Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

1958-1960 Ford Thunderbirds

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 1958-1960 Ford Thunderbirds

    Hi All,

    I came across this Hemings Classic Car article from 2007. A good write up on the history of the 58 to 60 thunderbirds along with mod tips for cooling and the specs for engines, Trannys, Suspension, Brakes, ect....


    http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/...feature22.html
    sigpic1999.jpg

  • #2
    Excerpts From The Article-

    ENGINES

    For the 1958 Thunderbird, Ford introduced its 352-cu.in. V-8. This 300hp engine sported a 4.00-inch bore and 3.50-inch stroke with a compression ratio of 10.2:1; torque measured 395-lbs.ft. at 2,800 rpm. The early engines had solid-lifter camshafts, and those produced later in the year used quieter hydraulic cams and lifters. The engine carried code H and was offered with two four-barrel carburetors, a Holley B8A-9510-E or Carter 2640-SA-SC.
    The early solid lifter 352 was discontinued before BIRD production began.

    In the Square 'Bird's last model year, 1960, Ford offered three Thunderbird engines: the reliable old 300hp 352, the 430 and an Interceptor Special, a 352-cu.in. V-8 with 360hp, 10.6:1 compression and dual exhaust with special header-type exhaust manifolds, aluminum intake manifold, dual-point distributor and Holley four-barrel carburetor.
    As best to my knowledge, the 1960 352CI/360HP was not offered in the BIRD chassis. The 430 was the performance option.

    Larry Gardner, the technical advisor for the Vintage Thunderbird Club International, said that T-Bird engines are "bulletproof," with few internal problems.

    "If there is a mechanical caveat to be aware of, it's the cooling system. It was a poor design with no shroud and a four-blade fan positioned six inches from the radiator. Those cars overheated even when new. The air-conditioned cars had five blade fans, but it didn't help because you had the extra strain of the compressor," he said.
    I have heard reports but this is the first confirmation I have heard.

    TRANSMISSIONS

    The base transmission was a column-shifted three-speed manual with optional overdrive.

    While the automatic transmissions in these cars are fairly reliable, there is one area of contention: the detent plate, which constantly failed and led to sloppy shifting. A reproduction is available, made on a CNC machine; it offers a more precise fit than the original. When replaced, this leads to the car being more secure in park and makes gear selection less vague.

    The automatic had three forward gears, a torque converter and the following ratios: 1st- 2.37:1, 2nd-1.84:1, 3rd-1.00:1 and reverse-1.84.1. The three-speed Cruise-O-Matic replaced the two-speed Ford-O-Matic, used in the small T-Birds. Larry stated that a C6 is better, but a Cruise-O-Matic was a reliable transmission if serviced regularly by a competent mechanic. These transmissions do not have replaceable filters, he advised.
    The 352 BIRD came through with the MERC MULTI-DRIVE MERCOMATIC (MX). This has an internal filter and is available.

    The 430 BIRD came through with the period LINC TURBO-DRIVE (HX). It and it's later LINC specific HX had internal filters but are not available.

    SUSPENSION

    In 1958, coil springs were used in the rear, which caused wheel hop.
    Actually, the 58 BIRD was designed to accept FORD's new air ride system. This is also the reason for the outboard shock absorbers on the front control arms.

    I am in no way a SQUAREBIRD expert but just thought I would bring up theses issues for discussion.

    Comment


    • #3
      Several of the Hemmings-related publication articles that I've read over the years were so full of errors and bad information that I refuse to rely on them for research because the articles themselves were so poorly done. Case in point was the write-up on the maroon-colored "NASCAR" '60 T-bird that was featured in an early edition of Hemmings Classic Car magazine. That particular car, shown at the 1999 VTCI International in Indianapolis, has been bought and sold several times since then. The article appeared to be based upon the owner's statements rather than contacting/verifying claims that were made, and in turn this helps perpetuate several myths that resulted from it. The Holley and Carter carbs on the '58 were used on the full-size Ford, and are associated with the 'Bird only because they will interchange with the Ford 4100.
      Alan H. Tast AIA, LEED AP BD+C
      Technical Director/Past President, Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
      Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"

      Comment


      • #4
        Hemmimgs Articles

        As a newbie I try to read as much as I can to educate myself about the cars I desire. I guess like any internet publication it is not always accurate. That’s why forums like this one are so powerful. Thousands of like-minded enthusiasts pooling together thousands of years of knowledge. Awesome.
        sigpic1999.jpg

        Comment


        • #5
          "SUSPENSION

          In 1958, coil springs were used in the rear, which caused wheel hop."


          Curious to know what wheel hop is. This must be a technical suspension term that I've not heard of.
          Best Birding,
          Jed Zimmerman
          '58HT and '48 Dodge Panel in MN
          Thunderbird Registry #3810 VTCI#7652
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ca58tbird View Post

            "SUSPENSION

            In 1958, coil springs were used in the rear, which caused wheel hop."


            Curious to know what wheel hop is. This must be a technical suspension term that I've not heard of.
            Here is a Tech Article which I hope explains it-

            http://www.competitionengineering.co...s/chassis2.asp

            Wheel hop can happen with either coil or leaf springs. The 58 BIRD rear coil rating was very light due to designed ride quality.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KULTULZ View Post
              Here is a Tech Article which I hope explains it-

              http://www.competitionengineering.co...s/chassis2.asp

              Wheel hop can happen with either coil or leaf springs. The 58 BIRD rear coil rating was very light due to designed ride quality.
              Wow, thanks for providing that link! Never realized my Bird's been hoppin' for the last 55 years. Guess it's best that I go easy on her in acceleration as all of the after market fixes and slapper bars/wheely bars are mostly only for leaf spring applications.

              ****, no more wheelies on Main Street now
              Best Birding,
              Jed Zimmerman
              '58HT and '48 Dodge Panel in MN
              Thunderbird Registry #3810 VTCI#7652
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ca58tbird View Post

                Wow, thanks for providing that link! Never realized my Bird's been hoppin' for the last 55 years. Guess it's best that I go easy on her in acceleration as all of the after market fixes and slapper bars/wheely bars are mostly only for leaf spring applications.

                ****, no more wheelies on Main Street now
                There are multiple systems for coil spring applications. In fact, they are most likely more common as most manufacturers have gotten away from leaf springs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  the fan was 6" from the radiator ? More like 1". I can barely put my flat hand in between the two.

                  Somewhere in there is an ideal distance but who knows what?
                  1958 Hardtop
                  #8452 TBird Registry
                  http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                  photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                  history:
                  http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KULTULZ View Post
                    Here is a Tech Article which I hope explains it-

                    http://www.competitionengineering.co...s/chassis2.asp

                    Wheel hop can happen with either coil or leaf springs. The 58 BIRD rear coil rating was very light due to designed ride quality.
                    Is this realy a problem for the ´58?
                    There is already the "upper control arm" that keep the rear axle in place. So the ´58 should be concider to be somewhat a "4-link". But what I have found out is that there is a something wrong with the mix of the upper control arm pivot points and the ( I don´t know the english term or correct words here.. ) system with the damping rubber that is on the rear side of the rear axle and lower trailer arm as these works against eachother when tighten, causing A LOT of stress on the upper control arms front pivot bolt that goes into the car. After a while, you hear loud snap sound. In ´59 there came out a "service action" on this area where they welded an additional sqare piece and tube of metal to strengthen this. But that sulution never got rid of the real problem. It only made it last little longer before something happend.
                    sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alan H. Tast, AIA View Post
                      Several of the Hemmings-related publication articles that I've read over the years were so full of errors and bad information that I refuse to rely on them for research because the articles themselves were so poorly done...
                      Anders, you did a great job on your rear suspension when you had your urethane bushings made.

                      And you are right about the suspension binding badly when tight. Today, those cars would be recalled and Ford would fix them.

                      A four-link coil spring suspension is supposed to be a parallelogram with the upper arms angled to stop side thrust. There should be no axle roll, either. GM successfully used this method exclusively on many models for decades.

                      As for Squarebirds, I seriously believe the 1958 rear coil spring suspension was NOT designed by Ford. I believe it was a Budd design or Budd had the design work done and Ford signed-off on it. Regardless, Ford quickly went back to leaf springs instead of fixing their problem.

                      Our '59 Galaxie has new leaf springs and I love the ride. If I had a '58 T-bird I would consider retrofitting leaf springs as a cheap alternative to spending a lot of time and money re-designing the coil suspension problem. - 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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Anders View Post

                        In ´59 there came out a "service action" on this area where they welded an additional sqare piece and tube of metal to strengthen this.

                        But that sulution never got rid of the real problem. It only made it last little longer before something happend.
                        Would you happen to have a copy of that TSB?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                          Anders, you did a great job on your rear suspension when you had your urethane bushings made.

                          - Dave
                          I did not do urethane but "baked" or Vulcanized rubber, as the Original. However, I did made sleeves in Delrin for the bolts so they are quiet as I don´t tighten the bolt that holds the big "damper rubber" behind the axle. Post # 98 http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ear+suspension

                          Originally posted by KULTULZ View Post
                          Would you happen to have a copy of that TSB?
                          Post # 50 http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...pension&page=5



                          /Anders
                          sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You sir, are a gentleman and scholar...

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X