Dash board light question...and wheel.

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JamesR
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 7:47 pm

Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by JamesR » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:56 am

Hi. A couple of questions.

None of my dashboard lights work. Haven't investigated beyond checking fuses, which all look okay to my eye. My door and c pillar interior courtesy lights all work. The only lights in the dash and console that are working are the high beam headlight indicator (red) and the fasten seat belt warning light. Nothing else. Where would be the logical place to start to find the issue?

ALSO: wanting to get an extra wheel so that I can have a spare tire with me. I have a '65 T Bird, and I've heard that the front disc brakes require a wheel that has the right clearance. Everything on eBay overpriced of course, but is this the correct wheel? (My car has 15"on it now) :

https://www.ebay.com/itm/STEEL-CASE-RIM ... %7Ciid%3A1

And is there anywhere I can find one at a more reasonable price: Thanks, Jim

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Sierra John
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Location: Sierra Madre, Calif.

Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by Sierra John » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:34 pm

Have you tried rotating the headlight switch? Maybe it's turned all the way to the off position. Headlight switch could be bad or a wire could be loose.
1966 Town Hardtop

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Alan H. Tast
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Location: Omaha, NE

1965-1967 T-bird Rim - Dimensions and Photos

Post by Alan H. Tast » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:07 pm

JamesR wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:56 am
ALSO: wanting to get an extra wheel so that I can have a spare tire with me. I have a '65 T Bird, and I've heard that the front disc brakes require a wheel that has the right clearance. Everything on eBay overpriced of course, but is this the correct wheel? (My car has 15"on it now) :

https://www.ebay.com/itm/STEEL-CASE-RIM ... %7Ciid%3A1

And is there anywhere I can find one at a more reasonable price: Thanks, Jim
It's the correct wheel. If you're trying to find a rim at a 'more reasonable price' you'll need to keep searching and ask around - sometimes you may find someone parting out a '65-'67 that has them or has a few lying around. The wheel was unique for '65-'67 T-birds and full-size cars with the 4-piston Kelsey-Hayes disc brake calipers in that the rims require a deep offset to clear them.

I've copied pics from the ad and placed them at the end of this message. Interesting to see that there is a date code stamped in the back face of the center 'spyder' of 7 66 for July 1966, which would indicate that this rim probably came off a very early '67 production car. Also note that this is one of the Canadian-made rims.

For reference, here's the dimensions given in the ebay ad:
Reconditioned Ford Thunderbird 15 X 5.5 inch Kelsey Hayes steel case factory original rim. Removed from 1965 thru 1967 Thunderbird. Believed to be correct for 1965 thru 1968 Thunderbird, Galaxie and Mercury with large Kelsey Hayes disc brakes though you should confirm first. Have been blasted and painted, in like new condition though may have light dings or dents on the edges.

15X5-1/2 RIM. 5 LUG WITH A BOLT PATTERN OF 4.5" (4.5x5) OR 114.3mm

ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS (in inches);
16-3/8 TALL
15 TIRE SIZE
6-1/2 WIDE (Overall)
5-1/2 WIDE (BEAD TO BEAD)
4-1/16 BACK SPACING
2-3/16 FRONT SPACING
12-3/4 DISC/DRUM CLEARANCE
2-3/8 CENTER HUB
Attachments
View of front/side of rim
View of front/side of rim
Pic of rim width at bead - 5-1/2-inches
Pic of rim width at bead - 5-1/2-inches
Pic of rim diameter inside bead - 15-inches
Pic of rim diameter inside bead - 15-inches
View of back/side of rim
View of back/side of rim
Inboard view of rim
Inboard view of rim
Wheel stamped with size / type - note rim was made in Canada
Wheel stamped with size / type - note rim was made in Canada
Date coded 7 66 for July 1966
Date coded 7 66 for July 1966
View of front/side of rim
View of front/side of rim
Outboard view of rim
Outboard view of rim
s-l64.jpg (2.1 KiB) Viewed 342 times
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

Terry64HT
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by Terry64HT » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:11 pm

If rotating the switch knob, as suggested by Sierra John, doesn't help, it's likely that the rheostat in the headlight switch is broken. It's a copper wire coil that frequently burns through. I have never heard of one being successfully repaired, but it might be possible.
Beware, all the replacement switches offered now are inferior to the originals. These cars have something like 18 interior lights and the rheostats in the replacement ones are just not up to the task.
You can tap off the front parking lights to power a relay, if you can find no other solution.
Hope this helps
Terry
64HT

Rt.146
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by Rt.146 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:56 am

If buy a new, headlight switch stay away from the $20.00 ones at the Auto stores, the rod that goes into the switch, is long, it will not close fully, I don't know if the rod can be cut, I bought a switch for $50. or so dollars, the rod fits flush like it was designed to do when closed.

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paulr
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by paulr » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:52 pm

Rt.146 wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:56 am
If buy a new, headlight switch stay away from the $20.00 ones at the Auto stores, the rod that goes into the switch, is long, it will not close fully, I don't know if the rod can be cut, I bought a switch for $50. or so dollars, the rod fits flush like it was designed to do when closed.
Ditto this advice. Many found out the hard way those switches will not allow the rod to seat properly. Do not cut the rod. Look at the end of yours and take note. Without the designed end the rod is useless.
Paul
VTCI 12014
Registry 45122
'64 Landau HT
"Beer, now there's a temporary solution!" ~Homer Simpson

JamesR
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by JamesR » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:39 pm

Thanks for all the responses. I agree on the low quality new part problem. My theory is that there isn't enough of a market for old car restoration/repair parts to gain an economies of scale that would result in lower prices, but there is enough of a market to derive a profit from, so parts vendors have replacement parts made cheaply overseas to keep prices down...and to keep customers what I call "price happy." (It's a happiness that often doesn't last very long. I'd rather pay twice the amount for a good quality part.)

Televisions and cell phones can be made overseas and be of good quality, but that's a much larger market that has much more at stake in terms of reputation, so the economies of scale can keep prices down without a terrible downside to quality. That's my theory anyway.

I thought the "old parts are of better quality than new parts" idea was kind of a myth until I rewired my '54 Ranch Wagon last year. I had to solder and repair my turn signal switch pretty much right out of the box as a new part. Even then, I had to install it with just the right amount tension on the mounting screws or it would act up again (due to flex in the cheap materials.) I tightened up some screws snugly, and others I tightened to the "acceptable" tension, and kept them at that tension with Loc-Tite. The turn signals still work as they should, but what a hassle. Had issues with other new parts, too.

By contrast, the wiring and components I bought new from Ron Francis for the rewire were of good quality because their reputation as a company is more directly associated with the product. And even though I bought their least expensive rewire kit, it still wasn't what you'd call inexpensive. The non-original headlight switch I bought from them had to be finagled a bit to maintain an appropriate original appearance, but the function (and customer support) was very good.

Anyway, I turned the headlight knob on the T-Birdand still no dash lights. I'll get under there - hopefully today - and see if I can find a loose wire. We'll take it from there.

JamesR
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 7:47 pm

Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by JamesR » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:51 pm

Thanks a TON for the wheel information, Alan. That was a great education with useful knowledge. Fortunately, I was able to find a used wheel on eBay for about half the price of the one I listed. Unfortunately, by doing that I missed out on some wheels at an even lower price from cacockrum, a member at this site (in the parts for sale forum at the bottom of the VTCI forum page.) I found some other great parts that I really needed from him, though. Before you buy any flairbird parts, I highly recommend you check out his listing on that forum. Over 500 T-Bird parts, and I believe he has photos of every one of them, so you know exactly what condition they are.

https://www.vintagethunderbirdclub.net/ ... =5&t=17569

Okay, additional questions about wheels: I see from a previous post that 215 /75 R15 radial tires are what fit on those standard T-Bird wheels. Is that correct? I ask because that's apparently what the previous owner put on my car...BUT, every time I make a sharp turn, the INNER SIDE WALL of the front tire(s) rub against the inner fender well. Anyone else have that problem?

I saw when I was looking for an extra wheel that there are "wheel spacers" available that appear to put the wheel/tire out an additional inch or two from the car, depending on the spacer you use. Would THAT keep the tires from hitting the fender well in sharp turns? If so, what thickness of spacer? It looks like there is a few inches clearance between the OUTER SIDE WALL and the fender tire opening, so hopefully a narrower spacer wouldn't create a clearance issue there.

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sseebart
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by sseebart » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:57 pm

JamesR wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:51 pm
Okay, additional questions about wheels: I see from a previous post that 215 /75 R15 radial tires are what fit on those standard T-Bird wheels. Is that correct? I ask because that's apparently what the previous owner put on my car...BUT, every time I make a sharp turn, the INNER SIDE WALL of the front tire(s) rub against the inner fender well. Anyone else have that problem?
I run this size wheel/tire and even with a coil cut from the front springs, I don't have any interference issues*. I'd check first to make sure that the inner fender is seated properly (though not sure how that could even happen), then check the wear points on the front suspension.

~Steve

*Note that I have a 64 with drums, so offsets may be different than your 65.

JamesR
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by JamesR » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:19 pm

I had the power steering gearbox and pump replaced recently, and the guy - who I know - couldn't find other suspension or steering issues, though he looked. It's only on the driver side, as far as I can tell, so it's possible if there had been damage on that side the fender well wasn't replaced correctly. I ordered some spacers, so I'll inspect things a little closer when I take the tire off for the spacer.

The car rides tracks straight and handles smoothly at highway speeds.

JamesR
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Re: Dash board light question...and wheel.

Post by JamesR » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:05 am

sseebart wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:57 pm

*Note that I have a 64 with drums, so offsets may be different than your 65.
I also noticed from your website that your car (very beautiful, by the way) has those nice after market mag wheels which typically tend to offset tires more outboard compared to stock wheels.

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