Corvette Technical Articles

Corvette parts technical articles.

  • How to Rebuild a 63-82 Front Suspension

    Pot holes and poor road conditions aren't the only culprits that wreak havoc on your Corvette’s front suspension. In fact, it's worst enemy is TIME. Continue reading → ... Continue reading

  • Tech Tip - C3 Headlight Vacuum System Repair

    Tired of your C3 Corvette "winking" at everyone with its headlights? The repair is easier than you think - and we can walk you through it step-by-step.

    Read Zip's tech article "1968-1982 Corvette Headlight Vacuum System Repair" and you'll have your headlights behaving again in no time!

    If one headlight refuses to lock into place, or the other sits only partially open, it's possible that your Corvette's front actuator seals are worn and need to be replaced. Small tears or holes are common because of age or use. The good news is that you can replace just the seals without having to purchase a complete new actuator. Get your 68-82 Headlight Actuator Rod Seal here.

    While you're at it, you should consider replacing all of your Corvette's headlight door vacuum hoses and T's. Zip has color coded replacements to make the job easy.

    With just a few basic hand tools and a few hours of work, you can get both headlight assemblies working like new again!

    Shop All Corvette Parts here.

  • Tech Tip - Upgrade your C4 Sound System

    Is the sound system in your C4 Corvette acting up? If your speakers make a popping noise when you turn them on, or if your volume knob is scratchy, it's time to take action.

    Read Zip's tech article "C4 Corvette Sound System Upgrade: Part 1–Installing a Modern Receiver" and "C4 Corvette Sound System Upgrade: Part 2–The Bose Amplifier/Speaker Assemblies" for step-by-step instructions on how to give your sound system the upgrade it deserves.

    In this two-part series, we'll show you how to replace the radio control head with a more modern Pioneer receiver and how to replace your amplifier/speaker units. When you're done, your new system will sound better than the day the car rolled off the assembly line!

    Shop All Corvette Parts here.

  • How to rebuild the original horns on your 1957-1975 Corvette

    So the horns on your classic Corvette stopped working properly a while ago. You know you need do something about it, but you don't want to replace the original horns because they are date coded and your want to keep your Corvette as original as possible.

    But replacing is not your only option - you can also rebuild - and Zip can help!

    Zip offers 1957-1975 Corvette Horn Repair Kits that include everything you need to make this your next DIY project. The kits allow you to easily rebuild one or both horns in your dual horn system. As long as your horn coil is not damaged, you can have your original horns sounding like new in no time.

    The repair/refinish kits include aluminum assembly rivets and housing gaskets while the complete rebuild kit includes: two vibrating discs, two hammers and screws, four gaskets and assembly rivets.

    Zip's Project '73 had a dead horn and we brought it back to life with a complete rebuild kit. Follow along with our technical article 1957-1975 Corvette Horn Rebuild for step-by-step instructions and photos.

    Before you begin, you'll need to gather a center punch, #25 drill bit, a 1/8″ punch, a vise, gasket cement and some hand tools. Take the tech article out with you and you're ready to get this project done!

    For more great technical articles covering all Corvette generations, visit, your online source for Corvette know-how!

  • Do your early C4 headlights "wink"? The fix takes less than an hour each.

    1984-1987 C4 Corvettes commonly fall victim to headlight motor failure. The result: your corvette "winks" with one headlight up, one down. Frustrating, we know. And slightly embarrassing.

    Here's the problem: straight from the factory, the 1984-1987 headlight motors used nylon gears to rotate the Corvette headlight assembly. With the weight of the headlight assembly, the nylon gears eventually strip where they come in contact with the metal worm gear. Chevrolet recognized this problem and redesigned the motor for the 1988 Corvette, but that didn't do much to help the early C4's.

    Here's the solution: new Bronze Headlight Gears that won't strip.  You don't need a whole new headlight motor, you just need to replace the gears. Once you replace the nylon gears with bronze, your headlight motors will operate as they were designed and you’ll be able to expect many years of reliable service.

    The replacement procedure is not very difficult and can be done in about 45 minutes per side.  To make it even easier, Zip has documented the entire process for you.

    Read our technical article 1984-1987 Corvette Headlight Motor Gear Replacement and we'll walk you through the replacement with step-by-step instructions and photos.

    To replace the gears, you will need 1/4-inch ratchet with a long extension, 13mm deep well socket, 10mm socket, Phillips screwdriver, hammer, brass punch, needle nose pliers and some silicone sealant.

    Once you have completed this project, you can rest assured that your Corvette won't be winking at anyone again!

  • Emission Impossible: How to Install the Missing Smog System on your C3 Corvette

    Back when the 1973-1982 C3 Corvettes were rolling out of the factory and into the hands of eager owners, many do-it-yourself weekend warriors went straight to work removing the factory installed emission system because it robbed horsepower. We didn't think we'd ever really need it, so we just threw the whole smog system on the junk pile.

    Boy, were we wrong!

    Today,  C3 show cars are REQUIRED to have the smog system if they were originally equipped that way. In addition, an intact system is needed to get the car registered or to renew license plates in some cities and states. Come to find out, an operating smog system is very important afterall!

    But as owners decided to undertake this re-installation project, they found that most smog systems were hard to locate and very expensive.

    Your mission....should you choose to accept to install the emission system on your 1973-1982 Corvette in just one afternoon.  Don't worry, Zip can help! We have the Corvette Parts you need to get the job done and when we installed a smog system in our 1973 Corvette, it only took a few hours and was relatively painless. Better yet, we documented the entire process!

    Follow along with Zip's technical article "1973-1982 Corvette Emission System Install"  for easy to follow, step-by-step installation instructions and photos.

    So let’s grab our tools and shop manuals and get this thing done. After completely reading this article.... it will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Poof!

    Mission Accomplished!

  • How To Replace C4 Corvette Door Window Seals

    It’s a nice sunny afternoon. You're out enjoying the weather, washing your C4 Corvette. After you're done, you bask in the beauty of your glistening Corvette. But as it begins to dry, you notice the horrible condition of the original door window seals. Cracked and splitting, they make your dream machine look more like an aged Mazda. Not cool.

    Fortunately, these ugly seals can be replaced. Installing new door window seals is a project that can be accomplished with some time and patience. The procedure actually looks more difficult than it really is, so be confident that you don’t have to be a Corvette mechanic to get the job done.

    Follow along with our technical article 1984-1996 Corvette Door Outer Window Seal Replacement and we'll guide you each step of the way. With easy step-by-step instructions and detailed pictures, you'll have the job done in no time - about 30 minutes for each door, to be exact.

    Along with your new C4 Corvette Door Window Seals from Zip, you'll need some common hand tools, a pop-rivet gun (a relatively inexpensive tool found at your local auto store) and 3/16 aluminum rivets with a shank no longer than 3/8-inch.

    That's all you need.

    For more great technical articles covering all Corvette generations, visit, your online source for Corvette know-how!

    Purchase online at Zip Corvette Parts

  • How to Install Stainless Steel Brake Lines on your 1984-2004 Corvette

    There's no question that when modifying a C4 or C5 Corvette, the most overlooked system on the vehicle is the braking system. It’s possible the availability of components is partly to blame for this oversight. After all, for every 50 companies that offer horsepower upgrades, there are probably only 10 that offer proven brake system performance.

    Zip excels in packaging C4 Corvette Brake Systems and C5 Corvette Brake Systems. We offer more than just high-end competition brake systems because we understand that not everyone wants to - or needs to - replace their entire system. Sometimes, you simply want to improve the factory system. Zip offers many affordable up-grades ranging from brake pads to a line pressure bias spring to stainless steel brake lines.

    To refer to them as brake lines is a bit of a misnomer; they’re really high-tech hoses due to their construction. At the center is a flexible Teflon hose that seals in the brake fluid, just like OE brake hoses. The benefit is found in the outer shell. The Teflon hose is encased by a stainless steel braided shell. This is what gives the hose its strength and durability and is why they’re referred to as lines and not hoses. This strength and durability is precisely why stainless steel lines have been preferred over rubber hoses on race cars. However, just because Corvette Parts are on a race car doesn’t mean they should be on a street car. But it also doesn't mean that they shouldn't.

    Simply put, stainless steel brake lines are superior to the original equipment rubber brake hoses. Over time, rubber hoses dry out and crack. This leads to leaks and an eventual rupture. Granted, a bad hose is usually discovered long before it bursts and under normal driving conditions, it takes considerable time for a hose to reach failure. So if the most aggressive driving you do with your Corvette is in a car show parade, your factory hoses are fine. Just have them inspected when you get your pads changed out at 60 or 80,000 miles.

    But for those of you who are used to changing brake pads at 5 to 10,000 miles (or less), get rid of those rubber hoses and install a set of stainless steel lines.

    Whether you’re aggressive on the street or auto-crossing on the weekend,  you’ll enjoy the benefits of the stainless lines. Most notable is a firmer and more consistent brake pedal. This comes from the strength of the stainless steel shell. With rubber, every time you stab the brake pedal the hose balloons slightly under the extreme internal hydraulic pressure. You will feel this ballooning as a soft brake pedal. Now add to that the high temperatures generated during heavy braking and the result is braking inconsistency. As the temperature goes up, so does the flexibility of rubber and therefore more ballooning. Compound this with thousands of cycles and that's why rubber hoses eventually fail when subjected to constant aggressive braking.

    In addition to a firmer, more consistent brake pedal, you’ll also realize a higher brake pedal. Simply put, less pedal travel is required to generate the desired brake pressure. When the rubber hose expands, the internal area of the brake system is increased. That is why extra pedal travel is required to bring the system up to a given pressure. All these benefits usually parlay themselves into more confidence in your brakes, resulting in quicker times at the auto-cross.

    Follow along with our technical article "1984-2004 Corvette Stainless Steel Brake Hose Installation"  as we install stainless brake lines on a new C5 Corvette. However, the steps shown in the article apply to C4 Corvettes as well. There is no significant difference between the brake hoses and connections on C4 and C5 Corvettes.

    For more great technical articles covering all Corvette generations, visit, your online source for Corvette know-how!