Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

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ozbird
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Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:48 pm

Hi All,

just thought I'd add an update in case anyone in the future was searching for new wheels to suit their 61/62/63 tbird. I have exactly the same wheels as per the link below on my 62 hardtop.

Only addition is that I had hub centric hub rings made to suit, 83.82mm OD to 61.9mm ID fitted nice and tight. Also my 62 has been updated with disc brakes from a 66' but the wheels should still be fine with drum brakes.

There was one issue - skirts will not go on without some trimming, maybe a lot of trimming. Keep that in mind, if you want skirts then working with your tyre guy may be a good move. Different profile tyres or brand changes might get you there. I used one of the online wheel sites and that was the tyre that was recommended as fitting with skirts.

I put on Michelin 215/65 tyres.

Click link to see more details on a 66' tbird.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=13231&p=87155&hilit=ridler#p87155

Cheers Graeme

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1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:56 pm

Very, very nice Graeme. How is she running since the rebuild/stroking? Any issues with the COM handling that beast? If convenient, how about posting a video of her running? I'd love to hear the exhaust. Not hard to do on your Google Drive if you have a Google account.

Sweeet!

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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ozbird
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:31 pm

HI Bill,

thanks for that.

Took car on freeway last night for a shake out run and the ride is just as good as before but it wanders badly so wheel alignment is required. I have a big club run next week and I could not drive it that far, too much concentration needed.

Engine is great, still a work in progress but love freeway on ramps, it just flies. Around town it's like a baby, a bit noisy but just like driving a standard car. Transmission is fine with the engine, very smooth gear changes but I must admit I am a bit scared to floor it too much around here - one wheel spin and car could be impounded for a month with a big fine!

Apart from wheel alignment, carb may be leaking into power valve well, one rear drum is really hot so will check that and spring pack is making a god-awful rubbing sound. When does it end!?

Graeme
p.s. I will get that video up soon.
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:42 am

Sounds like a lot of fun, Graeme. You should be proud after all your hard work. FWIW, regarding alignment, after I couldn't find a shop with equipment old enough to align my car, I did it myself. With the help of a $100 magnetic caster/camber gauge, greased vinyl plates under the tires, string, a metal ruler and 4 jack stands I was able to do a good job, I think. I now, finally, have a little positive caster and the steering wheel rotates on its own back to center after a turn. Steering requires just a little more effort at slow speeds. This is caused by the caster I think. My tires don't rub the skirts in left turns anymore either. Just a thought in case you can't find a good shop. Cheers!

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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ozbird
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:10 am

Thanks Bill,

have booked in on Monday for an alignment, lets see how it goes!

Graeme
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

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ozbird
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:15 am

Update on the wheel alignment . . .

took car on a long run today, 350 klm's or about 200 miles on secondary roads, freeways and the like. At speed up to 70mph and trundling around twisty roads dodging the kangaroos.

By the time I got home I was totally spent, the wheel/tyre combination meant I was forever correcting the steering and had to have my full attention. I will persevere but not much else I can do, already have new HD sway bar, new shocks and lowered front by removing one spring.

( I have kept the old wire wheel's...as a backup.) :mrgreen:

Cheers
Graeme
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:25 am

Thanks Graeme. Do you by any chance know the alignment settings your car ended up with? Maybe a discussion of your driving experience with your alignment guy would be helpful?
I’m sure my car’s alignment isn’t perfect and I’m tired after long drives too but overall I find the experience enjoyable. Using non-professional equipment, my final settings were 3.5 mm total toe-in, zero camber, +3/4 degrees caster (left side), +1 1/2 degrees right side. As stated before, the slight positive caster resulted in noticeable improvement in the driving experience.
FWIW, I have a 1” rear sway bar as well as a 1 1/8” bar on the front. I also installed sway bar lateral locks (Whiteline brand, from Amazon) to minimize side-to-side shifting of both sway bars and body. I backed up the lateral locks with split sections of heavy rubber hose held in place by hose clamps. If not in the alignment, I wonder if your need for constant correcting might have something to do with body and sway bar side-to-side shifting. There’s also the possibility of worn rear spring bushings.
With the improvements noted, plus all new springs and Bilstein shocks, I still notice my car is a little jittery in strong crosswinds. Even though my suspension is now much stiffer than stock, it’s still not as stiff as modern cars and this thing is BIG. So, I’ve done all I can and I’ll just live with it.
Cheers to you, too.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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ozbird
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:07 pm

Thanks for the feedback Bill.

The alignment guy has old skills and he let me see exactly how he setup the alignment - he is very well respected in the classic car circles so I tend to trust him. He only does two alignments a day so not making a fortune for sure! The machine he uses is not like the kids today are taught on, just wait for the green light and it's done type of thing. No, his machine is over 30 years old, I could not believe it.

I did not get the settings, no printouts with that old thing sorry mate.

You could be on to something with the rear swaybar, I have all new bushes through the car but it does 'fluff' around (not sure of the correct word :mrgreen: ) in the tail so I will investigate your suggestion. I have Koni shocks in the back and will look into Koni in front too, but by god they are not cheap!

regards
Graeme
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:45 pm

My Bilsteins were $100 each. Ouch!

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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ozbird
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:51 pm

Thank your lucky stars you are not based in Australia, Koni fronts the pair are $700 Aussie dollars.

Graeme
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:19 pm

ozbird wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:51 pm
Thank your lucky stars you are not based in Australia, Koni fronts the pair are $700 Aussie dollars.

Graeme
Wow!

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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ozbird
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:00 am

Hi Bill,

just been fritzing around with the wheel alignment - bloody alignment guy messed up my front - end, very annoyed.

It is pulling right but took a while to notice since the power steering masks any pulling. But if you took your hands off the wheel it would pull right.

Decided to do what you have done and do it all myself. Ordered some toe plates but in the meantime have adjusted the toe by line of sight and now it has improved the steering by 80% I reckon.

Thanks for posting your specifications, I will follow along although not sure if I can change the caster much, but something to shoot for.

Graeme
p..s. got some Bilsteins as well, they have improved things too, can roll the trolley jack under front first go, lets see how long that lasts.
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
Posts: 491
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:35 am

Graeme,
I'm sorry your alignment guy wasn't up to snuff. I found my caster adjustment rods (or whatever they're called) were slotted differently. A little grinding made them identical and elongated the slots slightly and gave me the slight positive caster I was looking for. Just an FYI.
Good luck.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by ozbird » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:16 am

Hi Bill and readers.

Just checking back, I purchased one of those front end alignment tools, it checks camber, caster and toe. Caster I could not change but will check another time, camber was close and toe I did change.

Got it sorted as per your specifications and after a few hours of moving car back and forwards and measuring many times it drives perfectly. Took for a drive and it tracks in a straight line and took hands off wheel to prove it. Have not pushed it around corners but the new home brew alignment and new Bilstein shocks made a huge difference.

I purchased 4 cheap plastic tiles and sprayed with silicone (could have used oil or grease but silicone was good and less mess) to use as turn plates - very handy.

So thanks the the support Bill, I would recommend one of those tools.

Graeme
1962 Hardtop - in Melbourne, Australia

bbogue
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Re: Update Wheels on 62 Thunderbird

Post by bbogue » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:16 am

Congratulations Graeme! Although time consuming, alignment at home has paid rewards yet again! Ditto here on the lubed plastic tiles. They work great. A test to see if your caster needs adjustment is whether or not the steering wheel returns to nearly straight on its own after a turn. If it does, you're likely OK. After my caster adjustment I also noticed a little more steering effort required on slow turns.
Congrats again. Happy (American) Thanksgiving!

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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