1968-1982 Corvette Headlight Switch Removal and Installation

You pull your Corvette Headlight switch knob out and your lights go on. All of a sudden they go out, then come back on for no apparent reason. Maybe all of the dash lights have gone out or they only come on at one position on the knob. Do not fear.  Your Corvette is not possessed. You just need a new headlight switch. The internals of the switch may have become damaged or worn causing the switch to overheat and the lights to go out. As the switch cools, the lights come back on. Overheats again and out they go. The dash lights may work in only one position or not at all because the rheostat has gone bad in the switch and it no longer makes good contact. A new Corvette headlight switch is the answer and it is only a call away at Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632. They can supply you with the correct Corvette Parts to get you back out on the road and out of the darkness.

Now let’s get those lights back on! 1968-1982 Corvette Headlight Switch Removal and Installation:


Step 1

01: This is our new 78 – 82 Corvette Headlight Switch. The only other tool you will need is a large flat blade screwdriver and a few minutes.

Step 2

02: Start by disconnecting the battery.

If your Corvette has air conditioning, you will have to remove this duct from under the dash. In most cases, it will slide out or only be held in by one or two screws.

Step 3

03: Reach up behind the dash and feel for the headlight switch. When you find it, feel for this small button on the bottom of the switch. Push it all the way in and at the same time pull the knob and shaft out. It doesn’t always come right out the first time. Sometimes you just have to keep trying until you hit the right spot. Do not force the knob and shaft out. When the button is in all the way, the knob and shaft will easily slide out of the switch. This can be very frustrating but this is the only way you can get the knob and shaft out without damage. So do not give up. Just keep trying. It will come out, I promise.

Note: 1968-1977 Corvette owners will need to remove the side dash screws, the top three dash screws and the two screws on the side gauges. Once screws are removed the dash will slide out enough to removed the headlight switch.

Step 4

04: With the knob and shaft removed, unscrew the center headlight switch retainer with a large flat blade screwdriver. This will release the switch and it will fall behind the dash.

Step 5

05: Pull the switch down towards the floor. Remove the vacuum lines and unplug the switch. Connect the new switch to the plug.  Re-connect the vacuum lines and feed the switch up behind the dash. Align it with the dash opening and install the bezel and center retainer. Hold the switch and tighten the retainer.

Step 6

06: With the switch in place, slide the knob and shaft into the switch.  You will feel it clip into place. It is a good idea to clean the shaft before you re-install it. A little steel wool will work wonders. Or if the chrome knob shows signs of wear – Zip Corvette has correct reproduction headlamp rod and knobs for an 1986-1982 Corvette applications. Re-connect your battery and be ready to venture OUT OF THE DARKNESS! 

Out Of The Darkness: Replacing a 1968-1982 Corvette Headlight Switch

Source: Zip Corvette Parts

8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632


Corvette Parts List Related to Article:




  1. Glenn

    I am trying to remove the headlight switch on a 1970 Corvette but these instructions are not even close. I can’t get my hand in the back side of the dash. I called Zip Corvette and a representative said I need to remove the dash in order to remove the headlight switch. Please explain this.

    1. Admin

      Sorry for any confusion we may have caused. We have included a small side note within step #3 that explains how a 1968-1977 owner can reach their Corvette’s Headlight Switch from behind the dash. Please let us know if this doesn’t help.

  2. Dan

    Most all of your directions are spot on!! The key word for the C-3 is PATIENCE!!

  3. Barry Bolster

    I have a 72 vette, I bought new, the wiper blade door won’t go down. I replaced the vacuum canister on the fire wall on the passage side by the egg shaped vent. Still won’t go down. Any ideas? Barry

    1. cseedle

      Did you accidently pull the override valve out under the steering

  4. Jan

    I need help putting the wires on the headlight switch. Can someone guide me. I have a 73 vette. Thanks!

    1. cseedle


      We would be happy to help you with the process outside of this article. Drop us a line here: http://www.zip-corvette.com/contacts and a representative will contact you.


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