Hideaway headlights

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discussion starter · #1 · dec 3, 2008 (edited)

does anyone know of a place that either sells or restores them. i would also like to learn about how they work. i have canister and all the other pieces. just need an arm for the passenger side. i know system works off vac.. but can someone who has been down this route please explain all of this to me (the whole system). i think they look cool.. and i’d like to get them working.

thanks.

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hahahahahahahaa, oh man thats funny *continues laughing*

sorry for that, i assume you mean 70-71 torino? well no one restores them and no one remakes them they pop up on ebay sometimes a complete setup nos or close to it quality will be about 2,000$ us

btw i have been looking for my dad for about 10 years and always get outbid at the last second by like 600$

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Read more: 08-12 Malibu Headlight Bulbs Replacement Guide With 105…

it depends on the car they’re for. different models use different schemes and parts. the cougar crowd found that the seals available for corvette’s work on their vacuum motors and several others. others can be rebuilt with hand-cut seals an other creative means. although the info is not widely distributed (there are some folks making good money repairing them), join the list for your model and someone likely has a solution.

david

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discussion starter · #4 · dec 3, 2008

not sure what’s so funny, but i’m glad you got a laugh out of it..

dbu.. actually there are folks that do this. i had a few contacts in the past but misplaced them. there was a fairlane guy that re-did them. will have to dig a little deeper. i am hoping to find the info i had on this guy a couple years ago. thanks dave for the confirmation.

mine is not in terrible shape but needs some work. if i can find, i will post so you can quit your laughin. i remember they cost 1k complete with yours as a core. i am willing to pay that for a good piece.

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i know system works off vac.. but can someone who has been down this route please explain all of this to me (the whole system).

i missed your other question. most systems are similar, but not always , so here’s the idea:

the intake manifold generally has a tree in the rear, one line of which goes to a one-way valve. the valve has 3 nipples, the single going to the manifold and the dual side has one going to the headlight switch and the other to the vacuum cannister. this way the headlight switch and the cannister both get vacuum and share it.

the headlight switch is the vacuum valve. it ports either vacuum or free air to the headlight door vacuum motor(s). lights off = vacuum to close the doors. lights on = free air to release the vacuum holding the doors shut and allow the doors to open with spring pressure. default this way is open with the springs, so if there is a system failure the doors are open. some systems use a dual-action scheme with vacuum to either side of the motor to speed the process, i.e. – vacuum to open and vacuum to close, for more robust operation.

somewhere in the mix is usually a vacuum line switch, oftem mounted on the fender well. it’s a rotating manual on/off valve, generally with 4 nipples, that allows you to open the doors with the headlights off for maintenance. often, that valve is turned the wrong way (allowing free air and blocking vacuum to the motors) and the doors are actually fine.

finally, the factory hidden headlight cars use vacuum lines with color traces on them, to help with line routing. check a shop manual to see how yours are supposed to run. there are repro lines with the color traces available if you’re into total originality. oh, and a vacuum test set is very handy to get them going and troubleshoot.

good luck!

david

edit: there is a great writeup the cougar network did here htat should answer most of your questions. the cougar guys also have vendors that rebuild most model systems in addition to the cats.

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sorry to laugh, there is one guy that remakes the grill for the headlight covers and that is it, he makes them out of aluminum but there is no one else that i know of that makes them been looking for years now.

another reason i laugh is even if you have a good set due to poor design they will eventually break anyways and this really sucks because they cost and arm and a leg.

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discussion starter · #7 · dec 4, 2008

thanks for the explaination.. so i will be running a different intake. which one would i need. dbu.. this might be the same guy. i have a bunch of stuff in the garage. i will be looking for it this week. i will read through the post and try and make sense out of this.

thanks for posting. i currently have them tied open. looks bitchen, but i’d like for them to actually work on their own.

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there is actually a guy in pa that sells them. they’re quite expensive, around $2500 for the complete set-up. i actually opt to replace my shot hideaway for my 70′ gt for a restored 71′ split gt grill from a guy in mi. about $2000 cheaper, but i’m not restoring to original. i have contacts for both guys. let me know if you’re interested. i actually sold all my hideaway hardware to the guy in mi, so if you have parts he’s interested in, he may be interested in a trade of some sort.

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old dead post reply, but if by chance still looking…..try larry zobeck out of michigan. great torino guy, easy to find on internet. he is always fiddling with torinos, and has restored plenty of bent die cast torino hide aways, and now “cuda stuff. was in st. claire shores, michigan, and will probably still be. my apologies, but i got here wayyyyy late.

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i just found some of the reproductions on ebay, do you have the contact information for the guy who makes them? [email protected] many thanks!

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Category: Headlights