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Converting to Linear Actuators

So I recently took delivery of the V6 from @Unofun. The car is awesome but it needs a lot of work on so many things.

First on my list is to open the canopy and get the body number so I can start my (Re)Build Journal. It presently has a hydraulic system in from what I am told but the upon inspection, all of the electrical lines are un-usable and I cannot identify a line going to the pump. <Note to self: install a central fuse box first chance I get.> Since the car has a T-top, my fat self can get inside the car. I am able to remove the paneling to get to the mechanism (based on what I see, have not tried just yet). I want to convert the car over to linear actuators. This was on my to-do list anyways...

My questions to the group:
1. What is the best hardware I should look at? Like can anyone point me to vendors and part numbers? I have seen a number of options but I really do not know what is ideal for this application.
2. What should I be careful of when I do this? I know I need to make sure these things run in unison so as to not damage anything but aside from that...


TIA
--ddtm
 
I did find mention of Firgelli (https://www.firgelliauto.com/) while searching the archives. Not sure which is best but my thoughts were towards an 8 inch stroke and a 200 pound rating. Still not sure which is best or what other hardware/brackets I might need. Or if this is the best route...
 

Brett Proctor

Well-known member
Several posts have been posted on this topic and have mentioned several manufacturers that have actuators that have potential.
You will have to do some fabrication to get the actuators that you've chosen to fit. Fabricating your own brackets and maybe doing some fiberglass will be involved.
You may have to get a little creative.

You already have found out what it's like to open the canopy if the system fails. So incorporating a safety feature to open the canopy when the system fails in my book is a big plus.
Length and stroke of the actuator will vary depending on the mounting points. 200 lbs of lifting force of each actuator will be more than enough. In my research in gas struts I found that 155lbs at each strut worked the best. (in the stock location)
When looking at actuators keep in mind if they continue applying force when the power is turned off. If they don't the canopy won't stay in the up and come slamming down when power is cut and in the down position the canopy will bounce around when hitting bumps. Also how may amps they pull may be a concern.

If speed of the actuator is a concern, when I researched it the faster the actuator the more it cost.

Position of the motor may also be a factor. Some stick straight out from the actuator others are parallel to it.

Sorry I know you were looking for a better answer and maybe someone here can give it to you. I did research linear actuators at one time but in the end I went with a SUV system that used linear actuators because of all the safety features they had in it, but it was no walk in the park getting it to fit and work as it should.

I find it interesting that some people will tell you that they have this or that actuator in their car but they fail to mention what it took to get it installed or what the installation looks like. (they don't show pictures)
 
Several posts have been posted on this topic and have mentioned several manufacturers that have actuators that have potential.
You will have to do some fabrication to get the actuators that you've chosen to fit. Fabricating your own brackets and maybe doing some fiberglass will be involved.
You may have to get a little creative.

You already have found out what it's like to open the canopy if the system fails. So incorporating a safety feature to open the canopy when the system fails in my book is a big plus.
Length and stroke of the actuator will vary depending on the mounting points. 200 lbs of lifting force of each actuator will be more than enough. In my research in gas struts I found that 155lbs at each strut worked the best. (in the stock location)
When looking at actuators keep in mind if they continue applying force when the power is turned off. If they don't the canopy won't stay in the up and come slamming down when power is cut and in the down position the canopy will bounce around when hitting bumps. Also how may amps they pull may be a concern.

If speed of the actuator is a concern, when I researched it the faster the actuator the more it cost.

Position of the motor may also be a factor. Some stick straight out from the actuator others are parallel to it.

Sorry I know you were looking for a better answer and maybe someone here can give it to you. I did research linear actuators at one time but in the end I went with a SUV system that used linear actuators because of all the safety features they had in it, but it was no walk in the park getting it to fit and work as it should.

I find it interesting that some people will tell you that they have this or that actuator in their car but they fail to mention what it took to get it installed or what the installation looks like. (they don't show pictures)
Thanks Brett, This is awesome info and perspective. So I guess my plan needs to now be: crawl in and start removing paneling to access the existing lift mechanism, photograph, measure, crawl out, research...
 

Brett Proctor

Well-known member
Not knowing how the system was installed makes it kind of hard to figure the best plan of attack for what to do.

Be careful climbing through the tee top. You don't want to put any stress on the canopy that might put stress on the windshield and break it.
Once you get the rams unbolted from their mounts and you can open the top then, I used one of those painters extension poles to prop the top open while I worked on the car and figured out what I wanted to do about the lift system. It made it easy to extend it to the length I needed to keep the top open at the height I wanted and get the measurement needed.
 

nbb350

Member
It'll be a LOT easier to fabricate/install the linear actuators if you completely remove the canopy. That's what I did. (I'd give more advice on my linear actuators, but I still haven't reinstalled the canopy to test them in actual use with full load).

I agree with Brett on this truth: the faster you want the top to move, the more you should expect to pay! I remember that much from my research!
 
Update:1

Upon inspection, it appears the hydraulic lift was not locked up (meaning the feed lines are disconnected or compromised).

Was able to straight up lift the top by hand. Took some caution to lift on side and insert a block then same on the other.
 

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Edit to Update1:

Seems the hydraulic is still connected but the system is moveable with effort.

The hydraulic cylinders are mounted in tandem with the gas shocks and are inside the body - making replacement/removal a very non-trivial task.

Either way, I got in and pulled the dash and the seat covers, so the day was a win.

I will begin my builder journal soon…
CCC400 (aka “The V6”) (aaka “The Quadra”)
 
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