Convertible Top Motor Pump Issues

Last year my top would go up and down but the motor would stop running during the process. I had to wait 10-30 seconds to continue the operation. I removed the back seat and noticed that I had small leak coming from the large o-ring between the reservoir and motor. I topped off the reservoir but the motor had the same issues.

Last week I looked at it again and the same slow leak. I googled the issue and found it was recommended to replace the o-rings. I assumed the motor was stopping due to the low fluid level in the reservoir. The rebuild kit cost $30 on ebay.

1973 Shop Manual

I found the rubber feet were in need of replacement.

I was expecting to find sludge inside the reservoir and interior but it was relatively clean.

So I replaced all the o-rings and put it back together and installed it.

At this point I’m excited and telling my wife that all the youtube videos I’m constantly watching regarding classic car repairs is paying off. I filled up the reservoir with ATF Type F. I’m expecting that I will have to bleed out any air in the lines and top off the reservoir. I ran the motor without the reservoir plug but it quickly came out the filler hole where the plug should have been. So I refill the reservoir and plug it. I run the motor and the plug blasts out of the pump, spraying ATF everywhere. I had no idea that was a possibility. I had only topped off the reservoir to the bottom of the filler hole.

I refilled the reservoir again and reinstalled the old plug because I couldn’t find the new plug. I placed a rag on top of it in case it happened again. I ran the motor and the top began normal operation and the plug stayed in place.

Then then the motor stopped in mid cycle like it had been doing before. I waited and the motor started again, to my dismay, this is when I noticed that the motor was smoking. Not wanting to fry my system, I removed the motor.

I’m assuming it’s time to just buy a new motor. I suspect when the motor stopped working in the past it was smoking but I’m not sure as I couldn’t see it. I don’t think anything I did when replacing the o-rings caused the motor to smoke. The motor felt warm to touch when I removed it. Though it never really ran much before I noticed it was smoking.

Thought I share my experience if anyone has any thoughts/experience with this issue or if I screwed it up? I’m getting ready to buy a new motor from WCCC. I hope if I replace the new motor I don’t have a similar issue. I’m hoping the old motor was just shot and not something I did to it. As I don’t want to fry a new motor.


Your top motor was probably drawing too much current and blowing the circuit breaker then after waiting, it would reset and until you ran the motor again. I’d replace the pump/motor.

I’m going to replace the bad motor. I was wondering if there wasn’t anything else that could have caused the motor to smoke. Thanks for the reply. I’ll update once I get the new one installed.

I probably have 4 or 5 good used pumps if you want to give one a try. They rarely go bad in my experience.

I just purchased one from WCCC. I appreciate your offer. Thanks!

Hopefully that resolved ur issue. I did mine as my second task on my project. Changed fuses after smoking some and tightened my grounds. Fixed my issues. Just make sure u always use the recommended ATF. I learned that one the hard way after it blew my lines a second time.

Happy to help when I can. I have so many at this point I left one on the last parts car I broke down!

That is a nice collection. How many convertible parts cars have you had?

6 in the last two years. Mostly H codes, two S codes. None were what I would consider restorable. Better to have the parts go onto other cars.

Let’s just say you don’t want to be a 69 convertible parked in that spot!

I now see where you got your forum name :laughing:

I part out any more cars and they’re going to call me the Grim Reaper. I’ve restored some too, I swear!

Lets hope so :pray: had a guy offer me some parts from a cougar, I was like… yeah! I’ll take them even though I don’t need them. Haha. More like parts care takers right…?

Is there a chance either of you have the vertical window trim for the drivers side?
I had to put my 69 the top up for a long cool ride and realized the trim was MIA. Not a clue to what happened to it. :flushed:

The piece on the door glass? I’ll check, but I may have sold my good sets. My friend I’m visiting next week should have one, so I’ll try and grab one for you there.

That’s the piece. Sounds weird, but I have no clue when/where I lost it… assuming it was on the car when I bought it years ago. Window functions fine. DM coming.

Received the new repro motor/pump from WCCC. The new pump is smaller and there is a 1 inch difference for the mounting bracket/feet.

This means when I went to install it didn’t align with the original mounting position.

I managed to mount it with a toggle type bolt. Not sure if that was the best option but feels snug and secure.

I ran it several times and worked as expected.

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Nice work! You’ve got a beautiful Cougar!

Thank you :grinning: