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RedRocket
04-07-2016, 03:00 PM
Hi All- Brand new member here. I've just purchased my first Thunderbird, a red '61 convertible, in excellent condition. I've always loved the '61-'63 body style but so far I've only owned hot rod Fords (a '40, a '34 and a '35).

I'm planning to turn my Bird into a mild 60's style kustom (purist don't worry, only bolt-ons and paint and I'll save the old parts!) which leads me to my first question for this forum. Being as I'm tall, the stock deep-dished steering wheel is right up in my chest, has anyone installed an aftermarket steering wheel on a bullet bird and, if so, what adapter did you use that didn't cover up the gear indicator?

I'm looking forward to talking more about TBirds with this forum and I know I'll have plenty more questions, so, thanks in advance.

YellowRose
04-07-2016, 03:28 PM
Welcome, Grant, I do not know the answer to your question, but others on here might. I do know that on my Squarebird, there are two sets of holes drilled in the bottom of the seat frame. One set forward and one set further back. By checking which set of holes the seat frame is bolted to, if it is bolted to the back holes, you should be able to unbolt the seat, and re-position it into the front holes, thereby moving the seat a few inches further away from the steering wheel... I have no idea if that is true for the Bulletbirds or not, but perhaps someone on here knows if it is or not. The bad thing about doing that is that it puts that drivers seat a bit back further into the back seat area.

RedRocket
04-08-2016, 01:48 AM
YellowRose- I had a similar idea about possibly moving the seat back; when I looked under the '61 the seat is currently bolted to a reinforcing channel and moving it back 1 1/2" to 2" would have the new holes in just the floorpan so I assumed I'd use some thicker steel to make a 'washer' to spread the load. I'll try moving the seat first before I try a new wheel since I do like the looks of the stock wheel and I'd still be able to move the seat forward when I have back seat passengers. I was also thinking that I'd be able to possibly modify a typical steering wheel adapter to a smaller diameter; anyone else try this?

OX1
04-08-2016, 06:23 AM
Welcome, Grant, I do not know the answer to your question, but others on here might. I do know that on my Squarebird, there are two sets of holes drilled in the bottom of the seat frame. One set forward and one set further back. By checking which set of holes the seat frame is bolted to, if it is bolted to the back holes, you should be able to unbolt the seat, and re-position it into the front holes, thereby moving the seat a few inches further away from the steering wheel... I have no idea if that is true for the Bulletbirds or not, but perhaps someone on here knows if it is or not. The bad thing about doing that is that it puts that drivers seat a bit back further into the back seat area.

Mild highjack, but here goes. Does that apply to a 59 power seat also?

YellowRose
04-08-2016, 10:26 AM
Hi Henry, on my '59 it did. I have the drivers side power seat and there are two sets of holes in it.

Deanj
04-08-2016, 10:35 AM
Moving the seat back on my '60 was the first thing I did. The issue with the seat track is that the studs are tact welded to the frame. You might be able to unscrew the studs, but that leaves the nuts welded on. I wouldn't recommend this method.

I beat the studs until separating them from the seat frame. Go to your local hardware and buy appropriate automotive nuts and bolts. Use the optional 4 holes in the seat track to move your seat rearward. Toss your old bolts away as they're now flattened.

You might be able to turn the bolts that adjust seat rake inward if your seats are of that construction. You will gain about 1 to 2 inches.

OX1
04-09-2016, 04:33 AM
Hi Henry, on my '59 it did. I have the drivers side power seat and there are two sets of holes in it.

Thanks, will look at that today............