Before you say "well where are the pictures!" I will admit, there aren't any YET, they are coming
I finally decided tonight was the night for the bubble light conversion, so with a few hours to kill I decided to embark on it. Thinking that bubba was nowhere around, I hoped it would be as Eckler's described it, "no wiring needed, no permanent changes... etc.) How daunting could that be right?
Before I did it, I searched the forum for any help from old threads about installing the kit, but most were the old do it from scratch methods. I did find some good tips, but nothing concrete so I am posting the steps for the kit here.
This conversion was done to an 81', so if your setup is different, then this may not be as helpful.
Step one: Get a star bit and a nut driver to remove the original lenses. There are two long screws. On the 1981, the lenses are all one peice and you will need to remove them from the harness. Be careful not to apply bubba force when trying to get enough slack to unscrew the harness as you will dislodge the wires from the bundle or the bundle from it's clips underneath your bumper. Remove all four lenses. Place lenses and screws in the "original parts box", you may want to wrap them in something so they do not get scratched.
Step Two: Remove original spacers. These spacers are the hard plastic conduits that the scres went through to hold the original lenses on. They are connected to the metal brackets by a square flexible end and can be removed with a pliers and a gentle left/right motion. Be careful not to pull too hard, you will end up slamming the pliers into the light housing and chip your paint. Remove all eight of these spacers.
Step Three: You should now be looking at four light housings that look pretty similar. The two outside housings are your lights you will be splicing into with new harnesses that are in the kit. Push the two inner light harnesses and push them back into the fender as to not add further confusion. Unwrap and make ready your new harnesses and scotch clips.
Step Four: Now take a look at Eckler's wiring diagram, notice it makes no sense, and throw it away. You will notice both new harnesses are the same and have three wires. Black, Brown and Yellow. No blue there are at all. However, if you substitute blue for yellow in the diagram, it will at least make sense, however, I will just tell you what to hook up, it's easy.
The little blue things in your kit are the scotch clips, you will notice one side has a conduit straight through and the other side has a little wall in the middle. The one with the wall accepts the raw ends off the new harness and the straight through is the side you clip over the existing wires. You will need to trim about 1/8" off the pigtails on the new harness as you don't want that bare wire exposed inside the scotch clip.
Now, on the right side of the vehicle, you will have an empty hole and the hole with the light we left there. To this light there are three wires, green, brown and black. You will notice on your new harness you have yellow, brown and black. You use the scotch clips to connect Yellow -> Green, Brown->Brown, Black->Black. Place the clips about 1/2" from the light bulb assembly and connect the clips while the new harness is in your hand. You will be able to push the new harness back into the hole of the already occupied hole and pull it back through the inside light hole where it goes.
If you don't know how scotch clips work, just place the correct wires in the blue clip and first use a pilers to push down the metal dam until it is flush, then push the plastic locking flap over. Crimp the whole assembly once more for good measure.
Do this to both sides, six wires total. Then pull the new harnesses though the holes and let them hang.
Test your new wiring by turning on the running lights and test the brakes. The turn signals may work strangely at this point due to the increased voltage and what blinker you have in the fuse panel, so we will not test them right now.
Step Five:If it all worked you're now done wiring. Don't worry about the other harnesses that you have hanging behind the bumper, we'll get to those later. Now, since Ecklers did not include standoffs with this kit, you will have to modify your originals. Yes, this means you will have to modify an original part, OR you can order these(8) in advance from Ecklers(or whomever), as they are $3.75/ea and are called "Taillamp Mounting Anchor Nut" and are Eckler's part number 25073. You can also fabricate the part if you are handy like that.
The reason these need to be modifed are twofold. The first being that if you use the stock ones, the lights come out wayyy too far. The second is that the lights are unstable if simply mounted on these long plastic tubes and will wobble when touched or in vibration.
You will need to cut the mounting nuts to 3/8"(this does not include the square fastner, it only refers to the cylinder part of the nut. At 3/8" it provides the correct amount of support so that the built in standoffs on the new harness mounting plates will be in contact with back of the light housings. Cut all 8 nuts.
You will now need 8 3/4" screws that are the same or slightly bigger diameter as the star screws you removed from the stock assembly. Don't worry about the thread, what you are screwing into are the mouting nuts and they are not threaded. These will be your new mounting screws.
Step Six: Take your screws, mounting nuts(standoffs) and gaskets(included in the kit) to the rear of the car. Starting with the rightmost light, replace the mounting nuts by pushing them into place then pull the harness through the new mounting bracket and turn the harness in until it locks. Be careful not to pull too hard on the harness as you can pull it hard enough to pull the scotch clips free. After the harness is in, place the mounting plate over the correct holes and install the two 3/4" screws. There is only one way to install these mounting plates, it wont fit otherwise. Do this to all four lamps.
Step Seven: Take the foam gasket and install it on the rightmost mounting plate. Try and fit the gasket into the little groove similarly shaped on the mounting plate. Do this to all lights. Again, test the lights with the above procedure.
Step Eight: Install the red bubble lenses on the mouting plates. Screws are provided with the kit and each lens has 3 screws. Again, there is only one way that these lenses go on, so do yourself a favor and size them up before you put the first screw in. Do this to all four lights. You are now done with the lamps.
Step Nine: Crawl up undeneath the drivers side dash and replace the stock flasher with the one in the kit. Mine was the exact same one as what was provided but I only discovered that after I replaced it. I need a heaver duty one than what was provided but you may not. The flasher is the last component on the fuse panel all the way up at the top. Look hard, it's there.
Step Ten: Test all rear light functions, including turn signals.
Step Eleven: Get underneath rear of vehicle and remove lamps from unused harnesses(back up lights). Now tape off the recepticles with electrical tape or otherwise seal off moisture from these with whatever method you choose. Now, get some zip ties and lash them to the rear wiring harness that should have wire wrap on it and is connected to the bumper via rubber clips. If these are not present, simply tie up the reverse lights out of the way for possible restoration of stock lamps later.
Step Twelve: Start vehicle and again test all lamps before going on a test drive(including hazard lamps).
Enjoy your new cool bubble lights that are BRIGHT!
I hope this helps someone do this kit faster than I(and Bubba) did tonight. I am going to have to buy new mounting nuts, new original screws, and do some paint touch up(thanks to bubba and his amazing plier trick). This job took me about 3.5 - 4 hours, going slowly and making mistakes, hopefully this will clear up a lot for someone else wanting to do this neat mod.
1981 Yellow Coupe
FlowMaster 40 Delta Flows w/H-pipe and no cat's
Bubble Light Conversion
Coming This Month: Bubble Light Kit - Done - Next Month: Odds and Ends
Coming this Year(may be subject to change at any time):Edlebrock Performer RPM, Edlebrock Cam, MSD Pro-Billet Distrib w/MSD 6A, Edlebrock Elite Series Air Cleaner ,Edlebrock Elite Valve Covers --- Big Fat 3ft Wing and Tons of Stickers in Japanese writing, logos of other makes of cars that the corvette is not, and an enormous ram air scoop that isn't even open to the outsde(just checking to see if you are reading this all, of course I'm not going to do the last ones, what do you think I am some stupid RiceBoy?)