1981 Chevrolet Corvette

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After seeing a picture of my grandfather in front of the C3 Chevrolet Corvette he bought new when he retired from the Navy, I just had to have one. I found this 1981 Corvette project after it had been horribly neglected and left to the weather and time to ravage. My plans are to have her running and driving as my daily driver by the end of the year.

Mike McFearin

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4 Responses to “1981 Chevrolet Corvette”
  1. Richard
    Richard

    I just bought a 1979 Corvette at the end of June. Just found out that the 8 track player works,I just now have to find some of them

    Reply
  2. Christopher Loureiro
    Christopher Loureiro

    Looks great! I have a 1980 that I am in the middle of putting more time than money into it; trying to get it to looking the best as I can. It also was in a bad storage with condensation rust all over.

    Reply
  3. Michael Ryan
    Michael Ryan

    I have a 1981 corvette that i am restoring right now. I see that under the ash tray there is plug in like ODB-1 connecter and there is a computer back in the batter box and was wondering if there is connecter for it.

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    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Michael,

      The ALDL connector for the 81 is under the ashtray in the center console. It is a single row of pins. Jumper the right two pins, the two pins with the cutout between them. A small screwdriver fits right in and jumps the pins. See picture attached

      Read the codes, there may be many, start with the first. The 1981 service manual has very good diagnostic charts for each code.

      The 81 was the first year ECM so it has a small set of fault codes.

      To pull the codes, turn the ignition switch to the “ON” position (do not start the car). Using a small screwdriver, jump between terminals. You will see the SES (Service Engine Soon) light flash out a code. It will flash out each code three times. The first code you will get will be a code 12. It will be a single flash, followed by a short pause, then two flashes. It will then pause for about two seconds or so, and flash the code again until it reads out three times. The code(s) after this will be your trouble code(s). Write them down. When you get back to code 12 it is finished.

      Once you are done writing down all your trouble codes, turn off the ignition and remove the screwdriver between terminals. To reset the codes, simply pull the ECM fuse (Blue 15A) for one minute. Doing this will reset the ECM back to factory settings, and the driving parameters will have to be relearned (the car will do this itself).

      Here are the most common codes. No – the codes are not for emissions – they are for detecting, troubleshooting, and correcting significant engine operating problems. For a complete list, along with the solutions to the problem codes, just look in your Service Manual – there’s an entire section in the manual devoted to this.

      12

      ERROR CODE DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONING CORRECTLY

      13

      OXYGEN SENSOR CIRCUIT OPEN

      14

      COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (CTS) CIRCUIT (HIGH TEMP)

      15

      COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR (CTS) CIRCUIT (LOW TEMP)

      21

      THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR (TPS) CIRCUIT (HIGH)

      22

      THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR (TPS) CIRCUIT (LOW)

      23

      MANIFOLD AIR TEMP (MAT) or INTAKE AIR TEMP (IAT) CIRCUIT (LOW TEMP)

      24

      VEHICLE SPEED SENSOR (VSS) CIRCUIT

      25

      MANIFOLD AIR TEMP (MAT) or INTAKE AIR TEMP (IAT) CIRCUIT (HIGH TEMP)

      26

      QUAD-DRIVER (QDM) ERROR (if applicable)

      32

      EXHAUST GAS RECIRCULATION (EGR) CIRCUIT

      33

      MANIFOLD ABSOLUTE PRESSURE (MAP) SENSOR (VOLTAGE HIGH-LOW VACUUM)

      34

      MANIFOLD ABSOLUTE PRESSURE (MAP) SENSOR (VOLTAGE LOW-HIGH VACUUM)

      35

      IDLE SPEED CONTROL (ISC) CIRCUIT

      41

      CYLINDER SELECT ERROR (FAULTY OR INCORRECT MEM-CAL)

      42

      ELECTRONIC SPARK TIMING (EST) CIRCUIT

      43

      ELECTRONIC SPARK CONTROL (ESC) CIRCUIT

      44

      OXYGEN SENSOR CIRCUIT (LEAN EXHAUST)

      45

      OXYGEN SENSOR CIRCUIT (RICH EXHAUST)

      51

      MEM-CAL ERROR (FAULTY OR INCORRECT MEM-CAL)

      53

      SYSTEM OVER VOLTAGE

      54

      FUEL PUMP CIRCUIT (LOW VOLTAGE)

      55

      ECM ERROR

      61

      DEGRADED OXYGEN SENSOR

      66

      A/C PRESSURE SENSOR CIRCUIT

      I will email you the image.

      Mark
      Classic Car Restoration Club

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