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1958 thunderbird wanders

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by evensteven, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. I have been told that I should have not put radial tires on this car. It tends to wander at about 55 mph. Will a heavier stabilizer bar correct this?
     
  2. It's my opinion that radials are an inherently better design for handling, stopping, managing road imperfections vs bias ply tires. Your wandering issue is likely unrelated to type of tires on your car. Stabilizer bars help with turning not with going straight. Unfortunately diagnosing your specific problem is impossible without examining the car's steering gear, suspension, tires, rims, wheel bearings, etc. I'd suggest looking on youtube for any videos mentioning wandering or loose steering. You probably won't find anything specific to your car but there's a lot of information on how to diagnose steering issues or bring the car in to a reliable mechanic.
     
  3. The car has new roadster wheels with new tires from Diamond Tire, I put new wheel bearings in when restoring the car. The car steers very well under 50mph and corners very well also. Maybe it is just the way they were designed, we are all used to rack and pinion these days.
     
  4. I would expect greater stability at higher speeds all things being equal of course. Questions you might ask yourself does the car drift (wander) only to one side or another; is it effected by the crown of the road, i.e. does it drift downhill; does she react unexpectantly to cross winds; what specs were used when aligning the front end, was this a four wheel alignment or two? I'll assume you've already verified equal tire pressures. Any unusual wear on one or more tires? Is there a large temperature differential between tires, left vs right, not front to back (verified with infrared thermometer).

    Also here's an article you might find useful... http://fordthunderbirdforum.com.net/Tech Articles/tires.htm
     
  5. It said this site can no longer be reached.
     
  6. Wierd the address changed after I posted...


    Let's see what happens this time...

    Ahhh all links are automatically changed to this address.

    Try manually switching fordthunderbird.... to "vintagethunderbirdclubDOTnet"
     
  7. Thanks, Guy, another question is the Steering wheel, I have filled the cracks with eastwoods epoxy twice, spent probably 30 hours sanding, paint with enamel. Cracks come right back out after 2 weeks. Is the only other option to just buy a new wheel?
     
  8. First start a new thread so anyone can see your question...

    I know I've found articles on this issue...currently ignoring mine. That said I'll try finding some information and get back to you. Probably later this week.
     
  9. If your interested in another site's information on steering wheel repair try wwwDOTtbirdranchDOTcom. Left column "Steering wheel trim 64-66". Great article and he used to repair steering wheels for customers, don't know if he still does that kind of work.
     
  10. Don't know if you've had it worked on or not but I would suspect you have an alignment problem. Possibly worn control arm bushings? My neighbor had an issue where his car wandered a lot after he had installed rack & pinion on his 1960 Corvette. The alignment specs that came with the installation kit were wrong by one decimal point on caster adjustment. His car wandered all over the place. I advised him to take it back to original specs because I felt that changing to rack and pinion should not have any affect on caster or camber. The angle for caster was too much by almost 3 degrees. He had it re-aligned and it drove perfectly at the original settings.
     

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