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I would suggest removing the actuator from the car. While you have it off, order a cadimium paint kit from eastwood to refinish the actuator. Changing the seal is a snap, just take care not yank on the actuator rod too much when you have it out of the car, sometimes the rubber diapragm inside the actuator can get kinda weak. Replacing the seal is easy. Just remove the old seal, and slide the new one on. Be sure and use plenty of silicone grease or petroleum jelly so that when you slide your new seal on you dont damage it on the actuator rod threads. Good luck.
I have replaced my actuator seals and you will have to have the actuator out. As far as removing the hood, some do it without removing the hood and some do remove it. I guess that all depends on the condition of your paint. You could remove the actuator and wrap it in a towel and see if you can get it by the hood without causing damage. Hopefully someone else will offer up more experience for you.
I would take it out. I slid mine out with the hood opened, but be sure and protect your paint. The instructions said you can get it out from under the car, but I never could figure it out. Coming out in front of the hood(with it up)was alot easier for me. Larry
No need to remove the hood. disconnect the actuator. It won't come straight out with the hood open. You will notice when you pull it back it hits the hood. Get a friend to help. have your friend close the hood enough so the lip of it is above the actuator but leave your self enough room to pull the actuator back. then move the actuator along the rad to the exact center of the hood. you now can open the hood entirely and lift the actuator out.
Mine came out fairly easily from underneath.... WITH THE HOOD CLOSED!!! The reason I shouted that was because when I tried to put it back in I had the hood open, and I struggled with the darn thing for about 1/2 hour before I figured out that the hood needed to be closed for me to have the clearance to squeeze it back in!
And as for the suggestion to use petroleum jelly, I seem to remember from somewhere else... maybe it was 9th grade health class? bad idea to mix petroleum jelly with rubber... so, maybe you should use KY jelly?
I got the actuator out with only a little effort...loosened the hood hinge bolts and moved the hood just enough to get the actuator out. Easy..
Okay, take actuator to bench...spray the clevis bolt with WD40...wait a bit....then using two pairs of slip-joint plumbing pliers to remove the clevis bolt....the actuator rod broke off with hardly any effort inside the clevis bolt....ARRGGHHH.
Okay, get drill bits out and carefully drill-out the rod in the clevis bolt. Went up to 1/4" drill...the actuator rod is 5/16". So got my 5/16"-18 tap out and started to re-thread the clevis bolt...cutting away the remains of the broken off rod very carefully. Was just about done when...SNAP...the tap breaks off in the clevis.....ARRGGHHHH.
Go to computer....get phone number for Central Corvette and called them as I have an order I had just placed for headlight adjusters...want to add to that order. They are closed on weekends....ARRGGHH... Have to wait until Monday to add to existing order or make a new order.
So now I need a new right actuator....a new clevis bolt...and a new 5/16"-18 tap.....this was an expensive hour this morning.
Oh and I figured out how the actuator seal would go on....very easy...and gee...its like....what....$10.....
Think I will go work on something else....hey honey...want me to put up that antique mirror today........
I have had those days for sure. Sometimes it seems like all is against you. Hang in there you will get it. Be sure to use some never sieze when you put it all back together in case you want to take it back apart someday.