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Fix Your '60 Convertible Top Problems

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  • Fix Your '60 Convertible Top Problems

    In the course of trying to help one of our Florida members find a good repair shop he could count on doing some reliable work for him on his Squarebird, I found this! I happened to run across a gentleman that appears to have the fix for the problems that many of you '60 Squarebird Convertible owners are constantly being bugged with. His name was given to me by one of the Florida VTCI Club presidents, and I gave him a call. What a stroke of luck this was! His name is Tom Chitwood, and he happens to be well known when it comes to modifying and repairing '60 Squarebird Convertible tops! He is known to travel across the country to do these repairs and kit installation, when necessary, at your expense.

    He has just provided me with detailed information on how to modify that top system, removing 4 of the 12 relays, and replacing 4 of them with 4 of his C1SF rebuilt relays. The relays that are removed are the 2 auxiliary relays, the Top Solenoid and the Deck Solenoid relays. The Deck Open Relay, Deck Closed Relay, Top Retract Relay, and Top Erect Relay are replaced with the 4 C1SF rebuilt relays that he provides as part of his relay modification kit.

    This 1960 relay system works without cutting any wires on the 12 relay system.

    He has provided me with an instruction sheet, the electrical schematic, showing which relays are removed, and what you will have when you are finished with the modification. The cost for this modification kit is $300, which includes the 4 C1SF rebuilt relays, the instruction sheets and the jumper wires needed. The 2 jumper wires connect the extra relay tab to the wiring harness. He says the system is possible because the output tab in the 1960 plug is in the pointy end unlike the 1961-1966 which is in the "fat" end of the relay plug.

    I am working on scanning in and putting into a web page, the comments he sent me, the instruction sheet and the two attachments. You will be able to take a look at it, and see if you want to invest in obtaining this kit. From the looks of it, and what Tom has said, it eliminates many of the problems this top has had for years. From what I have heard this kit is now in use in a lot of '60 Convertibles across this country these days. This is the first time I have heard about it and what a good stroke of luck this is!

    Tom has 35+ years experience, is a TBird & Lincoln Engineer, specializing in Convertible Top Repairs, Power Windows, A/C, Parts, Service and Restorations. Tom can be contacted at 386-290-9982, or by email at

    Here is the link in the Technical Resource Library for this information. You will find it in the Convertible Tops section.
    Last edited by YellowRose; June 20th, 2014, 04:45 AM.

    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

  • #2
    Ok, he took out six relays and replaced four of them with ones with more contacts. That's already been done in this diagram:

    His changes are identical to this Ford diagram. The two 'Top Solenoid' relays that are called 'AUX' relays are originally wired in parallel with 'Top Retract' and 'Top Erect', only because they needed more contacts. I don't see the cost or function advantage, here.

    For $300, keep what you have because the 'change' works the same way. It simply eliminates two relays and adds four more with more contacts.
    BTW, the C1SF-15672-A relays are $48 at mac's in NY. Four of them cost $192, not $300.

    Six of these relays are originally used on 1961-63 convertible tops.

    Truth be told, small TWO DOLLAR relays could do the same job as these that cost nearly fifty bucks each. - Dave
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