1981 Corvette

1981 Corvette Performance & Specifications

Powertrain, Steering, Brakes, Dimensions, & Suspension

The 1981 model year marked a significant milestone in the history of the Corvette.  While the car itself would primarily be a carryover from the previous model year, it was announced that Corvette production would move from the old St. Louis plant to a brand-new, high-tech facility located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Read More: 1981 Chevrolet Corvette Research Center

1981 Corvette Specifications

1981 Corvette Main Specs

MODEL: 1981 Chevrolet Corvette
BODY STYLE: Two-door coupe, front engine, rear wheel drive
MANUFACTURING LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri & Bowling Green, Kentucky
CONSTRUCTION: Frame features a cross-member for transmission (with bolting assembly for transmission). The frame is all welded (full length), ladder constructed. The full frame includes four cross-members and is sealed with a corrosion resistant material. The body is constructed of a corrosion-resistant, steel-reinforced fiberglass. The front bumper features a honeycomb cushion system. The rear energy-absorbing bumper features twin hydraulic shock absorbers. The hood and doors are constructed of fiberglass and feature a double-panel construction method. The roof assembly features two removable roof panels.
VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN):
1G1AY8764BS400001 – 1G1AY8764BS431611 (St. Louis)
1G1AY8764B5100001 – 1G1AY8764B5108995 (Bowling Green)
ENGINE SUFFIX: ZDA: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ZDB: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
ZDC: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ZDD: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER: 14010207: ALL
HEAD NUMBER: 462624: ALL
CARBURETOR NUMBERS: ROCHESTER Q-jet #17081217: 350 C.I., 190HP,MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17081218: 350 C.I., 190HP, AUTOMATIC, CALIF. EMISSIONS
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17081228: 350 C.I., 190HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER: 1103443: ALL
ALTERNATOR NUMBER: 1101075, 1101085, 1103088, 1103091, 1103103
AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
OJ: 2.87:1 RATIO, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
OK: 2.72:1 RATIO, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE: AUG., 1980: 400775 DEC., 1980: 415234 APR., 1981: 426422, SEP., 1980: 404136 JAN., 1981: 418399 MAY, 1981: 428003, OCT., 1980: 408594 FEB., 1981: 421392 JUN., 1981: 429775, NOV., 1980: 412124 MAR., 1981: 424742 JUL., 1981:

1981 Corvette Powertrain Specifications

Engine: L81 (All States Except California) L81 (California)
Order Code:
 RPO L81  RPO L81
Engine Type:  V-8 OHV   V-8 OHV
Piston Displacement (Litres):  5.7 Litres   5.7 Litres
Number of Cylinders:  8  8
Bore & Stroke (Nominal):  4.00 x 3.48  4.00 x 3.48
Compression Ratio:  8.2:1  8.2:1
Firing Order:  1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2  1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
Idling Speed
Manual Trans. (In Neutral): 700 RPM  700 RPM
Automatic Trans (In Drive):  500 RPM  500 RPM
Powerplant Mount Locations:  2 front and 1 rear, compression type.  2 front and 1 rear, compression type.
Carburetor:  4-Barrel   4-Barrel
Net Brake Horsepower @ RPM:   190 BHP @ 4200 RPM   190 BHP @ 4200 RPM
Net Torque (lb/ft) @ RPM:   280 lb/ft @ 1600 RPM
Cylinder Block
Material: Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron
Bore: 3.9995 – 4.0025 3.9995 – 4.0025
Bore Spacing (Centerline to Centerline): 4.4 4.4
Bearing Caps (Number & Material): 5, Gray Iron; 2-bolts 5, Gray Iron; 2-bolts
Water Jackets: Full length around each cylinder Full length around each cylinder
Cylinder Head  
Material: Light weight cast iron Light weight cast iron
Bolt Number: 34 34
Bolt Size: .4375 diameter; 14 threads/inch .4375 diameter; 14 threads/inch
Inlet Manifold  
Material: Aluminum Aluminum
Type: 8 port, double deck 8 port, double deck
Exhaust Manifold  
Material: Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron
Type: Rams Horn Rams Horn
Outlet Diameter (Nominal): 2.50 2.50
Crankshaft   
Material: Nodular Cast Iron Nodular Cast Iron
Drive: .002 – .007 .002 – .007
Gear: 6 6
Bearings: 1.74 1.74
Torsional Damper: Sintered Iron Sintered Iron
Timing Gear: Sintered Iron; sprocket and chain Sintered Iron; sprocket and chain
Pulley Pitch Diameter: 7.58 7.58
Main Bearings Precision Removable Precision Removable
Camshaft  
Material: Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron
Drive: Chain Chain
Gear: Nylon Teeth with Aluminum Hub Nylon Teeth with Aluminum Hub
Bearings: 5; Steel Backed Babbitt 5; Steel Backed Babbitt
Pistons  
Material: Cast Aluminum Alloy Cast Aluminum Alloy
Head Type: Sump Head Sump Head
Skirt Type: Closed Skirt Closed Skirt
Top Land Clearance: .597 – .825 (.0235 – .0325) .597 – .825 (.0235 – .0325)
Skirt Clearance: .018 – .043 (.0007 – .0017) .018 – .043 (.0007 – .0017)
Piston Pin Material: Chromium Steel Chromium Steel
Pin Mounting: Locked in rod by shrink fit Locked in rod by shrink fit
Valve Timing (Crankshaft/Deg. Excl. Ramps)  
Intake Valve
– Opens – BTC: 38 degrees 38 degrees
– Closes – ABC: 92 degrees 92 degrees
– Duration: 310 degrees 310 degrees
Exhaust Valve:
– Opens – BBC: 88 degrees 88 degrees
– Closes – ATC: 52 degrees 52 degrees
– Duration: 320 degrees 320 degrees

1981 Corvette