Monday, March 28, 2011

Wheels 2

The centers of my wheels could not be powder coated due to them being plastic. The company that did the powder coating had paint on order that would match the color of the wheels, but I have been waiting on it for over a month. I did not like the look of the chrome plastic centers so I started looking for an alternative. I have always liked the look of carbon fiber but not the price associated with it. I found a company that made the centers for these wheels in carbon fiber for the cheap price of just over 600.00 dollars.

Plan two, DI-NOC a 3m vinyl covering that looks just like carbon fiber. I ordered a 1'x4' sheet off of Ebay last week for 24.00 and it is everything I read about it. It looks and feels just like carbon fiber, its also easy to work with and very forgiving when you make a mistake. It took me all of 20 minutes to cover the wheel centers with it.

The color matches the wheels perfectly.

I love the look it gives the wheels and the car, I plan to do some of the interior plastic trim with it as well.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Splash Guards

Yesterday I scored a set of factory splash guards. The cheapest I had seen these for was 90.00 plus shipping.

I bought these from a body man at the local GM dealership for 30.00, he was converting a C6 base to a Z06 body. The good thing about these is they fit great, are very hard to see and protect the wheel well / rocker areas very well.


I got an offer a few weeks ago from an old friend to trade my factory "hairpin" wheels for some factory five spoke wheels. The hairpins look nice but are a pain to keep clean, especially in the center of the spokes. If I drove the car once every few weeks it probably would not be a big deal, but as a daily driver the brake dust builds up rather quickly. My plan was to just paint the wheels black when it came time to replace the tires but the deal I made for the five spoke wheels included having them powder coated black.

I was going to paint the center caps to match the semi gloss of the wheels but ordered some Di-Noc instead to give them a carbon fiber look.

The black wheels should be much easier to keep clean with the car being driven daily, I think they also give it much more of a competition look.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Z06 Exhaust

I have been looking for a different exhaust for the corvette, the factory exhaust is extremely quiet for the type of car it is. After researching numerous options and deciding that sound was not justification for paying 1,200.00 to 1,800.00 at this point in time I had basically given up, until I read about the NPP and Z06 multimode exhausts. The NPP is a factory option that has exhaust cutouts built into the mufflers, they are vacuum operated and controlled by throttle position and RPM through the ECU.

The option was 1,195.00 and added 6 horsepower to the base coupe 430, buying just the mufflers alone is over 1,200.00 new and 600.00 to 800.00 used. That eliminated NPP as an option, the Z06 multimode mufflers though came on all Z06's and sell from 250.00 to 400.00 used. They have a deeper tone and larger tips than the NPP's.

I found a set of Z06 mufflers for sale on a corvette forum and the seller was located in Phoenix. Tania and I drove up two weeks ago to pick them up. The tailpipes on the Z06 mufflers are 3" in diameter versus 2.5" for the stock pipes, so I had some adapters made which once everything was apart didn't come close to fitting.

Matty decided he wanted to help me and during the removal I got a call from work, by the time I was off the phone he had almost the entire stock exhaust off all the way to the downpipes.

Being late in the afternoon and seeing the adapters were not going to work, I cut the tailpipes off the factory mufflers and welded them to the Z06 mufflers. This actually worked fairly well since the Z06 mufflers reduce down to 2.5" at the inlet of the muffler.

Now all that is left is to hook up the vacuum lines to the exhaust cutouts. They default to open but this causes a bit of a drone at low RPM freeway speeds. I have found a remote control relay that I can use to control a vacuum solenoid, adding a small accumulator to the system will allow me to open and close the exhaust valves at will.

In the picture above you can just see the vacuum actuators and linkage that open the valves in the center exhaust tips. When they are closed the exhaust is very quiet.

The old exhaust not only was very quiet but very restrictive, note the small diameter of the pipe leading into the dual tips. The new Z06 exhaust has individual pipes going to each tip.

The sound of the Z06 exhaust is very similar to what flowmasters sound like and makes the car sound like it should have when it was new.