swampweasel - glad you are joining in with the brainstorming of the actuator design installation. I agree much with your concern about the angle of the lift rod, as I think the factory top mount placement is too close to the hinge side, and stressing the stock actuator lift process mechanically. But, I am not an engineer, and only a novice of practicality.
A download of the 30" actuator owner's manual is available on ebay, but it only offers a few specs. I do not have the actuator to see the real and actual measurements that will be used.
I do agree with you that a top mount point close to the rear roof top corner is advantageous, and I will find out if an aluminum plate needs to be added for additional height to enable mounting. The top mounting bracket appears to have a swivel in it for the rod mount, but this will also need to be seen and worked with.
As for the bottom mount, I think it will need to be lower than the factory placement. This is based on the bottom unit being 34.13" long. I am considering the factory screw point just ahead of the bottom of the coolcat for a low hole mounting point. This is the lowest available, existing.
Again, all remains to be seen and worked out, especially before any drilling takes place.
I did learn something from engineers that I worked with.
If you have the factory actuator, can you measure and post the length of the rod lift stroke, and the length of the total open bottom unit.
I apologize to those who think this is all nonsense, but maybe it is.
Maybe it will become useful for others, if we get it all worked out to success.