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Discussion Starter #1
This is the video I had been trying to make available for the last few months. Hope it is entertaining at the least and informational as well. I think you all will like the noise of the actuators if not anything else. Understand I did not post this video to boast or prove a point, but to inspire others to think outside of the box with these cars and do what works. If there are any questions just ask on this link and I'll try my best. I'm going to get the dimensions of the brackets up if requested and the rest should be clear to understand. One I left out is make sure the holes you cut for the actuators to go through need to be bigger than the actuator. Henceforth, the actuators should "free float" or be able to move back and forward and slightly side to side. The bolt on the bracket that holds the actuator to the bracket also has little spacers or tubingbetween the actuator and side of the bracket (that means there are 2 spacers, one for each side of the actuator). Hope to impress the wise cougar owners on this site!
 

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I'm very interested in this also. Tried searching out the place with the actuators, but was unable to find it. Copy what the above posters said, please list parts, sources and basic instructions.
 

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351CJ HELLCAT,
Great job! I was wondering why you went with a separate toggle switch? Could it be wired into the headlight switch?
 

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Nice job! I like how they open and close kinda slowly, makes it look more stock.
 

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I imagine you could if you used a relay to power the actuators.
we discussed this on the other thread. The actuators only need a momentary current to trigger the movement. As far as we can tell there isn't a changeover relay that provides momentary current switch. It is a challenge for one of our electrical whizz's
 

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Discussion Starter #10
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/linear-actuators.aspx has the 4" linear actuators for 119.95 each. They have gone up since I bought them last year. The duel linear actuator controller has gone up as well, its 59.95. The 10ft extension wire harness is now 15.95. I had bought all this last fall so it has gone up some. Directions are simple. Remove both headlight assemblies from the Cougar. You will want to disassemble the entire light assembly as I feel it made it easier. Remove the springs and ALL bumpers as they will not be needed and are in the way. Remove the vacuum actuators and sell them as cores as I did for money towards the new setup. I suggest you buy the actuators and have them for when you cut the hole so you'll know how big to make it. You'll be surprised how heavy duty they are and feel. Where the original vacuum actuator was is where you will cut a square or oval hole the will accommodate the new actuator. The part the has the hole for the old bolt to go through that holds the old actuator is what will be removed. Make the hole big enough so the actuator has "play" as it will go forward and back some in its cycle (give a little clearance side to side as well; the hinge bolts going to the headlamp door are where all the stress is and where the cycle of motion will be determined, therefore let the actuators float to their specs with no rubbing or deterring) Make the old actuator plunger and the new actuator "rod" hole line up the same (therefore the stud in the vacuum actuator and the hole in the new actuator will line up with the door hole on the headlamp cover; imagine it as if a bolt should be able to slide though once you're finished). This is key as it will help fix the grille straightening for being too far opened to too far closed. That means partly assemble your lights and slide the actuator through the hole you cut. Have the headlamp door bolted to the assembly so it will freely open and close. Place the actuator with the hole in the end in conjunction with the hole in the headlamp door and where you want you door to be when open. The brackets are a "U" shaped bracket made of 1/8inch steel (too heavy duty probably). The parts or sides of the bracket that flushes or mounts to the bottom of the headlight assembly measure 1 and 3/4" long each. They are 3/4" wide. The drop part of the bracket is a total of 4 and 1/4" long and a 1 3/4" wide each side. The connecting piece or the bottom of the "U" is 1 and 7/8" long a 1 and 1/2" wide. I imagine I will have to post a pick u for this to make sense. It's really simple and as long as you apply the actuator to your assembly in the "closed" position (therefore your light will be open) you can figure out the rest. Mount the bracket and actuator to where when all is bolted on the door is open where you will want it. I think all cars will differ due to fatigue or whatever so my measurements may not be perfect. DO NOT connect the actuator to the door when programing as it will break your assembly as it can push or pull 110lbs each side. Have someone help as you program each actuator. They can be programmed (it's in the directions with the programmer) individually, not both at once. They are very slow moving so you can be precise and careful not to hurt your doors. This also means if one door is different then the other then you can fix the problem as have one actuator do whatever it takes to fix that side of the car and have the other actuator do likewise (one can actuate out 2.95inches and the other can actuate out 3.01 inches...ect) Have your helper tell you when you stop the actuator to where the holes will line up with the lamp door. Do both sides and the insert the clevis pins. Mount the memory or programmer box wherever and that it in a nutshell. The reason I used a second switch was to avoid having to turn my lights on and open the doors all at once. I figured at shows I'd show off the doors and want the lights off. Also if I change bulbs it would be more convenient. Insert a relay like said above and use just the headlight switch. Any other questions let me know and I'll get a pick of the bracket if need be this weekend.
 

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351CJ HELLCAT,
Thank you very much for the details. Look forward to some pictures too. BTW, I noticed that you live just an hour east of me. I might contact you when I am ready to tackle the install.
James
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds great. I'll have to remove my splash shield and get some pics of the setup this week sometime. Also note, in regards to the splash shield on the driver side, that the factory one will not work. The large vacuum tank will not need to be re-installed so there will be a hole there to fill in order to avoid road spray hitting the back of your lights. Might be a pain to some but I cut a piece out of aluminum and pop riveted the rubber to it. Installed it to fill the voids with little head scratching.
 

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I saw this video one week ago and tried to get the actuators from Trossen but were on back order. Google Commando Car Alarms i got them for $100.00 each plus a discount it was $224.32 for 2 shipped the programmer was $60.00 it all arrived today and i will start install next week thanks for a awsome idea of getting away from those expensive vacuum canisters i am also installing a HID light kit i will try to post pics as it goes as i might have questions but we will see how it goes. Thanks
 

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we discussed this on the other thread. The actuators only need a momentary current to trigger the movement. As far as we can tell there isn't a changeover relay that provides momentary current switch. It is a challenge for one of our electrical whizz's
http://www.the12volt.com/relays/page5.asp#ctm

this will get you half way there, I think the tricky part is wiring it so that after the + momentary is triggered it sets up a secondary momentary relay that fires once the current is cut off.
 

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I started on my tear down today after i removed the large vacume tank i saw the hole you talked about covering to avoid road spray. I just reskined my seats and installed new rubber plugs under the car where the nuts are to remove the seats,the holes looked the same so I dug around found an old plug cleaned it up and it fits perfectly in that hole so this might save some time when it comes to covering that hole up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good deal. I had to re-fab my splash shields because they were shot so I covered the entire area with my the new ones I made. Definitely easier though if your shields are in good shape!
 

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351CJ HELLCAT,
I've got my headlights all apart. I'm going send my headlight mounting brackets to the body shop to get them refinished. I am curious in knowing what your measurements for the cutouts that you did for the linear motors. I would like to get those prepared beforehand.
Thanks,
James
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've got a few questions for you. Have you cut the holes in the assemblies yet? Do you have the actuators yet? Also, you will need the assemblies in order to "form" the drop brackets. Connecting the actuator to the headlamp door and lowering it through the hole you cut THEN positioning the headlamp straight ( in other words it won't be too far closed nor too far open) will give you the correct measurements. You'll need a second set of hands to hold it all in place and get your most important measurement which is the distance from the bottom of the assembly to the bottom of the actuator. I'll get my measurements for you but I stress that my headlight assembly may be a hair different then yours due to fatigue and whatever. All of the grills and lights differ some in that aspect a 1/8 or even a 1/4 inch here and there and that can be a big difference in the mounting process. Get your assembly on a vice, then attach the headlamp door to where it will freely open and close. Remember, no springs or bumper stops can be left on, they will only interfere and make it more difficult. With the whole setup in a vice on a work bench, attach the actuator to the headlamp door ( the top of the actuator can be bolted to the headlamp door for the time being so you can get your measurement). Lower the actuator through the hole you cut where the old vacuum actuator once existed. Lower the actuator until the door lines up perfect with the rest of your grill. That sir is how you get your drop measurement. Once you do it all will seem simple. Any other questions hit me up and I'll get those measurements from mine. I know the width of the entire bracket is all 1 and half inches. My drop measurement was 4 and half or five, I'll check. Look at the pic I posted back a little in this discussion and you'll see a pic of the bracket and actuator mounted.
 

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351CJ HELLCAT,
Sorry, I may be putting the cart before the horse. I haven't ordered the actuators yet. I was just thinking that I could get the holes cut and painted beforehand before buying the necessary parts.
James
 
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