1966 Thunderbird Restoration

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Auto Anatomy
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Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:40 pm

Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Auto Anatomy »

My pushrods were obviously bent!
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As for the rockers, they're torqued to 40-45 ft-lbs and then self adjusting. You can buy different length pushrods if needed, but you shouldn't have to.

Sean

JamesR
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by JamesR »

If you're careful, you can bend those pushrods back into shape as a temporary fix if you address the underlying issue that caused the problem in the first place. In the case of the Y-block in my '54, that issue was the build up of carbon deposits that kept the valves from functioning correctly. Believe it or not, Sea Foam through the fuel system got rid of the deposits so the push rods wouldn't bend. That was 15 years ago and no problem since.

Rt.146
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Rt.146 »

My 390 was still running rough after some extensive ignition and carburetor work. I have had the starter rebuilt and new cables to go on, I'm going to take of the valve covers and rocker arms and tap my valves like in your video, that seems an interesting mechanic trick that cannot cost too much, I will then try to restart it. The self adjusting valves, to tap the valves brings with them a sense of relief, compared to some of the other contortions, needed in fixing my car, I have experienced so far.

Rt.146
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Rt.146 »

I had asked a question about bent push rods, and received some helpful answers. Though the intent of my question was not the obvious for a bent rod, but the smallest allowable from center it can be, if any at all. Then once again, being able to see the forest and the trees, the cost of new rods not so expensive considering what we are in to; or if lucky a friendly machine shop that can measure the push rods. Make for the open road.

Rt.146
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Rt.146 »

Reading some information on these post, I changed my push rods all 16, the self adj, valves sold me on it. I was painting my valve covers at the time, so why not!
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JamesR
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by JamesR »

Rt.146 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:16 pm
I had asked a question about bent push rods, and received some helpful answers. Though the intent of my question was not the obvious for a bent rod, but the smallest allowable from center it can be, if any at all. Then once again, being able to see the forest and the trees, the cost of new rods not so expensive considering what we are in to; or if lucky a friendly machine shop that can measure the push rods. Make for the open road.
I'll say this: you certainly don't want to put new push rods in until you're sure they aren't going to bend like your current rods have. The rods on my Y-block could be bent back in shape pretty easily, but they weren't perfect. I just made sure the valve lash was as it should be. Maybe not a problem with hydraulic lifters, but I don't know.

Several of the rods in my car bent..a couple more than once, so you'd probably want to drive it with the current straightened rods until it goes a few hundred miles without problems. Maybe more. That approach worked for me, anyway.

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

Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by jtschug »

Often old gas leaves a sticky residue on the valve stems, then when the car sits and the engine cools down it glues the valves into the guides. The next time the engine is started, the valve doesn't want to move and the push rods bend.

Rt.146
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration/push rods, rattle cans

Post by Rt.146 »

My push rods were "seemingly" straight; seemingly is why I changed them out. For two bucks apiece, why not!

A couple of before and after pics. of rattle can paint dressing, rims, the rims remind me of shoes needing polish.
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Auto Anatomy
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Auto Anatomy »

OK guys...having some issues and hope you can help.

Since getting the car back together, I’ve been having some real issues with the carb. It was initially running really well and idled great, then seemed to work well at part to full throttle but wouldn’t idle. Now, it won’t idle at all and is running pig rich. I’ve gone through the carb multiple times and everything seems to be perfect.

- The power valve has no leaks and is not blown
- Float level is perfect, per the manual
- There are no vacuum leaks, tested by spraying carb cleaner around the base
- All vacuum hoses are brand new and no detectable leaks
- I put a Holley on there to test, and it seemed to idle well for a bit. But want to keep the 4100 (if possible)

The timing seems correct, about 8-10 degrees BTDC with the vacuum disconnected.

I’m running out of thoughts....help!

Sean

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sseebart
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by sseebart »

In your shoes, I'd start with the timing. Put the Holley back on so you can get to to idle again, then set the timing using a vacuum gauge. With modern gas (and perhaps a slipped harmonic balancer), it's pretty rare to see a 390 at peak tune using the factory timing specs.

With the 4100 back on, I'd do a more thorough check for vacuum leaks. Unplug and cap all the vacuum lines and check for leaks everywhere in the carb body, especially the throttle rods and bushings (that hold the butterflies). It's also worth checking that the needle valves and floats are set properly and in good working order.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

~Steve

Auto Anatomy
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Auto Anatomy »

Got the carb issue hopefully figured out.

The cover plate for the power valve was slightly warped, allowing for a vacuum leak. I filed it flat and it works perfectly!

Thanks everyone for the help, and a new video should be coming this weekend!

Sean

Auto Anatomy
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Auto Anatomy »

Got some more work done on the '66, and it seems like as soon as I get one thing fixed another breaks. Guess that's life with a barn find car.

Anyway, thanks for looking!

Sean

https://youtu.be/rYHmwUAcbWg

Rt.146
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Rt.146 »

Auto Anatomy wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:19 am
it seems like as soon as I get one thing fixed another breaks.

Anyway, thanks for looking!

Sean

https://youtu.be/rYHmwUAcbWg
Ain't it the truth..

Auto Anatomy
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Auto Anatomy »

Got the tank out, and it looks pretty beat up. Was probably leaking at one point and got patched. Not to mention the amount of rust!

Think we’ll just replace it to be sure.


Sean
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Auto Anatomy
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Re: 1966 Thunderbird Restoration

Post by Auto Anatomy »

Wrapped up the cooling system on the ‘bird, and took it for the first drive in 32 years.

Definitely uncovered a few things not working that need to be fixed.
1st - the HVAC system on this car is a pain to work on. All the rubber vacuum lines and brittle plastic tees.
2nd - the suspension desperately needs going through. I’m pretty sure every component is shot.

Regardless, it was fun to take it for a short spin. Thanks for watching.

Sean

https://youtu.be/KWfUUtq5ln8

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