Educate me on LS1 & LT1 MAFs

Coelacanth

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
I've already browsed through several threads on the LS1 & LT1 MAF sensor mods, but I'm still unclear on a few details. I guess I'll mention what I'm planning to do and hopefully you guys can recommend which to go with.

I'm going to install a K & N cone filter with 3.5" outlet, and construct my own cold air intake from 3.5" aluminum pipe. The other end will connect with a 3.5"-to-3" silicone adapter.

So, I'll be needing a 3.5" MAF pipe & sensor. Is that an LS1 or LT1? Will I need to also replace the connector/pigtail and MAF translator? I seem to remember reading the LT1 requires a different MAF translator, so I might avoid going that route to save money.

I've also seen MAF pipes with & without the honeycomb flow straightener; is it better to have it or not?

Lastly, kind of on a related note, it's supposedly an easy mod to relocate the canister to give more room to the air filter....I've read about it here and even saw some vague pictures, but I can't figure out where people are relocating it to. Apparently on the driver's side frame rail or fender...can anyone show how they relocated it there? Pictures are worth a thousand words! Thanks for the help!
 
Alright so every maf other than the 85mm z06 one have the same pigtail and will directly plug into the translator. For certain mafs like the 85mm you need the adapter pigtail because the connector on it wont fit the translator plug.

Now thr honeycomb piece that is on either end of the maf is to better disperse and direct the flow over the sensor so it reads accurately how much air is passing through. It is only necesarry before the sensor and after it, it isnt needed. The idea is to keep from not disturbing the airflow, less turbulence when not having that second screen.

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Also, to make sure it is clear both the LT1 and LS1 sensor require a translator. The LT1 sensor is 3" and the LT1 is 3.5" diameter. I have a cold air kit on my car that was made by GN1 Performance and I had to rotate the charcoal canister for a little clearance by keeping one bolt hole. I would go with the LS1 sensor and keep both honeycombs. Unless you are flowing a large amount of air it won't be a restriction and the second set of honeycomb does keep turbulence down on the backside of the sensor although as mentioned above it doesn't have a large effect in real world driving.
 
The new plastic sensors do not have any honeycombs, the old aluminum ones are no longer made, the new ones flow more and measure better
 
I would go with the LS1 sensor and keep both honeycombs.
Thanks guys & Raeban. This was what I was planning too...so LS1 MAF pipes can come in both 3" and 3.5", is that correct? And regardless of which one I go with, I'll need to change the translator too? Just to confirm. There's usually a fair number of LS1 MAF sensors on eBay at any given time but I want to make sure of what I'm doing before buying one.
 
Thanks guys & Raeban. This was what I was planning too...so LS1 MAF pipes can come in both 3" and 3.5", is that correct? And regardless of which one I go with, I'll need to change the translator too? Just to confirm. There's usually a fair number of LS1 MAF sensors on eBay at any given time but I want to make sure of what I'm doing before buying one.
I think that was a typo. Ls1 mafs are all 3.5". Any translator will work with either maf. If you don't have a translator, your will need to buy one to run an aftermarket maf.

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I think that was a typo. Ls1 mafs are all 3.5". Any translator will work with either maf. If you don't have a translator, your will need to buy one to run an aftermarket maf.
My motor is a stock '86 motor...that means I don't have a translator and will need to buy one?
 
Correct; the translator plus is an add-on item that lets the ecm read the data from the MAF; they are adjustable to different MAF s through a series of dip switch settngs.
Car wont run right (or at all...) w/o both
Its plug & play, so no problem installing.

Do_O
 
And forget the cold air kit or relocating the canister. Neither are necessary. Cold air kits help IDLE AIR ONLY. There's enough air flow to get cold air to your open filter when driving down the road. And running a filter soo big you need to relocate your charcoal canister isn't necessary either. Unless you have a 70mm turbo at 25psi, just throw on a normal 3" open air filter and be done with it. When your boost is up and you're running alky or race fuel, the size filter or where it's located won't matter any longer. Trust me. I've been down that route before.
 
And forget the cold air kit or relocating the canister. Neither are necessary. Cold air kits help IDLE AIR ONLY. There's enough air flow to get cold air to your open filter when driving down the road. And running a filter soo big you need to relocate your charcoal canister isn't necessary either. Unless you have a 70mm turbo at 25psi, just throw on a normal 3" open air filter and be done with it. When your boost is up and you're running alky or race fuel, the size filter or where it's located won't matter any longer. Trust me. I've been down that route before.
True, I'm thinking ahead for the future too. I'd like to upgrade to a TA-49 turbo, bigger injectors, Walbro hotwired fuel pump, etc. but that's not in the budget right now...I want the intake to be ready for it when the money's there. I don't want to install stuff just to remove it later if it's inadequate for the future plans.
 
The aluminum LT1 and LS1 MAF sensors are readily available in salvage yards. I bought one of the new plastic ones and it failed in short order.
 
The new plastic sensors do not have any honeycombs, the old aluminum ones are no longer made, the new ones flow more and measure better
From my understanding the new LT1 MAF's have internal IAT sensors in them? Mine came with a 5 pin to 3 pin connector to connect to the the translator.......... Is there a way to utilize this internal IAT sensor with an adapter? I know there was a way to use them on the 85mm MAF's
 
Just as a thought you could look into the speed density setup where you do not use a maf at all......I currently run a LS! maf...its been there for years. However if the maf or the translator takes a crap I am going to get rid of that setup and go maf less!
 
The LT1 MAF is aluminum and is 3". The LS1 early MAFs are aluminum and 3.5". The newer replacement LS MAFs are plastic and have no restrictions in them. The plastic ones come with an adapter to the old style plug so it will plug to the Translator. The Zo6 is not quite 4". It's best to work widest to narrowest to the turbo so if you have a 3.5" air filter go to the LS style MAF with a straight coupler and then down to a 3" MAF pipe to the turbo. The Translator is pretty much plug and play. Speed density does eliminate the MAF but at the cost of a much more complicated tuning system. It's for more experienced tuners that are willing to take the time to understand how to "tune".
 
From my understanding the new LT1 MAF's have internal IAT sensors in them? Mine came with a 5 pin to 3 pin connector to connect to the the translator.......... Is there a way to utilize this internal IAT sensor with an adapter? I know there was a way to use them on the 85mm MAF's
false they do not have an IAT, they do come with a plug adapter however but it is 3 to 3
 
So going with a 3.5" aluminum LS1 MAF seems to be the way to go...people here are saying MAF upgrades are "plug-n-play" but it's anything but, other than the physical installation. With a 3.5" LS1 MAF, what exactly will I need to get it to work? Will I reconnect my existing IAT? Will this need an adapter? From the sounds of it, I'll need to also buy a MAF translator. Pardon my ignorance but the more info I read, the more conflicting the info gets! I'm certainly no stranger to working on engines but I'm used to pre-smogged out, non-computerized big blocks. :confused:
 
Keep it simple, buy a LS1 or Z06 MAF and a translator. Check out www.fullthrottlespeed.com for both, there are a few different ones available. If you run a TT chip, buy the basic Translator, if you have an Extender chip, you can get some benefits from the Translator Pro or Translator Gen II but most likely never use them unless you're an expert tuner. Looks like they have a kit also with Z06 MAF and basic Translator for $349.99. The IAT sensor can be left hanging out, it doesn't need to be plugged into anything. Directions will come with the Translator on how to set the dip switches.
 
Don't worry about your iat sensor. Just let it hang for now. Get the maf of your choice (honestly, at this stage it makes no difference. get the cheapest one you can find. none of them is going to hold you back) and a translator and plug them in. They should be set to run right out of the box. The fine tuning will be on you, but with this board it shouldn't be hard. If you don't already have a chip, get a modern street chip and you'll be ok. As far as a TA49 and injectors, I'd forget about them for now. That's a SUPER small upgrade. Almost not worth doing. Get what you have now running really good. Drive that around for a while. Once you've mastered how this all works, think about a new turbo and 60 or 80 pound injectors for the future.

Look on your boost gauge and make sure it's on 15psi. Put 93 in there and tune that until it's solid and can RUN solid for more than A WEEK STRAIGHT. These cars are like 34,000 years old. Just because you got your ducks in a row this week, doesn't mean that next week won't bring you something new to play with, like yet another vacuum leak, or a corroded wire connection. Verify through time, that your current set up is RELIABLE. You'll thank me later.
 
Your air filter, 3.5" to 3.5" coupler, Translator, LS MAF, 3.5" to 3" coupler, 3" MAF pipe, 3" to 3" coupler, 3-3.5" clamps, 3-3" clamps, long strip of Velcro to hang the IAT sensor where ever convienent, leave plugged in. Give me your credit card number, I'll order them for you.:kiss:
 
false they do not have an IAT, they do come with a plug adapter however but it is 3 to 3
Not false...
Sooo.... let me ask again..... do the 5pin newer plastic maf have an IAT in them? If not, what is the additional 2 pins for.....

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