Damage Control: Twin Turbo C8 LT2 Engine Gets Pulled

About a week ago, we ran a news story about the first turbocharged LT2 C8 that blew up. The car belongs to Emelia Hartford, who hurt the engine after making a short pass on low boost after many successful dyno pulls at higher levels. 

With a borescope in hand, Hartford and her team thought that a piston was damaged after making the short blast for the first time on pump gas. The engine had a noticeable knock coming from the bottom end. At this point, it was apparent that the LT2 needed to be removed as it would not be covered under warranty. The only question is, how extensive would the damage be?

Hartford and her team member, Sandy Sausser, “The Horsepower Whisperer,” went to work on the C8 to remove the engine. With the heads off the engine, the team was surprised to find that the pistons were all still intact. Upon rotating the crank, the loud ticking noise was actually caused by a broken C8 flywheel. However, this was not the only problem. While spinning the engine over, a couple of pistons were not traveling to the top of the cylinders, due to bent connecting rods. 

With the engine and transmission separated, Hartford and Sausser dropped the LT2 on a pallet and then prepared it for a trip down to Texas Speed and Engineering. The Texas team will be going through the engine and getting it ready for more boost and that elusive 9-second pass that everyone has been chasing with the 2020 C8 Corvette.

Emelia says that they are only a couple of weeks away from going back together with the improved LT2 Corvette engine. It will be interesting to see what the next weak link is. Hopefully, Hartford and crew don’t find it before they can hit the 9-second range. 

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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