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  • #76
    elijahbird7's Tbirds!

    Jim was checking the underside of his new to him '57 Babybird when he noticed that the shims in the frame had tape on them, holding them in place before the body was mounted onto the frame! Having been under his '56 before, and many other Babybirds, he has never seen tape on those locking shims before. He was thinking that he should take that tape off each of those shim positions but decided not to and started checking into it. What he found was interesting! If he had taken them off, a sharp judge who might have looked under the car could have taken off points in judging because that tape is factory correct and is intentionally put on those shims to make sure they do not move from their location when the body is lowered onto the frame! Here is what he found.

    "While the car was on the hoist, I noticed there was some masking tape on the body mounts... I thought maybe someone just forgot to remove it.. But no, I looked in the Thunderbird Restoration Details and Specifications Manual by Gil Baumgartner, and found the 2nd photo that shows that the shims were taped to the frame before the body is lowered onto the frame, to keep the shims from falling off...so it is factory correct. I imagine after years of driving in rain and snow, the tape would just eventually deteriorate. Always something to learn about these cars..

    Here is the description of that photo from the Manual.
    "Original shims were taped in place with 3/8 inch masking tape". The attached photo I just took under the 57. I think you can see how the body would have been lowered onto the frame pretty quickly, and the tape kept the shims in place while that happened... Jim"

    In the pix he sent me, you will see the shims taped into the frame to keep them in place, as shown in the Thunderbird Restoration Details and Specifications Manual by Gil Baumgartner. Then you will see the rear end of the frame show four locking shim sections along the frame, where the body is lowered onto the frame, a locking clip is put in place, locking the body to the frame. I gather that, unlike our unibody Tbirds, these locking pins are what allows a Babybird restorer to do a full frame off restoration of one! It is my understanding that on unibody cars, that body is solidly welded to the frame. In the last pic you will see one of the outboard locking shims. Jim has years of experience with Babybirds and said this is the first time he has ever seen these shims in place with the factory installed tape on them. Probably the only reason why they are still on this Babybird is because it has been a trailer queen after a full restoration to OEM factor specs...

    His friend Mike has his red '57 for sale and you can see the tape on his frame also!

    Jim sent me another pic of the layout of those locking shims that shows the actual page from the Tbird Restoration Details & Specs Manual, page 13.

    Here are the pix.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by YellowRose; March 25th, 2017, 07:31 PM. Reason: Additional Information

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

    Comment


    • #77
      elijahbird7's Tbirds!

      Here is some additional OEM factory correct info from Jim on Babybird rims. According to the Thunderbird Restoration Details and Specifications Manual by Gil Baumgartner IF you own a '55 or '56, your rims should be completely painted the body color of the car. BUT, if you own a '57 they made a change and the outside is painted the color of the car, white, in this case, and the inside/backside of the rim is black. Here is a pic.
      Attached Files

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
      "It's Hip To Be Square"
      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #78
        I tend to find cars are cheaper and easier to maintain

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        • #79
          elijahbird7's Tbirds!

          Jim had his '57 out today because it was nice. Here is what he had to say and a pic he sent me.

          "Decided to drop the top onto the rear deck. Think it's too early to put it all the way down, but it got up to 74 today, so had to try an "almost top down" ride. Just held the top down with bungee cords. Yesterday, I pulled out the points and installed the Petronix Ignition system. Had to disconnect the wire that supposedly regulates the radio volume depending on speed of car. Never noticed it did anything anyway.."
          Attached Files

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #80
            elijahbird7's Tbirds!

            Jim sent me an email to tell me that he received his Gate Release Invoice from the CTCI. It lists a tonneau cover and hardtop for it, which did not come with the car when he got it. But that was okay with him. Another hardtop would be something else to try and figure out where to store it. Also, he has that rear deck antenna on this Tbird. That would make it really interesting in trying to put that hardtop in place on the car! He also knows that for his license plates, he got BLUBRDY, but they have not arrived yet. Here is what he had to say.

            "Ray, Just received the invoice for the 57 today from CTCI. The only thing I noticed was Tonneau Cover, which the car does not have now, and of course the hardtop. So, someone added the rear deck antenna at some point. At least the Dial-O-Matic seat was on the Invoice."

            Here is a copy of the Gate Release.
            Attached Files

            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
            "It's Hip To Be Square"
            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

            Comment


            • #81
              If he still has the snaps a replacement tonneau would be an easy and low cost addition. Just vinyl that is clamped around the cockpit by the same pieces holding the drop curtain and snapped into place. The rear deck antenna is a cool looking option, but does make handling the hardtop difficult. Most owners use a hardtop hoist in their garages which makes the job possible for one person.

              Comment


              • #82
                elijahbird7's Tbirds!

                Hi Joe, I don't think he is interested in having a tonneau cover, or another hardtop. I think, as I recall, he already has one for his other Babybird. Yes, having a hoist in the garage is a great way to take one off and on!

                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                "It's Hip To Be Square"
                Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                Comment


                • #83
                  A few more things I noticed after looking over the Gate Release form. It does not show Engine Dress Up Kit, which the car has now, and I'm sure alot of them have been changed to that. Also does not show Full Wheel Covers, so maybe it came with the small caps, and there is nothing about a Town and Country Radio, or for that matter, any Radio...not sure if a regular Radio was standard, maybe?
                  Anyway, it's just interesting to see how it was manufactured, and I have some history of the licence plate renewal receipts from Colorado in the glove box, so it must have spent most of it's life there.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    elijahbird7's Tbirds!

                    Jim ~ elijahbird7's '56 Babybird is having a bit of a problem that perhaps some you might be able to help him pinpoint. Here is what Jim had to say.

                    "Ray, Just finishing a quick project. My friend is moving tomorrow, and he helped me take off the hardtop yesterday.
                    I have to take the car in tomorrow for an issue that sometimes it will blow smoke out the driver's exhaust after being driven, then sitting for awhile and then restarted. We think a valve stem seal may not be seated properly. Unfortunately, the morning temp is going to be in the 40's, so I dropped down the aftermarket soft top I keep up near the ceiling for now. It's supposed to be in the 70's and 80's in the next few days though, so it won't stay on long.."

                    Any thoughts about what this might be other than what he thinks it could be? Here are a couple of pix he sent me putting the soft top in place.
                    Attached Files

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #85


                      Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                      ...I have to take the car in tomorrow for an issue that sometimes it will blow smoke out the driver's exhaust after being driven, then sitting for awhile and then restarted...
                      Any thoughts about what this might be other than what he thinks it could be?..
                      Y-Blocks used 'umbrella-type' valve seals. They are notorious for every bad thing you can think of. They harden, crack, shrink, they don't hold on to the stem tower, etc. The umbrellas are totally useless after no time but hey, this was Ford's first attempt at building an overhead valve engine. Since then, engine engineering has made vast improvements because materials and the process of engine building evolved.

                      When I rebuilt my 'Y' I made many changes. My machine shop installed hardened exhaust valve seats, milled every mating surface, and machined my valve stem towers for Viton seals. This machining process allows the Viton seals' springs to hold on tight, and give better sealing forever. Modern engines and aftermarket heads (like Edelbrock) commonly use these seals, so they are plentiful and cheap.
                      CLICK HERE for more details and pictures. The seals start at picture #23 and continue from #33, etc.

                      I hope this helps. Questions? - Dave

                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        At my mechanic's now. This has that same type of seal you show in your photo which was done during the rebuild. They showed me with the mirror. Problem seems to be the oil pressure is way too high at 2000+ RPM. We did use the spring from the old pump, but he is going to cut the length of the spring a little to see if we can lower the pressure it would put out at driving speed..

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                          ...
                          I have to take the car in tomorrow for an issue that sometimes it will blow smoke out the driver's exhaust after being driven, then sitting for awhile and then restarted. We think a valve stem seal may not be seated properly...
                          Originally posted by elijahbird7 View Post
                          At my mechanic's now. This has that same type of seal you show in your photo which was done during the rebuild. They showed me with the mirror. Problem seems to be the oil pressure is way too high at 2000+ RPM. We did use the spring from the old pump, but he is going to cut the length of the spring a little to see if we can lower the pressure it would put out at driving speed..
                          Alright, something isn't right at all. Y-Blocks are notorious for poor oiling. There have been many 'oil modification improvements' done to this engine over time, including kits that supply oil to rocker arms THROUGH the valve covers.

                          You can clearly see that Viton seals have springs holding them on their towers. They do not leak and I have never seen one come loose from any engine. You don't need a mirror to see them as you can see through the valve springs in my picture:



                          What about oil flow to your rocker shafts?
                          Are the shafts restricted?
                          Are the shafts plugged?



                          There are only two nuts holding each rocker cover on because this engine needs it's solid lifters adjusted during a major tuneup. That means it will be removed frequently (as opposed to a hydraulic lifter engine). When the covers are off, does each rocker arm show good oil flow? The engine only needs to be running for a few seconds to show oil flow. Each rocker arm has two holes; one to receive oil from the rocker shaft and the other to oil the pushrod.
                          I'm trying to determine if your cam's center bearing is grooved from wear, restricting flow to your rocker shafts.
                          Cutting the oil pump spring is NOT the answer, especially in an engine that is notorious for poor oil flow. Did someone install a high pressure pump? There's a difference between 'high volume' and 'high pressure'.

                          When new, my engine delivers ~40-psi at 700-rpm and ~60-psi at running speeds. As the engine bearings wear and the motor loosens up, that pressure will drop. Restriction to flow causes high pressure (like when you put your thumb over the garden hose).

                          Photo-bombed by my Pointer, Pepper, while hot testing my 'Y':
                          My latest project:
                          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            When I had talked to our Classic Tbird Club Tech advisor and told him I was getting the engine rebuilt by my local old car mechanic, the first thing he asked was if we were replacing the oil pump. When I said yes, he said that the pumps being sold by the Tbird suppliers now put out way too much pressure for the Y Block, and to take out the pressure spring and replace it with the one from the old pump, which we did.
                            Monday, when my mechanic checked the pressure, it was topping out in the 80+ range on a warm engine....after shortening the spring slightly, we ended up in the 50 to 55 range, which made him a lot happier. Nothing under the valve cover looked amiss. I only have a little over 1,000 miles on it since the rebuild, so we are going to give it a little more time to see how things go. As for the way it runs, it runs extremely well, idles smoothly, accelerates quickly, etc. I will just start driving it more now that we are getting some warm weather. My mechanic was not sure what type of rings the builder used, as he mostly does racing engines..but he is no longer available due to a serious medical issue to find out.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              I understand your issue is, your engine burns oil from the LH side upon startup. The disadvantage is, you really don't know what was done during the overhaul although you have great confidence in your builder. (We've been here before.)

                              Generally, there are a few causes for burning oil, IF that is what's really going on. I say it that way because we had engines that burned brake fluid 'in spurts' but the evidence left a low M/C fluid level in the reservoir.

                              Valve seals/sloppy guides are causes for burning oil. Improper cylinder crosshatch, a broken ring, a warped head or bad head gasket will also cause oil consumption. Excessive oil pressure might cause oil to blow past a warped head or bad head gasket, but that is rare.

                              Improper 'Y-Block' head bolt torque is common because the Ford Shop Manual gave incorrect torque requirements. In fact, the spec's were too high which caused many bolts to break, kinda like this one:



                              That condition mimics a bad head gasket or warped head. BTW, that white stuff is Teflon plumbing sealant because this bolt passes through a water jacket.

                              A standard Melling M-42 oil pump works beautifully in my 'Y' with no alteration. Melling is a high quality brand, used by most engine machine shops that offer a warranty.

                              Because of all the little idiosyncrasies of the 'Y', even a seasoned Chevy builder will miss a lot in building this engine. The same holds true for the FE. It's good to hear your engine is smooth-running but the real proof is in longevity. Without oil modifications, the timing chain and rocker shafts are starved of oil. Don't forget to add ZDDP to your oil for the solid flat tappets. - Dave
                              My latest project:
                              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                              --Lee Iacocca

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                I have now passed 2600 miles since the rebuild. The smoking issue seems to have gone away. I changed the oil over a month ago, and it is still reading full, so all is good.

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