Without a doubt, one of the most frustrating aspects for Corvette Z06 owners who wanted to track their cars are the cooling issues that have plagued the 650-horsepower sports car from the moment it hit the streets. Despite the public embarrassments the Corvette Z06 has suffered where the car is able to run a few laps and then goes into limp mode after it gets too hot, there hasn’t been a definitive fix for the issue from General Motors.
Now, a supporting vendor named GSpeed on the Corvette Forum wants to get the bottom of these issues once and for all. GSpeed recently started a thread on the Forum to document all their testing as they work to find a solution to the C7 Z06’s cooling woes once and for all.
GSpeed sets up the testing environment with both a description of where they are testing as well as an example of what they are fighting against:
Since we’re located at the Motorsports Ranch in Cresson, TX, we’ve got the ideal thermal testing environment literally in our backyard. For those of you not familiar, OEMs come here on a regular basis in the late summer to stress test cooling systems on track in the 100°+ heat. Our goal for this car is to run a full HPDE session at Circuit of the Americas without overheating. For us (and many other racers) that means more than just not going into limp mode. The car will run with water temps of 235° or more, but we don’t consider that acceptable performance for a track car.
To give a brief history, the car ran at COTA in Sept. 2015 in 100° weather. Water temps were north of 260° and oil temps were almost 300°. The car lasted 6 laps before it went into limp mode and came back in. That was with the DeWitt Gen1 radiator. In Feb. 2016 in 70° weather, the car ran almost identical temps as the previous summer, but was able to go an extra two laps before coming in.
Following the DeWitt radiator install, GSpeed turned to LG Motorsports for a pre-production front bumper featuring cutouts on the “cheeks” where additional cooling radiators for the supercharger were placed. Gspeed also set up an auxiliary radiator at the front of the car and during their testing they discuss how it was positioned for various tests.
They also added a number of temperature sensors throughout the engine which logs various fluid and air temperatures going in and out of the LT4 while running a track speeds. The sensors provide a ton of data which GSpeed presents as graphs throughout the thread. For you data nerds out there, this is some interesting info!
As they have discovered through their testing, the cooling issues that plaque the Corvette Z06 on the track aren’t related to just one part or function. GSpeed has found the issues to be a multi-layered problem and are continuing to share what what they have found.
As the front page post on the Corvette Forum suggests, the thread is somewhat lengthy but it’s well written and easy to follow with all the data and graphs. We’ll keep an eye on their progress as they continue bring the temps down on the Corvette Z06.
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