Corvette C3 Project Vehicle - Don't Lose Your Cool

This Month, We Upgrade Our C3's Cooling System

Dave Young Nov 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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When they did, we tore open the packaging and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Zip hardware. We quickly got busy removing the factory radiator, shroud, fan, and water pump before installing our new 160-degree thermostat, fresh pump, and front spoiler. The aluminum radiator and fans went in last. The Direct Fit radiator comes pre-assembled with the thermostatically controlled fans in place and all the wiring and relays required to complete the installation. Once installed, the cooling fans work just like those in a new car, automatically coming on when the temperature reaches a certain limit, then shutting off when the engine is sufficiently cooled. Working at a leisurely pace, it took us the better part of a Saturday to complete the installation. The results were well worth it, as our Stingray now runs some 15-20 degrees cooler, even in the hot Florida sun. Follow along and we'll show you how you can attain the same results for your Corvette.

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After unpacking and inspecting our new Zip parts, we drained the C3's cooling system.

Making A Statement
Anyone involved in building performance or collector vehicles will tell you that the cars most revered and remembered are not simply the ones with the best paint, the nicest interior, or the most power. To build a truly unique project car, especially a Corvette, the car needs to be a well-rounded and well-appointed performance vehicle that's built for a specific purpose. Since this is VETTE magazine, and performance is what we love, our C3 will be assembled with an emphasis on speed, adhesion, handling reflexes, and stopping power.

It's been a few months now since we asked you to share your opinions on our C3 project car, and the response has been overwhelming. It seems most of you agree that we should heavily modify the car with some of the best aftermarket suspension, braking, and drivetrain parts available, and that's exactly what we plan to do. Be sure to follow along in future issues as we upgrade the ignition and fuel systems in preparation for a more powerful engine combination. Of course the car will need to stop and handle as well as it accelerates, so there will be plenty of performance upgrades in those areas as well. We've even had a couple of creative engine-swap suggestions, which we'll address later on.

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The Direct Fit aluminum radiator comes with dual electric fans already installed. The fans fit nicely and are shrouded to draw the maximum possible amount of cooling air through the radiator.

Speaking of creativity, we also asked for your input on potential project names, an invitation that generated some unique, interesting, and, well, creative responses. While we won't be going with "The Irwin Eliminator" (a joke in very poor taste), "Cool Ray" (not bad), or "Stinky" (we don't even have a response for that one), we did actually consider a moniker from one of our Canadian friends. But although our car will be firmly planted on all four corners, and we plan on having no lack of stump-pulling power, we just couldn't bring ourselves to name our Stingray "Project Moose," no matter how appropriate the title.

These suggestions aside, most readers voiced support for our suggestion of "Project C3 Triple Ex." This title not only implies a tendency toward nastiness, but it also fits the theme of the car, standing for "extreme handling, extreme acceleration, and extreme braking." (Don't tell anyone, but it also pokes a little good-natured fun at another Corvette publication's decal-clad project vehicle.) So with our readers and staff in agreement, our Stingray has officially been dubbed "Project C3 Triple Ex."

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