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1963 Thunderchicken

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by danio3834, May 28, 2013.

  1. danio3834
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 8

    danio3834
    Member
    from Canada

    So I picked up this '63 Thunderbird back in the fall because it caught my eye, I've always liked the bullet birds, and the deal was right. The timing was right too because with my 2nd kid arriving I needed something a little more cruiser friendly.

    The 390 and cruise o matic run tops and the previous owner put a new interior in it. Unfortunately he painted it too and it looks like he finished wet sanding with 1000 grit and tried to buff it out. The finish looks like crap and might even need to be cleared again.

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  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    One of my favorite years. Good luck getting her shined up.
     
  3. danio3834
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 8

    danio3834
    Member
    from Canada

    Over the winter I just did some cleaning up, installed a new rear bumper from California, fix some electrical items etc.

    First order of business was to get it a little closer to the ground. I ordered a full custom spring kit from Jamco. They made me some new coils, leafs, and sent all the rubber, hardware and shocks to drop it 3". Far less cost than bags and less fabrication since no one makes a bolt in kit for these, plus I didn't really want the extra BS of the bags, just a reliable suspension for putting miles on that sat lower.

    So after waiting about 6 weeks for all of that to show up, she's a little lower now:

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    The back still had to settle down a bit so I put a 4L60 in the trunk to help it sag in a bit and drove it a bunch and it settled into about a 1" rake which I'm OK with.

    Also, these have the nastiest coil springs I've seen on a passenger car, and they are death to try and compress with a normal spring compressor. They sit on top of the upper control arm, are big diameter and need to be compressed 8-10" to go in or out. It's pretty much impossible to attempt without the old Ford compressor I found out.

    Anyway, it sits alright now.

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    Just debating on what to do with the paint right now. Try and buff out all the scratches and still be left with so-so paint work, or touch up a few spots, reclear and possibly do a two tone with the roof another color, maybe some metal flake.

    Either way, I hope to have it out for the Sins of Steel show on Saturday.
     
  4. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,614

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

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  5. danio3834
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 8

    danio3834
    Member
    from Canada

    Thanks for the responses guys. I'm toying with the idea of keeping the roof blue and shooting some metal flake into it, or maybe even going with a silver or T-bird Turquoise roof with flake. I want it to pop a bit more, but not look ridiculous.

    Opinions are welcome as I haven't made up my mind.
     
  6. Nice Bird! I like the '63 the best of the '61-2-3 cars. Nicer side emblems, plus the side contour swoop is one-year only. That sets the car off nicely.
     
  7. danio3834
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 8

    danio3834
    Member
    from Canada

    You know, I never actually noticed that, but you're right. The '61-'62s look much more slab sided.
     
  8. FANTM58
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 397

    FANTM58
    Member

    I love it , and the direction you are going with it .
    It's sits perfect .
    My favorite year T Bird
    I'm a little jealous ??!!
     
  9. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,994

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Maaan I would wetsand in 1500 and buff it till te cows come home. Then I would drive the wheels off of it, that is if I could keep the missus out of it.

    Nice car from where I sit and if the paint is rouhg as in too ruff to save a good scuffing and Maaco would cure it at least temporarily. ;)
     
  10. Paul B
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 876

    Paul B
    Member

    Nice ride .yep buff it and run it. Mine still has the org paint dont worry about chips just a great riding driving car. the am radio is the only thing that has to go
     
  11. danio3834
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 8

    danio3834
    Member
    from Canada

    I'm gonna try hitting it with 1500, then 2000 and see how close I come to cutting through. I used to work in a body shop, and have good relationship with my painter, so even spraying it if needed won't be a big deal. If we shoot it, it would be a shame not to do something with the roof at that time.
     
  12. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,708

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    Nice ride.
    I would leverage that relationship to put a really nice paint job on that car. It deserves it!
     
  13. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,778

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Very impressive job on what you have done to an already cool ride !!
    I like it a lot...
    Good luck,and cheers.......
     
  14. T_Bird Guy
    Joined: Oct 6, 2006
    Posts: 225

    T_Bird Guy
    Member

    Nice Thunderbird, you got it down where these cars should be.
     
  15. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,033

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

  16. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    good looking car---that paint looks much better than primer ---good luck with it...
     
  17. danio3834
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 8

    danio3834
    Member
    from Canada

    Thanks. I dig the clean look of your '62. I'm glad to see the bullet bird appreciation around here.
     
  18. Man that looks nice...hope to see it Saturday
     
  19. flamed58
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 226

    flamed58
    Member

    I like it a lot
     
  20. Edsel58a
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 751

    Edsel58a
    Member

    I like it. Try wet sanding with 1500 then 2000, then reclear or rub out.
    I have a 62 in the garage waiting to get on the road. Lucky me, my springs are worn and sitting low already.
     
  21. Oldsmobucket
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 330

    Oldsmobucket
    Member

    Nice. Ive always liked that generation of t bird
     
  22. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,076

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor

    I always called them ThunderTurds myself but that's a nice one!
     
  23. Falcon Sprint
    Joined: Oct 1, 2012
    Posts: 202

    Falcon Sprint
    Member

    Very nice ride indeed, I have always loved the bullet-nose T-birds!
     
  24. Have you considered lacing the roof? There have been a couple of Bullet 'Birds here on the HAMB that have had variations of that theme, that looked amazing!
     

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