1968-1982 Headlamp Actuator Orientation

1968-1981 Corvette Headlamp Actuator were all installed in the same manner with the actuator nipple on the back pointing outward.  In 1982 GM decided to invert this process and the left actuator became the right and the right became the left. This caused the nipples on the 1982 cars to point inward.

This was a one year thing and to complicate things, The GM parts book only listed 5638541 as the left and 5638542 as the right.  But if you go to the 1982 assembly manual, you’ll find that the 5638541 was listed as the right and 5638542 as the left.  So 1982 owners would go to the dealer to order a new actuator and they would need a left and then order a right in error.

It was also very common for customers to invert this as well and put the right on the left and left on the right.

It’s always important to double check your which way your nipple is pointing before you order a single actuator.