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Electric Hydro Convertible Top Horror stories etc...

Imagine this.......Your wife decides to take her 63 convertible out for a drive. It's fresh, beautiful, perfect (much like her) and then as she's out the weather turns ugly. No problem, She's paid attention and knows her way around a Falcon Futura. Toggle switch on the left hand side of the dash, toggle up for up and toggle down for down. Simple right? Just pull over on the the shoulder, put it in park, leave it idling, and toggle the switch. Half way through the process all he_ _ breaks loose. Yea, the weather and the electro-hydro components fail to be fresh, beautiful and perfect. Top stuck half way and won't budge. Any ideas on how to defeat the system to make it easy for her or any of us, in any situation to raise or lower these tops will be appreciated. Please reply.


I'd be surprised if Falcon convertibles differed greatly in tech from any Ford of that era.


Redthundervert posted this on a T-bird forum:


"Intermittent Top Operation - About two weeks ago the top operation became intermittent. If I held the top control switch and let the operation go through its complete opening or closing cycle it worked fine, although sometimes nothing would happen when I pushed the control switch to start the operation. If I stopped the operation in mid-cycle it often wouldn’t start again. It would always eventually work again if I turned the ignition off and on and kept trying over a period of several minutes. After doing many checks and tests, I finally decided to check all the relays starting with the top control safety relay (fortunately before I had taken the back seat out again). I tried to jumper the relay plug to bypass the relay coil and discovered that the jumper connectors fit very loosely in the relay plug and would fall right out. Once I tightened up the relay plug connectors using pliers the jumper wire stayed securely in the plug and the top operation worked smoothly again. I plugged the relay plug back into the safety relay and everything works fine again, at least for now until the next gremlin strikes! This winter I’ll be going through all the relay plug connectors to make sure each connector in each plug has a snug fit"


some other tips (i.e., one suggestion is neutral safety switch issues can impact top????) on the forum:



Good luck!


Thanks. We haven't had the problem yet but with a car of this vintage we are trying to be prepared. Our fear is that the system will become inoperative, and if it does how would we go to a manual mode? I suspect trying to force to the top up or down (against the hydraulic pressure) would be difficult. I'm thinking of installing a by-pass feature to bleed off the pressure. Thanks again and stay safe.