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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, brand new to the forums and to cougars, just bought my first one yesterday. I didnt even realize that the headlights would roll back to be visable when the car is parked! i think it looks alot better when theyre hidden and the grill is all blacked out, so my question is is it possible to disable the vacuum mechanism that causes them to flip when the car is off, without affecting their function? how would i go about this? has anyone else tried this? thanks all in advanced for your replies and im really looking forward to starting work on my new classic cougar
 

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Hello and welcome to MC.net!

To answer your question, the vacuum pulls the headlight covers closed, not open. They're spring loaded so that if the vacuum system fails, the headlights will be un-covered so you can see where you're going at night.

If they're coming open when you park, you have a leak somewhere in the vacuum system. Either the checkvalve is bad, the vacuum-actuator itself is bad (leaking), the reservoir tank under the fender is bad... any one of a number of reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh okay, so the vacuum system isnt maintaining the pressure needed to keep them closed... got it. that makes alot more sense. thanks for your reply
 

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Do you hear a hiss while the car is running. If the headlight doors slowly go up after the motor is turned off,....you have a vacuum leak, in the headlamp door vac system. One common place is at the headlight switch(the one you pull out on to turn on the lights) on the lower dash, left side. Another is the vac hoses that run from the headlamp switch out to the headlight door vacuum actuator(the "can" behind the grill, in the middle, that has the horizontal rod, which connects to the headlight doors) or the "can" vacuum actuator its self could have a leak. There is also a vacuum tank, located inside the driver's side front fender,....in front of the tire. These are the major places to look to start your search for the vacuum leak,....listen for a hiss with the motor running.

P.S. Forgot to mention the check valve, connected between the three vac hoses, located behind the air cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ill double check for a hiss tomorrow, but now im a bit confused. arent the headlight doors supposed to go down after the motor is started? the way the car is now, they go down when the motors on, and open up when i turn the lights on, but after the car is shut down they very slowly open over the course of a half hour or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the link; id love to make it to the meet at the fair but unfortunately im no longer in the dfw area...
 

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Yep,..down when motor is running. 1/2 hour is a slow leak, maybe a little harder to track down.
 

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I found the error in my previous post and corrected it. Sorry for the confusion.
 

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I had the same problem with a slow vacuum leak on my Eliminator. I disconnected the springs which cause the headlight doors to open. The vacuum motor still opens the doors when you turn on the lights, so it is not an issue. I have been operating the lights this way for about 15 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thats a really good idea. Are there any downsides to removing the springs? i know somewhere on another site someone said that was 'bad for a driver, okay for a show car'. something about flopping...
 

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Why not just fix the problem?
 
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