by John Pfanstiehl
Do you suffer from droopy lids? Does your deck lid hang so low after being raised, you need to push it up to store the top? After being stretched for 50-60 years, these springs are often weak and need to be replaced. Zip Corvette has the answer: new springs, e-coated and made in the USA.
Follow along to see removal and installation of these springs. The service manual shows a procedure that requires a special GM tool but we’ll show you how to replace these springs without that tool and provide additional important tips.
While you’re there, inspect the springs, cables, bushings, and bumpers of the deck lid. Also look at the rear carpet install (plugs) and/or dome light components. And if body mount replacement is in the future, note that it is much easier to access the rear bolt when the spring is removed.
01: Zip Corvette’s 1963-1975 Corvette Convertible Deck Lid Hinge Spring is not only much better looking than the old spring, it is much stronger. Replacing both springs brought the deck lid up as high as it was designed to be when new.
02: The spring is stretched when the deck lid is in the closed (down) position. When the coils are separated, shims can be inserted between them. Then, when the deck lid is raised, the expanded spring can be removed.
03: The plastic shims found at home improvement stores worked well for this purpose. Break the strips apart, and then break the thicker end into a length just longer than the diameter of the spring.
04: Chamfering the thinner end makes insertion in between the coils easier. Rounding the shim’s corners reduces interference when removing the spring.
05: If you are small and very flexible, the shims can be inserted when the deck lid is closed. If this method is used, it helps to remove the seats.
06: Access is a little better if the lid is partially opened. It can be held in this position with a clamp on lower bow of the top.
07: For most people, the easiest way to get to the springs is to remove the four bolts that attach the deck lid. Note the gaps between the lid and the upper panel before removal.
08: Next, mark the position of the hinge on the deck lid with tape, scribing or using a marker around the bolts’ washers.
09: Access is greatly improved for inserting the shims between the spring coils when the deck lid is removed.
10: Press the hinge all the way down with one hand and insert the shims with the other hand. Shims can be inserted from the front into the lower portion of the spring. The shims need to be inserted from the side into the upper end of the spring.
11: Allow the hinge to move to its up-position to remove the old spring. Tip: It is not obvious but the portion of the hinge that attaches to the upper end of the spring now can be moved up and down.
12: The spring can easily be stretched with a floor jack. Another method is to use extended jaws of a large vice. The springs are about 5-3/4-inches when not stretched. Inserting shims between the coils until the spring is 8-inches long is more than sufficient.
13: Use the jack to stretch the old springs to remove the shims. Then stretch the new spring. For easier removal, positions shims in the lower section of the spring so that they will face forward, and position the upper shims facing more inward.
14: Install the new spring. The spring’s upper end was set into the rear most notch of the hinge. Push the hinge down and remove the shims.
15: Apply contact cement if needed to hold the carpet in place. Reinstall the deck lid, check the gaps, adjusted if needed — the job is done.
16: The new springs from Zip Products now hold the deck lid fully up; no more sagging lids. Note the towel used to protect the paint when the deck lid was removed and reinstalled.
17: The convertible top can now be raised and lowered without using a shoulder to push the deck lid up and out of the way. I should’ve replaced these springs 20 years ago!
1963-1975 Corvette Convertible Deck Lid Hinge Spring Replacement
Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632
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