Cheapest C5 Z06 Ever Sold Arrives at New Home with Blown Engine

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What began as a good deal on a 2002 Z06 quickly makes it known why it was such a good deal in the first place.

If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is. That one of life’s many lessons to apply to various situations, like weight-loss pills, male-enhancement pills, and radio contests.

It also can apply to what seems like a steal of a deal on a storied Corvette, like the Z06. YouTuber Michael Seymour (a.k.a., Garage Topics) found this out with his 2002 Z06 coupe, whose engine happened to be running rougher than it should.

2002 Corvette Z06

“I knew that it had an issue,” Seymour said. “Part of why I got the car so cheap is because it put out a little bit of smoke in the rear… It didn’t run 100 percent well, so my gut feeling was that it needed something… the tune wasn’t 100 percent right. I was hoping that the tune was gonna fix all the issues with the smoke, that we’re gonna be good to go, and I would’ve gotten a great deal on the Corvette.”

2002 Corvette Z06

At first, Seymour believed it may have been an issue with the tuning, but that turned out not to be the case. Thus, he did a compression check with the second cylinder, coming out with a reading of 130 psi. After adding oil, though, the new reading was 150 psi, leading him to run a leak-down test, where he found air leaking out of the dipstick holder and oil cap. Thus, the teardown began.


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“This cylinder here… it’s got some weird stuff up top,” said Seymour. “I have not pushed the piston down yet to see if the cylinder walls are bad. The rest of them look pretty good, but I am scared to look at this one.”

2002 Corvette Z06

The worst is confirmed, and the Z06’s engine is removed for a rebuild. It was Seymour’s first time removing an engine, which he did by removing it from the top and without disassembling the front clip. He did have a hard time taking off the power steering pulley (having to break it off in the end), but everything else worked out well in the extraction.

“We took a piston out, and what I did is I took the ring off with a buddy, put it back in the cylinder… the cylinder that had bad compression had a terrible gap,” said Seymour. “It was evident that that cylinder was out of whack, something was wrong there, and it needed to be rebuilt.”

Seymour believes part of the issue had to do with the tuning, which helped dump too much fuel into the cylinder, washing away the oil. Thus, the block was off to the builder for work. All for a seemingly good deal on a 2002 Z06 coupe.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive expert is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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