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1962 T-Bird 390 Automatic To 4 Speed Conversion Build Thread - Anyone Interested?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Green Rodz, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    I'll tell him.
     
  2. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    Thank you. I'll tell him.
    He's having the same underdash issues of space, etc.
    On the front of the top bracket for the pedals, there was an extension made for holding the swing away column. He has cut that off. I have pics, if I could post them would be nice :mad:
     
  3. CrusadersNV
    Joined: Feb 1, 2010
    Posts: 158

    CrusadersNV
    Member

    who ever built the pedal assembly in mine completely disabled the tilt away feature.
     
  4. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    That seems to be the case with my neighbors, too.
    He said you might be able to do it, but he was never of a fan of the swing-away column anyway so he's not planning on trying to figure out how to hook it back up.
    If I ever figure out how to post the pics, I can show you. He's got the whole dash apart and the column is swung all the way to the right and tied up to the passenger door to keep it out of the way for the time being.
     
  5. Charlie Jones
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66

    Charlie Jones
    Member
    from Apopka FL.

    Green Rodz,
    There are several ways to post pics. But this way is probably the easiest.
    When you post, look at the bar above where you are typing. Look for an icon that looks like a paper clip. Click on it after you have finished typing your message. Hit the "browse" bar and choose "My pictures" . Find the picture you want, select and then "open" it. Do the same on the next lines for more pictures. When you are finished "browsing" then click "upload" on the bottom of the page. After the pictures upload, ( might take a couple minutes) then hit "submit"
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  6. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,452

    Muttley
    Member

    Yeah, but since when is a '62 Thunderbird a Hot Rod? Done right they can be really cool but they are big, heavy, land yachts.
     
  7. CrusadersNV
    Joined: Feb 1, 2010
    Posts: 158

    CrusadersNV
    Member

    heres a pic of my 62 complete with 4 speed

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately its tucked away under cover behind a few cars so i wont be able to take photos of the setup. The car anyways is a big 70s style gasser/street freak (or however you want to classify it). it goes like a scared goose but obviously not as much as a lighter car. the 4 speed just gives it that extra touch of fun. my Kustoms are all automatics, glad they are, but i like having a car in my fleet thats able to drop the clutch and smoke'm from time to time. I guess its more of a novelty.
     
  8. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    I will be updating Tuesday.
    He's making progress, I just haven't been able to stop and spend more than 5 minutes there.
     
  9. SquireDon
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 600

    SquireDon
    Member
    from Oregon

    All '58-64 T-birds with Auto Trans had a flywheel with 153 teeth.

    1965-'66 T-bird with Cruisomatic Auto (with exception of '66 428 cars that had a C-6) had a 184 tooth Flywheel.
     
  10. SquireDon
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 600

    SquireDon
    Member
    from Oregon

    He might look for a 1961 T-bird NON swing column. It was the first year of the swing away, and it was an option in '61 only. All '62-'66 T-birds were swing away after that.
     
  11. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    Ok thank you.
    I'll tell him.
    But it appears he made a mount already to keep the swing-away, but for it to be non-swing-away (if that makes any sense to you...lol)
     
  12. Perrorojo
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Perrorojo
    Member

    Did you ever get anywhere with the conversion?

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  13. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    Well, here is the update (in short).
    It was completed last month.
    However, among a few other things, the shifter had to have a hole cut into the side of the console, and it looked like hell. He also had to make extra long rods for the shifter to even reach. It just wasn't right.

    So, now he is pulling the trans, and he purchased a Toploader (5 speed I think) and, in his words, "I'm gonna end up owning this forever, so I might as well do it right." (not that he had any intention of doing it wrong).

    I'll update in a week or so.
    In short, the project has been a nightmare. But, it'll be somewhat cool when done.
     
  14. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    Another quick update. Hopefully I will be able to somehow post pictures of this:

    The 4 speed was pulled out and was just sold to a hamber in Colorado.
    After about 2 1/2 months of screwing around, the Tremec 5 speed toploader is installed, and he just drove it down the block here. It went in and out a total of 4 times, each time trying to adjust shims, etc. A total pain in the azz (his words, not mine). All that's left, as you'll see in the pictures, is finishing up the interior. I am hoping maybe Christmas week to sit down with him and get him to tell me all the details that guys who want to attempt this project will need to know. I will say this: I was totally 100% against this project from the beginning. But it is pretty darn cool, and looks pretty original for the most part, which is going to make taking it to car shows a lot of fun (if I can get these guys to actually GO to a car show or cruise-in...but that's another story for another day). What's even better is that if you look online, there are quite a few of this generation T Birds for sale, and they can be quite cheap. There are several within 100 miles of where we live right now, all solid and complete and mostly running for $3500 or less...and this conversion takes those 390 cars and makes them fun to drive hot rods.
    So, that's where we are at right now. :)
     
  15. Torion Boy
    Joined: Nov 20, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Torion Boy

    Yo Hot Rodders.......I bought this car back in October of 16..Wanna hear how it turned out ?????? T-bird hump 128.JPG
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  16. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Yes.
     
  17. Torion Boy
    Joined: Nov 20, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Torion Boy

    Well s55 You were one of the first when Green Rodz started this thread. Glad to see your still interested since this car kind of fell off the face of the earth....It's been an interesting journey since purchasing THE BIRD.....I bought the car sight unseen & before it rolled off the trailer I knew I had been had !! First clue was the driver said hop in & hold the brake because the e-brake don't work for shit..His words not mine....I took the car out for a ride (40 miles) & that was the last time I drove till February of 17... A half mile from my house the car broke down. Turns out the gas tank was was so rusted it clogged a new filter in 40 miles. The car wouldn't track straight (25 year old bias ply tires) & smoked a tad. When I returned home I had found that the car burned about a quart of oil.....I ran into a friend a few days later that I had passed by with the Bird & he chuckled & said "WHAT YOU BOUGHT A NEW CROP DUSTER".....In the garage it went & it didn't see the light of day till mid February when it went over to my Buddy's shop for the next eight months... I have lots of pictures of the build or should I say REBUILD....If you would like to see what we found & what we did I'll post them........... Here are a couple of pictures of before & after....Thanks, Deejay
     

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  18. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I have always like these Birds, so yes, let's see some more.
     
  19. Aaron65
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 293

    Aaron65
    Member
    from Michigan

    016.JPG
    I just bought a '63 back in October. I'm currently breaking just about everything in the steering column as I replace a broken shift collar, worn shifter, and worn detent plate. One thing I've noticed: This is not a fast car. A 390 pulling around a 4500 pound T-Bird with air conditioning probably won't be, but at least it will do a decent one-wheel peel. On the plus side, it looks great and rides better than any old car I've ever driven.
     
    s55mercury66 likes this.
  20. Torion Boy
    Joined: Nov 20, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Torion Boy

    Yo Aaraon,

    Congratulations !!! That's one SHARP BIRD........One thing I have learned over the last two years IS once you start touching these cars something else ALWAYS breaks !!!! Be gentle & patient !!! AND stick with as much oem as you can..THE AFTERMARKET T-BIRD WORLD SUCKS !!!!!!! They don't care about quilty all they want is your money !!!!! Sometimes it's just as good not to fix some of this stuff...PICK YOUR BATTLES.....Good luck.....Deejay
     
  21. Aaron65
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 293

    Aaron65
    Member
    from Michigan

    Thanks, Deejay...Quality reproduction parts are always hard to find! As always, sometimes a slightly worn used part is better than trying the whole square peg/round hole deal. You have the right attitude, my friend!
     
  22. Torion Boy
    Joined: Nov 20, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Torion Boy

     
  23. Torion Boy
    Joined: Nov 20, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Torion Boy

    Sorry this took so long I had lost files on my computer.........So here is what we found when we pulled the carpet...The guy who did the conversion (Ed from Fla.) was a mechanic... BUT HE WAS NO BUILDER...His nick name around the shop was "THE BUTCHER".... When preparing for the trans he cut out 22" of the hump from front to back & right down to the floor...He even hacked the support cross member out ......Then he replaced it with tin & rivets.....I thought he could have at least used a stop sign....We are a town away from Pat Wilsons T-Bird parts & he cut us out a hump from one of his parts cars.....
     

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    Aaron65 and Jalopy Joker like this.
  24. Tell us about how the pedals were fabbed and hung.

    Are they donor pedals outta something?

    Oldmics
     
  25. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,909

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    The pedal pads look to be mid 60s Galaxie.
     
  26. Torion Boy
    Joined: Nov 20, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Torion Boy

    Yes the pedals came out of a 65/66 Galaxie......What he did was Incorporated the 65/66 into the factory T-Bird bracket..Which was a very large piece...He drilled & installed a rod for the clutch pedal & then cut the arm for the brake pedal & bolted it on...It wasn't a bad job..Works well.....We had to redo how he had the column supported which was relaying on the lower section of the dash...Which was not good !!!! We bent some 1/4" steel & hung it from the brake bracket which gave us more support & enabled us to raise the column to a comfortable height.....The T-Birds steering wheels are known for being very close to the seat & I think this is why they had the swing away wheels...It was almost impossible to get in & out..Hence move the wheel & then bring it back.....I also fabricated some brackets for the seats so I could move it back a tad.....
     

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