This was to be a simple project, replace the vacuum actuators for the hideaway headlight doors and move on to something else. But that’s seldom how projects go.

In typical “while I’m in there” fashion, I decided to investigate some lighting options a little more. I’ve decided to retrofit some halogen lights in there and get rid of the old sealed beams. As such, I’ll be placing an order for that, some relays, and some new headlight retainer/adjustment springs that have gone AWOL over the course of time. I’m also going to replace the tail light bulbs with some plasma LED bulbs. Better visibility, safer at night, and I’m planning to actually be able to drive at night this summer. So my plan to be done this weekend is delayed a bit, but no big deal. I’ll be able to install the new hideaway door motors and get this adjusted while I wait. It’ll still be driveable while I wait for the new parts to show up, too.

Out with the old:

In with the new:


Also out with about 3 mile of vacuum hose, an in-fender reservoir, and the solenoid that controlled it all. The passenger side actuator was a bear to remove. As I loosened the retaining nut, the bolt snapped. It was also rust-welded into place. A solid week of daily PB blasting and I was finally able to remove it today but using tools for purposes they should not have been used for. Wedged a screwdriver in there by whacking on it with a deadblow hammer until I could get it no further. Grabbed the handle of that screwdriver with some big old vise grips and twisted. I figured it was either the screwdriver or the bolt, and thankfully, the bolt shot right out. Here’s the little bastard:

No replacement bolt needed, as that mount is not reused for the new motors.

Once this is complete, it’s off to the exhaust shop to fix up some leaks from a bad welding job. My goal is to make the Cougar daily driver worthy for late spring/summer/fall. I’ve got it, might as well drive it.