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Discussion Starter #1
The flip up lamps on my 68 cougar (dual diapragm) have not worked for a long time and I'd love to get thoes working again but I'd rather use electric solenoids rather than the old vacuum setup. I was thinking door lock solenoids would have the power and range of movement that I'm looking for. Has anyone else tryed this? Does it sound like a realistic little project? any better Ideas? Where can I order the solenoids I would need? Thanks again Guys.
 

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My wifes folks 80ish NEW YORKER has electric hideaway headlights. Maybe you can graft a system from them into the Cougar. My headlights work good so I haven't even bothered to look to see if it's fesible, I don't think it would be hard though.

Rick
 

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That's actually a really good idea. My '67 Cougar's doors kinda sorta maybe sometimes work, I was also thinking about how I could convert to electrical.
 

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You will need the headlight switch I think, cuz the Cougar's is vacuum operated and the New Yorker is electic. Try not to use a toggle to open the lights, it will look mickey-ducked. Remember to use relays and fuses and all the other stuff needed. Let me know how it turns out.

Rick
 

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The 67 Camaro had electric motors on there headlight doors. Here's a quote from a sales brochure regarding the doors.

"The 67 doors utilized two electric motors, three relays, in line diodes, limit switches, a circuit breaker, and several other electrical parts. Needless to say, these doors could be less than reliable, and the problem was particularly bad in the north. Snow and ice would freeze the doors shut and the electic motors would burn out trying to open them.
For 1968 Chevrolet switched to a vacuum operated system. This was not only more reliable, but more importantly you could still open the doors by hand if the system failed, and without damaging the system further."

Make sure that you are confident enough to do the job or you will run into problems. The reason FORD used the vacuum doors was incase the switch failed, you could still open them manually and keep them open by removing the spring on the pump, at least on the 70 anyways. I had mine fail when I first bought mine, the vacuum pot rubber was rotten, found good used ones and they work fine now. Maybe if you come up with a fail safe system you can market it for the old Cougars and make some real coin eh. But it has to be a fail safe system.
 

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My '66 Charger also used electric light/doors. These were much better than the Mercury "Mystery Vac Leak" doors. They might swap. The other thing that I have seen thats simple and not too stupid is to gut the doors and have a dark piece of plexi-glass behind them in the day. At night remove this and you can see. The grills stay in place and no longer move/leak. Other than that just get 4,000' of vac hose and many new fittings and have a hose swap party!
 

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I had a 1970 Cougar with the leaky vaccum canisters that I fixed quite nicely and cheaply by swapping in canisters from a 77-79 Thunderbird, It took a small amount of modification but the canisters are much smaller and have twice the power of the old Cougar units.
 

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Ok, there might be some moral issues with this one, but I think 85 to 87 honda accords had electric flip up lights... shouldn't have any trouble finding one of those in the junk yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow thanks, a lot of good ideas! I think dark is right. I will defiantly need a failsafe. It will be simple enough to use relays or some similar mischief to open the lamps as soon as there is power to the headlamps.
 

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I have had an idea about converting mine to a cable operation. If you remove the springs off of the cross shaft they should move real easy. Fomoco only put the springs on for saftey in case of failure they would always stay open. I was thinking of a PTO type cable mounted under the dash but dont know if I could halfway hide it to keep it from looking too shabby. Mine actually work pretty good they just start creeping open after 3-4 hours. I think I'll disconnect the springs for now as then they will probably work fine.
 

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I'd be inclined to fix what you got. Alot less work and money in the long run. Finding a spot for the motors, hiding wiring so it doesnt look like an after thought, relays, solenoids, etc, could be a pain in the ass, if it's not fixable then I'd go electric.

Rick
 
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