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Updating the Cooling System for LS Power

LS swaps are one of the hottest things going in the automotive aftermarket, and that includes shoehorning them into Corvettes that rolled out of St. Louis thirty or forty years before the LS1 debuted in 1997. Powerful, lightweight, and relatively drama-free, the ultra-efficient LS engines make big-block power out of a small-block package and get ridiculously high gas mileage. They have no right to be this good…but they are. Fitting one into an early Corvette is easy; there’s plenty of room in Sharks and Midyears to accommodate the compact package, and engine mount adaptors are readily available to bolt it in place. Wiring can be as easy or complicated as you want to make it, and plumbing the fuel system is relatively straightforward. But adding serious LS package power also means beefing up virtually every other system on the car, including the all-important cooling system. (more…)

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Corvette Front Suspension Bushing Service

CC C4 Front Suspension Assembly (23) (Large)

This is the second installment of a C4 suspension overview series.  Click to view the first article, Click to view the third article.

Once all the original bushings are pushed out and the parts cleaned up bushing installation can begin.

There are a couple of things to be aware of before the first bushing is installed. The bushing bore must be clean and free of any snags of metal that may have been raised during the bushing removal process. Powder-coat or paint may also be in the bushing bore and should be removed to ease bushing installation. A raised area, whether it be paint, powder-coat or gnarled metal, causes the bushings inner sleeve to drag on the urethane, preventing smooth suspension movement. Unlike rubber bushings, urethane bushings should rotate smoothly throughout their suspension range of motion (one of the major reasons for the change to urethane). Too much clean-up of the bores is also a concern: the bushing should require effort to push in. You should be able to squeeze your hand and force the bushings in. (more…)

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C4 Corvette Tackles One Lap of America Endurance Race

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The Brock Yates’ One Lap of America endurance race, formerly known as “The Cannonball,” consists of a variety of challenges on the dry skid pad, drag strip, and racetrack. It is the equivalent of the Hot Rod Power Tour with track challenges at each stop. However, it is grueling because each night it is necessary to drive to the next event anywhere from 400-600 miles away, have your driving skills tested thoroughly the next day, pack up everything as soon as possible, and get on the road again. This happens continuously until the last day of the race. In addition, the entire circuit can take a team over 3,000 miles across the country, a true test of vehicles that are driven hard on the track and then subjected to a few hundred miles on the highway for a week straight. (more…)

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1984-96 Corvette Chassis Reinforcement

Is your C4 plagued by body flex when you remove the top? This is a common complaint from most C4 owners. Cornering can feel rather uncomfortable with the top removed since the top provides a substantial amount of rigidity to the chassis. Unkempt roadways also cause problems that will eventually lead to squeaks and rattles.

The top is an integral component that helps to stiffen the chassis. When the top is removed the frame no longer is reinforced because the only frame member is below the doors. The door striker is the only other component that could be considered a source of reinforcement, but being such a small item, the support it offers is negligible.

Unfortunately, this lack of support leads to frame and body flexing which translates to ineffective cornering. It also begins to weaken the chassis as a unit. This became very evident in late 1986 when convertibles were introduced. As a result, all C4 convertibles were equipped with an underbody “X” brace. (more…)

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