In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

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fordrodsteven
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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by fordrodsteven » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:31 pm

RMF64 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:50 pm
So I just checked my facts on my wiring and its exactly the opposite to what I said. Negative goes to the starter solenoid, positive goes to the engine block, so Positive earth.

Now i'm wondering if this is intentional or if the guy who imported it just fitted the battery round the wrong way when he got it (I presume they make them empty the fluids and remove the batteries just in case anything happens during shipping?)

Can I just swap the battery round the other way?

Also, does the steering wheel come off the top shaft or do I take the whole steering column out in one go to work on it? Have read the threads about 57s that appear to be able to have steering wheels removed, does this apply to 55s?

Thanks for any help
Rob
I'm guessing the battery hook up is in error. If it's 12V it is supposed to be negative earth. SO yes you should be able to switch the cables at the battery and be set there. I hope nothing else electrical was damaged when the battery was hooked up backwards.
What exactly are you trying to do to the steering column? Sometimes it's easier to take out the whole column and sometimes it's better to just remove what needs removed and work on it whilst still in the car. Yes the steering wheel is removable without pulling out the whole column. The '55 had a steering column that was retractable. There is a collar that can be turned to lock / unlock the column. Then the wheel can be moved forward and back to a comfortable position. Then you turn the collar to lock it in position. The collar is item number 3526 in the diagram.
pg 70 - 1955 steering column & gear.jpg
Steve - 1955 Thunderbird

RMF64
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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by RMF64 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:19 am

On the battery side of things, do I need to swap wires over on the coil and re-polarise the generator before swapping the battery around?

With the steering, I appear to have the issue where the steering adjuster collar has separated from the upper steering hub (the push fit joint) so my steering whell moves in and out even when the collar is locked off. I wanted to take the top end off to do the roll pin modification to rejoin the two parts and stop this excess movement. Have taken the horn ring off, undone the nut holding the wheel on, disconnected the indicator wiring under the dash, and sort of expected the steering wheel to just pull off a splined top end of the steering shaft. Wont budge. Have put a bearing puller on it but no success and didn't want to pull too hard without knowing that this was the right thing to do. I have the diagram you included in the full 1955 workshop manual, but it isn't clear enough to be able to see exactly how this all goes together/comes apart. Manual suggest taking the whole steering column out, but with that out, I would still want to componentise the upper column to be able to do the repair

Thanks for any further advise!

Rob

fordrodsteven
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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by fordrodsteven » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:50 pm

RMF64 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:19 am
On the battery side of things, do I need to swap wires over on the coil and re-polarise the generator before swapping the battery around?

With the steering, I appear to have the issue where the steering adjuster collar has separated from the upper steering hub (the push fit joint) so my steering whell moves in and out even when the collar is locked off. I wanted to take the top end off to do the roll pin modification to rejoin the two parts and stop this excess movement. Have taken the horn ring off, undone the nut holding the wheel on, disconnected the indicator wiring under the dash, and sort of expected the steering wheel to just pull off a splined top end of the steering shaft. Wont budge. Have put a bearing puller on it but no success and didn't want to pull too hard without knowing that this was the right thing to do. I have the diagram you included in the full 1955 workshop manual, but it isn't clear enough to be able to see exactly how this all goes together/comes apart. Manual suggest taking the whole steering column out, but with that out, I would still want to componentise the upper column to be able to do the repair

Thanks for any further advise!

Rob
It's been many, many years since I've messed with a generator. Yes, you will have to change the polarity on the coil and re-polarize the generator. There is a very good write up at the CTCI site. Gil's garage is the tab and there's a section there on what is required to change to 12V from 6V.
It has been a long time since I've worked on the steering column but I remember having it apart in the car to work on the directional. It sounds like maybe someone was in there prior and didn't put it back together properly. Hopefully someone who has been into a column more recently can shed some light on this issue.
Steve - 1955 Thunderbird

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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by Joe Johnston » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:23 pm

You are on the right track with removing the steering wheel. The steering wheel will not just slip on and off, it needs a "puller". I just use a piece of 1/2" thick steel with 2 holes drilled in it to match the threaded holes in the hub of the steering wheel. Insert and tighten two bolts and if the wheel doesn't easily pull off, just rap the center of the piece of steel with a hammer. The shock is sometimes necessary to jolt it loose.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. J F K

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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by 1957Birdman » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:42 pm

Rob,
Please check out the following post regarding steering column restoration:
https://www.ctci.org/gilsgarage/steering.php

It is very important that you get this right. If it is not done properly it may result in complete loss of steering, with catastrophic results.
Be safe,
Lew Bachman
1957 Colonial White

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PaulUK1955
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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by PaulUK1955 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:36 am

Hi Rob, Just seen you have a 55 in the UK. We (my son and I) have a 55 in the south of England. Great cars. You can get all the bits you need easily and fairly cheaply as well from the USA.

The steering wheel does come off easily. You unscrew the centre plastic ford emblem off the front, then remove the chrome horn (couple of screws behind) then undo the big nut and use a puller to get it off. I have learnt that the 55 is the only year that the "big" wheel is the only one that fits, and the smaller wheels wont fit a 55.

Have fun. As you know these are rare cars in the UK. About 11 of the 55s in the UK I believe. where are you in the UK? Might see you at a car meet.

Paul.

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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by RMF64 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:13 am

Hi Paul

Thanks for the message. Sorry the reply has taken so long, life has been getting in the way recently.

I have now got the 55 in the body shop with the body and chassis separated and going into blasting tomorrow..............We'll see what news Monday brings.

I have most of the parts scattered around the house being worked on and my study is now the parts store for all the bits i have had shipped over from the States. Two days ago I put the first four (side lights and headlamp bowls) fully refurbished parts in bubble wrap in a box ready for when the main part of the car comes back and I can start re-assembly. Felt like turning a corner going from strip down and dismantle to box up ready to replace......

I'm in the Midlands, Leamington Spa. I don't think I will be at a show for a couple of months, but my most optimistic view is to make the Old Ford Rally at the British Motor Museum on 21st July. Might have to turn up without any chrome, interior or hood, but its only down the road.......

https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/ev ... ford-rally

One of 11 eh? Never been part of an exclusive club before...

Steering wheel still wont budge, but the column is out and I'm tackling everything from the other end.

CHeers
Rob

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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by PaulUK1955 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:22 am

Hi Rob,

Hope the restoration goes well. Great cars. Best thing is you can get just about all the bits you need.

Actually, seems there are a few more 55's now in the uk, around 25! Getting very common!

https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/f ... anufacture

Would have loved to be at the show, but away. Have fun.

BTW - I have a set of door locks if you need any. I bought them in error as we lost our set of keys, then found them!

Paul.

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Re: In at the deep end - 55 T-bird in the UK

Post by RMF64 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:36 am

Thanks Paul

Good to know where to go if I need locks.........

Mine has just come back from the sand blasters, and as usual is a little worse than I expected, but not too bad at all. A few pinholes in the boot floor I hadn't anticipated.

Will post a few pictures when I work out how to.

Cheers

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