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Corvette C4 | Cheap Horsepower Modifications For C4 Corvette

Corvette C4, Modified Corvette March 21, 2018

The Corvette C4, 1984-1996, is a sleeper that is often forgotten about in todays world of modern day horsepower bargains.

Whether it be the standard coupe (LT1/300hp), or the King of the Hill ZR1 (Lt4/330) offered during that last of the generation, the C4 is relatively a bargain for those hunting for American muscle with the potential to run with some of todays performance based daily drivers.

The 1996 Corvette standard coupe offers a great starting point of 300 horsepower LT1 engine. Providing that your working with a budget, a few performance bolt-ons that doesn’t require diving too deep in the engine and drive train could easily net another 90 horsepower.

Starting with the stock air filter box – this contraption only allows minimal air flow in it’s stock configuration. Replacing the stock air filter with an aftermarket cold air induction or performance air filter will resolve those air flow restrictions. Most aftermarket air filter components claim 10-20 horsepower increases.

Note that the ElectroniceModule Control (ECM) located near the air filter which modulates the fuel to air mixture, is currently located in a position that attracts heat and this provides a false reading to the ECM, therefore restricting the fuel to air mixture. There are aftermarket kits that allow for easy relocation. Although horsepower gains are minimal at 3-5 horsepower – horsepower is horsepower.

Adding an airfoil for the throttle body has always been a point of contention on whether any horsepower gains can be had from this modification. However this modification is so inexpensive (less than $20 for the part), it’s worth the 20 minutes to do it. Claimed horsepower is estimated up to 12 horsepower.

Installing a performance chip is another simple modification that add another 15-20 horsepower. Perhaps the most noticeable performance gains is the claimed torque of 20 ft/lbs.

Moving to the back of the Corvette C4, replacing the stock exhausts is another quick horsepower adder. Budget and preference will dictate whether or not you will add either a full exhaust system or go with something less expensive such as an axle-back exhaust system. Either way, there are many choices for an aftermarket exhaust system for the Corvette C4 – so do your research before making a decision.

While your underneath the rear of the car swapping that exhaust out – you will have to remove the spare tire – decide whether or not you will need it. Understanding that some states require all vehicles to have a spare tire, some do not. If your in one of those states that do not, removing the spare tire saves some weight as those skinny tires are quite heavy.

Authored by Sarge


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