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1958-1966 Thunderbirds ?



  • mantismod3mantismod3 Member Posts: 1
    I have just replaced the brake booster and master cylinder on my 1966 thunderbird and have tried and tried to get it to bleed out but can not get it to work. I would like any advise I can. Thank you. mantismod3
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well you could go buy some brass or steel plugs at the hardware store, then removing the brake lines from the master cylinder and insert the plugs. Then bleed only the master cylinder, cracking open the plugs to let out the air. If the master cylinder won't bleed in this way, then it's no good.

    Once you have hard pedal at the master you can proceed to each wheel cylinder, starting at the wheel furthest from the master.

    If the system won't bleed, after you've successfully bled the master previously, then you have a leak somewhere else or heavily worn brake shoes that have allowed a wheel cylinder to expand beyond its normal range.
  • jonnytbirdjonnytbird Member Posts: 2
    great i just got a 64 bird for $750.00 and its not far from being a great cruiser. i need a gas tank,a skirt (prob won't use)..i need a door skin(drivers), and a few interior fixes...but other than that the car is in good shape...but after reading all 53 messages in this post....well that was scary....thats ok i'm gonna change this car to the way i want it...disc brakes, elec igni, different tires, get rid of some of the vac stuff ..replace with elec doors, elec air, i don't know about what to do with the cruise control yet, i' m going to loose some of the wieght...the chrome is in great shape but the bumpers....rechrome...i have no idea where to put a radio and speakers...don't want to cut the car up or the console.... big dreams... (i hope my wife gets that extra job) haha...time &money but i figure 2-3 years i'll have it about right...its a cruiser..if the curve says 45mph...take it at 35mph....save the tread...people don't realize that this car is 4431lbs... its not a sports car...you go slow in this car so people can get a good look at the car and whos driving it.....just think ...you pop open the trunk at the grocery store and everyone is looking at the car.. older folks talk about how they remembeer the car when they where younger. when times where abit slower... dang car has no cup holders .....gotta fix that... flair birds to me are art and i love them...this is a car that even my wife likes to cruise around in and she's gonna love it when its done.....i'm 40 and i wanted a t-bird
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sure, as long as you don't cut the car up, you can add and bolt-on whatever you want to make it more enjoyable (and safer) to drive.

    Or if you want to chop it up and make a full-blown custom piece of artwork, no big deal. These cars are not so rare and precious that one more couldn't be donated to a worthy project of customization, if you wish.

    I'd rather see a custom T-Bird from the 60s than yet another Chevelle done up that way.

    I like these cars in the bright 60s "beach colors"---the corals, aquamarines, etc.
  • jonnytbirdjonnytbird Member Posts: 2
    beach colors would be a great way to go ...I just need to figure what goes with red interior? I don't want to chop up the body or anything that will change the inner or outer of the car but yes make it safer......do you remember the old side pipes you always saw on the corvettes. i saw some on a 65 t-bird but only could see the door area and half of the back tire.. i wish i could have seen the rest of the car...might be crazy enough to look almost good?....well i just need to get mine running good enough for road use....i think (in the long run) i will customize the car but you know...time and money...
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,685
    beach colors would be a great way to go ...I just need to figure what goes with red interior?

    I guess a red interior does limit your choices a bit. Maybe white, black, silver, gray, or varying shades of red/burgundy? I couldn't picture a blue or green going too well with a red interior, but maybe if it's a pale enough hue? I have seen yellow cars with red interiors, and it looks a bit clashy to my eyes. I wonder if coral would work though?

    Anyway, good luck with your car...hope you have fun with it! I've always liked the '64-66 style of T-bird.
  • 65t_bird65t_bird Member Posts: 1
    Have installed rebuilt starter and selinoid switch . when key is turned battery level drops. there must be a short in the circuit.. Any suggestions ??
  • pr4lifepr4life Member Posts: 1
    Just a thought that left me stranded a few times. The neutral safety switch may be causing your problems. This is part electrical, part mechanical, and a whole lot of pain in the a**. Part of it is on the column and is there so when the swing away wheel is over, the car won't start. When they get old, it doesn't make contact, therefore making the ignition switch useless. It is also linked to the transmission, so if there is any slop in the linkage, it makes is not work too. Just a thought, and if this isn't it, that will be good for you. Good luck.
  • barracuda37barracuda37 Member Posts: 1
    Hey. I have a '65 t-bird and I need to replace the neutral safety switch and I'm having a hard time finding instructions. Could anyone please tell me how if they know? Thanks.
  • olddustofferolddustoffer Member Posts: 16
    I got a rust-free 64 Landau out of Arizona about a year ago. Dropped in a 5L HO and new Tranny good to about 700HP, I can get over 300 out of the HO with a Holly Quad and a few goodies. Am down to cosmetics and am now closing in on 15k. Understand that the Wife loves it, as she had one as a teenager. Am I well past the sales value? Or can I safely do another @2k cosmetic to please the Lady. This Bird has everything except front discs. Even has a stock sequential Taillight system (replaced with new one). I took it to metal and not a bit of Bondo or cancer anywhere. Think I can get most of my money back?
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "Or can I safely do another 2k cosmetic to please the Lady. "

    I'd think that's a given, regardless of market value! Seriously, while some of the other money may not be recovered on sale, $2000 to make it look great probably would.

    Are you saying you're into it 15k total, all costs?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If you can bring it up to "local show" quality (that is, winning 3rd place at the local Show and Shine), you might break even at $18000 investment.

    But if that addition $2K is still going to leave some conspicuous cosmetic issues, then no, you'll be bottoms up on the car.
  • olddustofferolddustoffer Member Posts: 16
    The 2k is an overestimate. I need to put on the Vinyl roof (Already have the Landau Bars and Emblems) 1 door needs some inner panel work, and I need to put on some rubber seals on the Vent windows and Trunk. Plus it needs an alignment. Have new electronic ignition, new Air conditioner that uses the new type coolant, Wipers are now hydraulic rather than vacuum. Car weighs over 700lbs less than with the 390, and blew the doors off a Dodge Charger RT last week. A dog it is NOT. The car had spent entire life in Arizona, and was stored from 83-2012. 89k actual miles.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    It's hard to say what the value of a resto modded car will be once you're done. Some people will like the changes you've made and others will wonder why you modified a nice car.

    1964 T- Birds didn't have sequential turn signals in the rear. The 65's were the 1st year for those. The '64's had a bird emblem on the red lenses.

    Since you are into mods, be aware that 1964 was the last year they used drums on front and I can't think of a car that would go through brake shoes and drums worse than a T-Bird or a full sized Ford of that vintage.

    With this in mind a swap to front discs would be a worthwhile modification.

    T-Birds of that vintage loved to eat front end parts such as bushings and upper control arm shafts. Compressing those HUGE front coils to access those shafts is not a job for someone careless or inexperienced and you would NOT want to use a Harbor Freight spring compressor!

    Sounds like it'll be a cool car when you're done but don't look to make any money when you finally sell it!
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