Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects Convertible top linear actuators?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by seeker1056, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. seeker1056
    Joined: Jan 2, 2012
    Posts: 11


    Anyone out there ever use linear actuators for a convertible top instead of all the hydraulic stuff?
    I am fixing a 47 Ford Deluxe convertible that is missing all of the hydraulics systems.
    The stuff is horrendously expensive and hard to source and yes - I do know its out there.
    But being a hot rodder and very progressive - it occurred to me that maybe someone may have swapped out to linear actuators as they work fabulously in many auto applications.
    If you have done so - what power ratings did you use?
    What length of stroke?
    any info at all would be of use.

    As a side note - I could not find a search function on this site - am I missing it?
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    I don’t think you will find an accuator heavy enough for a top. I used one to work the quarter windows in the convertible but when I did it I don’t remember seeing one heavy enough for a top. I bought a kit with the motor/pump lines and cylinders for the top
  3. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,654

    from red oak

    Some GM tops(factory) did away with the top motors and went to the manual top. 65- 72. Full sized. The frame mechanism had a spring on either side where the cylinder would go. . You could put the top down(and up) by yourself. I have seen about 5 of these in my lifetime.
  4. seeker1056
    Joined: Jan 2, 2012
    Posts: 11


    there are actually three sets of top springs on ebay right now for cheap - maybe thats the ticket - but really would like a power top :)

  5. vintage6t
    Joined: Jul 30, 2007
    Posts: 346

    from CT

    My 41 plymouth uses vacuum cylinders so I think it would be worth trying. Just match the stroke to that of the current cylinder maybe slightly longer.

    Having said that the motors will run independently. I dont think it will be a big issue though if any. Vacuum and hydraulic both use common plumbing so they run balanced left and right.

    Cost might also be an issue because you are going to want to use industrial grade ones and avoid plastic internal gears.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    Just get the complete kit like I did, everything you need is all included and it works super
  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,440

    from Berry, AL

    Back when I had one of those big ass 10' satellite dishes in the yard, it had a long stroke actuator on it that ran off of 12 volts. Had to be pretty strong to move that heavy dish up and down. Don't know anybody using those anymore, but you might find an old store with some old stock somewhere.
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,881


    Ford used linear actuators on the retractable hardtops in the late 50s. I don't know how the weight compares, though.

  9. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,585

    from Quincy, IL

    My ‘53 Plymouth ragtop had linear actuators too......a single motor mounted crosswise on the driveshaft hump, under the rear seat. Drive cables (like heavy duty speedo cables) off each end of the motor to the screw jacks in the side panels. MOPAR ragtops are not plentiful, but it might be worth a brief search.

    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    Just give Hydro-E-Lectric a call on their cylinders and pump. Number is 941-639-0437 that is who I used on my Olds convertible
  11. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,029


    Look in the pic-a-part for late model convertibles. They use basically the same pump set up. 2 lines and 2 wires. The 2000ish caviler convertibles pump worked on my 62 Impala. Maybe there are some rams the same size.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.