Lowering the C8 Corvette Z51
The new Corvette C8 is the first in the line of iconic American sports cars to have its engine positioned behind the driver. The performance of the front engine Camaro and some Cadillac platforms such as the ATS-V were starting to eat into the Corvettes performance territory. So GM decided the much rumored mid engined 'Vette was needed to develop the platform and take it to the next level of performance and handling.
The Corvette was already a popular car among track enthusiasts and the new mid engine C8 model is sure to be just as, if not more popular than the outgoing C7. With how new the car is though there is not much information out there on how to track prep your car.
We have had two C8s come through our shop, the red one pictured above, and the white one pictured below. Both were Z51 cars but with one major difference. The white car has the front lift system. This makes lowering each car using the factory suspension a bit different.
On cars without the front end lift you can compress the spring, lower the spring perch the desired amount and the release the spring achieving the lower ride height. (We have a video going more in depth on this that you can view at the end of this blog or on our social media). However if you have a car that has the front end lift system you will need to remove and disassemble the front struts.
Pictured above is the front strut out of the white C8. As you can see the spring perch is replaced by the front end lift system. In order to lower it you need to remove the system from the strut and replace the aluminum collar at the bottom of the front lift assembly. Cicio Performance makes a replacement collar that will lower the front by 1" matching the available adjustment on the rear via the threaded shock body and spring perch. ( We found the actual ride height adjustment to be closer to 3/4 of an inch, but Cicio claims 1" )
If you need details on how to remove and disassemble the strut Cicio has a great write up on their website.
After lowering the car an alignment is mandatory if you plan to track your C8. The factory alignment is NOT adequate for track use and we have found from testing that even GMs recommended track alignment specs for the Z51 are very conservative and leave a lot of performance on the table.
For example GM recommends 0.1 degrees or 2.4mm of toe in on the rear for track alignment. However in testing we found that this was very conservative and the car could use even more toe in to help with cornering stability. The current set up we are testing is using 0.265 degrees or 3.2 mm of rear toe.
Another thing to pay attention to when lowering the car is how this can affect bump steer. When aligning the car and adjusting camber it can also affect caster this will need to be compensated for to help prevent bump steer from the altered suspension geometry. Not all alignment shops have the tools necessary to measure and adjust caster and bump steer.
If you have any questions about setting up the suspension on your C8 don't hesitate to shoot us an email or DM on our social media. And check out the video below for more details on lowering a C8 that does not have the front end lift.
Hey just a quick question….So hoping to take delivery of my 2021 C8 in mid May…planning to lower my car with the Z51 package without the front lift, I don’t plan to track the car and should I get the car aligned regardless?
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