Last post on Jun 26, 2013 at 1:02 PM
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Ford Thunderbird, Classic Cars
#40 of 65 Re: 66 tbird 428 wont fly [wmondy]
Mar 14, 2009 (1:23 pm)
Those T-Birds were electrical nightmares and they had miles of vacuum lines.
One of the dumbest things Ford did in those years was whern they decided that the parking brake should be released when the car was put in gear. That may be where you are hearing that vacuum leak from. These also had troublesome vacuum door locks that never seemed to work well after a few years.
The swingaway steering wheel had it's own quirks along with the sequestial turn signals.
I think I would disconnect the battery cable when you leave the car. Anytoime you smell electrical smoke, it's not a good thing!
#41 of 65 That reminded me...
Mar 15, 2009 (11:14 am)
Many years ago, I managed a huge auto center for Sears in So. Calif.
In those days we did almost everything. We installed rebuilt engines, air conditioning, you name it.
A guy insisted that we install a rebuilt engine in his ratty 1965 T-Bird. This would have been in the late 70's. The car was a POS but for some reason, he was attached to it. I tried to talk him out of wasting his money but he insisted.
After we were done, he wanted us to find out why the car drifted all over the road and why the suspension made creeking sounds.
Of course, in typical T-Bird fashion, the front end was shot. Ball joints, upper shafts, you name it. No problem, he said, fix it!
So, we did the work and we were finishing up the alignment. My guy was setting the "toe" which requires the engine to be running on those cars.
All of a sudden, it went into reverse all by itself! This, of course, released the emergency brake and the T-Bird took off in reverse.
My guy looked up from below the T-Bird in the alignment pit, and the T-Bird was GONE! It was backing up at fast idle into my other shop building!
One of my guys was installing a headliner in a car and he barely got out of the way! The T-Bird hit that car, smashed a new Coats tire machine, and slipped into drive from the impact!
Everybody scattered and it ended up head first, over the side, in our alignment pit! A lot of screaming and a lot of bad words were heard!
It took two tow trucks and a lot of skill to get it out!
Surprisingly, the damage to the T-Bird was minimal compared to what it did to the shop!
It took my upholstery guy an hour to quit shaking!
#42 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [isellhondas]
Mar 16, 2009 (2:00 am)
Yes, the park brake will not hold when the pedal is pressed... I will check the vacuum line... I checked the starter relay with a volt meter and it is fine. How can I check the ignition switch?
No burning smells after the first time...
Oh there was and after market radio hook hooked up that that I disconnected and thee turn signals sometimes stop working, then the next time I drive the car they are fine... like right now I bet the car will start fine and run for a while, then all of a sudden...................
Come on guys, I know y'all have some better Idea!
#43 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [wmondy]
Mar 16, 2009 (5:35 am)
You are asking us to guess and there could be a hundred reasons for this. Trying to find a qualified person with the ability or desire to work on it will be difficult. Electrical problems can be miserable to track down.
You might want to just replace your ignition switch if you can find one.
#44 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [isellhondas]
Mar 16, 2009 (6:04 am)
Yea you are right... I just thought someone out there might have run into the same problem once... I really apreciate the replys and the the story about the Sears Auto Shop incident was great...
Any way for any one who is interested I went out this morning and it started right up... let it warm up .... and went to put it in gear and right after stepping on the brake peddel ... she cut off!
Dead switch again
I will try to find a switch somewhere
#45 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [wmondy]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 16, 2009 (8:29 am)
I'm certainly not going to advise you to hook up wire B to terminal A and then read about your car catching on fire!!!
#46 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 16, 2009 (9:55 am)
You know, I'm wondering if his brake booster is bad and when he stepped on the brake pedal a massive vacuum leak stalled the engine?
Unrelated to the electrical problem but these old Birds were always causing troubles even when they were fairly new!
#47 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [isellhondas]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 16, 2009 (10:11 am)
They usually run like crap from balky carburetors, vacuum leaks, manifold leaks, etc.
It's not an easy car to get running smoothly, has been my past experience. Perennially "lumpy" to say the least.
#48 of 65 Re: That reminded me... [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 16, 2009 (11:15 am)
To make matters even worse, it's a 428. These weren't as easy to work on than the 390's were and they really didn't produce that much more power. They DID use a whole lot more gas and the Ford mechanics hated working on them.
The T-Bird in question here needs someone who really knows what they are doing to trace the problems down. Anything can be fixed if you throw enough time and money at it.
May 01, 2009 (11:10 pm)
Hi. im new here - i have 2 birds a 58 Ht and a 60 rag -i got them in a divorce and lost all my paperwork and contacts - the 60 the rear deck wont open and it needs a new top - where can i find a body service manual to work on it and how do i get it open without destroying it. any and all suggustions will be appreciated.