View Full Version : Just When You Think You Have It Made..

02-28-2009, 12:34 PM
Yesterday, I went to the auto shop that has been fixing my shift linkage at the bottom of the steering column to pick up Rose. The linkage was fixed, and a problem with the parking pawl also was fixed. Apparently, there were two things causing the problem of the transmission locking up in reverse...

I found my Rose behind the shop being worked on. Her instrument panel was out, and a mass of wires was hanging down. There was sticky melted tar/electrical tape all over the wiring. The mechanic said that after road testing it and every thing running well, he was headed back to the shop when smoke started coming out of car. He stopped quickly, and pulled some wires off to stop the smoking/fire. I do not remember what he said he pulled, but he got the smoking to stop. He was able to restart the car and get it back to the shop.

He said that on further investigation, it appears that he must have pushed one of the contacts on the ballast resistor into the fire wall, touching it, without him realizing it when he re-installed the steering column.. He said he could see where it arced. That started wiring smoking and burning... The ballast resistor survived. He is going to install it with an insulated material behind it between it and the firewall so that cannot happen again. In the meantime, he said that only one or two wires appear to be burnt, and he can fix that, and clean up the mess you will see. He said that whoever rewired this car did not know what they were doing. That would be some previous owner. He said he was glad it happened to him because he would have hated it happening to me. He said when he is done, it will be right and repaired properly and everything will be working again as it should. Here are some pix.

02-28-2009, 01:16 PM
....."he said that only one or two wires appear to be burnt, and he can fix that, and clean up the mess...."

Hate to hear the bad news but at least there is good news to go along with it. I keep a fire extinguisher under the front seat - would rather not see a wiring fire though.

Pouring the rain here and expecting snow later this weekend so mine is stuck in the garage for a different reason.......

Hope Yellow Rose is back on the road soon.

Registry 5347

Rockin Kev
02-28-2009, 01:20 PM
ERIC! Trust me you are right you dont want to see a wire fault cause a fire, been there and lost on a grand scale, hope the cars back soon.

02-28-2009, 01:55 PM
Ray, that's a bad view to see on Rose.
Glad to know it went OK without more trouble. (There could be much more if you look at the pics...)

Eric, I hope you don't have a fire extinguisher with powder, that stuff eats all the metal away in the future after using it. The consequences can be worse than the cause!

02-28-2009, 04:12 PM
Ray, you must have been devistated!! I am so sorry this happened to you!

Two thoughts: get a new wiring harness and fix things better than before the fire. I don't know if he was going to hand re-wire it (splicing and so on) but it would take less work and produce far better results to start from Square One.

Secondly, we might have a discussion about adding a master fuse to any of our cars. Where would it go and what amperage? I'll toss an opinion out that fuses are there to prevent so much current from flowing as to cause a fire. The old cars have exposed hot points in a number of places and serious current flow is a possibility.

I have a fire extinguisher too but I would rather have a fuse blow long before it's ever needed.



02-28-2009, 04:26 PM
Man, I'd be gutted if it was my car!!

Good luck getting it back on the road soon Ray, summer will be here soon and you'll want to cruise..

02-28-2009, 05:51 PM
Thanks, guys.. I have already checked out the cost of a new dashboard wiring harness. About $600.. He says the damage is not bad, and that he can clean up the mess, fix any loose connections so they wont short out, replace any wires that need to be replaced, without replacing the whole wiring harness. If it gets to be to bad of a problem, then I have a new wiring harness in my future, it appears.:( He thinks he should have it back in running condition on Monday, after working some more on it this morning.

02-28-2009, 06:41 PM
What a nightmare! And what a good mechanic you have acting that quick :)
I once got some cables start smoking under the dash while driving ( a VW golf ) and the car burn down to the ground...
I agree with John that a master fuse seems to be the best solution for this.
A fire extinguisher is good, but first the conection with the battery must be disconected....

02-28-2009, 06:43 PM
I cannot believe the bad luck you have had with Rose, the only positive will be surely nothing else could go wrong! Hope she is back up and purring soon.

02-28-2009, 07:55 PM
Sorry to hear about that, I know just how you feel, i have a under the dash harness around here if you need one let me know.

Richard D. Hord
02-28-2009, 08:16 PM
Has anyone sit down and tried to figure out a way to put fuse box and new wires in these old Birds? :confused:

Dan Leavens
02-28-2009, 08:28 PM
Ray I am terribly sorry that this situation has happened to Yellowrose and you must be devistated. The only good news is that apparently your mechanicappears to have good ethics and has agreed to repair the damage. While the dash is out now is a good time to inspect,all the wiring and connections that are exposed to prevent any other incidents
in the future.You will be cruisin with her in no time:p

Bob M
02-28-2009, 09:50 PM
Sorry to hear about your fire
You are a very lucky to have some one up there looking over you
What is the white out for in the picture
Bob M

02-28-2009, 10:18 PM
Thats a bummer Ray. Hope it gets resolved soon. The Dodge Charger I had as a kid caught on fire (more than once actually) but the bad one was the alternator wiring. Smoked the whole engine harness. As it turned out, I got a harness out of a Plymouth Satalite (very similar car) at the wrecking yard and had the whole deal changed out in about an hour (WITH the main power wire from the alt routed away from the exh/manifold)

03-01-2009, 12:14 AM
I think my mechanic was using the white out to mark wires and connector blocks to help him make sure he got everything hooked back up right. It looks a lot worse than it actually is, he said. That black stuff on the wiring is that old tar like substance they used for waterproofing. And a lot of that is electrical tape that melted.

I offered him the use of the wiring chart for my Tbird but he said it was all pretty simple, that he is used to re-wiring old cars like this. He does a lot of old car and truck restorations. If he needs the chart, I will get it to him. He said he is going to inspect and fix any defective wiring and cap or seal off any bare or unused leads. He says when he gets done, it will be safe.

This could have been a lot worse, because, apparently, it only effected 1 or 2 wires, that I know of. I need to find out which actually caused the problem. He thought, initially, that it was the ballast resistor behind the problem. Then he said it might have been that when he re-installed the steering column that he might have damaged a wire in it. I may have to ask him to pull the steering column again and check out all that wiring..

As a result of this, I called my insurance company and had them triple the value on the car. I told them that I had put so much money into it since the purchase and it was now worth triple what I paid for it. It did not cost me a lot to increase the value. Now, should something else go wrong with that wiring, or it ends up in Mexico unexpectedly, I will get my investment back..

03-01-2009, 10:46 AM
I've got something called "Start Lock" installed for a few years now, it works perfect!
I switch it totally off when she's in the garage at home (including the fuse) and when I'm at a meeting for a day/weekend I only turn off the knob.

Here's some specs of it:
This unique construction has been manufactured of a high-quality stainless alloy and has a perfect fit on the battery pole, also on Ford batteries (flat pole). With a simple turn on/off the whole electric circuit is eliminated, a further turn and the knob has been removed for an optimum guard. But the 16 amps cutout/fuse still give circuit to present clock, windows, radio, alarm installation, etc.

The advantages are:
* prevents discharge of the battery
* prevents electric fires
* slowing down/delay robbery attempts
* very fast interruption
* designed for 6, 12 and 24 volts (100 amp.)
* easy assembling by everyone

Dan Leavens
03-01-2009, 10:51 AM
Ray good idea with the insurance compnay increasing the coverage. Another suggestion ( as we need it up here in Canada for additional covergage ) is to get a current appraisal done to capture the increased value of Yellowrose:rolleyes: We had this discussions last year on the forum and found out that different countries / states had different rules of the policy with their insurance providers:eek:

03-01-2009, 12:22 PM
Thanks Dan for the appraisal recommendation. Many of you know that Lou Paliani, President of VTCI, lives in the San Antonio area. I was planning on driving Rose to our monthly STTC meeting on Saturday to have Lou appaise her... and so they could see her. It has been about a year since the S&S that Bart and I drove her to in Castroville. A lot on her has changed since then. So I was going to show her off to our club members.

Unfortunately, she never made it to the meeting, but I did, and showed them pictures of what had happened. Lou has done a lot of appraisals over the years, including, I think, providing information when Kev's beloved J Bird went up in flames.

03-01-2009, 04:03 PM
Secondly, we might have a discussion about adding a master fuse to any of our cars. Where would it go and what amperage? I'll toss an opinion out that fuses are there to prevent so much current from flowing as to cause a fire. The old cars have exposed hot points in a number of places and serious current flow is a possibility.

I have a fire extinguisher too but I would rather have a fuse blow long before it's ever needed.

Thoughts??? JOhn

Ray, sorry to hear bout your wiring, at least it's being sorted out amicably

John, I'm certainly no electronics expert, your idea is great in theory but not sure how to do it. Problem is that various items have different current draws, so you would have to use a fuse with a sufficiently high rating to match the electrical item with the highest draw. Then, the low draw items such as the clock's wiring (1amp I think?) wouldn't benefit from a master fuse.

What I'm trying to say is that in my case for my two airbag compressor my master fuse is 75amp, so i would need a master fuse that would handle that high draw - which is useless because if the radio's circuit earthed out and melted, the 75amp master fuse wouldn't protect it.

That's why a car's fuse box has a multitude of fuses to protect each item, and why you have to use the right amperage fuses for the instrument lights, horn, heater etc.

Anyone else have any ideas/comments?

The master cut-off previously mentioned is a good idea, but won't help when the car's being driven.

I would have thought that if Ray's ballast resistor earthed out, a fuse for the ignition circuit should have melted?

Howard Prout
03-06-2009, 11:01 AM
Ray, is Rose back up and running? I hope so.

03-07-2009, 02:43 AM
I visited Rose in the hospital yesterday.. The doctors have declared her to be hale and hearty once more, as far as her wiring and her steering column/shift lever goes. They said that the accidental grounding of the bypass resistor only damaged a few wires, and did not take out the CVR unit, as I hoped it did not. The wiring has been completely redone, they tell me. All that mess having been straightened out, wiring put into wire looms, old, unused, wiring cut on both ends was pulled out, or wiring left bare was capped to prevent any arcing. Unfortunately, I did not get to take any pictures of what it looked like after they fixed everything there. I was out of pocket.

They claim that all my circuits have been checked and are working again, lights, turn signal, horn, brake lights, tail lights, radio, AC, power seats, power windows, windshield wipers, you name it. I am about to find out tomorrow, as I will probably be going to check it out thoroughly. They told me today, that they have footed the bill on the repair job, though my wiring was a mess. It was their mechanic who made the boo-boo and shorted some of the wiring out. Otherwise, though the wiring was not in very good shape under there, there wasn't any problems with it, until he accidentally shorted out some wiring.

Yesterday, they were replacing the gaskets on the exhaust manifolds, because both sides were leaking and some yahoo had put some of the bolts in wrong. So they were going to clean that up, pain the manifolds with the proper paint used for that area of the engine, put in new gaskets and fix that problem. That should be, unless they did not get things right in the wiring, the last things they have to do to this car of a mechanical nature. If it is, I can get on to getting the interior redone the way I want it, now that the weather has gotten up into the 80's range here.

Thanks for your concern. Rose should be back among the living again...:D

Richard D. Hord
03-07-2009, 08:19 AM
Congratulation, Sounds like the old Bird is on her way to a full recovery. Rose will be flying high and proud once again.:D Have faith my friend!!! She's probably like my Bird (or like a woman) they have to have some attention now and then.:o

Dan Leavens
03-07-2009, 10:36 AM
Ray glad to hear Yellowrose came threw the operation successfully and the doctors have given her a " clean bill of health":p It is also encouraging that they " footed the bill " and gives you a little faith in their company. What are you doing with the interior??:confused:

03-07-2009, 11:36 AM
Hi Dan,

I am gonna go see if the doctor is ready to discharge the patient shortly, and see if I can drive her back home without any further incidents! You asked what I am going to do with the interior. It is the standard black with white seats and backs, black dash padding, center console, etc... I am thinking of re-doing it to match the exterior Casino Cream color, using Casino Cream for the black panels. I have a few other thoughts about it also.

04-01-2009, 01:19 AM
Several of you have asked me privately or in email what the status of Rose is... After getting the burnt wiring fixed, and wire loomed, looking nice, and the Start Lock installed, someone made the comment on a post, after seeing the rubber gas line running across my engine, that it was a fire hazard...

Sooo, while they had the car, I bought the Edlebrock steel line that hooks onto the carb and had them run a steel line from it to the fuel pump, leaving my vacuum gauge in the line. That was completed last week, and I was about to bring her back home.

They took her out on a test drive, and barely made it back to the shop because she was out of gas, but they got her back. We put several gallons of gas in her and I headed to the house, with one of the mechanics driving my van. I stopped to fill up the tank on the way home. When I got home, I noticed that the gas gauge was still pretty much on empty, and the tank was completely full. The temperature gauge was working though.

So we went back to the shop and the mechanic started checking the fuel system out. He pulled the sending unit from the tank and with it grounded, ran it through its range while watching the meter. It went back and forth through the range normally, showing empty and full and everything in between. He and I were watching the gauge movement, when all of a sudden, the temperature gauge went to below the C for cold... and stayed there. It had been showing mid range, on the left leg of the M in Temp.

It looks like, for whatever reason, that the CVR unit blew. At that point I went home to order a new one. In the meantime, the mechanic says he found that the CVR unit was good, but I am not sure it is. He claims it was, and that the gauge blew. So, without my permission and with instructions from his manager NOT to mess with the gauge, because if it is bad, I can get it rebuilt, HE decides he is going to fix it... I wont go into the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, that the now destroyed gauge came up missing, and they are buying me a rebuilt gauge from Bird Nest... The mechanic left, after being confronted by his management regarding his lack of following instructions... And the mysterious loss of the gauge which I could have sent in for repair and saved on a core charge. I am waiting for Griff at Bird Nest to rebuilt what is left of my gauge. The back plate, the face plate and not much more. The gauge and needles are gone.. :(

So there you have more of the continuing sage of poor Rose...

04-01-2009, 10:06 AM
that is SOOOO frustrating Ray.

If the fuel gauge and temp gauge were both acting up, it most likely was that voltage regulator.

Stories like this is why I try to do most of my own work - within my capabilities anyway. Nothing's worse than trusting your baby to someone who then just makes the problem worse!

Look at it this way - once the gauges and voltage regulator are replaced, it should last almost forever!

hang in there!
It's worth it in the end!

04-01-2009, 10:16 AM
that is SOOOO frustrating Ray.

If the fuel gauge and temp gauge were both acting up, it most likely was that voltage regulator.

Stories like this is why I try to do most of my own work - within my capabilities anyway. Nothing's worse than trusting your baby to someone who then just makes the problem worse!

Look at it this way - once the gauges and voltage regulator are replaced, it should last almost forever!

hang in there!
It's worth it in the end!

I agree 100%, the only problem I have is that the mechanic seems really slow at getting anything done :rolleyes:

04-01-2009, 11:26 AM
the guages often appear on Ebay for dirt cheap so its not a bad idea to have spares for such occasions.

The voltage converter behind the dash is very easy to check. It's goal is to reduce 12v down to 6v which is needed by the Fuel and Temp gauge. It does this by turning on and off, repeatedly. You put your multimeter on it and you see it go 12 - 0 - 12 - 0 . . . , averaging out to 6V. Then it's OK. If you see 12V constantly, it is bad and will fry your gauges. If 0, then will not work obviously.

Ray, you may need to calibrate it when you get it. Since it works in conjunction with the sending unit in your trunk, the details may be off. Alexander posted instructions on how to calibrate it. You want E when you only have a little gas left, for example, and F when you have just filled it up. You can simulate this by removing the Sending Unit from the tank (inside the trunk), grounding it out and moving the arm back and forth as the gas does. As you do this watch the action on the gauge and procede accordingly.

Good electrical connections are a must for both gauges, all the way to the Grounds because not much current is flowing here. Cleanliness is key. Both the ground on the intake manifold for the Temp sending unit and the one in the trunk are worth checking out and doing whatever it takes to get a really good ground.


04-01-2009, 11:54 AM
Thanks, John, for the information. I understand how the CVR unit works. It was a working unit until something happened. I don't know if he shorted it out, or if something else shorted it out behind the console. All of a sudden, something went.

I know the procedures for calibrating the gauges. The two gauges were pretty well calibrated before they went south. We had gone through that calibration process that Alexander gave us and I was pretty happy with the way they were reading.

I might do some looking for more gauges on eBay. It would be good to have a spare or two. Thanks for the tips!

04-01-2009, 11:45 PM
do you have a pic? Where do you get one?? Has potential!


04-02-2009, 12:28 AM
Hi John,

Go to Anything Goes. This link will take you to the pictures of Start Lock...


04-02-2009, 01:49 AM

That link below this will tell you all about Start Lock, and where you can get them from. There are links to them there. I have mine on and it seems to be doing the trick, though my Bird has been in the shop ever since I got it. You can unscrew the knob, put it in your pocket, walk away and no one can start that car.

Richard D. Hord
04-02-2009, 06:27 PM
Hey Ray!
I starting putting Christine back together last night. Checked everything and I have dash lights.:) I wraped everything up and put some fire in the cylinders. She was purring like a big cat, I mean big BIRD,:D and my gas guage and temp guage went all the way over and then went to dead!:mad: After checking the Constant Voltage Regulator burnt up. I called Thunderbird Headquarters and they have one on the way. DARN!!! I wanted to get her out so bad! Ah well maybe next week! Good luck on Rose!!!

04-02-2009, 09:52 PM
you might get a voltage regulator at Radio Shack. Depends on what they happen to stock. All you care is 12 V DC in and 6 V DC out. No guarantees but possible.

Make sure none of the wires on the back of the dash going to either gauge shorted out (which would have smoked the regulator). You don't want to put the new one in and have it go up in smoke as well.


04-03-2009, 01:50 AM
Hi Richard,

It really bugs me why these CVR units blow. That is my second one. I do not know if it was something that my mechanic did when he was checking readings from the gas tank sending unit or what. All he did was take it out of the tank, get a good ground on it (or what he thought was a good ground) and move the sensor back and forth up and down its scale, while watching the movement of the gauge needle through the gap in the trunk lid. I was standing at the drivers side window and watching it swing through its arc, as if it was in the tank. It was working normally out of the tank. The temperature gauge was pointing to the left leg of the letter M in temp, where it runs normally at because the engine was still heated from driving it. Everything was checking out normally. We never did figure out why the indicator was over on the Empty side with a full tank of gas. With the sender in the tank, it would not read full. We have no idea why it would not.

All of a sudden, I saw the temperature gauge go to below the C for Cold, and the gas gauge stopped working. No one was under the dash messing with any wiring at all.. We don't know what caused it to blow.

I have a replacement CVR unit and gauge coming in from Griff at Bird Nest that will be here probably on Tuesday. He put a reconditioned gauge and back plate behind my face plate, put new indicators on it and is sending it back. He tested both the gauge and the CVR unit to make sure both were working normally, and they are. He hooked them up to each other and tested and calibrated them too. Everything is fine. I do know that I have at least one wire on a connector going to the back of the gauge that is frayed and the insulation is worn off. That lead and every lead supply power to and from the CVR unit to the gauge, is going to be checked out and repaired.

We do not know if another wire was laying across that frayed connection or not. The engine was off and we just had it in the On position or whatever that position is called before you start it, while we were testing the gauge.

I wish there was a way to replace those gauges with 12v gauges, but anything you replaced them with would not look like the present gauge and would not match the rest of the gauges. What a mickey mouse way to handle the gauge in this car:eek:

It was explained to me that the gauge manufacturers back then refused to make 12v gauges for these cars because they thought the 12v system on cars was a flash in the pan, would not last, and the car manufacturers would go back to the old 6v systems quickly. Well, they were wrong... So Ford and others got stuck with 6v gauges for a few years and had to come up with some mickey mouse way of getting 6v to the gauges. The step down voltage CVR unit was their way of doing it.

I am sure sorry to hear that yours went out on you also. I was within minutes of getting mine out of the shop for good when this happened. In fact, I was on my way home with her. She was going to the interior guy next to get a interior beauty treatment!

Richard D. Hord
04-03-2009, 04:55 PM
I read your post. I was just setting here wondering, what would be involved in converting these factory guages over to 12 volts.:confused: Also I wonder if a 12 volt to 6 volt transfomer would not work better? I know these can be bought.:rolleyes:
I have a old fuel guage and temp guage here, I'm going to do a little tinkering.:eek: If I figure out anything I will let you know.
My guages were working fine, then all the sudden they went over to full and over to hot (no smoke) then quit.:mad:

04-03-2009, 05:43 PM
Hi Richard,

Mine was the reverse of yours! My fuel gauge was reading about empty. The Temp gauge was reading normal, on the left leg of the M. All of a sudden, they went to full left, to Empty and Cold. If you figure anything out, me and most everyone on here would love to know. If they have not had problems with the CVR unit going and/or taking out the gauges, sooner or later, they will! :mad:

Richard D. Hord
04-03-2009, 08:06 PM
Hey Ray,
I took my old one apart. There are small pieces of metal in it about 1 1/4" x 3/16". The one leg is the adjustment and only moves if you turn the adjustment. The other leg has a very fine wire wrapped around it, the small wire is set up to have power on one end and ground on the other. The adjusting leg holds the needle in place and when power is applied the one with the small wire around it gets hot and moves. How much power is applied determines how much it moves.:rolleyes:
I believe if I could get a later model 12 volt I could figure out a way to switch out the guts and make it work.:) The only problem would be if later model is to large to fit inside the '58-'60 housing.:(
I'm not going to give up!:D

04-03-2009, 10:12 PM
There are a number of shops that specialize in repairs of old car instrumentation (see Hemming's Classifieds) and all will do conversions from 6 to 12V for you. Main problem is...it won't be cheap. You can call or write them and get quotes though.


04-03-2009, 11:58 PM
Hi John,

Thanks for that bit of information regarding converting 6v gauges to 12v. It might not be cheap, but I have already paid out considerable money on new CVR units, and having my gauges reconditioned. This last incident is going to cost my auto repair shop $200 for a new CVR unit and gauge because they threw away the core. So there is a core charge involved this time, since I had no core to send in. Just the back and face plate, no needles, nothing else!

So maybe, in the long rong, converting the gauges to 12V is a better way to go. I can get rid of that CVR unit and have 12V gauges instead of 6V. I will look into this. Thanks again.

I did some googling on Hemmings and found this information. I am going to get in contact with them and see what they have to say about converting that gas/temp gauge to 12V and get rid of that CVR unit..

Ford instruments

Location: Collinsville, Virginia


CLOCK repair and quartz conversions, tachometers, speedometers, gauges and clusters, 12v conversions, show quality restorations, quick turnaround, low prices and guaranteed satisfaction. AutoInstruments.com, 2125 Virginia Ave, Collinsville, VA 24078, PH: 877-450-0110 toll-free.**5-YR**

JohnG just gave me another source for gauge conversion from 6v to 12v. They are: Bob's Speedometer http://www.bobsspeedometer.com/1/120/index.asp They have been in business for decades. I left them a message. They are closed on weekends.

04-17-2009, 06:08 PM
Here is the latest report and pictures on the re-wiring of the instrument panel. That rats nest has been cleaned out, the wires all straightened out, wires that went no where, hooked to nothing, taken out, each wire that needed it was shrink wrapped to keep the present insulation from breaking off further, wires were repaired that needed to be. Wires were laid out in three main sections. Those going to the left side of the console, those to the center, and those to the right. Then they were wire loomed to make it look much nicer and prevent future wiring problems. It is almost like having a new wiring harness installed.

In the middle, on the left "horseshoe" support, you see the CVR unit, with the red wire hanging down, going to the gauges. Someone coated that thing with that black coating they used. That unit, to my knowledge is shot and is being replaced with the new solid state CVR unit. Right to the left of it is another block connector, also coated. Does anyone know what that is? I have no idea what it controls.

I took a picture to let you see what it looked like before, the first picture, and then two taken today.

Richard D. Hord
04-17-2009, 08:58 PM
Hey Ray,
That looks much better. Getting everything organized so that each wire has a place to be and has some extra protection from all the sharp objects in there.:)
You done the same thing I did on mine, things that go to the right are fixed on the right, things on the left are fixed on the left and center are fixed in the center.
This also makes it much simpler reinstalling the instrument cluster.
As far as the other part beside the CVR. I have not got a clue. My '60 only had the CVR, and there was no other contact terminal like that behind my instrument cluster.:eek:
If you have not put it back, I think I would do some checking and see what it went to. That way if something quits that may be the culprit and if you don't know what it is for now with dash apart you may have trouble locating the problem.:mad:
When I had mine apart I done some checking and made some mental notes of what went where. So next time I have a problem and have checked all I can check, without taking dash apart. If I cannot find problem I will know where to look, behind the instrument cluster.
The ignition and the headlight switch handle just about everything that is electrical with these old Birds. Its nice to know what wire goes to what!:)

04-18-2009, 01:01 PM
I took a look at that other "box" next to the CVR unit this morning. It is a circuit breaker and it is in use. Or will be again, when they hook everything back up. It was hanging in that ball of wires and the mechanic, when straightening out that mess, decided to tack it to the support column and put it next to the CVR unit. That is why it looked out of place. It looks like it is an original part. It is coated with that black stuff they used in that and other areas.

trim code 76
04-19-2009, 01:39 AM
When I asked you to send me pics of your car,.... I did not mean the wire schematics!LOL. Hey on the third pic you have posted just to the right and up slightly from your ignition switch... is that the fabled/mysterious in line black fuse holder that is for your brake lights?? The one that most of the wiring diagrams do not show?? You guys helped me find mine if you remember (THANKS!!!!!). Just curous if yours has it also. Mine was to the left of the switch.

04-19-2009, 01:51 AM
Hi Greg,

I cannot answer your question regarding if that is the fabled inline black fuse holder for the brake lights.It looks like it could be, just from looking at the picture, but I do not know.

trim code 76
04-19-2009, 01:53 AM
Ray, Do you know Kevin Nichols in England?? We are good friends! We meet in Portland a few years ago for the 50th Tbird Anivers. International show. He and the lovely Rachel have been out to our house twice (in WA) and it looks like now we will go out to their "flat', English talk, next year. Great guy, very sad about his bird

trim code 76
04-19-2009, 01:58 AM
Your wiring looks much better, very glad the old girl is doing well, here's to a happy road test!

04-19-2009, 02:04 AM
Yes, I do know Kevin from Squarebirds, and the story of his destroyed beautiful Tbird. That is one reason why I put a Start Lock on Rose, especially after the wiring problems I ran into. My Start Lock handle has been turned to take the power off the battery while they are working on it. When I get it back, I will leave NO power to the car while it is in my garage. I dont mind resetting the clock.

That is great that ya'll got to spend some time together at your place and now, it appears, at their place in England. I am sure you will enjoy that. I love visiting England. My daughter-in-law is a beautiful and lovely English lass! I am one of those that spends all my time visiting the castles, climbing the stairs to the walls and waging imaginary war with the Normans or the Saxons, or anyone trying to storm my castle! :D I have done the same in Scotland. Unfortunately, I have yet to visit Ireland, the other land of my ancestors, along with Scotland and England.

And yes, Kevin is a great guy!

05-25-2009, 12:47 AM
A number of you have asked in email or PM's about the status of Rose. If all goes well, I should get her back tomorrow. As a result of an accidental shorting of several of her electrical wires in the dash area by a mechanic while working on her, she has had a pretty complete rewiring.. Twice.. At their expense...
One of those accidents took out the CVR unit and the Fuel/Temp gauge. I replaced the CVR unit with the new solid state one that I have posted about in the past. Bird Nest rebuilt my gauges... At the auto shops expense also...

The wiring has been completely redone and wire loomed very nicely. In doing so, they missed the wiring to the AC compressor and had to fix that. While working on that, they found what I already knew, that the AC blower motor was not blowing out a lot of cold air, though the air was nice and cold. They had recharged my AC unit while they had the car. So I told them to fix the AC blower motor. They had it rebuilt and now it is blowing and going. However, I had some leaks into the engine area around that AC unit on the firewall. They are fixing that, sealing all the leaks, and I should get it back sometime tomorrow, after they clean it up inside and out again.. When I get it back, it should be in much, much better shape than it was when I took it in.

My plan is to drive it to my interior guy and let him look it over. I need to determine what I want to do next. I am torn between painting it turquoise, which is what I wanted in the first place, and leaving it the original color. If I go the turquoise route, that means my interior will have to be changed also, unless I want to leave it black and white. Which I don't. I was planning on changing the interior anyway. So I have something to think about in the way of exterior paint and interior. And I have been thinking...

So there you have it. It has taken a long time to get things fixed, but I have not been pushing them. They work it in as they can and have treated me pretty well, as far as I am concerned. They have done a lot of good things to the car to improve it and make it a safer car. They like working on it because it is something different than working on these new fangled cars they have these days. These guys cut their teeth on old cars like this.

The only thing bad about it is that I have missed a couple of S&S events and this weekends Memorial Day parade. It is probably good that I did, because the Tbirds and other old cars were put behind the horses and buggies. As a result, the cars were overheating and having to dodge horse hockey half the time! They had to pull the cars out of the parade. Some parade organizer made the mistake of putting the old cars behind the slow moving horses..

05-25-2009, 02:07 AM
Wow Ray, there is a lot happening behind the scene. Great news on the electrical problems being sorted at their expense, so they should have though. Still, there are some workshops around that would have tried to hang it on the car being old etc etc.

I do recall that you love the turquoise, if you go that route, are you still going to do tu-tone? Also what colour interior would take your fancy then? I know white isnt a T-Bird colour, but I can recommend them together!

05-25-2009, 02:24 AM
Hi Bill,

The only thing about painting the car turquoise is that I am taking it one further step away from it being original. But I remember what Alexander told me... "Keep it original if you want to, or improve it, make it safer, and make it yours since you paid for it"... It will probably cost me a lot more also to have it painted turquoise. Whereas, if I keep it Casino Cream, it might be cheaper. If I decide on turquoise, I will probably two-tone it, with a darker turquoise on the top, hood, trunk and forward part of the car, with a lighter turquoise from the curve on the door back. The interior I would probably make match the exterior color.. If I do that, I am probably going to have to change her name also... As for white, yes white and turquoise set each other off well, as evidenced in Penelope!

I might go with something like this. The darker color Indian Turquoise, with the lighter color Aquamarine.. Sorry Bob, I used your car to color! And I did not do a very good job of coloring, but it let me see what it might look like.

bird 60
05-25-2009, 03:12 AM
Hi Ray,
Good to hear you're getting 'Rose back tomorrow.:) Turqoise Blue is a beautiful color.:cool: I had a Ford Transit Van back in the mid seventees whilst residing in Canada. I had that painted Turqoise Blue & it looked majic.;) I know we can't compare T.Birds to the Van but it's a great color. Should you go that direction I reckon Turqoise blue & White interior & a Turqoise Blue Body & a White Top. I've seen a few two-tone bottom but to my opinion they don't look overly appealing. But then again it's your party & you'll do what you want to.:D

Chris....From the Land of OZ.