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Automating a convertible top.

EvanP

New Member
Greetings friends. This is my first post. My name's Evan, 33 years old, I'm a car guy to the Nth degree. By the time I hit 40 I want to know how to do EVERYTHING conceivable to a car.

I'm already very mechanical. (Been a professional mechanic since 18.) But my passion is customizing cars. Specifically lowriders.

I'm in the process of taking a 1996 Lincoln Town Car.(Which was exclusively made as a 4 door hard top sedan.) I'm going to make mine an actual 2 door. (Not just weld the rear doors shut, but make the doors longer like a real 2 door.

I am also making it a convertible. Not chopping the roof but I'm going to have s full convertible top.

Here's where my question lies. My top frame is from a chrysler PT CRUISER CONVERTIBLE. I'm not the first lowrider to do this. Some guys did it with 1996 Cadillac Fleetwoods. It's just a hodge podge of different parts from different vehicles.

Here's my big question. The PT Cruiser, when you open the door, the second you pull on the handle, the window should go down about an eighth of an inch to clear the top frame. Also, In the factory PT cruiser, when you hit the top switch with the windows up, they'll automatically roll down. The windows rolling down 1/8-1/4" and having my windows roll down when I press the top button are features I'm willing to do a ton of work for. I figured I could just trace ALL of the PT Cruises wires. It would probably lead to some kind of body control manual, then I should have those features... ideally.


However, I spent half my automotive career as a German Car tech. One thing I really love about Mercedes-Benz and BMW convertibles is that the latch that secures the top to the windshield is automatic/powered. So I'm really looking into a 90s Mercedes-Benz SL500 Power Latch mechanism. Being that this is going to be A show car. I want this car to be my Mona Lisa. Does anyone have any advise how I can Incorporate the power latches to the convertible tops Power movement? I'd need it so when you hit the top switch, before the hydraulic top pump activates, the power latches would have to be turned on first briefly and then once the latches are open, the the top pump can engage. And essentially the same but reverse to put the top up.


Lastly, does anyone have any ideas for some kind of controller that could handle all of the functions I'm talking about? Window rolling down slightly upon door opening. Windows rolling down, then power latches open then top pump engages, dropping the top.

Because some convertibles now, the top can be dropped with your key fob. If I had the power latches, technically nobody has to be in the vehicle. If I could drop my top by remote, when I'm outside of the vehicle, that would be amazing and I'm willing to dedicate some serious resources to seeing it through.


Please give me your advise for how to synchronize all of these functions into a beautiful dance. And how can I operate it remotely. Thanks!
 

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Trunk Lock repair video is useful
Remote RF power switches are common for Garage Doors are inexpensive. Security features are optional such as Rolling Code vs 12 bit Address DIP switches. Logic sequencer features require better specs for timing, current limit and fault detection (motion sensor) to make sure window moves to prevent damage. Once you decide on that, the hardware can be suggested with logic levels and power relays or Power FETs.
 

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