Carbuff2

1968 or 1969 Headlight Vacuum accuators

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They have been listed in past issues of the Riview.  The 69 Camaro canisters will also fit.  The only difference is one of the vacuum nipples is curved vs. straight but once the hose is on you can’t tell the difference.

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Thank you for your response, the 69 is new to me so I never paid attention to the postings on the Review regarding 1969.  Thanks again Pat

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10 hours ago, Carbuff2 said:

stuck with the headlights in the up (off) position

Have you switched out your old vacuum hoses for new ones? It's possible you have a vaccum leak somewhere between the firewall distribution block and the headlights. You should also change the engine manifold vacuum to fire wall distro block vacuum hose.

Edited by NCRiviera (see edit history)

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Thank you NC Riviera, by the way, that it is a beauty, mine is Silver Mist with Black interior and Vinyl Top only 88k miles since new.  Thanks again. Paul

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The '68 and '69 vacuum canisters and vacuum headlight systems are identical !

It might be some other component in the vacuum headlight system that is not working, or quite up to par Carbuff2, so don't assume it's the vacuum cannisters.

One split hose, vacuum leak, or a single faulty component can render the system useless !

The Shop Manual for both years covers the vacuum headlight system, and the various components quite thoroughly, trouble diagnosis or finding the faulty component(s) can be a P.I.T.A. !

Certain years of GM Corvettes also used the same parts for their vacuum headlights and air vents.

. . . good luck !

 

 

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If you need the complete actuator assembly OR components thereof, I've always used Ames Performance parts.

 

Not sure if these are identical, but here is the Pontiac GTO actuator.

This is $69 for the complete assembly.

 

Image_Display?ss_max_image_width=475&ss_part_num=B146B

 

https://secure.amesperf.com/qilan/Detail_Web?part_num=B146B&order_number_e=NDQyNTE1OA%3D%3D &web_access=Y

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Unfortunately, the Pontiac GTO actuators are different than the '68 - '69 Riviera type vacuum actuators !

 

Here is a picture of the '68-'69 Riviera type vacuum actuators.

These were probably the last NOS units in captivity that I was fortunate enough to score on 'evilBay' quite a while back.

They also fit Cadillac, and were listed under Cadillac parts - huh ?

 

. . . right place, right time, with some spare cash !  :)

 

.gallery_49703_1_1431479117_10015.jpg

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22 hours ago, Carbuff2 said:

So are these for sale or spare parts for a later date?  Paul - and Mike S.

 

Sorry Paul, and Mike, these rare, NOS AC units were installed in my car when I completed my restoration some 30+ years ago !

They replaced my original units that were rusted very badly,  and totally non-functioning, and they have performed flawlessly since then.

The picture was primarily intended to show what '68/'69 vacuum canisters look like, my apologies for any confusion.

The person I bought the NOS AC units from in Florida had a case of 6 NOS units, listed under Cadillac parts and they all sold on 'evilBay'  for $45 a pair, many, many moons  ago.

She was clearing out the garage after her husband had passed away.

Obviously, she never really knew the value of these NOS items  !

 

. . . like I said; right place, right time, with some spare US greenbacks. :rolleyes:

Edited by 68RIVGS (see edit history)

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On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 10:44 AM, 68RIVGS said:

Here is a picture of the '68-'69 Riviera type vacuum actuators

Randy, I installed new rubber boots on my actuators this weekend. They don't include the "seal" at the top. (it appears none for sale do). I have a partial seal left on the driver side actuator from the old boot and someone put a rubber hole grommet in the passenger side actuator boot, which I kept with the new boot (its better than nothing). As a result, the cup part of the top of my actuators have accumulated rust and dirt because the boots don't seal out water and debris.

 

Can you provide a close up photo of the top of a stock actuator boot so I can see what the seal looks like? Is it built into the stock boot or is it a separate rubber sleeve that snaps into the boot top?

 

Thanks in advance.

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There is no seal at the top of the bellows type boot Mike, the originals were just a tight, slip fit, around the chrome plated, steel shaft of the actuator rod.

When the shafts age, they become pitted, or the plating fails and the thin rubber, bellows type, sleeves get chewed  up.

They should have used stainless steel for the vacuum canister rods, and maybe an 'O' ring to seal the top of the bellows type boot?

I use a light oil on the shafts to protect them from dirt and corrosion, and allow the rod to slide freely through the small, slip fit opening in the top of the boot. 

. . . so far good, and working as designed, but nothing last forever !

 

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I had both a '68 and a '66 Riviera in the early 1970's. I think the '68 was only three years old when I got it. The vacuum ones didn't work well then. In later years a '66 Toronado I had always got jacked open manually.

 

The '66 hidden headlights were reliable and fascinating to watch. They basically had a power window motor operate them. If I bought another '68 or '69 I would sure be tempted to see what it took to adapt that wonderful '66 system.

Bernie

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The '66-'67 electric types were much more reliable than the vacuum systems in '68-'69s !

Even the optional door locks were vacuum operated with miles of color coded rubber hoses to make them function.

One split hose and the entire vacuum system was rendered useless !

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On 10/10/2017 at 9:19 PM, Pat Curran said:

They have been listed in past issues of the Riview.  The 69 Camaro canisters will also fit.  The only difference is one of the vacuum nipples is curved vs. straight but once the hose is on you can’t tell the difference.

 

.....circling back around to this - does this actually work?

 

i did buy them....fiddled with them - then gave up

 

any luck, anyone?

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Posted (edited)

Specifically what are the problem(s) you are encountering?

 

Please provide details of what work you have done, the parts you used and what is now the problem.

 

My 68 has the repro actuators below the headlights. They work fine.


As a precaution, I replaced the firewall vacuum port, the rubber vacuum hose from the intake manifold to the port. I also replaced all of the rubber vacuum hoses for the headlight system from the vacuum reservoir in the driver fender, to the vacuum controller next to the battery to the actuators themselves. My vacuum controller is also a new NOS part.

Edited by NC1968Riviera (see edit history)

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On 5/28/2019 at 10:33 AM, NC1968Riviera said:

Specifically what are the problem(s) you are encountering?

 

Please provide details of what work you have done, the parts you used and what is now the problem.

 

My 68 has the repro actuators below the headlights. They work fine.


As a precaution, I replaced the firewall vacuum port, the rubber vacuum hose from the intake manifold to the port. I also replaced all of the rubber vacuum hoses for the headlight system from the vacuum reservoir in the driver fender, to the vacuum controller next to the battery to the actuators themselves. My vacuum controller is also a new NOS part.

 

mine simply do not work, at first i got a little movement

but the vacuum actuators move kinda against their will (rust on piston)

 

to get to vacuum distribution in fender, can this be done without "major removal" of wheel well / fender?

 

i should replace all vacuum hose!

anyone have a complete vacuum hose diagram?

 

thanks

 

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, jonahboo said:

 

mine simply do not work, at first i got a little movement

but the vacuum actuators move kinda against their will (rust on piston)

 

to get to vacuum distribution in fender, can this be done without "major removal" of wheel well / fender?

 

i should replace all vacuum hose!

anyone have a complete vacuum hose diagram?

 

thanks

 

 

Assuming your Riviera is a 1968, you need to invest in a 1968 Buick Chassis manual. If it's a 69, then a 69 Buick Chassis manual.

It has all the info you are looking for. It's a must have manual for your car. 

Edited by NC1968Riviera (see edit history)

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by the way, the Camaro actuators are not a direct replacement at all. First you need to add an extension to the bottom bracket of about an inch or two, then cut off the cast aluminum eye from the new actuator and then weld or epoxy on the threaded clevis connector from your original actuator. Definitely not plug and play. but the price... i need to replace the other original actuator on my 69 but i don't want the hassle of the fabrication but i also don't want the $360 bill for the correct actuator, so for now no disappearing headlight trick for my69.

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