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Thread: What's needed for c5 z06 track prep?

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    JJ1
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    Default What's needed for c5 z06 track prep?

    I've been considering a c5 z06 for a lightly prepped track/ street car. I know there's a lot of experienced vette guys here and thought this would be the best place for gathering info. I'd like to add whatever cooling mods are needed and learn about whatever preventive maintenance needs to be done. On top of that, I'd like to remove the cats (in a way that makes replacing them as easy as possible due to CA smog), do brake pads (unless more is needed), get a good shock/ tire/ wheel package and add a seat. I plan on driving my car from San Diego to the typical SoCal tracks for track days so reliability is a big one for me.
    In a nutshell:
    1) What years should I look for and why? What mileage starts to worry you? Any options I want or should avoid?

    2) What does it need for reliability? Im pretty sure a rad and oil cooler but what's tried and true? Any other big maintenance items? Stock calipers work ok?

    3) What's the best way to delete the cats?

    Thanks
    JJ

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Stock calipers only work if you drive it slow. Plan on a BBK up front at least. Not sure if used C6Z brakes are a better deal, fit or worthwhile compared to aftermarket BBK's.
    I have a C6Z which suffers many of the same weaknesses as the C5Z. I love the OEM brakes though. Good feel and pad wear, no fading on 100tw tires. On the rare occasions I take it to the track, I drive it pretty quickly.

    -Big brakes can restrict wheel choice which affects tire choice so plan ahead before pulling the trigger on brakes.
    -Coolant runs hot so plan on a better radiator.
    -Oil temps run hot so plan on slightly heavier wt oil and at least a small oil cooler. I run Amsoil 10w40 street oil with a slightly larger reservoir which keeps temps/pressures happy for 3-4 laps in the hottest weather.
    I'd need a proper aftermarket cooler with -12 lines to last a full 25 minutes in hot weather.
    -Trans runs hot. If you are still learning and not going to run full 20 minute sessions at maximum pace, you might get by OK w/o a trans cooler. OTOH, if you plan to run bigger R comps and are a fast consistent driver, plan on a trans cooler.
    -The LS6 is a pretty bombproof engine provided it has a good oil supply. It will oil starve in long turns but isn't as sensitive as the LS7 in the C6Z. Accusump is the easy fix.
    Full race setup involves an aftermarket dry sump or extensively baffled/gated wet sump with external pump.

    The level of prep for HPDE in any production car is a mix of the platforms inherent weaknesses and driver ability. A newb driver in a Miata in cool weather needs a roll bar and helmet. An advanced driver in a C5Z in hot weather is going to drop $12k before it's really bombproof.
    While that may seem like a lot, keep in mind it'll still be a sub $35k build that will smoke a lot of high dollar equipment with the right driver. If you have the budget, over prep it. If you are on a tighter budget and know you won't drive it to its limit, you can economize here and there.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    What E said -^, especially about the stock brakes sucking.

    I think the diff will get hot.
    I've heard the stock bushings can walk out of their places, probably a bigger issue with sticky tires
    Your carpets will shrink if they are made of the same stuff as the C6. Makes the interior look bad when they pop out from under the tranny tunnel.
    All rubber boots in the suspension will quickly crack and rupture being next to the brakes, you'll probably want to wrap them.
    Watch out for lots of crank damper wobble, the crank bolt can back out.
    You'll be going fast enough that you should really have a cage, containment, harness, hans, nets.

    Have you considered an S2000 instead?
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Wow, I didn't realize the Corvettes had so many needs to drive on track. Or I guess drive fast on track.
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    I have to kinda agree with Rob. If you intend to do many HPDE's and can drive fast, pause for a moment and seriously think about how fast you are willing to crash in it. I know it's an uncomfortable thought but
    ya gotta man up and face it. If you accept the risk, so be it. Everyone has the right to decide for themselves. If you deny there is risk, you're a dummy though.
    A Spec Miata has just enough cage to protect its driver in most types of crashes at the speeds it's capable of going. A big off at the speeds a C5Z with sticky tires is capable of going doesn't leave many big pieces.

    I don't track mine much for two reasons. One it has no non-OEM safety equipment whatsoever. Two, I don't want to mess it up. I race a Miata and beat the **** out of it. The C6Z gets driven at 8/10 a few laps at a time. 9/10 briefly when there is nothing to hit and the oil temps look good.
    Sorry to sound like an old maid, just doing the standard THQ reality check. Once it's caged, it truly sucks as a street car.

    Whichever route you choose, be safe and have fun.
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    JJ1
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    I've been driving on track for about 6yrs pretty regularly. I'm a red group driver with SV. I think in general a pro driver will find a sec or two more than me driving well. I'm familiar with safety equipment and street vs track compromises and risk. I've owned an driven an s2000 and tracked it in various set ups and was actually looking to get another one (just sold my 996) but wanted to drive a lightly prepped c5 z06 because they're cheap, can be made reliable and seem like a fun track car. I haven't had a high powered car and just wanted to scratch that itch. So with that in mind I'm hoping to see what specifically it takes to set up a c5 and get an idea on the total costs. From there I can make an informed decision.

    I assumed radiator/ oil cooler was needed but what specific set ups have been tried and true? Can I get away with no transaxle cooler if I take it easy? Can I skip the accusump if I'm on NT01s?

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Ultimately no one here can tell you exactly what you need because we don't know what kind of loads you're going to put on the car. If you seek others to help you rationalize answers that you have already predetermined, basically support your confirmation bias, that won't happen either. You got to be honest with yourself. If you know you're going to beat on it, prepare accordingly.
    If you are confident that you can drive it with some real discipline..

    Your questions should not be about how fast everyone thinks you're going to drive. The questions should be something like "Hey I'm going to beat the crap out of my c5z, what do I need to do to make it not go boom?" Then you decide offline how fast you think you're going to go and use the advice given here.
    WWW.949RACING.COM
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    But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    So assuming you don't care at all about your personal safety, try this:

    Buy a C5Z06 with whatever miles on it. Just do a compression/leakdown test to make sure the engine isn't about to quit. Change to the best brake fluid you can buy and very high temp pads.
    Buy some cheap R compounds, like maybe the new federal if they are in the right sizes. Could use another pair of c5z06 rear wheels on the front. Water and water wetter in the coolant.

    Track it in winter and/or only 15 minutes a session. Never at Laguna or Sonoma, only socal.

    Watch coolant and oil temps carefully. Oil over 300 probably means it's time to wrap up that session.

    Do that a few days. Rain days preferred, you'll fly around the cabin less at least until you hit something

    If it's been a mistake, you can turn around and sell everything without losing much. Or you can decide to start throwing money at it to make it safer and tougher.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    I'm still racing a C5Z06. Best data i could give is when a bunch of us ran them in SCCA T1 on the 2012 and prior rule set. All you needed was remote clutch bleed line, ron davis radiator with integral oil cooler and LPE oil bypass block or you can run an external oil cooler, tranny and diff cooler run at the rear license plate or rear brake duct holes, $7 C6Z or anyone elses expensive front brake ducts, SKF hubs, 18" wheels front and rear if you run big brake kit.
    Big brakes are optional but cut down on headache and expense. Tway is super fast and did T1 with modified Stock calipers and won races when the rest of us ran either hardbar's AP front BBK or in my case Stoptechs 4 caliper T1 kit that was developed on my car. Stock brakes we were killing a set of pads in a weekend and cracked rotors in 3 track days. With the stoptechs I use 1 set of rotors per year and 2 sets of pads. Ryan Cashin was on stock T1 shocks and was always a front runner. Penske doubles are an option and still only about $3500/set. T1 swaybars were about $800. A quaife diff is about 1000-1500 if you want that. We did push out the T1 rubber bushings but that was a classing problem. SCCA allowed delrin or poly and all our problems went away. You want that anyway because with suspension stichion of rubber you just can't scale the car properly. I just rebuilt my LS6 and it cost $6000. I also had Turnkey build me a LS6 scratch new from GM parts also $6000. The LS6 runs great if you don't do more than +200rpm on the RPM limit and accusump does nothing because it ejects its oil too fast for a long sweeper. The stock LS6 batwing oilpan +1 qt per the GM manual is all that is needed. My motor never blew up I wore it out and I raced for years on a number of different tracks around the country. . The LS6 motor was best of the LS line. The LS3 and LS7 ate more motor parts and needed drysump which came with LS7 and did not appear in the LS3 until the GS model. Before that lots of LS3 motors went bang. LS2 got no respect like LS1 motors...just not enough HP.

    C5Z06 is a smoking fast platform even today. SCCA just gave C5Z06 +75lbs for 2017 while making the C6 platform more powerful and less weight with wider tires! Now I have to race at 3525min weight for my nearly stock class starting near 3600lbs!
    Last edited by fatbillybob; 01-01-2017 at 11:43 PM.

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    JJ1
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    I'm still racing a C5Z06. Best data i could give is when a bunch of us ran them in SCCA T1 on the 2012 and prior rule set. All you needed was remote clutch bleed line, ron davis radiator with integral oil cooler and LPE oil bypass block or you can run an external oil cooler, tranny and diff cooler run at the rear license plate or rear brake duct holes, $7 C6Z or anyone elses expensive front brake ducts, SKF hubs, 18" wheels front and rear if you run big brake kit.
    Big brakes are optional but cut down on headache and expense. Tway is super fast and did T1 with modified Stock calipers and won races when the rest of us ran either hardbar's AP front BBK or in my case Stoptechs 4 caliper T1 kit that was developed on my car. Stock brakes we were killing a set of pads in a weekend and cracked rotors in 3 track days. With the stoptechs I use 1 set of rotors per year and 2 sets of pads. Ryan Cashin was on stock T1 shocks and was always a front runner. Penske doubles are an option and still only about $3500/set. T1 swaybars were about $800. A quaife diff is about 1000-1500 if you want that. We did push out the T1 rubber bushings but that was a classing problem. SCCA allowed delrin or poly and all our problems went away. You want that anyway because with suspension stichion of rubber you just can't scale the car properly. I just rebuilt my LS6 and it cost $6000. I also had Turnkey build me a LS6 scratch new from GM parts also $6000. The LS6 runs great if you don't do more than +200rpm on the RPM limit and accusump does nothing because it ejects its oil too fast for a long sweeper. The stock LS6 batwing oilpan +1 qt per the GM manual is all that is needed. My motor never blew up I wore it out and I raced for years on a number of different tracks around the country. . The LS6 motor was best of the LS line. The LS3 and LS7 ate more motor parts and needed drysump which came with LS7 and did not appear in the LS3 until the GS model. Before that lots of LS3 motors went bang. LS2 got no respect like LS1 motors...just not enough HP.

    C5Z06 is a smoking fast platform even today. SCCA just gave C5Z06 +75lbs for 2017 while making the C6 platform more powerful and less weight with wider tires! Now I have to race at 3525min weight for my nearly stock class starting near 3600lbs!
    Great info! I saw your PM, I was planning on giving you a ring today.
    So for HPDE work would you say tranny/ diff cooler is a must? Are they separate coolers or do they share fluid like the 911 transaxle? What are t1 shocks? Thanks!

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    Captain Planet tq3z's Avatar
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    Damn not one chest hair joke? Or even the ole gold chain?

    Where the f*ck am I?

    You've changed, THQ.
    Do you understand?

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    SCCA just gave C5Z06 +75lbs for 2017 while making the C6 platform more powerful and less weight with wider tires! Now I have to race at 3525min weight for my nearly stock class starting near 3600lbs!
    Entirely possible they want the old cars to go away, rather than trying to make them equal.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    I have so much information I am not sure where to start. I will try and freestyle my thoughts in a cohesive and chronological order of what you will experience tracking a C5.
    • In stock form on stock tires they are a fast and reliable car. You will find that you will end up with the Bose speaker logo embossed on your left thigh as you start to drive the car hard, even on street tires. Stock seats won't hold you well at all.
    • All the temps will be fine below 75 degrees. As the temps go up above 80-85 degrees you will get a high tranny warning on the manual perhaps by the middle of the fourth session. Engine oil temps and perhaps water will be high by then, too. All that happens faster, twice as fast on a 95 degree day if you flog the car.
    • Adding better brake fluid is advisable, but I don't expect it to boil stock that I have seen. Brake pads are a must. I like ST43-47s. Hawk DTC60-70s are great too, I race on them.
    • To drive in the spring through fall, add the Dewitts or preferably the Ron Davis Corvette radiators. Add additional coolers for the engine oil, tranny and diff in that order.
    • A seat and harness bar are key to driving the car fast or you will just slide around. Harness bars have their detractors and many here have already talked up the virtues of a cage. www.trackspecmotorsports has a decent four point pre-fab roll-bar or talk to Moti at Blackbird.
    • I wouldn't worry about the Accusump. Phoenix in PA who has built 70+, maybe a 100+ of these cars, is the most prolific builder and successful racer of C5s, C6s and now the C7, in addition to Vipers and Mustangs and Porsches came to the conclusion it is not needed with an LS6, even with Hoosiers. I agree.
    • When you go to stickier rubber, your hubs will start cracking if you are doing 15+ track days per year, especially if on curbed corners. The SKS hubs for the Corvettes are stout replacements at about $375 each. I bet the guy behind me, Jim Tway, is a dealer for them, along with F14 wheels and other stuff.
    • You will crack a lot of rotors at ACS. At least a pair of fronts at ACS over a weekend. Never at WSIR. They only cost about $35 at NAPA. But if you start running a lot, racing or running aero or running a lot at tracks like ACS, MRLS, etc. considering an $2,500-$3,000ish AP brake kit on the front is smart. The rear you can wait on for a long time or get AFX two piece rotors. They never crack. All this should be available from Tway after he finally gets off the track. He usually comes in about 10 minutes after me.
    • Somewhere along this venture you should consider $800-$2,000 for track oriented sway bars. Adjustability and stiffness are the main differences. GM Performance or Pfadt/aFe Power are good sources. Tway again. Shocks are an option, too, but stock shocks are surprisingly good. Pfadt/aFe Power single adjustables and impressed me for $2,000 or less as I recall. They go up from there to a lot of money....
    • I am probably forgetting a lot, but I will think about it and come back to add stuff later.


    Weak spots on the car:
    • Some engines need a catch can as they will burp some oil... some more than others. Elite Engineering has a good set-up.
    • Sometimes the harmonic balancers start to come loose. Catch that early.
    • The clutch plate bolts holes might start to crack with a lot of track hours.
    • Changing valve springs if you run a lot might be a good idea on occasion or with an older engine.
    • I am not big on the brake ducts. They don't seem to work all the good in my opinion and they always get torn up when running with really wide tires... like the 315s on the front.


    Other thoughts:
    • The car is truly glorious with 315s on all for corners, either 17" or 18". Big brake kits will need the 18" wheels. You can run rear Z06 wheels on the front, too, for an economical wide tire wheel that is strong. Not as good as the ones Emilio makes, but good. Emilio's wheels are the stoutest wheels I have ever raced on.
    • There are different A-arm bushing options available from rubber, to plastic types, to Delrin to metal bearings.
    • Headers are good for a few extra HP and better sound.
    • Tow hooks are an add-on from several places including aFe Power.
    • I have read there are more aftermarket parts for Corvettes than any other car, but many are bling parts. It is nice to have so many choices on gold chains and axle caps.


    This all for now. Time for dinner.
    Last edited by Olitho; 01-03-2017 at 09:02 PM.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    of last few generations (C5-C7), which engine does NOT blow up at ACS T2 ?
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    of last few generations (C5-C7), which engine does NOT blow up at ACS T2 ?
    LS6, no longer in production. (good job chevy)

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    I happen to have one for sale that is proven and ready to rock.
    Cars for Sale: Used 2002 Chevrolet Corvette in Z06, Pomona CA: 91766 Details - Coupe - Autotrader

    I actually just bought a set of ccw's for it...I have problems and love this damn car.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    of last few generations (C5-C7), which engine does NOT blow up at ACS T2 ?
    The LS6 is the only engine that can do that task with race rubber and no dry sump. All the others need a dry sump and some early versions of the C6 Z06 also need a bigger dry sump tank to be safe on Turn two.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    The LS6 is the only engine that can do that task with race rubber and no dry sump. All the others need a dry sump and some early versions of the C6 Z06 also need a bigger dry sump tank to be safe on Turn two.
    LS1 goes pop too?

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    LS1 goes pop too?
    If it has the baffled batwing oil pan it is probably fine, too.
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