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Bullet T-bird Rideheight - help needed!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Speedchop, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Gents,
    This is my forst post so I'm hoping for some advice :) I've got a 62 Thunderbird and I'm thinking on lowering it. Main question is if I should go for a 3" inch drop or play it safe with 2"? Well, thats a 3" drop front and back.. I think my car may be lowered already or maybe the springs and leafs are just sagging.. What ride height do you guys have on your Bullets when they are at standard height? If someone could do a quick measure I'd be grateful! Please state where you measured... I'd like to bag it but I'm low on cash so I think lowering blocks and custom springs.

    Any advice on the topic is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance/ Jonas (in Sweden)
     
  2. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

  3. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Just a pic of my car for reference..

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    Nice looking car, don't bag it, just lower the rear 2 1/2" and call it done.
     
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  5. stangman05gt
    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 170

    stangman05gt
    Member
    from illinois

    I have a 63 bird and i would not do more than 2 inch. have you considered air bags? that way you can control the height.
     
  6. Paul B
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 876

    Paul B
    Member

    Just drive it
     
  7. T_Bird Guy
    Joined: Oct 6, 2006
    Posts: 225

    T_Bird Guy
    Member

    I have a 1962 Thunderbird and it is lowered about 2 - 3 inches. I cut the front coils and built lowering blocks for the rear.
     
  8. Perrorojo
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Perrorojo
    Member

    I have a 64 and did two coils up front and 1.5" in back.



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  9. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 2,077

    Jonnie King
    Member
    from St. Louis

    Amen to the above. Ground clearance on those 'Bird's (like the '58 I had which is pictured in my Albums) is not much to begin with.

    2" Inches is about the max. for a real driver 'Bird, unless you go to bags.


    Jonnie www.legends.thewwbc.net
     
  10. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Thanks for the replies Guys! Yep, I got the car in a trade circus and the intial plan was to sell it. Interestingly enough, the car seems to grow on me and there is a fat chance it's a keeper. It's prolly true what they say - a bullet bird takes an aquired taste! There are some killer customs around for inspiration so I'm making some plans for mods - minor ones, don't wanna ruin it... Funny thing is that one doesn't have to do much with before they look really sweet :) I'll try some lowering blocks 2" in the back, look how it sits and then, perhaps, do a couple of coils in the front.

    Cheers/ Jonas
     
  11. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    I'll agree with the majority here...2"

    This one is dropped 2" in the front (1 1/2 coils cut out of stock springs) and 2" in the rear with blocks. Looks great and rides like its on a cloud. We also went to a 15" wheel from the stock 14" which adds a little ground clearance

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

    ^^^ That sits just right, dig the color too.
     
  13. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Wow, that's a sweet ride! I'm opting for 15 inch as well. I dunno about dimensions though.. seem to remember that 7" in front and 8" in the back is ok if I dont fit the skirts!? Are those chrome reverse or smoothies? I was kinda leaning towards classical Supremes but these wheels look brilliant!!
     
  14. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I wonder if the Aerostar coil deal would apply to these cars?
     
  15. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    Those are 7" wide wheels and with the bullet caps we have just enough room to run the skirts too without any issue (about a 1/4" of room). The wheel are wheel vintiques OEM chrome ford wheels and not reversed. Thanks for the comments, looks like you have a pretty nice bird too dude.
     
  16. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,051

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    Mine is a square bird not a bullet bird but I cut one coil out of the front coils and left the rearend alone. I only have about 4.5 inches clearance, the older birds are low to start with and if you lower it much you lose driveabality. I have already had to relpace my exhaust system from dragging it on a driveway ramp.
     

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  17. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Again, thanks for the replies guys! Much appreciated :) Seems like a 2" drop with 15" wheels in the way to go! A complete Jamco kit or the cheap way with blocks and cut springs? Seems like Jamco gets both positive and negative feedback. Does anyone have any recent (actual) experience? I have a bit of slamming/quirking underneath the car on uneven roads.. maybe it's an opportunity to check and replace bushings etc. Any good sources for bushings for the bird?

    Sorry for hammering additional questions.. I'm getting all carried away!
     
  18. These are some of the nicest T Birds ever built,,,simple and tasteful.HRP
     
  19. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    I don't know if you want to try Jamco or not with their reputation. Honestly you can do it in a day for about $50. The front springs wont cost anything but time and a torch (or a hacksaw and some muscles). The rear you can make a set of 2" blocks or buy them...if you buy them you will probably have to modify them to fit. The spring pad on the axle have a 3/4-1" location pin hole which locates the leaf spring. On modern cars this hole is a lot smaller (1/2"-3/8") and all the lowering blocks I have found have the small pin and hole, so you would need to modify those if you were to buy them. As for the ubolts, go to a Leaf spring company and have them make you a set, bring one of the old ones and have them make them 3" longer on both sides so you have excess. I lowered the rear of my 59 for a grand total of $24 for the ubolts and made the blocks out of scrap I had laying around the shop. As for bushings, Macs http://macsautoparts.com/ will have everything you need. Let us know how it goes
     
  20. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    I doubt it...the bulletbirds had a different suspension set up, with the coil spring above the upper control arm. The aerostar springs will fit 58-60 birds as they have the coil between the 2 control arms, however it drops the front end a lot, I have them installed in my 59 but they may be too low once the car is finished and driving.

    here is a pic of aerostar coils on a squarebird, this is with 14" wheels. It lowered the front end 3"
    [​IMG]
     
  21. RustyNCA
    Joined: Feb 18, 2009
    Posts: 406

    RustyNCA
    Member

    Yes, if Ford continued the same setup into the 65 Bird, I learned that the hard way (Bought the blocks and they didn't work, now sit on a shelf :mad:). Here is the 2" lowering blocks we made..

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Jeez, perfect!! It doesn't look too complicated so I'll give it a shot! With this tutorial - who can fail :) Well, I might be the first, hrmm.

    Cheers/ Jonas
     
  23. Perrorojo
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Perrorojo
    Member

    If you go and decide to cut the coils, being a friend. I did it alone and it is a pain in the ass. Those coils are long. Make a spring compressor like the factory ones.

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  24. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    good call. Be careful removing the front coils, there isn't much room to get modern spring compressors in there, so it can be a little sketchy getting them out
     
  25. Speedchop
    Joined: Jul 7, 2013
    Posts: 81

    Speedchop
    Member
    from Sweden

    Sounds scary.. I've always had respect for springs under load! Do you mean it's not doable with "normal" spring compressors? i've got at least two pairs of compressors but both are unfortunately of the moderns style I reckon.. two claws and a threaded axle in between.

    Cheers/ Jonas
     
  26. Perrorojo
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Perrorojo
    Member

    Not doable with claw compressors. Found out the hard way. You need about 10" of compression.

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  27. RustyNCA
    Joined: Feb 18, 2009
    Posts: 406

    RustyNCA
    Member

    Yep, I second that. I tried the modern style first, couldn't get them out, went and got an old style compressor from AutoZone, worked great. They told me the other day, no one ever asked for that tool, so they tossed it.... :eek:

    Who throws away a tool..... guess a tool....
     
  28. garcoal
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 277

    garcoal
    Member

    I paid good money to get my 66 bird off the ground because of tired spring front and rear. mine is probably one of the few that sets were henry had in mind. it drags its belly from time to time still. I think you would lose lots of drivabilty just to look good when it is parked
     
  29. are you guys talking about the jack screw type compressors with the finger clamps on each end. Use one on each side of the spring?

    WOW 10" of compression? Crazy.
     
  30. Perrorojo
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 357

    Perrorojo
    Member

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