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'62 Thunderbird questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vintagesurvivor, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    I've searched the forums, but can't seem to nail down an appropriate similar question and answer. These boards were very helpful when I was restoring my dad's '29 survivor from '59, so I thought I would ask here.

    I snagged a running '62 base model Thunderbird with 54k on it for $2100... typical Michigan car, needs some work, therefore, my questions.

    1. It'll only crank if you put it into Neutral and jiggle the selector. Common? Fix?

    2. It needs ALL brakes. Is it worth converting the fronts to disc, or just replacing the stock hardware?

    3. Who's reputable on parts? Needs a few minor things other than brakes to get rolling...trunk lock, hood release cable, small stuff.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

  2. I have a 62 I believe your neutral safety is on the steering column you will probably have to adjust it ,on mine I converted to dual master used a 69 mustang drum all around master ,also make sure hydravac is good they don't stop for crap without it, there is a tbird group on yahoo, a couple of fellows on there sell used parts take care sam
     
  3. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    Where is the switch on the column?

    I plan on complete brake rebuild....lines, hoses, cylinders, springs. Was just wondering if it was worth changing over to disc. I feel if it stopped before, it'll stop fine again the way it was designed.

    I'll check out the Yahoo group, thanks for the tip. How's Bird Nest or Wilsons T bird? Any feedback?
     
  4. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    OK, there's quite a few T bird groups on Yahoo. Which is geared mostly toward these 60's vintage?
     

  5. bulletbirds is the group you need
     
  6. Yutan Flash
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 732

    Yutan Flash
    Member
    from Gretna, NE

    my questions.

    1. It'll only crank if you put it into Neutral and jiggle the selector. Common? Fix?
    A: Adjust the Neutral Safety Switch, but more important check the gear selector lever to see if there's a notch in it: if there is, weld it up because if you don't it can fall out of park in into gear when the steering column's not slid over.

    2. It needs ALL brakes. Is it worth converting the fronts to disc, or just replacing the stock hardware?
    A: You can get it to stop reliably with stock hardware, but it won't perform like a newer car with discs, so you need to adjust your driving habits accordingly. I'd only change to discs if I'm driving it hard and in consistently heavy traffic.

    3. Who's reputable on parts? Needs a few minor things other than brakes to get rolling...trunk lock, hood release cable, small stuff.
    A: There are several vendors dedicated to '58-'66 T-birds, and most all of them get their parts from the same places. Go to the Vintage Thunderbird Club International's website for more info www.vintagethunderbirdclub.net and subscribe to the VTCI Forum - you don't need to go anywhere else (of course I'm biased - I'm their technical director, past editor and a 30+ year member).
     
  7. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    Thanks for the assistance. Ill have a look at that switch situation and the T bird forum.
    These cars dont look too complicated to turn a wrench on....
     
  8. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    Well, the last guy really butchered a carb rebuild! lol No accel pump! No wonder it would only start on Ether and barey run. It's rebuilt properly now, and will get reinstalled tomorrow. Should fire right up.
    Need to re-core the rad and heater core...not looking super cheap. New looks to be around $300 for Rad, $125 for Heater.
     
  9. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    I'm also noticing that 14" tires are really hard to come by. Anyone have an idea what a comparable 15" rim/wheel size would be?
    Offset?
     
  10. SmattaHead
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 22

    SmattaHead
    Member

    Nice score on the 62 Tbird!
    I just made a deal on a 61 that will need much attention.
    I will be following this thread to see how you are doing, and will be on VTCI
    looking for pointers throughout the process.
    Keep us posted with your issues and results!!

    Good luck with the carb! I'm considering redoing the front brakes with disc as I am planning to drive the car regularly in the better weather. Wondering if I can use some parts off of a 69 Tbird for some upgrades, like the disc brakes. It's gonna be a process for sure! Maybe Mustang parts?? Any ideas?
     
  11. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,364

    57Custom300
    Member
    from Arizona

    Yutan Flash brought up a good point about those Birds jumping into gear. Recall a story my dad told me about that type bird in the Ford dealer he work at that jumped in gear & pinched the guy between the car & the bench. Guy spent the rest of his days in a wheelchair.
     
  12. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,249

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    There's a repair kit for that shifter problem. The column has to come out, I don't recall which part of the column itself required extra expletives to get apart and reassembled but there was something on it that made me walk away for a smoke and a coffee to regroup. All in all I've done worse and the majority of the task is pretty straight forward. To check if you need the column/shifter fix, put it in park and gently slap the shift lever down being careful not to move it forward too much. If a light slap moves it fix it right away. It really is a dangerous situation and as weird as it sounds it seems looser when the engine's running (!).


    Does the car have a swing-away steering column? I don't remember if that was standard or not in 62. The rest, you're right about it as in it was good in 62 so should be in 2013 as well given good conditions and proper repairs.
     
  13. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    Carb is back on, and got it fired up with a new choke stove as well.
    It wasnt charging, so I had to find out about polarizing the gen through the regulator the previous ( and clueless ) owner installed.
    Pulled the radiator for a recore, and waiting for master cyl rebuild kit. Honed out the cyl.
    Picked up new flex brake lines, the steel lines look new....
    Have to order hood release cable, trunk lock/key, and track down tires.
    Im working on having a "driver" for under $4k.
    Will check shifter. Yes, it has swingaway. Where is switch to adjust ign on PARK?

    Mark
     
  14. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907

    40FordGuy
    Member

    62 Ford products neutral switch should be at bottom of the colunm, under the hood. I know the regular Ford models had them there.

    4TTRUK
     
  15. Saw 14's with skinny whites at Wally World for pretty cheap and they were Goodyears
     
  16. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,324

    derbydad276
    Member

    sweet lookin bullit bird for a Michigan car
     
  17. I always swing my wheel and never have a problem in the 9 years I have had it.
    I got a set of 15" wheels from a later model Crown Vic/Marquis, They're cheap and fit well.
    Everyone has a different opinion on brakes, I'm going OEM disk.
     
  18. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,249

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    I'll try to word this right, but if try to "feel the detents" in the shifter as you slowly go to park, you may find that it takes less "lift" to put it there. In the one I did the detent boss was dependent on some plastic (nylon?) part. Not going all the way to the start position in park is an indication that it's going away if not gone. Just don't want you or yours to get hurt.
     
  19. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    Thanks for the wheel, tire and shifter hints, I will certainly give them a check.
    Discount Tire has 225-70-14's for $72 ea. Snagged a used matching hubcap for $30.

    Mark
     
  20. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    OK, stupid question.
    This pic is the master cyl parts.
    The bottom is as it was removed. The top is the replacement parts.
    Where is the additional rubber washer on the upper left in the rebuild kit supposed to go, as there was not a matching part pulled out? Or is it a general part included in the kits that I will not use....

    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

  21. vintagesurvivor
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 385

    vintagesurvivor
    Member
    from detroit

    Disregard, I found that seal buried at the end of the master. Just have to find a way to get it out without scratching my master bore...
     

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