chevrolet performance, C7 corvette auxiliary radiator, fixing corvette cooling issues, C7 Corvette cooling improvement, C7 Corvette power steering cooler
07

Project Corvette Stingray C7 Z51: Keepin' it Cool(er)

by Mike Kojima

 

Corvettes have always been notorious for overheating on the track. The Z51 shod from the factory with additional cooling capacity is much better in this respect, but it can still run hot under the worst conditions. For this reason, Chevrolet has come out with an auxiliary radiator kit to supplement the engine cooling on the C7. Since we plan to drive our car on the track, you can bet we are going to install this!

On the LT1 engine, the oil is cooled by a large oil to water heat exchanger.  Water is taken from the engine's water jacket, circulated through the heat exchanger and then routed to the radiator where it is cooled with the rest of the coolant. Heat from the engine oil is thus introduced into the engine's cooling system.  

The Chevrolet Performance system reduces or eliminates this additional source of heat from entering the cooling system by adding an additional water to air heat exchanger between the oil cooler and the radiator. 

Read more about our Project C7 Corvette Here!

 

The Chevrolet Performance C7 auxiliary radiator kit consists of a heat exchanger, lines, and mounting brackets.
 

The heat exchanger is a compact tube and fin unit.  The inlet and outlet are mounted to a manifold on the top of the unit (or bottom depending how you look at it).
 

The heat exchanger itself is aluminum for good thermal conductivity with the end brackets being made of plastic. 

We are somewhat curious why GM took this route to increase cooling capacity rather than simply spec'ing a larger, higher capacity radiator, which might have been a simpler way to do it.

However, the way Chevy has done this, specifically cooling the water from the oil cooler- is pretty neat.  We think that judging from the size of the water to air heat exchanger, it can actually make the coolant cooler than it was going into the engine oil cooler. 

 

The kit came with this mix of high-quality OEM spec hardline and flex hoses to route the coolant. 

 

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Comments
ChasHenry
ChasHenrylink
Monday, January 08, 2018 6:43 AM
How was it determined this is a dual pass cooler? It's clearly a single pass cooler.
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Monday, January 08, 2018 7:55 AM
Looks like dual pass to me. The picture showing the bottom of the cooler where the inlet and outlet are located, you can clearly see effectively two cores. It looks to me the coolant take a U-shaped path making it dual pass.

A little odd about the power steering overheating. But then again, I had the power steering on a diesel Chevy Cruze go out on me midway through a U-turn when it was 115F outside. That was not fun, felt like the steering completely locked up.
ChasHenry
ChasHenrylink
Monday, January 08, 2018 8:52 AM
The fittings are attached to manifold. Flow from one fitting goes one way, flow to the other fittings comes from the other direction. Flow goes through the plate and fin cooler portion in one direction only.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 12:37 PM
see above
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 12:39 PM
Electric only power steering system are notorious for overheating in the drift and time attack world.
ChasHenry
ChasHenrylink
Monday, January 08, 2018 1:44 PM
Nope. Single pass cooler. The fittings are not configured to make it a dual pass.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 2:00 PM
you can see that the flow goes in one stack of plates and out the other. You can even see the embossing on the plates. If it was single pass the coolant would just go in the inlet and right out the outlet and not pass through the heat exchanger.
ChasHenry
ChasHenrylink
Monday, January 08, 2018 2:39 PM
Yes, exactly Mike. That means it's a single pass cooler. If it was a dual pass cooler both fittings would be at one end of the cooler and the plate to which the fittings are attached wouldn't be needed.
Here is a dual pass cooler-

http://www.improvedracing.com/images/products/52-12965-01_lrg.jpg

Here is a single pass cooler-
https://cdn.mishimoto.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/M/M/MMOC-10_2_7.png
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, January 08, 2018 3:14 PM
To be fair, this is more like an A to N comparison... A to B would be if you tested it after each mod

Please tell me you're putting some Japanese wheels on this, like Volks or something...
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 3:30 PM
You are correct but this cooler is divided in the center instead of the middle.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 3:33 PM
Track testing every single mod separately would be logistically very difficult, expensive and time-consuming and perhaps not too conclusive because some things are needed for the other to work to its fullest potential.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, January 08, 2018 3:42 PM
yeah I know, I'm just being a smartass about the A to B thing

so are the new wheels gonna be Volks? :D
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 4:02 PM
I think Jeff is looking at something wider than what volk has to offer for the particular car.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, January 08, 2018 4:06 PM
so CCW then?
Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Monday, January 08, 2018 4:35 PM
lol, i think everyone is sorta right about the cooler.. and wrong. there is a manifold on top of the cooler with the inlet and outlet--separated obviously. but only the manifold is split, not the entire core.

CCW's would be perfect Warmmilk :) I think when i looked at Volk's selection there was only 1 offering that would fit the C7 and it wasn't really my style.
ChasHenry
ChasHenrylink
Monday, January 08, 2018 4:41 PM
Which center would the cooler be divided on-down the long run or the short run?
Down the short run would fit your description, but isn't possible. Down the long run is possible but doesn't fit your description.
Jeff is correct, and I posted the same in my second post.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, January 08, 2018 4:55 PM
You and Jeff are both correct and the coolant makes two passes across the face of the cooler which to me makes it a dual pass. I think we are talking about semantics
ChasHenry
ChasHenrylink
Monday, January 08, 2018 5:46 PM
No semantics. Coolant makes one pass through the cooler. There's no way it can make 2.
RedX
RedXlink
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 6:06 AM
I agree with ChasHenry. The water passes through the core once, from left to right (or the other way around, but still only once).
Also, I think the heat exchanger is all aluminum, with each layer stacked on top of the previous one. No plastic crimped on end-tanks here. The big piece of plastic simply houses the entire core.
RedX
RedXlink
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 6:11 AM
Hmm, I think I misinterpreted the "end brackets" for "end tanks" in the description under the picture, so never mind the second part of my previous comment.
Runnerx
Runnerxlink
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:50 PM
Hi Mike,

Thank you for the great article! Do you have any plans to install half cage in this Corvette? I am interested in picking up a C7 and make it into my dedicated track car; however, my concern is the rigidity of the roof since it is thin aluminum bar over the top from the base frame. It would be nice to see if a proper half cage can be installed in C7, the challenge is its fastback roof line that leaves very little height for cage. I have seem some aftermarket bolt-on cages but the top of the cage is lower than the top of driver's helmet making these cages useless. Thank you.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:14 PM
It's a good idea but I don't think Jeff want to do that to his super expensive killer street car. It would be difficult to put a cage in the aluminum chassis as well.
bjokumura
bjokumuralink
Friday, January 12, 2018 4:14 PM
Such a neat mod to help managing the heat under the hood. It's going to be added to my C7 for sure. Does the coolant need to be drained to add this heat exchanger?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, January 12, 2018 4:51 PM
not completely if you are fast!
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