View Full Version : Meet my survivor

12-26-2013, 04:06 PM
Hello all!
I thought I would share my story of a 1962 T-Bird survivor. Recently, a friend asked me to help her brother take care of some cars/trucks he desperately needed to move from his long time apartment parking. Imagine my surprise when I found a 1962 T-Bird that has not run since 1984! I was just out of high school in 1984! We towed it to my place and I started looking it over. There several issues, but really didn't take too long to get running again. I replace the water and fuel pump, cleaned and rebuilt the carb and replaced some water and vacuum hoses. Unfortunately it lost reverse, but other than that seems to start and run better each time I start it. I am sure everyone will want to see pictures. I also have some videos - you can see them here.

http://photobucket.com/albums/t583/Ted_Stehr/62 T Bird

Here are a few photos:


By the way, I am in Vancouver, BC. We don't get a lot of snow here so there isn't much salt. But the humid air in the winter can cause issues like chrome pitting.

Finally, I need to decide whether to sell it for him or keep it. I am thinking it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Thanks for this great resource!

12-27-2013, 03:07 AM
Welcome to Squarebirds.org, Ted. I looked at your videos and I have to admit, the car looks VERY good.

I don't understand if you will buy this car or if you are helping someone else. If you have the means to buy and store this beautiful garage find, by all means do it.

Chrome, paint, soft interior parts, rubber, and plastic lenses all deteriorate somewhat but they are also available at many of our parts vendors. Non-reproduced chrome parts can be re-chromed to look even better than new. It only takes money.

If you are to own this car, congratulations on a great car that will turn heads as you cruise around any town.

BTW, I hope Vancouver Canucks's Roberto Luongo comes back soon after that glorious 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The Wings have some sorting out to do here in Detroit. - Dave

12-27-2013, 11:22 AM
It looks to be in surprisingly good condition. I don't even see any cracks or sags in the dash pad which usually always go bad. As for losing reverse it may just need the filter cleaned and fresh fluid put in. Also the vacuum modulator may have gone bad or the vacuum line feeding it may have deteriorated. If you are into classic cars that looks to be a great candidate to restore. I hope you decide to keep it.


12-27-2013, 01:27 PM
Thanks John and Dave.
I have an option to buy - probably about $2000. It should be an easy decision, but a few things complicate it. Earlier this year I bought a beater 58 Chev Panel. I put a lot of time and money into it and it is now a great runner and fun to drive around. But it was nowhere near what this car is - and frankly never will be.
The problem is I don't have a good place to work on it - only a carport with a asphalt floor that is not level or flat. I was a mechanic back in the 80s so the technical part is ok, but, obviously, I don't want it to rust away.
So I need to sell the Panel at a decent price to fund this, and come up with a storage option.

Thanks again for your input. John, I will drop the pan today and see if I can resurrect reverse!


12-27-2013, 01:32 PM
By the way John, I read an earlier thread you posted and did check the modulator. I pumped a vacuum gauge on it and it held. I replaced the hose to be safe. It was in reverse under load when it went, so I am thinking it is not the rear servo. I also have first gear, so I don't think it is the servo or band. But you know how it is - speculation runs wild until you take the pan off!

12-27-2013, 05:06 PM
...speculation runs wild until you take the pan off!Ain't that the truth. You may find something easy to fix after agonizing over it for weeks. - Dave

12-27-2013, 09:58 PM
After removing the valve body and rear servo, I discovered the problem. The rear band is partially broken. I am thinking it is flexing enough when the servo is applied to not hold the carrier.
I am considering bending it back as close as possible and welding it together. I am thinking it is steel so it should be okay. If I could source a band I would pull the transmission and replace it. Any advice?

Here is a picture:

12-28-2013, 01:59 AM
No, I would not weld it. There are many transmission parts places on the net. They usually re-line bands. Yours has seen its day.

CLICK HERE (http://www.fatsco.net/ci-ford.html) for one of the transmission parts places. ID your transmission, first. If you don't know how, CLICK HERE (http://www.fatsco.net/ford-id.html). Then, call them (or ask a transmission shop in your town, where you can buy parts). Most of the local places are happy to help anyone with a classic car. Some of the old timers may have a band laying around.

If you keep your trans fluid level up, bands usually last over 100k miles because the fluid bath spreads the heat. - Dave

12-28-2013, 02:31 AM
Assuming that your tranny has not been replaced since it left the factory, you should find that, it being a 1962 Tbird, it has a PCE Medium Case tranny in it, instead of a PBL tranny for the Squarebirds 352 engine, or the PBB-AG for the 430MEL engine. You should see, if it has not been removed, a plate on the drivers side of the case that says PCE followed by some other numbers. I will upload some pix that show the case sizes for the various size trannys. According to the link that Dave posted, the only 390 on that list for the 1961-1962 Tbird is a Medium Case which measures 10 7/32". You will need to give that information on that tag IF it is still in place on the tranny, to those you are gonna order parts from. If that tag is NOT on the tranny still, look and write down all the stamped information you see on the case. Those codes will tell you what tranny it is. Good luck and let us know what you find out regarding which model tranny it is. Here are the pix and if you look at the second one, lower right corner, you will see it says "Beginning with 1961 production" and shows PCE on the tag for the tranny code, probably followed by some other numbers. Write it all down..

12-28-2013, 11:59 PM
Sorry Dave, I am afraid I can't do that! I read your post too late. I had a friend come over and weld the band. My welding is inconsistent, especially under a car. I was already planning on getting a new band, but I thought I would do this in the mean time. I agree that the heat was probably hard on the friction material, but I am am not driving it much anyway so this will be an interesting experiment.
Thanks for your case ID info Ray. I will need it.
I was unable to test it because the pan gasket I got is wrong. On the Felpro site it says it is the correct gasket for the 62, but the one for the 65 actually looks closer except for one extra hole. I will see if I can find some tags.
I will give it a go tomorrow and see what happens. On Monday I'll contact Fatsco and NW Transmission for the band and OH kit.
I am looking forward to assembling it off the car next time - getting the valve body in place was a challenge.

Thanks all for your help, onwards and upwards tomorrow!

Picture of welded band:

12-29-2013, 02:31 PM
Just sealed it up and filled it with type F. Seems to work fine with no strange noises or smells. And I have reverse! I even booted it in reverse to see if it would hold. If it is going to break I would rather have it happen here.

Dave, I am going to monitor the fluid quality and smell. I am hoping to get a new band anyway but hopefully that will be a summer project. It is mild here (41' and drizzling,) but not pleasant in an open carport.

And I made my mind up to buy the car.

Thanks all for help and support!

12-29-2013, 02:52 PM
Glad to hear that you've decided to buy it. It only seems just considering how much work you've put into it so far.


12-29-2013, 02:52 PM
Glad you are buying the car, as it looks very good.

You can probably weld the band but I wouldn't. If the band is heat treated (like spring steel), that's gone after welding. Another concern is, bits of steel or slag. Some things can be repaired, and I do. Transmission and engine parts, no. I know you're up there in BC but bands are so cheap, it isn't worth the risk. - Dave

12-29-2013, 05:25 PM
Agreed Dave. It will be good to go through the entire transmission including bands. Everyone focusses so much on the engine, e.g. oil changes every 5000, and can overlook the precise hydraulic controls in auto transmissions.

12-30-2013, 01:24 AM
Transmission oil is in a much more friendly environment than motor oil. Even so, all that band and clutch fibre material has got to go somewhere. The filter material isn't that fine, either. Many transmissions go to their graves with the original filter.

Now we come to the valve body, tiny bearings, etc. These components work until catastrophic failure, usually caused by little or no maintenance over time. Then, they get fixed and the owner starts adding up the money he's putting into the car. (That band split didn't happen over night, but you (the next owner) have to deal with it.)

My point to everyone is, change your motor oil AND change your trans fluid AND change your rear end gear lube AND change your brake fluid on all of your cars. Don't forget to change antifreeze before the anti-corrosion goes away, or lime deposits will collect and clog your cores.

Take your starter motor out, look at the brushes and clean the housing up. (http://home.comcast.net/~y-block/Y-Block/StarterMotor/) A new set of four brushes cost US$3.50 but a new starter costs fifty bucks +core deposit at Rockauto.com (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?carcode=1335710&parttype=4152&ck[ID]=0&ck[idlist]=0&ck[viewcurrency]=USD&ck[PHP_SESSION_ID]=21u3jto1bp73jg3ovk3ak7suv1) (they only have one left).

You guys in the South have a reputation for having great car bodys but worn out powertrains, because your weather is real nice and it's easy to put things off for 'just a little while longer'. Us Snowbirds really can't work on cars in the bitter cold, so we're forced to do our maintenance just before and after winter, or we get stuck and pay a high-priced mechanic to do it in his heated garage. Believe me, when the temperature drops to 'bitter cold', your hands don't work and steel wrenches exacerbate the problem. (Electrical tape doesn't work, forget spray painting, most glues and RTVs don't work, etc.)

There. I feel much better, now. Ted, you're a good man. Keep up the good work. - Dave

01-10-2014, 11:01 PM
Can someone please tell me the proper name of my transmission? Is it called a Cruise-o-matic medium case? Would a wrecker recognize that name? There are some wreckers who sell old transmissions cheap. I would like to find one and harvest the rear band out of it - plus learn more about it before I work on my own. Since Fatsco has a $100 core charge this makes more sense I think.

By the way, do you harvest parts from a transmission? Or excise? Or extract?

Thanks all!

01-10-2014, 11:44 PM
IF your tranny has not been replaced over the years, it should be a Cruise-O-Matic PCE Medium Case tranny, as indicated in my post below regarding it. You should have a tag on the drivers side of the tranny case that says PCE and perhaps some other numbers. As indicated in the picture below, there should be a 10 7/32" spacing between the end of the bell housing and the end of the center part of the tranny as indicated in the picture. If you were to say you are looking for a Cruise-O-Matic PCE Medium Case tranny, they should know what you are looking for. Try to find one with the tag on the side that says PCE.

01-11-2014, 12:08 AM
Thanks Ray. It almost certainly is the original transmission based on the original condition of the car and what I know about the original owner. But the tag is missing - I can even see the little rivet hole that would have held it on.

So I will quote PCE too Ray. Hopefully they will not say "we have a bunch of old transmissions lying in the mud, come and find one!" That would be a challenge as I have never seen one out of a car.



01-11-2014, 12:43 AM
I see the tag is missing from the tranny case, but you are pretty sure it is the original COM. If you can, take a good look at the tranny case and write down, or take good pictures of any inscriptions you see anywhere on the case. There should be some stamped codes on it that will also tell you what tranny that is. If you do that post the codes here.

If you go looking for a tranny for parts, try and find one that does have the tag on the case still, and make sure it says PCE.