How to bulletproof a Chevy C5 Corvette for track duty

J.G.
By J.G. Pasterjak
Feb 21, 2024 | Chevrolet, Corvette, c5, GRM+, Project car | Posted in Shop Work , Suspension & Handling , Tires & Wheels , Features | From the Feb. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: ABI Photo

More power is great. Until it starts breaking stuff. We added more than 75 wheel horsepower to our C5 Corvette Z06 when we swapped out the original LS6 for a crate LS3. But what are the ramifications of 560-plus crank horsepower for a drivetrain designed around a 405-horsepower V8? Weak links were revealed, and we needed to address them. 

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Comments
Willymakeit
Willymakeit
1/12/22 6:13 p.m.

Like the Z06 info

jv8
jv8 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/13/22 1:13 p.m.

So starting with a bone stock C5Z, what is the budget to get where you are now?

zrtman
zrtman New Reader
1/13/22 3:54 p.m.

Huge oil cooler, trans cooler and diff cooler. And a real mechanical oil pressure gauge.. the stock gauge is dampened and will not show the oil pressure drops under hard braking..

jv8
jv8 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/14/22 10:01 a.m.

JG - will you give us a budget breakdown for the upgrades currently on the GRM Z06?

 

deaconblue
deaconblue New Reader
3/13/22 8:14 p.m.
zrtman said:

Huge oil cooler, trans cooler and diff cooler. And a real mechanical oil pressure gauge.. the stock gauge is dampened and will not show the oil pressure drops under hard braking.

Don't forget about a HD fabricated aluminum radiator.

The later '01-04 C5 2- pcs bat-wing oil pan should always be fitted with the Improved Racing trap door baffle kit.

Stock C5 front calipers tend to spread.  The stock C6 base calipers are somewhat stronger and are direct bolt-on replacements with the same C5 mounting calipers and rotors.  You can also upgrade to the slightly larger C6 Z51 rotors (340mm vs 325mm) and taller C5 Z51 mounting caliper brackets.  Of course serious road course duty requires a "real" BBK.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
3/14/22 1:03 p.m.
jv8 said:

JG - will you give us a budget breakdown for the upgrades currently on the GRM Z06?

 

So, this is just off the top of my head using prices at the time of acquisition. Prices on alot of this stuff has changed at the moment. But I'll prepare a final tally with better numbers at some point. Also, there are pretty round numbers. There's a LOT of nickel-and-dime stuff hiding around the edges:

Base crate motor: $9000

Aviaid Dry Sump: $4000

Additional oil control, plumbing and cooling: $1000

Radiator: $600

Headers and exhaust: $1000

AMT Suspension: $3000

Ridetech/Fox Coilovers: $4500

Wilwood AERO6 brakes and 4 piston rears: $5500

Holley Dominator EFI and 7" dash: $3500

Misc safety (bar, seat, belts): $1500

Mantic Clutch: $2300

Trans and rear end rebuild: $5500

Hubs: $1500

Hurst Shifter: $350

RHR and Nine Lives Aero: Probably $3000 or so? Hard to say since there's been a lot of fab work on our end, too.

Of course none of this includes labor, or stuff we replaced multiple times, and I'm also leaving out a lot of "OEM" services like rebuilding the torque tube and whatnot.

Lowandslow
Lowandslow
2/3/23 5:59 p.m.

JG - seeing that you don't have a cooler setup for the differential and transmission, have you had any kind of issues of transmission/differential overheating?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/3/23 9:22 p.m.
Lowandslow said:

JG - seeing that you don't have a cooler setup for the differential and transmission, have you had any kind of issues of transmission/differential overheating?

This was something I talked to the crew at GearFX about and their rationale was that if this was going to be mostly a TT car, running maybe 10-12 minutes flat out most times, that it probably wouldn't be necessary. Remember we did a lot of polishing inside the trans,and replaced the clutch diff with a gear diff, both of which are going to lower frictional heat. So we never really saw the additional complication and weight as necessary. For cars that are running longer sessions, though, it might not be a bad idea. Honestly I'd check and see what the NASA Spec Corvette guys are doing. They probably have some excellent data on drivetrain wear in well-known session lengths.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/4/23 7:25 p.m.

Never add it all up.  Even if asked.  Just don't do it.  You'll start to question why you even play with cars.

theruleslawyer
theruleslawyer New Reader
2/21/24 6:09 p.m.

The afe power driveline mounts are really expensive options these days. HPI makes a near identical one for like $200 or you can get ebay copies for like $80. The AMT mount mounts are a better deal. There are also cheaper hubs now too. MPI makes a set that is significantly cheaper.

https://www.mechanicalpower.net/shop/product/automotive/racing-performance-30-spline-brake-hub-assembly/

 

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