Login       Home   |  My Account  |  Help! View Cart cart-icon 0 Item(s) = 0
Click to browse all items for selected year!
Did you know we can cut keys for most 60's & 70's Ford products even if you no longer have a key?
Click here for more info
Home > Bumpers & Trim > Grille > 1967 >

Headlight Door Actuators - PREMIUM - PAIR - Reman ~ 1967 - 1968 Mercury Cougar

Login to add this item to a saved wishlist
  • Points to Purchase:41988
  • Points Earned:524
  • Bonus Points Earned:0
Item #: 41837
Out of Stock?
Point mouse here for more info

Price: $524.85

    Re-manufactured Headlight Vacuum Actuators or 'Headlight Motors' for the 1967 - 1968 Mercury Cougar.

    At the moment, we don't expect to have any actuators in stock in the near future, so we suggest taking a look at our Electric Headlight Conversion kit here.


    These actuators are sold as a pair on an exchange basis or outright (for an additional charge), two required per car.
    For core refund, please send core with a copy of your receipt. If you would like us to hold your order until we receive your cores or for us to restore your cores, please contact us.

    *NOTE* Restored headlight actuators are sold on an exchange basis only, or as a restoration service. Service takes about 30 days on our side, please allow for an additional 3-7 days for arrival at your door (foreign orders will be longer). We do not sell these outright, and your core must be rebuildable. We do try to find cores and have rebuilt actuators on the shelf, but we have to have your correct rebuildable core in hand, prior to shipment of your restored actuators. They generally have Ford part numbers on them for identification. Between the car lines there are lots of variations in rod length, internal spring tension, mounting tabs or studs, and vacuum fittings and locations. If you do not have good cores, please contact us as we may be able to provide cores for a fee. Often you will not have to wait for your actual cores to be re-manufactured as we try to keep a set on the shelf, ready to ship as soon as your cores are inspected and verified as rebuild-able.
    If we have available cores in inventory, there is a $100 charge per actuator, some applications use two actuators. Please call 503-463-1130 if you are without cores and see that we have this item in stock.

    Remanufactured... We do not use this word often or lightly. Many times people will use the term remanufactured when in truth, the more appropriate term to use when describing many parts should be reconditioned or rebuilt. These units are brand new to the market as of 10-15-2007 and we are the only vendors to carry them at present. Soon you will see other vendors stocking these actuators from us and yes, we do very much welcome dealer inquiries. Over $35,000.00 in tooling and parts, as well as hundreds of hours of research have gone into bringing these premium quality units to the market. We have engaged in conversations with former OEM employees, poured over copies of OEM drawings and implemented the best in modern materials and procedures to make these actuators better than new. These die cast actuators were never designed to be opened up and then resealed. For years people have said it could never be done, but it has in fact been done, and done very, very well thanks in part to one very talented "Master Tool and Die Maker"... These actuators are prone to failure in two different areas. First is the small circular upper shaft seal. Often the reason this seal fails is that the "accordion" style dust boot that covers the shaft will fail, causing contaminants to enter and work as an abrasive between the shaft and seal. When the shaft seal goes bad you will find your headlights not raising very fast or not at all. If you continue to run your Cougar with this problem you are running with a constant vacuum leak. If you are puzzled as to why your 1967 - 1968 Cougar does not idle well, lacks performance (dyno tests consistently show a 5-7 HP increase after headlight vacuum leaks are repaired) and or fails to achieve 19-21 mpg with a stock 289 or 302, this may be a good place to start. The second area to fail is the internal "diaphragm" seal. If you use a vacuum tester on your bottom vacuum port and find it does not hold 5 inches of vacuum for prolonged periods of time then this is most likely your problem. Our units have been disassembled, aluminum oxide blasted, coated inside with a Rust Check inhibiting compound (the originals were bare uncoated machined metal), shaft and internal diaphragm plates are clear zinc plated and then the units are meticulously reassembled and resealed. Once they are assembled the factory correct semi-gloss black paint is applied and then baked on just as they were from the factory.

    We very carefully matched the yellow and green paint daubs against our NOS examples to get them perfect. Details matter to us...

    You will be impressed when you see have fast your headlights will open and close once these units are installed. Further more they should open and close at the exact speed, no more lazy eye syndrome..

    We are very careful to not "disturb" the crimped area around the upper seal. Our goal is to make it look as if nobody was ever "there". The over-spray patterns around the perimeter of the upper seal retaining disc are as original as well.

    Notice the brass nipples. They have been removed and polished. We replace the damaged ones of course.

    After the units are media blasted we coat the inside with a Rust Check inhibiting compound. Aluminum does not rust but it does form oxidation over time when exposed to moisture. The original units were never designed or intended to last forty years but our units are...

    Due to the inconsistencies in the metal composition found in the different manufacturing runs, we have found that approximately one in ten of these units do not endure the separating and rejoining process. If your unit happens to be one that fails we will not charge you or reject your core, we will just make up the loss from our core bank.

    Here is a picture of the moving parts ready to be reinstalled in the housing.

    Notice the Phillips screw holding the upper and lower diaphragm plates to the shaft. Originally this was a heat peened stud that held the plates in place. We drill the original stud end off and then drill and tap the shaft to accept the screw. This is not a quickie process...

    If your actuators retract automatically then you have one of the units with this very powerful internal spring. We always discard these springs for two reasons. First of all they put constant pressure on your entire system whether your Cougar / Lincoln / Thunderbird is running or not. This will affect your headlight switch, check valve and even the grill itself. Secondly they affect your fuel economy. This spring is creating a constant vacuum source that is actually competing with your carburetor! Internal documents from the manufacturer suggest the addition of this spring actually increased fuel consumption 8-10%. The fuel savings alone can make this investment pencil out over time. Most Cougar owners will not have to concern themselves as only a very few late 1968 models had this powerful internal spring but many Lincolns and Thunderbirds did come with this style of actuator.

    All three rubber parts are made of a composition of 50 durometer nitrile (thickness, strength and material). The originals were made of an inconsistent buna N composition and were all over the chart as to their elasticity capabilities. When you take NOS rubber parts from an actuator and stretch them they will tear when pulled hard enough. It will take a vise, vise grips and a lot of strength before ours will tear. Pictured above is the upper seal that the shaft passes through.

    This often times is referred to as the accordion seal when in fact it is only a dust boot, it does not seal anything. The two holes serve to let air enter and escape when the shaft travels in and out of the vacuum actuator. These holes also serve as a lubrication port to inject lithium based grease every few years. Most Cougar owners have neglected this routine maintenance measure over the years causing premature wear.

    Not only is our internal diaphragm stronger, it has much better elasticity than original. If you apply forty inches of vacuum to a NOS unit it most likely will rupture the diaphragm, if it does not rupture it will probably leak. Not ours, they are rock solid and will not leak down when vacuum is applied over long periods of time. This in part is due to some "tweaking" done to the original design. We firmly stand behind these actuators as being better than the NOS units you may have seen for sale for $250-$400 each. We offer a 15 year warranty on these units and a 50 year warranty when you purchase them with our all inclusive "Plug & Play" hidden headlight restoration kit.

    With our new units installed and ZERO vacuum leaks anywhere in the system you can expect to park your car and return a month later to find the headlights will open and close without the engine being started.

    Here is one of the poorer units we have observed. If you send a unit like this in we can at least give partial credit. For our customers that have extra cores we can give you credit towards the purchase of remanufactured units or possibly credit for other items we offer.

    Even if your internal parts do not leak often moisture has gotten inside and caused rust to form around the metal parts. When these rust particles are lose inside the actuator they eventually cause the rubber parts to wear down and eventually puncture the diaphragm.

    Oxidation such as this left unchecked can eventually destroy these cast aluminum parts.

    Here is a picture of a well worn original upper shaft seal.

    Most we see do not look this bad...

    Here is a picture of a real clean original unit. Notice the seal is starting to come apart.

    This amount of rust is easily removed and then the parts get a new clear zinc coating.

    Here are the new and restored parts ready for assembly and prepared to offer decades of dependable service. All parts are made in America and all labor is performed by a true Cougar enthusiast / collector. We could have outsourced the parts and labor and saved a lot of money but we chose not to not only because of the issue of quality but pride as well... Why go overseas when you do not have to?

    Mounting Tip: The mounting bolts (pins) were originally plated in black zinc. Once this coating wears off the bolt will begin to rust. Once the bolt rusts the vacuum actuator will begin to lose its ability to kant back and forth. These actuators were designed to rock back and forth as the eyelid opens and closes, if you over tighten them damage will result to the actuator and possibly the grill itself. We suggest you buy our new bolts if yours are rusted or damaged.

    Replaces Cougar part #: C7WY-13A167.

    Click here to see our "Actuators in an Hour" article featured in Legendary Ford magazine on how to remove and re-install your vacuum actuators in under an hour.

    1967 - 1968 Vacuum Actuator Location Diagram ~
    High Res(≈15 Min @ 56K)
    Low Res(≈1 Min @ 56K)

    Do you want to replace those worn out actuators yourself or are you looking for some great information on your Cat’s headlight vacuum system? The video below is your ticket!

    Core Refunds:

    Core refunds are given when we deem the part worthy of being rebuilt. If you have questions on what a good core consists of, please email a picture of the part prior to sending it or give us a call for guidelines BEFORE YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER OR SEND US YOUR CORES. Often we can at least offer a partial refund on your core, but we cannot give core refunds on cores we cannot use. We will not pay the shipping to us or pay to return the cores to you for cores that cannot be used.

    If you choose to send your cores to us in advance or choose "Hold my order for the Cores", and your cores are not rebuildable, you will be required to pay the core charge before we will ship your order.

    Send Core Returns with a copy of your receipt to:

    Core Return for (Your Order Number)
    5377 Waconda Rd NE
    Salem, OR 97305

    Product Reviews
    Total Customer Reviews: 3
    Overall Customer Rating:
    Reviewed On:
    Victoria, BC Canada 

    Great functional improvement!

    5.00 out of 5
    Watching first one "thennnnn" the other headlight "open" really started to annoy me not to mention the closing where one would and the other "sometimes" would! After manual assisting both ways I finally saved up for these units. Not cheap but worth every penny now that I have them in and working. A detailed procedure to follow but taking your time and doing the steps correctly was an easy hour for installation. Can't say enough about the quality of the two I received. Highly recommend !

    • Quality
    • NONE
    Reviewed On:
    Cleveland, Ohio 

    So thats how it's suppose to work!

    5.00 out of 5
    I followed the instructions and didn't run into many problems. Take the advice of purchasing the mounting pins! The threads broke off on one of mine and the other side (nut) came off easily... although I had to beat it into submission to get the bolt out. Either way, I destroyed both bolts getting them out. Another hint ... take there advice with getting the bolt out. After all failed, I purchased a air hammer and it came out in seconds. you may find it easier to access if you drop down the valance for a straight or straighter shot at the bolt. After all of that... the rest went together with ease. Now I just stand there and am stunned at how fast they go up and down.

    Reviewed On:
    Bellevue, WA 

    Glad that they make these

    5.00 out of 5
    What would restoring these cars be without having the ability to use remanufactured eyelid door actutators? Everyone knows that Cougars have two relatively unique attributes, the sequential taillights and the eye lid doors. These work great and it is great that these are not inferior repros.

    I installed these in the '67 that has been in our family since new. The eyelids started to get off-kilter when the car was around 10 years old. After many years, its great not to have to "help" the eyelids open or close.


    West Coast Classic Cougar
    5377 Waconda Rd NE Salem , OR 97305
    West Coast Classic Cougar Classic Cougar WCCC West Coast Classic Cougar, Inc Don Rush $0 - $181,500 https://storeimages-westcoastclassic.netdna-ssl.com/template_images/WCCC_logo_200.png https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8394/28416999723_3077e9bbe0_o.jpg http://www2.CougarPartsCatalog.com http://www.CougarPartsCatalog.com http://CougarPartsCatalog.com 📞503-463-1130

    Images embedded with "© www.classic-cougar.com" or "© www.CougarPartsCatalog.com" may be used as long as they remain unmodified. Please ask permission before using any other material off this website. All images and text are property of West Coast Classic Cougar, unless otherwise noted.

    Website Issue?
    Report it