Millennial bought a classic (55)

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ICON 1956
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by ICON 1956 »

yummy wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:56 pm
Sharing information like this far more useful than peer to peer. Just like this mod for keeping your baby bird riding cooler. I hope this leads to a few extra sales for the owner who spent so much time perfecting it.

I’m in Gold Country in Nevada City / Grass Valley and have chatted with some awesome club members on Sacramento. Glad to be a new with a fresh perspective.
Yes ! We need young minds like you to give your thoughts in keeping these classic cars running to have young minds enjoy these cars. As we get older the art of maintaining and cherish these beauty's. As someone said to "pass the baton" We hope that the legend of not only the classic thunderbirds keep living but ALL classic cars stick around.
I'm hoping that these classic cars DO NOT fall to prey, left to rot in a barn. My Car was saved by Jules Meets from a pole barn back in 2007. He did a complete restore on my car. I only found out that the PO gave me the receipts from the restoration and I did some searching and found my car in the Brillon, Wisconsin paper the story of Julies.
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1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

DynoDan’55
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by DynoDan’55 »

yummy wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:45 pm
Reduces body roll and flex, will improve you ability to do round a bouts faster and U turns will be less painful.

But I am speaking directly about the heavy duty sway bars
I suggest that suspension improvements should be near the bottom of your list. It took me 20 years to bring my ‘55 ‘up to snuff’. Much research of obscure literature and the acquiring of mechanical skills. A perfect/stock ‘55 T-Bird would still likely out-handle most new econoboxes. If the springs aren’t totally shot, then maybe coil-over rear shocks (and new HD fronts) should be adequate until everything else is done (?). Good brakes & motor/trans/etc. function first.
P.S. Forget the battery switch (inconvenient) and just put a circuit breaker on the ancient/deteriorating body wiring. That is what causes the midnight garage fires that sends many ‘55s to the scrapyard. People forget to pop the hood and disconnect.

yummy
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by yummy »

Great tip.

What other high ROI things that will stop a catastrophic event from happening?

TNcoupe
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by TNcoupe »

ICON 1956 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:41 pm
yummy wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:56 pm
Sharing information like this far more useful than peer to peer. Just like this mod for keeping your baby bird riding cooler. I hope this leads to a few extra sales for the owner who spent so much time perfecting it.

I’m in Gold Country in Nevada City / Grass Valley and have chatted with some awesome club members on Sacramento. Glad to be a new with a fresh perspective.
Yes ! We need young minds like you to give your thoughts in keeping these classic cars running to have young minds enjoy these cars. As we get older the art of maintaining and cherish these beauty's. As someone said to "pass the baton" We hope that the legend of not only the classic thunderbirds keep living but ALL classic cars stick around.
I'm hoping that these classic cars DO NOT fall to prey, left to rot in a barn. My Car was saved by Jules Meets from a pole barn back in 2007. He did a complete restore on my car. I only found out that the PO gave me the receipts from the restoration and I did some searching and found my car in the Brillon, Wisconsin paper the story of Julies.
Im trying my best but I cant save em all. Between a 1964 Fairlane, 1955 Thunderbird, and a 1970 Bronco I stay pretty busy and honestly Im tired of working on stuff all the time.

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paul2748
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by paul2748 »

In my opinion, if the wires are stiff and the insulation is cracking, the first thing you should do is replace it, all of it.. Electrical fires are the cause of most Tbirds going up in flames. No circuit breaker or other means are going to help you if you are on the road and a fire starts.

I don't agree with the comment above regarding suspension. This is another area that should be attended to before going on the road. Bad shocks, springs and front end components will make a poor handling ride, never mind a miserable outing if the car does not handle right. And there is no way a an early bird will out perform today's cars in the handling area without having the suspension upgraded.
1956 Fiesta Red 312
1954 Ford Victoria 312
1948 Ford Convertible Street Rod 302

ICON 1956
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by ICON 1956 »

I fully agree with Paul 2748, I also forgot to tell you that a portable fire extinguisher should always be in the car for a just in case....
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
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TNcoupe
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by TNcoupe »

paul2748 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:10 pm
In my opinion, if the wires are stiff and the insulation is cracking, the first thing you should do is replace it, all of it.. Electrical fires are the cause of most Tbirds going up in flames. No circuit breaker or other means are going to help you if you are on the road and a fire starts.

I don't agree with the comment above regarding suspension. This is another area that should be attended to before going on the road. Bad shocks, springs and front end components will make a poor handling ride, never mind a miserable outing if the car does not handle right. And there is no way a an early bird will out perform today's cars in the handling area without having the suspension upgraded.
Theres no way an upgraded suspension will handle with today's cars. My Veloster N will run circles around any baby bird.

DynoDan’55
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by DynoDan’55 »

paul2748 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:10 pm
...there is no way an early bird will out perform today's cars in the handling area without having the suspension upgraded.
No 56 Bird, for sure.

Was merely implying the 55’s centered weight distribution & lack of understeer could likely make it sportier than some more modern ‘top-heavy’ grocery-getters, though original-type/low-pressure bias tires would definitely rule that out.

yummy
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by yummy »

Thought I'd upload a better photo, washed and waxed. Not a terrible example for a $10k
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paul2748
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by paul2748 »

Looks good
1956 Fiesta Red 312
1954 Ford Victoria 312
1948 Ford Convertible Street Rod 302

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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by ICON 1956 »

Now your getting the picture, Nice clean up. the more you spend time on giving your love to the classic bird the more you will work hard on maintaining her beautiful looks. It's a good feeling to have a millennial have the same interest as we baby boomers have for the love and respect on the Thunderbirds. I'm hoping that we get more interested folks to carry the torch.
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

yummy
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by yummy »

Who sells the best electrical wiring harness? I’m assuming they’re not all created equal.

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paul2748
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by paul2748 »

The harnesses from any of the TBird parts houses are probably equal. I bought my harness from Tee-Birds Parts in Pennsylvania. Every wire is color coded to factory specs. Been on the car for 14 years. Never had a problem with it. Made two coast to coast trips with the car as well as lots of other shorter trips with zero problems from the harness.

In reality, there is more than one harness. There is the main harness plus smaller harnesses for certain items, like power windows, power seats
yummy wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:51 pm
Who sells the best electrical wiring harness? I’m assuming they’re not all created equal.
1956 Fiesta Red 312
1954 Ford Victoria 312
1948 Ford Convertible Street Rod 302

T-Bird Bob
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by T-Bird Bob »

Hello Yummy,
I hope I am not to late to suggest a compromise solution to your 6V - 12V problem.
Since starting is no issue for you, why don't you just switch to 6V NEGATIVE ground?
The advantage of that is that you can use ALL the vehicles electrics as they are right now and just use a 6..12V step up converter for you radio and a charging port for your phone (maybe even the original cigarette lighter). Now the vehicles Ground is still ground and you don't have to go through the trouble of isolating all 12Velectronics from the car's body.

I think I would o that if I would want to use 12V stuff (but I don't care).

Here is how it is done:
The only thing that needs reversing are your battery (of course), your voltage regulator (re-polarizing) and your clock.
1) start with the clock. Remove it from the car and install it back once you are done with the other steps.
In the "Early Bird" Magazine was an article about repairing the clock, but is shows how to switch to negative ground:
Just move the small prong that is riveted to the housing from the + bolt to the - bolt.
(See first picture on the left - I added plus and minus and the arrow)
ClockTBird.jpg
2) Now swap over battery cables - if they are too short, you might to experiment with new once. However, don't use 12V cable from the generic auto parts store, they don't have the required gauge for the current a 6V system needs when starting.
Don't start the car or switch ignition on.

3) Now re-polarize the voltage regulator
aa_gen.jpg
Use the left side description for Ford/Mercury cars.

4) put your clock back in.

Now everything should work and starter and engine will NOT turn backwards!

However, here is a caveat! I never did this to my car, so the experiment is on you to find out.
I just know that the car will still run, because an idiot at the dealer I bought mine didn't know about positive ground and charged the battery off-car and put it back in the wrong way. So i started it and it ran ok. However since he didn't re-polarized the voltage regulator it fried and it also fried the clock.
I did replace the voltage regulator, but found out later that I can just re-polarize its and it runs now nicely in my car.

I f you try that please let us know if it worked for you!

Have fun!

Bob

yummy
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Re: Millennial bought a classic (55)

Post by yummy »

Thanks Bob!

I ended up holding off on the 12v conversion (removing the Holley 12v carb) and returning to things to stock 6v system. Cleaned up some old leaks, replaced some gaskets and rebuilt the original carb that was in really bad shape in the trunk. The previous owner gave up trying to fix it... but after some sandblasting magic, it functions like new.
rebuilt carburetor.jpg
I do have a quick question about the choke, I've seen others with a spring next to the bolt position. This one doesn't have it, do I need it. Any other tips to help along the way?

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