Replacing screw jack covers

By Roy Lange

70 years ago, when these 1952-53 Mercury and Ford cars were built, the screw jacks (used for the convertible top and the power seats) came with a clear cover, over the threads and housings.
Over the years, the clear plastic covers have turned yellow and become brittle with age, rendering them unserviceable.

Obvously, this not an issue when the cars are being judged, since all of the screw jacks are hidden. The convertible top screw jacks are in the rear fender wells, behind the side panels, and the power seat motors are under the front seat.

The covers were in place to keep dust and dirt off of the screws along with keeping the surrounding areas free of grease splatters when the screws were turning. The issue was where I could find material to make new ones.

The convertible top screw jacks turned out to be somewhat simple, in that I could use bulb covers, intended for T8 florescent lights. I cut each of mine with scissors to 15 inches, allowing you to get three covers out of a single four-foot tube.

To install the new covers, simply place them over the end of the screw jack and slide them down over the base. It is a tight fit, but they will go over them. Then install the single wire clamp over the cover to hold it in place. The seat motor covers are installed the same way.

The seat motors (one for a two-way seat and two for a four-way seat), were not quite as simple. The T8 covers were way too big. I searched around and found that candy cane tubes, used for candy at Christmas, would work perfectly.

One final note, the clamps for the convertible top screw jacks, are 1-1/4-inch single wire clamps. They are available through McMaster-Carr, at