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Z51 vs Z52 Handling Packages

McSnagg

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
59
Location
Nebraska
Corvette
1988 Triple Black Convertible Z52 4+3
What is the difference in detail between the Z51 Performance Handling Package and the Z52 Sport Handling Package on an 88 Vette? I have an 88 convertible with the Z52 option.

Thanks!:w
 

jrzvette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
287
Location
NJ
Corvette
1969 RED SB COUPE, 1993 BLACK ZF6 COUPE
The Z52 combined some of the elements of the Z51 with the softer suspension of the base model. I believe the biggest difference was Z52 was essentially a Z51 package with the base springs and was available on automatic cars. Z51 was only available with the manual transmission.
 
M

Mart

Guest
Not sure about 88's but this is not true far all years.

(JRZvette "Z51 was only available with the manual transmission.")

My 86 is a Z51 and it's an auto, the main difference between the auto and manual was the rearend, the auto was a Dana 36 while the Manuals had the beefier 44's.

The 88 Z51 had bigger front and back rotors 12' rears & 13' fronts vs the 11.5 standard, there are other differences, of which offhand I cannot recall, but I'm working of them.

Mart
 
R

raidoman

Guest
87 Z52

My 87 has Z52 and my understanding is that it is Z51 with standard rate springs. Has the faster steering ratio, Bilstein shocks and tranny cooler.




Not sure about 88's but this is not true far all years.

(JRZvette "Z51 was only available with the manual transmission.")

My 86 is a Z51 and it's an auto, the main difference between the auto and manual was the rearend, the auto was a Dana 36 while the Manuals had the beefier 44's.

The 88 Z51 had bigger front and back rotors 12' rears & 13' fronts vs the 11.5 standard, there are other differences, of which offhand I cannot recall, but I'm working of them.

Mart
 

jrzvette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
287
Location
NJ
Corvette
1969 RED SB COUPE, 1993 BLACK ZF6 COUPE
Not sure about 88's but this is not true far all years.

(JRZvette "Z51 was only available with the manual transmission.")

My 86 is a Z51 and it's an auto, the main difference between the auto and manual was the rearend, the auto was a Dana 36 while the Manuals had the beefier 44's.

The 88 Z51 had bigger front and back rotors 12' rears & 13' fronts vs the 11.5 standard, there are other differences, of which offhand I cannot recall, but I'm working of them.

Mart

According to "The Corvette Black Book" the availability of Z51 changed throughout the years:

1986
 

jrzvette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
287
Location
NJ
Corvette
1969 RED SB COUPE, 1993 BLACK ZF6 COUPE
Not sure about 88's but this is not true far all years.

(JRZvette "Z51 was only available with the manual transmission.")

My 86 is a Z51 and it's an auto, the main difference between the auto and manual was the rearend, the auto was a Dana 36 while the Manuals had the beefier 44's.

The 88 Z51 had bigger front and back rotors 12' rears & 13' fronts vs the 11.5 standard, there are other differences, of which offhand I cannot recall, but I'm working of them.

Mart

According to "The Corvette Black Book" the availability of Z51 changed throughout the years:

1986 Limited to coupes
1987 Coupes and manual transmissions
1988 - 1990 Limited to manual transmission coupes

So it appears it could be ordered on automatics in 1986 and 1987.
 

3dale1

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
158
Location
PA
Corvette
65 convertible L-76
The 88 Z51 had bigger front and back rotors 12' rears & 13' fronts vs the 11.5 standard
,

Anyone know if this would apply to an 85 Z-51, or were all the early C4's with the older spindle setups the same?
 

c4cruiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
971
Location
Lacey, WA USA
Corvette
87 Gold Z52 Coupe 02 EB Z51 Supercharged Coupe
All The 84-87 cars used the same spindles and the smaller 11.5" brakes all around. The suspension design change with the 88 model year. The J55 big brake option (13" front rotors) started in 88 with it becoming standard in 95.

The 84-87 wheel offest was different at 38mm while the 88 and later cars used the new 56mm offset.

RPO Z52 also came with the auxilary radiator fan,
HD radiator, and the KC4 oil cooler. The coupes also got the welded-in stiffening braces at the front corssmember that the 'verts and Z51 cars had.

The shocks were the Bilstein 'Sport' shocks and had a slightly softer valving than the Z51-specific shocks. The lower A-arm bushings were the standard ones (Z51 bushings were a HD version), the Z52 rear sway bar was slightly smaller.

Z52 also got the optional wheels (16x9.5 in 87 and 17x9.5 in 88). You could get Z52 on either coupes or 'verts in 87 and 88
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
What is the difference in detail between the Z51 Performance Handling Package and the Z52 Sport Handling Package on an 88 Vette? I have an 88 convertible with the Z52 option.

Thanks!:w

Z52 was a mix of FE1 suspension with some other parts that were part of Z51.

For that model year, Z52 used base-level springs, stabilizer bars, front lower control arms and the base front brakes.

It also used the, the new 17" wheels, the power steering cooler and the cooling enhancements. As for the shocks, all the info I have from MY88 shows Z52 and Z51 using the same shock, FG3.

As for the "stiffeners" up by the front x-member, I can't say for sure, but I thought that by MY88, all C4s had them.
 

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