pocket design. This lowers the compression ratio a touch over stock, to 11.1:1.

For the valvetrain, with no tuning solution available, the TSP team was hesitant to alter the camshaft or the AFM lifter system. However, they weren’t afraid to port the heads, putting a Precision Racing Components LT1 CNC porting program into the original heads with a CNC valve-job added, while reusing the OEM valves.

Until the ECU for the C8 can be cracked, the output of the LT2 is going to be limited, but with the lowered compression ratio and strengthened rods and pistons, this rebuilt LT2 from Texas Speed and Performance will be much better suited to handle the combination of boost and pump gas on the factory calibration.

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About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent fifteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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