Z06 Brake Ducts Offer Cheap Performance Upgrade for Your C6

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C6 Corvette Front

Directing more cool air to the front brakes of your Corvette is a simple, effective upgrade for your next track day.

The C6 Corvette was one of the best-handling sports cars available when it was new, with the Z06 and ZR1 offering world-class handling and all of the items needed to dominate at just about any track. The base, non-Z C6 is nearly as capable as the higher performance models, but as owners have found out, continuous braking on a road course can quickly overheat the front brakes, making it much harder to stop the car.

Some people quickly assume that better pads and rotors will fix this, but while it will help, almost any braking setup will fade when it gets too hot. Fortunately, a base C6 Corvette owner can introduce the same cooling system from the Z06 for less than $50 and the process of adding the Z06 parts is as simple as it gets. We know this because “Joe G” put together a great how-to thread where he explains how easy it is to cool the front brakes of the C6.

C6 Corvette Z06

The Introduction

Installing the Z06 cooling ducts on a base C6 Corvette is so simple that the entire write-up takes just one short post. Even while including the part numbers and each step of the process, the OP explains that writing up the process takes longer than actually installing the ducts. He also points out that the parts only cost $5.60 through one of the forum vendors, but that was back in 2007. Today, the ducts look to cost about $20 each, but this project can be done for less than $50 today and based on the input of those who have performed this modification, it is well worth that price.

While installing my HID fog lights I installed my C6 Z06 brake ducts. They attach to the factory holes under the bumper and get the air behind the tire so you can mount a brake duct hose to direct air to the backside of the rotor where it can do some good. These are the best deal in town for you guys that track your cars! Thanks to user M_Minnick for the idea.

The part #’s are:
15829066 – RH
15829067 – LH
The best part is the price – $5.60 each! What a bargain.

Again, those part numbers are still good, but the prices have gone up over the years.

Base C6 Corvette Front Brakes

The Install

In most cases, we would walk you through the key steps of a how-to thread, but the process is so simple, we will just include the step-by-step instructions from the OP.

1. Remove wheels.
2. Remove 9 push pins from front of wheel well and pull it back.
3. Remove factory duct that stops right inside of wheel well (very useless)
4. Trim bottom of the wheel well hole to get the Z06 duct to fit through and line up properly. As a guideline, I had to trim the bottom of the hole about 1/4″ from one slot to the other slot where the original duct fit. It cuts like butter with a utility knife. Once you get the Z06 duct installed, but before you screw it to the frame, you can still trim the hole to get a nice fit.
5. Once you get the duct mounted how you like it, drill a small hole in the frame and install a self-tapping bolt to hold it in place. Button up the wheel well and you’re done! The front of the duct does not line up exactly perfectly with the duct under the bumper but it is really close and certainly close enough. If you are worried about it you could use a little duct tape to seal it up. I wasn’t that worried about it.

Now all I need to do is get some brake duct hose – I’ll zip tie it to the active handling sensor mount like I did on my C5. That worked just fine. You can also get spindle mounts from DRM or LG I think but they are pricey.

Discussion on Hosing

The OP mentions that the final step is to run brake duct hose from the duct to the back of the wheel assembly, but there are a few problems with that. Most significantly, the Z06 duct isn’t made to connect to anything, so the thin plastic lip isn’t strong enough to hold onto the hosing. The Z06 doesn’t need the hosing, as on that car, the duct directs to an ideal location on the brake rotor, but on the base C6, it isn’t quite as straight of a shot.

C6 Corvette Rear

At the same time, even without the hose, the Z06 duct introduces far more air to the inside of the wheel, making a huge difference in brake fade during long periods of track time. Being able to focus the cooling air will produce better results, but as the OP points out, the hosing gets beat up during normal use and gets to looking ugly. In other words, the car show crowd might not want to add the hosing, instead enjoying the benefits of the extra air from just adding the Z06 ducts.

Click here for a closer look at the DIY and all of the discussion about this cheap and easy upgrade.

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Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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