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  1. #1
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    1968 Shark

    Default Headlight and wiper door vacuum to electric conversion

    I have a wonderful '68 but as you all know the lights and the wiper door are vacuum powered, does anyone know if there is a kit or something available to convert the vacuum systems to electrical.

    Has anyone done this on their own?

    I have already done some research into linear actuators and could prefer not having to make all the bits and pieces from scratch if possible.


    Thanks in advance!

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Member srs244's Avatar
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    1978 pace car, 04 CE convert

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    it seems to me that there was a post her a while ago by someone who had done it along with a kind of step by step as to what it took. do a search here. perhaps it may turn up something of value

  3. #3
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    2001 Convertible

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    I am sure it would cost less to fix the OEM than go through all the trouble to change the system.

  4. #4
    Member red70vette's Avatar
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    1970 red cpe 350/300

    Default

    The Corvette headlight vaccum system has issues with age but it is a nice system when it works. If you take the time to read up on it repairs are usually relatively simple and easy to correct. You could probably replace the entire system for far less than an electric conversion would cost and with half the effort.

    In addition any system you design and install will be viewed as a "Bubba" system by future purchasers and adversely affect the value of the car. It really makes no sense to replace it.

    On my 70 I replaced 2 rubber actuator seals, some hoses and 1 relay valve and I took the system from completely non functioning to operating perfectly. Total cost about $30.00.

  5. #5
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Dark Blue 1982 Trans Am(s): Polo Green 1995 MN6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VetteThunder
    I have a wonderful '68 but as you all know the lights and the wiper door are vacuum powered, does anyone know if there is a kit or something available to convert the vacuum systems to electrical.

    Has anyone done this on their own?

    I have already done some research into linear actuators and could prefer not having to make all the bits and pieces from scratch if possible.
    Chris, AKA 69MyWay, has done the lights right with an electrical conversion. Here is a link to his site-

    http://mcspeed.com/

  6. #6
    Member srs244's Avatar
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    1978 pace car, 04 CE convert

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    i replaced the entire system on my 78, both actuators, all the lines, the headlight switch, regulators, check valve, filter. the only thing i kept was the over ride switch, lol. here are the costs, i'm sure if you look around you can probably get some of it a bit better and some of it a bit more costly. i was lucky to find a guy who had bouight a box of 50 OEM passenger side actuators, so one only cost me $50. believe it or not, it wound up replacing a brnad new "reproduction" actuator that failed in less than a month. i don't care what anyone says, the chinese make crap! the other actuator only cost me a seal and boot (but a new one can be found for around $100. trhe regulators are about 50 each (2 req'd) the lines (in a kit from doctor rebuild) 48, the filter and check valves were around 30 total if i remember correctly. the headlight switch was from a slavage yard (about $25) but repro are available for around 50. add it all together and to get the system back to original and working just fine was loads less than any type of electric conversion will cost you, and as previously stated, if you do sell the car to any vette nut, chances are they will look down on the mods you made.

    i know everyone says the work was easy, but in this case, it really was only time. nothing was hard to accomplish. the toughest part was re-installing the actuators because you need to remove a bit before it will fit into the grill opening to be installed, but it wasn't a big deal, just the grill, the grill mounting brackets and the inboard actuator support rod.

  7. #7
    "UNSAFE"
    Guest

    Default Headlights

    I have checked out the electric conversion and it looks like way too much labor and expense to me.

    The vacuum system isn't really that complicated. Buy the little overpriced booklet on troubleshooting and repair and read thru it a few times. It will require a vacuum gauge.

    It's basically just like running water thru a hose, if the hose leaks or is plugged, the sprinkler won't work . Simple as sucking soda thru a straw !

    I've got a set of C3 custom headlight units with new lenses on Eb@y right now under the seller name 1unsafe1 starting at 20 bucks for the works !

    Kevin Willson
    Juneau Alaska
    1978 Vette ZZ383
    1965 Corvair 14.89 ET.

  8. #8
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    Corvette(s)
    '72 custom convertible

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    OK, I seen Chris' system there and it's slick, works really well, but there is NO significant weight savings.....
    I was going to fab up an operating headlight system, but with lo profice 4300 series Halogen lamps from late camaro...problem is the mechanics for just ONE actuator for both assys was just too problematica...then it hit me, build it into the Ecklers sugar scoops I allready had, tired of the old large square bulbs.....so about 2 inches lower and ~3-4" to the front, and closer together are now mounted on PVC plastic/stainless screws the Camaro bulbs/housings......need fair in the body to that large opening ten inches F-B is now 5 inches...making a much sleeker appearance...
    not to mention about 40 lbs lobbed off the front for all those castings, large bulbs, etc....

    I got a linear actator from Chris some time ago...and I"m in middle of using it for the wiper door now today....I get it finished maybe next year, at my pace of things....

    GENE

  9. #9
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    1968 Shark

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the info, gonna check that out.

    Let's see. There isn't going to be very much original with my vette when I am done with it. Its a bone stock big block, base model '68. It looks like who ever bought the car really just wanted to go racing. It originally came with no options.

    Sadly the frame of the car has 6 or 7 major cracks in it that I can see, and that is even before I pull the body off and give it a good clean and a close look.

    The floorpans are also cracked in numerous places too. I almost feel like Fred Flintsone driving. HAHAHA!

    At this point, I am going to get a replacment frame, a new crate engine and 6 speed transmission. So keeping the car original isnt really an issue.

    All that being said, the vacuum system plumbing just irritates me. Besides I don't think the new engine is going to produce enough vacuum to make the system work anyways.

    The wiper door and headlights actually worked when I bought the car, so if anyone needs some actuators I have them, I think they are the originals from the car too.

  10. #10
    Member srs244's Avatar
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    1978 pace car, 04 CE convert

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    vettethunder

    i would certainly be intersted in the actuators if you are selling them. please email me with details (like cost and shipping, etc) : srs244@gmail.com if you are seriously thingking of selling them. it would certainly help me out of they are working originals.

    steve

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