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08-08-2016, 03:40 PM
Bringing 1964 Thunderbird convertible to Life. Starting with engine. Drained old fuel. New high test fuel with octane and lead additive. It started but just barely. Looks like neutral safety switch is inop. Jumped solinoid. It starts. Ordered new switch. Any and all advise will be appreciated.Long road ahead but lovin it so far.Did compression test;coming up with 120 to 130 per cylinder. new was 170. The car is complete with numbers matching. 62000 miles on it but sat for years. Would it be a good idea to rebuild the entire steering column with indent and bushing when I change the neutral saftey?

08-08-2016, 04:29 PM
First thing to do is order a new gas tank. If not you will be constantly fighting a clogged carburetor. If you look inside your old tank you will know why. I recommend ordering one from Rock Auto.com. They are about the cheapest and we get a 5% discount. As for your steering column I recommend a new shift lever along with the detent plate. Changing the neutral switch doesn't require taking the steering column apart. It is on the bottom held in by two bolts.


08-08-2016, 04:32 PM
Those compression numbers are worrisome, but if all the same then maybe you'll be OK after a long run.

The neutral safety switch should be removed, bench-check the switches and vacuum mechanism, clean, lubricate the contacts and reinstalled. It is very common for them to come out of adjustment because there are only two sheet metal screws holding it in place. Once adjusted, I like to use a worm gear type hose clamp over it to secure it.

A new aftermarket switch will be of much lower quality. Mine failed when I installed the electrical connector because the contacts pushed through the cheap plastic. I cleaned up my old one and it works fine.

08-08-2016, 04:52 PM
John's recommendation to look inside your tank is a good idea. If you buy a new one, my last one leaked at the weld, so seal yours before installation with Red Kote.

Also good to remove the sender and inspect that too. If you remove the tank, buy a new O-ring for the fill tube, and when you reinstall it coat it with Permatex 85420 to help seal it and to lubricate the fill tube going back in.

08-08-2016, 08:47 PM
Thomas, if you have not found it yet, all the major Tbird parts houses are listed in the Advertisements Forum, including the 5% Rock Auto discount. You should contact all them and ask them to send you their free catalogs. That way you can price check and check availability of parts. The wiring diagrams are found in the Technical Resource Library, a link to which is always part of my signature element and that of John ~ jopizz. Ohhh, if you replace the gas tank, attach a good ground wire from the edge of the tank to a clean area on the frame of your Tbird. Just make sure that you don't drill into the tank itself, just the flange. You have found the best Tbird Forum on the planet, and we will be glad to advise and assist you in any way we can.

Ohh, some people also add a see through fuel filter before and some, after the fuel pump...

08-09-2016, 12:28 PM
Went under the dash this morning, looks like a cat was playing with a ball of yarn. I know my wiring skills but I was hoping not to use them. Thanks for all the info. I opened and cleaned the gas tank,fairly new, looks good. Have a new sending unit to install. found someone replaced the pwr window relay with a pwr top relay. will change that too. did I say this was fun. Thanks for your support.

08-09-2016, 06:47 PM
...looks like a cat was playing with a ball of yarn. ...

Not sure what that means. It's fairly common for some previous owner to mess things up a bit- usually some kid trying to install a stereo. Hopefully that's all it is.