Changing the rearend gears has always been one way to make major improvements in how a car launches from the line. The C5 Corvette obeys the same laws of physics other cars do; the only difference is the means by which changes are made. Many Corvette owners want a change of gear for quicker acceleration, but the computer system and the different-style transaxle of the C5 have kept many from making the change for fear of problems with these systems operating properly once everything is installed. We went to Norris Motorsports, where Mike Norris was installing a 3.42-ratio differential, typically found in manual-transmission cars, into an automatic-equipped 2000 with the 2.73 differential. Follow along as we install a new differential for more performance.
Once we had the fluids topped off, we had to do a computer relearn before the car would start. A computer relearn entails turning the key on for at least 11 minutes, and then turning the key off for at least 30 seconds. Do this three times in a row and then turn off the key for 30 seconds before trying to start the car. Start the car and run it until it reaches operating temperature to allow the driveshaft and hub to center, then stop the engine and go under and tighten the hub again. Once the hub is tight and the fluids are topped off, you can go out and feel the torque that you never knew your C5 had!