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    • Handy LSA and LS9 V8 comparison reference chart and piston / rod pictures

      The LSA and LS9 V8's are very similar motors both based on the LS3 architecture. The LS3 is naturally aspirated and the LSA and LS9 both are not. The LSA was created for the Cadillac CTS-V and Camaro ZL1 both of which carry a much lower price tag than the Corvette ZR1 utilizing the LS9. So what is the difference between the two motors?

      As stated they are similar engines with the same firing order and same 6.2 liters of displacement. They have the same compression ratio, same block, same bore x stroke, but that is where the differences end.

      The LSA offers 556 horsepower and 551 lb-ft of torque. The LS9 output is 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque. To support this higher output there are significant changes. The first of which is a larger 2.3 liter supercharger.

      The LS9 also revs higher to 6600 rpm versus 6200 for the LSA. Now, that brings us to the internal difference. The pistons and rods are both difference. Most people assumed the LSA was much weaker (it is, but not weak as recent 900+ whp stock internal results show) and although its internal parts are of lower quality than the LS9 they are very strong. The LSA does not have the same titanium forged rods but forged powder metal rods. The pistons in the LSA are hypereutectic aluminum alloy. The LS9 piston is forged.

      The chart below lists a comparison between the two motors and pictures of some of the internal components are included for reference.


      LS9 piston on the right, LSA on the left:




      LS9 on the left, LSA on the right:




      LS9 forged titanium rod:






      LSA powdered metal rod:






      This article was originally published in forum thread: Handy LSA and LS9 V8 comparison reference chart and piston / rod pictures started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 7 Comments
      1. subaru335i's Avatar
        subaru335i -
        Good article. I was just looking at how cheap ZL1 Camaros have gotten and wanted to see how different the engine was from the ZR1. Sucks that it doesn't get the awesome forged titanium rods and all that.
        But damn you can get an older ZL1 for low 30's which is a lot of car for the money. What is the limit to the LSA stock blocks with bigger blower or turbos on there?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by subaru335i Click here to enlarge
        What is the limit to the LSA stock blocks with bigger blower or turbos on there?
        I'm not really sure. The Caddy guys have pushed them pretty far.
      1. subaru335i's Avatar
        subaru335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I'm not really sure. The Caddy guys have pushed them pretty far.
        Yeah I was looking into that and it look like the CTS-V is a much better buy. I really hate the Camaro and it has terrible rear visibility and a huge blind spot. The Caddy looks much better too.
        They are dirt cheap used.
      1. subaru335i's Avatar
        subaru335i -
        This is an automatic but crazy cheap
        Attachment 47242
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        That's easily worth the money. I can't believe they are that cheap, wow.
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        That is not a CTS-V, that is a base 3.6 model.
      1. subaru335i's Avatar
        subaru335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        That is not a CTS-V, that is a base 3.6 model.
        Oh seriously? I didn't look close but figured it was too good to be true. KBB is like $29k