How to go faster, stop quicker and corner flatter

text by Greg Pernula
photography by the manufacturers

Riding On Rails

Once you've bolted on more power, it's time to turn your attention under the car and out back. After all, what good are all those engine mods if your Corvette rides like a Buick, stops like a boat or is hampered by a restrictive exhaust system?

Companies like Energy Suspension can refit your Corvette's bushings with poly replacements to greatly firm up the ride, and there are a number of shock absorber and spring setups (Doug Rippie Motorsport's and Carerra's coil-over systems spring to mind) that will have your Corvette riding like it's on rails.

The stock Corvette exhaust manifolds are better than most. However, the compromises inherent in mass producing a passenger car prohibit the most effective exhaust from being installed. That's where you can bolt-on more power by providing your Corvette with a healthy set of lungs. Companies such as Lawrence, Inc., Borla, Hooker, Summit/SLP, Walker and a host of others all offer perfect systems to help your Corvette exhale fully.

When it comes to braking prowess, Baer Racing makes some of the best systems available at any price. We've personally tested Baer's top-of-the-line Pro-Race system and we came away fervent believers. Baer offers full braking systems for virtually any application, from street cruiser to full-out racer.

Energy Suspension is a long-time leader in polyurethane products for automotive suspension, and now they've introduced their line of Hyper-Flex Systems. The Hyper-Flex system offers the toughest poly material available to keep you Corvette riding like new. For ease in ordering, Energy Suspension offers the new line-up in master sets, each containing complete sets for specific applications.

A/O Engineering has a reputation for innovative new products for Corvettes, and owner Frank Yunes has come up with a great new way to beef up your Corvette's braking power without breaking the bank. His BRX-X2 braking system utilizes two stock PBR calipers instead of one to greatly enhance your Corvette's stopping ability. A/O Engineering also offers dual-caliper setups for the rear tires to ensure fast, sure, no-dive stops every time.

Even if you don't have an FX3-equipped Corvette, you can have adjustable shocks thanks to Mid America's Performance Choice Remote Adjustable Shock System. The system consists of front and rear adjustable Monroe gas shocks, a one-touch control panel, pneumatic controller for rebound and compression damping, plus all the needed air lines and connectors. The easy to install package also comes with complete instructions.

A Corvette that doesn't corner is a handful to drive, but with Performance Suspension Technology's front and rear sway bars, your Corvette will be cornering like a racer. Engineered to keep vehicle weight over the tires, the sway bars reduce body roll and keep the car glued to the pavement. They also come complete with stabilizer links and bushings.

For optimum street performance, Flowmaster has a muffler design in its Top Ten Street Muffler series that brings race track technology to the highway. Available in 2-1/2 and 3-inch inlet/outlet sizes, the new Flowmasters are constructed of 16-gauge aluminized steel in a 5x10-inch case with a uniquely designed volume chamber tuned for improved chamber communication.

Hooker has added to its popular line of Aero Chamber high performance mufflers with both a 3-inch and a 3-1/2-inch muffler. Constructed of 16-gauge aluminized and stainless steel, Hooker's unique step-pipe principal fully controls the direction of gasses for a smoother flow and a throaty burble. Hooker testing has proven the Aero Chamber mufflers outflow their competitors by 23 percent, and independent dyno tests showed increases in horsepower and torque.

You can't replace your catalytic converter on a whim, but when it becomes a necessity, you can't do any better than a Random Technology Super High Flow converter as a replacement. Not only does the Random unit reduce exhaust emissions levels, it also boosts power output.

Eibach Springs has unveiled its Multi-Pro suspension kit for performance driving. The system setup reduces wheel and tire lift under hard cornering, and the specially designed shocks feature adjustable lower spring perches for easy right height adjustment. It's the perfect application for high performance street use or competition events.

Other Parts

Some parts you bolt on to make power and some parts you bolt on to replace parts that rob your engine of power. Got that? While the stock Corvette fan system is adequate, using a colder thermostat is pointless if the coolant still bubbles at over 215 degrees.

There are ways to reduce parasitic load on your engine that robs horsepower just as there are bolt-ons that replace stock components to give you the most bang for your bolt-on buck.

Small-block Chevys run smoother and look better with a chrome Fluidampr 6-1/4-inch vibration damper. In addition to looks, the Fluidampr unit has timing marks very 2 degrees from 50 degrees before TDC to 10 degrees after TDC, making it easier to set ignition timing.

Engine drag costs horsepower. March Performance offers lightweight LT1 pulleys that reduce drag by as much as 25 percent and can be used with the stock serpentine belt and air conditioning. Pulley combinations are available for all L98 and LT1 engines.

For better ETs at the track, you need higher torque multiplication, and SLP Engineering's High Performance 700-R4 Lockup Torque Converter will provide added punch to '85-'89 Corvettes. The fully balanced assembly is completely compatible with the Corvettes' TPI computer and requires no modifications for installation.

Another way to get the most out of your Corvette's transmission is a TransGo Shift Kit. TransGo Performance has a wide variety of kits made for automatic and stick transmissions, including a brand new one for 1993 to present 4L60E electronic automatics. The Shift Kits let you hold each gear to any rpm you select and let you downshift at any time.

Mr. Gasket Performance Group
8700 Brookpark Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44129
A/O Engineering, Inc.
19523 Delaware Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Arizona Speed & Marine
4834 S. 49th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Baer Racing Inc.
3108 West Thomas Road
Suite 1201
Phoenix, AZ 85017-5306
Fax: 602-352-8445
CNC Cylinder Heads, Inc.
6400 53rd Street
Pinellas Park, FL 34665
Corvette Performance
27660 Marguerite Pkwy.
Ste. C-210
Mission Viejo, CA 92692-3634
Edelbrock Corporation
2700 California Street
Torrance, CA 90503
Eibach Springs
15311 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92718
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente, CA 92673
Flowmaster Inc.
2975 Dutton Ave. No. 3
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
1801 Russellville Road
P.O. Box 10360
Bowling Green, KY 42102-7360
Hooker Headers
1024 W. Brooks St.
P.O. Box 4030
Ontario, CA 91761
Howell Engine Developments Inc.
24356 Sorrentino Court
Clinton Township, MI 48035
Hypertech, Inc.
1910 Thomas Road
Memphis, TN 38134
Kanter Auto Products
76 Monroe St.
Boonton, NJ 07005
LG Motorsports
4314 Action St.
Garland, TX 75042
March Performance
5820 Hix Rd.
Westland, MI 48185
Mid America Designs
One Mid America Place
P.O. Box 1368
Effingham, IL 62401
Performance Resource
12 Barbara Drive
Fairfield, NJ 07004
Performance Suspension Technology
P.O. Box 396
Montville, NJ 07045-0396
SLP Engineering, Inc.
1501 Industrial Way North
Toms River, NJ 08755
TPI Specialties
4255 County Road 10 East
Chaska, MN 55318
TransGo Performance
2621 Merced Ave.
El Monte, CA 91773
Vibratech, Inc.
537 East Delavan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14211
Vortech Engineering
5351 Bonsai Ave.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Weiand Automotive Industries
2316 San Fernando Road
P.O. Box 65301
Los Angeles, CA 90065


Current Issue Back to Home Page Subscribe Now! Tech Talk

Copyright(c) 1996: Dobbs Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute without permission of the publisher.