Jun 05, 2023
Z06 Owners Check Your Underbodies as Chevy Has a PDI Issue with the New Corvette
When the mid-engine Corvettes were being developed, engineers paid as much attention to the air flowing under the car as they did over it. That’s why Chevy included the close-out panels on the bottom
When the mid-engine Corvettes were being developed, engineers paid as much attention to the air flowing under the car as they did over it. That’s why Chevy included the close-out panels on the bottom of the car to make it flat as possible to ensure that air flow was controlled and wasn’t being impacted by the chassis components under the car. The Z07 took that even further by including the underbody strakes to direct the underbody airflow out the sides of the car.
Now we have an issue that first came to light over on the MidEngineCorvetteForum.com about those closeout panels on the bottom of the car and what happens if they are installed incorrectly. Unlike the Stingray, the C8 Z06 is shipped to dealers with one of the closeout panels removed from the car, and it’s installed at dealerships (and the National Corvette Museum’s R8C program) during the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI). Unfortunately, the instructions aren’t very clear about the panel’s installation, and it has resulted in more than a few Z06 owners having the air flow incorrectly under the car which results in the closeout panel becoming deformed after capturing air.
An MECF member named GTPprix! shared the photo of his Z06 underbody, asking it if was normal for the panel look like it did. The front of the panel had captured air which caused it to sag on either side of the center bolt. The photo below shows his closeout panel on the left while the correct method is shown on the right.
After GTPprix put out his photo, other Z06 owners started confirming that they too had the panels installed incorrectly and were showing these gaps between the two panels caused by airflow. It appears that during the PDI process, service techs are simply bolting the panel to the underside of the car. Instead, what they should be doing is removing the panel adjacent first and then installing the removed panel so that the front-facing tabs are tucked under it first so that air cannot get between the two panels and cause the gap.
Luckily, he states that it’s an easy fix with the car on a lift or jack stands, requiring only a Torx T15 and a 7mm Socket/Nut Driver:
Welp if I had honestly thought this was going to be bigger than just myself I absolutely would have taken a video when I repaired mine. That being said the “fix” is very easy and could be done on jack stands without issue and the only tools you should need are a Torx T15 and a 7mm Socket/Nut Driver. Basically you want to remove the insulator that is currently “hanging” down and put it back up above the front three closeouts (Left, Center and Right). I’ve attached some pictures that should help with two areas:The first being the correct overall position as well as fastener location. The darker panel in that picture is the panel we are working with and you can clearly see the closeout in front of it is OVER that panel and a lighter grey color. It’s worth noting that there are THREE fastener locations on that picture that are not marked, the first one is a push pin at the back center of the panel (very easy to see) and the other is one 7MM nut on the left and right side leading front edge (towards the front of the car) of the panel where it goes under the left and right closeout (this will make sense when you see it). There are also two wings that are represented in the first picture as bolts going throw the light grey area at the bottom (back of car) these pass through the light grey panel and then through the insulator we are working with.The second picture shows how the panel goes back in following the “lines” for placement showing it lives under the front insulators and the wings (discussed above) live under the back of the front fender liner where it meets the body.The final picture is an assembled view of my car post repair so you can see what it should look like and where everything goes:
Another member from the MECF had picked up his Corvette Z06 during the NCM Bash and then proceeded to drive his car back to Oregon. After checking his Z06 and seeing the same issue, he contacted his dealer for a service appointment. Currently, there is a question of who should pay for the service time to fix the panel installation error. As this occurred at the NCM during the PDI process, we are hoping that Chevrolet will pick up the tab him and for any customer that requires their panels to be reinstalled.
Related:[VIDEO] Watch a 2023 Corvette Z06 with Z07 Undergo the PDI Process Before Delivery[PICS] Best Look Yet at the 2023 Corvette Z06’s Underbody Aero StrakesC8 Corvette Secrets: The 2020 Corvette is the First to Have a Flat Underbody