One needn't boast an advanced degree in thermodynamics to understand that wedging a largish V-8 powerplant into a tight, poorly ventilated engine compartment is bound to pose cooling problems. And indeed, the Corvette aftermarket is chockablock with specially designed radiators, thermostats, and fan assemblies that purport to effect a meaningful drop in vehicle-operating temperatures.
In our August issue, we achieved spectacular results by installing a Meziere electric water pump on a lightly tweaked C6 Z06. In addition to slashing the big LS7's coolant temperatures in everyday driving, the beltless Meziere unit reduced parasitic losses sufficiently to tack on an extra 13 hp at the rear wheels. In the realm of performance-parts testing, outcomes don't get much better.
Based on our success with the LS7 Meziere, we decided to try out one of the company's electric pumps on our '96 automatic coupe. We felt the evaluation would serve as the basis of an interesting follow-up article, inasmuch as the C4's LT1 engine was both significantly less powerful than the LS7 and driven by an unconventional, cam-driven (as opposed to belt-driven) water pump.
Lacking the requisite wrenching skills, we entrusted the installation and testing to Sarasota, Florida-based Vette tuner RevXtreme. The highlights of the job follow, along with test results and driving impressions.