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Hello all...well, I replaced the motor for the convertible top in my 1973 Cougar convertible, and it worked - for about ten minutes. And in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't change the motor, a local shop did, and they did NOT tell me that the cylinders looked bad. But they must be, because the new motor is trying, but the top will not come up. So I just ordered new cylinders and hoses from West Coast Classic Cougar, but I forgot to ask them on the phone how to bleed the lines once everything is installed. I am going to try this myself. I'm comfortable tinkering, it's just that I've never done this before. I've read in a couple of places about vacuum pumps, etc., but I'd love to hear from someone as to A) how difficult it really is, and B) what their experience has been as to the easiest way to go about it. Thanks again for your help, Tyson.
 

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have you checked the fluid level? my 70 takes trans fluid atf type Fa

i believe they are self bleeding at least mine on a 70 are. i filled the reservoir leaving the cap off and physically moved the top up and down without running motor. then ran the motor until it worked fine. haven't had any problems since. just don't over fill reservoir.

just be careful tighting the hoses not to strip them, you can check for leaks afterwards, just snug them down well. cylinders don't usually go bad unless leaking but what do i know?
 

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The method that I use to bleed my 73 convertible is to use a plastic turkey baster to drain some of the fluid out, put towels around the pump (in the event of overflow/spillage), run the convertible top up and down a couple of times, and use the baster to carefully add fluid as needed.

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Hi Jene, thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, do you find it hard to lift the top up and down without using the motor? I'm happy to give it a shot. Thanks again,
Tyson
 

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Hi 73 XR7-CONVERT...That sounds like a good idea. I will invest in a new turkey baster before I do it though. Thanks for the input!
 

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Tyson,

Jene is correct, they are self bleeding. You just run the top up and down a couple of times and carefully monitor the reservoir level adding fluid as needed. The final level should be like a differential, just at or a tiny bit below the plug hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You folks are the best! Thanks for all the input. Now I'm excited to get the parts and install them. Have a great week, Tyson
 

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I'll add my .02 here. I have a 69 vert and did mine last fall. Type F fluid is what you want. I replaced my cylinders and hoses, not the pump. My passengers side was leaking which is why this all got started in the first place.

Once the cylinders and lines are replaced like how the originals were, I removed the rubber seal/gasket by using a small phyllips screw-driver to press into the little hole in the center and gently pulling the gasket out. If you don't do this it is real difficult to remove the gasket. I filled the cylinder with type F fluid. My wife helped me out with this next part.

You need to start with the top up BTW. With the car running, I had her put the top down using the power switch, I had my thumb covering the hole in the motor so fluid would not fly out. I might have had to help with my free hand to drop the top. Once down I had her try to raise the top. As I recall it didn't go up well at all the first time or two doing this. I had to again manually help the top out the first one to two times as the motor was very empty and there was no hydraulic assistance.

When the top is up, this is when you are checking the level, and adding accordingly. I used a small plastic measuring cup vs the baster. Whatever floats your boat will work. After the 2nd/3rd time of running it up and down it would go on it's own. Each time my thumb was covering the hole, and I could feel my thumb getting pulled into the hole during this down and up cycle, just a FYI. You can see the fluid running in the lines and there being less air as you go along.

You need to do this as many times as it takes for the fluid level to be just below the fill hole in the motor. If you run it up and down and there is more fluid to add to get it to that level, do so.

I hope this helps. It really was an easy fix. Best part for me was letting my wife know that she helped restore the Cougar with me, which she swore she would never do. :))

Last thing, when putting the rubber plug back in, I found it to go in very easy if the phyllips was used again to press into the center hole a little bit. It just went right in. If I pushed it without doing this I still might be trying to get it in.
 
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