The introduction of the Z06 Corvette for the 2001 model year brought with it many improvements over the existing “base” C5; foremost among them was the LS6 engine, initially rated at 385, and later 405 horsepower. Other upgrades included wider wheels and tires, a revised suspension setup, and of course functional rear brake cooling ducts. Those ducts would prove to be a popular upgrade for C5 owners as the years passed, sometimes functional, sometimes merely for looks.
In our case, when we recently rebuilt Project Y2k’s transmission and differential with assistance from RPM and LG Motorsports, we found another use for these versatile factory ducts. You see, the transmission and differential coolers included in the LG kit have heat exchangers that are designed to mount inside the rear inner fenders ahead of the wheels, with the trans radiator on one side and the diff radiator on the other. The only problem was that on our 2000 Corvette coupe, that space had no airflow, being completely enclosed.
The simple solution, of course, was to order up a set of Z06 ducts from our friends at Corvette Central. The four-piece kit (PN 335036) includes scoops and ducts for both the right and left side of the car. These OEM parts (which are also available a la carte if you’re just interested in doing a cosmetic swap) are a pretty easy install, as long as you have the courage to cut into your Corvette.
Corvette Central is a one-stop shop for all kinds of performance and restoration parts for every generation of Corvette – we’ve previously done the Stage 1-4 power upgrades from Corvette Central Performance on Project Y2k, with terrific results. With this latest bit of work, we’re dipping into their vast warehouse of GM and aftermarket exterior components.
Just Do It
There’s not too much more to be said about the parts themselves, so we’ll just jump straight into the installation. The first step is taping together and cutting out the templates – they will allow you to accurately cut the rocker sills on your Corvette in the right places for the scoops.
So, thanks to our friends at Corvette Central, our transmission and differential coolers are now completely functional, and we’ve added a bit of Z06 flair to our Corvette coupe. The installation can be done in an afternoon with basic tools – if you don’t have access to a body saw, thanks to the nature of the sheet molding compound used in the Corvette’s body construction, a variety of different tools will work, including spiral drywall saws and jigsaws.
If you’re nervous about the precision of your cut, do what we did – start undersized and sand or file to the right dimensions. Also, keep in mind that because of the wide “lip” around the edge of the scoops, even an oversized cutout won’t be visible once you’re done, provided you don’t hack away with reckless abandon.
All in all, it’s a job that any DIY’er can accomplish for themselves – we highly recommend it! Now, we’re going to have to dig into the online catalog at Corvette Central to look for more practical upgrades like this for our project car…