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Thread: Canopy power lift system

  1. #1

    Canopy power lift system

    Well I guess I better get this party started with my first technical post.

    I would hate to disappoint David with his efforts to get me to join and not post nothing.



    OK here's the basics of what I'm working on. Pictures will follow.

    Number one problem with all the stock setups using power assist(hydraulic or electric) is if the system fails your stuck inside the car or can't get into it. Being located in the desert here, being stuck in your car could cause death during the summer
    OK some of you will say you can climb out through windows or sun roofs but that unacceptable to me.

    Trying to find a solution that would you allow use the power assist and also allow you to open it manually lead me to the system used in the rear lifting mechanism in SUV's(don't know what your version is, if any)

    Over here we have Toyota, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GM that use these systems

    The system is disengaged during normal use so you can manually open and close the canopy. But when activated a clutch engages the gears and the power feature will open and close the canopy. Once the system reaches the open or closed limits it disengages the power feature and your back in manual mode. Also if the power feature is engaged and you loose power at anytime it switches back to manual mode.

    You can also open and close the system remotely.

    There is also pinch sensors that stop the system from closing on you.

    Another safety feature is when the system is engaged a buzzer sounds off for a few seconds before anything happens to let you know its been activated. This happens in the power opening and closing mode.


    You will still need gas struts to assist opening in the manual mode and hold the canopy open but the motor has more than enough power to open the canopy by its own power.

    I'm working with the system out of a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica. Got it all working on the bench, just need to put it in the car now.

    Thats the basics of it.(I think)

    Brett

  2. #2
    Hi Bret and welcome from me too.

    I like the sound of your system and look forward to seeing the pictures and a complete description of how it all works. I've always been a little bit uncomfortable about the power roof and the danger of being locked in - or even worse getting crushed by the canopy. A system with sensors and that disengages to operate manualy seems to me to be a lot safer. The only downside I can see is that there would be no negative pressure to hold the canopy down which is something that helps to eliminate much of the creaks and groans of a manually operated system. Or does your design have a fix for that?
    "The most beautiful kit car in the world - Motor"

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  3. #3
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    I have thought about this a few times, I'm not sure that being locked out is an issue you could find a way round that with a bit of time, but being stuck internally? there is a bit of a standing joke over here about sunroofs as an escape method when someone didn't fit one despite being told ( Buffy) I have thought but not really looked into it about a manually operated pump leaver possibly with a separate reservoir that way if you loose all power you could grab a 6 inch handle perhaps in the side pocket at 90 deg and manually pump it up?

    Dirk

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlueNova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    I have thought about this a few times, I'm not sure that being locked out is an issue you could find a way round that with a bit of time, but being stuck internally? there is a bit of a standing joke over here about sunroofs as an escape method when someone didn't fit one despite being told ( Buffy) I have thought but not really looked into it about a manually operated pump leaver possibly with a separate reservoir that way if you loose all power you could grab a 6 inch handle perhaps in the side pocket at 90 deg and manually pump it up?

    Dirk
    I like the sound of that Dirk ... Ideally the 'escape' method shouldn't have to rely on either electrics or hydraulics

  5. #5
    Here' a quick break down of what the system looks like

    uploading pictures here is a little different than the Sterling site so bare with me as I try to figure it out.

    First photo is the control module.
    Attachment 2954
    Second picture is the two different styles of lifting motors that Chrysler uses in their SUV's. There is a third that I'm trying to locate to see if it will work out better. It looks to be more compact but uses a chain to drive the unit instead of gears.
    Attachment 2955
    Third is the wiring harness. included in the picture are the pinch sensors.
    Attachment 2956
    Fourth is the power pull down latch
    Attachment 2957
    This is how it comes out of the vehicle. No mods have been made as of yet. There is also the BCM(body control module) that some of the wires go into but I'm going to try and eliminate that part. It only seems to relay the power to the control module.

    I apologize if some of this doesn't make any sense or skips around. My mind works faster than my typing skills and sometimes my thinking gets ahead of my typing

  6. #6
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    Brett I misunderstood you original post I thought you where talking about a secondary system if the main hydraulic system failed.
    So I take it once closed and the catch engages the clutch disengages? How will you stop the roof from rattling without the positive holding pressure? If you have a power failure is there a manual way to release the catch? I have got electronic catches on my boot and bonnet but they also have a manual pull system that I can get to if they go wrong.

    This is the sort of thing I was thinking about as a secondary hydraulic system

    https://www.flowfitonline.com/hydraulic-pumps/handpumps

    Dirk

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Brett I misunderstood you original post I thought you where talking about a secondary system if the main hydraulic system failed.
    So I take it once closed and the catch engages the clutch disengages? How will you stop the roof from rattling without the positive holding pressure? If you have a power failure is there a manual way to release the catch? I have got electronic catches on my boot and bonnet but they also have a manual pull system that I can get to if they go wrong.

    This is the sort of thing I was thinking about as a secondary hydraulic system

    https://www.flowfitonline.com/hydraulic-pumps/handpumps

    Dirk

    From Brett's post on the Sterling site the canopy will be "pulled" down once the catch engages, much the same as the modern car boot lids (trunk for Brett) and SUV tailgates. My Toyota Estima had the same mechanism, it kind of first latches at a first stage, then a motor pulls it down tight. I'm not sure the kind of force it exerts, but it won't simply be sitting on the body. It also had a manual override pull cable

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Brett I misunderstood you original post I thought you where talking about a secondary system if the main hydraulic system failed.
    So I take it once closed and the catch engages the clutch disengages? How will you stop the roof from rattling without the positive holding pressure? If you have a power failure is there a manual way to release the catch? I have got electronic catches on my boot and bonnet but they also have a manual pull system that I can get to if they go wrong.

    This is the sort of thing I was thinking about as a secondary hydraulic system

    https://www.flowfitonline.com/hydraulic-pumps/handpumps

    Dirk
    No hydraulic system with this setup. That was fine back in the 70's but there are better setups out there now with all kinds of safety features that are all ready built into them.

    As David said there will be a latch to hold the canopy down and secure it. There is a lever on the latch that allows you to manually open the canopy. Works just like the ones you have on your boot and bonnet

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    No hydraulic system with this setup. That was fine back in the 70's but there are better setups out there now with all kinds of safety features that are all ready built into them.

    As David said there will be a latch to hold the canopy down and secure it. There is a lever on the latch that allows you to manually open the canopy. Works just like the ones you have on your boot and bonnet
    Well its going to be a while before I get to that point on my Nova so hopefully you will have ironed out all the issues, and it will be the way forward. Looking forward to your progress on this one.

    Dirk

  10. #10
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Sounds very neat. Like others I have also considered a system where gas rams can be used to manually open the canopy in the event of electric lift failure (either linac or hydraulic), but never got around to it. I have also noticed that fighter jet canopies use positive locking latches to ensure an airtight seal (the latter is inflated once the canopy is closed, another idea I have contemplated in the past, using bicycle inner tubes, or similar).

    It will be very interesting to see how this goes.

    Welcome to the forum from me as well

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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