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2020 C8 Z51
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Discussion Starter #1
Curious if the 2015 Z51 has the center air dam?
Some of us thought the removal of the center air dam on the 2014 Z51 was a last minute decision to improve brake cooling on the track. If that was the case, assume they could make a somewhat shorter center air dam to leave a gap with perhaps some extra deflectors to direct air to the brakes. Removing the whole center air dam to get better brake cooling doesn’t really fit unless a last minute quick fix.
There were also some comments about altering the downforce to match the added rear spoiler. However an air dam usually increases downforce, which is what the added rear spoiler accomplishes! However airflow is funny so hard to make general conclusions.
There was some speculation about it being removed to increase cooling but why would the Z51 be any different than the standard Vette that has a center air dam?
 

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No, the Z51 don't have the center air dam. Maybe the center air dam can cause lift and turbulence at a high rate of speed. I noticed on my Z51 that under the car , the bottom has bolt in panels from front to back so the air has a clean exit out the back of the car.
 

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I thought it was a convertible vs coupe thing.
All non-Z51s had the full flexible air dam and the Z51s had just the two side sections.
 
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More that a few owners have removed them to gain additional ground clearance after lowering, while others remove them to clean up the "look" of the front end.
 

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To answer the question no, the 2015 Z51 does not have the center air dam.
 
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2020 C8 Z51
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Discussion Starter #8
All non-Z51s had the full flexible air dam and the Z51s had just the two side sections.
Thanks, I also searched and found a technical explanation of why the C7 has more downforce without the center air dam! It comes from a September 2013 post:
“I asked Harlan Charles (who was giving a talk at the Corvette Museum) about the lack of a Z51center section air dam and was told the Z51 got more down force on the nose if the air was allowed under the nose and then vented up and over the hood and out the side vents thus allowing them to put the bigger spoiler on the rear to balance it. The standard C7 gets a full air dam and the small spoiler. Harlan also mentioned that the C7 "breathes" through the nose and not under the nose like the C4, C5 and partially like the C6.”
Someone also mentioned it was a last minute decision after testing and was for handling and cooling reasons.
 

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However I think all this front dam/ rear spoiler thing is moot for most of us. Because if it was critical that a dam, on or off, and a spoiler installed, would affect a daily driver, I think they would put in in the directions on how to mount the spoiler. The z51 spoiler, which they sell and approve for a base car, makes no mention in the directions to "remove the front center dam" to balance the car. The wing instructions also don't have anything about managing the front end aerodynamics either.

I think all this is good at Daytona, but makes little diff for us daily drivers.....

The real question is: does a base /ZF1 car have any changes in the front vs a base car? If they just slapped the z51 spoiler on a base car with the ZF1 package, then they are being a bit hypocritical to a degree...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
However I think all this front dam/ rear spoiler thing is moot for most of us. Because if it was critical that a dam, on or off, and a spoiler installed, would affect a daily driver, I think they would put in in the directions on how to mount the spoiler. The z51 spoiler, which they sell and approve for a base car, makes no mention in the directions to "remove the front center dam" to balance the car. The wing instructions also don't have anything about managing the front end aerodynamics either.

I think all this is good at Daytona, but makes little diff for us daily drivers.....

The real question is: does a base /ZF1 car have any changes in the front vs a base car? If they just slapped the z51 spoiler on a base car with the ZF1 package, then they are being a bit hypocritical to a degree...
Guess it depends on how fast you drive your DD! I hit 100 mph from time to time! Probably right for most folks.
Had some very interesting comments about the difference in aerodynamics between the Z51 and non Z51. I’ll paraphrase:

The Z51 vs. the non-Z51 have significantly different aero signatures. This is primarily due to the functional air intakes on top of the rear quarter panels. Each of those ducts is moving 8 cubic meters per minute of air through the duct work and out the rear fascia (that's 280 CFM - a heck of a lot of air!) As a result, all that air is not moving across the rear wing and as a result, requires a rear Spoiler that has a larger area and thus additional drag.
Since the Z51 is more track oriented model, more airflow must be presented to the brake inlets. You'll notice a difference for example in the front grille openings between the Z51 and non-Z51 as more air must be presented to cool the larger front brakes.
 

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Jerry, regardless of model, if you have an automatic one of the rear top of fender vents is functional for cooling purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jerry, regardless of model, if you have an automatic one of the rear top of fender vents is functional for cooling purposes.
When I received that info I wondered the same thing. However it was obviously from someone in the know. It went on to say that it was a last minute decision to remove the center Z51 air dam section after extensive testing, for both handling and cooling reasons. Wonder if the airflow is higher with the Z51 since when tracking the car more cooling is needed?
 

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The brake ducts are underneath on the Z51 so they removed the center air dam and put air deflectors in front of the tires(like on the Camaro ZL1) to help move the air around the wheels.

If nothing else, they help protect the front tires from road debris kicked up by other vehicles.
 

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I have a 2014 Z51 with a build date of June 2013. I have all three deflectors - middle, left, right. I want to replace the middle deflector due to driveway scrap-age. However, after reading various posts from multiple forums, I have learned that they did away with the middle section early on for better brake cooling and air flow (from what I've read). My question is should I bother buying the middle section since it appears they made this change to benefit performance. Or is there something about the early 14s that makes it necessary to have the middle section. Might I be interfering with warranty issues, not that I can think of any related to the removal, but altering a vehicle's performance may cause some red flags with PIA dealers and hinder warranty coverage. I may be overthinking this, but looking for some advise. Thanks
 

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I have a 2014 Z51 with a build date of June 2013. I have all three deflectors - middle, left, right. I want to replace the middle deflector due to driveway scrap-age. However, after reading various posts from multiple forums, I have learned that they did away with the middle section early on for better brake cooling and air flow (from what I've read). My question is should I bother buying the middle section since it appears they made this change to benefit performance. Or is there something about the early 14s that makes it necessary to have the middle section. Might I be interfering with warranty issues, not that I can think of any related to the removal, but altering a vehicle's performance may cause some red flags with PIA dealers and hinder warranty coverage. I may be overthinking this, but looking for some advise. Thanks
This topic has been discussed many times. Many of us have removed all of the air dams. Per Tadge, they are intended to assist the vehicle at speeds of 150 mph+

I removed mine after only a few months. 14 months later and no issues at all.
 

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Absolutely no reason to have the center underneath air dam on any Z-51's (regardless of year). Not buying it is not going to cause you any secondary problems.
 

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This topic has been discussed many times. Many of us have removed all of the air dams. Per Tadge, they are intended to assist the vehicle at speeds of 150 mph+

I removed mine after only a few months. 14 months later and no issues at all.

I can attest the Z51 is rock solid at 280kph ( ~175mph ), so I will be keeping my side air deflectors.
 

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I have a 2014 Z51 with a build date of June 2013. I have all three deflectors - middle, left, right. I want to replace the middle deflector due to driveway scrap-age. However, after reading various posts from multiple forums, I have learned that they did away with the middle section early on for better brake cooling and air flow (from what I've read). My question is should I bother buying the middle section since it appears they made this change to benefit performance. Or is there something about the early 14s that makes it necessary to have the middle section. Might I be interfering with warranty issues, not that I can think of any related to the removal, but altering a vehicle's performance may cause some red flags with PIA dealers and hinder warranty coverage. I may be overthinking this, but looking for some advise. Thanks
Welcome to our forum NJBen. Are you sure you have a Z51 and not a base with some Z51 addons, like the full rear wing etc. Are your rotors slotted? I don't recall any Z51s being delivered with the center rubber air deflector.
 

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I'm absolutely positive it's a Z51. I have the z51 wheels and slotted rotors. It's lime rock green and has the three air deflectors. Through poking around on the forums I've found that early on they change to a two (no middle section).
 
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