Project Z06: Preventing Oil Starvation

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Update by J.G. Pasterjak to the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 project car
Apr 4, 2019

The C5 Corvette Z06 already has one of the best factory oil pans of any LS-powered Chevy. The “Bat Wing” oil pan design has a wide, flat pan that helps keep the oil pickup tube wet under all sorts of concerting conditions.

But even a great factory pan can be improved, especially when you start adding sticky tires, modified suspensions and lots of grip to the chassis. With a car like this, oil control is paramount.

Luckily, Improved Racing has an affordable ($199,) easy to install solution that dramatically improves oil control in the pan, keeping the pickup wet under severe g loads. Their C5 trapdoor kit installs in less than an hour—you’ll simply need to drain the oil, remove the lower pan (which can be done from under the car, without removing any suspension or chassis pieces), slightly modify a stock oil pan gasket (instructions are provided), snap the doors in place, bolt everything up and go. Maybe refill the car with oil, too.

Improved has shown these trapdoors to improve oil retention at the pickup at sustained loads up to 1.4g. The stock pickup can dry out at as little as 1g if the cornering is sustained long enough. It’s a dead-simple modification that should be a no-brainer for a C5 that sees track use.

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View comments on the GRM forums
deaconblue New Reader
4/4/19 4:07 p.m.

Yes thanks for showing us the installation a couple weeks ago.  Plan to order this kit along with the soon to be released C5 specific oil cooler kit also from Improved Racing.

Osterkraut UberDork
4/4/19 5:16 p.m.

Silly question, but when I click the link to see the rest of the story I just get that blurb in a different format. Am I missing something?

te72 Reader
4/4/19 9:05 p.m.

" Maybe refill the car with oil, too. "


THAT'S what I forgot, d'oh! =P


In seriousness, it always makes me wonder who makes the call at the R&D stage to not have oil pans that prevent starvation at the top of the list of engine durability. Figure the same people are to blame for the earlier Miata's leather seats... which were flat... in a car that handles that well. Durr, nothing wrong with that!

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