Swapping Valve Springs on a C5 Corvette Z06

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The C5 Corvette Z06 is a great budget track car, but track use is hard on valve springs. Find out how to keep your motor happy on track.

The modern small block Chevrolet V8 is a simple pushrod design. This means that unlike the dual overhead cam engines from Ford, the Chevrolet V8 is simple to work on. The single camshaft in located in the block and it uses push rods connected to rocker arms to operate the valves.

ZentRose C5 Z06 Valve spring replacement

At high engine speeds, like on a race track, when you are pushing the motor the valve springs are working hard. Over time they can fail, which can destroy the motor, by dropping a valve into the cylinder. One easy and quick preventative maintenance item is replacing your valve springs and valve stem seals.

This video by ZentRose walks us through the process of replacing the valve springs and valve steam seals on a C5 Corvette Z06. Zent has a high mileage, 175,000 mile, Z06 that he takes to the track often. Most people would be a bit intimidated to open up the head of an engine. The LS6 V8, much like all LS V8s, is very simple to work on and the Corvette offers great access to the heads. Zent starts by removing the engine cover to reveal the ignition coil packs.


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Once the coil packs are out of the way, all it takes is 4 bolts to remove the valve covers. Once he accesses the valves and pushrod rocker arms, it is pretty simple. Zent uses a special tool to compress the valve springs. The video is an easy and thorough how-to, and is inspiring to see just how easy the Corvette’s engine is to work on. This gives us all an understanding of why Chevrolet is still using a pushrod V8 in their current cars. As the saying goes,”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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Patrick Stevenson is an Internet Brands' contributor to 6SpeedOnline, Honda-Tech, Corvette Forums, 5series.net, and MBworld. He is also a host on The Motor Affair Podcast.

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