I started this thread to see how the e-disco works, and to try to improve its reliability by making it completely mechanical.
The conversion to mechanical is done, and it works well.
I have to fabricate a lever for the console. Right now, you can see the wooden release handle. The final lever will be one you pull back to an over-center position, so it will keep the release spring compressed, like the original actuator did.
Inside the disconnect housing, the disengage and engage springs are retained. This allows the lever to be moved to the position desired, and the disco will unlock when the torsion bar is unloaded, and re-lock when the teeth are aligned. There is no need for an indicator light, because the status will be obvious from how the lever feels.
Where the cable enters the disco case, there will be a boot to make it waterproof.
Here is a pic. Next step: the lever.