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I was at a Good Guys car show last weekend and saw an outstanding '55 Chevy. One of the nice features was a small panel on the dash that would open when you turned the ignition key, which was under the seat. The panel covered the wiper and light knobs and the radio. My question is: What kind of motor would you use? Would it have been electric? Vaccuum powered? I wish I would have asked, but thought about it after it was too late. Once again, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
 

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You could use the setup they sell for the cowl vents on the 32 Fords. Most street rods shops sell them. might check www.yearwood.com to see a picture of one.
 

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For me, linear actuators are too expensive.. With a little planning, you could use a power seat motor from the wrecker. Some folks have used power window motors with success as well. Stepper motors would be a possibility, but the circuitry to make them work would be reasonably complicated. They would be precise, though. Power door lock actuators would work, too, but the panel would open up pretty quick. :)

A regular electric motor won't work - you'll want to use something with a screw drive to make sure the panel doesn't flop back down once you've raised it.

Remember to use some kind of a limit switch at each end of the travel.
 

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Something that I have found that may work or cowl vents of opening any king of a panel is the power motors from the long back windows on a dodge caravan, they use a small transmission that is cable driven from a remote mounted motor. I am going to try one on the cowl of my 36 pontiac. :cool:
 

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NYOFP4RJ3CHRIS
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Cool, what year of Caravan? :)
 

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I know most of the Grand Caravans from the 90's had the power rear quarter windows. Don't know if the set-up was the same for all years.

 

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I completely forgot about these motors.. Both body style of Caravan could have them. They may have been standard equipment in the 2nd gens. I know the 1st gens had either a hand crank in the headliner for manual windows, or the power jobbies. Easy way to find the right one at the wrecker - just poke your head in and look at the headliner - if you see a crank up there, move to the next one. :)

First gens had a bolt that went through the glass, 2nd gens were glued to the side glass. There were some differences in the length of the cable drive from year to year, I can't get any more specific on that one. I have a pair that I'm using for a pop-out rear quarter window in my current project.

The great thing about these is that you can wire them up to any power window switch and they operate much like a linear actuator, only with a much more limited throw.
 

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I know they used them as far back as 90 as I had one that had the electric rear windows. The power from windows also used a remote motor in 91 and up. It may take a little trial and error to get them working just right. I am going to work on it this weekend. :cool:
 
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