Examine That LS7 Before Purchasing a C6 Z06

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While the 7.0-Liter LS7 in the C6 Z06 Is a Powerhouse, a Potential Manufacturer Issue Casts a Dark Cloud Above It.

Valve guides. There, we said it. And no, we’re not attempting to beat a dead horse with the LS7 here. But if you’re new to the C6 side of things, it is worthwhile to be aware of it. Valve guide wear can affect any LS7, from any year of Z06 production.

It’s worth pointing out that valve guide issues are a guaranteed problem. Some LS7 motors have sailed past higher-mileage numbers without even a pip of an issue. What some people are narrowing it down to is a supplier issue. If the valve guides and valve seats weren’t aligned properly, it added undue stress to the guides, eventually making them loose. Ultimately that would lead to a valve being dropped.¬†Audio warnings will usually precede this failure.

Some other areas of concern are very early rear axle shafts, which under extremely hard-driving, can have issues. De-lamination of the roof is also something to look out for, but not nearly as concerning as the mechanical bits. The rest of the car, however, seems to stand up fairly well. Seats may show age sooner than you’d like, but otherwise your Z06 should treat you with years of trouble-free use.

Things got better as the years went on. Later models switched from a T56 to a TR6060, and had stronger axles that can be interchanged between model years, if you want to upgrade. Launch control became available as the years went by, along with a host of other options. The main advice is to buy the newest one you can, with the lowest mileage.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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