Corvette Headlight Door Adjustment Procedures

by David Curtis
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The headlight doors in C3 Corvette models 1968 to 1982 can be adjusted to set in the hood openings properly. They can also be adjusted to the correct height when in the open and closed position. Adjusting the headlight assembly properly will correct the issues of misalignment up and down along with left and right.


A person should be very familiar with how these lights operate. They are different than most cars as they use a vacuum system to open and close the headlights. Care needs to be taken when performing these adjustments. A slight error could result in significant damage to the paint, especially when changing the assembly left or right. The tolerances are very tight.

Up and down door Adjustment

The up and down door adjustment is made by an adjustment bolt located on each assembly. When this bolt is turned, it raises or lowers the headlight door panel. This adjustment changes the position of the closed door in relationship to the hood surround.

Side to side Adjustment

Adjustments made to center the light in the hood surround are done by three bolts that attach each side of the headlight assembly to the car. They are accessible through the hood opening. There is limited access to this area and patience must be taken when loosening and re-tightening these bolts. It is a good idea to use masking tape around the headlight and surrounding hood areas to avoid paint damage.

Preventive Maintenance

When performing this task, it is a good idea to inspect the plastic bearing that is between the headlight assembly and the car. This bearing is prone to cracking and breakage and should be replaced if found defective.


Careful testing should be made by manually raising the assembly up and down a few times before using the headlight switch. If adjusted incorrectly without testing, this could easily damage the paint on the headlight door as well as the top edge of the hood surround. When the adjustments are acceptable, tests can be made with the headlight switch before removing the masking tape.

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