65 Convertible top help

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jtschug
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:33 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by jtschug »

Is the pump motor running?
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

No luck. Looks like I have to manually raise the lid- looks like it's 4 bolts under the rear of the car. That way I can get to the switches. Do people usually replace the switches or just adjust?
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

I don't know if the pump motor is running, all I hear is the thumping of the unlock mechanism. Is there a way to tell if the pump is running other than by sound?
jtschug
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:33 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by jtschug »

You can try reaching through the back seat and touch the pump feeling for vibration.

The deck closed switch is rebuildable. Send the old one back and get a rebuilt one in return.

The switches are not available new, so if you can fix it, you should.
apines
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:05 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by apines »

Just a thought but since the pump draws way more current than the lock motor maybe you can see when the pump kicks in by movement on the ammeter on the dash (I wouldn't know; my ammeter doesn't work and I haven't gotten around to looking into that yet).

When you say you used a jumper on the deck open relay and you only hear a click, are both wires solidly connected in the relay connector plug and clamped to the bus bar? You need both connections -- one is for the solenoid valve, the other is for the pump. If the connection for the pump is missing or poor the pump won't run. The click you hear might be the solenoid valve by itself without the pump.

The adjustment on the deck closed switch is a bit of a delicate balance. If it's set too low the pump engages before the locks have released and the deck pops up dramatically off the locks and if it's set too high the pump doesn't engage at all and the deck just sits on the locks as they spin, making the thumping sound that you describe. That's why Jason was recommending pulling up on the front passenger side of the deck lid while pressing the top up button, to get the deck closed switch to transition from "deck lid unlock" to "deck lid open".

Image
current:
1955 Ford Thunderbird
1966 Ford Thunderbird Q-code convertible with Highway Pilot
past:
1974 Triumph TR6
1968 Ford Galaxie convertible
1974 VW Super Beetle
1981 Checker Marathon
VTCI membership #12807
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

Thanks. I do have an apparently working ammeter and will take a look.
Yes, I made a jumper and connected well to both the solenoid and pump connections. Made a click (like a solenoid). I have a suspicion it's the switch, since the car sat for a year. Strange that I got the top working repeatedly, then I'm back to the original thumping.
Seems like to test the switch, and the pump, I need the deck lid up.
Can anyone confirm that the 4 bolts under the rear of the car (below the bumper), are the correct ones to remove to manually open the deck lid?
apines
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:05 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by apines »

The jumper bypasses the switch and sends power directly to the solenoid valve and the pump motor. So, if you have it plugged into the deck open relay connector (instead of the relay being plugged into the connector) then as long as you have a connection and the pump is intact it should run. I'm a bit suspicious of the connection in the pigtail, maybe you're not reliably getting power to the pump through the deck open relay connector. Note that the relay connector is after the breakers so if you have 12V at your jumper you should have 12V at the solenoid valve and the pump.

The four bolts under the floor of the trunk at the rear hold the deck lid hydraulic cylinders to the body of the vehicle. Unbolting them will allow the cylinders to dangle so you can lift the deck lid manually. Be aware it's very heavy; be careful when opening it and prop it securely before poking around in the trunk. You really don't want that to fall on you. Since it's already unlocked you don't have to deal with unbolting the deck lid locks, which are held down by bolts up through the wheel wells.
current:
1955 Ford Thunderbird
1966 Ford Thunderbird Q-code convertible with Highway Pilot
past:
1974 Triumph TR6
1968 Ford Galaxie convertible
1974 VW Super Beetle
1981 Checker Marathon
VTCI membership #12807
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

Thanks apines. Funny you should mention that you are suspicious of the pigtail for the deck open relay. That pigtail is a little melted at the "motor" connection, and the melted portion connected to a very brown relay terminal. Cleaning those up got the top working for awhile (I think). I bought replacement pigtails and a relay from birds nest, I guess replacing them won't hurt anything?
Can the damaged pigtail be indicative of another problem?
Last edited by mark1965tbird on Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
apines
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:05 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by apines »

A lot of past horrors can lead to scorched contacts but first and foremost is poor connections. As the connection gets corroded the resistance at the connection goes up which causes it to get hot under load which can cause it to burn up. It’s also possible something somewhere else was shorted at one point (like the motor windings) and the additional current caused the contacts at the relay to burn. You’re doing the right thing by replacing that connector. It’s important that all your connections be clean and tight. The pump draws something like 50A which is very much not nothing.

-Andrew
current:
1955 Ford Thunderbird
1966 Ford Thunderbird Q-code convertible with Highway Pilot
past:
1974 Triumph TR6
1968 Ford Galaxie convertible
1974 VW Super Beetle
1981 Checker Marathon
VTCI membership #12807
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

Thanks Andrew. I'll install the new pigtail, replace the relay and see what happens. I hope some other problem doesn't cause the new parts to burn up. Do you know of a video that shows how to adjust the switches? The shop manual has language and drawings, but they're not great.
redthundervert64
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by redthundervert64 »

Hi. I had a problem jumping power from the bus bar to the pump earlier this year when I was sorting out the problems with my '64 convertible. I had 12v at the bus bar but the pump wouldn't run. I eventually discovered that there were bad connections at the main breaker near the battery and there wasn't enough current to start the pump. Since disconnecting the deck cylinders is a bit of a pain (I had to do this too), you might first try running a long jumper from the positive battery post to the jumper you have connected to the relay plug. It's a good idea to connect a fuse to this jumper (I used a 25A fuse), but if you don't have one you could just try a very quick bump to see if the pump will start. If it does, you'll need to start cleaning contacts/connections on the main power feed from the starter solenoid to the bus bar. Not sure if you've already done it but when you get the trunk open maybe try checking continuity on the appropriate contacts on the deck closed limit switch as you plunge the switch in manually to make sure that it works consistently. Good luck - hope this helps.
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

Thanks, every bit of advice helps.
jtschug
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:33 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by jtschug »

One bit of advice about replacing the relay boots: Buy a heat gun and lots of heat shrink tube and use it when splicing wires. "Electrical" black vinyl tape is not sufficient. Tape has its uses, but providing insulation on wire splices will not last for the decades you want in a good repair. I waffle back and forth about the value of 'tinning' wire splices and soldering them together. That is the way I do it, but many people I respect say crimping without solder is superior. No matter how you choose to join the wires, make sure to shrink wrap them afterward.

Bad wire repairs at best create intermittent problems that are a real pain to diagnose. At worse they can cause a fire. These 50 year old wires are going to need some repairs here and there. It seems to be one of the things I find myself doing a lot. Buy the right tools and materials and do it right and once you fix a problem, it will be gone for good.
mark1965tbird
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by mark1965tbird »

Thanks. I planned to solder, shrink wrap the bare wires, then shrink wrap again over the whole area. I agree, I don't want to redo stuff. I suspect this pigtail may only be part of my problems. Next will likely be the switches, I just don't understand how to adjust them very well (manual is a bit vague).
jtschug
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:33 pm

Re: 65 Convertible top help

Post by jtschug »

The 'Deck Closed' limit switch is mounted with slots, so to adjust it you loosen the screws and then move it up and down.

The 'Top Up' and 'Top down' have a double nutted plunger. So to adjust first you loosen the lock nut, then turn the threaded plunger clockwise or counterclockwise depending on how you need to adjust it. Once you've got it where you want it, hold the plunger with a big wrench while tightening the lock nut with a smaller wrench

'Deck Open' has two limit switches behind the deck cylinders. They pivot to adjust, so loosen the pivot screw, then the slot screw and pivot back and forth. One switch is for 'top up' direction, the other is for 'top down' You'll want them both adjusted the same, but if you find it works one way, but not the other, adjust the correct switch.

The "upper back panel limit switch" is a monster all its own. I can't describe the adjustment procedure better than this:
http://www.certifiedrebuilders.com/id30.htm
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