3 Corvette C5 beginner mods for instant performance

So you’re thinking about starting to modify your Corvette C5?

I don’t blame you… with the right modifications, your C5 could be more of a beast than it already is. Plus, when it comes to performance––more is always better in the corvette world.

But as a beginner, where do you even start?

After all, modifying your corvette is a long journey that can be very complex and get pretty expensive. And I know you don’t want to wait for the more costly mods to start feeling some power gains (nobody got time for dat!) In this article, I will reveal to you 3 Corvette C5 beginner mods for instant performance.

These mods will give you the additional HP you seek while keeping it as simple and as inexpensive as possible. These will also pave the way for those later, more advanced mods.

1. Long tube headers provide improved oxygen…and with that… a boost in horsepower––making them one of the top Corvette C5 beginner mods for instant performance. 

Long tube headers can provide you with some serious BANG! They work because they are longer and merge father out than it’s shorter counterparts ––this length impacts back pressure in the exhaust system. Long tube headers’ impact comes in the form of lower exhaust back pressure, which results in improved oxygen intake and a boost in horsepower. 

Long tube headers build a ton of power in the mid to high RPM range. 

c5 corvette headers hp gain:

You can expect an increase in 20 to 30 horsepower from this Corvette C5 beginner mod according to past tests.

The header’s price can range from $600 in the low end to $1500 in the higher end. Most lie in the $900-$1400 range.

According to sites around the web, installation prices range between $400-$700 and can take 8 to 10 hours to complete. Often requires some reconfiguration in the engine bay.

Which is the best to buy?

According to the Corvette forums, most people suggest getting the LGMotorsports headers. 

HP gain: 20-30

Cost: $600-$1500

Installation: $400-$700 | 8-10 hours

2. Cold air means more power, and a cold air intake system provides just that. The easy installation and surge in HP makes this part one of the best Corvette C5 beginner mods for instant performance.  

Corvette C5 beginner mods

To get the best performance out of your C5 Corvette you must let it breathe. And by this I mean installing a quality cold air intake system that allows loads of oxygen-rich —power-producing air into the cylinders.

With the engine getting as hot as it does, it becomes very unlikely for a stock air intake to provide your C5 Corvette with cold air, this is no bueno for performance. We want cold air because it is denser, therefore, carrying more oxygen. An aftermarket C5 cold air intake is able to reach that cooler air that hasn’t been heated by the engine, and like mentioned, cooler air carries more power producing oxygen.

With this allowance of added oxygen, you can expect a rise in horsepower of about 5 to 20 HP with this cold air intake.

A cold air intake can range from $150 for the lower end to $450 for the higher end ones. You can get a quality one for about $250.

According to sites around the web, installation prices can vary between $150 and $500, depending on the design. It can take 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete.

Which is the best to buy?

We recommend our very own Corvette C5 vortex ram induction air intake. Through constant trial and error and trying out multiple other air intake systems, we have put together one that combines the pros of all the other intakes we have tried, but without the cons. 

Hp gain: 5-20

Cost: $150 to $450

Installation: $150-500 | 1.5-2.5 hrs

3. Duration. The longer the valve stays open, the more air in and exhaust out, resulting in power.

Corvette C5 beginner mods

An aftermarket camshaft is a great Corvette C5 modification because it leads to huge increases in horsepower. Like the last two parts we went over, this upgrade allows more air which we already know results in more power. An aftermarket camshaft achieves this by getting more valve lift. Since the valves stay open longer, more oxygen-rich air gets in. Also, the duration in which these aftermarket camshafts stay open is greater than that of a stock camshaft. So combined, the lift and duration, this leads to a fair amount of increases in HP. 

An aftermarket camshaft can add as much as 30HP or more!

A camshaft can run you about $300 to $550, depending on the brand and aggressiveness. 

With installation and all other supporting parts, you’re looking at an approximate $2k in costs. According to forums, installation can take from 7 to 15 hours. 

Which is the best to buy?

It will depend; you will have to do research based on your C5. Here is a link to a forum that might help. 

Hp gain: up to 50+

Cost: $300-$550

Installation: up to $2k | 7 to 15 hrs

Now you have a path to begin converting your stock C5 into a beast machine. 

Have fun!

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