Now that the holidays are over, I decided to start some wrenching by way of installing some of my Christmas gifts. West Coast Classic Cougar has contracted someone to repro the seals and boots for the vacuum operated headlight actuators. Installed mine in about 35 minutes and VOILA!, my headlights operate like they were new. I DID go ahead and replace some of the vacuum lines while I was there. I was about to start cobbling new boots from Corvette repops and found a seal part number that is correct, but actually having Cougar specific stuff is nice as you don't have to permanently change anything.
From what I am seeing they would also work on the Lincoln Mk series and T-birds with hideaway headlights as well.
One of my friends made electronic actuators work on his 1970 Mark III's headlights, and since I am not a purist most of the time, I really really want that setup for my covered headlight cars. You eliminate a lot of stuff in the conversion and they move just as well.
I looked at the electric conversion. I was all set to do it until they came out with the seal and grommet kit. I figured for $35 it was worth a try. In my case, that "worth a try" solved my winking car problem. When the time inevitably comes that the vacuum actuators are "done", I will go electric. It just makes sense from a price standpoint as the rebuilt vacuum cans are as much as the electric kit.
Now that the headlights are off my list, it's time to do the stainless plate behind the back seat.
Well, I’m not familiar with the others mentioned, but I’m dealing with my own retracting headlight issues on my 93 RX7. Mine will, occasionally develope a mind of their own and flip up and down fast enough to send Morse code messages to ships at sea. I haven’t disassembled yet, but from some other’s dissections, it’s probably an issue with worn or fouled contacts.
Regardless, Guitar’s mention of headlight woes reminded me to put it on my winter list,
I might also check for some "high" opens in the circuit. It sounds like maybe, just maybe (and this is an armchair diagnosis so take it as that), an intermittent contact via a lsight break in the wire might also be a contributor. I would see if moving some of the wire back and forth could replicate your issue. I don't know what's worse, diagnosing electric retractable headlights, or vacuum operated ones.