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Headlight conversion to electric


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wofforduk

Addict

Wed 07 Mar 18 23:12

Headlight conversion to electric


Hi guys, its been a while since I'v been here, other things always seem to get in the way.

Any way a while back I thought about replacing the vacuum system to electric. This was always on the back of my mind to the point that I bought some headlight motors from an MX5 MK1 (I think)..

Today I finally got round to fitting them, and thought I'd share what it took - turns out it didnt take a lot at all!

So - first thing I did was remove the bonnet
2018-03-04 11.52.11

I then remove the springs and vacuum canister.
2018-03-04 11.30.43

I left the rest of the light mechanism in place as its unnecessary to remove. I then made sure that the light fixing would move happily on its own.

next was to mount the motors. I used some angle iron that was lurking around to do this, which was a pretty simple method of line the motor up and drill the holes. I then tapped the motor mounts to M8 thread and made sure they fitted.
2018-03-04 17.08.31

Next was lining them up to the vacuum canister holes, then drilled and tapped M8 threads to the angle iron.
2018-03-04 17.44.14

Now the existing arm was the right length but had no proper fixings so this had to be changed. To do this I removed the ball by grinding it off and then tapped an M8 thread to it
2018-03-07 12.38.43

Now I can use some threaded rod and some M8 ball joints so we can fine tune the length.
2018-03-07 12.59.31

So now with the motor and bracket installed, I used an M8 bolt to go through the arm and the light mechanism. Here I was testing the springs to take up the slack when the motor is down. The motors want to push the light all the way up which is done by fine tuning the threaded rod, but there is a bit of slack to be taken up when on the down stroke. luckily there are the old spring posts that are perfect for this. I used the original springs rather than the new ones as they provided a smoother down action.
2018-03-07 13.42.51

The canister mounting did need some modifications for it to fit, my car is far from concourse however I will tidy and paint this up at some later point!
2018-03-07 13.43.30

so the last thing to do mechanically was to make sure the arm pushed all the way to the top, which was done by manually lifting the light up and then adjusting the rod length.
2018-03-07 16.45.23

Once that's finished, then its a case of wiring. The MX5 makes this very simple as they already have limit switches built in, it needs a constant on, an up and down signal. the up and down come from a 2 way relay. Once drawn out it makes a lot more sense! The only thing I found incorrect with this wiring is that the relay power side needs to come from constant positive rather than the side light.
2018-03-04 11.51.58

Anyways, I hope this has helped, it certainly has saved me a lot of money. In total it has cost me the following

Heres the video of them working https://youtu.be/xFyNkLTwSk0

Headlight motors - Ebay - £40
M8 rod ends £15
2 way relay £5
Nuts, bolts and wiring too insignificant to price.

Not too bad for £60 and a days messing around!


Now I can't wait for these bad boys to turn up!!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-75-Round-LED-Daymaker-Headlight...


--------------------
78' SB (sold)
86' SB (sold)
79' SB

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roppa440

Club Member

Thu 08 Mar 18 09:37

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


Yep. I like that. Thumbs up

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roscobbc

Committee Member

Thu 08 Mar 18 10:25

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


Andy Maskery (Essex Rep) has an article in Aprils Vette News on C3 electric headlamp operation - his uses all new parts and actuators sourced from electronic equipment suppliers.


--------------------
CCCUK Chairman & Editor, Vette News
'68 coupe - 4 speed - 3.08 - 489 cu in - 570 bhp @ 5850 rpm - 606 ft/lbs torque (821 Newton Metres) @ 3850 rpm
Image

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wofforduk

Addict

Thu 08 Mar 18 11:05

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


I suppose you could use linear actuators, but they seemed forever to raise up!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3UsKmeQu1E&t=9s
also you'd need to set limit switches - its not a bad idea - i'm just too lazy!! Very Happy


--------------------
78' SB (sold)
86' SB (sold)
79' SB

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kentvette

Club Member

Thu 08 Mar 18 12:41

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


Wow, that's all clever stuff. It looks pretty clean and tidy under there as well.

Now, not meant in any way to be critical, but I have to ask - what's the advantage? Of course, I'll find my vacuum system fails next time out and I'll know! Very Happy


--------------------
Stephen J Irons
CCCUK Lifetime Member
Corvette Club France
Corvettes of Southern California
NCM Family Member
Stephen & June's Web Site
Red Corvettes Have More Fun!

Apple IS Genisys!
The "Born-Again Greenies" are killing the planet! It's time to wake up and smell the rain-forest burning!

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wofforduk

Addict

Fri 09 Mar 18 09:18

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


Thanks try and keep it clean underneath!

The vacuum system was constantly failing. I replaced the headlight switch a few times but they seemed to leak. I also got annoyed that one would come up then a long pause before the other. I also replaced the cam when building the engine so wanted as much vacuum to run the engine!

having said that, if the system still worked I wouldn't have touched it! Smile


--------------------
78' SB (sold)
86' SB (sold)
79' SB

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kentvette

Club Member

Fri 09 Mar 18 10:19

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


Ta! I've read about the vacuum issues after a cam swap.

One of the lights on our '78 is a fraction slower than the other, but probably less than a second later to "lock" into place. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they keep coming up almost together. Very Happy


--------------------
Stephen J Irons
CCCUK Lifetime Member
Corvette Club France
Corvettes of Southern California
NCM Family Member
Stephen & June's Web Site
Red Corvettes Have More Fun!

Apple IS Genisys!
The "Born-Again Greenies" are killing the planet! It's time to wake up and smell the rain-forest burning!

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Nick B

Club Member

Fri 09 Mar 18 18:08

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

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Forrest Gump

Regional Rep

Fri 09 Mar 18 22:00

Re: Headlight conversion to electric


roscobbc wrote (View Post):Andy Maskery (Essex Rep) has an article in Aprils Vette News on C3 electric headlamp operation - his uses all new parts and actuators sourced from electronic equipment suppliers.

Thumbs up I like the way you've done yours wofforduk, they certainly raise and lower very quickly. Good job.

As Ross said, I used linear actuators when I did my conversion, they're not as quick as yours. I'd say mine take about 3 seconds to raise which is acceptable to me - they're way faster than the American fella's in the youtube clip. His look to be about 8 or 9 seconds - and that's a proper kit for hundreds of dollars.
I did consider using a shorter actuator which would have been faster but I was concerned that it would over load the actuator. Also because the leverage would be different the headlight might bounce around slightly when driving.


--------------------
Blue '75

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Nigelcurry

Club Member

Sun 18 Mar 18 21:10


Now this is exactly what I was hoping this forum would provide good straight forward and easily understood stuff,I don’t (yet) need to change my lighting set up but I know lads like you exist on this forum to help an idiot like me that just loves his vette
Nige

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