The guys at Late Model Racecraft in Houston, Texas were busy last week installing their first catback Titanium Exhaust system on a C8 Corvette convertible, along with a set of American Racing headers.
You can get a glimpse of the work in progress on this YouTube video, though if you have a weak stomach, you might get a little squeamish seeing the “innards” of the Stingray on display, especially with the rear bumper and trunk compartment taken apart.
LMR’s Steven points out that the installation process is a lot more complex on a convertible and you “have to take apart a lot more stuff” to access the headers.
He also notes that the rear wheel speed sensor has to be unhooked to perform a dyno because even if traction control is turned off, the car “still freaks out” and the dual-clutch transmission goes into limp mode. Unhooking the sensor does cause error codes on the dash, but at least it allows a dyno.
The video includes a series of “before and after” clips that let you hear just how different the sound is. To our ears, the factory exhaust sounds more high-pitched, while the new titanium exhaust is a deeper growl while also chopping about half of the weight of the old system.
We also like the way they show the factory headers side by side with the new system, which obviously has much larger primary tubes and merge-style collectors.
During a test drive before turning the car over to the owner, Steven says the Stingray’s new system “looks incredible and sounds amazing.”
“I hope the videos from the dyno and us street driving give it some justice of what it actually sounds like in person,” he says. “Sounds so good! These cars from the factory are fun as heck to drive with the dual-clutch transmission, even with the (495) horsepower they came with. Obviously, it’s not no Z06 with 650 horsepower from the factory, but with the dual-clutch transmission, it truly makes it feel quick (in) little 0 to 60 bursts and even 0 to 80 mph. Anything after that, you can tell, car guys like us, we want more horsepower, we want it to keep pulling.”
He says adding the titanium exhaust and the American Racing 1 7/8 stainless steel headers, while keeping the factory catalytic converters, increased RWHP by about 20 horsepower and torque by about 16 lb-ft.
“It’s not crazy gains,” Steven admits, “because the factory headers on this thing are, you know, headers – it’s not like a little manifold like the C7s and C6s and C5s back in the day. The factory headers are actually pretty decent, and even the stock cats are actually pretty decent. Even the (stock) muffler system is a wide open system when you open up both valves.”
He’s hoping that the owner will soon see “that nice purple look” on some of the welds and “even all the way back to the tips,” and that will depend “on how hot and how much you really beat on it.”
So what did Eddie, the owner of this modded Corvette, think about all the work?
As he listens to the car crank up and a few revs, he nods his head in approval, saying “it’s a big difference than stock … huge.”
Late Model Racecraft / YouTube
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