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Old 6th October 2010, 10:49   #1
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Smile Red hot lady - 08 Z51 Corvette LS3 3LT Ownership Report

My intro thread to TEAM-BHP can be found here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/introd...thusiasts.html (Hello auto enthusiasts)

After some suggestions there, I decided to post a ownership report.

Just a word of caution: MY FIRST LENGTHY REVIEW, THIS MIGHT NOT BE UPTO THE QUALITY OF TEAM-BHP OWNERSHIP REPORTS.

Background:
Flash back to Nov, 2009, I was very comfortable with the car I had & wasnít even thinking of buying, but I did want to buy some high performance car later next year.

Went out for shopping with the whole mob for Thanksgiving weekend to a local shopping mall & got caught up in traffic, this was at 1PM midnight, I was so caught up with traffic & trying to find a shorter route, that I didnít concentrate on the car in front of me.

All of a sudden I heard loud growling rumble from the car in front, being an auto nut head, that caught my attention. Didnít take long to figure out that I was behind a Corvette Z06, never seen one in flesh until then(was in US for only 2yrs & the place I lived didnít have many exotics).

It was just awesome; Z06 especially has a gorgeous rear-end with huge tires, yeah bigger than mine. Fell in love with it after my first encounter. Flash forward to Dec 29th 2009, close to one month after my first encounter, I was learning standard in my new Corvette (donít blame me, never got a chance to learn to drive in India, sad to say but I donít even know how to drive a moped, not even now ).

Specs:
08 Z51 Corvette LS3 3LT
Fully loaded with Navigation, HUD, both passenger & driver sport seats, Chrome gumby wheels, On Star, Dual mode NPP exhaust, cross drilled rotors, Z51 swaybars & what not.

After Market accessories:
Adjustable PFADT Coilovers
B&M short throw shifter
Cobra Suzuka carbon fiber & leather racing seat mounted on Hardbar seat rails -goes in only for track days
PFADT seat harness to retain telescopic wheel controls
HardBar Harness Bar
SCHROTH 6-point racing harness- goes in only during track days
Stoptech SS Brake Lines
Speed Bleeders for brake bleeding installed on car
Carbotech XP10, XP8 brake pads - only for track days
Carbotech Bobcats - Daily Driving
CCW C140 wheels mounted on shaved Toyo R888's -track day only
Nitto Invo's mounted on stock chrome wheels - DD
160 thermostat (not in yet, need to get the car tuned after this is installed, so waiting for warranty to expire)
GoPro HD Cam for recording during track days
Vette Bin & trunk partition - customized storage bin & partition between cabin & trunk - removed during track days for weight savings.
Escort passport 9500ix Ė GPS based, works well

Initial Impressions:
whoooohhh! Thatís lots of torque, its Dec & even in Austin, TX itís cold & a bit icy, and believe me itís very easy to spin tires & the car even in 3rd & 4th gears.

Exterior styling is very good, NPP exhaust is very nice, bought a remote to turn open & close the butterfly exhaust, I donít even know where the remote is now as itís always left open. Engine bay is kept clean with all necessary knobs etc easily accessible.

Projector headlights & fog lights serve their purpose very well. Trunk space is huge, which also has two storage bins large enough to throw all crap in there. Handling is quite awesome around turns, sticks very well all the way through.
Manual is not really butter smooth as other cars, learnt later that it was built that way to withstand torques greater than 700HP. Shifting below 4k is normal, but above that(close to redline) will require a bit more thrust to push into next gears.

Key less entry & push start & stop are nice, no keypad entry, just walk to the door with the key & squeeze the door handle. Stop, step out & walk away from the car & it gets automatically locked. Door release latches from inside are buttons which need to be pushed to open. Since everything is battery operated, if the battery ever dies & you are locked in the car then there are door release latches that will function as traditional door latches at the bottom for both seats.

Trunk can be opened from inside the cabin/using remote/ by pushing on a button under the trunk with remote close by. Also both remotes contain a key that can used to open the trunk from where both doors & gas tank can opened, in case battery goes dead etc

Heard from some about interior not being that good, but my first impression was that it wasnít bad. Has nice carbon fiber cluster which brings a classy touch to interior, all controls are well laid out, good amount of cabin storage space.

Heads up display is a very nice addition especially on track, it can be customized with what you want to be displayed (speed, coolant temp, battery, fuel, rev meter etc), store them like presets/themes on a phone & switch based on need. By default HUD comes with 4 themes different for track & street. Donít need to take a peek down to look at speed/rev meter.
Lots of customizing options, including greeting message to be displayed on DIC, memory settings (with seat memory, exit memory, radio, sound level, mirrors, climate temps, fan settings etc), alarm etc.

Seats arenít as sporty as other cars in this segment, but they do very well what they are intended for which is street use & medium level track use; to me they are designed with average US car/Corvette buyer in mind & the height of the car (you get the picture right, no offence intended there). Seats can definitely get better & GM should at least offer sportier seats as an extra add-on option.

Interior insulation is good; isolates noise well & with the exhaust closed its pretty calm. On track it does get hot though especially near the tunnel (console, shifter) area. Though insulation could be added, it increases weight of the car & I donít really want to go there.

Navigation does its job, MP3 player is OK & Bose speakers though they serve their purpose they arenít really up to the audiophile level especially when it comes to bass. But come on who would want to listen to music, when you can hear glorious sound of V8 doing its job. Seriously, close to my 1 year ownership, I can count on my fingers how many times the radio was on.

When it comes to ride & handling, it definitely is not a Cadillac/ Bentley, bumps can be felt & sitting so close to the ground it is hard a hard ride through not so good roads, but itís a race car right & thatís what I bought it for so I donít personally care about ride & in fact it sits on adjustable PFADT coilovers lowered & set to the hardest setting, which do play their part in ride quality, a stock Corvette is good & smooth.

Handling, is awesome & PFADT coilovers took it to a whole new level, it sticks like glue, point it in any direction, squeeze the throttle & you will be there, but remember squeeze donít punch as it might throw the car off based on other conditions(climate, speed etc).

Mileage, I can definitely get anywhere between 22-25 city driving & 28-30 highway, if I drive carefully. Frankly I never do that & drive it like I stole it whenever I get a chance, so my city mileage stays around 19-21 & 26-28 highways. Which I think is very good for a car with these specs.

Maintenance, till now, I had to do a few oil changes, which require 6.5 Qts of Mobil 1 oil $40-$50 or so. Had to change the tires, cost about 1500$ installed for all four, yeah not cheap. Changed brake pads to ceramic & better ones, though the stock ones still have some meat left, cost about 300$, installed myself. Other than that no issues so far.(knock on wood)

I do most of the work myself:
Installed StopTech SS brake lines, speed bleeders with help of a friend.
Carbotech XP10/XP8 combo goes on only for track days.
Installed Race seat, seat rails, harness bar - goes in only for track days
CCW wheels with R888's go on the car only for track days.

Love to have:
After driving through several thousand miles with long & short trips, I wished these following simple things came from factory for a car @ this price:
1. Padded cushioned hand rest.
2. Padded cushioned door hand rests.
3rd party vendors do sell these for a couple hundred bucks with various customizable options, but just wish it came from factory that way.

Now to the problems I experienced with this car:

1. Shifter - I have a B&M shifter installed on it & in the process had some issues with how the shift knob goes on the shifter, with my half baked knowledge I did some stupid things & the shifter rattles now during some particular RPM's in certain gears, simply acoustic as resonance from the engine & exhaust travels through the car, working on solving this.
2. Squeaks from the removable top - This is an issue with all the Corvette's with removable tops, driving through bumps would make the top to move thus producing squeaks, simple remedy is to lubricate the top every once in a year/6 months.
3. Cop magnet - Its red with a very evident exhaust noise, canít complain. Though I didnít really get pulled over many times for speeding, as I donít speed on roads anyway, I did get pulled over for various reasons 3 times in the last 10 months. Once for speeding & no front plate (was trying to get home early from work), once for cutting in front of a cop (didnít deliberately do that, Cop just complimented the car & was on his way), once for no front license plate (warning). Definitely donít want to puncture holes in my front bumper, so I am still looking at other vendors for options.

Due to high maintenance (tires, brakes), I am thinking of leaving this car as a daily/ weekend driver & get a dedicated race car (Miata is first on my list). Planning for next year, but I might also get married next year, so will see how that goes.

Future upgrades:
Spending all my money on safety equipment for now, on my list to buy first are a light weight helmet, HANS head & neck restraint, fire extinguisher, fire resistant full body suit,
Need a passenger race seat as well,
PFADT tow hooks.
Performance wise:
Long tube headers, CAI, mild cam & tune are on my list,
First might be the long tube headers.

Think I have outlined almost everything, but might have missed a few so shoot me any questions on mind.

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Old 6th October 2010, 11:05   #2
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Wow. What a beauty. Let me be the first to congratulate you. !

Enjoy many thrilling miles !
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Old 6th October 2010, 11:44   #3
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I wrote a reply & then deleted it, repeated same about 4 times & came to realise that sometimes one is *actually* short of words to express one's feelings. That is how I feel about your Red Hot Lady.
More pics & PLEASE keep them coming.

Man do I envy you!!
Raab Rakha.

Last edited by ariesonu : 6th October 2010 at 11:47.
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Old 6th October 2010, 11:50   #4
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Ahh so you finally put up an ownership thread Superb write up complimented with equally sweet pictures. The engine pic is especially delicious. Is that your name which is appearing on the instrument console? How do you manage to do that?

Looking forward to more updates. Drive safe.
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Old 6th October 2010, 18:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom76 View Post
Wow. What a beauty. Let me be the first to congratulate you. !

Enjoy many thrilling miles !
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesonu View Post
I wrote a reply & then deleted it, repeated same about 4 times & came to realise that sometimes one is *actually* short of words to express one's feelings. That is how I feel about your Red Hot Lady.
More pics & PLEASE keep them coming.

Man do I envy you!!
Raab Rakha.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Ahh so you finally put up an ownership thread Superb write up complimented with equally sweet pictures. The engine pic is especially delicious. Is that your name which is appearing on the instrument console? How do you manage to do that?

Looking forward to more updates. Drive safe.
Ha ha yeah, thanks for the advise! Yes thats my name, text is customizable to anything we want.

Sure will keeping updating.
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Old 6th October 2010, 19:53   #6
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I know its hard but go easy on the tires will ya !!!

Drive hard and drive safe buddy...
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Old 6th October 2010, 20:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkydevil View Post
I know its hard but go easy on the tires will ya !!!

Drive hard and drive safe buddy...
Yea thats possible if I run slow @ the track, but why would I want to do that
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Old 6th October 2010, 20:35   #8
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Frankly not many (incl me) would understand the list of items you wrote about the car and its perf add ons... but if we did then it wouldnt be a special/super/rare car would it

I used to love the 1 hour TV show on Mega Factories, making of the vette' Z06... Good to see one amongst us. Njoy the ride and ride hard, ride safe.
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Old 6th October 2010, 20:42   #9
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Oh wow! A corvette owner amongst us! Brilliant stuff.. Every time one goes past, my eyes follow it! And red is a truly awesome color for it! Congratulations on the super car!
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Old 6th October 2010, 21:08   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Frankly not many (incl me) would understand the list of items you wrote about the car and its perf add ons... but if we did then it wouldnt be a special/super/rare car would it

I used to love the 1 hour TV show on Mega Factories, making of the vette' Z06... Good to see one amongst us. Njoy the ride and ride hard, ride safe.
Hello Santosh, I will try to post some details regarding the trim levels, options & add ons. I am sure that will help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Oh wow! A corvette owner amongst us! Brilliant stuff.. Every time one goes past, my eyes follow it! And red is a truly awesome color for it! Congratulations on the super car!
Hello Vineeth,

Thanks for your compliments, I frequent Plano very often, I have some friends there & stay there when I go to track @ MotorSports Ranch, Cresson, TX. Its a mini India . Hope you are having fun there, keep in touch.
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Old 6th October 2010, 21:10   #11
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Awesome car and equally good review, She looks drop dead gorgeous. I envy you man

PS: Excuse me while I pick up my jaw from the floor.
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Old 6th October 2010, 21:11   #12
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Fabulous car.Congratulations!! Ive seen quite a few of em around when I was living in the US of A. My suggestion to u ... Black out the rear tail light. Believe you me, it looks menacing with those huge rubbers at the rear..lol!
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Old 6th October 2010, 21:25   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinj12 View Post
Awesome car and equally good review, She looks drop dead gorgeous. I envy you man

PS: Excuse me while I pick up my jaw from the floor.
Thanks Sachin, believe me I was having the same exact feelings when I saw it in flesh for the first time. Pictures dont do justice..


Quote:
Originally Posted by prashanth_benz View Post
Fabulous car.Congratulations!! Ive seen quite a few of em around when I was living in the US of A. My suggestion to u ... Black out the rear tail light. Believe you me, it looks menacing with those huge rubbers at the rear..lol!
Hello Prashanth,

I do have plans for blacking them out, but currently the Black CCW wheels are for track only & to my taste chrome street wheels & blacked out rear are a no no.

I am enjoying best of both worlds now, chrome bling & black, red combo. I was never a fan of chrome wheels, but shiny red & chrome wheels do look good. When I get bored of bling, I am going to switch over to a complete black, red theme, which would include blacked out the rear tails, black wheels, black out roof, halo(B pillar, in-between the rear window & top).
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Old 6th October 2010, 22:50   #14
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Awesome car buddy, makes me miss mine. I want one as a track car with the right prep. The GT-R is getting too expensive for the track to go 2 weekends a month.

It must be nice to be able to goto the track all year round. Esp now that the F1 track is coming up there. I will plan on hitting that track once they organize an event down there.

Enjoy the car in good health, your car is nicely setup for the track. Oh you really make me miss my car now :.-\

PS: You know yellow is the fastest right sorry if you have been to CF you know we all yank each others chains with the color choices..Are you also onCF, I am KILR-RYD. Havent posted much since I got my GT-R, but i know few people on there plus corvette community is the best amongst the tracking junkies.

Last edited by 1Day : 6th October 2010 at 22:53.
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Old 6th October 2010, 23:03   #15
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Oh yes your right. Chrome wheels with black rear is definitely a big no no. Once you do switch over to the all black wheels then yes, with a CF hood perhaps

Cheers!
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