97-04 Chevrolet C5 Corvette Headlight Motor Difference
Today we will be talking about the differences in the Chevrolet C5 Corvette headlight motors. The headlights themselves are direct fits for all 1997-2004 models but the headlight motors are different for the 1997-1999 and 2000-2004 models.
With the head light motors there is not much of a difference between the two interchanges. The 1997-1999 motors are made of plastic for the most part, were as the 2000-2004 style is mostly made of metal.
All of the plugs are the same between the two styles of headlight motors, but the bolt holes for mounting them to the headlight bracket are different. Even though they mount different to the headlight assemblies, the bracket for the headlight it self mounts the same to the car.
So when you are replacing your headlights, you will be fine if you replace your whole headlamp assembly. But if you only need to replace your headlight motor, be careful and make sure it is the same style as the one you need.
As always, feel free to email or call us with any questions at [email protected] and 866-236-5031.
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Headlight Motor Bronze Gear Repair Kit, 2000-2004
1984-’87 Corvette Headlight Motor Replacement
C4 Perfect Vision
Curing 1984-'87 headlight motor issues is an easy DIY project mostly
Depending on education and apprenticeships, it can take three to five years to become a journeyman electrician. Or you could speed the whole thing up by buying a C4 Corvette.
Even the fiercest C4 champion will admit that the cars' space shuttle-rivaling roster of electrically powered features and digital displays has a legacy of being less than totally reliable, with the actuation of the rotating headlamp assemblies on 1984-'87 models being one of the more common glitches in the matrix. Typically, one or both of the headlamps refuse to move, despite the clearly audible whirring of an electrical motor spinning its gears.
Such was the case with our friend Bill Shea's 1984 Corvette. The passenger headlamp wouldn't budge and was stuck partially open. Like many C4 owners, he'd simply unplugged the headlight motor and tried not to drive at night, but that was a stopgap measure, not a solution.
The issue is rooted in the comparatively soft nylon gears within the motors that get chewed up until there's insufficient tooth engagement. Sometimes it's only one of the gears that gets damaged and in other cases it's both, but the effect is the same. When that engagement is lost completely, the motor spins but the gear(s) don't and the housings therefore refuse to budge. The problem manifested early enough in the cars' lifespans that Chevrolet changed the motor's design by 1988.
There are a few ways to tackle the problem and all involve the removal of the offending headlight motor. The cheapest method is replacing the original gears with factory-style nylon replacements, which generally cost $25 or less, while the next option up the price ladder is replacing them with sturdier brass upgrades. Typically, one gear costs around $60, while some vendors such as Corvette Central offer a package of the small and large gears for 1984-'87 models for a little more than $100. Choosing the nylon replacement to save a few pennies, however, makes little sense, because the time-consuming removal and repair procedure is the same. Do yourself a favor and go with the metal upgrade.
Additionally, some companies offer a rebuild service for the motors, but they are generally rebuilt with new plastic gears. The cost for a rebuilt motor is typically between $150 and $180, plus a core charge, meaning you'll have to send in the old motor in exchange. Finally, you can simply purchase a brand-new motor for right around $270. That's what our friend Bill did and we agreed to help him swap out the busted motor.
Yes, opting for a brand-new motor was the costliest option, but also the easiest when it came to completing the driveway DIY project. A couple of the steps required to replace both gears in the motor might just make a few owners consider the pricier alternatives. You'll see what we mean in the photos.
From start to finish, we replaced the motor in about two hours and the most exotic tool required was nothing more than a Torx head for a couple of the fasteners. No ramps, lifts or $100-per-hour labor rate required.
It's a project that even novice wrench-turners can handle with relative ease; and it proves you don't have to be a certified electrician to own a C4 Corvette.
But it doesn't hurt. Vette
The only sure way to eliminate the troublesome operation of the original 84-87 electric headlight actuators motors, wiring, and 3 relay operating system.
|GM Item No.||16517068|
|Base Unit of Measure||KIT|
|Car Years 1||1984 1985 1986 1987|
|Search Description||HEADLAMPS HEADLIGHTS MOTORS 444153 444350|
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Headlight motors corvette
Lighten Up! - C4 Corvette Headlight Motor Replacement
Is Your Early C4 Feeling A Little Stuck-Up? Don't Replace-Update!
It happens to every Vette out there with vacuum or mechanically controlled headlights. They will fail. If it's not the gearing, it's the motors. Eventually, it was my turn to deal with this little facet of Corvette life. As I looked through the various catalogs that contained aftermarket Vette parts by the dozens, I came to realize we C4 owners have few options-unless leaving your headlights in the "on" position is acceptable. One of those options is held within the pages of Mid America Motorwork's '84-96 Corvette catalog. In 1988, the entire headlight assembly received an update. The relays, numbering three in the earlier years, were taken down to one. The motors themselves (noisy, clunky, outdated self-destructing dinosaurs) were replaced with a smaller, whisper-quiet assembly that promised longer-lasting operation. Mid America Motorworks offers these headlight assemblies complete as a bolt-on kit for us early C4 owners. I gave Mid America a call and ordered up one of their '84-87 OEM Headlight Motor Replacement kits. It only takes a few hours to install (thanks goes to Jason Scudellari and the Primedia Tech Center) and, aside from an upgrade to brass gearing or going all out and getting fixed lamps (I'm a little partial to my "frog eyes"), this is as good as it's going to get. So if your C4 is acting a little stuck-up, you may want to consider this easy, worthwhile replacement.
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