My 1956 Ford Thunderbird, greetings from Texas

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AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

My 1956 Ford Thunderbird, greetings from Texas

Post by AndrewnTX » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:18 pm

Hi all!

Just joined the site, and here's my intro. I've always loved early birds, got a tip from a friend on a 56, and worked out a deal in 2010. Car was retrofitted with a 5.0L/AOD, but was a no start when I went to go get it up in Denver.

Trailered it home and got to work. After getting the EFI and other details up to speed, the interior was refreshed.

Here's the basic specs of the car:

1956 Thunderbird
Per data plate,
THUNDERBIRD GREEN EXT, GREEN AND WHITE INTERIOR TRIM
5.0L V8 efi, Cobra intake, cast exhaust manifolds (from a 5.0L Explorer), RJM EFI harness.
AOD Ford over drive trans.
Granada type disc brakes in front
Stock rear axle
Vintage Air complete air conditioning and heater system

A few pics after getting it running, and renewing the interior which was musty and half shot.

Image
DSCN0030_s_detail by AndrewnTX, on Flickr

Image
DSCN0275 by AndrewnTX, on Flickr

I found this sharp steering wheel, a European Petri wheel off a 50's VW\Porsche, as my stock one was cracked and worn. This wheel keys off the off the interior's white trim and
gives the car a unique look.

Image
33888940023_large by AndrewnTX, on Flickr

Image
33888940025_large by AndrewnTX, on Flickr

Image
DSCN0274 by AndrewnTX, on Flickr
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

Post by AndrewnTX » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:39 pm

And soon after that, I had a set of custom wheels made for the car. PS Engineering out in CA made a set of kidney beans for me. They have a vintage hot rod look, and are sized 17x7 and 17x8s that tuck under the fenders.

Image
IMG_0500 by AndrewnTX, on Flickr

Image
56 Thunderbird (1) s by AndrewnTX, on Flickr
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

firedave21
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Post by firedave21 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:23 pm

Nice car can ya give me size of tires and wheels ya used

AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

Post by AndrewnTX » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:39 am

Thank you, Sir.

17x7, 225/50 Bfg KDW2
17x8, 245/45 Bfg KDW2

Image
IMG_2159 by AndrewnTX, on Flickr

Image
IMG_2175 by AndrewnTX, on Flickr
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

firedave21
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Post by firedave21 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:09 am

Would like to put a bigger tire and wheel on my 56 did ya have yo modify anything to fit the ones ya have

AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

Post by AndrewnTX » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:31 am

Dave,.

No modifications to fit the wheels and tires, those went on the car in 2010 and lots of happy road miles since then.. Check your backspace dimensions very carefully, your car may be different. You want the inside of the rear wheel to be pretty close to the leaf spring to fit the widest set up.

When i had stock suspension, the sway of the rear leaf springs and axle would allow some light outer tire rub, on one side, but only under spirited cornering.

As you see in the later pictures, I have installed a full AirRide suspension, and the fit is even better.

What type and size of wheels are you considering? It can be challenging to find wheels with a deep enough backpacking.
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

firedave21
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Post by firedave21 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:00 am

Well my suspension is all stock but have made body and engine mods and want a custom wheel and tire it had 15 x 5 American racing torque thrust wheels on it before resto but was thinking something bigger just not a wheel guy and no one at wheel shop knows anything up stock how do I measure backspace or what is it on original suspension

AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

Post by AndrewnTX » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:09 am

The wider the wheel the more critical it is to get the wheels specs just right. And lowered or custom cars even more so. Just take lots of measurements and do trial fits if you can before ordering custom wheels. I'm a fanatic about wheels and tires, been doing custom wheels for years on various cars.

Torque Thrusts will look good in any size on a Thunderbird!

Lot of useful stuff online about measuring backspace:

See video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n96lE8jdMlQ

Diagram:
http://www.jegs.com/images/wheelmeasureguide.pdf
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

firedave21
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Post by firedave21 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:13 pm

Thanks any idea of factory backspace on 56

rokhopperyj
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:36 am
Location: Chesapeake VA.

Post by rokhopperyj » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:08 am

Just seen your post for the first time. Beautiful car! Got any shots of the engine compartment? I am currently wheel shopping and I have been looking at some custom wheels on Allied wheels web site.
I would like some info on your air-ride system. Is it an off the shelf item, who makes it and did it fit right in or require unforseen modifications to make it fit. After removing the cast iron giant of an engine and trans and replacing it with the 306/c4 combo the front sits about an 1.5" higher and is very stiff(new springs). Gotta fix that now :(
LEAVING NO STONE(OR BOLT) UNTURNED!

AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

Post by AndrewnTX » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:14 pm

rokhopperyj wrote:Just seen your post for the first time. Beautiful car! Got any shots of the engine compartment? I am currently wheel shopping and I have been looking at some custom wheels on Allied wheels web site.
I would like some info on your air-ride system. Is it an off the shelf item, who makes it and did it fit right in or require unforseen modifications to make it fit. After removing the cast iron giant of an engine and trans and replacing it with the 306/c4 combo the front sits about an 1.5" higher and is very stiff(new springs). Gotta fix that now :(
Thank you, I appreciate the compliment. I installed an Air Ride Technologies set up, www.ridetech.com. It has Shockwaves out rear, and CoolRide up front, and an e3 Compressor and ECU control system. I mounted the air tank under the trunk alongside the fuel tank and the compressor/solenoids tucked into the side of the trunk area, so as not to reduce the available trunk space for luggage.

Image

Image

As always nothing is a total bolt in but it was a fun project. Nothing unforeseen, but did have to have shock mounts welded on the front but as I had put air on a Falcon before, I had been exposed to how it all works. When I get some time, I will put up a separate thread on the installation on vtci forums.

As to the ride height of yours on coils, I did cut a 1/2 turn off mine to get the car to sit where I wanted it.
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

ranchbird
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 10:53 pm

Granada Spindles

Post by ranchbird » Wed May 14, 2014 12:55 am

AndrewnTX,

Love the look of your 56, I'm new to the site and would like to know what's involved to install Granada spindles on the small birds. I've put them on my 57 Ranchero and had to ream the holes for the ball joint and tie rod.

AndrewnTX
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:58 am
Location: Plano, TX USA

Re: Granada Spindles

Post by AndrewnTX » Wed May 14, 2014 9:29 pm

ranchbird wrote:AndrewnTX,

Love the look of your 56, I'm new to the site and would like to know what's involved to install Granada spindles on the small birds. I've put them on my 57 Ranchero and had to ream the holes for the ball joint and tie rod.
Hey thanks so much!! Glad you like it!

As to the Granada spindles, they were on the car when I got it.
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window P/U
1988 Ford Mustang LX 5.8L Coupe
2012 Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon

ellevee
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:07 pm

Re:

Post by ellevee » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:19 am

AndrewnTX wrote:
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:14 pm

When I get some time, I will put up a separate thread on the installation on vtci forums.
Just curious if you ever got around to posting this? Would love to read more about it.

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