How to Get More Horsepower Out of a Corvette L98

by Scott Eilers
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The L98 engine was the standard engine option on Chevrolet (or Chevy) Corvettes produced from 1985 to 1991. It was a small-block aluminum V8 engine which produced 230 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The engine was also available as a performance upgrade for the Pontiac Firebird and Chevrolet Camaro. Because it was used in several performance vehicles, there are a variety of performance aftermarket parts available for L98 powered Corvettes which increase horsepower when installed.

Step 1

Remove the factory Chevrolet air intake system and install a performance-oriented aftermarket cold air intake system in its place. This will allow more air to enter the engine, which enhances the combustion process that occurs in each engine cylinder. Combustion is what creates power in a car engine, therefore more combustion means more horsepower. This step can be completed in under an hour and typically results in a boost of 10 to 20 horsepower.

Step 2

Remove the factory Chevrolet exhaust system and install a performance-oriented aftermarket exhaust system in its place. This will allow air to exit the engine bay via the exhaust system more efficiently, which reduces back pressure and increases horsepower. Aftermarket exhaust systems typically require professional installation because access to the underside of the Corvette is needed. Further, replacing the factory exhaust system will result in an increase in engine noise and CO2 emissions. Make sure to check with state regulations before performing this step, as some states prohibit the installation of aftermarket exhaust systems.

Step 3

Install a nitrous oxide injection kit. Nitrous oxide injection kits temporarily increase available horsepower by adding nitrous oxide to the fuel system. This is typically done by connecting the injection system to a button or lever which can then be triggered by the driver. The amount of horsepower that is added from a nitrous oxide injection kit depends on the concentration of the nitrous oxide. Some kits can added over 100 horsepower per shot, but generally speaking the more horsepower that is added the greater the risk of damaging the engine. Overuse of nitrous oxide or an incorrectly attached injection kit can completely blow your Corvette's engine.

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