Mercury Cougar Owners banner

Would you be interested in purchasing an headlight kit?

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 80.0%
  • No

    Votes: 6 20.0%
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's been a lot of threads and a lot of talk about the electric headlight cover conversion here over the years. A LOT of people would like to do away with the vacuum system issues, have their headlight covers stay closed until the headlights are turned on and de-clutter the engine bay.

Bruce Habel did some GREAT right-ups on how to do it yourself using a Probe motor on TCCN a few years back that is still being used to date. It takes a bit of time and some patience, but gives great results in the end. Many others have posted their success stories of converting their covers to electric. A lot of people are just intimidated by the whole process.

With that being said.......

I converted the covers on my 69 Vert to electic about 2 months ago just after I finished the rebuild. I drilled holes and bolted a headlight motor in my car. I wired in a relay, ran a wire to the battery, ran a wire to the headlights and ... ta-da, electric headlight covers!

It's a daily driver with the coming of winter and rain which means headlights on and off a LOT. Every morning, every evening, rain with wipers on = headlights on (state law, and good idea). They work great, stay closed, open every time I turn the lights on and made my engine run better. I thought I had my headlight vacuum issues solved, but after I disconnected the vacuum headlight system and drove it the idle jumped up 300 RPM.

Well, after 2 months of nightly R&D in the garage with the help of my son the electronics wizzard and some creative thinking/fabricating on my part, I now have a bolt in electric headlight cover system for 69 and 70 models.

It requires no holes to be drilled, no wires to be cut and only 1 fused power wire to be run to the solenoid. Covers fully open and close with no adjustment required, but adjustable stops are built into the bracket to stop excessive banging of the covers, if needed.

I am using 84-86 Pontiac Firebird motors that are available new, rebuilt and from salvage yards. Motor and base arm are required.

I am finalizing the design of the circuit board for the controller and preparing for production and packaging. I think in about a month I will have a marketable system available.

You will get everything you need to install the system, EXCEPT THE MOTOR.
Bracket, connecting arm, controller, bolts, nuts, wiring and instructions.

Initial estimates put the cost at $150.00 without the motor.

Anyone interested???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Sounds great, where was this two years ago? JK! I would use this if I hadn't gotten mine sorted out last summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I would say yes if I had not just last year bought the "lifetime can" from WCCC now mine works perfectly but I would buy one if I buy another cougar to restore...I like the idea of all in one package since I dont weld some of the kits are beyond what i could accomplish....Please take pictures of the finished product installed....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Personally, I very much enjoy the nostalgia of this system working as designed and don't quite understand the need for converting to electric. It is a very simple system that, in my opinion, is not difficult to diagnose and restore once you understand how it works. I have gone through mine and they now work flawlessly.

Not saying anyones desire for electric is unfounded...just saying why I vote no.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
catscratch,

I, too, like the old system. When it is working, is is great. No, it is not complicated, but it can get expensive to replace the parts.

$238 for a rebuilt vacuum motor alone, plus any hoses, valves and a switch if needed.

This is just an alternative. There seemed to be some interest in a bolt-in electric system. The system bolts in and out without modification to the original car parts. Remove it and you can't tell it was ever there.

With practice (I have had plenty) you can install/uninstall my electric system in about 20 minutes. Leave the vacuum hoses in place, reinstall the vacuum motor and you are back to the original vacuum system for shows.

I am a "if you change it, make sure it can go back to original" kid of guy. I don't like to drill holes, cut original wires or modify original metal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,578 Posts
I think it is a great idea (even though I too will probably use an OEM system). If you truly can manufacture and sell it for what you are estimating that is. Good luck and I look forward to seeing what it is all about (you know what they say about some threads without pictures!).

Regards,

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Posidude,

I don't have a 67/68 to "play" with. I would sure like to make this work for them, too. If the motor will fit in the space, the electronics should work. Just need a car to work with for bracket R&D geometry checks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Okay, some pics and a video, if I get them uploaded right.

The pictures do not show much of the mount, for obvious reasons.
The controller is version 2. It is using a mechanical relay and switch. Final will be solid state, the same size, but no electrical tape!
The car does not have the A/C evaporater in it, but the motor/mount clears it with room for fingers.


Electric cover motor from the passenger side



Cover arm amd motor in the center



Electric cover motor from the drivers side



Motor and controller as seen through the grill (drop light not included)



Close-up of motor and controller as seen through the grill



Finger room next to the A/C evaporator



The covers go up and down
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I'd be interested too if you get a system for a '67... keep us posted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looking into the 67/68 model capatabilty.
Electronics could stay the same, just a double-tailed connection.
Will have to modify half the bracket to make one that would fit the 67/68.
New connecting rod, too.

Looking into finding a POS shell with at least one cover in place to "play" with.

It's quite possible. I'll do my best!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
If you are going to make one, I would go ahead and make it all-encompassing and include the motor. If you had a system right now for the 67, I would purchase it (as I'm looking at $300+, not to mention the headache of diagonosing, since the original owner tore through everything and re-ran hoses to god-knows-where).

But if I had to find a motor fro the system, I would just stick to trackign down the parts for the vacuum system.

But, also keep in mind, I am not 'restoring' this Cougar... only getting it in workable condition and am probably a rare-breed on this board, as I don't really care if it is OEM or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Due to responses.........

With some internet searching and some dimensional help from Bruce Habels article in TCCN (bolt locations relative to the motor arm), I believe I have a bracket that will work in the 67's and 68's.

Still using my original side bracket with a different base. This will work for both sides and both motors. Adjustable stops included.

I still need a 67 or 68 to test it in to make sure it fits and measure for connecting arms.

Anyone in or near Columbia, Mo got one I can come see? It can be apart.
Better yet, want to drive over to my place for a day of resto-moding??

Still working on it.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
In your video it apears your park lights go out when the headlights come on. My parks are on all the time(except in "off" of course). Is this a choice or over looked???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I believe it is a 69 thing. I have seen other videos that show the 69 parking lights going off when the headlights com on.

Parking lights on my 70 stay on with the headlights.
Parking lights on my 69 go off when the headlights come on.

Would be nice if they stayed on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Looks like your on your way to a great product.

I'll probably buy one when it comes time to put my grill back together. While I don't mind sourcing the motor myself, it would be nice if you offered a complete kit with everything required.

On a separate note - what would it take to make 69 parking lights stay on like the 70? Different headlight switch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It is in the wiring.

Replaced the switch in my 69 with one from a 70 - still parking lights go off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:

While I believe I have a working setup for the 67/68 models, I still have not actually put it in one yet (no one has volunteered a Cat for use).

Finalization of the electronics continues. I tried to go to a smaller, more compact PCB mounted relay, but it just couldn't handle the loads. I am currently waiting on delivery of a larger rated realy for installation and trials. (man, I've learned a LOT about electronics lately)

The original mechanical relay I am using is still a viable option, I am just trying to get the size of the control box down to a minimum.

As far as including the motor(s) in the package........

If I include the motor(s), it would require me buying rebuilt motors (for warranty) without having cores to send in. These motors would cost about $150.00 each. That equates to an additional $150 for the 69/70 kit and an additional $300 for the 67/68 kit.

Cost = $300 for the 69/70 kit with motor
Cost = $450 for the 67/68 kit with 2 motors
Wow, got expensive in a hurry!

I could not, with a clear concience, sell the kit with used motors. I would not be able to warrenty the used motors. That is why I was planning to sell the kits without the motors - reduced cost by allowing the purchaser to get their own motors. You should be able to get a 30-90 warranty from the salvage yard.

With all that being said, I am continuing to move forward with the development of these kits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kit has been on hold.

Spent the last month moving out of my house - the recession got me.

Just starting to get re-set in a rented place. Planning to get the kit finished up soon. Sorry for the delay!
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top