C5 Headlight Repair with a “T”

Many a C5 owner has heard that unmistakable machine gun sound emanating from the front of the car when turning on the headlights. And if that noise isn’t annoying enough, at least one of the headlights doesn’t come up, or doesn’t go down.

Anyone who has gone through this knows the fix is to replace the factory nylon gear in the headlight motor with a replacement bronze gear.

But what’s up when the gear has been replaced – by a dealer – and it happens again? Certainly the teeth on the bronze gear have not worn down to the point where they disengage from the motor drive gear. When it happened on our subject 2001 convertible, we popped the hood and discovered that epoxy used to hold the gear cover on the motor had failed and fortunately was lying beside it. As a result there was enough play on the gear shaft to allow it to disengage from the drive gear and “rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat!” each time you tried to use the lights. (more…)

1997-2011 Corvette Fluids and Performance

There used to be a time when the underhood fluids were checked every time the fuel tank was filled. When was the last time you did that? We jump in our cars and expect maximum performance and minimal maintenance, with no concern for the extremes the lubricants face. For this very reason, GM decided that making a low oil level warning system standard in 1991 was worth the cost.

These days, sticking up for the oil companies is not a position anyone wants to be in. Fuel prices keep rising while federal regulations restrict the oil company’s formulas for a greener environment. The long standing federal concern is exhaust emissions and fuel economy. Engine oils now range in the 0W30 viscosity range, in stark contrast to 20W50 oils used in earlier generations. (more…)

Corvette Central Project Split Mod, Part II: Chassis Considerations and Selection

When the decision was made to start a restoration effort on our 1963 split window coupe, the chassis was one of the primary concerns.  As confirmed by Petris Enterprises (Corvette Central Project Split Mod: Part I), the original frame was severely rotted, to the point of being held together by the body near the rear axle.  However, the birdcage, interior and body were all worthy candidates for restoration, and the decision was made to search for a suitable chassis for the Split Mod. (more…)