1977-1982 Corvette Air Condition Control Repair & Installation

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Posted October 4, 2012 by Zip Corvette in Corvette Technical Articles
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Do you have to play with your air conditioning control switch to make the system operate?  Is the control lever sloppy? Do you sometimes hear a slight hissing sound? All of these symptoms are related to the air conditioning control head assembly. This assembly is held together by a small plastic clip and metal spring washer. After 20+ years of use, the switch and lever become very loose forcing the owner to hunt for each stop in the switch. Sometimes the plastic clip breaks causing the switch to separate which will cause the air conditioning controls not to operate. The repair is very simple. Start by contacting Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, 1-(800)-962-9632. They have new air conditioning control head switches in stock along with new control dials. The repair is very simple and the only tools needed are a few Phillips screwdrivers. Our Project 1977’s air conditioning control head was broken so it was a prime candidate for the repair. Follow along as we replace the control head and control dial.

Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes. 
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Step 1

01: Start by disconnecting the battery. Next remove the shift lever knob and T-handle, if it is a 4-speed. Remove the console side trim and console top plate screws.
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Step 2

02: Lift up the console top plate pulling it slightly rearward. Disconnect the vacuum hose plug and all of the electrical connecting plugs. Now slide it over the shift lever.
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Step 3

03: Hold the console top plate upside down on the passenger side of the console while supporting the top plate. Remove the metal retaining clip that holds the control levers together.  Now remove the screws that hold the control assembly to the top plate. Slide the temperature control lever and cable out of the control dial plate. Remove the control assembly from the console top plate. The console top plate can now be removed from the car.
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Step 4

04: Remove the screws that hold the fan blower switch and the control dial cover to the top plate. The old dial plate can now be removed. Place the clear dial cover over the new control dial and install them onto the console top plate and re-attach the blower switch.
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Step 5

05: Take the metal divider that separates the two control levers and refinish it semi-gloss black. This will give everything a fresh new look.
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Step 6

06: Remove the old air conditioning control head and install the new assembly. Use white lithium grease to lube all of the levers. Make sure you place the arm of the new control head over the stud on the lever.
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Step 7

07: This is our old, broken control head. The center clip broke which caused the switch to come apart. The switch should not come apart.
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Step 8

08: Start the re-assembly by supporting the console top plate upside down in the car on the passenger side. Slide the temperature control lever into the slot on the control dial. Make sure the lever’s two small arms are over the lip of the control dial.
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Step 9

09: Now slide the air conditioning control assembly into place in the control panel. Make sure the levers are in the correct slots and the metal divider which you refinished is in place between the two levers. Line the two levers up and re-attach the metal retaining clip. This will now hold the levers together. Attach the control assembly onto the console top plate.
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Step 10

10: Slide the console back over the shift lever and into place. Attach the electrical plugs and vacuum plug to all the connections. Install the two screws at the front of the console top plate and the two at the rear and snug them into place. Do not tighten them yet. Now reconnect the battery. Start the car and check all of the positions on the switch.  If everything checks out, proceed with the re-assembly. If not, it is much easier to repair now then after everything has been re-assembled. You may have to adjust the temperature control lever.  To do this, turn the small turnbuckle in the middle of the cable. By turning the turnbuckle, you can adjust the lever for full movement from right to left.
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Step 11

11: After everything checks out, install and tighten all of the mounting screws. Re-install the console side trim, shift ball and T-handle, if so equipped.
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Step 12

12: Here is the finished project. Not only does everything work correctly, it looks good too!
Let It Blow: 1977-1982 Corvette Air Condition Control Repair & Installation

Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632


About the Author

Zip Corvette


4 Comments


  1.  
    Alexandra Grey

    Nice work! Thanks for this step-by-step guide on how to fix this old Corvette air conditioning unit. Although my old A/C is disposed years ago, I’m still glad that there are sites like this who are still making an effort to post a tutorial for old A/Cs.




  2.  
    Dana Caffrey

    My grandma has a 1977 Corvette with A/C and it’s still working. I want to it have it checked out, how much do you charge for a total check up and maintenance? Thanks! By the way, my grandma lives in Chicago.





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