by John Pfanstiehl
Lights have become the new jewelry for cars, replacing the chrome, stainless and aluminum bright work that dressed up the cars of the fifties and sixties. Trouble is, over time, the lenses become cracked or just plain dingy and the chrome may lose its shine. Installing new side marker lights to replace tired or broken ones brightens up the appearance of a Corvette. It’s not as dramatic as a new paint job, but it’s far less expensive and much less trouble. In fact, this is one of the easiest parts installations you can do. While you are brightening things up, consider installing LED bulbs. These don’t alter the appearance of the car during the daytime but at night they add a little dazzle while significantly increasing visibility.
Grab a piece of cardboard to lie on, a good light and your sockets or wrenches. Very quickly, you’ll have this part of your car looking showroom-fresh.
01: The plastic lens of this side marker light has cracks and has become dull looking after many years and many miles on the road. Fortunately, excellent replacement side lights are very reasonably priced and can be installed in minutes.
02: This project has minimal tool requirements. A piece of cardboard, a good light and a 7/16-inch socket on a ratchet is all you need. A deep socket helps but a regular socket works, too. Just handle the last turn with a wrench if needed. Actually, only a 7/16-inch wrench is needed although it will add a couple minutes to the task.
04: Tip: apply a little grease on the stud, hold the speed nuts square to the studs and turn them on to cut their threads prior to installing the side marker light. This makes tightening the speed nut easier in tight quarters and makes it more obvious when the nut tightens to the body.
05: Two speed nuts are included with each side light. Zip also offers a set of eight speed nuts for all four side lights.
06: Reach up under the fender and remove the two speed nuts that attach the side light. Turn the bulb socket 1/8th turn counterclockwise and remove it to make more room for the socket or wrench.
07: The bulb socket is soft plastic and requires just a small twist to remove it and put it back in. There is no indexing, the socket will go into the housing at any of the four notch positions.
08: Turn the parking lights on and then wiggle the bulb to make sure the contacts on the bulb and socket are good. Zip also offers new replacement light sockets with pigtails in case the contacts are poor or the rubber has deteriorated. That’s much faster and easier than installing a new rear harness.
09: Clean off any wax or rubbing compound residue while the side light is out. Although the bulb and socket can be installed into the side light before inserting it into the fender, it’s easier to turn the wrench on the speed nuts if this is the last step.
10: The sparkling new side marker lights bring back the showroom-new look. The installation took only minutes and it fixed a nuisance rattle too – unbeknownst the little metal plate inside one side light had broken loose.
11: Replacing the front side marker lights is just as easy. The side lights can be accessed by reaching up through the opening in the lower valance panel.
1970-1982 Corvette Side Marker Light Replacement
Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632
Corvette Parts List Related to Article:
- 1970-1972 Front Side Marker Light
- 1973-1974E Front Side Marker Light
- 1974L-1979 Front Side Marker Light
- 1974L-1979 Front Side Marker Lamp
- 1980-1982 Front Side Marker Light Assemblies
- 1970-1974E Rear Side Marker Light
- 1974L-1982 Rear Side Marker Light (GM)
- 1974L-1982 Rear Side Marker Lamp
- 1968-1982 Side Marker Light Socket w/Pigtail
- 1970-1974E Side Marker Light Speed Nut Set
- 1974L-1982 Marker Light Speed Nut Set
- Exterior/Interior Light Bulb #168/194 LED
- Shop/Repair Manuals