C5 - Upgrades and General Performance - #2      

Since I wrote my brief article outlining some of the modifications to my 98' Vette, I have been flogged with e-mail from many really enthusiastic and excited corvette owners (and soon to be owners). Although not much has changed since then, I do have a few updates that I would like to pass on. I am sure many of you out there are resourceful enough to come up with all kinds of interesting modifications, I can only say that the things I have tried work for me, and I feel in no way endanger the car or its' passengers.

First, an update on the air-box debate. As mentioned before, I simply replaced my stock filter with a K&N, and removed entirely the cover (not the rim that holds the filter) and the locking straps. This allows the air filter to breath fully, as the entire element face is exposed. My one concern, as you may remember, was that if you open the hood when the hood is wet, the water poured directly onto the face of the filter. I have since cured this dilemma by fabricating a small plastic plate that bolts to the two center front bumper bolts (just above the air filter). It is not near the filter, so it does not impede air flow, however it entirely blocks any water that could pass between the hood and bumper. I would be happy to make a template available for anyone interested in doing this to their car. I honestly feel that modifying the air-box in this way, along with the K&N and the plastic plate give the best air flow available, and is practically free.
April 98
Speaking of the air-box, I have to pass on the fact that I am very disappointed that GM was so concerned with air intake noise that they came up with that ridiculous snorkel filter cover, but installed a fuel pump that sounds like a sewing machine running in the trunk. Also, at 60mph in my car, there is so much wind noise coming from the drivers' door, that you can barely hear the engine, let alone the intake tract!

And finally, a not on the suspension. While installing my B&K exhaust I noticed the adjustable ride height bolts on my car. Being the snoop I am, I had to try lowering my car. I must say that I really appreciate GM installing this feature on these cars! I have lowered my car close to 1" in front, and a little more than that in the rear, with next to no
change in ride quality. Some pointers:
The front adjustment is hard to reach. If you have access to a lift, make use of it. All you do is simply un-screw the bolts until you reach the spot you want. For the rear, a little more work is required. The rear bolts are not long enough to lower a great deal, and I was not interested in replacing them. These are very high quality bolts, and should not be replace with just any old bolt. Remember, these two bolts hold up the entire rear of your car! My fix was to remove the bolts and modify the isolation washer. In other words, take off the black hard cylindrical washer, and cut about 1/3 of it off. This washer is a mini-spring that help absorb some of the minor bumps in the road, but that is what the composite springs are for. By doing this and loosening the nuts on the bolts as much as possible (allowing the safety clips to still be used), I was able to level my car. While my car is by no means slammed (not that I would want it that way), it is level and look noticeable better!

I hope this helps fill in a few gaps I missed last time. I will be updating you as I come across new ideas. I am going to be getting OBDII software for my laptop this week, so that I can start tinkering into the cars' computer. Things should start getting interested! questions about the products listed above.

-David Farmer
E-mail: davidfarmer@usiway.net

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