The Good The Bad and The Ugly
This section was inspired by our readers comments about some of the products that they have been purchasing for their Corvettes. It has been and always will be our policy to reward the many good after-market suppliers and warn consumers about the dubious ones.
IPCW Adjustable LED Work Light
Everyone has an idea of what a good flash light is, Well we thought we knew everything about flash lights until we got a chance to test out this latest marvel. IPCW is a leader in LED lighting technology. Their latest product has in our opinion has raised the bar of hand held lighting to a whole new level.
The unit we tested is beyond doubt the brightest hand held light we have ever come across. The light has two separate LED outputs, a traditional front mounted lens and a string of top mounted white LED's.
With the push of a button this light will easily illuminate and entire engine bay or for that matter an entire room. The best part of the light is that it comes equipped with self contained rechargeable batteries. It even comes with a auxiliary car port charger. The charge will last for several hours between recharges.
The light is fully adjustable, has a safety flasher, pivots to any angle and even has an integrated magnet for situations that require a third hand.
The white LED's are blinding
The GoodIf you have ever thought of spicing up the hum drum GM "bean counter" inspired interior of you late model Corvette coupe we recommend that you take a close look at the Scorpion Fiberglass waterfall extension. The product mimics the sleek rear compartment waterfall found on Corvette roadsters.
The Corvette Waterfall Extenstion by Scorpion
The waterfalls are available for C5,C6 and C7 coupes. There are three different renditions of the extension. The latest Stage 3 extension incorporates a hinged compartment that can be a very handy spot to hide valuables.
We opted for an unpainted Stage 2 extension without the hidden compartment.
For an additional cost the manufacturer offers custom painted units. We had some perfectly matched victory red paint left over from a previous project so we opted to paint the units ourselves.
The unpainted extensions come prepped in gel coat. All you have to do is lightly sand them then apply three coats of primer. Wet sand the primer and let it cure over night. When ready hit the extensions with three coats of base coat. After the extensions dry spray the base coat with three wet coats of 2K clear and you are done. Make sure you use a quality respirator when spraying 2K clear as it is very nasty stuff.
The installed units look like they were a factory option and really upgrade the look of the interior.
You can get more info on this product by visiting the Scorpion site at
Three Great New Products From Griots
We are appreciate the fact that Girots values our opinion and asks us to beta test many of their new products. We have yet to find a Griots product that does not live up to the manufacturers claims.
Lets start with a new product that they call "Best of Show Detailer". This is a compliment to Speed Shine, another great product Griots offers. The Detailer goes on fast and brings out a just waxed shine to any clean automotive painted surface in a matter of seconds. The detailer has an extremely fast flash time which facilitates those last minute pre- judging clean ups. The bottom line is that we tried it and it works great.
Vinyl and Rubber Dressing - The next product on out to do list is Griots new Vinyl and Rubber Dressing.
Unlike some of the other petroleum based products out there the Griots does not leave and oily residue. If you get it on glass or another unintended part it wipes right off.
The new product woks wonders on anything made of rubber or vinyl. Weather striping, seals, plastic dash parts and carbon tape are restored to new condition after using this stuff.
"Black Shine" tire dressing - Last up on the test trio is Griots "Black Shine" tire dressing. Just when you thought that an automotive product couldn't be improved along comes something that upsets the apple cart.
The new tire dressing from Griots is a clear thick liquid that easily spreads over a tires surface with the use of a small sponge or cloth. Old dull tire rubber magically takes on a better than new semi-gloss appearance. This is the best tire dressing we have ever used and believe me we have used them all.
Thanks again Griots for stepping up to the plate and and suppling the automotive
industry with world class products.
You can check out these and many of the other fine products offered by Griots at https://www.griotsgarage.com/
Griots - Interior Detailer
Our friends at Griots Garage just keep the good times flowing! This month they sent us over another great product to test out. Their Interior Detailer is a great compliment to Gripots fine line of automotive care products. Unlike some of the other detailer on the market Griots has developed a product that can be used on virtually all solid automotive interior parts.
Unlike some of the other well known surface protectants on the market Griots detailer leaves no greasy residue or streaks. This is especially important when working on expensive carbon fiber parts. The UV inhibitors will also protect the treated parts from the damaging effects of direct sunlight.
Just spray a little on the area and wipe and buff off with a soft microfiber cloth. The end result is a surface that will return to its original factory condition. An added benefit is that the surface will have a new car scent that we all love.
We used the product on the interiors of several Corvettes and the results are outstanding. Once treated the dash and trim areas came out looking factory fresh.
Griots - Two New Products
-Best of Show Paste Wax
-Surface Prep Mit
We had to add a new description qualifier to our new products section this month. Formerly we classified products as good bad and ugly. We added the Great to this classification after testing Girots two new car care offerings.
If you are a car detailing nut you are familiar with the Griots line of car care products. Girots products are known on the show circuit for quality and effectiveness.
The first new Girots product that we tested was their Best of Show Paste wax. This product was added as an alternative to their liquid wax. The liquid wax gave a great old school shine but it also presented itself with an old school old workout. Carnuba wax can be very difficult to buff out, especially if you apply too much in one area.
Girots has solved this problem with its new paste wax. Say goodbye to the workout, the wax goes on very easily and buffs out with a minum of effort. The resulting shine and luster of a properly prepared surface is beyond description.
Surface Prep Mit
Proper preparation is key to a show quality shine. Up to this point, "clay baring" was the only way to properly prepare a cars surface. The proper use of a clay bar is another ardous task that up till now required hours of rubbing and wiping. Girots has come to the rescue with an entirely new concept in surface preparation. The call it the "Surface Prep Mit."
Girots sent us one to test and evaluate, that's exactly what we did. The Prep Mit is a flat sided glove that is coated with a rubber like material on one side. The material has a diamond like texture that simulates a clay bar action when used.
The mit comes in two configurations. The yellow mit is for fine surface preparation and the red mit is for a more aggressive prep.
The mit, like a clay bar, must be used with a lubricant. Girots Speed Shine is recommended and is perfect for pre-mit surface lubrication. To make a long story short, the days of clay baring are over. We used the mit to prep the surface of a black C5 that was in need of some TLC.
The entire car was prepped and waxed in less than an hour. The results were spectacular. The mit removed virtually all surface stains, fine scratches and paint imperfections. After prepping we applied a coat of the new paste wax. The result was a show quality shine, which is not easy to get on a black painted vehicle.
Thank you Griots for making life a bit easier.
In the never ending quest for items that make your car look better we found a great exterior dress up accessory. Spoilers and side skirts are are back in fashion with the boy racer crowd. Traditional exterior add on's are made of fiberglass or high dollar carbon fiber. Fiberglass and carbon are both expensive and fragile. One encounter with a concrete parking stop or an aggressively steep driveway will send your new toys to spoiler heaven in a heartbeat.
Fiberglass units typically require prepping, fitting and and in the case of fiberglass, sanding and painting. Carbon fiber units are ready to install out of the box, unless the mounting holes were mis drilled. Unless you are well versed in the ins and outs of custom body work the installation is better left to professionals.
EZLIP has presented us with a very viable alternative to
traditional glass or carbon spoilers and side skirts. The EZLIP is made from a very tough Dura-X Foam™ rubber compound. 3M automotive tape is pre installed on the unit which makes for a super simple installation.
After contacting the manufacturer they sent us an EZLIP Pro to test. We told them that our intended test vehicle was a C5 Corvette. The EZLIP Pro is made from a heavy duty rubber that forms to just about any body curve that you can throw at it.
Installation is simple:
- Measure and cut the desired length of material.
- Clean the mounting surface of the car with some rubbing alcohol
- Apply some 3M surface prep (supplied with units) to the mounting surface
- Pull about two inches of the red backing tape off the EZLIP
- Press the EZLIP on the pre selected car mounting surface and very carfully start applying the EZLIP, front to rear, by removing the red tape about one foot at a time.
It sounds complicated but it took one of our all thumbed gear heads only about ten minutes to perfectly install the units on both sides of the car.
The matt black fit and finish of the EZLIP PRO is amazing. Unless you get up really close to the vehicle you would never know that the EZLIP is made of rubber. We have ran these units at high speeds on our Corvette now for over a month and have not experienced any problems with seperation from the body.
You can find out more and order a set at the EZLIP web site.
Griots Speed Shine
There are many good detailing products that have made our rides easier to live with. Detailers are not cleaners, they were invented to remove dust and some minor streaking from a properly waxed and polished car surface.
One of the best detailers we have used to date is Griots Speed Shine. They sent us a bottle for us to test and test we did. We compared the Griots Speed Shine to two other very good detailing products. We performed a very unscientific test of the three products. Ease of application and final shine were the criteria for our test.
The other two dretailing products tested included Mothers Showtime detailer and Meguires Quick Detailer.
We applied all three of the detailers to the clean surface of a black C5 Corvette. Black paint is very unforgiving and will show every imperfection without remorse.
The best way to apply a detailer is to employ three seperate microfiber towels.
The first towel is for application. the second towel is for removal and the third towel is for the final buff and shine.
We devided the hood of our test vehicle into three sections applied the products and did a very scientific flashlight test to see which product gave the best shine.
The winner in terms of ease of application and shine was the Griots Speed Shine.
Check out Griots entire line of high end car care products at
Curb Alert - Front End Proximity Alert System
After installing a very cool carbon fiber front splitter to one of our project cars we realized that in order to keep it looking good some protection was warranted. Our friends at RPI Designs came to the rescue and sent us a Curb Alert front end proximity alert system that is designed specifically for the Corvette C6 (p.s. RPI has the Corvette specific units at the best price). The unit is very easy to install and works as advertised. Damn those parking lot hazards, full speed ahead. Click on the following link; Curb Alert, for our full install story on this unit.
ProCharger i-1 Programmable Super Charger
The annual SEMA event in Vegas is a treasure trove of information. The good people from ProCharger turned us on to an amazing piece of technology that they are about to release to the general public. We saw the new unit installed in an LS3 Camaro. TO say the least we were very impressed.
Imagine a sophisticated blower system for your late model. Now imagine having the ability to program the parameters of the blower in real time from the comfort of your drivers seat.
The i-1 from ProCharger produces big power gains and offers a tunable performance curve.
The units internal intelligent control system combined with a touch screen display enable the driver to switch between three factory supplied performance modes, as well as a custom mode.
According to the manufacturer the i-1 technology delivers a blower system with the most power and best in class fuel economy. Similar to P-1SC-1 and D-1SC supercharger systems, i-1 ProCharger systems produce more power per psi of boost than air-water-intercooled positive displacement supercharger systems.
The patented programmable i-1 design produces immediate response, even at low engine rpm, without any turbo lag or boost falloff at higher engine rpm.
In addition to the units available pre-set power curves a competition mode can also be selected. The driver can use the touch screen to lock the supercharger in a low ratio mode or select a personalized mode. Programmable boost is delivered by a highly durable variable ratio transmission design, with a rugged dry hybrid drive.
Proven in over 4 years of intensive R&D and rigorous performance testing, the i-1 is available with ProCharger’s optional 3-year supercharger warranty.
Mothers Clay Bar System
If you are looking for a product that will give your car the shine of its life look no further. The Mother's corporation has intraduced a clay bar cleaning system that will deliver a smooth glass like finish to your show car and daily driver.
We tested the Mothers clay bar system out on two of the cars in our shop and the results were outstanding. The clay bar cleaning process is super fast and super easy. Wash your car and dry it thoroughly. Spray the supplied Mothers Show Time car detailer onto a two ft by two ft section of the car. Knead the clay bar into a hamburger patti shape. Place the clay in the palm of your hand and work the clay across the detailer with horizontal back and forth strokes. After about six strokes wipe off the detailer with the supplied microfiber cloth.
The results will amaze you and your friends.
American Car Craft Custom Stainless Steel Accessories
The fit and finish of these accessories are beyond description, each part is manufactured to exact tolerances to ensure extreme ease of installation.
We recently transformed the dull stock engine bay of our Project ZO6 into a a certified show stopper with some engine "bling" that our friends at ACC let us test out.
Check out all the "goodies" at American Car Craft
Airbrush Incorporated Custom Underhood Artwork
If you are into the car show circuit you have undoubtedly seen some of master airbrush artist Steve Ray's underwood and body art work. Steve Ray, owner of Airbrush Incorporated , has taken the art form known as air brushing to the next level. His work adorns some of the best rods in the country.
Steve sent us over a set of his highly sought after custom painted fuel rail covers for us to try out on our project car. We love the stainless rails from ACC but had to try out the artwork from Steve. The mix of "bling" and art work makes for a truly unique look.
Check out Steve Ray's automotive masterpieces at: Airbrush Incorporated
TKO Performance custom made steering wheel spoke inserts
Lets face it the stock steering wheel on a C6 looks like it taken right out of an Impalla Police cruiser. What was GM thinking? An easy to install upgrade that makes a dramatic difference in appearance is a set of custom made steering wheel spoke inserts.
TKO performance out of Long Island NY specializes in custom fabrication of these and other
carbon faux interior pieces. The steering wheel spokes are an exact match in color and look to the stock carbon look center console on 2008 and up C6's.
The spokes snap right into place, we used a few drops of clear silicon adhesive to hold them in place. The companies owner told us that a lot of attention to detail went into creating these covers. The spokes have rounded edges that sink into the crease between the leather giving the product a factory look. You can snag a set of these beauties at TKOPERFORMANCE.COM
Armor All Wheel Protectant
If your ride sports a set of chrome wheels you are no stranger to the dreaded curse of brake dust. This is especially true if you are running a set of semi metallic pads that give off copious ammounts of black dust every time you go for a ride. Easy to build up and difficult to wash off, brake dust has been the bane of beautiful, shiny wheels since the invention of disc brakes.
Our friends at Armor All have come up with a solution. Simply spray Armor All Wheel Protectant on clean, dry wheels to repel brake dust, road grime, and dirt. The invisible barrier lasts up to four weeks, keeping your wheels clean from wash to wash.
Meguiar's Ultimate Compound
Every once n a while we come across a really great product. By great we mean a product that actually does what it claims to do. Meguiar's Ultimate Compound is a new product from a very respected company. If your car is showing its age or you inadvertently wiped the surface with a less than sanitary rag this is the product for you.
Ultimate compound when used as directed will safely restore color and clarity to abused and neglected finishes. Meguiar's exclusive micro-abrasive technology cuts as fast as a traditional compound, but without scratching. Meguiars Ultimate Compound leaves a smooth, swirl-free finish often in one step.
The Save-a-Battery charger won hands down in our battery charger shoot out test. The charger is a fast, 50-watt 2x Battery charger. After charging is complete the unit automatically switches to maintenance/monitoring mode. By varying current and voltage in a deeper cycle, the charger desulfinates and extends battery life without overcharging. A low voltage alarm monitors the battery and sounds before damage occurs from discharging.
The manufacturer claims that you can leave the unit permanently connected, with no risk of overcharging. A built in voltmeter also lets you test your wiring and charging system. the large LCD screen and bright LED bank make it easy to monitor battery voltage, charging mode, connection status, and overall battery health. The LCD display can be turned off while charging or maintaining for long-term storage. The unit is equipped with modular plug-in cables with three types of battery connectors. The charger comes with a 10' foot long AC power cord; and gold-plated connectors for reliability in damp garages and boathouses. The "No-sparks" polarity protection prevents operation if you screw up the connection to your battery.
The Save A Battery 12-Volt Battery Charger Maintainer and Tester comes with a 6-foot 5-Amp battery terminal lug cable, a 6-foot alligator clip cable, a 6-foot cigarette lighter adapter cable, a 10-foot AC power input cable, and a mounting bracket for permanent wall or vehicle installation.
We give this product a definite thumbs up, it is reasonably priced at about $99
Alden wrenches can slide into places that other tools can't, and the combination of the open end and the ratcheting mechanism is sometimes exactly what's needed to complete a difficult task. The ALDEN WRENCH is an open-ratcheting wrench that only needs 30 angled room to ratchet. It is equivalent to a flip-flapping 15 angled open wrench with a much faster ratchet action. The wrenches have a uniquely shaped head, with a spring-loaded "under-jaw" that acts as a ratchet. Most open-end wrenches need as much as 60 degrees of swing to work, but the Alden wrench only needs 30 degrees.
The design of the wrench also allows them to fit slight variations in fastener sizes when the fastener head is rusted or deformed. The 17-4PH stainless is not as hard as the metal used in conventional wrenches. This allows the tool to "bite" the fastener, providing a good grip. The head of the Alden wrench acts like a "Monkey wrench", that is, as more force is applied, the wrench provides a tighter grip on the fastener.
The Alden Wrench is the only open-end ratchet with a strong grip and a small head, for easier access to right work spots. The Alden Wrench is made of 17-4pH Stainless Steel. It is designed for aerospace hydraulics, and is also good for marine use. The Alden Wrench comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, prices start at abort $85 per set
We were given a pair of Proskins mechanics gloves by the manufacturer at last years SEMA show. After using them on some real knuckle busting chores around the shop we can report that they are a great product, Unlike some of the other work gloves that we have used the Proskins fit extremely well and allow you to keep a great portion of your tactile sense of touch. This is especially useful as you do not have to remove the gloves to do simple fitting of parts.
The gloves are made of a synthetic leather like material that covers the palm,index and ring finger tips. The glove repels up 25% more water and oil than other gloves on the market. The gloves feature a low profile hook and loop cuff closure and a two way stretch spandex top. It has hidden interior seem stitching and Lycra insert panels,ensuring comfort and mobility. The gloves retail for about $20 a pair.
Corsa Exhaust Systems
Every once in a while a
products comes along that really impresses us.
Corsa exhaust systems fit that category.
The Fuel Bib
No matter how carefully
you are when
filling up your dream machines tank there will come a day when you
inadvertently spill a few drops of go juice onto your cars meticulously
maintained paint job. You panic, and scramble for anything to wipe off
the posinous fluid. The end result is that
you now have a fuel streaked quarter panel and a smelly shirt and
Edelbrocks IAS shocks
We heard about Edelbrocks new line of IAS shocks, we contacted them and they sent us over a set to test on a C5.
Edelbrock has introduced their new line of IAS performance shocks. These shocks shocks feature Ricor’s patented Inertia Active System (IAS). This exclusive design switches instantly between a firm and a soft circuit for superior handling and a smooth ride.
We installed these without using a lift in about an hour. The results are amazing. The car corners like a Grand Prix racer and rides like a Caddy. Retail price for these babies are $120 each. We give them a thumbs up for performance, easy installation and overall value.
Morse Ceramic Brake Pads
If you have more than 30k miles on your Vette it is probably time for a new set of brake pads. We have installed many types of pads on our Vettes over the years for many types of applications including rally, drag, pro street etc...Most of these racing pads squeal,grab when cold and leave copious amounts of brake dust in their wake.
We have found a real solution for serious street applications, Morse ceramic pads. They are available through AutoZone and are about half the price of factory units. They perform flawlessly, they have amazing stopping power with no noise, fade or brake dust to contend with.
One of the most asked questions we get is "what are the best alternatives to the Goodyear EMT tires that are standard on Corvettes". EMT is the abbreviation for extended mobility tire or "run flat". The Goodyear EMT's do a fairly decent job , the problem is they cost an arm and a leg to replace.
We have tested many non EMT tires and have come up with an alternative that will suit any street application. That alternative is the FALKEN F452 street radial line.
These tires have killer looks, they ride great and unlike some other brands have no noticeable road noise.They also wear extremely well. These tires will also give a very noticeable increase in off the line and cornering traction.
Falken 452's were used for our Project C5 build up. They are in our opinion the best bang for your hard earned buck when it comes to tires. A new Falken can be had for about $150,that's less than half the cost of a Goodyear EMT.
You can order these tires on line from tire wholesalers like Discount Tire Direct. They will ship them to you or if you prefer to one of their approved installers in your area.
For more info go to www.falkentire.com
The Sometimes Good
Hypertech system reprogrammer
the wide world of electronics is the Max Energy reprogrammer.Just like
the Hypertech Max Energy, is a system reprogrammer that replaces the
stock WOT (wide-open throttle)program with a new performance version.
claims a substantial (12hp and 25 ftlb torque) gain with its
new unit, they claim a 34 hp increase when used in conjunction with an
It is all a matter of perspective and how much money you are willing to
part with for the latest in Corvette toys.
the unit is plugged
into your vehicle's underdash diagnostic port, it will upgrade the OEM
program on your vehicle's on board computer with the Power Tuning
program tailored for your vehicle.
A word of caution to anyone out there that owns a vehicle that is under the manufacturers drive train warranty. Using this product will void your cars warranty if the re-flash of your vehicles onboard computer is detected by a factory dealer. Returning your vehicles stock tune will not erase the reflash history from your vehicles computer.
Northern Tool Aluminum Race Jack
This Single Piston Pump 1 1/2-Ton jack has all the features of a professional aluminum race jack, and at a great price, it retails for under $100. The jack is light weight for easy transport and positioning. The jacking pad is made out of thick rubber and works great on a Corvettes lifting points. It has a beautiful blue and silver anodized finish.
Lift Capacity (tons) 1 1/2
Min. Lift Height (in.) 3 1/4
Max. Lift Height (in.) 14 3/4
Frame Material Aluminum
Strokes to Max. Lift (qty.) 10
Base 21 7/8 x 9 3/4
Most of the time Good but: Let the buyer beware
of our readers have been complaining about the poor service life and
low voltage problems associated with the Optima battery line. To be
fair we have also received many letters complimenting the OPTIMA line
Mothers PowerBall is a foam polishing ball that attaches to your electric drill. This patent-pending detailing tool is made of professional grade closed-cell foam that is soft and highly absorbent. When you press the PowerBall to a surface, the foam maintains its shape so that there is a thick cushion between your vehicle and the drill. The individual foam tabs that compose the ball provide excellent polishing capabilities in combination with any polishing product. We have tested this product on several cars and have nothing but good to say about it. The PowerBall will cut your detailing time in half and will yield a professional shine.