SS #670 Assorted hacks
Here is a list of hacks I've done to my SS. Many involve OEM parts.
My car came with a black 18" AM/FM antenna. Newer cars have antennas
with spiral staking (like my cell phone
antenna). This is supposed to cut down on wind noise. I think
it looks cool so I went to my dealer and had my buddies at the
parts counter lookup the part number of one of the cars on the lot
that had the new style antenna (GM 15739183).
I noticed that the battery cables had lips on them as if they were
designed to accept a protective cap. One day a friend saw caps on
the battery of a 1995 Lumina; that was all I needed to order and
install red (GM 12010050) and black (GM 12010049) caps on my battery
Over the years I've had a very intermittent problem where the radio
would turn off for a few seconds and turn back on. When it started
happening more frequently I did some research and found that this
is a common 4th generation F-Body issue. The cause is one or more
bad solder joints on a relay in the body control module. Symptoms
include radio, retained accessory power and/or power windows
When you get the BCM opened up look at terminals of the larger
relay. The picture on the right shows what mine looked like before
Oil Life System is pretty slick; it keeps track of track of
RPMs, engine coolant temperature, engine load, air intake temperature
and vehicle mileage and uses heuristics to estimate when the oil
should be changed. At somewhere between 3000 and 7500 miles (less
than 3000 if you drive more aggressively), it illuminates the oil
change light indicating it's time to change the engine oil and
The owner's manual says the way to reset the oil change light is to
turn the ignition key to the run position with the engine turned
off and then press and hold the trip/oil reset button for 12 seconds.
If the light was on, it will flash before going out. (If you reset
it before it trips, there is no visual indication).
The problem with this procedure is that it also resets the trip
odometer. However, the factory service
manual shows an alternate method that works nicely. It says to
turn the ignition key to the run position with the engine turned
off and then press the throttle to the floor 3 times within 5
At some point my ebrake handle got a little loose. When I went to
tighten it up, I discovered the handle is riveted to the arm. To
fix it, I found a piece of scrap black plastic of the appropriate
thickness and inserted it between the handle and the arm. This
worked best on the side without the rivet.
Since the beginning, my SS had a mild squeak from one of the SLP
dual-dual exhaust hangers. Eventually I made a washer from a piece
of 1/32" Teflon. Squeak eliminated!
The version of the gas cap that came on my SS had a long tether
that you were supposed to hang on a hook on the inside of the filler
door. Later a service bulletin was issued (#00-06-04-036) for a
revised part (GM 22616286) that has a shorter tether that attaches
to the door so it hangs away from the paint.
I made better use of my console ash tray and mounted a garage door
opener into it. I cut off the bottom of the ash tray, fitted some
1/8" ABS plastic into it and wired up some push button switches I
had laying around.
At some point I started having with my electric hatch release
sticking, especially in cold weather (not that it really gets that
cold in California!) I did some research and the consensus at both
installuniversity.com was to add a second spring to the mechanism.
I learned the trick is all about finding the right spring. Most of
the ones I tried were way too stiff and a few were too long or too
short. Eventually I found one that was just right.
The (tiny) lamp that illuminates the controls in the headlight
dimmer/switch module is not listed in the owner's manual or the
factory service manual. However, it is in listed in the dealer's
parts computer (GM 10195525). It's a T-1 neo-wedge base lamp that
uses a PC board punch pattern. The one I got is a JKL Components
Corporation CNW1-7219. The specs say it uses 60 mA @ 12 V and outputs
1.89 lumens with an average lifetime of 16000 hours.
It's pretty easy to change; gently pull out the air duct bezel and
then use a small flat blade screw driver to gently twist 90°.
When I went to the dealer to buy a horn to replace one that died,
one of my parts counter buddies told me about a service bulletin
for a Chevrolet truck that gave a part number for a horn splash
shield (GM 15071417). This is supposed to keep water from getting
inside the horns where it causes corrosion and eventual failure.
As it turns out, the OEM horns are made by Fiamm and are cheaply
available from many auto parts stores. The high/low horns are
identical to the OEM versions but you do need to remove and reuse
the weatherpack connector adapters from the OEM units. The stock
horns are rated at 125 dB. There are also louder versions called
the "Freeway Blaster Horn" which are rated at 130 dB. Here are the
various part numbers.
Over time my HVAC temperature control knob would bind when attempting
to set it to full heat. It was necessary to flip back and forth
briskly to achieve the desired setting. Finally I peeked at the
factory service manual and discovered the cable adjustment procedure:
Remove the bolt and remove the control head from the A/C module.
Set the control know half way between the full cold and full hot
Gently disengage the spring and reposition the pulley so it is
10-15° towards the full cold position (see diagram) and then
re-engage the spring.
I found mine was set to about 0°, probably due to cable stretch.
Adjusting it correctly eliminated the binding condition.
Mobil 1 is the factory fill engine oil for Corvettes. And Starting
in October of 2001, all LS1 engines get Mobil 1 from the factory.
For these and other reasons, I'm running Mobil 1 oil in SS #670.
The Corvette oil filler cap (GM 12555685) is embossed with the
Mobil 1 logo and is interchangeable with the cap on the F-Body's
LS1. It looks like and is a reminder to others what kind of oil
I like having an extra set or two of keys stashed away so I bought
extra remotes (GM 16245100) and had my dealer make extra sets of
keys. The instructions in the owner's manual for enabling a new
remote are pretty straight forward.
I'm not really big on putting decals or bumper stickers on my
vehicles but after the events of 9-11, I installed a static cling
US flag on the left side of the rear hatch.
GM Weatherstrip Lubricant (GM 3634770, also known as
Krytox) is a silicone-free
grease used for dressing weatherstriping. It works great but is expensive.
It's listed in TSB (#99-08-64-016A) as being one of the two products
that should be periodically applied to weatherstrip surfaces. A
cheaper option is dielectric silicone grease (GM 12345579 or
Like most 4th gen F-Bodies, the power window motors in SS #670 were
pretty slow. A number of sources recommend the Siemens WL42014 as
a strong replacement so I tried one.
The procedure in the factory service manual says to remove the
regulator and motor as an assembly and then drill out three rivets
that hold the motor to the regulator. Instead I used the procedure
shown on shbox.com
which removes the motor and leaves the regulator in place.
- Roll the window half way up
- Remove the door panel and switches
- Lock the window in place with some rubber wedges
- Pull back the splash shield
- Remove the speaker
- Make three holes corresponding to the motor rivets
(Wear a mask to protect yourself from fiberglass dust)
- Drill out the rivets
- Remove the old motor
- Enlarge the regulator holes to 6/32"
- Mount the new motor using screws and nuts
I used a Dremel tool to make the holes cleaner holes and more
precisely centered. Here's a picture of the passenger side door
after creating the new holes:
The new motor comes with screws and nuts but I upgraded to 6/32"
X 1/2" panhead stainless screws and Nylocks.
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