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1962 Thunderbird Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by driveslow, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    [​IMG]
    62bird by 62tbird, on Flickr
    There she sits. Plan is a 390 Long block, Headers (if i can find it in me to spend the $875 bucks or so they are), get the cruiseomatic gone through, get the brakes working, clean the car...and clean some more..as its farm fresh. After getting it running, driving, etc. Get the rust fixed (minimal), paint. Also fix the interior up some. It will be no frame off. Just a cool cruiser. Id like to go with a flat or satin paint, as the car will never be perfect. But first comes first...just getting it back on the road! I have some old cragar ss wheels laying around, but there is not much clearance between the sidewall and inner fender. I can fit my hand up there..about it. So i may run the stock 14" steelies, paint them, and a friend has those fake wide whitewall things that he bought for a car and never used. Just hard to decide which way to go with that as that can show the attitude of the car...or course i will be lowering it a bit. I will try to update this as things go on, im hoping by mid-summer that it will be running and driving. Should be fun!
     
  2. Love the Bullet Birds...enjoy it
     
  3. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    get it going it will help motivate the rest you have to do...
     
  4. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Thanks guys, i'm getting the trans done here in a month or so. Half tempted to use my credit card for the long block........damn credit cards. Would you guys spring the extra cash for headers, or use stock manifolds?
     
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  5. toucan
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,083

    toucan
    Member
    from sc

    no credit card, stock manifolds are fine!
     
  6. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey,

    Jus my oppion, but without goin with after heads, headers won't in and of themselves won't make this a screamin machine;) Spend that money on a brake hardware up grade or new tyres:D

    I looked at a '61 the other day, but it had been sittin for fourty years and was totaly rotten:(
     
  7. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Thanks for the input guys, i will run the manifolds! I figure headers wont add much power anyways. I do have an edelbrock performer 390 intake to help a bit, but stock i read they are 300 horse, 427 torque. Which should make it enjoyable to drive either way.
     
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,030

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    oh, no eng and rest of drive train condition unknown, same with electrical, cooling, etc? you are worried about headers, fake whitewalls and flat paint? slow down and think this out and have a true plan going forward. hope that interior, glass and chrome are in good condition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  9. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    get it running, do the brakes, Put tires on it, drive it while you fix the rest. Don't spend money for the sake of spending money. I bought one for 1200 last month that hadn't run in years.. Put petronix in it, plugs, wires, and brakes and its ready for the road and I only have about 1500 in it total..
     
  10. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    trioxin, that is a deal compared to mine haha. I paid more, car is pretty solid..but engine was taken apart and left unprotected for the most part for years. So it has to have an engine...long block is the cheapest route. The transmission, i dont know that its bad. But its been sitting for a while, no idea on the condition..so i'm going to have it rebuilt. Might be a waste of money, might not be. Im worried about a gummed up valve body killing it.
     
  11. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,599

    TexasSpeed
    Member

    There's a bullet bird right on route 287 that I pass often.. I always want to go up and inquire about it but I can never bring myself to stop on the long drive down to Dallas-Fort Worth.

    They look mighty fine low.
     
  12. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Got an interesting text earlier. My block is not original. Code is C5AE-A. Which is either a 390 or 427. I need to get it back to my place and measure the bore. (the block is at my friends garage. (it has the lower end assembled yet, was in the trunk, took it out of the trunk when we moved it to my house).
     
  13. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Mine has a mercury 410 that someone swapped into it.. They are awesome cars for sure.
     
  14. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Question for you guys. From your experience, would you run a transmission thats been sitting for a while. I have no idea if its good. The fluid is still pretty red, a little dirty. Car has 78,000 miles on it. Could be 178, but..i doubt it. Should i spend the 800 and get it rebuilt, or just run it?
     
  15. The Bronze
    Joined: Jun 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    The Bronze
    Member

    Just check your stock manifolds are flat before you use them. 390s are prone to leaks, i just had mine machined and the difference was amazing.
     
  16. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    I've had a ton of old cars and have been lucky enough to have only hit tranny problems once, and that is in this 63 t-bird. But I haven't looked into it.. reverse just isn't working.
     
  17. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    I figured pull the pan. Drain it. New filter and all new fluid.
     
  18. da dodge brother
    Joined: Apr 2, 2010
    Posts: 380

    da dodge brother
    Member
    from wisconsin

    Here's a '62 Bird I redone some years ago. All assymetrical styling. Still running the 390 but with a C-6. Works real well. When rebuilding that front check out those fancy swivel basses for the front coils. Make sure they're working real good or the noise will give you fits. Lowered by chipping one front coil and 2" blocks in the rear. Makes a great kruizer. Problem is I have to many rides. Might have to get rid of it ...
     

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  19. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Wow..that thing is awesome! i like the wheel and tire combo. What size of tires are those? Wheels? Backspacing? The cragars i have, i can't even put the fender skirts on. I dont really want to run the 14s because tires are getting harder to get for those. But...this is budget..so, idk
     
  20. First off don't worry bout a screaming motor for the bird, they are cruisers. Lucky for you ya got a post 61 car....skinny whites ...found 14" ww good years at wal mart for 68 bucks a piece. You can still find 14's
     
  21. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    what size of 14" wide whites at walmart? im searching now......
     
  22. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    i realize now you meant white wall....and yea i saw those...haha. Probably order from discounttire though, no tax and free shipping.
     
  23. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Congrats on giving love to the old Bird. If the trans shifts and doesn't leak, run it. It will be obvious when it is time for a rebuild or a tune up.

    Ditto on the headers, they are most likely unnecessary. However, as stated before, the FE blocks are bad about leaking manifold gaskets. I've heard lots of Square Birds and Fords with that tractor sound effect. Do what you can to avoid that, and you'll be happy.
     
  24. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    I can have them machined flat if needed. I work at a Harley dealership. We have a machine shop. So I got some access to stuff. Or buy beverages for my boss to do it for me. Haha.
     
  25. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    What carb would you guys recommend for this car. Stock 390. Edelbrock performer intake. I have a 750 double pump laying around. But read it may be to Much.
     
  26. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Bump for carb advice
     
  27. T_Bird Guy
    Joined: Oct 6, 2006
    Posts: 225

    T_Bird Guy
    Member

    A carb with 600 to 650 cfm would work. From what I have read the original carb would not even flow 600 cfm.
     
  28. rrbrucea
    Joined: Mar 2, 2010
    Posts: 646

    rrbrucea
    Member


    Do this! Once had an old ride the tranny was slipping a bit in... new filter and fluid and I drove that thing THOUSANDS of miles more. :D

    LOVE bullet birds cuz the first car I started driving when I turned 16 was my dad's '62 convert. I'd LOVE to have another! And it wouldn't even have to be a convert.

    I keep this photo around for inspiration. I think I snagged off of here in fact.

    [​IMG]
     
  29. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    Thanks guys! That black bird is pretty sexy. I'm thinking of going with a flat or satin red on mine.
     
  30. driveslow
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 38

    driveslow
    Member
    from Kansas

    What if it was a 650 double pumper? I was just told thats what it was by the guy who left it here. I also have a 600 double sitting in my garage that came off a truck I had.
     

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