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1997 C5 Headlight Actuator Adjustments??




I just bought a used 1997 Corvette C5. I was detailing under the hood and turned the driver's side manual headlight dial the wrong direction (clockwise). Now when I turn the headlights off, the driver's side headlight actuator motor continues to run for 5 secs. and the worm gear is grinding against the nylon threads of the headlight cover lift mechanism. Not only is the sound horrible, I know this can't be good for the nylon threads and may cause severe damage. Is this system adjustable? Can the problem be fixed without completely replacing the motor assembly (now about $220.00 and double that with labor).

Thank you so much for your assistance.

Chuck Boyd

(954) 476-5436 (W)
HI there,
Sorry to hear about this, however, once the gears start grinding, there really is no other solution here, but to replace the motor.
However, if you are charged more than 1.5 hours labor, you are being ripped off. And I would see another service department.
Best to you, c4c5
1997 Headlight Actuator Motor


Thanks for your quick reply. I don't have a shop manual for the C5 yet so I didn't know if there is an adjustment procedure suggested. I did remove the twist dial of the actuator motor on Friday night. I looked down the shaft of the worm gear and there are nylon threads that the metal worm gear mates with at the lower end. After several tense minutes I reassembled the actuator motor worm gear (those tricky electric brushes and springs nearly caused me to speak in foreign languages).

It seems logical that there would be some method to put the system back in "sync". (Like open the headlight manually 1/4 and then turn the lights on and off causing them to cycle, or something).

The frustrating thing here is:

1) It was working fine until I turned the knob clockwise. (Hard lesson learned about fiddling with something BEFORE I read up on it!!!)

2) The motor continues to work fine but running on for 5 secs. after the headlight closes is grinding the nylon threads a little at a time.

Any chance you could take a peek in that shop manual for any adjustment suggestions?


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