View Full Version : 59 Convertible system...How much fluid?
02-08-2017, 08:21 PM
I plan to replace all of the parts that make the top function, motor, cylinders and hoses. I can't seem to find anywhere that lists the capacity of the whole system. How many quarts of transmission fluid will I need to completely fill it up?
02-08-2017, 08:36 PM
Originally the top system used brake fluid. If you are replacing all the parts then it's recommended to use transmission fluid instead. You should fill the pump so the level is at the very bottom of the fill hole with the top in the up position. There is no standard capacity. Cycle the top up and down a couple times and then open the fill screw slightly until you hear air escape. Do this a few times and then refill to the bottom of the fill hole.
02-08-2017, 08:50 PM
Thanks John. I was figuring somewhere between 1.5 to 3 quarts, but have no idea. Parts are on the way, and a new top as well. Spring project. No way I would use brake fluid.
02-08-2017, 08:58 PM
It doesn't hold that much. Probably a quart or less.
02-09-2017, 08:03 AM
I would replace the hoses as well. When an old hose breaks it makes quite a mess. (Don't ask how I know.......)
02-09-2017, 03:32 PM
Yes, hoses were ordered as well. That part of the project will arrive tomorrow, and the top in a few days.
02-10-2017, 01:35 PM
When I filled my all new system (pump, hoses, and rams) last year I did it on the bench top. That made it much easier and the inevitable small spills were more easily cleaned up. Once filled initially, the system was cycled using a temporary electrical connection to the pump, the air was bled out, then the fluid was topped off and the cycle was repeated. The process was repeated probably 10 or 12 times before my helper and I thought we had bled all the air from the new system. We used transmission fluid so the air-containing oil bled off after each cycle was kind of a foamy pink color. After the cycling and bleeding process the oil came out red and clear, not foamy. I sure recommend doing this on the bench first. You will probably be hating life if you try this with the system installed in the car. Good luck Kim Mc
02-10-2017, 01:44 PM
Kim is correct. You can connect everything out of the car, bleed the system and then install it without disconnecting anything. I've done it that way also. If you have the top stacked in the trunk it makes it easier to hook everything back up.
02-10-2017, 03:41 PM
That is my basic plan. Take the old system out without taking the hoses off. Then put the new system together and bleed the new system before putting it in the car. The parts just came and I have one question.
When I hook the hoses to the cylinders and pump, do I use thread sealer or not?
Also, with the top down, will I be able to get at all the parts without taking out the rear seat. It's stored for the winter in the center of my garage with the top up, and with the garage door opener right above it, I can't lower the top in the garage right now.
02-10-2017, 03:55 PM
You should not need thread sealer when using flare fittings. If all the parts are new there's no reason for it to leak.
I would remove the back seat if you can. It's much easier to get to the cylinder pins with the seat out.
02-10-2017, 04:48 PM
Thanks for all the great information. My basic reason for replacing all of the parts is that I put a new truck liner in last summer, and don't want to risk a leak in there. The problem with the system was that if I had the front of the top completely half way up, I could stop it there, and it would stay in that position all day long. If I put it past the halfway point either toward the front or back, and let off the motor switch, it just basically fell down to the windshield header or into the trunk.
So, since I didn't want to just replace one part of it since I wasn't sure what was causing that to happen, I just decided to replace it all at one time.
02-11-2017, 03:26 PM
Today I took all of the parts out after removing the rear seat to get at everything. I have connected all of the new hoses to the new motor and cylinders, so ready to bench bleed the system before I mount it in the car.
My question is about powering the motor to move the cylinders. I have the battery from my 66 Mustang in the back room for winter storage and hooked up to my Battery Tender. I don't want to mess up the new motor, so have to ask if I placed the black ground wire to the negative post of the battery, and touched the positive post with the red wire to run the motor one way, and then switch to the yellow wire touching the positive post to go the other way, would that be something that would work? Obviously I don't know anything about electronics, so it might be a totally dumb question........
02-11-2017, 03:31 PM
You are correct. Black wire to ground and red to power for one direction and yellow for the other direction.
02-11-2017, 03:33 PM
Great, I was going to stop to see my mechanic on Monday to ask him before I did anything, but now, I guess I can start bleeding it today! Thanks John
02-12-2017, 07:38 PM
I assembled and bled the whole system last night. The motor itself already had fluid in it, and it took just a little more than a quart to fill it all up. This morning I put everything back in the car, and it is now working, and when I release the switch, it stops the top wherever it is at. Great. A couple of small things though. The bottom of the cylinder that attaches to the car back by the rear seat, the old cylinder had two rubber/metal reinforced spacers that fit into the bottom hole of the old cylinder. The hole in the new cylinder was smaller, so couldn't put those in. And at the top of the cylinder that attaches to the top frame has 2 cream colored plastic spacers. Unfortunately, one of those was cracked, and when I pulled the bolt out, it fell into pieces, so now one cylinder only has a spacer on one side. Not sure if I can actually find a replacement anywhere, but it seems to be working fine as it is.
02-12-2017, 08:17 PM
Jim, congratulations on what you accomplished there. You might send Carl Heller ~ partsetal a PM and see if he happens to have that part that broke on you. Carl has a lot of Squarebird parts and might have one, or know where you can find them at. You could also ask the guys at the Bird Nest or Tbird Hqs. Or post something in the For Sale Forum, as there are members here who have Squarebird parts for sale there also.
02-12-2017, 08:27 PM
Ray, I'll give that a try. Thanks
02-16-2017, 12:29 PM
After some searching, I found a full set of the nylon bushings on eBay. I had emailed Hydro-E-Lectric, where I got all the parts at: email@example.com just before I found the set on eBay, and the next day, they answered saying they had them as well. So anyone looking should email them to find what you need.
02-16-2017, 03:09 PM
Jim! Thank you very much for this information! I just spoke with Erika, the owner of Hydro-E-Lectric about her business and will be adding her to our Advertisements Forum. They have a lot of parts for a lot of different makes of cars from 1946 and up, including our Tbirds. So ya'll look down in the Advertisements Forum in a bit and you should find her new listing there.
02-16-2017, 03:33 PM
Ray, I should have waited for Hrdroe to reply, as it would have been a lot cheaper! When I saw the listing on eBay, it was the only one available, and it was a complete set of those nylon bushings...so thought I better grab it.
02-16-2017, 03:53 PM
Hi Jim, I guess it is to late to cancel that order? Probably is, since it is off of Ebay. At least, thanks to you, we now have another source of parts for our Tbirds, and not only that, but for many other post 1946 makes, models and years. I had a very enjoyable conversation with Erika, who took over the business from her father some years ago.
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