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Store with headlights up, or down?

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Old 11-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #1
toolman0114
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Default Store with headlights up, or down?

Got into a debate about the best position to leave the headlights in for long term (winter) storage.
I say in the up position, as it releases the tension on the internal diaphragm of the actuator. When the headlights are down you are actually stretching the diaphragm.
My buddy says down is better, I know it stores better since they are down. Does it really matter.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Hi t,
I just took a look at the mechanism movement from closed to open to closed and I don't see that the position would make any difference over a period of time. The springs are always under tension and the vacuum will leak off as the days go by.
So I think closed.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Regards,
Alan

IF doing SOMETHING would make you feel better.... release the 4 springs on each mechanism.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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Not concerned with the springs, it's the rubber diaphragm in the actuator canister. When the headlights are up the pressure is off the diaphragm, when the headlights are closed you are actually stretching the rubber diaphragm.
I had to replace on last spring as the rubber diaphragm had stretched and would not function properly.

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Hi t,
I just took a look at the mechanism movement from closed to open to closed and I don't see that the position would make any difference over a period of time. The springs are always under tension and the vacuum will leak off as the days go by.
So I think closed.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Regards,
Alan

IF doing SOMETHING would make you feel better.... release the 4 springs on each mechanism.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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...Does it really matter...
Probably not. FWIW mine are always left down.

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Old 11-28-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolman0114 View Post
Not concerned with the springs, it's the rubber diaphragm in the actuator canister. When the headlights are up the pressure is off the diaphragm, when the headlights are closed you are actually stretching the rubber diaphragm.
I had to replace on last spring as the rubber diaphragm had stretched and would not function properly.
When the light are down the diaphragm is being 'stretched' rearwards. When the lights are up the diaphragm is being 'stretched' forwards.

The only position where the diaphragm is not being 'stretched' is when the lights are midway through their travel.

My actuators are 40+ years old as far as I can figure out and work just fine no matter which position I leave them in.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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30+ years here of leaving them down and still working great
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Hi t,
I'd say by pulling the red and green stripped hoses off the actuators' nipples you'd release any pressure on the diaphragm seal.
Regards,
Alan
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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It doesn't matter.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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Probably not. FWIW mine are always left down.

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Old 11-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mike Ward View Post
When the light are down the diaphragm is being 'stretched' rearwards. When the lights are up the diaphragm is being 'stretched' forwards.
This is exactly right. So as far as long term storage goes it wouldn't make a difference.

If anything would be under stress, I think it would be the seals on the rod end of the actuator because these are compressed or rolled over in the down position. So, leaving the lights up would actually keep them in their natural state.



FWIW, I leave my lights up all winter long just to keep those old and possibly brittle seals from moving around too much in the cold weather when driving after dark.
Yes, I drive my car year round as long as the roads are dry.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:30 PM   #11
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really .... it's come to this .....


Happy Thanksgiving !

Frank
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:57 PM   #12
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I think the cars owners are under more stress than the actual parts on the car.
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Ward View Post
When the light are down the diaphragm is being 'stretched' rearwards. When the lights are up the diaphragm is being 'stretched' forwards.

The only position where the diaphragm is not being 'stretched' is when the lights are midway through their travel.

My actuators are 40+ years old as far as I can figure out and work just fine no matter which position I leave them in.
So let see, after reading these threads, it's best to duct tape the lights as they are being moved up but only to the half way point. Then remove the tubing and plug all four ends with duct tap. Then unclip the springs.

Shouldn't take more than an hour to set it up and then another hour to put it back together. This way you could get 80+ yrs.

Steve L
73 coupe since new
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