Corvette C5 Front Spoiler - Spoiled Red Rotten

How To Repair And Reinforce A C5 Front Spoiler

Bob Wallace Feb 1, 2004 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0402_02_z C5_front_spoiler C5_three_piece_kit 1/13

This is the three-piece front spoiler for all C5s. Mid America sells each part individually or as a set.

Have you ever looked closely at the front of a C5? Get down on your hands and knees, then look at the spoiler running across the bottom of the nose. If it doesn't show some signs of damage (gouges, shredded corners, or scuffs galore), then you're either looking at a brand new car or one that's just had the three pieces that make up a C5 spoiler replaced.

Anyone who has ever driven a C5 is probably familiar with the sound of one or more of the spoilers (a large, hinged center section plus smaller wraparounds at each end) scraping over speed bumps or when you go in or out of a driveway. Sometimes, the spoilers seem to be major nuisances, but they perform several vital functions. By directing air around the car, they help the car's aerodynamics. But more importantly, C5s get nearly all of their air for both cooling the radiator and for the engine intake through a gaping maw across the bottom of the front bumper. If the front spoiler wasn't there (right behind the air inlet), very little of that necessary outside air would flow toward the radiator and/or induction system.

After a while, and after being dragged across plenty of pavement, the spoilers get pretty shabby. Quite often, the curved-end pieces start tearing away from the front bumper cover; in extreme instances the outer end will come lose and flap about.

My '00 coupe was sold to the first of its two owners on October 19, 1999, and it had amassed roughly 47,000 miles during its first four years. As you'd expect of a car that's been a daily driver for its entire existence, the front spoilers were pretty well trashed. I'm very careful about driveways and speed bumps, going through (or over) such impediments slowly and at an angle to minimize the drag as much as possible. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the left corner was flapping in the breeze and, when I tried to refit it, found that it had become so distorted that it could barely be held in place.

Mid America Designs offers brand new OEM replacements (all three pieces are listed as PN 601-109). They also offer front skid plate (the thin-wall, square tube structure that hangs below and behind the front bumper and seems to scrape on everything taller than an ant) stiffeners (PN 606-313) and a spoiler reinforcement kit (PN 607-033). The price for the whole setup seemed quite reasonable at around $140 (plus shipping). So I placed an order, and when the parts arrived, scheduled to have the pieces installed in the Primedia Tech Center.

Only the most basic hand tools are needed, although the front of the car will need to be hoisted several inches off the pavement. All three spoiler segments are extremely simple and straightforward to remove and replace, and the spoiler reinforcements are installed with the spoiler ends, using the original bolts. The front skid plate stiffeners may take some extra work to fit-the ones on my coupe were deformed just enough that Jason Scudellari, our Tech Center installer, had to "massage" both sides before he could slip the stiffeners in position and bolt them up.

The coupe certainly looks better with the new front spoilers in place, and I'm confident that the reinforcers will keep the spoilers looking decent and from pulling away from the bumper cover for quite a while. Having the skip plate stiffeners on the car gives me some piece of mind-the skid plate is going to drag and is going to get damaged-the stiffeners will take the abuse and are a LOT less expensive to replace than the skid plate.

This is a repair and upgrade operation that's simple and well worth the modest investment in both time and treasure.

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