How to Install a Corvette Widebody in 8 Steps
How to: Installing A Widebody On Your C7 Stingray
The C7 Stingray Corvette was introduced in 2014 and set new standards with excellent value and performance in the auto industry. The Z51 package offered track ready options such as dry oil sump lubrication, enlarged brakes with additional cooling, enhanced transmission and differential cooling, suspension upgrades and more. Z51 optioned cars also benefited from an upgraded wheel setup, rear being a set of 20"x10" wrapped in Michelin 285/30R20 -- A serious track car right off the dealer lot.
Most owners quickly discovered rear traction was an issue for the stock 460 hp LT1 power-plant. The following blog will showcase the different options on the market to widen your C7 Stingray rear body to accommodate larger 12" wheels--Giving you enhanced traction.
There are two major widebody options available to Corvette owners:
- Using parts directly from GM using the Z06 parts bin
- Using the ACS Composite widebody packages.
While both setups involve different components, the final results are nearly identical. Either option sports an increase in rear wheel size to accommodate the massive 20x12" Z06 wheel and tire (335/25ZR20 rubber). This amounts to 20% traction gain! Let's look at the breakdown of each kit.
GM Stingray Widebody Parts Bin
Any local dealer can quickly set up the parts list to perform the upgrade. This will include:
- Rear Fascia
- Rear Spoiler and wickers
- Driver Side Quarter Panel and Gas Cover
- Passenger Side Quarter Panel
- Set of Wheel Liners
- Matching bracket for the panels with hardware
- Lower Rocker Panel / Door Jam, Diver Side
- Lower Rocker Panel / Door Jam, Passenger Side
The work involved for the GM Stingray widebody is labor intensive. The rear panels will need to be removed, which is the case for both options. In addition to both doors, and the mysterious lower rocker panel.
The lower rocker panel is the foundation of the C7 Corvette. This is the first exterior body panel the assembly plant bonds to the hydro-formed aluminium chassis. All other panels are built around this one. It is bonded using a calibrated fixture. Installation of the Z06 widebody panel will require you to properly remove the OEM panels with patience and diligence amounting to dozens of hours of labor.
Installing the new lower rocker panel is done using an application specific urethane adhesive while ensuring the position is correct since doors, fenders and quarter panels all need to line up.
Several Corvette forum members have done the upgrade successfully. Corvette Forum member KostaT26 has documented and shared his work. Follow the link to review his venture -- an excellent job on the build.
Corvette Forum member Joemostet also documented his widebody build. Great job on the rocker disassembly, clearly taking your time and planning pays off. Both members did a great job!
Joemostet's Corvette Forum thread can be found here:
GM Widebody Pro's
- OEM look. As close to a Z06 as possible.
- Parts are available at any local GM dealer; potential no shipping charge.
GM Widebody Con's
- Parts bin list, sourcing every product.
- Labor intensive (i.e., door removal and rocker panel removal).
- Chassis risk and assembly challenge.
- Down time of car.
ACS Composite Stingray Widebody
The ACS Composite Corvette widebody solutions work around the risky venture of rocker panel disassembly. There are 4 different rear widebody solutions depending on body style, scoop styling and rear fascia replacement. Every ACS kit is a true bolt on conversion. No cutting, grinding, door removal or lower rocker panel is required. The ACS rocker panel extension is bolted on. For this reason, the kit can be installed within a day and by any shop or home DIY'ers.
The full ACS conversion kit will includes a series of either ACS or GM manufactured parts such as the rear fascia and spoiler for a complete OEM style upgrade without tampering with the integrity of the C7 chassis.
ACS Widebody Pro's
- Built following OEM specification.
- All inclusive kit, along with a detailed instruction manual.
- Shortened car downtime, assembly time is estimated at under a day.
ACS Widebody Con's
- It's not a Z06 rocker panel
- Small seem visible at the lower rocker panel mating the extension.
Here is a quick summary of the 8 step guide for a Stingray widebody conversion to a Z06 body:
How to widen your Stingray in eight steps?
- You own a 2014 and up C7 Corvette Stingray; convertible or coupe.
- Set your C7 Stingray on jackstands following the owner's manual and remove the rear wheels.
- Remove the rear fascia from the Stingray.
- Remove the wheels liners along with the rear quarter panels.
- Use the ACS Template to drill the lower rocker panel and install the ACS Rocker panel extension.
- Install the Z06 rear quarter panels
- Install the rear fascia along with the Z06 Spoiler
- Install the new 20x12 wheels.
Watch the video below for a complete walk trough including the functional brake scoop install.
Convertible Widebody Options
Coupe Widebody Options
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