Car: 2006 Z06 Corvette
Cage: NHRA SFI 25.5
Other Goodies: This is a perfect example of why buying an already-built racecar doesn't always work out to be cheaper. The customer purchased this well known car, that was built by a reputable shop from Georgia. It has a fully built Dart block and Brodix headed 427, Procharger F-1x blower, Powerglide trans and programmable power shifter.
In current trim, it is capable of near 2000 hp on c16. Although it didn't have an NHRA cert (previous owner raced no prep and IHRA track down south), everything appeared to be well built. Once the car got up here and was in the certification process, it was noticed that a handful of tube joints were not fully welded. Upon further inspection, we found over 21 joints, some with less than 50% weld coverage.
Unfortunately, the cage had to be completely cut out and a new one built. Along with the cage, there had been issues at the dyno with a lack of fuel that led us to looking into the fuel lines. We found the feed line had been kinked over a frame rail and was cutting the fuel flow so that was remedied as well.
Once the car failed the certification process, it was time to inspect it further and see if the cage could be saved. Between the number of unwelded joints, the pooly notched tubing, and the lack of cleaned/prepping to the joint that needed to be welded, the call was made to just cut it out and start over. Some of the pictures below were taken once the cage was being cut out in order to better show the poor notching and lack of welding.
Once the composite floor was removed and the cage was cut completely out of the car, it was time to design the new cage. On most of our SFI cages, we build the floor structure first.
With the floor bar structure together, the rest of the cage is built. High and tight is the key to a cage like this in such a small car. We offer a limited painting service on our cages using a Steel It roll on paint in black or silver.
Corvettes are already a challenging car to put a cage in due to size, but the z06 and zr1 add an additional challenge because they have an aluminum chassis. This means welding a steel cage to it is not an option and any time you have to mechanically fasten a cage to a chassis, there is a risk of failure. Due to this, we wanted to take a different approach than commonly seen on these cars and went with multiple fasteners spread throughout the entire cage vs 6 main mounting points. Threaded inserts were installed along the frame rail in even spacing, then a 1/4" aluminum plate was laser cut and formed to fit where Chevy originally has the plate to retain the floor boards. Once welded to the frame rail, it provides the support for the composite floor board to adhere to well as an additional mounting point for the cage. The cage structure mechanically fastened in 28 individual spots throughout the car.