How to Lower a C5 Corvette

by David Curtis
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corvette image by Julianna Olah from

The C5 version of the Corvette was produced between the years 1997 through 2004. The C5 was redesigned by Chevrolet engineers from the ground up. Using the stock suspension adjusting bolts, you can safely lower a C5 Corvette. The maximum lowering distance is 3/4 of an inch in the front and 1 inch in the rear when equipped with the Z51 suspension. The standard FE1 and F45 suspensions can be lowered about ½ inch in both front and rear.

Step 1

Park the car on a level surface and block the front wheels. Jack up the rear of the car and support it with jack stands. Using the lug wrench, remove the wheels and tires.

Step 2

Locate the rear traverse spring at the center rear of the car and find the connecting bolts at the ends of the spring. The adjustment bolts are inserted upwards. Notice the excess threads on the top portion of the bolt. This is the adjustment area. Using an 18 mm socket wrench at the bottom of the bolt and holding an 18 mm open-end wrench on the top nut, turn the bolt clockwise until you see only two or three threads exposed at the top of the bolt.

Step 3

Repeat the process on the other side of the traverse spring. Measure each side to ensure the spacing is the same on both bolts. Jack the car back up, remove the jack stands then lower the car to the ground.

Step 4

Block the rear wheels and jack up the front of the car. Place jack stands under the car for support. Remove the front wheels and tires. Place a block of wood on top of the jack and place it on the bottom of the front spring. Jack the spring upward to ease the tension on it.

Step 5

Locate the ride height adjustment bolts just forward of the front shock absorbers. Using the 10 mm socket wrench, turn the bolt counterclockwise until it feels tight. Turn the bolt ¼ of a turn clockwise to back it off a little. Repeat the process on the other side. Remove the jack stands and place the car back on the ground. Measure the distance between the ground and the top of the front wheel well to ensure the adjustment is the same on both sides.

Step 6

Drive the car for a few days to settle the suspension and make adjustments as needed. Have an alignment performed once you are satisfied with the results.

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