An easy way to enhance the appearance of the tail end of your 63 to 67 Corvette is to replace the tail light assemblies. The mid-year tail light assemblies always seem to get quite a bit of abuse. Road grime, stones and condensation from the exhaust will usually discolor and pit the chrome housings along with the plastic lenses. Finding new housings has always been a problem until new reproduction tail light assemblies came available for all 63 to 67 Corvettes from Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, 1-800-962-9632.. These sets come with or without backup lights depending on the application. Our Project 64′s tail light assembly housings had become pitted and the lenses discolored so it was a prime candidate for the upgrade. The project is very easy to do and does not require any special tools…Now let’s get started.
Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes.
01: Here are the new tail light assemblies that Zip Products sent. They included both the right and left inboard and outboard assemblies along with the retaining nuts. Our Project 64 Corvette does not have backup lights but Zip Products has the tail light housings with backup lights available for cars that require them.
02: If your Corvette has the standard mufflers on each side, I recommend disconnecting them from the hanger and letting them hang down out of the way. Although you can get to your Corvette’s rear tail panel without dropping the mufflers, it is much easier without them in the way. Remove the retaining nuts and ground wire and carefully push the tail light housing out of the body. Twist the socket connector and then remove the tail light assembly. Do this for each housing.
03: Before you install the new housings, it is a good idea to screw the new thread cutting nuts which are included onto each mounting stud. These nuts will cut their own threads on each stud. This is much easier to do on a workbench than on the car. Run each nut all the way on then back off.
04: Zip Products recommends waxing or polishing each housing before installation for lasting protection. You can use any type of quality wax or polish such as The Wax Shop’s Metal Polish.
05: If you look carefully, you can see the mounting location imprinted on the back of each housing: Inboard, outboard, right or left. Each housing is made to fit the contour of the rear panel.
06: Install each housing into its corresponding opening and make sure you attach each ground wire to each tail light housing.
07: At this time, check the wiring harness connector to make sure time and road debris hasn’t turned the connector into a brutal mess. If the plastic connector is broken, or the dust boot is torn, new replacements are available from Zip Corvette Parts
. Install the socket connector into each socket and twist it into place. Slide the socket rubber boot protector over each socket. This protector will keep out moisture and dirt. Then align and install the housing into the tail panel. Place the retaining nut on each stud and alternately tighten each nut into place. The housing should fit flush and even up against the tail panel when you are finished. Do not over tighten the nuts.
08: After the tail light assemblies are installed, check their operation, stoplight, running light, turn signal and backup, if so equipped. If everything checks out, re-install the mufflers, if they were removed. Here is the Project 64 Corvette with new tail light housings installed and ready to venture Out In The Darkness.
Out Of The Darkness:
1963-1967 Corvette Tail Light Assembly Replacement
By: Greg Donahue
Photos by: Author
Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632
Corvette Parts List Related to Article: