Located in West Bend, WI, West Bend Dyno Tuning has been around since 2008, founded by Brad Riekkoff. The brand was built upon the passion for cars and restoration, which shines through in the team’s attention to detail, knowledge, and work ethic. In addition, everyone at West Bend Dyno takes pride in providing only the best customer service, further extenuated by quality work and results. Such values have led to exceptional customer reviews and an excellent reputation. The shop specializes in speed and performance upgrades for street legal and off-highway race applications. Still, it offers many other services for cars such as Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, Challengers, and practically any modern muscle car you can think of, as well as 50-state legal and/or C.A.R.B. EO LS-swapped vehicles. They even work on older muscle cars with carburetors and upgrade them to modern EFI systems.
Since its debut in 2020, the 8th generation of America’s beloved Chevrolet Corvette has continued to leave automotive enthusiasts in awe. It seemed as though GM had finally perfected the sports car formula by injecting supercar DNA into the Corvette. This new and improved design repositioned the engine behind the driver and made way for more aggressive styling, much like you’d find on a Ferrari. Thankfully, the C8 stuck to its V8 roots by housing a 6.2-liter LT2 engine as well as carrying over many design cues from previous generation models.
Thanks to the Corvette’s new ECU software architecture, the C8 has been infamously difficult to tune. Nevertheless, drivers, shops, and racers have created tarmac-devouring monsters out of the C8, and the guys over at West Bend Dyno did just that. As with most auto enthusiasts, the goal for this project was simple. In the words of James Pumphrey, the team at West Bend Dyno was in search of “Mo powa baby!” The solution came in the form of the new ProCharger bolt-on C.A.R.B. EO pending C8 system.
In addition to the ECU tuning woes, the C8 Corvette has garnered a reputation for being a challenge to install parts on due to how tightly packaged the drivetrain is within the engine compartment. As a result, we have seen on multiple occasions that shops remove the entire powertrain from the car to work on the engine and transmission. This process can be tedious and time-consuming when performing upgrades like a 50-state legal supercharger, exhaust system, or other components that are relatively simple to install on previous generations of Corvettes.
Fortunately, ProCharger designed its C8 system to be installed entirely without removing the powertrain from the car. This means a capable C8 owner could install this system at home. However, as is often the case, having a competent shop like West Bend Dyno perform the installation and tuning gives peace of mind that everything is done correctly and that the car will give its owner many miles of smiles.
With all the components laid out on the table and checked off the parts list, DJ, a resident technician at West Bend Dyno, got to work in the tight C8 engine bay. According to DJ, his first impression after looking at the Corvette was that the installation would be a nightmare. However, after completion, he admitted to being shocked at how well the process went from start to finish.
As I got into it – and I mean literally into the trunk – I was shocked at how smoothly the installation went. – DJ, West Bend Dyno
“The most difficult part of the install was probably the front drive,” DJ stated. This part of the process requires the removal of the bolts for the water pump and one of the bolts on the alternator to install the provided bracketry and pullies. The space in this area of the engine bay is extremely limited. “A lot of patience was required, and my tiny hands were a blessing for this part of the job.”
You can tell a lot about a project and the people building it by how well the wiring is done. Part of the quality and craftsmanship at West Bend Dyno is ensuring all of the wiring is routed neatly and out of the way to avoid excessive heat, sharp edges, and potential abrasive areas. However, as with everything else on a C8, even the wiring has limited space. So DJ elected to run the wiring harness for the included heat exchanger pump between the oil tank and firewall, thus avoiding heat to prevent unnecessary damage. He also positioned part of the wiring under the newly-installed intake manifold keeping it predominantly out of sight.
With the heat exchanger pump and wiring harness installed, the next step is mounting the heat exchanger. Although DJ once again had concerns with the limited space to work with, he was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which he could install the exchanger.
I saw the room I had to work with and didn’t think there was any way I was getting the exchanger in there without a fight. Once again, it couldn’t have been easier. – DJ Underwood,
Removing the wheel liners and a shield near the air inlet makes access to the factory fan much easier. With no hassle, the exchanger is mounted straight onto the factory fan with no fabrication needed. Nothing more satisfying than parts that bolt on with no extra work necessary to make them fit.
If there’s one thing automotive enthusiasts worry about when sending their car into the shop, it’s getting the vehicle back with a scratch or dent in it. As is expected, West Bend Dyno cares as much for your pride and joy as you do. Thus, the team takes the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your car. For example, the vehicle is partially covered in protective foam before performing any work. Additionally, as DJ had climbed into the trunk numerous times to access certain areas, he carefully placed memory foam padding on the trunk floor, preventing any damage or wear. A work ethic like that may be hard to come by nowadays, but it is instilled in West Bend Dyno’s values.
If you were not aware, a factory-fresh Chevrolet Corvette is rated at 490 horsepower, certainly a notable power figure that can satisfy most owners. However, with the help of the ProCharger system, West Bend Dyno Tuning bumped the C8 Corvette up to approximately 730 horsepower at the crankshaft. For reference, the C8 Z06 is rated at 670 horsepower. Interestingly, the team goes the extra mile and actually measures exhaust emissions using its in-house Mustang Dynamometer 5-gas analyzer before and after any work is performed on any vehicle. Not only does this C8 produce more power than a new Z06, but its exhaust emissions were unchanged with the added ProCharger and calibration.
This build shows awesome things happen when you combine high-quality products with a professional shop like West Bend Dyno. Not only did the car achieve the goal of being significantly more powerful, but the build was completed with a level of fit and finish that we’ve come to expect from a shop like West Bend Dyno. We can certainly appreciate just how well this C8 Corvette turned out, and we’re confident the owner couldn’t be happier with the result.