Managed to drive the Vette again!!

Hi everyone,

Late Monday evening after coming home from work I decided to assemble the dash together (I’m waiting for new parts to fix the dash lighting) and go for a drive. I had the insurance still valid for a couple of days, the snow was mostly melted and the streets were completely dry. It was about 9.30 pm when I reversed it out from the garage, me and my friend took it to the gas station to add about 20 liters and I think we drove 2-3 hours around the city. It was a truly enjoyable time and I’m extremely glad the weather turned out to be so fine during the wintertime. I even managed to take the car out on Tuesday morning for an hour until some light snowing started and I had to drive home again.

Some bad news too :( As you remember I used to have a problem with the cooling system and I replaced the radiator cap. It seems like the problem is now gone but Tuesday morning I still decided to take a container of anti-freeze with me. It was half-full but I tightened it strong and even put it inside a plastic bag. Suddenly while stopping at a red light, I noticed pink fluid floating over the rear carpet and I was so mad at myself… There was quite a lot of fluid on the carpet and I just drove quickly home to clean it all up. I think I spent hours on it with different carpet cleaning foams but I still haven’t gotten it completely off. Now my options are to try some more inside the car, remove the carpet and take it to chemical cleaning or just replace the carpet.

NEVER CARRY CAR FLUID CONTAINERS IN YOUR CAR WITHOUT PUTTING THEM IN A FULLY SEALED BAG!!! At least not in your classic hobby car…

Funnily, I never needed the anti-freeze and it just caused me a lot of trouble.

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Currently I’m waiting several parts and items for the Corvette that I’ve ordered from different U.S. shops. A parcel is coming with the headlight switch, main instruments printed circuit and main instruments lens. I’m also waiting for the Shop Manual, Owner’s Manual and a 1979 C3 Sales Brochure :)

How to remove 1979 Corvette C3 headlight switch

Here’s my first contribution to the do-it-yourself guys who are not so familiar with their Corvettes yet and want to fix the typical things. I am now going to explain how to remove the push-pull type light switch that controls headlights and dims the dash lights. It’s a fairly easy job. My car doesn’t have the driver-side heat duct installed which goes above the feet so I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve read it’s quite simple to remove and if you can’t figure it out, try searching Corvette Forums.

Disconnect the battery!

1) Firstly you need to open the screws which attach the front gauge plate to the dashboard. They go around the lens and all of them need to be removed.

2) Now reach under the dash and find the large plug that goes into the instruments block. There are locker buttons on both ends of it, try to squeeze them and then pull the plug out. In case you can’t do it right now, wait until you have pulled the instruments out from the dash a bit. Might be easier to reach then.

3) You need to remove the speedometer cable. It goes into the middle of the speedometer and there is a knob that has to be pressed in while pulling it out. You need to do this with one hand and this is one of the most annoying things in this process. You will feel the moving tab above the cable and push it fully in. Now pull the cable out. You may have to rock it slightly but too much force is not necessary.

4) Go under the dash again and find the two big bolts which hold up the steering column. Remove those to lower the steering column a bit. Don’t worry, it will not fall when the bolts come off. It just drops down by an inch or so.

5) Now start pulling the instruments block out from the dash. It slides straight towards you, skidding a bit on the steering column. In case you haven’t disconnected the electrical plug yet, now is the right time to do it. You will probably find that the instruments will get a bit stuck at the steering column and you will have trouble getting it out from there. I managed it by pushing the steering column downwards with just gentle force so it lowered enough to get the instruments out.

6) You will be able to see the light switch through the dash hole. In order to get the switch off from the dash plate, you must pull out the knob to its fully open position. Now put your finger under the light switch inside the dash and try to find a small round button. It has to be pushed up (towards the roof of the car) and while holding it in, you can fully pull the light knob out and remove it.

7) You can now use a big flat screwdriver to open the bolt that can be seen from the front side of the dash and light switch area. The switch will come loose.

8) There is a huge white plug connected to the switch with a bunch of wires going into it. Gently disconnect it by applying nearly equal force to the opposite sides of the plug.

9) There are two vacuum pipes going to the right side of the switch. Pull those off. Make sure you mark them somehow in order to correctly connect them back later.

Congratulations! The switch is now removed. The easiest solution would be to replace it with a new one (priced around 50 US dollars). In my opinion this is the way to go and I’ll be doing it myself, too.