What did you do today on your 1955-1957

1957Bird

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Well, Spring has arrived and my accumulated parts (alum radiator and flex fan) have made their way onto the car. Not that we’ve had any hot weather yet, but temp gauges seem much more consistent and stable. I’d call that a win! Found a great deal on a used Prestige soft top in excellent condition. Installation of that with completely disassembled swing arm assy took some head scratching
But in the end persistence prevailed.
very happy to have that tucked behind the seat. It will make leaving the yard when there’s a chance of an afternoon shower a bit less contemplative:) Oh and she’s going out to hav all new bushings put in the front end. darn! These beauties can be money pits, can’t they. But love it!!
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
I installed new harnesses and
After getting the wiring in on the 1955 yesterday I installed the steering column to discover that the channel for the wires on the turn signal switch is twisted and needs fixed or replaced, When I try to take the steering column off It doesn't want to come out, I hear a metal to metal thud. So far I'm unable to get it to slip out.

Two years into restoration and it seems nothing was a easy fix with no issues,,

Do I love it or hate it.. jury is still out

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OhioTbird

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Mid Ohio race course has an annual Vintage Gran Prix race. (This weekend). They have a classic car parade on Sunday where they do a couple laps around the course during the lunch break. Probably 50 cars in attendance.

I pre signed to participate and when I showed up the guy organizing it all said " I want that car in the front, you're number 1 behind the Pace Car."

How cool! The 57 was easily the oldest car there but also in great shape. It received a lot of attention.

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Returned to MidOhio today to watch the Indy 200 Qualifying. Now that tires are round, was able to get speeds on the way there up to 70 mph.

As soon as I parked, a beautiful 61 pulled in next to me. Talked a bit to a fun couple then watched the races. Every time I checked on the car, the two were surrounded by
admirers.

They sure turn heads.

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doug7740

Active Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Thunderbird Year
1955
I bought a new fuel filter element. I will install it in a couple of weeks. One cannot rush this type of work.
The fuel filter for your Thunderbird is located inside a glass bowl which is in the fuel line directly above your fuel pump on the driver's side of the engine compartment at the front of the engine. To insure that your car's fuel system is working properly, it is important that you periodically change the fuel filter.
When changing your fuel filter you will be working with gasoline. Please use caution!

I purchased my fuel filter from one of the Thunderbird parts suppliers; however it also can be purchased locally through NAPA. Make sure the new fuel filter comes with the rubber gasket for the glass bowl. The rubber gasket slides over the filter element. The filter should have a bit of material protruding past the filter element so the rubber gasket presses against it and holds the filter element in place against the filter housing. Before replacing the fuel filter, make sure that your car is on level ground and the engine is not running. Now find the glass bowl. The glass bowl is held in place by a wire harness with a wing nut at its base. By loosening the wing nut at the base of the glass bowl, you can push the wire harness over to one side and remove the glass bowl from the fuel filter housing. Be careful to catch any gas that may spill. The following tip is not necessary, but I found that it made replacing the fuel filter much easier.

Using a 1/2" and 9/16" wrench, loosen the two brass gas line fittings which connect the fuel filter housing on both sides to the fuel lines. You will only need to loosen the fittings enough to allow you to swing the filter housing upside down so that the fuel filter element will be facing up, directly at you. Once you have rotated the filter housing, remove the fuel filter element. Next, install the new filter element with the paper side towards the fuel filter housing and install the new gasket over the filter element being careful not to fold or kink it. Make sure the gasket fits evenly in the recessed channel of the filter housing. Reinstall the glass bowl and place the wire harness back in its original position around the glass bowl. Tighten up the wing nut so that the glass bowl fits snugly into the fuel filter housing. Make sure your gasket did not shift out of the channel in the filter housing. Turn the filter housing, with the glass bowl attached, back into its original position so that the glass bowl is underneath the filter housing. Now retighten the brass gas line fittings on both sides, start the engine and check for leaks.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
 

Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Arggh! Took it for a test drive. misfire minimal. Then flat out died at a stop light. After a few min it started and got me home. Replaced the Chinese condenser I just installed a few moths ago. Fired up fine and not 50 yards from my driveway died again. Explitives uttered. When pushing it into my driveway the slight ramp, a low car, midsized truck caused the bumpers to slip,..... cracked tail light lenses. Double ARRGGHH! Ordered new lenses and a new correct coil thinking it's the last thing I haven't changed in over 35 years. Hope this is my final solution.

I undeleted your post. What did you do to resolve this? Ths may help someone else one day.
Lots of perseverance. Realigned the spring tabs, the main part of the tab was a tight fit but some of the 'fingers' were folded over a little and not biting. Finally sat on the ground, lined up the bottom then put both feet on either side to hold it in place and smacked the top edge with a white rubber hammer.

Yahoo!! Put on the new coil (and unfortunately new lenses and lined the reflectors with aluminum foil , they are BRIGHT)
and it runs great. Took it down to the mustang shop that does my heavy or messy repairs, B.S.d with the owner for a while to let it roast and ran great the whole time back. Now to put some miles on it and check the gas mileage.
Next project is to paint the wheels on the other side of the car. I've ordered 2" whitewall spats to finish the look.
 

Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Just got my Porta-wall white wall inserts on. What a difference. Posting a before & after pics. Don't know what order they will show up.
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Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Looks great.
Would love to see a picture of your hardtop shelf.
You have to understand he has an aftermarket top that is much lighter than an original. He has a thread on here describing his whole experience. Click on his profile and scan through his experience and methods.
 

Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Finally got it road worthy , of course at the end of the driving season. Got restless the other night and headed out to the garage. LED lighting, radio on, heard about aluminum foil for polishing chrome.
Went to work on my interior windshield dog legs. Some surface rust. OMG used some chrome polish where they said plain water or salt water for a lubricant would work. Absolutely spotless. you can feel what needs more work but can't see it. Absolutely amazing. looks like new.
I've got the rag top up to stretch out the wrinkles and treat the surface and now to polish the 'buttons' on the hinge points. Even my though my winter project list seems to be expanding but the WOW factor if even in my own eye will leave it looking like it should.
Lots of elbow grease but the results are well worth the work. Talk about original 'bling' !
 
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OhioTbird

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Went for a 100 mile drive. Perfect weather in Ohio this week.

First stop was the Waco AirMuseum, second stop was a local brewery. Both in Troy, Ohio.

Everything went well except some light rain on the way home. Fun fall drive.
 

Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I've only got a couple of days left of 70s weather before parking it and work on winter projects. Still stretching it's legs and trust to go more than 20 miles. Bringing it out of hibernation after being neglected by life. I've had it over 40 years and served as my back-up driver many times. Now to turn it into a driver that I can trust and show off.
 

Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Pulled the steering wheel to diagnose the turn cancelling mechanism. The wheel to the detent was non existent and has just been scraping for years. Just ordered the whole shebang.
The wheel has some small cracks at the base of the spokes. Any thoughts on epoxy filler and paint? Rustoleum has a high end product in 'Canvas White' that is almost a dead ringer for colonial white.
 

Ward 57

Active Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Pulled the steering wheel to diagnose the turn cancelling mechanism. The wheel to the detent was non existent and has just been scraping for years. Just ordered the whole shebang.
The wheel has some small cracks at the base of the spokes. Any thoughts on epoxy filler and paint? Rustoleum has a high end product in 'Canvas White' that is almost a dead ringer for colonial white.
Never mind. In my bag of tricks I found my liquid glue that cures with UV light. Flows into the cracks and dries hard as a rock when you shine the light on it. It's sandable and paintable. One personally restored steering wheel...
 
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