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Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:17 PM
As mentioned in my introduction two weeks ago, my name is Steve and I live in the Dominican Republic. A longtime motorcycling friend, Luis, let me know that one of his former cars, a 1966 Landau TBird had become an abandoned project car, disassembled and covered by a plastic tarp in the backyard of shade tree mechanic. The current owner lost interest in the project and it was for sale for $3,260.

Given that it will take a number of months to actually enjoy the car (assuming we can pull off this restoration in the tropics) I will be documenting this journey here to provide updates and seek advice as we hit unforeseen but sure-to-come roadblocks. So get your popcorn ready, here goes:

“Where can I see it?” I asked. Luis calmly responded “If you see it, you will not buy it.” Coming from anyone I didn’t know, that would have been enough to run, not walk, away from even considering the car. But I had known Luis for many years. He had had several classics on the island, was familiar with mechanics we could call upon to rescue this abandoned TBird and was confident this was doable at a reasonable cost approximating market prices in the US. ‘How about pictures?” I asked. Luis stonewalled, repeating his same monotone mantra: “If you see it, you will not buy it.”

“Ok, but was the car running? What shape is the motor in? Are all the pieces there?” I asked. ‘Well,” started Luis, “I sold it I5 years ago, and the current owner just had the motor rebuilt. It was running strong recently. It is a later generation Tbird engine. I know some pieces are missing from the car but I am not sure which ones yet.”

Sight unseen, I told Luis I’d buy the car. That was two weeks ago. Mentioning that same story to an office colleague, Daniel, he said he’d be in too. So we are now two foolhardy partners resuscitating this moribund ‘66 Bird.

We got the ID plate number for the car, 6Y87Z168893, and deciphered it via the TBird Registry:

6 = 1966
Y = Wixom, Michigan
87 = Thunderbird, 2 door Landau
Z = 390 4v V8 (gone but we know where it is)
168893 = Consecutive Unit Number

Last week I received a copy of the title via Luis, executed a purchase agreement with the seller and paid for the car. Our plan at that point was simple: (1) flatbed the car to a small town called Salcedo, in the middle of the country, to a shop where Luis was having his early 60’s Olds repainted. (2) Take stock of what’s missing from the car to order those bits as the project progressed. And (3) jointly figure out our objectives for this restoration.

The last part was easy: we decided to see what the original colors were to see if we would keep them, we wanted to make the car drivable to participate in local club events and weekend family drives and we knew we needed good AC given the local heat. It turned out the original color was sapphire blue, with a black top. We agreed we liked sapphire blue, but prefer a white top and it looks like that will be our color choice, with an aqua interior.

However, getting the car to Salcedo and taking stock of what’s missing proved to be more difficult. As soon as the deal was inked, Luis received several calls warning us to stay away from that shop (word travels fast among the small group of classic car buffs on the island). We learned the shop owner was taking on more work than he could process, and the arrival of another project car would lengthen delivery times for everyone. I received the first photos of our project. None of the actual car yet, just the pics of parts that had been removed and delivered to Luis’ office by the seller:

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:20 PM
With the project in disarray, I found myself leaving on a family vacation to California that I’d planned months earlier. I set up a small whatsapp group to stay in touch with Luis and Daniel regarding the TBird and took off for the trip I am enjoying as I write this from Carmel by the Sea. Ironically tomorrow we will be driving through Monterrey and Pebble Beach where great classic car concourses are held, while our rustbucket project awaits further definition.

Just before leaving, a second option arose, a shop in Constanza, in the island’s central mountains. The shop owner offered to come to Santo Domingo last Friday, provided we foot his travel costs. We ok’d the cost and he travelled to Santo Domingo to see the car with Luis. His estimate was twice the amount calculated by the first shop, and he seemed quick to replace parts others would restore. No-go. So there we were on Friday, with the car paid for, no place to send it and no idea of what it would need.

Since Luis took him to see the car, we finally got pics of the car itself. These turned out to be a shocking case of “careful what you wish for” as you can see below. It is hard to believe this thing was actually running last year:

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:22 PM
Another pic...

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:25 PM
Luis called around to see what shops others would recommend and we came cross a shop right in Santo Domingo. A restorer named Angel Castro who set up a well equipped shop called Calavera after returning from the US. It looks great, the shop works until 11pm every night and some nice projects that started as rustbuckets have rolled out of his garage. Here are a few pictures of his shop:

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:25 PM
Another shop pic...

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:28 PM
So for now our immediate plan is to tow our TBird to Calavera this week and scope out the work when I get back next week. We look forward to this forum’s advice as we move forward with this project (hopefully no one says “Drop it immediately!” based on the pictures.)

jopizz
07-25-2016, 12:37 PM
Steve,

It may have been running last year but I doubt it was driving. It doesn't look like it's been on the road for many years. I don't know what you paid for the car or what your budget is but here in the states it would be barely considered a good parts car and not a candidate for restoration since their resale value is very low. It is of course your choice whether or not to restore it since you are paying for it. I'm giving you my honest opinion as someone who has bought, sold and restored dozens of Thunderbirds. If you are fully committed to rescuing it then we are here to help. Keep us posted.

John

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:41 PM
For starters we are looking for a front bumper...any leads on actual bumpers or good sources would be appreciated.

Sjp3003
07-25-2016, 12:48 PM
Thanks John for the honest upfront advice. I have to say I have the same opinion after seeing the pictures. I have had older cars in the past in the US and this would be a non starter there.

The key differences here are that labor is much cheaper, and we have few older cars to pick from. Shipping a good find from the US is generally more expensive due to import taxes. We will know whether this makes sense when we draw up the budget at Calavera next week.

jopizz
07-25-2016, 01:13 PM
I'm glad to see that you will be coming up with a budget before you proceed. I've seen too many people blindly throw money at projects and find out too late that it is beyond their means and they wind up having nothing to show for what they've invested. There are numerous Thunderbird vendors here in the states that sell both new and used parts. They are located throughout the country. You will have to do your homework to find out the cheapest shipping method. You can find them in the Advertisements section.

John

bird 60
07-25-2016, 08:26 PM
Hi Steven, I agree with John 100% looking at the condition.
Even if you had bought one from the States, for lets say around 6-7 thousand $, & paid 100% duty, you would still be in front & drive it straight away. I only hope you work out the total cost before the go ahead, otherwise it could lead to an unknown $ figure.

Chris.....From OZ.

Sjp3003
07-26-2016, 02:28 AM
Thanks Chris. The car was delivered to the shop this afternoon. The verdict will be in shortly.

stubbie
07-27-2016, 01:35 AM
Steve I would keep my eye out for a cheap parts car or look on eBay and find someone selling parts. There are a few guys that I have used several times. If you buy enough parts from them in one go you usually get them at a cheaper price. I think if you can buy enough parts to fill a pallet that is the cheapest for freight bar a container.

YellowRose
07-28-2016, 02:54 AM
I am pleased to tell you that Steve ~ Sjp3003 has found a '66 428 Flairbird to his liking! He listened to advise he was given regarding trying to restore what he had vs buying one that was well restored, and ready to drive. It looks like the one on the island will probably become his parts car. I will let Steve tell you more about it when he is free to do so. I have the pix of it and when he tells you about it, I can post them for him. I can tell you it is a beauty and well restored!

For the past few days, I have spent hours hunting for a really good '66 428 for him and found some in his own backyard, around Florida and a couple in my own backyard too! Many of you know that I was born part bloodhound, and enjoy the hunt when it comes to helping one of our people find a Tbird for them. However, one that I did see that I thought was a really good candidate, I did not tell him about because it was quite a distance from him, so I passed on it. As it turns out, that is the one that he found and he did NOT pass on it. He pulled the trigger on it, he said. Hopefully, he will tell you the story about that one.

YellowRose
07-29-2016, 04:01 AM
I have been working with Steve on having a Classic Auto Air "Perfect Fit" AC system installed in his non-AC '66 Tbird. We have located the necessary 3 groove crankshaft pulley for the 428 engine through Classic Auto Air. What has also been suggested by them that he needs to replace that OEM fan on his non-AC equipped Tbird, with an AC type fan. Here is a question I need an answer to.

His fan is probably a 4 bladed fan (or maybe 5) for an non-AC equipped Tbird like mine was. He will probably need a 5 (if is is a 4 blade fan) or a 6 or 7 bladed fan for an AC equipped car. The Bird House in Delaware has a used 7 bladed AC fan for $150. Here is the link to it, in case he wants to go that route. Here is what I do not know. If this fan will work on a 428ci engine. It is possible that the 428 requires a OEM type Thermal Fan Clutch for cars with AC-390 & 428, 1964-1966 Part # 66-19589-1 Alt # 8A616-A from MACs. $77.99. See the MAC link below.

http://store.bobsbirdhouse.com/categories.aspx?keyword=fan+1966

http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_thunderbird/catalogsearch/result/?q=fan+blade&x=16&y=10

I need someone who knows the '66 Flairbird and the 428ci engine to tell us what he will need to get in the way of the correct fan blade and/or if that OEM type Thermal Fan Clutch is required or not. I have also suggested to him that he take that fan off and have them install an electric fan system when they install the AC unit. So any help in telling him the correct information on what he will need in the way of the fan or a Thermal Fan Clutch will be appreciated.

YellowRose
07-29-2016, 12:26 PM
John ~ jopizz gave me the answers to my questions. If Steve decides to go the electric fan route, which has been suggested to him, he won't need to buy the 7 bladed fan. Also the Thermal Fan Clutch, which he would need. He would also need the fan shroud to add to that set up. He can save all that by installing a good single or dual electric fan system, save some money and have a better cooling system. He will probably have to upgrade his alternator though. It is my understanding that the rating on the '66 alternator is 60amps. He will probably need to upgrade it to 100-130amps. Thanks, John.

pbf777
07-29-2016, 12:54 PM
In response to your inquiry on the fan; It would appear that the components you have outlined should be correct. The 390 & 428 engines are the dimensional the same in this relationship. The concerns would be: condition of the used fan (bent or cracking of blades?) and a truly correct thermal-clutch hub assy. w/ proper offset and register (the bronze spacer? for the pilot? makes me nervous).

The use of the thermal-clutch, allowing a variable/intermittent operation, was deemed necessary due to the increased fan load (H.P. loss & noise) w/ the increased number of the rigid blades, and to reduce fatigue of the blades (which could lead to cracking & separation) and also trust-load on the pump bearings (among others).

Remember, the mean average operating R.P.M.s of engines was increasing during this period, and the rigid blade fans of old were being taxed.

I do not recommend, for a number of reasons, replacing the mechanical fan with "simple" after-market electric units, but rather adding an electric fan as supplemental to the "proper" mechanical, if necessary, to increase the air pressure/motion thru the condenser/heat-exchanger, when operating the A.C.. Hope this helps? Scott.

Sjp3003
07-30-2016, 01:52 PM
Update:

Thanks Chris and Stubbie for the recommendations, and thanks to Ray for his extensive offline support in considering options for a TBird that is ready to roll.

I have been on vacation this week in California with my family, flying home tonight. As Ray mentioned, I've taken his and Joe's advice and located a restored ’66 428 TBird in New Hampshire that I will be shipping to the DR (pics attached).

It turns out the car is only one hour away from my brother in MA who will collect the car in the next few days. Yesterday I ordered a Perfect Fit A/C kit for the car (it had no factory air) and it is being shipped to my brother’s home in Hopkinton. Ray helped identify a restoration shop in Shrewsbury MA that has worked with these kits and we will have it installed and have the car serviced before it is shipped.

With respect to our original ’66 390 Landau project car, Calavera quoted $40K for a total makeover including a new engine so we passed. We shipped the car to the original shop we had considered in a town called Salcedo in the middle of the island. Yesterday we signed a contract under which all the bodywork would be completed and the car painted by early December (we’ll see about that), for a fee of US$5000. This will require us purchasing and delivering some panels and parts. While the car is there we will get the interior and mechanicals done separately. I’ve already found a few (rearview mirror, fender skirts, floorpans, door and window seals) that are on their way to the DR. We are aiming for this car to get done for $12K, which is ambitious as I tend to nitpick details of my cars.

I am sure we will make good use of this forum’s knowledge with both of these cars.

Steve

Sjp3003
07-30-2016, 01:55 PM
More pictures

Sjp3003
07-30-2016, 01:56 PM
Interior picture

Sjp3003
07-30-2016, 01:57 PM
Rear view pic

Sjp3003
07-30-2016, 01:58 PM
Side view pic

YellowRose
07-30-2016, 05:23 PM
This is all coming together for Steve. His brother David will soon be making the drive from his home to pick up the Tbird and drive it the short distance back home. Then he will turn it over to Dan, the owner of the shop that I found about 15 minutes from them. Dan's shop specializes in repairing, and restoring classic cars. His people will do the install of the Classic Auto Air "Perfect Fit" AC system and probably an electric fan setup. When I was talking with him, they were installing a "Perfect Fit" into a Ford and had a couple more installations to do. So he really knows the "Perfect Fit" equipment well.

In checking out the Data Plate, the only thing that was different on the car from when it left the plant was the paint color. It has a Paint Code E on the plate, for Light Gray Metallic, Silver Mink. Apparently, a previous owner did not like the color and re-painted what appears to be Paint Code K, Dark Blue Metallic, Nightmist Blue. I think it is a beautiful color and if you look at the pix closely you can see the metal flakes. Other than that, it is the only change I can see. It has the 428, with C6, Trim Code 22, which looks really nice! DSO 11 for the Boston area. It may have been in that area all along. It was born around 1 November according to the Date Code, 01L. Here are the additional pix of it for you to enjoy.

scumdog
07-30-2016, 09:50 PM
More pictures

Nice, really nice!

One suggestion: that steel line that runs from the carb to the vacuum advance housing on the distributor should have a 'hump' or upside-down U on it that rises higher than the body of the carb.
That is so there is no chance of gas making its way to the vacuum housing.
If it DID get there it would (a) ruin the diaphragm and (b) then create a situation where a spark inside the distributor could ignite the gas/gas fumes and blow the ditributor cap off and/or apart!
THAT would ruin your day!

YellowRose
07-30-2016, 10:02 PM
Hi Tom, thanks for the comments. How would Steve go about fixing that steel line? Take it loose and move it around in such a way that it is sticking up, instead of down, almost touching the belt it looks like? Steve will appreciate knowing your comments, I am sure, as this is his first Flairbirds to own. It certainly looks to me to be in the wrong position according to what you said.

Sjp3003
07-31-2016, 01:57 AM
Thanks for the key suggestion Tom...I never would have caught that. Was there a standard "upside down U riser" that fit the car originally? On pictures of other 428s engine bays I see it routed differently.

Steve

Nice, really nice!

One suggestion: that steel line that runs from the carb to the vacuum advance housing on the distributor should have a 'hump' or upside-down U on it that rises higher than the body of the carb.
That is so there is no chance of gas making its way to the vacuum housing.
If it DID get there it would (a) ruin the diaphragm and (b) then create a situation where a spark inside the distributor could ignite the gas/gas fumes and blow the ditributor cap off and/or apart!
THAT would ruin your day!

YellowRose
07-31-2016, 02:29 AM
I had asked jopizz and scumdog if they could post any pix of how this steel line from the vacuum advance housing to the carb should be installed. Then I got the idea to google the engine bay set up and I came up with several good pix to show you how it was set up on a 428, a 390, and probably the best example, on a Mustang engine. Here are those pix. David could print them out and show them to Dan and they should be able to install it correctly.

Sjp3003
07-31-2016, 02:41 AM
Thanks those are very clear Ray...the upside down "u" kink is clear.

I had asked jopizz and scumdog if they could post any pix of how this steel line from the vacuum advance housing to the carb should be installed. Then I got the idea to google the engine bay set up and I came up with several good pix to show you how it was set up on a 428, a 390, and probably the best example, on a Mustang engine. Here are those pix. David could print them out and show them to Dan and they should be able to install it correctly.

Sjp3003
07-31-2016, 05:40 PM
Just returned home to the Dominican Republic where I found plenty of reading waiting for me to build my knowledge of T-Birds:

Alan H. Tast, AIA
07-31-2016, 06:55 PM
I had asked jopizz and scumdog if they could post any pix of how this steel line from the vacuum advance housing to the carb should be installed. Then I got the idea to google the engine bay set up and I came up with several good pix to show you how it was set up on a 428, a 390, and probably the best example, on a Mustang engine. Here are those pix. David could print them out and show them to Dan and they should be able to install it correctly.

I would not use the Mustang's 289 as an example of how to route the vacuum advance line. The first photos appears to be from a '66-'67 Galaxie, the second photo from FE-equipped Fairlane GT, BTW. The second photo should give them a better idea of how to route around the driver's side of the distributor, across the front of the carb base and then return into the passenger side vacuum port in the base of the carb.

The factory shop manual, along with reprints of the Engine Assembly Manual and illustrations pages from the '65-'72 Master Parts Catalog, also should provide good guidance.

Alan H. Tast, AIA
07-31-2016, 07:00 PM
I had asked jopizz and scumdog if they could post any pix of how this steel line from the vacuum advance housing to the carb should be installed. Then I got the idea to google the engine bay set up and I came up with several good pix to show you how it was set up on a 428, a 390, and probably the best example, on a Mustang engine. Here are those pix. David could print them out and show them to Dan and they should be able to install it correctly.

I would not use the Mustang's 289 as an example of how to route the vacuum advance line. BTW the first photo appears to be from a '66 Galaxie, the second photo from FE-equipped Fairlane GT. The second photo should give them a better idea of how to route around the driver's side of the distributor, across the front of the carb base and then return into the passenger side vacuum port in the base of the carb. The factory shop manual, along with reprints of the Engine Assembly Manual and illustrations pages from the '65-'72 Master Parts Catalog, also should provide good guidance. I would also highly recommending getting a copy of the Body/Trim/Sealer Assembly Manual as it covers a lot of little items that are good to know when it comes to taking the car apart for repairs.

And where in the world did you find a copy of my first book? It's been out 20 years now and out of print since the late '90s-early 2000s!

YellowRose
07-31-2016, 07:16 PM
Hi Alan, thank you very much for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. I was just trying to find some pix that would show the right way to run that steel line. If you have any pix that you could post from the '65-'72 Master Parts Catalog, which I do not have, that would be greatly appreciated by Steve, I am sure. Or if anyone else has some on the proper positioning of that line, please post them. Tom, if you have any pix of how yours is set up on your Flairbird, please post them, or send them to me and I can post them for you. I just want to make sure that we get this steel line positioned correctly on Steve's Flairbird. Thanks!

Sjp3003
07-31-2016, 10:03 PM
Thank you Alan.

Steve

YellowRose
08-05-2016, 03:48 AM
Just a bit ago, I received several emails from Steven, including one with a video clip and a pic taken by David, Steven's brother, when he picked up the car to drive it back to his home. Here is a link to the video clip with David's comments, which is very exciting for me to see, and the pic. Here are some additional information Steven sent me. BTW, he just told me that we share the same birthday! Aug. 4th! I think David just gave you and me a great birthday present, as you did me, Steven! Steven also told me the VIN # for his 390 '66 in the DR. The VIN # indicates that it might have been made on the last day of the 1966 production run! He will get me the Data Plate information so I can break it down for him and tell him what that Date Code is and the rest of the Data Plate info.

"David made it home today with the TBird and it looks fantastic, exceeding both our expectations. The former owner was very meticulous, and we received a binder with about $50k in receipts for work done over the years, as well as a trunk full of supplies, manuals and spare parts. My kind of guy...this is what folks who buy cars from me receive, and it is great to be on the buy side for once.

The photo shoot is tomorrow, and David will be setting up a website link where the photos will be uploaded.

I've attached a phone video and pix he took when he picked up the car.

Thanks again for your assistance in getting introduced to TBirds. At work it is always great to have a good mentor to develop you career, and the same can be said for a car guy who is just beginning to learn about a car model that's new to him. I have had many cars over the years but this is my first 60's American classic. It is hard to believe a gem like this is available for less than the price of a Honda Accord!"

I just love it when a plan comes together! Next, after a photo shoot of it, to be submitted to me for consideration in the 2017 Squarebirds Calendar, it will driven to the shop to have the CAA "Perfect Fit" AC kit installed and probably electric fans.

http://squarebirds.org/SB/VID-20160804-WA0007.mp4

YellowRose
08-05-2016, 12:42 PM
David sent me an email this morning and here is what he had to say.

"The car is impressive! And in excellent running condition. The restoration is high quality and has held up perfectly. After babying it for about 45 miles on the way back from NH, watching all the gauges, I let it run a bit on the highway and got up to 90 with no hesitation whatsoever, for a little bit. Very stable and solid ride, mind you I'd forgotten how big old American iron floats down the road...

That was a quick en-route video to get to Steve. I hope to pull out my big-boy camera today (if work permits) and get some nice shots of it. I have a web site I will post the images on and I'll share the link. I'll take and also upload more videos.

As far as the pulley, I'll take pictures and include them. I have not had a chance to look at it and compare to the images you sent. The engine bay is very clean and appears to be restored to OEM spec. The AC kit showed up yesterday."

Soooo, this part of the project is complete, the Bird is in hand, and it is everything Steve wanted and more. Now picture taking can go on, and David can set it up with Dan to do the AC install. After that... It will be off to a ship and a cruise to the Dominican Republic!

Sjp3003
08-07-2016, 02:31 AM
The stars have aligned for this 428 TBird: After posting pictures of the rusty '66 Bird we found here, Ray, Joe and several forum members convinced me to look for a restored car and bring it to the Dominican Republic.

Looking through many that were for sale, I came across this NH '66 428 near my brother's home in MA. I was sold. The New England weather cooperated and David brought it home Thursday. Not only is he also a car nut, he is a pretty good photographer and yesterday and today the new Bird had a photo shoot.

Here she is:

http://www.dpuig.com/1966tbird

We have not given up on the local Bird. Tomorrow I am heading out to the shop doing the bodywork to see what it will require. One interesting note: it turns out the non-original engine might be a 20th anniversary engine. Not sure that's a great thing. Originally I was told it is a relatively strong motor but I see the following specs:

Code A 460 Cubic Inch V-8 (220 Net Horsepower)
Carter 4-Barrel Carburetor
Single Exhaust System

We'll see tomorrow.

YellowRose
08-07-2016, 03:51 AM
If that Tbird has a 460ci engine in it, here is some info on it.

460 cubic inch
Produced from 1968 to 1996
Available in Ford, Mercury and Lincoln
Similar to 429, but with longer stroke of 3.85"
During its earlier years, pre-1973, horsepower was rated at 385.
Intake/exhaust valves are 2.08" x 1.66"
Intake/exhaust valves for the Police Interceptor 460 heads (from 1973-'74) measure 2.19" x 1.66"

First used in 1968, this engine would see a massive change in 1973. This change would both alter and damage the ford 460 history forever. It was at this time that the first gasoline crisis occurred. As a direct result, the horsepower of this formerly powerful engine would go from 365 to a paltry range from 208 to 275. Still, this didn't keep the engine from having its uses.

FARONZ 66 Q CODE
08-23-2016, 08:19 PM
Welcome to the Q code world !.....Nice to see another 428 survivor.....
From the unofficial president of the So. Cal 428 Flairbird club....LOL

Faron

YellowRose
08-28-2016, 12:54 PM
Here is an update on Steve's 428 in Massachusetts, as it undergoes improvements to it, and the 66 Flairbird in the Dominican Republic and what he is finding out about it. First an update on the 428. The company doing the overview of it, and the AC install are making good progress. In the course of examining the car after receiving it, they started the process of installing the CAA aftermarket "Perfect Fit" AC system, and that is coming along well. The replacement 3 groove crankshaft pulley arrived and they started mocking things up for fitment. They promptly found that the non-AC water pump was to wide and would not allow them to fit that crankshaft pulley in place. So I found them the AC water pump pulley at the Bird Nest, which is 1 inch smaller in diameter and will fit in place when it is received this week.

In the course of checking out the car, they notice four possibly problem areas under that vinyl top, have stripped it off, found those small problem areas and are fixing it. Steve wants a white top on it to set off the dark blue paint, so one is on they way to them. It is a good thing that Dan's people found this, because they avoided Steve in having a major roof problem down the road, once the car gets to the DR. There is some front end suspension work that might need done, a clunking noise in the rear end, maybe a pinion gear, but, what seems to be minor stuff to check out. Otherwise the car is in great shape. After the AC system is fully installed and working, Dan will see if it will be necessary to add additional cooling in the form of electric fan(s), or if swapping out the mechanical fan for an OEM type fan for an AC equipped car will do the trick or not. Both Steve and Dan want to replace that single MC with a dual MC, and I made them aware of what Yadkin ran into regarding that support bar behind the single MC and sent them pix of what he did. I suggested that they go with a flattop dual MC instead of the bubble tops.

As for the 66 Flairbird in the DR, Steve sent a couple of pix of the engine bay and some letters/numbers under the carb. Unfortunately, no one tried to clean up that area before they took that pic, so I do not know how easy it will be to read it. Here is what Steve said about that engine.

"I am still adding up the cost of the local Bird...we removed the Carb to get to the stampings to see what it is. We found the stamping below and even looking at Ford engine stamping resources I am not 100% sure (hunch that it is a 351 Cleveland, perhaps from a truck). We just removed the motor to see if it is salvageable. It looks like the number is: 070E 8425 BD. The one digit that is not clear is the 8 in the middle. It could be a 9. And the other stamping is 7H19 "

I will post some pix of the work being done on the 428, and also those two pix of the DR Tbird. You will see what they found when they peeled the vinyl cover off the roof and what it is starting to look like as they clean the top, and fix the problems, and prepare it for the new top. I will try and post the two pix of the DR 66 Flairbird last. If anyone can read those numbers/letters, please tell us what they indicate..

scumdog
08-28-2016, 04:45 PM
I'm no expert but the photo makes it look like the motor is too narrow for a 351, it LOOKS like a 302.
Measuring across the intake manifold front and then comparing with a known 302 would let you know. Also 351s have more bolts holding the manifold on than does a 302/289 etc.
And it is not a Cleveland for sure.

stubbie
08-28-2016, 08:50 PM
Would that first number be a D by any chance? As in D70E9425BD. If so it could be a 351 or 302 Windsor from 1977 Fairlane.

YellowRose
08-28-2016, 09:44 PM
Phil, you could be right about part of this. Looking at the breakdown of engine stampings back then, they do not start with a number, but a letter. B=50's, C=60's, D=70's... Looking at that first symbol, it HAS to be a D it looks like to me, indicating it is from the 70's. The 7 after that D tells you it is from 1977. The next two symbols after that 7 should not be a number and a letter, but two letters, as in DE. IF that is DE, then it is from a Falcon or a Maverick. IF that is a O and not a zero, then it is from a Fairlane(all) and Torino 1967-1976. Except... that stamp does not have a 6 on it but a 7, to indicate 1977! The table says Torino 1967-1976, NOT 1977. There is NO 0 listed, that I know of. The only number listed is a 6 for the Pantera.. The letter E=Engine, telling you it is an engine part. Source for this info is:

http://www.mustangtek.com/FordDecode.html

Like Phil, I do not think that first number of 8425 is an 8, but a 9, making it 9425, which makes more sense! It looks like a 9 to me. The numbers 8000-8499 pertain to the Radiator and Grill according to that table.. I do not know where that stamp was at, but if that was a carburetor part it should have been something between 9500-9599, for Carburetors and Superchargers. The ending letters of BD should be the Engineering version. At least, this is my understanding of the breakdown on that webpage above.

I am going to email Steve and see if someone can clean off the area over and around those numbers and get a better reading for us, but I think we are looking at a D7DE-9425-BD number and NOT 070E-8425-BD. Look at the 9 at the start of the part number, that number has a tail on it that looks to me that does not complete a circle making it an 8. It looks to be a 9 because that tail never closes to the bottom of the upper part of the number...

jopizz
08-28-2016, 10:05 PM
I've seen trucks with the OE designation on the intake so my guess is a 351W from a 1977 Ford truck. Part Number D7OE-9425-BD or 8D.

John

YellowRose
08-28-2016, 11:05 PM
I agree with John ~ jopizz. I think that "BD" could be 8D, to indicate Engineering change #8D, whatever the D means.. That "B" certainly looks like it can be an 8. I think John has it right...

Sjp3003
08-29-2016, 07:30 AM
Thanks John and Ray....our best guess here trying to decipher the numbers with Guidelines for Fords is also that it is a truck motor.

pbf777
08-29-2016, 12:49 PM
D7OE-9424-BD would be the correct interpretation; as D = 70's decade, 7 = year within the decade, 9424 induction (manifold), BD = engineering change (which includes many considerations, even maybe supplier/vendor change, and are generally alpha); but don't get to serious of the OE identification as it crosses over from implied application often.

The "7H19" is the casting date code of 7 = year, H = August, 19 = day of.

Note that these individual casting numbers (located on the intake manifold) which may allow determining basic engine family, may not be conclusive identifiers of the engine configuration or its' original application. Scott.

YellowRose
08-29-2016, 01:09 PM
Thanks, Scott. There is one thing about that part number you said, 9424... Looking at that picture, that is NOT 9424, but 9425... There is no way that is a 4 where that 5 is.... So what is 9425?

simplyconnected
08-29-2016, 04:00 PM
9425 has always been the base number for intake manifolds but so was 9424. (9430's were exhaust manifolds.) Your intake manifold clearly shows '9425'.
D7OE-9425-BD looks right.
Squarebird owners are used to seeing revised (or more modern) dual plane intakes with numbers like, 'C1AE 9424-B'. These were used in 1959 thru '61 352/390 engines.

YellowRose
08-29-2016, 05:37 PM
Thanks for that further explanation, Dave! Much appreciated. Dan sent more pix of the top that his people are working on. They will be taking care of those rust spots you see and he said they "are now digging out the rust from the dark areas you see in the photos below. It will get filled sanded top coat and epoxy primed then sanded for foam and top. Looking good no issues or concerns." Hopefully, by the time the new white top arrives there later this week, they will be ready to install it! I think that it will really set off that beautiful dark blue paint job, as others do, instead of that black top. Here are the pix he sent us.

pbf777
08-30-2016, 11:45 AM
OOPS!, my-bad (9425 vs. 9424); but it happens when in a rush and ones' brain is as confused as mine, and as Dave said, Ford has used both interchangeably. Scott.

YellowRose
09-02-2016, 11:15 AM
Here is an update from Dan on work on the Tbird. "Pulley is here it fits perfect, the top not in, but we are a few days from needing it. Holes fixed need to smooth them out and epoxy prime then ready for the top." Dan just said he got the top today! Here are some pix of the top.

YellowRose
09-03-2016, 03:10 PM
Dan sent me the latest pix of the work on the top. It looks like a brand new top now! The new vinyl top is there and about ready to go on. It will be neat to see what that Tbird is going to look like with a new white top on it. Much better, IMHO, than that black top. Also, Dan and Steve are talking about swapping out that single MC for a dual MC. A gooooddd idea, I think. Here is what Dan had to say.

"Dave stopped in to check it out, I think we are all in agreement it looks fantastic. Two coats epoxy sealer see below."

Here are the new pix!

YellowRose
09-04-2016, 02:38 AM
Steve has given the go ahead to replace the carpeting, put down soundproofing while doing that, check out the floor pans and if they need replacing do that. Also once the AC is fully installed and working, to check out what will be needed for the best engine cooling configuration, and do that. Then check out the steering and suspension to see if it needs any attention. Hopefully, that will take care of all the needs of the car and they can complete the repairs and additions to it.

YellowRose
09-06-2016, 05:25 PM
Great news! In pulling the carpet to sound, heat proof it and put in new carpeting, they found the Build Sheet! There was one excited mechanic when he found it, Dan said. He thought his mechanic had hurt himself, when he screamed! :D The sheet is all in one piece, somewhat aged after so many years, but I was able to figure it out, and provide them with the breakout for it. Also, the pans look great. It could be that they have been replaced in the past, I dunno. However, from what I understand, this Tbird was garaged most of it's life and probably did not see use as a daily driver. Here are a pic of the ROT/Build Sheet, and floor pix.

In additional email just sent by Dan, he said "his mechanic, Billy is 99.9% sure the floor is original. He said all factory style welds placement. Finding build sheet and bunch of factory screws under the carpet leads me to think original as well. My two cents."

Sjp3003
09-06-2016, 11:40 PM
Over the past 20+ years I have participated in online motorcycle and car forums (going back to the early 90's when the groups sent daily digests) and I have received great advice for many of the cars and bikes I have owned. But none of these compare to the meticulous support received here from Ray and the advice provided by John and other forum members.

The stars have aligned for this project...the car was in great shape to begin with (over 50k in receipts going back to 1999), it was near my brother's home, this forum has been invaluable and the shop identified by Ray in Shrewsbury MA (High Octane Performance) is knowedgable about 60's Fords and has been doing great work.

Once it exits the shop for shipping this TBird will be ready for its next 50 years, bearing improvements that will make it more reliable and comfortable (AC, new top, improved brakes and better handling) than its first day out of the factory.

YellowRose
09-07-2016, 01:22 AM
Welll, you cudda knocked me over with a feather after reading what Steve just wrote! Thank you, very much Steve, your comments are very much appreciated. The members of this Forum try to do whatever we can to help each other. That was a good part of the concept when our beloved, departed Alexander Sosiak created this Forum and Lincolns Of Distinction back in 2002. When I stepped in to take his place as the Administrator, after his passing, Dave Dare ~ simplyconnected, who became our webmaster, and Dan Leavens and others joined together, and we vowed to keep his dream going. I am pleased to say that Julie, his widow, and his sister, Marianne, (who is also one of our Administrators) are extremely pleased to see how we have continued the dream that Alexander had for this Forum. Thank you again for your kind remarks, Steve.

BTW, if you would like to see some comments by Dan Marinelli, the owner, whose staff is doing the work on Steve's 428 '66 Flairbird, take a look at Anything Goes, A Bird of a Different Type and enjoy the pix.

Dan Leavens
09-07-2016, 09:47 AM
Steve also thank you for your kind comments.

Over the past 20+ years I have participated in online motorcycle and car forums (going back to the early 90's when the groups sent daily digests) and I have received great advice for many of the cars and bikes I have owned. But none of these compare to the meticulous support received here from Ray and the advice provided by John and other forum members.


That's why I always say this is the best TBird site on the planet:D

jopizz
09-07-2016, 12:02 PM
Steve,

I just want to reiterate what Ray and Dan have said. I've also frequented other forums and I believe Squarebirds stands alone when it comes to the knowledge that our members possess and the willingness to go the extra mile to help. Thank you for your kind words.

John

YellowRose
09-07-2016, 12:17 PM
Thanks, John for your additional comments. It was a lucky day for us when you and Dave ~ simplyconnected, found this Forum! John has so many years of experience wrenching on these old Tbirds of ours and Dave worked much of his life in the Detroit Ford Plants.

Here is a pic that Dan just sent showing what the white top will look like when placed on the car. They are to the point where it is about ready to install it.

YellowRose
09-07-2016, 11:58 PM
While working on installing the new AC system set up in the engine bay, one of Dan's mechanics noticed a small oil leak from one of the valve covers. So they took it off, cleaned up the surface, put a new seal on, and did a little tweaking. It appears to have fixed the problem. Here are a couple of pix Dan sent me.

YellowRose
09-08-2016, 01:32 PM
While working on the AC install in the engine bay, Dan's mechanics also noticed that the water pump was black. That was an indication that it must have been replaced by a previous owner in the past, because an OEM one should have been painted blue, like the rest of the engine. Sooo, they painted it Corporate Blue to match the engine while they were in there. He also said that they sanded down all frackers too as they had layers of old paint. Here is another comment from Dan, after they painted the power steering pump. "That's what a power steering pump should look like!!! This will be a show winner for sure." Here are some pix.

YellowRose
09-09-2016, 10:52 PM
Here is the latest update from Dan and crew and pix. I see from the pix that they have taken the single OEM MC off, so they are working on that also. The AC compressor and pulley work looks great! Here is what Dan had to say, followed by the new pix.

"We ended up painting the intake. The carb was leaking and all paint was flaking and look horrible. I will rebuild the carb this week. Its not dumping out but it's more slight weeping and damp. It's looking awesome!"

YellowRose
09-13-2016, 04:07 AM
Here is the latest from Dan.

"Carpet came in today. Lizard skin tomorrow. Are door panels on the way?? You should. The arm rests are all split cracked."
Steve said that he would order new door panels then.. Here is the pic Dan sent of the engine AC set up.

Sjp3003
09-13-2016, 07:09 AM
The original dark blue door panels on the car have cracks (picture attached). Looking at the major parts suppliers I only see black or white panels being offered. Has anyone seen dark blue panels on offer? Any recommendations on repairing the originals?

Thanks

Steve

jopizz
09-13-2016, 11:17 AM
I've seen a number of different ways to fix the area around the arm rest and none have turned out very well. Your best bet is to order new ones in white and have them dyed to match.

John

YellowRose
09-13-2016, 11:46 AM
I just talked with the Bird House in Delaware, and Steve and others, I just sent you and them an email about this. Do NOT get white I was told, because they are very difficult to obtain. Get black and repaint the plastic blue. You will be better off, time wise and they told me that they have had problems with repainting white ones in the past when they have tried it, but not black. They also said NOT to bother trying to have the cracks repaired, because, as John said, it does not work well. Eventually, the constant closing and opening of the doors will cause those cracks to come back. So ordering new ones is the way to go it seems. They also said they do not have any used blue ones off their '66 parts cars. I will ask the Bird Nest what they have as soon as they open in 15 minutes and let you know.

Sjp3003
09-13-2016, 02:52 PM
Thanks John and Ray.

YellowRose
09-13-2016, 03:48 PM
Here is a further update on the door panels and now the rear brakes. After talking with the Bird House and the Bird Nest, they said that White door panels are very difficult to get, and if you can find them, they might have to back order them and it might take awhile to get them. They suggested, as John did, not to try fixing them, though Fred at the Bird Nest gave us a good idea. He said that his brother replaced his and put a piece of sponge the size of the finger well in it to keep his hands from getting into that well and pulling the door closed. Then he just grabbed the door handle or window handle and shut the door that way. I suggested that to them. The thinking is that they will probably replace the door panels with black ones, and paint them blue, but Dan is gonna have one of his guys check it out and see what he thinks.

They were working on the brakes and are putting new pads on the front, as they were showing wear. The rear brakes might be re-worked also because they look like they need it. Here are some pix.

YellowRose
09-14-2016, 04:58 PM
Here is an update on the door panels. They will ship whichever color they have available, which is Steve's wish. They don't need a delay in finding one color or the other. Regarding the door carpet and floor carpeting, it came in and here is what Dan said about it.

It's the correct color. The old carpet is original, dirty and faded. I cut a sample (cleanest less faded as I could) see pic below. Also see the foot (area) with sound deadening on it. Next is ceramic coat. Looks amazing in person."

Here are some pix.

YellowRose
09-19-2016, 04:31 PM
Great news, and what another stroke of luck this is! I just received an email from Dan that they found another copy of the Build Sheet in the seat springs when they were working in the car. This does not happen all that often! You are extremely lucky if you find just one these days. This looks nearly brand new! It is in such terrific condition, compared to the other copy that is yellowed and faded. You can see the seat spring impressions on the form. I just checked the two copies against each other and they are identical. Here it is!

Dan Leavens
09-20-2016, 09:14 AM
Ray that is great news that Dan found the Build Sheet:D

YellowRose
09-29-2016, 06:11 PM
David went by the shop and sent an update on the progress of Steve's Flairbird. Here is what he had to say.

"First thing with the 'Bird - Steve - can you order another spray can of the primer and two more spray cans of color for the panels? Those panels are huge, and as they're white it will take several passes to cover correctly, plus they will need to blend color into the remaining blue parts to match the color correctly. BTW, they look really, really good in white...

There was tar paper previously applied on the floor pans that was interfering with the Lizard Skin coats, so they had to redo that again as it was causing the coating to crack. That is all out now and they will re-apply the LizardSkin coats shortly.

They ordered, tried, and had to reorder several parts, like the new alternator and some brake and suspension parts, which were not fitting correctly, so they've been set back time-wise.

The brakes will be done all-around today - Billy was working on the left rear drum as I left. Suspension will go in next, as well as new tires with wider white stripes which Dan is ordering shortly.

Another technician was assembling the blower unit for the AC/heater for installation. Dan has a good idea of what to do about the audio, too, which he is planning to put in around the blower unit so as to not modify any more of the interior.

A new mechanical fan blade and electrical fan are also on the order list to increase, test and dial-in the engine cooling with the additional AC load.

Once all the rolling gear is finished they will take the car over to upholstery to get the new top put on. As I noted before, the new carpet and white landau top are stretching-out on the repaired roof."

So there you have it. They are making progress on it! No new pix though.

YellowRose
10-07-2016, 09:07 PM
Here are the latest comments and pix from David, after going by Dan's shop to check on the progress on Steve's 428 '66 Flairbird.

"I had some time today so I visited Dan to check on the progress of the 'Bird. In summary, lots done, new parts arrived, and others on order still.

We now have all the new AC plumbing through the firewall! Engine covers look great resprayed, too!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7758.JPG

...And up to the front radiator!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7759.JPG

...And in front of the radiator. I saw the new electronic high flow fan unit (very nice!), which arrived, but isn't installed here yet...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7760.JPG

...The new AC blower is now installed in-place under the dash. This picture looks like it's hanging very low but it's not - i took the picture from carpet level. That's the old carpet in there for now...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7761.JPG

...New "vintage" control connected but not installed into dashboard console...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7762.JPG

...The rear, all scraped-down again for the Lizard-Skin re-application this coming week. The metal is absolutely in unbelievably good shape all over, and it's factory!!!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7763.JPG

...Billy will spray Lizard-Skin into quarter panels and roof sidewalls for sound and heat protection, too, since it's all opened-up and in good shape...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7764.JPG

...Bunch of 'Bird parts staged for installation. That's the new high flow 6-blade flex-blade fan that Billy just painted black. Notice the old blower unit (that's a piece of '60 engineering!), and new disks and pads underneath!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7765.JPG

...More panels and stuff safely piled up for later re-installation...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7766.JPG

...Mounting post and location for the new high output alternator, still in order...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7767.JPG

...New condenser AC unit and piping and new pulleys...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7768.JPG

...Brake master pump ready for two-line installation to split front and back brakes...

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_7771.JPG

Carburetor repair kit is in and it will be rebuilt next. The electronic ignitions are not installed yet.

Still waiting on some suspension parts.

Dan said he's got the new audio configuration done and parts on order (or will order shortly).

I reminded Dan to look at the vacuum-actuated automatic parking brake release which was not working when I picked up the car, as well as the windshield wipers.

From previous discussions, he'll look at all the bulbs throughout, make sure the automatic antenna works, too (it did before but it's stuck a little up now with no power or radio connected), and tighten-up the outside rear view mirrors, which at least one was a bit loose.

Panels can go out for painting once the paint gets in. Interior can be re-assembled after.

A red top Optima battery will be installed, too.

Once all the rolling gear is in and done, it will go out for the top.

I think that's it for now! David."

bird 60
10-07-2016, 10:29 PM
I must say, I tip my hat to all the guys that have either partly or totally restored their Birds. By trade I'm a Fitter & Turner Toolmaker, & pretty well understand the mechanical side of things. But when it comes to the Electrical side of things, I see it as a Jigsaw Puzzle. On the Production Line I can understand, but totally stripping a car & doing it from scratch...."WOW".
Keep up the good work to all the Restorators.

Chris.....From OZ.

YellowRose
10-24-2016, 10:38 PM
I just got an update on all the progress they are making on Steve's '66 Flairbird! Here is what he had to say and allll the pix that he sent.

"Hi All,

Another visit today and I have much progress to report! Excellent progress made!!! A new alternator was found and installed (but not secured as the fan still needs to be installed)!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8.jpeg

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9.jpeg

Lizard Skin - both coats - installed, and interior re-assembly with new floor carpet is well under way!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10.jpeg

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2.jpeg

New AC controls and array of vents installed in center console and dashboard! They look great!!!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1.jpeg

New rear suspension installed! These are really nice units - currently adjusted to 2 clicks softer than 'normal'; I suggested they tighten that at least up to 'normal' to deal with DR roads (it's an easy knob turn...). These units are a fraction of the size of the factory units, not to mention adjustable and significantly better build/functionality!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4.jpeg

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5.jpeg

Front coilovers (also really nice units and a fraction of the size of the factory shocks - and fully adjustable!!!) are in and Billy was dismantling the shock towers today to remove old shocks and springs! Performance of these units will be dramatically better!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6.jpeg

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7.jpeg

Here are the old front shocks, and the new front brake bits.

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11.jpeg

New paint spray cans are in (see 2 pics up in box)! New door cards are being built-out now, with accessories and new speakers (2 per side; 4 total; will be adding a subwooofer in trunk or under seats). New audio head unit on order and should be in next day or so. With those in, dash and interior can be finished!

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3.jpeg

Steve - we need a decision on what to do with the "S" roof emblems. See next two pics, especially the detail shot, specifically the black textured accent feature inside the chrome bits.

Do you want to:
A) Leave them off altogether with the new white vinyl top (cleaner look)
B) Put them on as-is, with the current accent painted black.
C) Paint the accent white.
D) Paint the accent blue (as close to body color as possible).

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12.jpeg

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image13.jpeg

2 new electronic ignitions arrived (one to be installed; the second is a spare to be sent to DR). It will be installed shortly.

Still awaiting arrival of new 3-gauge unit (oil and water temp; oil pressure, with settable red warning lights).

Electric fan, as noted before, will be installed to turn on with ignition switch (run all the time), and with a kill switch hidden in under the dash to turn it off if needed.

The door rubber seal on the passenger side (which was loose when I dropped it off) will be repaired or replaced. Passenger door will be adjusted slightly for fit, also.

Steering and linkages will be fully checked and necessary parts will be replaced (steering was a loose when I dropped it off).

Two-line brake system will be installed after suspension, along with steering rack work when they get it up on a lift.

Battery is in the shop, and the battery tray/brackets may need to be adjusted to hold it correctly.

Automatic vacuum release for parking brake, windshield wipers, and a handful of bulbs will all be repaired, along with a once-over of all electrical, vacuum, and mechanical systems.

New tires (5 - as the spare is bias-ply
and unusable) will be ordered later.

I think that's about it for now! I'll swing by late this week or early next week again.

David.

YellowRose
11-01-2016, 08:04 PM
Here is the new update from David on Steve's 66' Tbird. Dan hopes to have it rolling early next week. Here are David's comments and new pix.

"Visited Dan and the 'Bird again today. As with last week, Dan's team has made great progress.

The new flex blade fan, battery, and electronic ignition are in. Also included picture of the rebuilt carburetor.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image13x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image14x.jpeg

New brake booster and dual master cylinder are awaiting a new mounting bracket to install.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5x.jpeg

One front coilover is installed. The second is on deck, however the installation of the first one was quite dangerous as the original coil almost killed one of the techs as it was under so much tension when they released it. Luckily, nobody or nothing was actually hurt. They've already broken a couple of coil clamps trying to compress the coil to no avail. They're rethinking how to get the driver's side coil out without injury. See the difference in the spring that came out (w/old shock and the busted coil clamps) and the newly installed one... (YellowRose Note: I know some of you have some good ideas on how to get these coil springs out without getting killed. Please post and I will forward on to Dan.)
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3x.jpeg

New radio head-unit is in. Door speakers are "in place" for testing. One amp (door speakers) is installed under dash next to new blower unit. I played with it for a bit and it should sound pretty good when fully installed. Subwoofer and amp remain, as well as exposing the aux and USB ports under dash. Also, the door cards are out getting painted, and of course are needed to finish the door speaker installation. Also notice the lizard skin peeking out under the radio.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10x.jpeg

The new 3-gauge unit is in the shop. It will read out water and oil temperature, as well as oil pressure. It has a digital readout in blue. Look online to see the face of you want. Might be hard to read instructions but I put them in here just in case.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image15x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image16x.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image17x.jpeg

I asked them to see if they can also adjust the torsion bars that hold the trunk lid up as its not staying the whole way open. Apparently those are also quite dangerous to mess with, like those front could...

Steve, I relayed your request to have the black accents on he scroll-type tonneau emblems painted blue (to match the car).

That's it for now!"

stubbie
11-01-2016, 09:08 PM
You will need one of these or similar. Moog T-469 spring compressors.

jopizz
11-01-2016, 09:44 PM
Where did the manual choke come from? That's certainly not factory.

John

YellowRose
11-01-2016, 10:01 PM
John, I do not know. I did not notice that. A lot on this car is not gonna be factory, but it should certainly be a safer car. Dave just told about the OTC 6494 Spring Compressor, so I just passed that and the Moog information on to Dan. Dave found a neat video clip and I sent it to Dan and the guys. You can see how this OTC 6494 Spring Compressor tool makes it safer and simple to remove a coil spring. Go to the 2:50 mark on the video to see how it works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6mRJ9ZImcY

Regarding that manual choke, David said this. "Yes - there's a knob on the dash that enriches the mixture when starting cold."

stubbie
11-03-2016, 02:34 AM
Just out of curiosity I looked at the price of the OTC spring compressor in Australia. Can only see one place that sells it and I think they are still a US company. Price is $687 free shipping or I could import one from the USA eBay for $353 including postage. :rolleyes:

simplyconnected
11-03-2016, 03:13 AM
Just out of curiosity I looked at the price of the OTC spring compressor in Australia. Can only see one place that sells it and I think they are still a US company. Price is $687 free shipping or I could import one from the USA eBay for $353 including postage. :rolleyes:
Two places come to mind, Walmart and Tooltopia.

http://www.tooltopia.com/_img/OTC/OTC6494.jpg

Click HERE for OTC 6494 - $176.39 (http://www.tooltopia.com/otc-tools-6494.aspx)

Something is wrong with three hundred bucks. - Dave

bird 60
11-03-2016, 03:55 AM
Hi Dave, postage, & our weak dollar is what's killing us right now getting parts from the States.
I ordered rear brake pads for my '79 Cadillac Eldorado from Rock Auto. Cost of Pads U.S. $10.41, Freight U.S.$32.99, add insurance, a couple of bucks, Paypal charges & the exchange rate I'm up for AUS.$59.00.:mad: This is one of the reasons why our cars are higher priced here.

Chris....From OZ.

Cwcb08
11-03-2016, 01:45 PM
Hi Dave, postage, & our weak dollar is what's killing us right now getting parts from the States.
I ordered rear brake pads for my '79 Cadillac Eldorado from Rock Auto. Cost of Pads U.S. $10.41, Freight U.S.$32.99, add insurance, a couple of bucks, Paypal charges & the exchange rate I'm up for AUS.$59.00.:mad: This is one of the reasons why our cars are higher priced here.

Chris....From OZ.

Sounds like buying parts here in Canada, ordered from mac's last week 328usd shipped, actual cost about 450$ Canadian, luckily I'm close to the border and can drive across to a shipping depot @5$ per package, luckily Canada customs did not send me Inside to pay duty this trip

scumdog
11-03-2016, 04:49 PM
Hi Dave, postage, & our weak dollar is what's killing us right now getting parts from the States.
I ordered rear brake pads for my '79 Cadillac Eldorado from Rock Auto. Cost of Pads U.S. $10.41, Freight U.S.$32.99, add insurance, a couple of bucks, Paypal charges & the exchange rate I'm up for AUS.$59.00.:mad: This is one of the reasons why our cars are higher priced here.

Chris....From OZ.

I feel your pain Chris!
And as our dollar is even weaker than the Aussie (US 73cents to the Kiwi dollar) it's even worse when buying from the US.
But it

stubbie
11-03-2016, 10:35 PM
Spring Compressor on eBay $176US =$231AUS + $80US postage =$105AUS total $336

simplyconnected
11-04-2016, 05:48 AM
Is there a way I can help you guys in NZ and in AUS?

I don't know how many of you really want this tool or how serious you are about it. I'll say this, in all my years I've never owned one because I use a set I MADE at work from tool steel. In reality I've probably used my spring compressors on a dozen cars and they've always worked just fine.

Having said that, I realize this is a safety issue. Therefore, if you need my help getting one of these tools let me know what I can do to help you.

The shipping issue would be easier if there was, let's say, one place over there where we could send a number of these tools. They could then use your domestic means to distribute. Another solution is to use an already earmarked container. - Dave

YellowRose
11-10-2016, 03:46 AM
David sent me another update on the work on the Tbird. Also he said that the company bought that spring compressor and used it to get that other spring off. Here is what David had to say and the pix.

Another 'Bird visit today. Again, much progress made.

Suspension is now almost complete (note new coil not fixed at top, but in place). They bought that special spring clamp and manhandled the old monster out of the car.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6-1.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7-1.jpg

New brake booster and dual master cylinder is installed. Lines will be run and bled in the next day or so.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8-1.jpg

Mechanical fan, new belts and pulleys, and shrouds are installed and taught.

Unfortunately the high volume electric helper fan they had bought and installed needed to be replaced with a shallower one as the hood latch mechanism was interfering with it. A new fan is on order.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5-1.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3-1.jpg

New hot water shutoff valve is installed in-line on hose.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9-1.jpg

Dan showed me another project he's working on - swapping carburetors for EFI. He's identified a newer player, FI-Tech, that has reasonably priced conversion kits (~$1,500 in parts plus installation) for your motor. Fuel injection would dramatically improve throttle response, fuel efficiency, reliability/start-up, performance, no worries about adjustments, reduce/eliminate the leaky carburetor bits, and would be virtually maintenance free. This is pretty much a part-exchange for the 4-barrel carb, and requires adding a high-pressure fuel pump.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4-1.jpg

My personal thought is that this would be an excellent upgrade especially as it modernizes the engine performance while pretty much eliminating service issues - a good thing in the DR. Note of course that the current carburetor - just rebuilt - works perfectly fine as-is. (Steve has given the go ahead on ordering this EFI system and installing it.)

The newly painted door cards are expected later this week.

They are awaiting the new subwoofer setup to install that in trunk.

With the above door cards and subwoofers installed, they can finish the interior installation.

They are fabricating a mount bracket for the new gauge, which will be mounted at he bottom of the lower dash panel, above the parking brake pedal.

With the above complete they will send the car to upholsterer for the tonneau cover installation, followed by (or maybe preceded by) the safety and function check of the steering and remaining undercarriage gear including exhaust.

Other carryover items are new tires, checking the vacuum assist systems (automatic parking brake release) wipers, lights, general tightening of all accessories (mirrors, lamps, etc.), buttoning-up all the cabling, hoses and wiring, adjust trunk torsion bar, and finish audio installation.

The end is very near!

stubbie
11-10-2016, 04:00 AM
Look here for EFI and Fitech.
http://fepower.net/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=3815.0

Cwcb08
11-10-2016, 09:05 AM
Dan showed me another project he's working on - swapping carburetors for EFI. He's identified a newer player, FI-Tech, that has reasonably priced conversion kits (~$1,500 in parts plus installation) for your motor. Fuel injection would dramatically improve throttle response, fuel efficiency, reliability/start-up, performance, no worries about adjustments, reduce/eliminate the leaky carburetor bits, and would be virtually maintenance free. This is pretty much a part-exchange for the 4-barrel carb, and requires adding a high-pressure fuel pump.


I like watching the car/truck shows sunday mornings on discovery velocity, and have seen these units and their competitors come up a bunch of times, this http://fitechefi.com/products/40003/ is an add on option from FiTech ( would work with any bolt on EFI system ) that saves some plumbing. basically connect your oem fuel line to the " command centre " and it becomes a self contained secondary tank/sump/hi pressure pump so you dont need to pull your tank/change your oem pump and run lines from the tank up to the engine

http://fitechefi.com/fitech-content/images/products/40003_1med.png

the gauges let you monitor your low pressure input and hi pressure output



from FiTech:
"Fuel Command Center with Fuel Sump Tank

With the FiTech Go EFI System Fuel Command Center installed with your EFI system you can be sure that you have the most advanced fuel delivery system available. Here is how it works:

The FiTech Fuel Command Center Assembly is mounted in your engine compartment. It can also be mounted anywhere on the vehicle’s chassis if necessary. The conventional fuel line that originally went to your carburetor is connected to the “IN” port of the Fuel Command Center. A supplied high pressure hose is plumbed from the Command Center to the inlet port on your EFI throttle body.

Your stock carbureted fuel pump (or a TBI low pressure EFI pump) feeds low pressure fuel to the FiTech Fuel Command Center’s sump tank.

A reservoir of fuel is in the sump tank at all times so the 340 L/PH pump inside is submerged in fuel. The sump tank contains a float that automatically shuts off the fuel coming into the Sump Tank when the correct fuel level is reached. At that point the stock pump is dead heading against the Fuel Command Center just like it normally would against a fuel pressure regulator.

When the engine is running the Fuel Command Center pump supplies high pressure (58 PSI) fuel to the EFI throttle body."

YellowRose
11-17-2016, 02:18 AM
Here is the latest update on Steven's '66 Tbird. It is getting there, and it won't be to much longer before they will have it done and then made ready for shipping! Here is what David had to say.

"Hi Dan,
Steve is OK with replacing the vinyl in the trunk with a blue carpet closely matching the interior floor carpet. Please have your upholsterer match and install in the best way possible to accommodate all the nooks and bumps back there.

Hi Steve and Ray,
Another week, another significant amount of progress to report! I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

The 'Bird in on the ground and moving on its new suspension and upgraded brakes! Notice the new stance - it's sitting about 1.5" lower up front (much better - it was way high up front before). Final suspension setting is not done yet so it might go back up ~1/4" to get the new coils at the optimum compression for comfort and performance.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1b.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2b.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3b.jpg

Notice the nifty customization of the strut tower brace around the new dual master cylinder, and the new brake lines (new to front brakes; used existing lines to rear).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4b.jpg

Engine is running really well with carburetor (FI Tech EFI kit expected in late this week). Even with the AC on, just sitting at idle in the garage, the temperature remains quite low. The second electric helper fan was received at the shop but not installed yet (remember the first one didn't fit with the hood latch mechanism). The AC is fully charged and working really well. Image below is just another snap from above - not showing anything specific.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5b.jpg

The subwoofer setup is in place and working but not finish-installed. Given the vinyl change to carpet in the trunk, that will be coordinated (and the subwoofer housing will also be wrapped in carpet).

Dan let me listen to a Bluetooth source and feel the AC in the car. The stereo sounds really good - much better than I expected for not being finished-installed and immensely better then what it came with. The AC works really well, too!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7b.jpg

The stereo head unit comes with 2 USB female connectors (to connect desired USB cable) a microphone, and an AUX connector. I suggest the following:

- 1 USB and the AUX connector in the center console closed compartment.
- 1 USB discretely mounted to the left of the steering column; alternatively in the passenger's side footwell area.
- The microphone discretely mounted above the driver's side sun visor, center, next to the roof-mounted overhead console.
- Steve - any suggestions/changes regarding above?

Now that the car is rolling, Dan found a bit too much "play" in the steering system. He will check it thoroughly when he gets it on the lift but as of now he's recommending a new steering unit. I concur given my driving experience when I dropped the car off.

I asked Dan when he installs the new tires (5) to install new chrome tire valve stems a bit shorter than the black ~3" ones on there now, which are too long and stand out through the hubcaps.

Dan ordered a finish-grade housing cup to help surface-mount the digital gauge module low on the driver's side lower dash.

New door cards are complete, however, they're still with the upholsterer. Dan is hoping to get those and the new vinyl top installed next week. That will allow the finish install of all the interior components.

I spoke with Dan about the shipment to the DR and how best to prepare and protect the car. At minimum Dan will have the car detailed have plastic/wrap applied to most surfaces, especially the new white vinyl roof.

As you might expect, we have a bunch of parts that we've replaced. Many of these are service parts like shocks, springs, points, etc. that don't merit much more then disposal. However there are several parts like the old heater core, brake booster and master cylinder, 4-barrel carburetor, etc. that we need to figure out what to do with. We can pack and send these to the DR or offer them to someone else in need of them.
- Steve - any requests/recommendations/preferences?
- Ray - any input here?

There are several carryover items from previous visits/updates. I will consolidate these the week after thanksgiving into a final punch list for us all.

That's it for now!"

YellowRose
11-19-2016, 01:13 AM
David was able to see the Tbird on the lift for the first time and took a lot more pix of what they were finding. Here is what he had to say and the pix he sent along with this.

"I had a chance to revisit the 'Bird today as Dan noted it was on the lift and I hadn't seen the undercarriage of the beast before.

Steve - as per my text message, here are some more parts needed to be ordered - upper and lower ball joints (L & R); all the bushings for the rear lead spring setups; and if you can locate a heavier-duty sway bar w/bushings, please get that, too (Ray - anyone know of a replacement heavy-duty sway bar for the '66; front and for adding a back?). (I was able to put them in contact with Lance Harrington, of Tbirds Southwest. Lance is the supplier for all Tbird parts houses for front and rear heavy Tbird sway bars, with bushings. Steven has already placed an order for both with Lance).

See existing ball-end joints (with some busted boots) and sway bar (ends only).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image13c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image14c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image15c.jpg

The whole underbody is in extremely good condition!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11c.jpg

Dan will build a custom stainless 2.5" exhaust with an "X" crossover and a pair of high flow mufflers and chrome tips to replace the existing exhaust system with an "H" crossover with only (what must be quite restrictive) resonators on it.
- Dan - could the mufflers be tucked in where the current resonators are in the quarters instead of up by the diff? (Here is Dan's response to that. I made a bunch of calls today and was able to figure out a cool replacement for adding spring. We came up with an air ride which will replace two springs. This can be a static set or capable of auto leveling via tank pump. Just an idea. I'm working on pricing. I will make sure we tuck the mufflers).

I/We were shocked there were no mufflers in the existing system. You can see a fair number of kinks (by design, not damaged) in the existing exhaust, and some changes in diameter along the way.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9c.jpg

Aside from the front-end parts Steve already ordered and the ones noted above, Dan ordered a new steering box (with a slightly tighter ratio of 14:1 vs 16:1). Altogether that will greatly tighten-up the steering and handling.

The biggest concern we noticed were the oil leaks. Although none are egregious, it makes sense to fix them now. Some of the seals, and possibly a pump will need servicing.

Unfortunately this might mean dropping the tranny or pulling the engine to correct. Let's hope not! It's hard to see and understand where the leaks are from these photos but here goes...
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image16c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image17c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image18c.jpg

We also noticed a little bit of oil seeping from the rear differential on the drive shaft side which means it needs a service and seals, too. I asked Dan to paint it correct colors (black w/silver U-bolts) since it and the leaf springs will be out to replace the bushings.

Depending on ride characteristics, they may add an additional leaf to each side to help with the demanding (read crappy) DR roads.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image19c.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image20c.jpg

Tranny shifter linkages (no issues - just showing them)...
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image21c.jpg

I was hoping the FI-Tech throttle body EFI system would have arrived but it hadn't. Dan will send us pictures when it arrives. A new high pressure fuel line will be put in downstream of the new high pressure fuel pump needed for the EFI.

So far all of these findings to-date are not surprising, and none detract from this exceptional quality vehicle. Unfortunately they do add time and cost to making this car 100% roadworthy, safe, and seriously kick-***!

That's it for now! David."

bird 60
11-19-2016, 02:52 AM
What is the name of the 2 brackets approx 14" long called where the front hoist is supporting the T. bird. One of mine broke on my Cadillac & I'm getting a vibration. Ive looked at my Workshop Manual but I can't find anything. What would they be, stability Brackets? I'll have to take it off & weld it or replace.

Thank you
Chris.....From OZ.

YellowRose
11-23-2016, 12:30 AM
Can anyone answer the question that Chris asked in the post below this? Here is what Dan sent me in the way of several pix and a comment today.

"Still waiting on high volume pump for efi. Door cards are mint!!! Dan"

Here are the pix.

scumdog
11-23-2016, 05:21 AM
What is the name of the 2 brackets approx 14" long called where the front hoist is supporting the T. bird. One of mine broke on my Cadillac & I'm getting a vibration. Ive looked at my Workshop Manual but I can't find anything. What would they be, stability Brackets? I'll have to take it off & weld it or replace.

Thank you
Chris.....From OZ.

I know what brackets you mean Chris - big heavy mothers they are too, just plain flat steel, almost like an afterthought eh!
But I don't know their true function apart from stopping flex 'somewhere'.

jopizz
11-23-2016, 12:20 PM
Ray,

You may want to point Steven and Dan to Yadkin's post regarding his EFI upgrade. He had problems with the stock intake manifold and had to change it out.

John

stubbie
11-23-2016, 08:04 PM
I would run a fuel pot up front with an EFI system. That way you don't need to mess with high pressure fuel pumps from the original tank.

YellowRose
11-26-2016, 07:13 PM
David and Steve have a couple of questions that they would like to have your input on. One regards tires and the other is door window felt seals.. Here they are, and please provide them with any input here that you have regarding both questions. He put these questions to Dan, and also to us, to get input from our many Tbird owners.

"We had talked about replacement tires for the car, and what our options are for white walls and other tires. Steve noted that red stripes were an option for that year and I believe you mentioned that there are better performance options with red stripes than white walls. Can you please research options for better performance here and what the costs are, understanding we aren't going to be running slalom courses, we're looking to make the car primarily safer?

Steve was worried about the door window seals (felts?) that press against the window on either side of the window to keep the water from running down into the door sills. Now that you have the door cards and everything apart, does it make sense to replace those, and add a plastic backing (or something) between the door cards/speakers and the door frame? His concern is having water sift right down the windows and accumulate/splash around the bottom of the doors if the car gets caught in a rainstorm (tropical island and all...)."

jopizz
11-26-2016, 08:22 PM
Steve was worried about the door window seals (felts?) that press against the window on either side of the window to keep the water from running down into the door sills. Now that you have the door cards and everything apart, does it make sense to replace those, and add a plastic backing (or something) between the door cards/speakers and the door frame? His concern is having water sift right down the windows and accumulate/splash around the bottom of the doors if the car gets caught in a rainstorm (tropical island and all...)."

The belt weatherstripping should always be replaced during a restoration in my opinion. That is your only safeguard against water getting into the doors. Fifty year old rubber is basically worthless.

John

Sjp3003
11-27-2016, 11:42 PM
Thanks John.

Another question for the forum: I have a visible crack at the 12 o'clock position of the steering wheel and it looks like another is starting just before 6 o'clock. This seems to be a common occurrence from other wheels I´ve seen online.

I have found the chrome ring online, but not the wood-like portion (David mentioned he guesses it is plastic).

Any recommended sources for replacement steering wheels or for restoring a wheel?

Sjp3003
11-28-2016, 12:00 AM
Here is a picture of the crack...

YellowRose
11-28-2016, 12:36 AM
Steven sent me the picture of his steering wheel, and I did some research regarding it. I have found a number of other pix in what are supposed to be OEM '66 Flairbirds that have the same two spoke steering wheel set up like this. I think this is the OEM steering wheel for the '66 Flairbird, but I would like to see jopizz's comments regarding this. Checking the Tbird parts houses websites, when I did find '66 steering wheels they are selling, I see that some of them are Grant 3 spoke steering wheels and not like this at all. I also found a good number of pix of '66 Flairbirds with different styles of steering wheels, but I have no idea if they are OEM or not. I do not have the Flairbird OFS to check.

With the passing of Jed Zimmerman, we lost our only (that I am aware of) person who specialized in repairing Tbird steering wheels. If anyone knows of other companies that do this type of work, please let me know so that I can add them to the Advertisements Forum.

Steven may want to get that steering wheel fixed, or find another steering wheel just like it in new or very good used condition. I intend to make some calls in the morning to those Tbird parts houses who have used '66 steering wheels and see what they have to say. Here is the full pic of his steering wheel. It is hard to see but there does look like another small crack coming in about the 5:30 position on the outside of the wheel.

Yadkin
11-28-2016, 06:55 AM
Ray, Jed did my wheel in 2012 and I have a bit of experience here so let me chime in.

The wheel in your post #101 is the OEM wheel. Most of the wheels of this era split in this fashion. It's a steel circle with a thin layer of plastic, and the two materials have different coefficients of thermal expansion, so stress develops during heat and cool cycles. Thus the weaker plastic will give way at about the halfway point between the spokes. Also at the skokes due to stress concentration. It's very typical to get a large spit at about the 12:00 position since that part of the wheel gets the most sun (if the car is parked straight). Mine had three spilts in it.

I sold a wheel off one of "my" parts cars to one of our members here last year and it happened to be the wood-look that you've pictured. Incredibly it had no spits.

The chrome stip facing the driver came in two styles. On base models like mine the chrome was on the lower "half" only. It appears to be an aluminum film, pressed into the wheel in the shallow concave depression, with a thin clear coat over it. One of our vendors here sold a decal to replace that was laser cut from a sheet of plastic film. When I shipped my wheel to Jed I included the decal for him to apply and he and I agreed that it didn't turn out well. I ended up using a self-stick trim with a convex outer surface and that turned out very nice- nicer than original in my opinion.

Jed restored these wheels in 5 colors at a standard price. About 15 colors are available from the manufacturer that he used. Thew wood look would require two colors and probably a clear coat.

Later today I'll ask a friend of mine who specializes in restorations and ask if he wants to be a vendor on these.

Sjp3003
11-28-2016, 07:52 AM
Thanks Yadkin

Steve

Yadkin
11-28-2016, 08:15 AM
I just heard back from Mike Boger at Classic Metal in Mocksville NC. He's fixed several wheels and is interested in being a vendor. All have been painted but he hasn't done a wood grain. If anyone's interested I can set something up for you.

I just had a careful look at the "wood look" wheel on my '74 Fiat Spider. The car has been relatively well cared for and although it has a split at 12:00, the finish is nice and glossy. The color is a metallic brown that at a quick glance looks like wood, but has no "wood" grain to it.

Yadkin
11-28-2016, 08:20 AM
Some pictures of mine before and after. Also some pictures of my Fiat wheel.

YellowRose
11-28-2016, 11:15 AM
Thank you Steve for the good information you posted regarding your steering wheel. It is much appreciated and I hope we can find someone who will do the restoration on our Tbirds for us. I just talked with the Bird House in Delaware and got several pieces of information. The first thing they told me is that the ONLY one they ever knew of who did steering wheel restorations was Jed Zimmerman. Another is that they no longer have any parts cars, at least not for the time being. Another thing is that the only OEM steering wheel they had they just recently sold. The last thing they told me is if you cannot find anyone to do a restoration on the steering wheel, they sell a steering wheel wrap in a number of different colors that you can wrap that steering wheel with and hide that split. Later today, I will call the Bird House, and Tbird Hqs when they open to see what they have to say.

Here is a link to the leather steering wheel wraps for the Flairbird. There is no picture of what they look like, but it does show you the various colors they are available in. You can click on the colors and it will bring up a bigger box to show you what they look like.

http://store.bobsbirdhouse.com/cover-leather-steering-wheel-kit-64-66-t-birds-new-p5016.aspx

Cwcb08
11-28-2016, 12:11 PM
Here is a link to the leather steering wheel wraps for the Flairbird. There is no picture of what they look like, but it does show you the various colors they are available in. You can click on the colors and it will bring up a bigger box to show you what they look like.

http://store.bobsbirdhouse.com/cover-leather-steering-wheel-kit-64-66-t-birds-new-p5016.aspx

it would be nice to see one installed, might be interested in one for my own car, my wheel is shot

jopizz
11-28-2016, 12:20 PM
I'm sure it looks like your standard steering wheel cover with the lacing that wraps around. I've never been a big fan of them.

John

YellowRose
11-28-2016, 11:36 PM
Thanks to Tbird Hqs I have been provided with a half dozen new-to-me companies who specialize in Steering Wheel restoratons! If you look down through the Advertisements Forum, you will see them listed now. I have provided this information to Steven and crew so they will know. I have also located an OEM '66 steering wheel for Steven, should he like to buy it and informed him of it. It appears to be in excellent condition.

YellowRose
11-29-2016, 04:27 PM
I just received an update from David on the work being completed on Steven's '66 Tbird. Here is what he had to say!

"Stopped by Dan's shop yesterday for a quick update since being away last week.

Dan received a bunch of the suspension, steering and other bits ordered and started installing them. Still awaiting the sway bars and I believe he got all the rubber grommets.

As discussed in a previous email thread, Dan will write up options for the rear end to ensure proper handling, performance, and clearance, specifically around adding a leaf to the leaf springs, adding a simple bag setup (inflated by air valve), and an intermediate air bag system (self-leveling for load, ride height adjustable).

Steve - did you have a chance to check the paperwork I brought you for evidence of valve train hardening to use unleaded fuel? As noted separately, this, along with determining where the slight oil leaks are coming from, will dictate what work will be needed and if it makes sense to address hardening, other, or not.

The FiTech EFI unit arrived. He will install in the next day or so.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1e.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2e.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3e.jpg

Steve - the ordered door and trunk rubber parts are in, however we need to order the roof rail weatherstripping as these need to be replaced, too.

We checked the window seals (to keep water from running down into the door) and they are in great shape. I asked Bill to apply plastic sheeting (or similar vapor barrier between new door cards/speakers, and the door frame). Please note that the new door cards are plastic so they won't deteriorate like the old pressed particle board cards. The speakers will mount behind the carpeted bits so they won't show!

The door cards came out perfectly! Also, the new cards came with metal finger cups where the old ones were failing (to close the doors) which may well address the discussion of stuffing sponges in to prevent using them.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4e.jpg

And here's the gap in the steering wheel. Otherwise the wheel is in great shape. We should consider repairing this one with epoxy or some other filler and match the color. Alternatively we can ask the upholsterer to wrap the wheel, say in perforated leather or something - the wheel is quite thin, so a wrap might help.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5e.jpg

Dan expects to have all the steering and suspension parts in shortly and take the car on the road for testing and setup late this week. I will aim to swing by late in the week again.

Dan will source "red stripe" tires (x5) to best/match performance. That's it for now. David."

stubbie
11-29-2016, 08:08 PM
If you look at You Tube there are people who restore steering wheels as a business.

YellowRose
11-29-2016, 10:25 PM
Thanks stubbie, I just added about a half dozen more steering wheel restoration/repair companies to the Advertisements Forum, thanks to Tbird Hqs...

YellowRose
11-29-2016, 11:33 PM
While going through paperwork he received with the Tbird, Steven found a metal tag. He sent me a picture of it, and jopizz was able to confirm what I thought it was. The tag off his Autolite 4100 carb! For some reason, some PO took it off and put it in with the paperwork. Here is a pic of it.

YellowRose
12-01-2016, 01:39 AM
Steven sent me a pic of his new floor mats for his '66 Tbird. Here is what he had to say and a pic of the mats.

"I just received my new custom Lloyds mats for the TBird... very nice custom fit and colors with the Thunderbird logo, licensed by FoMoCo. I've been a Lloyds fan for a number of years and these look great. Steve"

Dan Leavens
12-01-2016, 09:21 AM
Steve they look great.

Don't keep us guessing how much were they in case others would like to order??

Sjp3003
12-02-2016, 03:30 AM
Thanks all. I wound up buying a used steering wheel that is in good shape that was kindly spotted by Ray. A few months down the line I will see if I repair the car's original wheel with the restoration options that have been recommended.

Steve

YellowRose
12-02-2016, 03:39 AM
I see that Steven is online as I post this. Yes, I was able to locate what seems to be the only OEM 1965-1966 steering wheel in capivity for Steven! In the course of doing so, thanks to Tbird Hqs, they were able to give me about a half dozen steering wheel restorers/repair shops that I did not know about. I added them to the Advertisements forum. Also, while speaking with Tbird Hqs, I asked if they were manufacturing any OEM steering wheels for the Flairbird or planning to. They said they were not because the demand is not large, and it would not be cost effective for them to do so on such a limited basis. Also because there are some 8 companies who are now in the business of repairing and restoring OEM steering wheels to their original condition. So hunting for an OEM steering wheel in excellent condition for Steven ended up serving us well, because now we know who can continue the repairing of steering wheels for us that we had only known that Jed Zimmerman was doing before his passing...

I have already heard from one company that it would not be possible to repair his OEM steering wheel on the car because that steering wheel has the metal strip all around the steering wheel and it is also cracked. So they told me they would not be able to repair it. I will see what the others I sent the picture to have to say about it. He may have to just wrap it with a leather wrap and set it aside as a spare for future use, if necessary. You can get Grant steering wheels for Flairbirds, but they are 3 spoke non-OEM steering wheels. I could find no other Tbird parts house that had a Flairbird OEM steering wheel in stock. Only the Bird Nest had a used one without cracks and Steven bought it. They are very hard to find without having any cracks in them.

Sjp3003
12-02-2016, 03:46 AM
Steve they look great.

Don't keep us guessing how much were they in case others would like to order??

Hi Dan,

These were $167 for all four (you can also just order the front two) minus a slight discount when I ordered through Autoanything.com. If you go on their site you will see they offer several variations of custom fit Lloyds mats, and prices vary depending on the material, whether or not you add logos and differentiated binding on the edges. The ones in the picture are the " Ultimats". They have less expensive and more expensive options.

My experience with Lloyds mats has been excellent. I have them on our SUV and our MINI, and have had them on other cars in the past. The key thing for me has been to order a relatively dark color...these are the easiest to maintain over time. The lighter colors can stain even if you protect them with something like 3M Scotchguard.

Sjp3003
12-02-2016, 03:54 AM
Hi Ray...one minor correction: I understood that restorer meant that a fully cracked wheel could not be repaired because there is a metal base frame underneath the outer plastic wood-colored surface. That base frame is not visible in the pictures.

There is also that outer chrome strip overlay that is definitely cracked on my wheel. That outer strip is available from most TBird parts houses, for around $20.

YellowRose
12-02-2016, 04:02 AM
Steven, you may be right. I might have misread his email. I thought he was talking about the chrome strip band that goes all the around the circle of the wheel in the picture. Here is what he said in his email to me.

"Unfortunately if the metal band that runs through the rim is split, there is nothing we can do. On this particular wheel it appears to be completely severed at 12 o'clock."

I gather he means that if the metal band that is underneath the wooden or plastic ring of the steering wheel itself is formed over, if that is also split, they cannot fix it. He said it looked like it was. I can double check that with him to make sure I understand that correctly.

YellowRose
12-07-2016, 01:57 AM
Here is the latest report and pix from David on Steven's '66 Flairbird work.

"Hi Steve and Ray,

Another visit to Dan's shop today. Lots going on!

Steve - can you order another 2 cans of the blue paint to blend into the read seat area side cards?

This will help match the new door cards, which are installed and look great! Billy had to extensively modify those cards - very few of the mounting and accessory holes actually lined-up. Speakers are mounted beneath the lower carpet sections!

Dan should be reaching out to the contact you provided, Ray.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9d.jpg

Steve - the passenger side rubber gasket you ordered was missing an important flap at the end of the door. It was probably a manufacturing/QC defect, but it needs to be re-ordered and replaced. See the driver's door picture, which is correct, and the passenger side door picture, missing the flap.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2d.jpg

All the other gaskets are in and the doors are closing really tightly. The trunk gasket looks great, too (sorry - no picture this trip).

Steve - Dan responded separately regarding the needed roof rail rubber weatherstripping that's needed. From the image you sent, its the "M - 1966 Roof Rail Weatherstrip, Landau Pair" which you had ticked-off. See the "bad" ones here.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6d.jpg

The front sway bar is in! It's so much thicker and has grease nipples, compared to the original. These should stiffen up the ride and minimize sway dramatically. Picture of the original on the floor; the others show the new sway bar as well as the new idler arm, upper and lower ball joints, connecting rods, brakes, coilovers, etc. all in-place!

Everything is wicked tight down there now (that's a northeastern technical assessment...)!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image32d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image20d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image21d.jpg
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http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image23d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image24d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image25d.jpg

Box of rubbish suspension/steering parts and weatherstripping gaskets.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image28d.jpg

Steering box goes in tomorrow. It weighs about 50 lbs! Yikes! Good thing there's a 428 in front of it!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image27d.jpg

The ceiling is painted and in excellent shape. No mouse skin, Steve... The seat belts are in really good condition, albeit a touch dirty (it cleans up), and the driver's side buckle does have a small but noticeable scrape on it. Steve - your call if you want to replace that one.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image13d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image14d.jpg
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http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image16d.jpg

The ordered steering wheel arrived while I was in the shop. We unpacked it and took a look at it. It's in better condition than the one on the car as it doesn't have the crack, but it will need lots of elbow grease to clean it up and get it sharp. It actually mostly matches color-wise, which I didn't expect until we put them together. The chromed accent ring is faded equally on both, however.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11d.jpg

The rear end will have to come out to fix a small leak in the front of the pumpkin, to install all the new bushings, new rear sway bar, and to paint all the components.

Dan - I spoke with Steve about the proposed rear suspension changes. As of now the benefit does not merit the cost. Let's see how the car sits and drives once you've dialed-in the front end and we get it on the road for testing.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image17d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image18d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image19d.jpg

Dan expects to get the car on the road this week, which is critical to determining where the leaks are actually coming from around the engine and transmission. This will dictate what's needed there, as well as the ride/stance needs.

I will aim to visit the shop on Friday if the car is drivable.

EFI will be installed after, so as not to perform double-effort, should we need to pull valve covers, etc. based on leaks.

Exhaust will follow the above work.

Unfortunately, we found a minor rust spot on the passenger side rocker panel, where the rear door frame connects to the quarter panel, none of us had noticed before. It's small but will definitely get worse over time.

Corrective action is to cut out that section, which shows some evidence of previous work, patch with new metalwork, and paint/blend the area.

This is a small repair but it will involve cutting metal and painting, and you never know where that leads.

This however will open the opportunity for properly repairing minor paint imperfections (wet color-sanding the clear coat, which shows some "running" from the restoration paint job, mostly only visible while up on a lift) on the lower panels (and a small ding) that otherwise don't merit fixing.

Steve - what's your call on fixing the rust spot?
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image29d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image30d.jpg

That's it for now! David."

YellowRose
12-07-2016, 11:45 AM
Dan Marinelli sent us these pix of what the used OEM Bird Nest steering wheel looks like now since his Tech, Billy cleaned it up and worked his magic on it today! Just beautiful! Here are the pix.

YellowRose
12-08-2016, 05:34 PM
Dan sent me this pic of Billy fixing the seat chrome.

"We noticed they put the chrome on wrong side of seats lol. Here's a pic of Billy changing them to right side. Looks better lol."

YellowRose
12-13-2016, 12:21 PM
Steven sent me an email and pic regarding the interior roof of his '66 Tbird. The roof does not have a headliner in it! A previous owner had it taken out and someone painted the roof! It looks really nice, but Steven is ordering a light blue headliner to cover over the paint job. Here is what he had to say and the pic he sent. The pic was taken before they starting installing the aftermarket CAA AC unit.

"Good morning Ray,

Here is a picture of the headliner...It looks fine but I was surprised to hear it is just painted on. I ordered a light blue headliner that should match up well. Steve"

scumdog
12-13-2016, 03:50 PM
Here is the latest report and pix from David on Steven's '66 Flairbird work.


Unfortunately, we found a minor rust spot on the passenger side rocker panel, where the rear door frame connects to the quarter panel, none of us had noticed before. It's small but will definitely get worse over time.

Corrective action is to cut out that section, which shows some evidence of previous work, patch with new metalwork, and paint/blend the area.

This is a small repair but it will involve cutting metal and painting, and you never know where that leads.

This however will open the opportunity for properly repairing minor paint imperfections (wet color-sanding the clear coat, which shows some "running" from the restoration paint job, mostly only visible while up on a lift) on the lower panels (and a small ding) that otherwise don't merit fixing.

Steve - what's your call on fixing the rust spot?
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image29d.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image30d.jpg

That's it for now! David."

Yep, get onto that rust - get it cut out properly and new metal welded in - just grinding it back and smearing in some filler won"t cut the mustard.

Yadkin
12-13-2016, 05:08 PM
"Good morning Ray,

Here is a picture of the headliner...It looks fine but I was surprised to hear it is just painted on. I ordered a light blue headliner that should match up well. Steve"

That can't be just paint. There are several cross bars supporting the roof that aren't visible.

Nice roof console!

jopizz
12-13-2016, 05:33 PM
There's cardboard underneath when it has the overhead console. That's probably what they painted.

John

YellowRose
12-13-2016, 08:15 PM
John, thanks for that information. Steven has ordered the appropriate headliner for that Tbird with the overhead center console in lite blue from the Bird Nest. I was able to provide him with the source for one.

YellowRose
12-14-2016, 12:20 AM
David visited the shop today and sent me more information and pix of the Tbird. Here is what he had to say. The first pic you will see is another view of that painted interior roof top that I had found and posted earlier. This gives you another view of it, and you will see what David has to say about it.

"Hi Steve and Dan,

I want to reiterate that the headliner in the car right now is in excellent shape, whatever it is - painted cardboard or painted metal. I do not believe it needs changing but Steve, that’s up to you…
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12d.jpg

In a nutshell, they got the car running (mock-up configuration; in the bay) with EDI and are very pleased with the results.

Most importantly it appears that the leaks around the engine appear to have been from the car just sitting around, so Dan and Billy believe they will not need to pull the motor, which is excellent news!

They will have to fabricate a small lift tube to elevate the air cleaner housing up to clear the high pressure fittings on the rear of the EFI unit. With the cleaner shroud installed, you can’t tell there’s an EFI unit there instead of a 4-barrel carb in there!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_0143g.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_0141g.jpg

The transmission, however, needs to be dropped and taken out for service to ensure it's in perfect working order and to replace any seals/gaskets that are causing it to leak slowly onto the bell housing/pan and floor (the only place it leaks and actually drops to the floor). This is a much smaller job than pulling the motor out, and Dan will sub this out to his specialist nearby!

The steering box they ordered turned out to be a mismatch so they ordered a refurbished OEM unit to replace the one that came with the car, which is in pretty poor shape. It should be in and installed this week.

I requested that Dan get the car running and rolling for a good test drive, with the front suspension dialed-in optimally for functionality and stance, and the rear as-is (BEFORE we make pumpkin/leaf spring/bushing fixes/changes in the back), so we can check the ride, stance, and properly assess any additional needs, given the changes we’ve made to-date. Dan thinks we will need to supplement the leaf springs given the roads in the DR. We both want to minimize double-work (e.g. the known work noted and any needed work based on the test driving) and make intelligent decisions based on the rear dampeners installed.

Billy started sanding-down the old muck and paint on the rear end (not double-work…). Those brake lines will be replaced as they are run haphazardly and don’t look particularly great.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_0145g.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_0144g.jpg

They started mounting the new electric helper fan they ordered to replace the ill-fitting one from a few weeks ago (that interfered with the hood latch mechanism). Given how well the car is cooling with the flexblade fan installed (over the stock 4-blade), they will be wiring the helper fan to turn on with the AC unit. That means, counterintuitively, that if the car starts to get hot, turn on the AC!

The interior is mostly together again. Most of the dash and interior is back in except for the driver’s seat and some lower dash/center console trim panels. When they get the paint and additional weatherstripping you ordered, they will be able to blend the rear panels and finish the cabin installation.

In talking to Dan and Billy today, they let me know that the mounting location we had selected for the additional temp/oil pressure gauge will not work as we hadn’t taking into account the window crank, which would interfere with the gauge placement. We believe we can flush-mount it into the center console, diagonally, next to and behind the radio, below the ignition switch and by the driver’s knee (behind where the key tag is dangling in the picture below) There appears to be enough space in there, but they will need to cut a hole into the center console trim to mount the gauge into. This is a recycled photo from a previous visit...
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/IMG_0058g.jpg

The “new” steering wheel is assembled but not installed yet (that’s the old one in the picture above). I am shocked at how well it came clean, granted it does have some small scratches, but no cracks like the one that came with the car!

Steve - do you want steel, or stainless steel for the exhaust? Steel is cheaper but won’t last as long as the much more expensive stainless steel.

I only took a few pictures this trip, but I’ll take more the next time around. That’s it for now... David."

scumdog
12-14-2016, 03:31 PM
I see mention of auxiliary gauges above, why is there a need for them? Is it a mistrust of the factory units? Or some other reason?
So far I have been quite happy with the original gauges in my '66 - after I fitted a solid-state CVR. (Thanks to simply connected!)

YellowRose
12-14-2016, 03:58 PM
Hi Tom, there are no problems with the OEM gauges. They are all working properly. Steven just wants some additional aftermarket digital gauges that give him more precise readings. They are trying to determine where best to mount them.

YellowRose
12-14-2016, 11:03 PM
Here is another small update from David.

Today, Mitch was bending a new high-pressure fuel line, and installing it with the new high pressure fuel pump. He also plumbed-in a new return nozzle into the fuel tank port (where the in-tank fuel siphon head, in-tank fuel filter and tank-fill float/sensor are mounted). I didn’t take a picture of it but it looks stock!"

YellowRose
12-21-2016, 03:14 AM
Here we are just before Christmas and David just sent me an update bringing us up to date on the work being done. Here is what he had to say.

"The rear sway bar was mock-installed to ensure fit, create mounting and check clearance with the new high pressure fuel pump (silver canister) and filter (black canister).

The rear end will come out to service the differential and paint the housing, after we road the car as discussed previously.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10i.jpg

The old exhaust system is out of the car now. That's a lot of rusty, bent and dented (the way it was formed), and undersized tubing for that engine!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11i.jpg

The headliner is not cardboard or metal - it appears to be painted plastic or a formed vinyl.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12i.jpg

I took a few shots of the engine bay.

There are lots of shiny and upgraded parts there: brakes, alternator, flex blade fan, EFI, AC compressor, new hoses, belts, repainted valve covers and other panels, much wiring, coilover mounts, electronic distributor, battery, and so on...

Mitch was installing the high pressure fuel and return lines to the EFI today, and wiring all the sensors.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image13i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image14i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image15i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image16i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image17i.jpg

In the trunk area, have a look at the subwoofers, inside of the driver side quarter panel, note original herringbone design on the back seat panel (as opposed to the aftermarket vinyl covering - good thing it's being upholstered in blue carpet to match the interior carpet), the jack and tools mounted on the inside of the passenger side quarter panel, and most intriguing, a toggle-switch installed to cut out the trunk deck lid light (which we hadn't noticed before).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image18i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image19i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image20i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image21i.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image22i.jpg

And here's a gratuitous shot of the interior as it's coming together. If you look closely, Mitch installed a USB and AUX port inside the center console compartment (just behind the latch).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image23i.jpg

For innumerable reasons, let's put 2016 behind us and look forward to a much better 2017! Best wishes!!! That's it for now! David."

YellowRose
12-31-2016, 05:41 AM
Here is the latest comments by Dan and picture he sent after they checked over the rear end gear.

"The car runs amazing with fuel injection!! You can balance a quarter on the air cleaner so smooth and it's not even fully tuned. Best thing we could have done!! Still lots to go I will try get more pics the weekend. We have the rear gears out cleaning the old fluid out and resealing. The gears look perfect. Mitch did an outstanding job on rear brake lines made out of copper and nickel.

YellowRose
01-03-2017, 03:09 AM
Over the holidays David visited the shop to get an update on the work being done on the Flairbird and take more pix. Here is what he had to say, and the new pix he sent.

"More progress made even during the holiday break. I had visited last week but didn't publish the pictures. These pictures are from last week with the rear end in place. Good shots of the new high pressure gas pump (silver canister) and filter (black canister), as well as the modified tap into the tank that shows the newly fitted return hose (the right hose).

Note also the mock-placed rear sway bar. It fits really well and they tied-in the mounts into the wheel well area.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image20.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image21.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image22.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image23.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image24.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image25.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image26.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image27.jpeg

You can see that the rear end is off now, as Dan had noted. He serviced the differential and it's all sealed up again. The case, axle and leaf springs are all apart now for paint prepping. It's cleaning up very nicely!

You can see the mounting points for the leaf springs, front and back, left and right sides.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image28.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image12j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image13j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image14j.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image15.jpeg

Steve - the rear end bushing kit that was shipped was the wrong one. Your car came with a 9" diff and wider springs mated with your drivetrain. The kit of rear end bushings that were sent is too small. Please reorder these.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image16.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image17.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image18.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image19.jpeg

Rear brakes and axles.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image31.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image32.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image33.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image34.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image35.jpeg

As far as suspension options on the rear end, and based on all our conversations to-date, Dan and I agreed that the best way forward are ranked as follows:
1) Add a leaf to the setup and re-arch the whole leaf spring setup to gain the correct height and spring rates.
2) Dan noticed that the leaf spring mounting points (see images above) might be a match for aftermarket suspension options more reasonable then the pneumatic option explored earlier. If the cost is very reasonable, this might be an option.
3) Should we need (not expected at all) a more substantial setup in the rear, we still have the pneumatic option which gives us the adjustability.

For now, option 1 will probably win out.

We think we know the answer, but we just wanted to point it out... Steve - you currently have an open rear end, which means it's not limited slip (e.g. positraction). If you want to do two-rear-wheel burnouts, you'll need to make it a posi. As you're really after a cruiser, we expect the answer is to leave it as-is. Please confirm.

On a similar topic, your final drive appears to be 3.00 - great for cruising at speed, less so for burnouts and jack-rabbit starts. We also expect you'll want to leave this as-is.

Depending on weather, Dan expects to road test the car late this week to confirm ride, stance, and if any additional changes are merited on the rear end.

He may schedule to drop the transmission in-between to save time, too.

We anticipate the transmission only needs seals and nothing additional. I personally did not notice any slipping or other egregious behavior in the ~100 miles I put on the car before dropping it off at Dan's.

We started and ran the car for a bit with the EFI fully installed. As Dan noted, it runs ridiculously smoothly! Zero vibrations visible, and only minimally felt by a hand on the engine. Totally unexpected and very impressive!

Also surprisingly, with the cut-off exhaust put back on to test run the car, it was very quiet. Not what we expected for a 428... A 2.5" X-crossover exhaust should liven that up a bit, not to mention add some power. Steve - do you want electronic cutouts installed for some serious noise (only semi-joking)?

So we figured that if 1 4-barrel EFI setup was this good, 2 4-barrels would be better so we converted it for you and added an Edelbrock top end and Ford Racing covers!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image37.jpeg

Just kidding...

They were able to adjust and service the original steering rack. The core was fine and it's reinstalled and appears to be very tight now.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image38.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image39.jpeg

They also created a new set of rear brake lines, replacing the kinked and poorly routed lines that were in the car. They will be reinstalled with the rear end.

More work was done inside to mount the digital gauge but it's not finished. The controller for the EFI is removable and it does not need to be "installed". I asked that they route the controller cables into the cabin under the dash so it can be connected there when needed, instead of in the engine compartment. The controller can "live" in the glove box or center console until needed.

Steve - the moon skin ceiling cover received is a bit lighter in color than the robin blue nylon cover in place. Dan will ask his upholsterer if there's enough to cover the sun visors, also, and if it's not too involved (time/materials) to install it.

If Dan can get the car on the road this week, he'll contact me. I will plan on visiting next week. That's it for now! David."

scumdog
01-03-2017, 06:44 AM
How are those 'L' shaped brackets attached to the cars frame? - the ones that the linkages for the sway-bar connect to.

YellowRose
01-03-2017, 12:18 PM
Tom, in image28, you can see the bolt mounting the L bracket to the frame. Also in image21 this picture also shows how the heavy duty rear sway bar is attached to the frame. Under the rubber bumpers, you can just see the bolt head that holds that L bracket to the frame.

YellowRose
01-03-2017, 02:44 PM
Dan took some additional pix of that L mounting bracket for the heavy duty rear sway bar. He also sent more pix of the restoration being done to the rear axle. Here they are. First that L Bracket mounting.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image4k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9l.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10k.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image11k.jpeg

YellowRose
01-13-2017, 04:09 PM
Dan had mentioned that there was a tranny leak they were going to check out so they did. Here is what he said. I also checked on the rear springs and hardware coming from McVeigh Truck Springs and they will be there on Monday, and the hardware on Tuesday!

"Looks a little messy. Front pump seal for sure".

Here are a few pix he sent of the tranny.

YellowRose
01-13-2017, 07:34 PM
Dave made a stop by the shop today and took more pix. So here is some more information and pix on the tranny work primarily.

"I was near the shop when Dan sent the tranny pictures so I stopped by. It appears the sludge on top of the tranny was from the head gaskets leak (those were replaced earlier). There was an amazing amount of oil sprayed all over the top of the tranny.

Dan got the new set of seals for the tranny and they will be installed next week, along with a thorough cleaning. We are operating under the assumption that the transmission is working well and we have no reason to believe otherwise so it won't be opened-up. You can see transmission fluid pooled under the torque converter (new seals should stop that).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image140.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image150.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image160.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image170.jpg
New braces for the auxiliary electric fan are in but the fan is not yet mounted. No picture...

Here are some pictures of the back of the engine and of the reconditioned steering box. You can also see some of the AC plumbing where it goes into the firewall.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image400.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image401.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image402.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image403.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image404.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image405.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image406.jpg

Steve - Dan is willing to put your body on his NASCAR power train if you're interested. Easy swap - although it might not like turning right when it's done... LOL...
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image407.jpg

That's it for now. I'll visit again next week. David"

YellowRose
01-17-2017, 10:51 AM
David just sent me Before and After pix of the tranny after it had been cleaned up and leaks taken care of. Also, the rear leaf springs were received yesterday and the hardware for them are out for delivery today. Here are those two pix. Here are what the new springs look like now, waiting for final paint! Dan just sent me two more pix of the clean tranny.

Dan Leavens
01-18-2017, 09:24 AM
David looking pretty sweet. Good stuff:D

YellowRose
01-19-2017, 04:34 AM
David sent additional pix and commentary on the work on Steven's '66 Flairbird. Here they are and what he had to say.

"Hi All, Was in the area of Dan's shop today so I stopped in again.

Tranny is coming back together after cleaning and paining. It should be back in the car this week. It's looking fantastic!

I tried to track the specifics for that transmission and only confirmed it was a C6 for a large block Ford, so it seems to match the build sheet and car. Couldn't decipher other I got like build date, etc. (see casting numbers).

Trans oil pan was cleaned and painted, had the seal edge adjusted (hammered flat), new seals and sealant applied, and reinstalled onto transmission.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/C6TrannyImage1.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/C6TrannyImage2.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/C6TrannyImage3.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/C6TrannyImage4.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/C6TrannyImage5.jpg


Newly received leaf springs were painted and all the mounting shackles, brackets, "U"-bolts are in primer today. New bushings were received. It should all go together and back in the car late this week.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/RearSpringsImage19.jpg

Hope to have the car on the ground with all the power train components serviced and reinstalled in the next 2-3 days. If the weather permits, we can road test the car.

Need to see it all rebuilt to assess what the stance and rear end sag/travel looks like.

Short of having to adjust the rear end suspension, all parts are going on for good now on the car (no more dismantling or poking).

That's it for now. I expect to be back in the shop next week unless the car gets on the ground Friday.

Best, David."

YellowRose
01-19-2017, 10:06 AM
David sent a couple of close up pix of the stampings on this C6 tranny. Can anyone further identify this tranny? We know it is a C6 tranny, and it came out of a '66 428 Flairbird. So it is probably the OEM heavy duty C6 made for the 428 equipped Flairbird. What does the RF stand for before the C6AP? I gather that the 7A101-A stands for the part number of that part of the tranny it is stamped on. Can you tell us anymore about it from these stampings? I tried to find more information, but did not have a lot of luck.

YellowRose
01-25-2017, 03:07 AM
David went by the shop again to get an update and take more pix. Here is what he had to say.

"Hi All, Visited the T-Bird today again!
The rear end is back in the car! It looks fantastic and for sure is better than new as it was all primed and painted on top of the factory and replacement parts surfacing.

The new brake lines are in and installed, as is the new rear sway bar. They all look perfect!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage8.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage9.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage10.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage11.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage12.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage13.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage14.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage15.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage16.jpg

We slapped the rear wheels on it and put it on the ground. The car is now sitting at least 1.5"-2" higher in the rear compared to the height of the rear end in early pictures I took. The front is also higher by the same margin, but will go down when the coilovers are dialed in.

Of note, the tranny is still not in so once reinstalled, it will drop the ride height a touch front and rear. That said, the extra height in the back is welcome as the car was sagging when l picked it up, and the clearance is welcome for DR roads.

This should mitigate the need for additional modifications to the rear end, but let's get the car on the road to confirm.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage19.jpg

For comparison, here are a few pictures of the car I took shortly after I picked it up.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage21.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage22.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage23.jpg

Unfortunately, the tranny is not in because it is still seeping transmission fluid out the front (pump area) even with the new seals. Dan called a transmission expert in to check it out and correct, but he fears it might be the pump. They should know more tomorrow.

Mitch mounted the new digital gauge onto the lower center console trim piece (by right driver's knee; over the transmission tunnel). It looks really good and we discovered it will allow for 4 different readouts (oil temperature, oil pressure, water temperature, fuel level). Fuel level is a bonus, and will complement the dash-mounted gauge, although it probably won't be any more accurate as it uses the same sensor sender signal.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage20.jpg

I'm very glad to see that we are now on the reinstallation of all parts/systems and don't expect any more surprises.

That's in for now! David."

YellowRose
02-01-2017, 01:10 AM
David went by the shop today to check on the progress of the Tbird. Here is what he had to say.

"Hi All, Visited the T-Bird today. Much more progress! Again, the work Billy has done is exceptional!

They've installed the helper electric fan and reinstalled the grill and hood latch mechanism. The grill, by the way, weighs about 50lbs - shocking!

The electric fan is wired to turn on with the air conditioner, so, counterintuitively, if the car is about to overheat, turn on the AC!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/66image8.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/66image9.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/66image13.jpg

Steve - the EFI management screen (control console) does not need to be installed permanently. I asked Dan and Mitch to have the wires run into the center console (if they're long enough) so if you need to connect it you can do it from the cabin. The unit provides all sorts of programming options and engine telematics information.

I assume you don't want it permanently mounted somewhere on the dash, right?

Dan was visiting the transmission specialist tonight. He has not come to see the transmission yet. So unfortunately we still don't know what's involved with correcting the leak in the pump area.

Mitch continued with the gauge installation along with completing other interior electronics work and engine tuning. The engine is now all together again.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/66image10.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/66image11.jpg

As soon as the transmission is fixed and reinstalled, the car will go out for road testing (engine, suspension, etc.), exhaust, and upholstery.

We might have to shred the old tires road-testing the new performance improvements...

Billy will go thoroughly through the undercarriage and touch-up all the spots where the undercoating needs retouching.

We looked at the front bumper and noticed that the underside (not the shiny chrome outside walls) was starting to show surface rust. They will remove the bumper, clean up the oxidation and paint those surfaces before that gets any worse to protect it long-term.

The steel wheels are in good shape but not perfect. As they are fully covered by the hub caps, I told Dan to not repaint those.

The weatherstripping came in today, and it looks like the correct set this time!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/66image12.jpg

The good news is that all parts are going in and don't expect many coming off/out!

I asked Dan to start looking at shipping options to the DR - at least to get an idea of the shipping lead times.

Steve - do you have any connections regarding shipping the car to the DR from either Boston or NY area (Elizabeth, NJ)?

That's it for now! David."

scumdog
02-03-2017, 06:14 PM
David went by the shop again to get an update and take more pix. Here is what he had to say.

"Hi All, Visited the T-Bird today again!
The rear end is back in the car! It looks fantastic and for sure is better than new as it was all primed and painted on top of the factory and replacement parts surfacing.

The new brake lines are in and installed, as is the new rear sway bar. They all look perfect!
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage8.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage9.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage10.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage11.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage12.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage13.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage14.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage15.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage16.jpg

"

I have a concern regarding your rear brake lines - they are unsupported from where they attach to the brake-hose fitting to where they attach to the slave cylinders.
With no support they will constantly be flexing as you go down the road ( even if most of the time in a small way) and COULD fatigue and fail eventually.
Have a look at a stock back axle to see what I mean about supports for the brake lines.

simplyconnected
02-04-2017, 08:25 AM
Good catch, Tom. My axles have tabs. Simply tuck the brake line under the tab and fold it over to secure the brake line. It doesn't take much but those lines should be secured.
You sure don't want metal-to-metal vibration. Wrap the brake line with black vinyl (electrical) tape at the contact area and ty-rap it to those 'U' bolts.
I'm hoping the bend coming down from the front spring perch isn't kinked:

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/FBimage15.jpg

- Dave

YellowRose
02-04-2017, 10:56 AM
I sent that information to Dan, Steven and David, along with the pix of the original axle and pumpkin before it was cleaned up and painted. You can see the restraining tabs on that axle beforehand. So I suggested they slip that line into those clips, but as Dave pointed out, the way that line is run, they will probably have to secure it to the U-bolts. Also, I see that somewhat flattened line coming from the front and then taking that upward travel onward. I will bring that to their attention also. Thanks!

simplyconnected
02-04-2017, 03:45 PM
Ray, the line I questioned is probably a 1/4" fuel return line (not a brake line) because he has EFI. Even so, it looks kinked from this angle. - Dave

YellowRose
02-09-2017, 02:32 AM
David sent me an update on the Tbird tonight. They had it out on the road today and are very, very pleased with it! Here is what he had to say and a few pix.

"Hi Steve and Ray, A successful visit today! We took the 'Bird on her maiden voyage! After all the changes, adjustments, corrections and improvements, Dan and I took the car out for a quick, successful ride around the block!

Engine is running excellent. I'll pass on a few videos one email at a time.

Engine is silky smooth and is significantly more responsive than before! Although Dan was driving, I could tell it was much better than when I brought it in.

Note that we don't have new exhaust in the car - just a cut-off version of the 2" pipes that were on the car. The new exhaust will be 2.5" with an "X" crossover and have high-flow mufflers - much less restrictive than the current setup, so I expect further improvement.

The new cooling fan is a monster! We couldn't get the engine over 108F after ~45 min of idle and the quick drive. It pushes some serious air! We were trying to trip the thermostat to get the bubbles out of the radiator but were unsuccessful. We even tried running the heater full blast and revving the car a bit but we couldn't get it to trip (it was a relatively warm day here at about 55F).

The interior is mostly together now. Seats, new steering wheel, AC, dashboard, the new gauge, etc. are all in.

Steve - the inside liner/box for the center console armrest "glovebox" has a crack in it. If you can track one down, we should replace it. (I have since given them the information on ordering one from the Bird Nest, so that should fix that problem... Ray).

The car's ride is awesome. No wallowing around and it feels quite grounded, and that's without an alignment. The stance is quite good too, even without final suspension adjustments. I feel the rear height as-is will be good. I didn't get pictures of the stance this week but I'll get pictures next week on this.

The transmission issue was that it had a bad seal near the pump. Also, the clutch plates were all re-stacked and re-centered. Luckily nothing significant there. It shifted perfectly up and down the gears.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9000.jpeg

Four things found:
- There was some rubbing in the back area when moving but we believe we pinned that to the driver's rear brake that is adjusted too tightly.
- We can hear the new fuel pump more than we wanted, especially as the tank was 7/8 empty, so it cavitated a bit. They will put a rubber mount on it.
- After the ride we put the car up on the lift and found an engine oil leak. It appears to be coming from the gasket that connects the oil filter housing to the crankcase. This is the seal the car came in with so it hasn't been touched yet. It will be looked at in detail and we don't believe it's anything major.
- We spotted a touch of steering fluid around the steering box. That will be looked at, too.

Dan did address the rear brake line attachments. The original metal tabs on the top side of the axle had to be removed to mount the rear sway bar, so they fastened the lines to the sway bar mounting U-bolt with rubber and zip ties, on both sides. That should prevent any fatigue all around, especially as the line splitter/coupler (sending fluid to each side) is bolted directly to the differential case so it will all move as one unit.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10000.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image20000.jpeg

We are expecting ~10"-14" of snow tomorrow. That will put a damper on getting the car out the rest of the week. That said, I'm very encouraged that the car rides and ran so well for a maiden/shakedown voyage!

I did not pin down a shipping timeline with Dan today although I noted to him we want to do that. Dan - maybe you can respond with? I'll touch-base next week again! David."

So you can see they are getting much closer to finishing her off, loading her onto a ship and sending her to Steve in the Dominican Republic! She is gonna really turn some heads once he gets her on the road there!

YellowRose
02-09-2017, 11:16 AM
Dan checked that line and said this about it.

"Please post this to fill everyone's mind at ease. That it is very smooth and not a kink. I took a different angle."

David said this. "Yes, Ray, no kink in the real thing. I'm guessing it was a photo artifact. That is the return line to the tank on the passenger side."

scumdog
02-10-2017, 01:11 AM
David sent me an update on the Tbird tonight. They had it out on the road today and are very, very pleased with it! Here is what he had to say and a few pix.

"Hi Steve and Ray, A successful visit today! We took the 'Bird on her maiden voyage! After all the changes, adjustments, corrections and improvements, Dan and I took the car out for a quick, successful ride around the block!











Dan did address the rear brake line attachments. The original metal tabs on the top side of the axle had to be removed to mount the rear sway bar, so they fastened the lines to the sway bar mounting U-bolt with rubber and zip ties, on both sides. That should prevent any fatigue all around, especially as the line splitter/coupler (sending fluid to each side) is bolted directly to the differential case so it will all move as one unit.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image10000.jpeg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image20000.jpeg




!

Those ties look tidy and will do the trick but if I had them on my '66 my mates in New Zealand would tease me mercilessly - I am sure there must be some sort of professional looking clamps that would do the job. But then I CAN be fussy!

Yadkin
02-10-2017, 10:31 AM
Those ties look tidy and will do the trick but if I had them on my '66 my mates in New Zealand would tease me mercilessly - I am sure there must be some sort of professional looking clamps that would do the job. But then I CAN be fussy!

He trimmed the loose ends off. :D

YellowRose
02-14-2017, 07:44 PM
Here is the latest update from David!

"Hi,

Stopped by Dan's shop today to check on the 'Bird. Unfortunately not much progress since last week as we got buried in a couple of feet of snow, and one of the guys (Mitch) has been out.

We discussed immediate upcoming plans. They will look at the oil leak tomorrow and hopefully correct that. We are still hoping it's something simple like the gasket to the oil filter mounting bracket.

Dan is ordering the new performance Red Line tires tomorrow. The idea is to mount them and have the car aligned so we can drive it to the upholster's shop next week to have the white landau top and "moon skin" roof liner installed, and the trunk fully upholstered. I noticed a cut on the side panel of the passenger seat cushion so I've asked them to fix that, too. Also, as the trunk is getting completely redone, I asked Dan to have them spray the same lizard skin sound deadener they used in the interior for protection and sound absorption.

As the upholster's shop is about 25 miles away, I will coordinate with Dan to drive the car out there with him to get a better feel for the car.

They are taking the bumpers off to remove the surface rust on the inside walls (e.g. not the outside visible chromed areas). They will paint them with black undercoating where not visible or grey paint where possibly visible.

If time and scheduling permits, they will also take the car to the exhaust shop for the new 2.5" exhaust setup before the upholster's; if not just after.

When the car comes back from the upholster's, they will reinstall all the remaining interior and exterior trim, and the subwoofer/amp in the trunk.

If we find anything on the drive, such as steering or suspension adjustments, we will address those then.

Also, going through all the vacuum systems, such as the automatic emergency brake release, windshield wipers, door locks, etc., and adjusting the headlights (all 4 are installed slightly crooked) and other detail work remains.

Mitch will go through the center console latching mechanism, too, and see what we need there.

That's the plan for now! David."

YellowRose
02-24-2017, 01:12 AM
David says they are getting closer to wrapping this project up! Here is what he had to say tonight.

"Hi Steve and Ray,

I visited the T-Bird yesterday to check on progress. We ended up taking the car for a good ride as the weather was quite nice!

The oil leak we discovered at the end of the last drive was fixed. It was as suspected a seal but not to the oil filter mount. It was near by where the old fuel filter mount had been mounted - they fabricated a small plate to cover that better and it worked well.

After filling the tank (yes, we added a bottle of lead additive), we took a good ride for about 20 miles. Sat in traffic for a bit, got it up to 75mph, hammered it a bit off the line a few times, shifted lanes and passed a few turkeys.. I drove this time to compare to last I drove the car when I delivered it to Dan's shop.

Throttle response is significantly improved. Most impressive is the poise the car now travels down the road with - no wallow or hunting, no swaying, no loose wheel feel - and that's without an alignment.

The new red line tires arrive tomorrow. The car is expected to go out to the exhaust shop tomorrow also, albeit they've been swamped, as well as the upholsterer (planning on taking it there next week).

We fully expect the performance to improve noticeably with the new exhaust. We expect the handling to get tighter with the new tires and an alignment.

The new high pressure fuel pump is making some intermittent whining noise - maybe cavitation - and Dan's team will look into that with the manufacturer. It is probably not a big deal but we want to get it right.

Engine is sooooo smooth! Transmission is working very well. Gear kick-down works perfectly and the power delivery is very strong for a 51 year old power train.

I connected the EFI console to check it out and check the idle RPM's. I felt it was high (to my ear) but I was wrong. The engine idles at ~880 RPM in neutral - right where it should be. The connector for the EFI console is hidden under the ashtray in the center console (remove the ashtray liner, pull up the cables, connect to console).

The engine, even with a little caning, didn't record over 115F (on a 60F day), however the EFI console showed a higher temperature of 158F, so we need to laser it to determine which is correct (probably a difference in the sensor placement for each thermometer). Regardless I'm not too worried about the temperature.

As this was the second drive, we also expect the EFI to continue to refine its mapping. The new exhaust and higher ambient temperature will affect the mapping, too, which shouldn't be a problem as the system calibrates itself automatically.

We went over several high approach/departure angle ramps and we didn't touch front or back, and that was after adding ~160lbs of fuel to the boot! This was very encouraging as we were worried about dragging, especially in the tail!

Brakes are strong and predictable! Minimal body roll, too!

Most of the interior is back in as discussed before. The upholsterer will take care of the new landau, moonskin liner, passenger seat side cushion, trunk lining, etc.

Mitch, who was doing much of the electronics and interior work, has been out. He will hopefully be back shortly and will help identify the parts needed for the center arm rest cover latch.

The front bumper has been fixed up (inside surface rust) and looks great. It was not reinstalled yesterday but will be on shortly. This a detail picture of the inside of the bumper. They will take care of the rear bumper next.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1111.jpg

Here's a good shot of the new gauge.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2222.jpg

I'll work with Dan to get the car to the upholsterer's next week, expectedly with replaced bumpers, new exhaust and tires!

That's it for now. David."

YellowRose
03-03-2017, 10:49 PM
Here is the latest update from David on Steven's '66 Flairbird!

"Hi All, I visited the T-Bird on Wednesday.

After our joy ride last week and filling the gas tank, Dan noticed there was a gas leak from the tank area. As it turns out, there is some corrosion that had developed in the lower section near the sending unit. They drained the tank and had to order a replacement, which showed up today. On the other mishap side, the red line tire supplier assumed we wanted bias ply tires instead of radials, and he shipped the wrong ones. The correct tires are on order and should be here soon. They will install the new tank and replacement tires early next week and that will get us back on the road to take the car to the exhaust, alignment and upholstery shops.

Unfortunately the leak and wrong tires set us back with little to no activity this week. David"

YellowRose
03-08-2017, 08:25 PM
David sent me the latest update on the Flairbird. Here is what he had to say.

"Dan received the new fuel tank Friday and it's being prepped and painted now. Also I believe the new tires came in (5 of them). Dan's folks cleared out the trunk in preparations for upholstering it. They will "paint" it with epoxy or lizard skin to protect it further.

Dan is also looking into possibly correcting the top end to not require a lead additive to the fuel. This might be involved, but might give the chance for adding some mild performance and reliability improvements. Depends on costs... David".

YellowRose
03-16-2017, 12:35 AM
Here is the latest update from David on Stevens Flairbird!

Hi All,
I visited Dan and the T-Bird today after being out of town last week and surviving a pretty big blizzard yesterday. It's good to live in the northeast where 12"-18" of snow can be moved and order-restored overnight!

The new fuel tank is now in and fully functional. It was painted outside for protection. As expected, the undercarriage above the old tank was in great shape, too! No picture - car was on he ground...

The rear bumper and (big) light assembly was dismounted and cleaned-up on the inside, removing minor surface corrosion and painted gray to protect it. The second picture below shows the housing for the light bar (from the outside, it's bumper, light bar, housing, then car body).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image2xx.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image3xx.jpg

I asked them to replace all the bulbs in the light bar - or see LED option below - before assembling as some were looking a bit long in the tooth (with dark areas).
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image5xx.jpg

Steve - we have the option to switch to LED lights if you're interested - they're brighter, use less energy, will preserve the progressively (stepped) lighting turn signal, and should last forever. Dan is pricing this option for you.

The trunk was fully cleaned out and all loose material removed. As expected, no problem areas found! They sprayed a durable coating all over it to protect it before the new upholstery is put in back there. Billy cut templates for all the needed upholstery panels to facilitate the upholster's job.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image1xx.jpg

A significant decision was made to update the valve train and other engine components, hardening it and removing the need for lead fuel additive while further improving reliability, performance and efficiency. The intention is to improve reliability and use-ability - not outright performance - for cruising - not burnouts.

After some good research, the following will be added, specifically designed for Ford 428's:
- aluminum top end; valve cover and intake
- new head bolts
- roller rockers, new valve train components
- programmable ignition w/rev limiter (MSD 6AL-2)
- new modern gaskets
- headers (to the new 2.5" exhaust)

Dan - can you please list the brands/models of the above, and anything I missed, for us?

Ray - if you have any suggestions, please feel free to respond!

Expected impact is ~150 lbs weight reduction, ~100 hp (with similar torque) increase, optimized (and customizable) ignition mapping, significantly increased reliability and efficiency, significantly throatier sound, and visual impact (if you know what you're looking at under the hood).

No detrimental impact is expected on the rest of the drivetrain with these changes. It will complement the EFI system already installed and we should be able to keep the stock air filter hood. All should be able to be installed without completely pulling the motor out.

The new red line tires are in and they look great! They will be mounted up soon. They are 70 series, as opposed to current 75 series tires, so they're a hair wider and will not cause problems with clearance.
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image6xx.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image7xx.jpg
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image8xx.jpg

I reminded Dan to look for an aftermarket LOUD horn.

I updated the punch list with all this, made it much more readable, and added a summary (count) at the end.

Here's some info on the selected MSD ignition:
http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/image9xx.jpg

That's about it for now! I'll figure out when I can visit next week. David.

Cwcb08
03-16-2017, 04:27 AM
After some good research, the following will be added, specifically designed for Ford 428's:
- aluminum top end; valve cover and intake
- new head bolts
- roller rockers, new valve train components
- programmable ignition w/rev limiter (MSD 6AL-2)
- new modern gaskets
- headers (to the new 2.5" exhaust)

what kind of headers are going to be used, not a whole lot of room in there.

YellowRose
05-02-2017, 01:05 PM
Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to the question regarding the headers. I should be getting additional information down the road on the engine work. Here is what David just sent me a few minutes ago on an update.

"Hi Ray, The 'Bird build is still going strong. We've had some delays related to getting the car to, through, and back from the upholsterer's, but it is finally expected back today. The delays were scheduling, weather, and parts related, yet as of right now, I believe all is done with upholstery.

Just to recap what was expected, they re-covered the landau roof in white, installed the ceiling liner, completely redid the trunk upholstery, replaced the front seat's cushion foam, blended the interior colors (the dark blue) between the new door cards and the rest of the interior, and (one of the bigger delaying factors) made and tinted new vinyl bolster siding for the passenger front seat which was ripped.

I'll go visit the car when it's back at Dan's shop later this week.

As far as the engine work to upgrade the valve train - which if you recall grew a bit - that is next in the list. After the engine upgrades, the next steps are exhaust followed by paint, then final dial-in and full shakedown and tasks close out (final push...).

I hope to send pictures of all the updates done and coming shortly! Stay tuned! David."

Sjp3003
05-06-2017, 10:35 AM
The headers are Sanderson headers...here are some pics

Sjp3003
05-06-2017, 10:47 AM
A few more pics after upholstery was done...trunk, custom mats, vinyl roof, headliner, and seats received new cushions and minor repairs:

Sjp3003
05-06-2017, 10:54 AM
...and parts are in for the engine mods which are about to begin:

YellowRose
05-06-2017, 11:37 AM
Hi Steven! Thanks for the additional pix! She really looks nice with the white top I think! She is looking great!

Sjp3003
05-06-2017, 12:07 PM
Hi Steven! Thanks for the additional pix! She really looks nice with the white top I think! She is looking great!

Back at you Ray...that Yellow Rose with the white roof may have been subliminal inspiration for this rooftop change!

YellowRose
06-12-2017, 05:36 PM
Here is what Steve had to say regarding the work on his Flairbird!

"Hi Ray, The TBird project keeps moving along. The focus is on the engine now. Headers and top end parts arrived. The engine was pulled and the engine bay is getting refreshed. When the engine was removed, Dan saw the timing chain needed replacement. Now looking at new pistons and perhaps stroking. I will visit the shop in 2 weeks. I ordered custom wheels that look a bit like the originals. In short, getting more mods than I originally thought I would. All the best, Steve."

FARONZ 66 Q CODE
06-12-2017, 07:23 PM
Hi Guys, If I may ask, what is the Sanderson part number for those shorty headers . ? May be something I want to do on my 428....Thanks !

Faron

YellowRose
07-31-2017, 11:38 PM
Here is the latest report on Steven's '66 Flairbird restoration directly from him.

"The '66 Bird in Shrewsbury is pretty much finished except for the engine work. It has been at the engine shop recommended by Dan for over a month...apparently they have a backlog of work due to the race season there, but they have prepped it. They also found a ring that was broken and that had not been caught before; surprisingly compression was fine on all cylinders before the engine was dis assembled."

So there ya go!