C7 Blows 1,000 HP LT, Bounces Back Even Stronger

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C7 Corvette

Corvette Forum member finds out how far you can go on stock connecting rods. But he won’t make the same mistake twice!

Power, as they say, is an evil temptress. At first, you might be happy with the output of your shiny new C7 Corvette. But as time passes, you can’t resist those evil urges. You read through Corvette Forum, looking at all those high horsepower builds. You start pricing out parts. And maybe you even go through with the build. But doubling, or even tripling the output of a stock engine has consequences.

Yes, no matter who builds your engine or how great the parts are that you use, bad things can still happen. This is exactly what happened to Corvette Forum member officermartinez. Unable to resist the urge to turn his C7 Corvette into a high horsepower monster, the OP’s first engine build inevitably paid the ultimate price. But that wasn’t enough to deter him, nor share what happened (full disclosure!) in this thread.

“As a few of you already know, we were previously a 1K HP C7 Corvette. Since my wife and I tend to share our accomplishments and (cough) failures (cough) with the Corvette Forum community, we hope to rise back above the ashes, so-to-speak, with our new build. It’s taken us a few months to acquire many of the parts needed for this build. And we still have yet to acquire the remaining few parts needed to complete our project. So, we hope you can benefit from our experience(s) and would enjoy any comments or feedback that you have.”

The resulting carnage should have come with a warning label. Considering the amount of time and labor that goes into a build like this, it’s enough to deter any sane person from ever doing it again. But not the OP.

C7 Corvette

The damage was so extensive, in fact, that the old engine was a total write-off.

“Only a few parts were salvageable (parts mainly OUTSIDE of the engine). As you can see from the previous pictures, our 376 engine was a complete and total loss, including the heads. NOTHING was salvageable as seen from the carnage shown above. Multiple holes can been seen punched through the block as well as the oil pan.”

So a new plan (and engine) was obviously in order.

“We will share the specifics of our new engine in an upcoming update but just to start us out, it’s a completely built 416 long block from Texas Speed and Performance. Built specifically for our forced induction needs.”

C7 Corvette

Luckily, at least the blower escaped relatively unscathed. And in case you were wondering how far you could go on stock rods, here’s your answer!

“As for the destruction of our former setup, we simply think we hit the limit of our build. 1K+ HP on stock rods over time is the prevailing theory. Aside from the chewed up crank, it does appear the stock crank held together at those HP levels. We had the drop-in forged Wiseco/Vengeance Racing Pistons. Each piston maintained overall integrity. All evidence points to the likely failure of the factory rods. Much of the debris observed and still contained within the motor appeared to be from the simultaneous obliteration of the rods giving out. Every single rod either snapped or completely disintegrated.”

This time around, the OP is leaving nothing to chance. Parts for the new build include goodies like forged Callies Ultra Billet 6.125′ Ibeam connecting rods and forged Mahle Motorsports LT1 Gen 5 pistons. With everything in hand and coated, it was time to begin assembly.

C7 Corvette

At this point, things are progressing nicely but the OP is still waiting on a few parts here and there. Regardless, we are certainly impressed with the amount of progress that’s taken place over the last couple of months. Not to mention the OP’s resilience in the face of disaster! You can catch up on the progress of this C7 rebuild, as well as see how it all turns out, by heading over here!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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