C5 Corvette Wheel Well Vents to Louvers - A how to, a review, and does it matter in the rain.

Picture of a C5 Corvette with wheel well vents that go out to the trackspec hood louvers

I purchased some Hood Louvers for my 1999 C5 Corvette after watching a variety of youtube videos all claiming it helped with cooling. My goal first and foremost with the Corvette was to keep it cool. As an added bonus, the louvers looked REALLY friggen good on the Corvette, so I was all about installing them.

It's known that venting the wheel wells helps with downforce as in OEM form most wheel wells the air stagnates, forming a high pressure zone. This coupled with the brake cooling ducts bringing air into this area further increase the high pressure in this area both from air entry with no exit, and from the brake heating itself. It only would make sense to do so on the C5 Corvette itself. Check out the video below for some info on hood vents, and more specifically the wheel well vents being discussed at 6:15

One thing you'll note right away with the Louver sets, is there is a center louver for letting air out from under the hood and two side louvers right above the wheel wells. The center louvers effectiveness is pretty obvious when installed, but the sides are not and the directions for the louvers do not make any mention of venting the wheels wells.

One of the videos I watched though and it's follow up video giving a 6 month update on mods discussed how the individual had not yet vented the wheel wells. No other videos mentioned doing the wheel well vents, the instructions did not mention doing this, and I couldn't find any youtube videos on how this was to be done.

I posted on facebook in a few C5 groups, and get a few results. None were terribly beautiful, but all were functional and at least had one or two elements I felt were right. Inspired by the various bits and pieces I felt people nailed I came up with my own combination to make my vents look good and function even better.

I personally used the following parts to do the job:

The job was pretty straight forward. I placed down painters tape in the area that roughly made sense. I looked down through the louvers at the tape and marked with a pencil on the tape the length towards the front not to exceed.

    The area where you can install venting is rather limited. On the drivers side the windshield washer fluid resrvoir blocks a significant chunk of space. On the passenger side, the width of the wheel well is limited, but the length is notably long before encounteirng the battery area. On both louvers I could go as wide and as close to the windshield as I wanted.

    I then on the painters tape traced out the area I wished to cut, leaving a 3/8" or so perimeter for affixing the screen to the plastic of the wheel well. I then using a dremel cut out the area I had traced, and cleaned up all of the edges as well with a small grinder attachment on the dremel.

    With the holes cut, I next cut the grill mesh to about the general size, and then made small refinements to the shape to get it to fit over the hole along with covering the 3/8" (appx) perimeter.  I then ran the door edge protector around the edge of the mesh giving it a nice clean look around the edges. Lastly, I took a small drill bit that was the same size as the rivets, and with the mesh held in place by hand I drilled and pop riveted as nescessary to secure the mesh.

    All in all... it came out pretty good! The job took about 40 minutes. Someone with a better eye to detail may do a better job than I did, but this is so far one of the best efforts I've seen to date, so I'll take it!

    The top of passenger side wheel well of a 1999 C5 Corvette, which has been modified with a vent to allow air to escape upwards through the hood vents.

    Drivers side hood and top of wheel well which has been modified with a vent to allow it to vent upwards through trackspec hood vents.

    How does it work in the rain?

    So the most common concern I hear from folks is that hood louvers are a problem in the rain, and venting the wheel wells in the rain is an issue. Welp, as timing would have it I was just driving back from the track with some on again off again showers and light rain for the past hour or so of driving, and here's the result...

    C5 Corvette hood with Trackspec Hood Vents after having been driven in the rain. It demonstrates that it's not all that bad in mild rain.

    C5 engine bay with wheel well vents after having been driven in the rain. The amount of spray in the engine bay is not all that bad.

    Hopefully you can tell from the photos, but there really isn't all that much rain coming through the wheel well vent and "splattering" all over the engine bay. This side of my C5 corvette has the largest vent, and the coolant reservoir directly next to it barely has a few drops on it.

    All in all... I'd say this is fairly safe for a car that's built to shred. If you want to show off how not dirty your engine bay is though... well don't do this, but you're a poser.