Callaway’s Cure For C7 Z06 Cooling System Issues

Remember when the C7 Z06s were first released on the world? One of life’s great ironies was how often we heard of this “track-ready” brawler having heat issues when pushed on the surface it was supposedly, originally designed to dominate.

There are many examples of how this car would scurry back to the pits, tail between its legs, needing time to cool off before it could go back out and do battle once again. There were enough Z06 owners having heat soak issues that a lawsuit was filed and GM just last year resolved the issue by giving current owners of the vehicle an extended warranty and upgrades to the vehicle’s cooling system. If you have a week and a half with nothing to do, you can read up on this thread at the CorvetteForum.

GM-engine-overheating-bulletin

GM sent this bulletin out to Z06 owners informing them about the latest effort to rectify the C7 Z06’s hot-headed condition. The customer is required to show evidence of their car exhibiting the condition.

So, now GM has a handle on how to keep a sweaty brow from appearing on what could have been an egg-plastered face. But what do you do if you put even MORE power through the Z06’s mill, like what Callaway Cars does with their C7 Z06 SC757?  You go above and beyond what GM did to ensure your modifications don’t wind up in the arbiter’s clubhouse also.

Callaway has a patented intercooler system that utilizes three cooling bricks instead of two, as the C7 Z06 came from the factory. Of course, showing off that additional cooling is done perfectly by the accommodating window in the hood.

You NEED to not only test the entire car in environs that it may potentially see during use, but also you need to be able to quantify the issues and benefits accordingly. That’s exactly what Callaway Cars’ general manager, Pete Callaway did and posted the results for the world to see.

Pete-callaway

Pete Callaway explains the benefits of the company’s additional cooling and puts the car through its paces on video to prove the point.

Pete and the Corvette that bears his family’s name hit the track in 110+ temps at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond CA. Many C7 Z06 owners had mentioned they’ve gone into “limp mode” from overheating in temps much lower than triple digits. The C7 Z-car features Callaway’s Champion Package and several other competition options. The main boost to performance comes from the Triple-Cooled 2300 supercharger which features Callaway’s patented housing which uses three intercooler bricks instead of the factory two.

Besides the noticeable drop in temps, the Callaway cooling system is comprised of several options. This C7 Z-car is fitted with Callaway's complete package for severe track duty, including relocated coolers on each side and an air-to-oil cooler down in front.

The car also uses Callaway’s upgraded cooling system which uses a different grill and pushes the supercharger’s low-temp coolers and moved them outboard to open up airflow to the engine’s radiator. The front also includes an air-to-oil cooler to help the lifeblood of the engine from reaching critical mass temp.

The big thing to take away is that all temperatures reach a system-saturation point after 6-7 minutes of running, as opposed to a stock Z06… Pete Callaway, Callaway Cars

While checking off boxes is always fun, it’s even more fun to see and feel the difference. While a video can only go so far with what you’ll feel, the numbers don’t lie. In this video of a full 25-minute session at Willow Springs International Raceway, Callaway has documented many of the areas of importance to prove the mettle of their products. The ambient temperature was well over 100-degrees and the track surface reached a New Balance searing 148-degrees Fahrenheit!

The car was put on track after a few hours to heat-soak from an earlier thrash and Callaway carried a bevy of data logging equipment throughout the entire hot lap session so you can see the system working in real-time. Callaway commented, “The big thing to take away is that all temperatures reach a system-saturation point after 6-7 minutes of running, as opposed to a stock Z06 where all temps escalate uncontrolled until one of them triggers “Reduced Engine Power” (limp-mode).”

Everything is put out there during the run, and if you’re the type who really enjoys digging into the data, Callaway has also posted many other test results on their website. Check out this video, if for no other reason than to give your day a soundtrack to get started.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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