1963 C2 Corvette – Common Issues
The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 1963 Corvette. While the intent of this page is to identify the common issues pertaining to the 1963 Corvette, it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.
1963 Corvette Mechanical Issues
HEADLIGHT MOTOR ASSEMBLY
- There are two common problems that often occur with the headlight motor assembly. First, it is not uncommon for only one of the headlight motor assemblies to open. Second, the headlight assemblies may open in tandem, but they open very slowly, making them virtually non-functional. The cause of these issues are varied, but often occur because of either the failure of the headlight motor drive assemblies, or the mis-alignment of the transmission mechanism that physically rotates the headlight. In some instances, the headlight switch can also be the cause, and it is recommended that the switch be replaced in addition to other headlight motor mechanical repairs. There are a number of after-market parts manufacturers that produce OEM spec headlight motor and transmission assemblies.
- See also “Exterior Issues” (below) for additional headlight related issues)
TAIL LIGHT/REAR TURN SIGNAL
- All C2 Corvettes (1963-1967) have a persistent problem with poor electrical grounds on their tail lights. The original design used speed nuts to hold the ground wire on, and these nuts do not remain tight.
- The rear suspension utilized a transverse-mounted leaf spring with nine leaves, axle half shafts with U-joints, control arms and tubular shocks. Over time, this setup is known to fail due to normal fatigue. The rear suspension should be checked regularly, especially on vehicles with aging suspension.
WASHER PUMP ASSEMBLY
- Mechanical failure of the washer pump assembly is a common issue on both C2 and C3 Corvettes. The washer pump will not disperse washer fluid even though all of the hoses are inspected and properly connected, the washer fluid reservoir is full, and the washer nozzles are lear of debris. When this occurs, it is often the result of a bad washer pump nozzle valve. During normal (proper) operating conditions, the valve receives the washer fluid solution from the reservoir, and then it is forced (via the pump) to spray out through the washer fluid nozzles. The washer pump nozzle valve contains a small rubber diaphragm that can dry out and become brittle with age. It is generally the failure of this internal diaphragm which causes the mechanical failure within the valve itself.
1963 Corvette Electrical Issues
- Resistive spark plugs were used in the second-generation Corvettes although they caused degraded engine performance. However, they were used in conjunction with shielded plug wiring to cut down on radio static. Because the fiberglass body of a Corvette did not provide electrical shielding like a conventional steel body would, radio static was a genuine problem for all of the second-generation Corvettes.
1963 Corvette Exterior Issues
- Given that the C2 electric headlight assemblies are exposed to weather, they are commonly known to have problems.
- The 1963 Corvette used fiberglass headlamp buckets for the headlight system. These are known to crack or break after prolonged usage. While later C2 Corvettes used metallic headlamp buckets, this item is a specific problem for the 1963 Corvette.
- The door seals tend to leak fairly regularly, especially the top portion of the door seal.
- The chassis is one of the C2’s major sources of trouble. The main frame rails are prone to rusting, as is the rear kick-up behind the cabin and in front of the rear wheel. Other areas that are prone to serious fatigue from rusting include: the rear trailing/control arms, the inner “bird cage” metal substructure that supports the fiberglass body panels, the inner door frames, the door pillars, and the cowl area at the base of the windshield.
- Radiator supports and the gas tank are prone to corrosion.
1963 Corvette Interior Issues
- As the result of age or excessive wear, many 1963-1967 Corvettes are known to have sagging floorboards. This problem can sometimes be addressed by carefully raising the sagging floorboard using a floor jack & wooden blocks and then installing two rubber spacers on either side of the tunnel between the crossmember and floorboard where the floorboard is sagging (typically just outboard of the exhaust pipe holes).
TURN SIGNAL CAM FAILURE
- Within the steering column, there is a turn signal cam assembly that regulates the control of the turn signal lever. As the cam ages, it can stop operating. When this happens, the turn signal level will not return to its neutral position and the turn signal will continue signaling, even after the completion of the intended turn of the steering wheel. While replacement of this cam assembly generally takes a couple hours to complete, it is not a difficult repair to make, though it will require the removal of the steering wheel to access the cam.