California's C3 Corvette Car Club

1980 Corvette Quartz Clock Conversion

By Tony Griffitts

The original clock in a 1980 Corvette is an electronic drive. In just a short time these clocks would stop working. Today, Instrument Services, Inc makes a Borg Clock quartz conversion kit that you can use to upgrade the internals of the clock to make it more reliable. The conversion only takes about two hours to complete. That includes removing the center gauge bezel and reinstalling.

1980 Corvette Center Gauge Bezel

Yellow arrows show where the six screws need to be removed from the bezel. You need to remove the center column side panels to access the two screws at the bottom corners that hold the bottom console bezel to the gauge bezel.

The first step before removing the radio was to disconnect the negative cable from the car battery. Next was to removed the old bezel by removing the four top screws and two screws underneath that hold the bottom console bezel to the gauge bezel. It may be easier to remove the radio knobs and face plate before removing the bezel as in my case, since the back of the radio was anchored to a bracket.

Once the screws were removed I tilted the bezel forward and disconnect the wiring harness from the back of the gauges and disconnect the illumination connector. Before removing the bezel you may need to disconnect the radio wiring harness at the back of the radio if the radio is anchored to the bezel. With the bezel out, I remove the gauge cluster from the bezel.

If you are going to do this project and it has been a long time since the gauge bezel has been removed, now is a good time to replace all the bulbs. While replacing the electric drive in the clock it is also a good opportunity to polish the gauge lens and warning light lenses with carnauba car wax to remove tiny scratches (it will look new when your done).

Clock Knob

You may need to pull out the knob first and grasp the shaft with needle-nose pliers and then back out the screw.

1980 Corvette Gauge Cluster

You first will need to remove the gauge cluster from the bezel. With the gauge cluster removed pull the hands off of the face of the clock. Yellow arrows point to parts that need to be removed from the backside of the gauge cluster.

printed circuit board

Pull back the printed circuit board and then remove the two screws that hold then clock into the gauge cluster.

1980 Corvette Clock

Yellow arrows point to tabs you will need to bend back to remove the clock. Red arrows point to dial plate nuts that need to be removed.

1980 Corvette Clock

Pull the clock out of the case.

1980 Corvette Clock

Remove the grommets from the dial plate, they will be replaced with new grommets in the kit.

1980 Corvette Clock

Old electric drive. You will need to use some of the parts on the old clock with the quartz clock.

1980  Corvette Quartz Clock

New quartz drive. Follow the instructions that come with the quartz clock for reassembly.