Question about 1988 Chevrolet Corvette

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How do I replace or repair the actuator Headlight motor of a 1988 Corvette

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  • Anonymous Mar 13, 2014

    replace a headlight actuator in a 2002 corvette



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There is a silicone gel in the headlight system that acts as a drive between 2 gears. The fix is very inexpensive but the labor is pretty intense. almost all corvette supply places sell pellets that replace the gel which has more then likely dried out over the years. The only reason I can think of is the gel is used in case the headlight is frozen up or down the gears won't strip. On the headlight assembly you'll see a round area about 2 inches across held on by 3 screws. When you remove the cover you'll seee a gear inside. When you pull the gear out you'll see the area where the gel used to be. There will probably be dried up powder inside. You'll see 3 indentions in the back side of the gear where you place the 3 pellets. Keep one headlight assembled so you can see how to put it back together. I actually bought the pellets from a guy on ebay for less the $10.00. I had to sand the pellets down a little to get them to fit into the gear but it actually worked great

Posted on Nov 04, 2010


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Most of the time you will find that it's rotting rubber hoses. If these have never been replaced, they're 28 years old! Engine heat, exposure to the elements that splash up under the car, and age can rot them.

Also the actuator has a rod that comes out. This rod has a seal around it. The seal rots too. The actuator is the large vacuum cannister, that looks like two pie pans put together. It is down near the headlight. When you have the hood open, look down towards one of the headlights.
Sometimes the vacuum tank develops a hole. This can be patched. It's up on the side of the fender.

Here, let me show you the headlight mechanism,
I use this website for my parts, but this is not a link to them for advertisement. It just shows an exploded drawing, so I can explain better.

B is the Headlight Actuator. See the long rod coming out of the middle? Has threads on the end of it? Where the rod goes up into the cannister, there is a rubber seal. This dries out and cracks, and also wears through time. Corvette parts places (At least online I know they do) sell this rubber seal.

There is also a small check valve that can go bad.
You can buy the vacuum hoses in a kit. They are color coded, and have replacement instructions.

To review:
1.Check all vacuum hoses for drying and cracking. Actually squeeze them, don't just look at them. If they have a crack from your squeezing, they're shot! (You might find that some just crumble in your fingers! Oh, by the way. Dawn dishwashing soap, or GoJo takes that black rubber residue off of your fingers)

2.Start the car, let it build up vacuum. Shut the car off, and use the override switch, (Knob under the headlight switch you pull), to keep the headlights in an up position. Put your finger on that actuator rubber seal I described above, and see if you feel a vacuum leak.
If so, replace the seal.

3.It's a good idea to replace the check valve,

4.It's also a good idea to replace the vacuuum filter,
(Vacuum reserve check valve air filter)

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1988 chevy corvette headlight repair

attach a string around the copper wire attached to the brush, place the brush back in the slot and pull both ends of the string out the side of the motor and tape securely, do the same with the other side. Work quickly before the tape lets go of the string.

Jun 30, 2008 | 1988 Chevrolet Corvette

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