Restoration as of October 2002

Since I brought the 1960 Thunderbird Golde Top home in October of 2001, I have done quite a bit of work to the car. The pictures below show the progress to October 2002. To date, I have cleaned, compounded and waxed the exterior. It is amazing how well the paint on the roof looks. If the whole body were like that, I would not need to repaint the car. Unfortunately the paint on the fenders is cracked and missing in areas. I also cleaned and scrubbed the engine compartment and have repainted a few components. The See-Clear windshield washer was covered with so much dirt, it was uniformly gray with no discernible writing. The car has now a rebuilt generator, fuel pump, carburetor, new fuel filter, air filter, ignition wires, spark plugs, master cylinder, wheel cylinders. The fluid in the transmission was changed. Remarkably the transmission requires no work. It shifts in all three gears. The car was leaving a trail of oil down the driveway. This was traced to a leaking rear axle pinion seal. Unfortunately, my car had a rear carrier made by a smaller supplier. The pinion seal is not the more common 3 inch seal that was used from the the fifties to the eighties. That seal is costs only $15. My car had a 4.25 inch seal (National Seal 6930) that was only used from 1956 to 1960. This hard to find seal cost $72! A lot of electrical problems I have fixed on the car. I have put in new power switches and the related harness that was stolen from the car while at Bob's Bird House. I have replaced a defective driver's side window motor. I have also replaced numerous bulbs on the car, included headlight, spotlight, taillight and dash. I have also replaced the wiring in the taillight section of the car that was apparently butchered to accommodate lighting for a trailer. The car still has a trailer hitch the bolts to the frame of the car and the bumper. It is not clear if this was a factory or dealer accessory, but clearly it was made specifically for a Squarebird. I have rechromed the stanchions for the wind bar and reattached it to the roof. I have replaced a all of the broken a missing pieces of the sunroof mechanism. Some of the replacement pieces are hand made. Repair of the sunroof was one of the most satisfying aspects of the restoration so far. I have replaced the wiper blades, but the wiper motor still needs to be repaired.

Unbelievable how well the paint shine came through after a thorough cleaning and compounding. The car no longer looks disheveled after the broken backup light lens is replaced. New wide white walls refresh the look of the car.

The gray dinginess of 25 years was hand scrubbed out the engine compartment. Repainting the air filter housing, valve covers and expansion tank give the engine compartment new life.

 

Fantastik spray clear and a brush was able to clean up the See-Clear bag to its original condition. Chrome voltage regulator cover gives the engine compartment some sparkle it has not seen in years.

 

The wind bar with rechromed stanchions. People at car shows remark how the wind bar reminds them of similar trim on yachts.

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