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1969 Ford Thunderbird complete overhaul

Discussion in '1967 - 1988 Ford Thunderbird' started by OneAmongOthers, May 15, 2018.

  1. Soo for the past couple weeks I have been gathering parts and assembling everything and it's finally the point I am going to be completely be overhauling the entire suspension, brakes and exhaust. So far everything is off and going out to be cleaned and painted before reassembly.

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    DEVIL DOG 62 likes this.
  2. so if anyone has questions on how anything goes feel free to ask and I'll try to answer
  3. Okay got some work done! New suspension on the driver side is almost all on! Just have to reconnect the strut tension rod, sway bar and tie rods. Brakes still need to go on as well.
    tbird likes this.
  4. tbird

    tbird Forum Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Donor

  5. Very nice. I have rebuilt my 429 and had a ex coworker who use to be a transmission rebuilder for 14 years before coming to the power plant. I have notice going over bumps and rough roads I have this rattling noise in my front end. Whatever it is does not effect alignment or steering just annoying hearing it. Where did you get your parts from? Appreciate any info. Thanks.
  6. Most of the parts came from Rock Auto. I got the rotors from O'reillys autoparts as they were pretty much not available anywhere else. I also picked up a few parts from Mac's auto parts and some from Napa. More pictures!
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  7. Finished up on the front after completely rebuilding the suspension, brakes and some new exhaust manifolds. Broke off a bolt on the head however. One of the bolts was stubborn and didn't come out. I got new brake lines from classic tube. they were about 80% correct. Some of them were not the right bends or just too long.
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  8. Started now working on the rear by taking everything off and I am going to sand and paint all the rough spots. Good parts is no real rot under the car. Just mainly surface. Fuel tank was hit apparently then repatched, but to hell with that! Rock auto still had a replacement fuel tank so I ordered it. Axle is being taken out to be sandblasted, and then I am going to apply POR 15 when I get it back. Also going to replace the gasket on the carrier cover as its leaking. Will probably also do the outer axle seals, bearing and such as well. Oh and also completely redo the rear brakes.
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  9. There was some rot on the frame where it loops over the axle. I cut it back all the way to clean metal, grinded off the rust and then got some flat stock about 12g steel plates and welded in to re-support it. Not the best welder, but I think I did a decent enough job. Just need to do a little more grinding on the welds to make them smooth before repainting it all. I picked up some Eastwood Rust converter, their internal frame coating, a enamel outer coating and some undercoating to go on over top. Also the fuel filler neck is damaged as some of it has corroded leaving holes. Fortunately there is a radiator repair service in my area and they said they can fix it all up good as new so off it goes to them. Afterwards its back together then off to an exhaust specialist for custom new stainless steel exhaust and some nice Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers. Then finally new wheels, tire and alignment.
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  10. Putting a lot of work into it but well worth it. Especially when you get it all done you are cruising and people are giving you the thumbs up. As for the welding looks good enough for what we do for a living( as we use to say at the power plant).
  11. Just got my axle back after sand blasting! So what do I put on it now? I still need to pull it apart and replace some seals, but what to paint it with?
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  12. jazbo

    jazbo Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Good question. POR15 may be too good, in other words it may too thick and permanently seal in your drain plugs and fasteners. I's start with a primer right away and then take your time to decide the paint.

    Are you planning to do any interior work? I need to reupholster my white vinyl front bench and in the front for sure and probably the back to it matches. Then the door panels need to match too.

    Thanks for all the pics. You're doing an awesome job!
  13. The one reason I got this car was because the interior was in great shape. Only a tear in the drivers side of the bench seat and a very slight split in the dash. Everything else is in great shape.
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  14. Interior look great. As far as your rear end I would think some type of coating or paint that resist rust and corrosion.
  15. Update! Axle is completely torn down and the outer seals have been removed. Was a PITA getting that third member out of the housing. The old copper washers were all crushed and holding it on. So I took a flat bladed screwdriver and tapped around the outer housing and after awhile got it to pop off (a little pry bay effort was also required as well). Just got done cleaning all the gunk and crap out of the inside of the housing. Oh and I also stopped by my local Eastwood supplier and picked up some POR15 and rust paint. The rust paint for under the car and the POR15 for the axle! She's gonna look good when all painted up!
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  16. What grit sand paper should I use for getting the rest of the old gasket off?
  17. Welp just got done the application of POR15 on my axle. Came out pretty good in the end I would say. Quite a lot of work to get it done. Tomorrow I am going to finish up under the car cleaning/sanding and painting everything else. Oh I managed to snag a brand new panhard bar as well! Adjustable and made from 4130 chrome moly steel and it has polyurethane bushings with grease fittings! I already checked and it fits perfectly! The place I also got it from offers both upper and lower control arms as well in the same adjustable setup! However these were meant for the Ford Galaxie so not sure if the control arms would work given the Galaxie was not as heavy. 3600-3800lbs vs the 4300-4500 for the Thunderbird. They are the exact same mounting/bolt locations and hardware. The only difference is the actual car itself.

    EDIT: 1969 Ford Galaxie with the 429 had a base curb weight of 4200 so with that in mind they are pretty much the same if you will. I am going to order the upper and lower arms and see for myself.

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  18. They came out great. What is the name of the company you got the parts from. There was a guy on another forum that was asking where he could get a new tracking bar. Your under carriage is going to look awesome.

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