More troubleshooting convertible top

This area is for posting questions/information concerning 1964-66 year Thunderbirds NO FOR SALE POSTINGS

Moderator: redstangbob

Post Reply
Phobos
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:45 am
Location: Sweden

More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Phobos »

Hi all!
I have been looking for this topic on the forums, cant seem to find any.

I got the car a year ago.
From time to time, the top down/top up stops responding- never if i complete the cycle, but if i, for exempel, open the trunk, stop and resume the cycle, it dies almost every time.
If i wait a few minutes it responds again.

I was thinking it could be related to auto-resetting circuit breakers, i ordered new ones from T-bird nest (the 60a and two 15amp). It happened yesterday- i had my voltmeter with me, so i measured on the 60Amp breaker in front of the battery. It was all good.

The top control safety relay looks brand new.

Now im thinking about the 10amp auto resetting breaker in the fusepanel: top control”. Is there Anywhere you can replace those? Or do i just replace it with a pair of cables and a regular fuseholder?
From Sweden.
redthundervert64
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by redthundervert64 »

Hi Phobos - I had almost the exact same problem with my convertible top operation. As a test I removed the top control safety relay plug and installed a jumper in it to bypass the relay coil (after cleaning the plug connections and using pliers to compress them to ensure a tight fit) and the problem was solved. Be aware that the jumper will allow the top to be operated whether or not the ignition is on and also when the car is in any gear.

I'd suggest trying this first before modifying or changing breakers. Good luck!

Bob
User avatar
Alan H. Tast
Posts: 3323
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Alan H. Tast »

Pictures of location the relay and jumper would be helpful. Please post if you have any. Thanks.

For the record, I'm having a similar problem with my '63 Roadster. I have a quick-disconnect knob at my negative/ground terminal at the battery. I found if I shut the car down and turn off the ignition, disconnected the battery and then reconnected it, the top would again start to work. I haven't figured this one out, and quite frankly right now my entire top's 'dead' again at the top operation switch. My top's staying up for the rest of the summer, anyway.
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
Phobos
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:45 am
Location: Sweden

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Phobos »

redthundervert64 wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:17 pm Hi Phobos - I had almost the exact same problem with my convertible top operation. As a test I removed the top control safety relay plug and installed a jumper in it to bypass the relay coil (after cleaning the plug connections and using pliers to compress them to ensure a tight fit) and the problem was solved. Be aware that the jumper will allow the top to be operated whether or not the ignition is on and also when the car is in any gear.

I'd suggest trying this first before modifying or changing breakers. Good luck!

Bob
Thnx! The relay (looks brand new, propably replaced by the previous owner, might be due to the problem with the top?) gets quite hot, ill try that first then.
How do you make a jumper?
From Sweden.
Phobos
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:45 am
Location: Sweden

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Phobos »

Alan H. Tast wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:11 pm Pictures of location the relay and jumper would be helpful. Please post if you have any. Thanks.

For the record, I'm having a similar problem with my '63 Roadster. I have a quick-disconnect knob at my negative/ground terminal at the battery. I found if I shut the car down and turn off the ignition, disconnected the battery and then reconnected it, the top would again start to work. I haven't figured this one out, and quite frankly right now my entire top's 'dead' again at the top operation switch. My top's staying up for the rest of the summer, anyway.
Havent got any pics (not at home at the moment), but the Top control relay on a 65 is located in the engine compartment, central on the firewall.
From Sweden.
Phobos
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:45 am
Location: Sweden

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Phobos »

Picture
Picture
Ha have a pic in my phone from the shop manual.
From Sweden.
redthundervert64
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by redthundervert64 »

Here is a picture of my old convertible top safety relay and plug.
IMG_0409.JPG
On my '64 the relay is located on the firewall directly under the passenger side cowl drain behind the the cowl drain tube. The old relay and plug had become so corroded in this location that I cut off the plug so that I could pull the wiring through the firewall into the area below the passenger-side dash so that I could install a new relay and plug pigtail inside the car. I don't know about the location on a '65, but just make doubly sure that you're looking at the correct relay. My power window relay is located closer to the middle of the firewall and the previous owner had mistaken it for the convertible top relay, removed it and installed a new top relay in it's place and messed up the wiring (and of course then nothing worked)!

Here's a picture of the relay plug with a jumper in the correct terminals. Try to get the plug terminals as clean as you can, and as I mentioned before, use pliers to compress the terminals to ensure a tight fit.
IMG_0411.JPG
Good luck - Bob
Phobos
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:45 am
Location: Sweden

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Phobos »

redthundervert64 wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:48 pm Here is a picture of my old convertible top safety relay and plug.

IMG_0409.JPG

On my '64 the relay is located on the firewall directly under the passenger side cowl drain behind the the cowl drain tube. The old relay and plug had become so corroded in this location that I cut off the plug so that I could pull the wiring through the firewall into the area below the passenger-side dash so that I could install a new relay and plug pigtail inside the car. I don't know about the location on a '65, but just make doubly sure that you're looking at the correct relay. My power window relay is located closer to the middle of the firewall and the previous owner had mistaken it for the convertible top relay, removed it and installed a new top relay in it's place and messed up the wiring (and of course then nothing worked)!

Here's a picture of the relay plug with a jumper in the correct terminals. Try to get the plug terminals as clean as you can, and as I mentioned before, use pliers to compress the terminals to ensure a tight fit.

IMG_0411.JPG

Good luck - Bob
Great! Thnx!
From Sweden.
Phobos
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:45 am
Location: Sweden

Re: More troubleshooting convertible top

Post by Phobos »

Jumper cable worked great, btw. :)
Thnx again.
From Sweden.
Post Reply