Let’s face it, GM has been building one of the best performance vehicles for years now with the Corvette. Rock solid reliability, great handling, good fuel economy and lots of power make the Corvette an icon in the industry and a target on the streets. Staying a head of the competition can be as simple as swapping a tire for better traction or as hard as building a motor geared for tons of power. With that in mind, the experts at Modern Muscle have put together a list of common modifications to take your pride and joy down to the ET bracket you desire.
Breaking Into The 12’s
Getting into the 12’s is pretty commonplace nowadays for most Vette owners. The C6 is pretty much there and the C5 only needs a couple of things. “We generally recommend using a standard group of bolt ons for most people looking to get into the 12’s,” says Justin Meyers, Vice President of Modern Muscle. These bolt ons generally include:
-Adding a cold air intake and exhaust system to help the engine breathe better
-Swapping tires to a drag radial to increase traction at the track
-Adding a custom tune to the engine to properly utilize the other changes already made
“One additional item that most people often over look is the spark plugs,” continues Meyers. “With the increased air flow, it is important to get the right amount of heat out of the plug. While this won’t help set any records, it does help with efficiency and ensures the engine continues to run as well as it can.”
Breaking Into The 11’s
Getting past the 12’s and into the 11’s can still be done with bolting key components to the engine. The fork in the road here is how the power is made. Three of the most common options are listed below:
Option 1-Add a Shot of Nitrous
-Adding a 100 shot of nitrous will get the car into the 11’s and is probably the easiest and cheapest way. The downside to this approach is that spray is only used for the track and unless you are making a pass you will notice no difference in power during regular driving.
Option 2-Keep It Natural and Add Mechanical Power Adders
-If you are a person looking to keep the engine naturally aspirated, then swapping out to a custom camshaft and either upgrading your clutch or raising the stall will let you eak into the 11’s with a C6. Add a 102mm FAST intake manifold and a good port and polish to get the car into the low 11’s. For a C5, it is probably going to require a larger intake manifold and ported and/or aftermarket heads to get into the 11’s.
Option 3-Add More Air, Make More Power
-If you are a forced induction person, adding a supercharger (roots, centrifugal, twin screw) is the best way to go. The centrifugal supercharger is probably the best bang for the buck, but anyway you go, it only takes around 6 to 8lbs of boost to get into the 11’s. When you are adding this much air, upgrading the fuel system to larger injectors is required. If you plan to run in the low 11’s then you will need to do a complete fuel system upgrade (fuel pump, lines, filters and regulators) anyways.
“Keep in mind all of these suggestions are for street vehicles and not dedicated track vehicles. Most Vette owners want to have a great performing vehicle without sacrificing their car,” states Meyers.
Breaking Into the 10’s
A streetable 10 second car is hard to beat. Unfortunately, it does take some work to get there.
-The rear gears need to be upgraded.
-Manual vehicles need a high performance clutch.
-Automatics transmissions need to be gone through and beefed up. A new high stall converter is needed.
-Better tires with smaller wheels are a must. Increased tire side wall offers more ability to wrinkle, resulting in better traction at launch.
-Complete fuel system.
-Forged internals are a must at this level. So, while upgrading the internals, now is a good time to think about cubic inches. For the LS3, a 418ci stroker kit is extremely popular. On the C5 side of things, many people opt for the LQ9 or LQ4 truck blocks. Then stroke them to a 402 or 408.
Option 1-Naturality Aspirated
-When building the motor, you will want to increase compression, change the camshaft to optimize air flow, upgrade to high flowing heads and intake. Getting with a skilled builder before you start ordering parts is key at this level.
Option 2-Forced Induction
-Once you have a stout bottom end, running higher boost pressure and more fuel is possible. More air plus more fuel equals more power!
-Relying on spray for the added horsepower at the track, allows for a slightly milder street combination. So, once the bottom end is built you can rely on the spray for the additional power without worrying about bending a rod. Running something like a 300 shot with a naturally aspirated stroker engine or running 100 shot with 6 to 8 lbs of boost can result in 10’s.
“Regardless of how you get there, having a 10 second streetable vehicle requires a lot of forethought and planning. We have built quite a few and they can be a lot of fun,” adds Meyers.
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