View Full Version : '59, gift to my daughter

03-23-2013, 12:02 AM
My father-in-law is parting out with some of his vehicles to his granddaughters. My daughter, Megan, loved the look of this '59 over his '64. I'm hoping to fix/repair what's needed so she can drive it to the prom in May. She's thrilled as can be.


03-23-2013, 02:56 AM
Hi John, Yes, the Raven Black really stands out and especially so when you put it in a tux! Like with the chrome air scoop, the chromed "eyebrows" over the tail lights, the curved tail fin pieces. When you put that chrome "bling" on it just really sets that color off.

You will probably want to get her behind the wheel in a safe area so she can drive it and get used to the feel of it. It will probably handle a lot different than what she is used to...

03-24-2013, 12:47 PM
We did let her drive it once, and I think she'll have to pass on using it for the prom this year. She's got one more chance to show it off next year. It needs some brake and carb work done before I let her do anything with it by herself.

We spent 3 hours yesterday just cleaning the interior and windows (overspray, tar, sticky crap). I read on here of guys finding factory paperwork under the rear seat, so I yanked ours up. No paperwork. But, a nice big rat nest in the coils underneath the seat. Yikes!

I can't believe the looks and double-takes from all ages when it goes down the road.

03-24-2013, 03:07 PM
That is really sad, John. Brakes are easy enough to redo on a Saturday. Isn't there some way you can get to it before homecoming?

My Mom learned to drive when she was 47. The only car we had back then was a 1954 Ford Country Sedan (station wagon) and it was a stick. She did it; took adult driving classes at the local high school in the Michigan winter of '57, and suprised the crap out of my dad (who never helped her learn).

The car had a six, with manual steering and manual brakes ('cause dad wouldn't pop for fancy options on a family car). It did have overdrive and we drove it from Detroit to LA in '59.

Squarebirds often featured women in their sales ads and many thousands of women drove them successfully. Teach your daughter well and she can too. Yeah, Squarebirds are different from modern cars but so are ALL classic cars. They take more effort, are heavier and consequently, require longer distances to stop. Still, the more we drive them the better and more familiar we become, without incident. Much of this depends on the personality your daughter is. She needs to really want this. ..just my 2-cents. BTW, I have two grown daughters. - Dave

03-25-2013, 11:18 AM
Nice Car ! ;)

03-25-2013, 02:08 PM
She's a good driver, but there are still too many things that needs to get done. My father-in-law re-did the brakes, but I'm not sure if you're supposed to use Herculean effort to press down on them to stop. Everything I've driven had power brakes, so I don't know if that's the norm.

Wipers don't work, and it needs all new window weatherstripping. The door windows are cracked, but can wait. Gas gauge isn't working (bad ground?).

She's already asked if she could drive my mom's Porsche. I told her she'll have to go over and practice driving it a few times. A 17-year old girl in a Porsche. What can go wrong?

03-26-2013, 03:45 PM
She's already asked if she could drive my mom's Porsche. I told her she'll have to go over and practice driving it a few times. A 17-year old girl in a Porsche. What can go wrong?


03-30-2013, 12:54 AM
We gave 'Tony' it's first wash and wax Friday evening. It was filthy from the car cover her grandpa used on it. This is Megan, and she is so in awe over this car. Her job is to clean and polish whatever there is to be done on it while I do the hard stuff.

04-19-2013, 07:54 PM
I've been doing some work on the car lately. The heat riser was broke and stuck open, so my dad came over and helped me remove it. He came over to tune the carb, but insisted that we fix the exhaust problem first. We had to unbolt the exhaust from both manifolds to be able to get the heat riser and exhaust manifold out. The left side exhaust pipe gasket had blown, which explained the ticking. The choke wasn't set right and made the car run rich, hence the black plugs:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Engine22_zps4aac9de5.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Engine22_zps4aac9de5.jpg.html)
The tail lights weren't lighting properly. The running lights and brake lights worked, as did both turn signals. But, both back-up lights on the right were on continuous with running lights. I pulled the panels off inside the trunk and found a fine mess of wiring:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Taillights5_zps3a17431c.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Taillights5_zps3a17431c.jpg.html)
Above is the driver side wiring. The wire with the new red butt-splice wasn't connected to anything and found that it had to connect to the old red connector on the left. The wiring going to the socket on the right was almost broke and/or exposed, so I crimped new wires in it's place.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Taillights7_zpse210127d.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Taillights7_zpse210127d.jpg.html)
This had me sort of laughing. Someone probably came up short on wire and had to splice 3 short pieces together to make the connection to the WRONG wire. It should've went to the old red connector instead. The center holes on the tail light mounting plate had duct tape covering them, and so did some of the lenses. The inner right lens didn't have tape over it's center, so that must've explained why it showed a back-up light on, because the light shown through. I don't know if there is an actual cover or plug that goes in it, so I taped it closed, too.

04-19-2013, 08:10 PM
If you suffer from dry hair, just crawl under the car to moisturize it with plenty of oil and grease. The valve covers appear to not be leaking, but I fear the front of the intake manifold may be. Once we get 'Tony' running again we can get it outside and degrease the engine and tranny. Hopefully we can find some easy fixes.

Stop laughing!

Here are a few pics of the oil mess and some suspension issues. The right coil spring was either cracked or broken and was 'repaired' with welding. And not much at that, either.
Caked on oil:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Suspension3_zps36b3a432.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Suspension3_zps36b3a432.jpg.html)
Welded spring and leaky power cylinder:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Suspension5_zps39ab3bef.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Suspension5_zps39ab3bef.jpg.html)
Worn out control arm bushing:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Suspension6_zps9ec7120a.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Suspension6_zps9ec7120a.jpg.html)
Another coil view:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Suspension8_zps7e51f767.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Suspension8_zps7e51f767.jpg.html)
I just noticed this hose hanging down while uploading these. Is this for expansion tank overflow?
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Engine23_zpse47de48b.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Engine23_zpse47de48b.jpg.html)

04-19-2013, 09:21 PM
Hi John, Your pictures are not showing up. We would love to see them!

04-20-2013, 12:13 AM
I never heard of anyone welding springs, because it just doesn't work.

I assume you will replace both front springs with new ones. If you have any questions, we can help. BTW, you don't need a spring compressor. You need the body high on jack stands and a small jack (like a scissors jack) under the "A" arm to let it down. The hardest part is separating the lower ball joint, and that's usually not too hard.

BTW, I see your pictures just fine. - Dave

04-20-2013, 04:10 AM
I don't know why I was not seeing them earlier, but I am now. Strange...

04-20-2013, 11:22 AM
I've been reading up on how everyone, and the Repair Manual, says to change the springs. Yes, I plan on replacing them and I think practically everything to do with the steering just to feel a whole lot safer. Thanks to the forum I've been getting ideas about where to order from.

There's a small car show this afternoon just up the street from us. My daughter is disappointed that Tony is still down. But, I told her that maybe someone will have a Squarebird and we can get some pointers and ideas on things. If there is I'll post some pics. I'll even ask if it's in the Registry.

Last night I watched West Side Story for the first time. Now I know see where she got Tony from. A real coincidence that it comes on TCM right after she names her car.

04-20-2013, 12:00 PM
...Last night I watched West Side Story for the first time. Now I know see where she got Tony from. A real coincidence that it comes on TCM right after she names her car.So... her car is named after a former Jet who works in a candy store in NY? Well, ok. Wait 'till she finds out "Tony" is really a feisty and classy girl car. It's been many years since this old bird was in her glory. I'm glad you're bringing her back. - Dave

04-21-2013, 03:36 PM
Megan likes 'Tony' because he was a girl-getter, and he got her on first sight!

I took the carb off today and cleaned that filth and everything else that was on it. Putting it back on the angle of it was more pronounced. I just read an older post about the wedge spacer and also the wedge gasket. I'll have to take a closer look at that thick gasket to see if it angled and put on wrong.

I went to that little car show put on by the Boy Scouts yesterday. They only had one T-Bird. It was a really good turnout on a cool sunny day.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/IMG_1671_zps5f277a11.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/IMG_1671_zps5f277a11.jpg.html)

04-21-2013, 04:38 PM
Make Prom the goal !

04-21-2013, 04:50 PM
That wedged shaped spacer goes on with the thick part towards the radiator and the thin side towards the firewall.

04-21-2013, 09:10 PM
Make Prom the goal !

She's already set on using my mom's Porsche

04-22-2013, 10:52 PM
My carb gasket is even all around. It's about 3/8-1/2" thick. I ordered the wedge from Tbird HQ today. Their online catalog showed $40, but the parts guy said they're $50 now. I should get my heat riser tomorrow.

04-25-2013, 02:19 PM
While waiting on parts, I just keep on doing whatever I can. The rear tail light chrome backings were in awful shape. The black was hand-painted and showed brush strokes. I polished the chrome and carefully taped each horizontal rib so it would be shiny top, facing, and below. I started with gloss black, but the paint itself was crap. So, I decided on semi-gloss and primer and it came out swell. It was a full day-into-the night endeavor.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Taillights1_zps0f7f0066.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Taillights1_zps0f7f0066.jpg.html)
I couldn't help the chrome blemishes being visible
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/taillights8_zpsebfe4ccd.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/taillights8_zpsebfe4ccd.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/taillights10_zpsdacb9379.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/taillights10_zpsdacb9379.jpg.html)
But it looks a heck of a lot better. Someday we'll find some brand new tail light buckets and rings. For now, they'll work just fine
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/taillights11_zpsb4fc45dc.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/taillights11_zpsb4fc45dc.jpg.html)
I had to get a car cover because of the darn cats

While waiting for paint to dry I installed the new glovebox liner, and ended up putting in about 10 screws in the center console, kick panels, and dash where they were missing. The interior light didn't work so I checked the bulb. Didn't have one. So I stuck one in and checked the door switch for it. The plunger was missing and the 2 wires were just hanging. So I plugged it in and it still didn't work. Does it need the plunger to make the connection for it to come on?

04-25-2013, 02:40 PM
I've got some gap/ alignment problems going on in the rear. It seems that the license plate door should be up and more parallel with the bumper. I fooled around with it but it seems that the whole spring-loaded arm needs to get bent in a little more to have it hug the bumper more. I found that I'm missing some rubber bumpers on it as well. I got a gas cap that actually seals the tank since the other one was on its death throes. It looks like it's pushing the door out, but it's not:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/trunkgap2_zps54be4b92.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/trunkgap2_zps54be4b92.jpg.html)

And then the trunk lid weather stripping seems to be either too thick or needs to be one with a crease so it would hug the lip around the trunk instead of sitting on top of it. Even adjusting the latch won't get it to push into the weather stripping. Any ideas, other than slicing a groove in it all the way around?
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/trunkgap1_zpse0bca322.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/trunkgap1_zpse0bca322.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/trunkgap3_zpsde36e484.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/trunkgap3_zpsde36e484.jpg.html)

04-25-2013, 06:06 PM
Now That Is Clean... ;)


05-04-2013, 10:58 AM
Nice work, it's coming along nicely. Oh, and you've got nothing in terms of leaks. Here's mine from when I did my suspension rebuild:



05-04-2013, 11:55 PM
Here's mine from when I did my suspension rebuild:

Yeah, I'd say that has a slight leak somewhere!

My daughter was off to the prom tonight in my mom's car. She was thrilled to drive the Porsche. Next year, it WILL be the year of the Thunderbird. :rolleyes:

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/prom21_zps88d4f818.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/prom21_zps88d4f818.jpg.html)http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/prom24_zps7716b5d5.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/prom24_zps7716b5d5.jpg.html)

05-05-2013, 12:12 AM
She's a pretty girl. Hope she had a great time at the prom. - Dave

05-05-2013, 02:17 AM
Nice work, it's coming along nicely. Oh, and you've got nothing in terms of leaks. Here's mine from when I did my suspension rebuild:


Did the Torrey Canyon run aground in there somewhere??

05-07-2013, 04:52 PM
As shown above, my trunk lid doesn't close flush because the weatherseal under it is mostly square and thick.

Is this what is supposed to be installed so the ridge around the trunk sits in the groove?
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/seal_zpsf100d83b.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/seal_zpsf100d83b.jpg.html)

05-07-2013, 09:00 PM
That's basically what it looks like. The ridge doesn't really go into the groove. It just compresses against it. Here's how it should go.


Dakota Boy
05-09-2013, 08:22 PM
your dome light wont light up unless the plunger on the door switch pops out and lets the internal contacts touch each other.

When I got my car, there was a piece of an old match stick in one of the door switches (plunger was gone). I removed the match stick, and then the dang dome light wouldnt shut off!:D

05-10-2013, 11:27 PM
I just got some parts in today, the light switch one of them. Plugged it in and on came the light. One more problem fixed.

06-02-2013, 09:56 PM
We took Tony to a car show at an old folks home in Florence, KY today. Perfect weather. Megan had a big grin the whole time while watching people congregate around the car, the only TBird there. It was for any and all years of cars. My wife like the Ambassador that had the seats fold down into a bed.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0678_zpsb8e48857.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0678_zpsb8e48857.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0661_zpsad1b0054.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0661_zpsad1b0054.jpg.html)
I finally got the engine looking spiffy enough to show off, too
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0649_zpsbe707b5d.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0649_zpsbe707b5d.jpg.html)
There might've been 60-70 cars altogether

06-03-2013, 12:16 AM
...There might've been 60-70 cars altogether Yeah, but yours looks the nicest. Good pics, too. It's no wonder, why Megan was smiling the whole time. - Dave

06-22-2013, 07:05 PM
Megan and I took Tony down to a show at the local flea market. As always, most cars there were pure awesome with custom paint, lots of chrome parts, and great detail. We just sat in the shade to watch some of the people come over, peek inside, and maybe take a picture or two.
Weather looked like it was coming in so over half the cars left (out of maybe 30). We bought some raffle tickets so we were there until the end.
Everyone gathered near the tent for prizes and trophies. We missed the 50/50 pot by 2 numbers. Next came the trophies. A '32 Ford got 1st Place. It was immaculate. A '48 Ford won 2nd. Then came their Manager's Choice. The announcer says, "The red '59(?) Ford Fairlane. Well, he's done left, so we decided to award it to the black '59 Ford Thunderbird."
Megan and I looked at each other totally shocked. Talk about a huge smile on that girl's face! And to top it off, she won the 2nd drawing for $32 cash. Not bad for a few hours of sweating in the heat.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Richwood22June43_zpsa4232f78.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Richwood22June43_zpsa4232f78.jpg.html)
If weather is good tomorrow, we'll be taking Tony to Perfect North Slopes outside of Lawrenceburg, IN for a show. My dad lives a few minutes from there and will drive his '59 Russian GAZ-69 army jeep to it.

Richard D. Hord
06-22-2013, 07:25 PM
Congratulations! You guys and Tony deserve it.
Richard D. Hord

06-22-2013, 07:27 PM
...The announcer says, "The red '59(?) Ford Fairlane. Well, he's done left, so we decided to award it to the black '59 Ford Thunderbird."...My laugh must have been loud because Robin wanted to know why.
Awesome adventure that Megan will never forget.

I love this story and I can hear it now in the coming years.., 'Hey Dad, remember when we drove Tony that weekend and won a trophy and cash!? Times like that gotta make you a very proud dad. - Dave

06-22-2013, 09:38 PM
I think it was the '58 Tbird model I spent all week working on to make it look like a '59 that clinched it for her. You can barely see it on the dash.

11-27-2013, 05:17 PM
Just some of the work I've been doing since September.

When I said the rear end was leaking, I wasn't kidding:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0033_zps91ea5922.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0033_zps91ea5922.jpg.html)

Pulled out:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0044_zps442bd026.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0044_zps442bd026.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0169_zps7935a91e.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0169_zps7935a91e.jpg.html)

Rear brakes before:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0029_zps3a2a7a53.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0029_zps3a2a7a53.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0466_zpsc31cd83f.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0466_zpsc31cd83f.jpg.html)

Brake lines and u-joint:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0472_zpsccd63ef3.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0472_zpsccd63ef3.jpg.html)

Left front end before:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0477_zpsbd40fc6f.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0477_zpsbd40fc6f.jpg.html)

before cleaning:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0483_zps4cd83a45.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0483_zps4cd83a45.jpg.html)

scraping, chiseling, and cleaning:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0490_zpsaa45bc94.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0490_zpsaa45bc94.jpg.html)

Ball joints are totally shot. I don't think the drums are very old, and the shoes didn't look bad, but I'm still going to install new shoes. I've got new wheels seals, but having a hard time finding the long single return spring at parts stores. May have to get them at a T-bird vendor. Bearings are great. The rear splash shield steel was ripped and pushed back. I thought maybe someone ran over something, but when I removed the shield I saw some pieces of tire and cord stuck way in there.

I still haven't started on the right front yet.

11-27-2013, 05:52 PM
John, you do nice work. It all looks so much nicer after you cleaned and painted your parts.

Now, let me lay some more work on you...
Since you are taking the spindles off (to change ball joints) go the rest of the way and do the rubber bushings as well.

In my experience, the RH side gets more abuse than the LH. That's because all the puddles are on the right, curbs, storm drain covers, the shoulder of the road, etc.

Vendors carry the bushings for around eight bucks each. Sometimes you can get them as a set. I changed my own using a 1-1/2" pipe nipple and a small sledge hammer I call, Percy. The only part that moves is the rubber that rots out. Nothing pivots. One of them gave me trouble but as soon as I heated it with a propane torch, the rubber melted out and the thing gave up with its hands in the air.

Again, nice work, John. - Dave

11-27-2013, 07:13 PM
Thanks, Dave.

I was going to take some pics of it painted, but the battery was dead in the camera. I plan on buying the parts to do the job but have a local shop that specializes in alignments and frame straightening (frame/unibody isn't bent) to do the real work. I just have a piddly garage with limited workspace.

Is there a rubber flap or something that covers the hole between the fenderwell and the engine compartment where the upper a-arm bolts through? There are some holes made for cage nuts.

11-30-2013, 03:29 PM
If you're referring to having the suspension/alignment shop do the A arm bushings, they are going to have to pull apart everything you have off now to do it. If you've got room to get this far, you likely have room to finish the A arm bushings. It's not as hard as it seems. Biggest pointer is to follow the shop manual for removing the spring, a spring compressor is about useless in this situation.

If you decide to do it, check out my suspension rebuild galley here (http://www.salguod.net/gallery/squarebird-suspension-rebuild/).

11-30-2013, 04:07 PM
Doug is right on the money, here. You can do the work once at the lowest cost, or do it over again.

There is an alternative. Remove the "A" arms and either do the bushings in your garage or have a professional garage do the work.

The car needs to be raised on jack stands with a scissors-type jack under "A" arm. The lower arms are so long, you don't need a spring compressor. Your Shop Manual describes how to lower the "A" arm once the spindle is detached. The spring will drop right out.

As a general rule, all suspension work is not for the faint-hearted. You need big tools. Again, Doug is right about the bushings. Once you change them, the ride vastly improves, alignment is true and it's good for another fifty years.

BTW, once the parts are in your lap stripping and painting is much easier than trying to do it afterward. A 'garage' won't take the time (or charge the money) to strip and paint. - Dave

11-30-2013, 09:04 PM
That's why I'm doing as much cleaning on what I can reach right now. I don't have the bigger tools, and the space around the car is real limited. I've followed how to remove the springs on here and the shop manual. I'm just not sure what will need a torch to loosen things. The car is right in front of our family room, so I don't need the stink passing through the door.

I may see if my dad would want to try and help me by taking it over to his shop. He's got tons of room and practically every tool we would need. It just depends on what projects he has going on taking up space.

11-30-2013, 09:30 PM
Here's the left side painted. I used a brush so I wouldn't have overspray all over the place, and it won't be seen as closely. I look at it and just keep thinking how nice it'd be to replace the springs and bushings myself (or with help).
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0516_zpsf4b4dff0.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0516_zpsf4b4dff0.jpg.html)

I started the right side last night. I was surprised that everything wasn't so filthy or caked like on the left. However, the rear splashguard has a rusty hole. So, after getting the bolts out I beat the crap out of it to break it loose. Meanwhile, dirt was POURING out from behind it like a dumptruck. After getting it off I started scraping the paint-covered dirt inside the fenderwell. And there is a ton of it. A pressure washer would be perfect....if the car was outside. For now I'll focus on getting the brakes on and worry about the inner fender when I do get a chance to roll it outside.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/Rtside2_zps0f7a65b6.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/Rtside2_zps0f7a65b6.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/DSC_0519_zps732a9cde.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/DSC_0519_zps732a9cde.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/DSC_0520_zpsf8d9c7d3.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/DSC_0520_zpsf8d9c7d3.jpg.html)

The welded coil spring. Also, no lower bumper stop
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/DSC_0527_zps99e4e46e.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/DSC_0527_zps99e4e46e.jpg.html)

12-31-2013, 08:37 PM
Happy New Year's Eve!

Been working on several parts of the car lately, inside and out.

I've got the right front finished, minus splash shields, and also got the brakes installed.

Applied KBS Coating on the rusted area and used their hardening putty in the hole
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Rightside16_zps53d45029.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Rightside16_zps53d45029.jpg.html)

I decided to go ahead and spend several hours scraping and cleaning under the fender
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Rightside15_zps09a98df9.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Rightside15_zps09a98df9.jpg.html)

New brake hardware
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Rightside14_zps9473166f.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Rightside14_zps9473166f.jpg.html)

New wheel seals, new grease on bearings
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Rightside17_zps3ba5c3a2.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Rightside17_zps3ba5c3a2.jpg.html)

I must've accidentally thrown out the self-adjuster kit for the left side and had to re-order another kit. $7 after shipping from Rock Auto.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0541_zpsf2ba2cad.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0541_zpsf2ba2cad.jpg.html)

Left side buttoned up
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0542_zps859902ec.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0542_zps859902ec.jpg.html)

12-31-2013, 09:20 PM
Working on the interior now. Pulled out the black/purple carpet, degreased and prepped the flooring to put more KBS coating on the rust. Driver side was more rusty with a minor hole which will be filled. Once the driver side coating is dried thoroughly I'll start cleaning the passenger side to do the same. That should finish up my can of KBS RustSeal.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/oldcarpeting7_zpsb2e9ae3f.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/oldcarpeting7_zpsb2e9ae3f.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/oldcarpeting3_zps7b21e2a1.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/oldcarpeting3_zps7b21e2a1.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/oldcarpeting2_zpsdb7ee97c.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/oldcarpeting2_zpsdb7ee97c.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/barefloor11_zps42efe13a.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/barefloor11_zps42efe13a.jpg.html)

Used KBS' RustBlast that leaves a zinc coating for better adhesion of the rust coating.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/barefloor7_zps7e8eef5e.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/barefloor7_zps7e8eef5e.jpg.html)

The only real rust hole in the front
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/barefloor9_zps7b09b3f4.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/barefloor9_zps7b09b3f4.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/rustsealfloor3_zps135d7dd1.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/rustsealfloor3_zps135d7dd1.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/rustsealfloor1_zps3ad49ff9.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/rustsealfloor1_zps3ad49ff9.jpg.html)

Also re-did the wiring harness. I use the stuff that Harbor Freight sells.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/rustsealfloor2_zps81c2a18d.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/rustsealfloor2_zps81c2a18d.jpg.html)

I bought a 4'x24' roll of floor padding/sound deadening material from JC Whitney for less than $60. That'll go over most of the floor and behind and under the backseat. I took the gunk-filled master cylinder off and will clean that section of the firewall for painting, and then install the new one. Once that's in I can finally start bleeding the brakes.

Then, new tires to replace the old Firestone 721's that are really shot.

02-01-2014, 08:58 PM
A couple of pics of the insulation install. I ordered new seat covers and foam and hopefully get them by next weekend. The carpeting is fitting perfectly, which I'll fasten in once the seats are back in and bolted down. I also ordered the double speaker to replace the original speaker.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/newinsulation1_zpsdedf49c8.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/newinsulation1_zpsdedf49c8.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/newinsulation2_zps0c2e405a.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/newinsulation2_zps0c2e405a.jpg.html)

I'm ready for tires. A friend is running these Coopers on his Regal, 215/70/14's. They also come in 225/70's. Will 70's be too short? They don't have 75's of any size.

Your thoughts?

02-06-2014, 12:41 PM
I bought a 4'x24' roll of floor padding/sound deadening material from JC Whitney for less than $60. That'll go over most of the floor and behind and under the backseat. I took the gunk-filled master cylinder off and will clean that section of the firewall for painting, and then install the new one. Once that's in I can finally start bleeding the brakes.
Do you have the product number for the padding? I tried searching for it on their website, but couldn't find a roll.

02-07-2014, 04:53 AM
Here's the 4'x24' padding:

Sign up for JC Whitney emails and get some pretty good discounts like 15-20% off with no minimum, plus the free shipping.

Do you have the product number for the padding? I tried searching for it on their website, but couldn't find a roll.

02-08-2014, 07:39 PM
Here's the 4'x24' padding:

Sign up for JC Whitney emails and get some pretty good discounts like 15-20% off with no minimum, plus the free shipping.

Thank you very much!

02-09-2014, 03:00 AM
I am concerned about water that gets trapped under padding. It's a recipe for disaster unless the floor can breathe.

You're going to think I'm nuts but I went to my favorite box store and bought artificial grass carpet. It's plastic, makes a great insulator and it holds no water. I laid the carpet over it and I was done. There's no need to glue it.

This stuff is hyper allergenic, won't mold and it breathes easily.

I learned from living in Michigan with a Mustang convertible. We never know when it's going to rain, even on a very nice day. All it takes is a short trip to the store with the top down. Yes, it happened to me. There I was in the checkout line when all of a sudden it came down in buckets. I ran out as fast as humanly possible but it didn't matter. The floor had a half inch of water and I spent the next two days drying with towels and fans, trying to prevent mold.

All that padding under the carpet did a great job of holding water like a sponge. The tar-like sheets on the steel floor kept water trapped for prolonged periods to promote rust. For our daily drivers, winter brings plenty of snow and ice. Rubber mats are good to hold melted snow on top but underneath, the carpet always gets wet.

So, the floor needs to breath through the carpet so it can evaporate and dry. Your headliner is the same story. Ever wonder why all those pin holes in a vinyl headliner? Without them your roof will rust from the inside because water condenses when warm moist air hits cold metal. The roof literally sweats inside. Also, my mufflers have drain holes for condensation. (Warm air on cold metal.) - Dave

02-09-2014, 03:04 PM
Thank you very much!

I've got plenty left over to use on some of my other cars. I also bought the aluminum tape from JCW so I can join pieces together.

02-09-2014, 03:08 PM
I installed my RediRad to the radio this morning. We tried it out using the old speaker (new one is backordered) and it sounds great. Well, for only having one speaker. The first song my daughter played off of her iPhone was from Elvis, naturally. :D

The ACC is very touchy and I had to get the key just right to get power to the radio. Would that be a tumbler problem?

02-09-2014, 04:14 PM
Check the wires on your Key Switch, and make sure they are tight. If they are, I see a new Key Switch in your future.

The switch comes with no lock cylinder, so you can transfer the one you have to a new key switch. - Dave

02-15-2014, 01:23 PM
... I'm ready for tires. A friend is running these Coopers on his Regal, 215/70/14's. They also come in 225/70's. Will 70's be too short? They don't have 75's of any size.

Your thoughts?

Even the 75 series tires are a bit shorter than the original bias plys. The 225 70s are almost an inch shorter than the 225 75s. Here's how the tire sizes shake out:

800-14 - 27.58" tall - 8.10" wide
215/70R14 - 25.85" tall - 8.46" wide
215/75R14 - 26.70" tall - 8.46" wide
850-14 - 28.10" tall - 8.35" wide
225/70R14 - 26.40" tall - 8.86" wide
225/75R14 - 27.29" tall - 8.86" wide

As you see, modern tires are wider and shorter than the originals. There is no modern match, the 75 series radials are as close as you can get.

Coker and Diamond Back sell 215/75R14 and 225/75R14 tires, but they aren't cheap. If you go with the Coopers, get the 225s. They'll work OK, but your speedo will read a bit high (3-4 MPH at 65) and they won't quite fill the wheel wells, but should drive OK.

02-15-2014, 03:39 PM
Even the 75 series tires are a bit shorter than the original bias plys. The 225 70s are almost an inch shorter than the 225 75s. Here's how the tire sizes shake out:

800-14 - 27.58" tall - 8.10" wide
215/70R14 - 25.85" tall - 8.46" wide
215/75R14 - 26.70" tall - 8.46" wide
850-14 - 28.10" tall - 8.35" wide
225/70R14 - 26.40" tall - 8.86" wide
225/75R14 - 27.29" tall - 8.86" wide

As you see, modern tires are wider and shorter than the originals. There is no modern match, the 75 series radials are as close as you can get.

Coker and Diamond Back sell 215/75R14 and 225/75R14 tires, but they aren't cheap. If you go with the Coopers, get the 225s. They'll work OK, but your speedo will read a bit high (3-4 MPH at 65) and they won't quite fill the wheel wells, but should drive OK.

Thanks for that info. I was going to ask a shop if they knew the dimensions of these tires. Now I won't have to be a nuasance taking up their time.

02-16-2014, 10:36 PM
Modern tire sizes are pretty easy to figure out. The first number (215, 225) is the width in millimeters. The number after the / is the height of the side wall as a percentage of the width. So a 215/70 tire has two side walls that are 70% of 215 millimeters tall or about 150 mm. From there, it's just converting to inches (divide by 25.4) and adding it up.

You can also use an online calculator like the one from Discount Tire (http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direct/infoTireMath.do). For older tires, I look 'em up on Coker's website (http://www.cokertire.com/).

Individual tires do vary, however, so the tires you're looking at may be slightly different that that, but not much.

02-18-2014, 05:03 PM
P225/75R14 all the way!! :D

02-21-2014, 10:23 PM
I spent today getting the new carpet and front seatbelts installed. The seatbelts are in temporary until I get some stainless hardware for them. The gas pedal is new since the other one fell apart at the rod.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0479_zps96891c76.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0479_zps96891c76.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0476_zpsa7b22c8e.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0476_zpsa7b22c8e.jpg.html)http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0475_zps9eac434d.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0475_zps9eac434d.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0480_zps6e5a7120.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0480_zps6e5a7120.jpg.html)

I'll be cleaning up the console and its chrome and will try to get that installed this week. I took off the U-channel brackets that holds the kick plate panels by the door. They need to be cleaned up and repainted. Since the vinyl isn't really white, does anyone have a color suggestion in spray paint?

I finally have everything to get my seats re-done.

02-22-2014, 12:00 AM
If it were me I guess I'd paint 'em black.

02-22-2014, 10:52 AM
I'll be cleaning up the console and its chrome and will try to get that installed this week. I took off the U-channel brackets that holds the kick plate panels by the door. They need to be cleaned up and repainted. Since the vinyl isn't really white, does anyone have a color suggestion in spray paint?

I finally have everything to get my seats re-done.

Use Wimbledon White. It's a very close match to the colonial white that was originally used and it's available in a spray can at most auto stores.


02-23-2014, 12:45 AM
Use Wimbledon White. It's a very close match to the colonial white that was originally used and it's available in a spray can at most auto stores.


Thanks John.

03-17-2014, 04:15 PM
The last 2 weeks I was doing reserve duty, so I couldn't do too much. Some of the things I've done before I left was send my seats out to get re-done (still waiting); put interior trim places back in place; and, install the rear seatbelt. Just some of the pics of late:

Re-installed the console. Input jack from RadioRad comes up through front ashtray
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/RadiRadinputwire_zps55112f7c.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/RadiRadinputwire_zps55112f7c.jpg.html)

I used double-sided velcro to use as new window felt. I pulled out the staples and JB Welded the metal strip, then used Super Adhesive to glue one velcro strip to the metal, and then glued an additional velcro strip for thickness
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/velcrofelt1_zpsd1019f18.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/velcrofelt1_zpsd1019f18.jpg.html)

Painted the front seat seatbelt brackets with texture paint. Should blend in with the new carpet well. Will be using black button-head bolts to blend in even more
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/frontbelts_zps86073562.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/frontbelts_zps86073562.jpg.html)

Exterior outer brackets for the rear seatbelts my dad cut for me
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/rearbeltbrackets_zps3aac645a.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/rearbeltbrackets_zps3aac645a.jpg.html)

For anyone who plans to install rear belts, pull out the fuel line a little before drilling the driver-side belt hole by the fenderwell. I'll be putting some rubber hose around the fuel line so the nut won't wear into it
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/undersidebeltsmounts2_zps062ec44e.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/undersidebeltsmounts2_zps062ec44e.jpg.html)

Inner seatbelts mounted. Still needs to get painted black
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/undersidebeltsmounts4_zps4080ccbf.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/undersidebeltsmounts4_zps4080ccbf.jpg.html)

Some helper pics on where the dimples are. These are both on the driver's side
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/seatbeltholes1_zpsb07f2f01.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/seatbeltholes1_zpsb07f2f01.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/seatbeltholesmarked4_zps11c6b8af.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/seatbeltholesmarked4_zps11c6b8af.jpg.html)

Finished product
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/rearseatbelts3_zps6104b54a.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/rearseatbelts3_zps6104b54a.jpg.html)

I'm on vacation this week, so I hope to get my seats returned, and try to re-install the right 1/4-window. Warm weather this week will be greatly appreciated!

06-05-2014, 03:40 PM
I finally got my seats back and they look like crap. The rear backrest won't fit back into place, and also leaves a gap below the rear deck. The foams are just too thick. Also, I got covers that look better on a boat. They are flat black, not shiny like the rest of the interior. The seams in the covers also don't match the originals.

I got these from Mac's and have talked to them. They said everything comes straight from their vendors. When they sent the wrong color covers, they were nice and shiny red. I have to send them pictures so they can pass it on to their vendors. I just hate to get new stuff that will be the same old wrong sizes and fitment.

06-05-2014, 03:56 PM
Did you use pre-made foam or did your upholstery guy fabricate it? Can you provide pix of the covers and the fit?

06-05-2014, 04:40 PM
I just sent a slew of pics to Mac's. The foam was purchased from Mac's, also.

Two views of how the seams are different. He did the best he could to hog ring through extra thick foam. He says it must be about 2-3" too thick.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_FrontSeams02_zps30d85514.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_FrontSeams02_zps30d85514.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_FrontSeams01_zps2a5d2f7e.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_FrontSeams01_zps2a5d2f7e.jpg.html)

Rear seatback and gap. I can't even get the seat all the way up to even screw the bottom in.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBack03_zpsfd8342b4.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBack03_zpsfd8342b4.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBack01_zpsb98809a1.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBack01_zpsb98809a1.jpg.html)

Rear bottom, and white showing when in car
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBottom03_zps8bdb9931.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBottom03_zps8bdb9931.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBottom02_zpsb186ff52.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBottom02_zpsb186ff52.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBottom01_zps4c041a29.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_RearBottom01_zps4c041a29.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_front05_zps0372ccc2.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_front05_zps0372ccc2.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/Collins_59TB_front02_zps564b917a.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/Collins_59TB_front02_zps564b917a.jpg.html)

My upholstery guy was mentioned in an earlier post about cushions and covers several weeks ago. He talked to some of his friends who do seats and they can't believe these are made for the '59.

The girl from Mac's said they'll review my pics and what I told them. Then I'll have get the covers and foam back off, ship it back, and hope for the best.

Dakota Boy
06-05-2014, 05:47 PM
I reconditioned my '60 leather rear seat covers and had an upholstery guy stretch them over new foams that I got from Jed Zimmerman here.

Like you said, the rear seat back was REALLY tough to get those two bottom screws to start. You gotta really lift on it while someone else works on the screws. At first I was afreaid I would have a gap at the top as well, but it all turned out good in the end.

06-05-2014, 05:48 PM
Wow, that IS bad.
I never liked the covers with heat-pressed pleats. I sew mine in with real thread.
There are listing wires that hang down just below the piping (yours should be silver piping). By the looks of this job, the foams don't have proper relief or depth for the listing wires. Once those wires are hog ringed, the upholstery should be straight and pulled down, much more than yours is. The listing wires get hogged into the bottom and back springs, all the way through the foams.

I have no idea WHAT this is:

And I gotta say, part of this is your installer's fault. I'd like to see the under-side, where the hog rings are attached to the springs. This is just terrible, and I'm really surprised anyone would release this kind of work. He also tore the corner seam, trying to pull it down.

Too much foam is always better than not enough. It should arrive 'right' but, a simple turkey knife or sander will bring foam where it needs to be. Every good trimmer knows this. I hope you kept your original covers so you can compare the bottom sides to the new ones. If they are the same, go talk with your trim shop.

I like Mac's a lot, but none of this is their work. They simply turn it over for a profit. I like Jed Zimmerman's work (he makes foams by hand), and I sew my own covers using marine vinyl (and/or other materials that are UV resistant). That way I can control the depth of my pleats.

BTW, covers are 'close' but never exact. At the assembly plant, workers put the seat in a machine that pushes the cushion down far enough so the perimeter can be hog ringed properly. Your back seat wasn't done that way, but it should have been. That's why all that white border is showing. Again, I would have a serious talk with your trim shop. - Dave

06-05-2014, 08:28 PM
Here are those underside pics:

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0597_zpsb1b7e7ca.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0597_zpsb1b7e7ca.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0596_zpsadab96e7.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0596_zpsadab96e7.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0595_zps304d5b2d.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0595_zps304d5b2d.jpg.html)

06-06-2014, 02:32 AM
Went back and reviewed posts in this thread.
Excellent - very informative, please keep posting.
My 60 needs rear seat belts. Your pictures are helpful.

06-06-2014, 02:41 AM
John, I'd like to draw your attention to this Youtube video about how to reupholster your Mustang seat covers. Squarebird and early Mustang seats are identical in the procedure:
It's a DIY instruction for first time seat cover installers.

At about 4:30, they talk about listing wires and listing wire channels. They make their own wires out of coat hanger or welding rod. Either way, these rods spread out the 'pull' of the hog rings, and they should look great when done. Notice how deep the foam grooves are. When heavy coat hanger steel is at the bottom of these channels, ain't no way they're going to bend. I have no idea what your installer used, but it bends and waves all over.

The video says to start at the top, then do the sides and finally the underside. Clearly, this cushion was not started at the top:
It looks to me like the top was done dead last, judging by the big wrinkle.

The listing rods should pull the welt down into the crease while the bolsters make the black vinyl rise up. These covers barely have any depth at all.

Original seats have small (spring steel) listing wires loosely woven through the burlap, spreading across all the springs, to spread out the passenger's weight:

I can see them in the back seat bottom but they have been removed from the front seat bottoms, and common burlap has taken their place. These small listing wires help support the foam from wearing through the 'Z' springs. They also make a better foundation for those listing channel wires. - Dave

06-06-2014, 09:28 AM
Went back and reviewed posts in this thread.
Excellent - very informative, please keep posting.
My 60 needs rear seat belts. Your pictures are helpful.

This is the first car I've had to do a lot of work on. I'm learning as I go. Step 1 is to get a camera. Step 2, a repair manual. Step 3, Squarebirds.org on your Favorites.

06-06-2014, 10:02 AM
Another issue that I ran into is that when you close the door the arm rest digs into the side of the seat back. I have repro door panels but I believe that it is due to the seat foam being too wide.


06-07-2014, 03:14 AM
This thread has been added to the Technical Resource Library (TRL) under a new heading called Seat Cover Installation.

06-16-2014, 03:33 PM
My son and I fought and finagled the rear backrest into position using brute force, punches, and a hammer. Looks fine. The bottom cushion is too fat to get in enough under the backrest, and is soooo close to catching on the brackets in the front.

The front seats were no problem, other than for some reason someone used a sawzall to cut the studs flush with the bottom of the seat brackets, or rails. Vice grips and some heat got them out. For a skinny guy like me with boney legs, I have to slide under the steering wheel, and my legs barely touch. My daughter is a little bigger than me and the wheel actually rests on her thighs. She asked if I could raise the wheel up any. I told her I don't think you can.

The front seat belts are in. Because of the tall seats, the belts are close to max. I got the 60" belts, I believe. I had to take out the rear outer belt bolts to get the backrest cushion in. A big crowbar lifted the corners out enough to get the bolts back in. Plenty of belt length for the rears.

We took Tony to his first car show of the year Saturday. With the new tires and wheels, and still crappy front end, we're limiting how far we drive it so the tires don't wear badly from bad alignment. I got a new tire for my spare and the trunk looks awesome. But, Megan didn't want it open during the show. She won $81 on Split The Pot! A few pics:

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0644_zps1e1c2ab3.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0644_zps1e1c2ab3.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0637_zps71d5ae70.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0637_zps71d5ae70.jpg.html)

I'm out of town again, so I'll get some seat pics once I get home.

06-16-2014, 06:00 PM
Wears black well. Chrome shows best against medium to dark colors.
You learned me something with those wheels. They are ideal on black car with black wall tires. Perhaps more so on Tbird than other cars. If I were choosing wheels for your 59, would have passed them by. Now I know better.

06-16-2014, 06:44 PM
If I were choosing wheels for your 59, would have passed them by. Now I know better.

$383 new for 4, free shipping on ebay. I couldn't pass that up!

I think they make the car look a little more bad***.

06-21-2014, 10:13 AM
Found this under the driver seat when I pulled it out. It is so brittle I thought it was going to fall apart opening it up:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/TBirdbuildsheet_zps0310cf89.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/TBirdbuildsheet_zps0310cf89.jpg.html)

06-21-2014, 11:49 AM
Great find! That looks like 2 different ROT Sheets! Different VIN # showing on each. I see on the top ROT Sheet the VIN # is 414648, which is interesting that it starts with a 4 and the bottom one starts with a 1. I am wondering if that ROT Sheet might be for a Lincoln? The Trim block has DSO in it and there is a Special Order Number in the block of that one also. The other information on that ROT Sheet is way different from the bottom one.

Someone must have stuffed the ROT Sheet from the previous car he was working on, into your seat, along with yours, assuming that VIN #129476 matches your VIN # on the Data Plate. Interesting. Put those in a document protector to protect them from further damage from the elements! I hope that Alan Tast or "Fuz" sees this and comments on this.

Note: I just did some checking and from what I found 1959 Lincolns also started with a 1 in their VIN # just like Squarebirds did. Maybe the "4" indicated that it was a special order going to a District Sales Office (DSO)?

John, did you find the missing piece in the top ROT Sheet where the Model number should be at? If you have it, what does it say? It is to bad that is missing!

06-21-2014, 01:28 PM
Those black cars do look nice.........:cool:

x2 Ray

Engine code "H" ???? Thought there were only Y and J code engines in US Tbirds. Was the H for the low compression export or just different codes in '59?

Apparently the ROT sheet layout changed between '59 and when mine was built in '60.

I made a color copy of my build sheet for shows and keep the original in a sealed package in the house to prevent further deterioration.



06-21-2014, 01:38 PM
In 1959, there were Engine Codes G, (332 Cubic Inch Thunderbird Special V-8 - low octane, export only) H (Thunderbird 352 Special V-8), and J (Thunderbird 430 Special V-8). In 1960, it was G (same as in 1959), Y (instead of H, but same engine as in 1959), & J (same as in 1959).

06-21-2014, 03:58 PM
I have been sitting here trying to figure out what kind of car they were building using ROT Sheet #1! It is to bad that Model Block information is missing, as that might have helped. Then I sat here and recorded the information in each of the ROT Sheet blocks and compared them. Here is what I have from them.

ROT Sheet Difference between ROT Sheet #1 and #2

ROT Block #1. 334 #2. 335
Serial No. Block #1. 414648 #2. 129476
Model Block #1. Missing #2. 63A
Color Block #1. 07-Not a color code for a '59 Squarebird #2. A-Raven Black
Trim Block #1. DSO #2. 4X
IB Block #1. A #2. 3
TOP Block #1. Blank #2. Blank
ORD. TYPE Block #1. R #2. 1
Special Order Number Block #1. 0157 #2. Blank
HA/C Htr Air Cond Block #1. 6 #2. 1
R Radio Block #1. 2 #2. 3
EDL Door Locks Block #1. #2. Blank or not readable
RDL Deck Lock Block #1. 1 #2. Blank or not readable
ED Elect Dim. Block #1. 1 #2. Blank or not readable
BL BK-Up Lites Block #1. Blank #2. 2
Misc #1 1 Block #1. Blank #2. 2
EL Elect Wndo Block #1. Blank #2. Blank
EV Elect Vents Block #1. Blank #2. Blank
TG Tint Glass Block #1. Blank #2. Blank
Misc #2 2 Block #1. Blank #2. Blank
PL Pwr Lub Block #1. Blank #2. Blank
PBS Brks Strg Block #1. Blank #2. 2
WW Wipe Wash Block #1. Blank #2. 2
RVM Rear Mirror Block #1. Blank #2. 2
SB Seat Belts Block #1. Blank #2. 2
Misc #3, 4 & 5 Blocks #1. Blank on all 3 #2. Blank on all 3
ENG Engine Block #1. Blank #2. H
TRAN Trans-mission Block #1. Blank #2. 4
X Axle Block #1. Blank #2. 1
PD Pwr Diff Block #1. 1 #2. Blank
AS, Misc #6, & RM Blocks #1. Blank on all 3 #2. Blank on all 3
F/W F-Shld W/Cvr Block #1. Blank #2. 2
Misc #7 & Bat Blocks #1 Blank on both #2. Blank on both
TT Tire Type Block #1. 1 #2. 1
TS Tire Size Block #1. 2 #2. 2
TB & GQ Blocks #1. Blank on both #2. Blank on both
Sched Date Block #1. C 13 #2. C 11
Export Options Blocks are all blank on both ROT Sheets.

Sooo, what kind of car was being built using ROT Sheet #1?

06-21-2014, 07:56 PM
With electric door locks, dimmer and power lubrication it has to be a Lincoln of some sort. I don't think '59 Mercury's had those options. I guess the model will remain a mystery.


06-21-2014, 08:16 PM
Hi John, I figured it might have been a Lincoln also, but then I did some research on Lincolns and it seems that they also started their VIN #'s with a 1 and not a 4. As for Mercury's, they were not manufactured at the Wixom plant that I know of. From what I found, they were built, back then, in a New Jersey plant. I am hoping that Alan or Fuz will see this and see if they can shed some light on what the first ROT Sheet might have been for.. May Special Order or DSO cars started with a 4, but I have never seen a Squarebird with a 4 starting Vin # before.

06-21-2014, 08:32 PM
ROT sheets are simply a copy of the broadcast, a convenience for the workers in the assembly plant. It's an internal 'guide' that may be referenced, or it may never be looked at.

Your 'double form' is a prime example. Whoever tore the tractor sheet off the printer wasn't careful (he did 60/hour) and he got two that were clearly never separated but they both got stuffed into the T-bird. Why? Because ROT sheets were rarely looked at. I'm sure nobody noticed one was missing or one T-bird had two. Even though it had two, only the second one applied to that car because he missed the Lincoln before the T-bird.

At the beginning of each shift, a book of that day's production was printed in each department. So, as cars go down the line, they are in order of rotation. ROT sheets were printed after the body was painted and baked. Obviously, painters could not reference a ROT sheet, they followed a broadcast and that shift's book. The Broadcast printer happened after Paint but before Trim, while the body was bare and on skids.

So what about the first car's ROT sheet? It was missing all the way down the line and nobody cared. Those sheets fell out of some cars, were never returned to other cars and were never inserted in others. They were simply a pain. Sometimes at a 'turn around' there might be dozens on the floor because the lift tables and turn-arounds jar the whole body at the end of each line.

It is a very lucky thing to find a ROT sheet because it means the guy on the line didn't make a special trip to throw it out. By all rights, once the car is assembled, the broadcast sheet is trash that should be removed from the car.

Here we are fifty years later, trying to read blank boxes which meant that option was 'standard' or it didn't apply (like tinted rear window (backlite) glass on a convertible).

Internal controls and company codes are interesting to see if you never experienced the assembly process, where different subassemblies are made off-line but the correct parts come together on the main assembly line. Today we call this stack, 'first in, first out'. Some codes are for the QC dept., or for fleet sales (like rental cars that have unique color), or for special runs (cars built for sale in California or foreign countries that have metric speedometers or different safety and emissions standards).

06-21-2014, 11:11 PM
Dave, thanks for that explanation, but now I am really confused, which I guess is not hard to do. All this time, I was under the impression that the ROT/Build Sheet was used by the line personnel to put the appropriate parts on and in the car. I thought it told them what interior trim to put in it, what radio, whether to build it with AC or not, Power Steering or not, which tires to slap on it, and everything else they needed to know to put on the car.

If they did not pay much attention to the ROT/Build Sheet then what did they go by to know how to build each car coming at them? Was it this Shift Book that told the linemen what to slap on the car? It certainly had to be something they were going by! All this time, I thought it was the ROT/Build Sheet, which I see you have called the Broadcast sheet.

Thanks for the explanation of how two different ROT/Build Sheets for two different cars could end up in the same car. I know that others have found different sheets that were not for their car in theirs when they found their sheet. I still don't understand why that first sheet has a 4 for the beginning VIN #. I hope Alan or Fuz can explain that. I think it must have something to do with being a DSO and Special Order car. Perhaps that was for a high level staff member?

06-22-2014, 03:06 AM
...I still don't understand why that first sheet has a 4 for the beginning VIN #... ...Perhaps that was for a high level staff member?I get a kick out of 'high level staff'. Some cars are used for internal company use, like donating a dozen cars to be destroyed on a movie set or in crash or corrosion tests. Maintenance departments get Ford trucks. If Plant Engineering needs a few, some might be a T-bird or Lincoln.

Ford uses thousands of 'manufacturer's' plates and they are self-insured. Ford owns these vehicles for internal use. Many times, people from one division needed to meet with those from another division, or from plant to plant. They use 'pool cars' for the trip rather than paying on Travel Expense Reports. Most plants have their own gas pumps including World Headquarters (outside the company car wash). No money ever changes hands, and many of these cars only see a dealership when sold as 'used'. To buy a "B" lot car (company used vehicles), an employee simply visits the lot in Dearborn, looks through the database of prices/models/years (yes, some plants changed pool cars after two years), then 'tags' the car as his and let them know which dealership he would like to pick it up at.

The point is, each building, plant, office, division, testing facility, security... all have adequate cars assigned to them with their own parking slots, scheduled maintenance, etc. Some vehicles never drove on public roads or had license plates. These would be maintenance trucks inside the Rouge Complex (of 17 plants). So, internal company vehicles were purposed very differently.

As explained, most ROT sheets were never opened. The only time one might be used is if a car was removed from the rotation or inserted into the rotation. Otherwise, plant employees could look at a more convenient list of all the cars coming in order. Assemblers could tell which wire harness to install, for example. There aren't that many choices and most cars get the same. So, he would pay attention to the 'odd' one. Obviously, when a convertible came, everyone could see that without looking at a sheet, and build the car without a dome light harness or headliner.

Some parts were assembled and ready wayyyyy before the car got there. Seat buildup is an area where there are color and material choices. Seats are covered long before the car arrives but they are still done in order, from a schedule (not a ROT sheet). Engine/trans is another subassembly done long before the car gets there. Tires and wheels, tint/plain glass, door panels with or without window crank holes (and in the correct color), dashboards w/radio options, etc. These are parts that are too large to have on hand at the line so they must be conveyed in the right order before the car comes. There simply isn't room for stacks of five different size or brand tires around the assemblers and they don't have time to go digging.

You have to imagine that there isn't enough time to check ROT sheets, unless something is wrong (out of order). If any department lost two cars in one shift, some tall explaining had to be done with the Plant Manager. Too many of those, and he'll find someone else who can do the job without bothering him with excuses. This is seriously hard work and heads roll.

Look at what's happening at GM over key switches. Whole departments are being swept very clean right now because of a product change that saved a dime over millions of steering columns and ten years. GM is still fighting the Wrongful Death suits, claiming the people responsible are no longer a part of GM's organization and claims prior to their bankruptcy must be suspended. Oh, and GM sends sincere condolences to the seventeen families of deceased victims. If GM could have somehow blamed their UAW workers, I'm sure they would have.

Sorry to get off subject. You can see, if a body is pulled from the line, someone (maybe from a different shift) might look at the ROT sheet. If it goes back into the line after the schedule is made, some might look at the ROT sheet. That rarely happens as 'scheduling' makes their changes well ahead of time. They contact everyone involved so we're all on the same page.

06-22-2014, 03:20 AM
Thanks, Dave, for the further overview regarding how things are done on the line. As I said, I always thought the car was built from the ROT/Build Sheet, and that was why, when they were done working on the interior, they just stuffed it into the seats, or wherever, so they did not have to get out of the car to throw it away. G'Night, Mate!

06-22-2014, 09:15 AM
John, did you find the missing piece in the top ROT Sheet where the Model number should be at? If you have it, what does it say? It is to bad that is missing!

That was all I could salvage in trying to remove it from the seat. It's odd that they are different, but still attached.

06-22-2014, 10:05 AM
Hi John, I figured it might have been a Lincoln also, but then I did some research on Lincolns and it seems that they also started their VIN #'s with a 1 and not a 4.

I looked at a couple 1959 Lincoln's on Ebay and both serial numbers start with a "4"


06-22-2014, 10:08 AM
Thanks, John, That explains that then! I looked at a website that said the starting VIN # for Lincolns was a 1! So I guess they were wrong! I did not think to go looking for '59 Lincoln Data Plates and should have... Thanks again!

06-23-2014, 01:00 AM
If the SN ROT starting with a 4 is not a Lincoln then it is a special o0rder car of some sort.
Remember that the birds and Lincolns were built in the same plant and on the same assembly line.
I have not seen many squarebird ROT's as noted by Ray as for some reason they did not remain in the cars. When you get to 64's there were usually 2 in each bird that survived with the car. The birds were under the front seat if a power seat and usually behind the seat back upright on the passenger. But they could be found anywhere??

Alan may be able to shed more light on the 4 starting S/N.

As for finding 2 or more ROT sheets found still together it is not that uncommon when you get to 64 and later.

Sun Prairie, Wi.

06-23-2014, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the comments, Fuz. Like jopizz, I have looked at 1959 Lincoln Data Plate now also. They all start with a 4, so that had to be a Lincoln ROT Sheet that was stuffed in the car along with the one for his car. Something that was not that uncommon, I gather, from past comments posted. A reason why we don't find that many ROT sheets, besides age, is probably as Dave said. A lot of them were never left in the car, or if they were, might have fallen out. He mentioned it was not uncommon to find them all over the floor. And it turns out, apparently, they were not that important at all in building the car, as I thought they were, from what Dave said. The car was not build from the ROT Sheet, but from the Broadcast listing and other listings provided to each shift.

06-23-2014, 12:04 PM
As an actual Ford employee who worked in assembly, I have to respectfully disagree with Fuz. I think anyone close to Wixom would know that Lincoln serial numbers all started with '4' and all Ford numbers started with '1'. Also, these forms were printed in the same printers, by the same employees, in the same area (right after Paint, notice none are painted) from 1958 well passed 1964.

Another thing I find curious.. We never referred to these forms as "ROT" sheets. In fact, I never heard that term in the plant. Look in the lower RH corner of this form and read what it says:
This is form: MD-16005-2 WIX first generated JUN 59. All Ford forms followed this format. It was produced and printed by Ford Reprographics (internal to the company), generated by MD (Mercury Division), and specific to Wixom, better known as a "Production Broadcast Ticket" or a build sheet.
When the plant ran low on these forms, they simply ordered more over the phone from 'reprographics'. The plant was automatically charged through internal accounting.

As I discussed with Ray over the phone, most parts were the same for all T-birds (bumpers, grilles, shocks, hoods) so no need to look at a build sheet.

If a worker only had one minute to work on each car, he did not waste valuable seconds pulling a Production Broadcast Ticket out, read it, and return it to the body. No, each department had lists of that day's schedule with specific info to that dept. In other words, if you were in Trim, installing wire harnesses, your list would not include irrelevant features like axle ratio, tires, paint, etc. Your list would have the basic rotation number, the type of car (HT or Conv), and which wire harness code it takes (std, backup lights, trunk lights, conv, etc.).
Most cars took a 'std' part. Convertibles were spread out 10:1 on the line, NEVER two in a row because they were harder to build. So, the production worker was only interested in the odd, non-std car in the schedule.

Other departments had their own lists, like for the offline subassembly areas (engine/trans or tire room) where they built at least ten jobs ahead of the main line and they could not see the cars coming. Their list did not include the color of car, interior, radio, etc. They only needed to know the three digit rotation number and which engine and trans combination code or which tire code.

BTW... Tire Room. They pulled five rims off pallets by hand, inserted stems, unloaded tires from a truck by hand, mounted and inflated five tires and balanced them, all in one minute. A few tire brands were used but nobody got brands mixed on their car. The tire room is crazy to work in. A conveyor brought the tires face up to the main line, two delivered to the RH side of the line, two to the LH, and each spare was alternated between LH and RH assemblers who threw them in the trunk.

Offline subassembly guys had an electronic broadcast 'scroll' that showed the present job and the next few coming. It indexed automatically as the next engine or job was sent down the monorail. This broadcast station had a forward and reverse button, so he could get his numbers back 'in sync' with the main line. Again, he could compare with the schedule sheet for that shift.

So whether a broadcast ticket was included in the car was not important to production workers. It was important if a car was pulled off the line (which rarely happened). These cars are on skids that get beat up pretty bad. If one got caught in the automation (conveyor, turnaround, etc.), they could get bent badly. That assembly line didn't stop. Ten workers would lift the whole body up and off the line to keep production running. A hi-lo would lift the car and the bent/broken skid would be replaced under the car body during down time (lunch or between shifts). Later, they would return the car to the line out of order, but let each department know exactly where it was in the rotation.

BTW, skids had their own repair area and 'return' monorail. Some were so badly damaged, they cut them up with a torch. From the Body Shop through Paint, Trim & Chassis, each body spent most of it's plant life bolted through the floor to a pair of skids. Paint would build up so heavily, a crew of workers used pneumatic chipping hammers to clean skids while the line ran.

Assembly plant life is difficult to understand from the outside. I get uneasy when reading mis-information in books from authors who don't know but guess, like the guy who wrote about the "Dearborn Iron Factory", an authority who clearly never saw the huge "Dearborn Iron Foundry" sign from across Miller Road.

06-24-2014, 11:46 AM
My 1960 Bird had 2 1960 430cid Bird ROT sheets inside of her. I found the one for my car under the rear seat bottom springs & a 2nd, different 430cid 1960 Bird ROT sheet under the carpet on top of the tar paper behind the passanger seat.

In time, I found the correct T-Bird and owner to this "mystery" 2nd ROT sheet in Washington state. I found them via my ad in a past VTCI Scoop magazine article. :cool:

-Jon in TX.

07-05-2014, 05:13 PM
We had Tony at our town's first annual Cars 'n' Pipes (bikes) Independence Day car show. It was a great turnout. Megan won a plastic craftsman toolbox as a door prize. Afterwards, half of the cars drove in the parade. This was Tony's first time and I was happy to see the temp gauge stay within the "M" on TEMP.

I wasn't the only one happy, as you can see Megan's face. She played "Fun, Fun, Fun" over and over again on her iPhone through the radio
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0030_zps7f50be24.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0030_zps7f50be24.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0032_zps4b972898.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0032_zps4b972898.jpg.html)
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0034_zps5e41a025.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0034_zps5e41a025.jpg.html)
A lot of people loved the car, even kids. "What year is that?" was asked about a dozen times. Not to be outdone by "That is a great looking car".

And the Edsel wagon not far behind
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/b5202be6-c769-4802-85f4-e23d6b48bdc9_zpsbaeae037.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/b5202be6-c769-4802-85f4-e23d6b48bdc9_zpsbaeae037.jpg.html)

07-05-2014, 06:22 PM
John, you are a great Dad, giving Megan memories that she will never forget. Years from now she won't remember prices and such, but she will always remember that car her father restored for her and the fun times you created and shared. My hat goes off to you for being a great Dad.

BTW, I agree. Your black Squarebird looks stunning but seeing Megan inside makes her car even more beautiful. - Dave

07-05-2014, 07:38 PM
Thanks for those kind words, Dave.

I do whatever I can to make my kids happy.

04-02-2016, 06:28 PM
After a whole year or so of doing nothing to the car, I'm ready to get the ball going again. I ordered a new fuel tank from Rock Auto for starters. A few pics of what I've done:

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0835_zpslcdwnsn6.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0835_zpslcdwnsn6.jpg.html)

I degreased the tank several times because it had some kind of thick yellow grease on parts of it. Then I used KBS Coatings' Rust Blast that leaves a zinc coating for better paint adhesion:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0844_zps0iw6lnjn.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0844_zps0iw6lnjn.jpg.html)

Tank after using 3M's Professional Undercoating in a can:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0845_zpsjpo9fjpc.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0845_zpsjpo9fjpc.jpg.html)

04-02-2016, 07:25 PM
Before I started to remove the old tank, I undid the battery cable. Then siphoned out about 5 gallons of gas. I removed the drain and got the last 1/2 gallon, plus some junk that was floating around in it.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0837_zpsfbvjn6dj.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0837_zpsfbvjn6dj.jpg.html)

Folded back trunk lining, then removed cover for fuel sending unit. Removed unit:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0838_zpsmvoim6ao.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0838_zpsmvoim6ao.jpg.html)

Removed the nuts on the tank straps and used the floorjack to lower the tank. Thanks for the info in the TRL on tank removal!!
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0840_zpsy5pgezm8.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0840_zpsy5pgezm8.jpg.html)

Straps before I scraped the old undercoating and rust off with a razor scraper. That undercoating was like concrete:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0842_zpskbjuodjt.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0842_zpskbjuodjt.jpg.html)

Straps and bolts after. I used regular paint on the underside and undercoating on the top:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/straps_zpsak9arhmq.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/straps_zpsak9arhmq.jpg.html)

Spare wheel well before:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0843_zps7ne0jclx.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0843_zps7ne0jclx.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0849_zpsanmnq9di.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0849_zpsanmnq9di.jpg.html)

That's as far as I've gotten in 2 days. I may be able to get it installed by next weekend if weather gets any better. I've got a lot of front-end parts coming in Monday. I found a streetrod/muscle car shop in town that will give me an estimate on installing. I'd like to try doing it myself, but I don't have the space or tools to do it.

04-02-2016, 09:11 PM
Looking good John! Thanks for the posts and pictures. They will help me to do the same in the near future...

04-03-2016, 02:04 PM
Weather was beautiful today, so I went ahead and got the tank installed. A little dusty, but it matches the mufflers!
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/tank203_zps9raoosun.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/tank203_zps9raoosun.jpg.html)

04-21-2016, 08:14 PM
The car came with 1 key for the ignition and 1 for the trunk. Neither worked the doors. For the trunk, you had to keep turning the key back and forth until it finally opened. The driver's door lock was missing the door lock lever.

Looking for new locks and cylinders, I found a complete set on eBay for $58.60 with free shipping:

The doors and trunk were pretty easy to swap out. The ignition took a little more time, trying to finagle the ignition out from behind the dash due to all of the wires. The old ignition cylinder was worn to where the key wouldn't stay in the ACC position for the radio. Actually, the cylinder fell apart when I got it out.

05-18-2016, 11:49 AM
I see your Square used to have a hitch on back. My bird had BOTH door lock forks broken & laying inside the doors!! :p

-Jon in TX.

05-23-2016, 05:55 PM
I wasn't aware the car had a hitch on it before.

My driver-side door lock fork was missing. The passenger-side was laying on the thick layer of desert Vegas dust inside the door.

05-24-2016, 05:50 PM
That center "bolt" hole is required to mount a bolt-on hitch plate. Most guys install a "dummy" bumper bolt back in its place to hide it- after the hitch is removed...

-Jon in TX.:cool:

08-12-2016, 12:32 AM
Back in June I decided to get started on replacing worn out/broken suspension and steering parts. Some photos of things I've done:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0002_zpsp1tckfvc.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0002_zpsp1tckfvc.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0004_zpsrzl0eg6g.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0004_zpsrzl0eg6g.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0005_zpscxec7n9j.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0005_zpscxec7n9j.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0012_zps6vj6z6kg.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0012_zps6vj6z6kg.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0025_zpslrxcj3gx.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0025_zpslrxcj3gx.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0033_zpsgimzguxh.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0033_zpsgimzguxh.jpg.html)

Sway bar brackets not so square:
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0018_zpsqnstehus.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0018_zpsqnstehus.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/20160712_164258_zpsbnryso8p.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/20160712_164258_zpsbnryso8p.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0035_zpsk0udax3f.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0035_zpsk0udax3f.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0039_zpsk6sbemra.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0039_zpsk6sbemra.jpg.html)

This right side either ran over a curb or dropped down into a deep hole. Not only is the coil spring broke, but the 2 bolts that mount the upper control arm to the frame were bent. Notice how many shims are used for alignment.
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/e0aea1cf-9d7d-4849-a49c-105fd419e225_zpsjeaymzzc.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/e0aea1cf-9d7d-4849-a49c-105fd419e225_zpsjeaymzzc.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/95fe1d0d-0f70-4485-8375-9e40317cf35c_zps4mmcddl9.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/95fe1d0d-0f70-4485-8375-9e40317cf35c_zps4mmcddl9.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/2f88c21b-bac9-4090-8206-769e836433f0_zpsjdkkbkfd.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/2f88c21b-bac9-4090-8206-769e836433f0_zpsjdkkbkfd.jpg.html)

08-12-2016, 04:53 AM
Beautiful job, John. The final product looks exactly like it came from the factory. The sign of a great restoration is when it doesn't look like it was restored.

Everyone knows spring steel cannot be welded. Sure enough, the break is right next to the weld...

There are upper "A" arm bumpers that are easier installed after the ball joints are assembled to the spindle.

Keep your bushing bolts loose until the car is sitting LEVEL so you don't hyper-extend the urethane. Don't tighten with the front wheels hanging. If you don't have a pit, put the front wheels on ramps with stands in the rear, THEN tighten the bushing bolts.

I wouldn't worry too much about alignment shims being un-equal on top but make sure you have the bottom 'A' arm shims in (according to your Shop Manual).

My '59 Galaxie requires one spindle to be loose before I can mount the sway bar because it fits inside the lower arm. Yours may be the same.

You're doing a great job, John. The handling will be much better with new bushings. - Dave

08-13-2016, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the words of wisdom, Dave.

I could've paid a local street rod shop $500 to install all of my parts, but I doubt they would've spent the time to clean and paint everything. I've learned to use tools like a bushing press, and a pickle fork.

Plus, I'll be able to say, "Yep. I did it all myself".

09-27-2016, 07:18 PM
Other than my alignment appointment on Friday, everything is done for steering and front suspension. I took it for a short drive to check it out and was relieved when pulling into the driveway that there were no more CLUNKS and CREAKS when turning in. None of the power steering hoses, power ram, or control valve leaked.

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0003_zpsgnsqjigh.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0003_zpsgnsqjigh.jpg.html)

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii57/dukejohnson99/TBird/DSC_0006_zpsaxxmsqbk.jpg (http://s261.photobucket.com/user/dukejohnson99/media/TBird/DSC_0006_zpsaxxmsqbk.jpg.html)

The next step is driving it to my dad's shop so we can drop the transmission and get that fixed. And finally, new leaf springs after that.

Dan Leavens
09-28-2016, 08:28 AM
John good stuff:D

Plus, I'll be able to say, "Yep. I did it all myself".