What Is Special About L82 Corvette Engine?

The L82 corvette engine proved to be exceptionally well-thought-out with the toughness to withstand much punishment.

Sadly, this particular engine couldn’t match the reputation for output enjoyed by other, more recognizable small blocks, such as the LT-1.

Let’s take a look at my article to know the details of this engine!

What Is A L82 Corvette Engine?

l82 corvette engine

The General Motors (GM) L82 is a 5.3 liter, eight-cylinder powerplant for semi-trucks.

The L82 belongs to GM’s Gen V Small Block powerplant technology and has an Overhead Valve (OHV), also referred to as a “pushrod” approach in a “V” shape.

EcoTec3 was the name given to this powerplant in trucks and SUVs.

The L-82 Corvette debuted in 1973 as the smog-tuned replacement for the first LT-1.

It was estimated at 250 net hp at 5,200 speed and 285 lb-ft of performance at 4,000 revolutions per minute and featured a 9.0:1 compression rating, 2.02-inch intake/1.60-inch throttle bodies, and automatic rockers.

Chevrolet tried to fulfill shifting emissions and energy efficiency rules, therefore horsepower figures changed yearly.

The L-82’s engine power fluctuated from 205 in 1975 to a maximum of 250 in 1973–1974. The L82 was capable of producing 230 hp in 1980, the final years of its manufacture.

The L-82 features four-bolt difficulties moly rings, coated aluminum heads valve encompasses, pushrod guide plates, a long-duration camshaft, a steel-forged crankshaft, and big port heads for the cylinders.

It also has starters.

L82 Corvette Engine History

Like many GM small-blocks, the 265ci V8 that initially appeared under the hood of the Corvette in 1955 gave way to the 350 cubic-inch L82. 

When the 265 cubic-inch tiny blocks were introduced, it contributed to the Corvette’s increased appeal. It functioned as the prototype for many legendary Corvette engines that would follow.

The 265ci small block underwent some changes over the following 20 years before stabilizing on a 350 cubic-inch configuration.

This larger small-block engine bay from General Motors was to go on to develop into one of its hallmark models and find employment in several settings.

Midway through the 1960s, GM started making big-block horsepower available as an option for the Corvette’s engine.

This pattern would develop concurrently with small-block manufacture for about ten years.

The automobile sector, however, saw a wave of revolution in the 1970s.

Several big-block motors could no longer be produced due to the widespread adoption of recently passed pollution regulations.

Such block engines were no longer offered as options for the Corvette until the middle of the 1970s.

The Corvette design staff narrowed its focus to small-block manufacturing only, although even those engines were adversely affected by the age’s emission standards.

The enduring 350 cubic-inch V8 from GM had more changes to comply with.

There were two 350 cubic-inch tiny block variations available for the 1973 generation year, with the L82 being the most efficient.

L82 Corvette Engine Specifications And Technical Configurations

corvette l82 engine

The four-bolt core structure forged cylinder head of the Corvette L82  engine held a steel-forged crankshaft.

An assortment of 5.700″ forging connection cables, known as GM’s “pink” pistons among those in the automobile industry because of a unique pink label that they acquired, were fitted to the steel crankshaft, as mentioned earlier.

Manufactured aluminum pistons with a 3.48″ stroke were affixed to the opposite end of the aforementioned connecting rods and reciprocated within 4.00″ cylinder bores.

The 9.0.1 coefficient of compression found in the L82, which was substantially lower than that of the LT-1 small block preceding it, is also worthy of attention.

The 750 cfm 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet engine block was exponentially mounted in a dual-plane aluminum intake, providing air for the Chevy L82 engine.

Additionally, the standard was finned aluminum valve encompasses, which contributed to their aesthetic appeal.

The 210 hp at 5,500 RPM that the 1973 Corvette powered by the L82 engine produced markedly underperformed earlier 350 cubic-inch small-blocks.

The L82 outperformed the Corvette standard engine’s capacity by 30 hp.

The Difference Between L48 And L82 Corvette Engine


Chevy installed the L48 350 motor in the Nova for a year after it was established in the Camaro to power the vehicle.

Starting in 1969, the L48 was available as an automatic or an extra on most Chevys.

It had a milder cam than the 327 but produced around 20 more horsepower. In 1975, it featured an 8.2 to 1 coefficient of compression, which helped it produce a 165 hp engine.

A year later, production reached 180. A new dual exhaust funnel air filter was added to the 1979 Corvette L82 specs to increase performance to 195.

In 1980, Chevrolet unveiled the L81, a new iteration of the L48 that was functionally identical to the L48 but included automatic steering, ignition advance, and suction advance.


Chevy increased the compression ratio to create the high-performance L82 in 1975 and employed a four-barrel Rochester carburetor and dual-plane aluminum intake manifolds.

It produced 205 horsepower with a 9-to-1 reduction in compression. In 1976, output rose to 210 hp engine and 255-foot lbs of torque.

The L82’s capacity increased once more to 220 hp two years later.

Chevy upgraded the L82’s cylinders in 1979, giving it a 10.2-to-1 reduction in compression, and a new camshaft to increase performance cars to 225, before raising it to 230 in 1980.

Differing Features

The L82 engine for sale has numerous elements that were not present in the L48.

Larger cylinders and controls, four-bolt mains power, a steel-forged crank, unique pistons, and aluminum intakes were all features of the L82.

While the cam of the L82 is more powerful, the L48’s cam is practically comparable. The L48’s cylinders measured 1.94 inches, whereas the L82’s were 2.02 inches.

The L48 had a cast motor, two-bolt mains power, and an iron-cast combustion manifold. In 1980, the L48 gained an aluminum intake.


chevy l82 engine

How Much HP Does L82 Engine Have?

The 210 hp at 5,500 RPM that the 1973 Corvette powered by the L82 engine option generated markedly underperformed earlier 350 cubic-inch small-blocks.

However, the L82 outperformed the Corvette’s basic engine’s performance version by 30 power.

How Do You Know If You Have A L82 Corvette?

For L82 having a conventional gearbox, the stamp plate on the combustion block’s left side front behind the valve cap should be marked with ZBA along the final two digits of your VIN, and ZBB for L82 with an automatic gearbox.

How Rare Is A L82 Corvette?

A great sleeper engine application was the L82. A motorsport block and cylinders engine with 6000+ rpm was used.

The standard Corvette L82 from 1973 could reach peak speeds of nearly 140 miles per hour and average mid-14s in the 1/4 mile.

It was the only truly capable engine application offered by Chevrolet between 1973 to 1980.


After this article, I will ensure you can know about the L82 Corvette engine.

The L82 had a fairly restricted range of applications because it was only used in the Corvette and Camaro. Nevertheless, the L82 is frequently considered a workaholic due to its durability.

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