Joel’s SL-C Build Thread

Joel K

Supporter
I have not seen this documented anywhere so figure this may help others. After installing the control arms and uprights I noticed a small pattern engraved into one fork on each of the front lower control arms. It’s a capital F-> pattern. I did not notice it before and realized those patterns were pointing backward on my build so I contacted Bill from RCR.

He recommended to reverse them so the F-> points forward. So I reversed them and saw by doing this the lower ball joints were now slightly more forward.

Bill has been great in getting back to me on a number of questions and issues and I really appreciate the great customer service I have received.

Here is a pic of the driver side lower front fork.....
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Here is a pic of the passenger side lower front fork....
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Joel K

Supporter
Moving on to replacing the wheel studs in the stock wheel bearings. I have followed many of the threads regarding upgrading the wheel studs as well as upgrading the bearings.

At this point I decided to just upgrade the wheel studs to the 2.5” ARP Heavy Duty wheel studs. Considering the horsepower and torque output of the Gen V LT4 this mod insures full engagement of the lug nuts as well as providing stronger studs which are heat treated chromoly steel.

Here is a video of the process....

Although this upgrade has been written up before, some things were not clear to me so here are a few things to keep in mind.

1)The ARP wheel studs are 1” longer than the stocks studs
2)The stock lugs will not work with the ARP studs and are too short so you will need to find taller lug nuts.
3)I am going to go with Gorilla forged steel Open End Race Lug Nuts 45038BC-20. They also have a closed end version as well, Gorilla Automotive 45138BC-20.
4)I estimate the new lugs will have at least 1.25” of thread engagement which is more than enough.
5)Since these wheel studs are 1” longer than stock they have to be installed perfectly perpendicular to the hub, otherwise the ARP studs won’t pass through the holes in the disc rotor.
6)The splines/knurls on the ARP studs are .502” in diameter and a few thousands of an inch larger than the stock studs and require great force to install them. Thus I purchased a press for the job.

These are the same studs Johan used on his build...
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Here is a pic of the difference between the ARP and stock studs...
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I originally was planning to use an inexpensive ball joint remover from harbor freight to remove the old studs and install the ARP studs...
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Here is a close up of how the fork of the tool lays on the hub as the stud is removed...
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The tool did a great job removing the studs....
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Installing the studs with the ball joint tool was another story. It might have been able to replace the stock studs, but did not fit well enough on top of the stud head and could not apply enough pressure to press in the ARP studs. Basically the tool cannot push the stud in totally perpendicular....
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So took a ride to Harbor Freight and for $80 I picked up this 6 ton press. Turned out it is too small to easily do this job, but I was able to maneuver the front and lower bearing to be able to install the studs.

Picture of how I as able to position the front wheel hubs in the channel of the press. I then used a stack of washers and socket and positioned them under the press. By pressing on the washer stack it pushed the stud up through the hub. I applied light oil to the knurls before I pressed them in...
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The rear wheel bearing was positioned differently, I pressed the studs in from the back of the bearing hub. You can see I drilled two holes in the 1/2” steel press support plate to provide support to the hub so it would not bend as I pressed the stud into the hub. Also, the two holes in the press support plate helps guide the studs into the hub perfectly straight....
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Also used a C clamp on the press plate to insure the hub was well supported while pressing in the new studs....
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Mission accomplished. Glad this is over. Much more challenging than I anticipated.
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Next step planning on installing the bellcranks and do a first pass at setting the suspension to zero toe and camber.
 
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Neil

Supporter
Joel,

It may be too late now but I'd suggest using wheel studs with rounded unthreaded ends. ARP makes them. This makes starting the nut easier and prevents cross- threading. SCTA requires 1" across hex nuts so that they provide a wider contact area on the wheel. This reduces the chance that the nut could pull through the wheel.
 

Attachments

Joel K

Supporter
Joel,

It may be too late now but I'd suggest using wheel studs with rounded unthreaded ends. ARP makes them. This makes starting the nut easier and prevents cross- threading. SCTA requires 1" across hex nuts so that they provide a wider contact area on the wheel. This reduces the chance that the nut could pull through the wheel.
Hi Neil, thanks for the info. I did see those for sale originally. When I planned the upgrade for some reason I thought these studs were 1/2” longer than stock. The reason being I did not actually measure everything. Too many things to keep track of I guess. LOL. So thought having more threads is better but now realize they are a full 1 inch taller so having the non threaded area on the top would have been ok.

I now realize I need to be careful not to destroy the threads on top. I actually did ruin one inserting it into the hub. My washer stack was too short and the hex nut got pressed onto the top threads so wound up buying another set. Live and learn.

Interesting about using a washer on the wheels. I only plan to do street driving so just having the chromoloy wheel studs with the additional thread length is a decent upgrade. If I plan on track usage I would upgrade the hubs as discussed in Howard’s thread.
 
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Howard Jones

Supporter
Be sure you check with your wheel manufacture. I found that there are several different manufactures lug nuts that won't fit correctly with the GM ZO6 wheels I use. In the end I bought some GM replacement USA lugs for the ZO6 wheels I use. All good. Beware cheap Chinese lug nut knockoffs.

By the way I have that same press that I bought for the same purpose. I have used it quite a bit since. Kind of small working area but after all its pretty cheap.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Be sure you check with your wheel manufacture. I found that there are several different manufactures lug nuts that won't fit correctly with the GM ZO6 wheels I use. In the end I bought some GM replacement USA lugs for the ZO6 wheels I use. All good. Beware cheap Chinese lug nut knockoffs.

By the way I have that same press that I bought for the same purpose. I have used it quite a bit since. Kind of small working area but after all its pretty cheap.
Thanks Howard, that press works good and as you say the working area is a bit too small. I was thinking of modifying it to make the working area 2-3” taller.

With regard to lug nuts I plan on using Gorilla Forged Steel lug nuts from Summit racing, not risking buying Potential knock-off’s from eBay.
 
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Joel K

Supporter
Decided to go ahead and do an initial suspension setup for body fitting. The main reason for fitting the body now is to see how much room I have and where to place the two rear intercoolers, dry sump tank, and some other items. Also, the front radiator and fan shroud will be placed a bit more forward than stock in order to clear the power brake booster so seeing exactly how much room there is under the front clam will help.

My build process is to find a mounting location for all the major components before I start to run coolant and AC lines etc.

Most builders recommend to do zero toe and camber for the initial body fitment so that is the approach.

Here is a link to the video which shows the process....

Did some quick math to figure out where the uprights needed to be placed in order to set ride height at 4.25”.
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Front uprights are set at 19.5” off the ground at the current height the chassis is at on the lift(11”). Used a digital level placed up against the side of the upright to set zero camber...
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Used a long level and aligned it against the side frame member with a micrometer to set zero toe in...
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Fabricated some anti-droop rods to install on the suspension to hold the wheels up at the proper ride height. Got some 1/2” grade 8 threaded rod and rod ends from McMaster-Carr for these. I used the threaded rod so I can fine tune the ride height if my initial measurements are off...
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Anti-droop rod installed on front suspension set at zero toe, zero camber and 19.5” off the floor....
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Did some more quick math to figure out that the rear uprights needed to be 18.8” off the ground in order to set ride height at 5”. I wound up using 19” which set the rear ride height to 4.8”...
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Same approach to set zero toe on the rears....
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Installed the bell-cranks....
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Installed the anti-droop rods on the rear as well...
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Next up is installing the wheel bearings, wheels, and getting the spyder on the chassis.
 
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Joel K

Supporter
Installed the front and rear wheel bearings and mounted the wheels on the car.
Torqued the front four wheel bearing bolts to 47 lb-ft and the rear three bolts to 66 lb-ft. Also used blue thread-lock on the rears.

Here is a video of the process...

On the first pass with the anti-droop rods installed, the rear ride height was perfect at 4.8” and the front was .25” too tall at 4.5” so need to adjust the ant-droop rods, reset zero camber and zero toe at 4.25” front ride height. After that will test fit the body....
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Joel K

Supporter
Decided to fit the center console at this point. Main reason being is I want to locate the seats and pedal assembly which will dictate where on the extended footbox the power brake booster will go. Considering I want to mount the seats as close to the console it made sense to not guess and just trim it up and fit it onto the tub.

Here is a video of the process...

First step was to trim the bottom of the console. Used some masking tape to protect the piece from the Dremel cutting wheel running away. I first cut the lower ridge off and was not sure if that was where I should cut. I’ve seen a couple pictures of other console installs, but couldn’t really tell where exactly to trim, so just started cutting...
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Then cut the top out...
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Then the tail....
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After trying to fit it I decided to cut the lower section off since the back of the tail would be too high to line up with the tub...
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Then realized the front of the passenger side console needed to be trimmend around the evaporator. Just used a sharpie and cut away 1/4” at a time...
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Finally trimmed enough to clear the evaporator. Came out pretty good although ideally I could have angled the cutting of the lower portion to a 1/4” tall in the rear. The way I cut it, there is a 1/“4 gap between the tub and the tail of the console. I’ll either leave it as is, fill in the gap, or mount the tail lower and build up the tail to match the contour of the tub. Either-way, not a big deal and now I can proceed to locate the seats, pedals, and brake booster....
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I really like the look of the interior tub and dash...
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Joel K

Supporter
It’s time to revisit the driver’s seat placement. I Ordered both the gentleman’s seat as well as the optional side impact bars and it is a bit of a challenge to fit these parts in along with the center console. Like getting the LT4 in the chassis I am always up for a challenge!

I really like the side impact bars since they add a degree of safety as well as provide something to grab on to push myself up and out of the deep bucket seat.

Now that the center console initial fitment is complete, the next step is to locate where the driver’s seat will be positioned. The goal being once I can finalize the seat placement then can finalize the pedals which will determine where on the extended foot-box the brake booster will be mounted.

Back in post #68 I mocked up some plywood seat brackets which were more inboard than the stock seat brackets in order to clear the mounting plates on the optional side impact bars.

Now that the center console is In place, it pushed the seat over a bit and it turns out those brackets once again fouled the side impact bar mounting plates.

Here is a short video on the process...

Here is a pic of the seat and you can see the wood bracket covers 2 of the holes to mount the side impact bar, also the inside edge of the seat presses up against the center console.....
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After further modifying the outside seat bracket I was able to get the seat placed between the center console and have the bracket tuck inside of the side impact bar mounting plate. The main issue being the front right corner of the seat pushed against the center console and the seat pointed slightly outboard instead of inboard to match the angle of the steering column...
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Now that the seat was positioned inside the impact bar I focused on figuring out how to get some clearance between the center console and the seat. Since the shifter will be mounted in that area I could not taper the center console in so decided to trim the apron which runs along the perimeter of the seat. I applied some masking tape and marked 1/2” from the outside edge where to trim....
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Also decided to do around the back and top so I could get the seat another 1/2” back against the rear bulkhead...
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I used a Dremel cutting wheel for a few spots and an electric jigsaw for the majority of the cutting, The jigsaw worked really well with a 40 tpi blade. You can see the left side is trimmed.....
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The seat is back in the car and you can see how the new look compares to the unmodified seat....
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The seat now has enough clearance by the center console..,,,
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It is now angled to be in line with the steering column. About 2 degrees...
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So all in all I am pleased to get the driver’s seat well positioned between the console and the side impact bars. I also think trimming the seat apron actually looks really good.

I plan on revising the way the seat will attach to the floor and how to run the belts. Basically the plan is to remove the section where the stock brackets attach to the seat and fill that in with fiberglass that will follow the curved shape of the seat. Then add some fiberglass mounting points at the lower sides with threaded inserts similar to how a Tillett B5 seat mounts,

Well, next step is to confirm pedal location and get the power brake booster mounted.....
 
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Joel K

Supporter
Next step on the build is to position the pedal assembly and install the power brake booster.

Here is a video on the process...

Back in post #90 I fabricated a slave pedal assembly to enable the Tilton pedal assembly to actuate a 2010 Camaro power brake booster...
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The bottom plywood base is dimensionally correct to the driver’s side foot-box. The idea is to have the pedal assembly mounted to the plywood and place the plywood into the foot-box. This way I could get a sense for pedal placement without drilling holes in the floor pan. I needed to get the pedals placed in order to figure out where to mount the brake booster on the extended foot-box.

Here is the pedal assembly mounted on the plywood base....
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After sitting in the car I thought this placement was good. The pedals, steering column and seat are all on about a 2 degree angle....
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Here are the measurements where the brake booster is located on the extended foot-box. Based on the pedal location the correct measurement was actually 7” from the left side of the edge of the extended footbox, but decided to move the pedals a bit more towards the center of the car so did 6.8”.....
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Transferred the front of the plywood brake booster and pedal assembly stand to the face of the extended footbox. Double, triple, and quadrupled checked the hole and made sure it was level....
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Came out great...
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Mounted the brake booster, looks right at home on the extended foot-box....
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The brake booster actuator rod lined up well with the slave pedal assembly.....
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You can see the brake booster behind the pedal assembly....
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Next up is to mount the radiator and fab up the fan shroud. Looks like I have enough room. With the radiator in the position in the pic, there is 3” between the radiator and bottom of the master cylinder.....
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At this point I am very satisfied with the setup. Both power steering and brakes were checklist items on my build and glad I am able to add these features.

Some future things to think about with the power brake system is how to get the brake bias right, getting the pedal ratio right, electric vacuum pump setup, and possibly a remote reservoir.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Now that the brake booster is in I spent some time mocking up the fan shroud. Still not sure how I’ll mount it to either the radiator or the front compartment, but it’s a start.

Similar to Scott Swartz I selected the 11” Spal Brushless drop-in fans. The three primary reasons are as follows...

1)To help avoid potential overheating challenges of the Gen V LT4 I wanted the highest performing 11” fans available.
2)Relatively low profile of the fan shroud of 3.3” from the face of the radiator. Most high end flush mount 11” fans without a shroud are 3.7-4” deep. Figure another 1/2” for the shroud.
3)Variable speed fans have a reputation of being quieter than the high performance paddle fans. This car may be so noisy it won’t matter, but anything to keep the fan noise down can’t hurt. Honestly, I don’t know how noisy the high performance paddle fans are.

I thought about just going with the high performance paddle fans without a shroud. Considering these brushless fans with a shroud are more compact than the paddle fans without a shroud I selected the brushless fans.

In most cases you can only purchase these brushless Spal fans with a shroud. I found a nice kit made by Wizardcooling.com. It comes with a fan shroud kit you trim to your size and assemble. It also includes optional wire harnesses and PWM based temp sensor which controls the speed of the fans.

Here is a short video on the kit as delivered by Wizardcooling.com

The whole kit comes in a single box nicely packed....
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Here is the laser cut shroud face....
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The side panels...
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Brushless 11” Spal drop in fan...
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Optional twin wiring harness...
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Optional harness which ties the temp sensor and twin wiring harness together. You pick what temp range you want min and max speed to be set at. For example, fan turns on at 165 degrees and at 185 the fans run at full speed. The harness also included wires to add an override toggle switch to run the fans at full speed. I plan on using the ECU to control the fans since it is PWM capable.....
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Here is my mock up of the fan shroud. Rather fit this and refine the design before I start trimming the actual aluminum...
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You can see the fans clear the master cylinder by about .25” and the sides of the fans are slightly wider than the body of the shroud so I’ll widen the shroud at bit...
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Considering I am pushing the fan forward about an inch I wanted to make sure the radiator and the shroud clear the front clam. The front clam slopes at about a 20 degree angle so I wanted the shroud to match that slope. Here are the various angles I deployed on the mocked up fan shroud and radiator.....
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Next up is to put the body on the car and see if the shroud and radiator clear the front clam.
 
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Ken Roberts

Supporter
Here is a set of C7 ZR1 intercooler rads that might be a good option in the future. They are adequate for the 750hp LT5 engine.


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Joel K

Supporter
Here is a set of C7 ZR1 intercooler rads that might be a good option in the future. They are adequate for the 750hp LT5 engine.


View attachment 105100
Thanks Ken, I have been waiting for GM to start selling these Which they recently added to their parts web site. I asked the gentleman who is selling them the size of the core just to compare.

The way I think(but not confirmed) they are used in the ZR1 is similar to the ZL1, one of them is an auxiliary intercooler and the other is an auxiliary radiator. There is still a main Intercooler mounted in front of the condenser and the auxiliary unit helps reduce heat with it’s added capacity. The same for the main radiator.

I picked up a pair of these Mishimoto units from Summit. They are the units for the LT4 ZL1. When you add the thickness and surface area together they equal the stock C7 Z06 unit. They are not all that big and I can easily double up another set of them if needed. I think I’ll start with two in the back, but leave enough room to double them up. Or perhaps put in 4 total, two in the back with fans and two up front behind the brake ducts. This is my next project after I finish the radiator mount, fan Shroud and condenser mount.

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Scott

Lifetime Supporter
Joel,

While size is a good metric to compare to stock capacity, not all cores are equal and air flow is critical. It's my understanding that the stock rear vents don't get great airflow so you might consider enlarging them and adding some ducts as others have done. No matter what I'd plumb them in parallel. If the core size/quality and airflow are the same as the single stock unit and you plumb your two units in parallel. you'll reject more heat.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Joel,

While size is a good metric to compare to stock capacity, not all cores are equal and air flow is critical. It's my understanding that the stock rear vents don't get great airflow so you might consider enlarging them and adding some ducts as others have done. No matter what I'd plumb them in parallel. If the core size/quality and airflow are the same as the single stock unit and you plumb your two units in parallel. you'll reject more heat.
Thanks Scott, I have a few scenarios in mind but haven’t finalized an approach yet. If I do use just the two Intercoolers in the rear I’ll use high capacity fans, ducting, exterior scoops, and also enlarge the side vents.

If I do four. Two up front and two in the rear I’ll use fans on the ones in the rear, That way the rears can draw heat out of the whole system and reservoir when moving slow or at a stop. But that may be too much plumbing and not necessary.

With regard to serial or parallel it is interesting that the stock Z06 Intercooler unit is actually two intercoolers in one. Coolant goes from supercharger to the top half of the cooler then into a reservoir tank then back through the bottom half of the cooler and into the pump and back to the supercharger. I don’t understand the logic, but they must have a reason for this approach. Here is a pic of the routing although this pic is from the 2013 ZR1, but as I understand it works the same way in the C7 Z06.

EF767035-3E18-4020-A167-BACDEE1E317C.jpeg
 
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Scott

Lifetime Supporter
Joel,

The stock unit appears to have long rows. If all things are equal, you get better heat rejection from a form factor with more short rows than one with a fewer number of long rows. Even though the surface areas are the same, the fluid cools as it flows through the row. This reduces the delta T which has an exponential effect on thermal transfer. If you were to look at a heat rejection map you would see a gradient across the row. Short rows and parallel heat exchangers both maximize delta T which increases heat rejection. Most heat exchanger choices are driven by fitment, but this is what I did: best core for the budget, biggest core that would fit, shortest rows, lots of air, good pump.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Joel,

The stock unit appears to have long rows. If all things are equal, you get better heat rejection from a form factor with more short rows than one with a fewer number of long rows. Even though the surface areas are the same, the fluid cools as it flows through the row. This reduces the delta T which has an exponential effect on thermal transfer. If you were to look at a heat rejection map you would see a gradient across the row. Short rows and parallel heat exchangers both maximize delta T which increases heat rejection. Most heat exchanger choices are driven by fitment, but this is what I did: best core for the budget, biggest core that would fit, shortest rows, lots of air, good pump.
Very interesting Scott, the Mishimoto coolers I purchased have 34 rows while the stock Z06 wide cooler has 24. The ZR1 coolers Ken posted above are a 1/2” wider than the Mishimoto and have 23 but only one of them would be used in series to a wide cooler(same as stock Z06 cooler) which mounts in front of the condenser.

So relative to the Stock Z06 setup I should have as much or slightly more cooling capacity and relative to the ZR1 I would have less.

My simple linear thinking tells me I should be okay considering I’ll have at least as much cooling capacity as the stock z06 setup provided I can get enough air to the coolers and worst case I can double up the coolers if needed.
 
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