Brake Rotor Cooling Rings - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Brake Rotor Cooling Rings

April 25, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Kurt Niebuhr mentioned in a recent update that our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray came with several items in the trunk when he and Dan Frio picked the car up at the factory in Kentucky.

One of the things they discovered was a clear plastic bag with what Chevy calls "rotor cooling rings" for the front brakes of our Z51 Performance Package-equipped car. But reading through Chevy's documents on "2014 Corvette Stingray track preparation" doesn't really give much of an explanation about exactly how these rings affect brake cooling.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

It does say, "Rotor cooling rings (provided at the time of vehicle delivery in a clear plastic bag [true]) are recommended for track use (driving without the rotor cooling rings may result in brake pedal fade). Do not leave them installed after a track event, as this may cause corrosion with long-term use. Installation instructions are included with the rings [not true] and can be found in section 9-7 of the Owner's Manual."

What was included with the rings was the required T304 stainless steel safety wire needed for installation. So first order of business when we got to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the morning was to take off the front wheels and put on these rings.

A moto buddy of mine had some specific safety wire pliers which made things easier, and it wasn't an overly difficult job, although I'd rather not have had to deal with it. In other words, they better work.

A new Corvette attracts a lot of attention, especially at a track day, so it wasn't surprising that we got several opinions (wanted or not) as to the actual performance value of the rings while we had the car jacked up. The general consensus was "seriously Chevy?..."

But, between the new track pads and the rotor cooling rings, in theory this Vette shouldn't suffer any brake fade. Time to find out.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 17,292 miles


  • cotak cotak Posts:

    If you search online.... the ring blocks off the vents that normally allow cooling air to exit the brakes. By blocking the vents it allow the air to actually cools the discs.

  • diigii diigii Posts:

    Please take a picture after your track session when you take off the wheel to see what happened to the cooling rings.

  • The problem with this exercise is that you do not have a control. You either should have run the stock pads, with the cooling rings. As that is part of the Z51 package, and see if they worked as intended. Or you should run the performance pads by themselves. By changing everything we don't know what individual pieces worked, and if the Vette track /z51 package is even a decent buy. As you by passed the purpose of it by making these brake changes. The message that you have sent is the Vette's brakes are not up to track days. Is that true? who knows, but this was a golden opportunity missed to have found out.

  • ayao ayao Posts:

    I'm really curious about how these things work and how they're anything other than an afterthought by GM. There's a very interesting analysis of the C7 Z51 braking system here: I found it a very good read.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Did you apply the special snake oil you must use with these rings?

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    for control purposes, have there not been enough press/track days for the Corvette to tell if the brakes fade?

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    GM included them at no charge. It would be one thing to call them 'snake oil' if the dealer tried to upsell them to you. But they didn't. There is no reason for GM to include them and recommend their use if they don't actually make a difference.

  • mrhp mrhp Posts:

    "I'm really curious about how these things work and how they're anything other than an afterthought by GM. There's a very interesting analysis of the C7 Z51 braking system here: I found it a very good read." So... a company that makes big brake kits thinks the OEM setup is inadequate for track use and recommends an upgrade? You don't say?

  • ayao ayao Posts:

    I'd agree that one has to take that into consideration. Definitely looking forward to the Edmunds crew's feedback from track day. I confess that I've become obsessed with brakes for track duty lately; on the M3 forums the Essex guy seems to be pretty reasonable in terms of his approach, and admittedly I've bought into the intelligent design of their BBK (function over form) vs some of the flashier BBK manufacturers.

  • pakohotdogs pakohotdogs Posts:

    Can we please get some more updates on the Vette track day instead of the "top 10 minivans" or a Prius V review? :)

  • carluvr1 carluvr1 Posts:

    It looks as if the reason you need to put those plates in is to redirect brake cooling duct air flow from blowing through the rotor to hub casting slots and escape cooling the rotor. Without the plates That flow would mostly go out the face of the rim but instead the plates force the flow upward through the rotor cooling vents and out for better cooling for track duty. having The plates installed in Slow traffic and city driving would hold the heat in so the brakes fade?

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