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  • Water in the oil pan

    We just got a 1960 hardtop. Looks to be all stock/mostly.
    Came w/all of the paper work including the ROT sheet.
    We are the third owners. Has not been driven in 12 years.
    I would like to start it up and see what works and what does not.
    I drained the oil. The first pint was water from condensation I suppose. The water was clear, without coolant, so I feel there is not a bad seal or gasket. I thought I might refill the oil and change the filter out a couple of times. Drain the fuel tank and blow out the lines and replace the filter. Coolant is topped off.
    I want to squirt some oil into the cylinders and hand turn the engine, so to see if it is locked up or not.
    What suggestions and thoughts would the group make about the inital start-up that I am forgetting or do not know. I just dont want to screw something-up
    Russell Cothren
    1960 Thunderbird hardtop
    1970 F 350 flatbed
    [/SIGPIC]
    "They are all crazy, we just have our favorites"

  • #2
    Originally posted by The Arkansas Traveler View Post
    ...Has not been driven in 12 years...
    Take lots of pictures as you go:
    If this were my purchase I would also check the transmission fluid. If you see water, change your trans oil. It takes ~11 quarts.

    Replace your motor oil with fresh. Put your damper pulley on TDC, remove the distributor cap and pay attention to where the rotor is pointed (should be #1 or #6 spark plug tower). Then, mark where the distributor housing is against the block, remove the distributor and rotate the intermediate shaft (that drives the oil pump) counter-clockwise for a good five minutes. This shaft is 1/4" hex. What ever you do, don't drop any tools down your engine. Run your drill motor in reverse to get counter-clockwise rotation. You should feel a lot of resistance while running the drill motor. This means you are making pressure. When done priming the oil pump, return the distributor and re-check your oil for water, etc. If the distributor won't fall all the way down, it means your oil pump shaft isn't aligned. Simply rotate the engine about 1/3 turn whilst gently pushing down on the distributor. It will drop all the way down. Rotate crank to TDC, see if the rotor points to #1 or #6 tower, re-check your timing marks on the block then tighten the distributor hold down bolt.

    Now, pull all the spark plugs and liberally spray LIGHT OIL (like WD-40) to fog all the cylinders.

    With the plugs still out, remove the "+" wire on your ignition coil and crank the starter to distribute oil all over your engine. There should not be a load on the engine at all. If you sense a big drag or hear unusual noise, there is something wrong. Do not go any farther until you find out what is wrong.

    If the rotations sound good, do this for about a minute. Re-check your dip stick. If you find water or foamy oil, drain the oil again. Water will wipe out your bearings. A small amount of water will simply evaporate when the engine gets hot.

    Then install the plugs, return the coil wire, and start the engine. If you follow this procedure, you will have done everything possible to preserve your engine and transmission. Good luck and I hope everything is good. I can't emphasize checking your oil frequently. The engine is an "unknown" and as such you should err on the side of caution. Make your first trips short just in case you need to stop the car and return it to your garage. Make your subsequent trips longer and longer.

    I'm concerned about old gas in your tank. If you smell foul gas, DO NOT run your engine. Gas evaporates leaving varnish. If varnish gets to your carb, you may have big problems. Most of us buy new gas tanks for $200 if that happens because you can never get the old tank cleaned enough to be dependable. - 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


    • #3
      Water in the oil pan

      Hi Russell, glad to see you posting and enjoyed the conversation earlier today. There are a number of things that I want to suggest you consider. First of all, if the previous owners did not give you the 1960 Shop Manual, you should order one. Which leads me to the next subject. All of the major Tbird parts houses contact info are located in the Advertisements Forum. You should call them, or email them and ask for a copy of their free catalogs. You will need to for price comparing and parts availability. Rock Auto is a member of this Forum, and many of us get our Tbird parts from them because they give us a 5% discount. That discount can also be found in the Advertisements Forum.

      Regarding the gas tank, the car has been sitting for 12 years, and if it is the original tank, you may want to take off the old one, save yourself a lot of headaches with it, and put on a new one. Maybe even run new hoses instead of trying to blow them out. Over the many years of the life of this car, that tank is probably pretty gunked up. I had mine cleaned out, and it lasted about a year and then started rusting out and leaking on me. So I put on a new tank. Our tanks are made in Canada, and you can buy one off eBay, or Rock Auto even has better pricing, plus your discount. So you might want to get a new gas tank, new fuel sending unit in the tank, lock rings, and gaskets, and maybe even new tank straps if they need it. Also, run a good ground off the flange of the tank to the car body.

      The electrical diagrams for your Tbird are in the Technical Resource Library. So check them out and print them out. Thanks for the comments you have made to me regarding our Forum and how helpful you have found it to be. Good luck with the work on bringing her back to life again, and thanks for saving her. Have you given her a name yet?

      I see that Dave ~ simplyconnected, just gave you some terrific advice on checking out the engine! I told ya he was good! He also commented, as I did, about getting rid of that gas tank and putting a new one 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


      • #4
        So much good information

        I appreciate all of the square advice. (pun intended) you all enforced what I suspected about the tank. A bit of work, but I think a replacement w/lines and gaskets will save a lot of headaches in the future. The good news is that I am not in a hurry, so I can work through all of the advise and feel good about the process. About the distributer not settling in upon the reinstall. I burned up a good F-engine in a 74 landcruiser that way. Was that an expensive heartbreaker/lesson! No name for her yet. She'll let me know when we get to know each other a bit better. You folks are the best.
        Russell Cothren
        1960 Thunderbird hardtop
        1970 F 350 flatbed
        [/SIGPIC]
        "They are all crazy, we just have our favorites"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Arkansas Traveler View Post
          ... About the distributer not settling in upon the reinstall. I burned up a good F-engine in a 74 landcruiser that way...
          Ford FE engines are more forgiving. If the distributor is up, the hold-down bolt isn't long enough to fit into the hole.

          The intermediate shaft is a hex but the cam turns at half speed of the crank. So, if the hex is off, 1/3 crank turn should let it drop. You can hand-crank or bump the starter.

          Ray is right about the Shop Manual. They are much cheaper than GM books and all of our vendors have them. - 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


          • #6
            the factory manual

            I lucked out and the previous owner supplied me w/ the factory manual as well. I think they got it through Larry's. It came w/ some of his cataloges and price sheets from the 90s'. I was pretty excited to see it come w/the bird.Last night I sent santa a letter requesting the fuel tank.
            Russell Cothren
            1960 Thunderbird hardtop
            1970 F 350 flatbed
            [/SIGPIC]
            "They are all crazy, we just have our favorites"

            Comment


            • #7
              "avoid the screwdriver through the filter"

              So I knew it was gonna be tough, but I had no idea. I went to remove the oil filter. Tight of course. I have pulled many of these things and have used various methods through out the years. I try to avoid the screwdriver through the filter as a last result. Patience is best while in this situation. In the end I had to take the filter bracket off of the block. Once I had it in a vice it was still tough. Made a blood sacrifice and off it came. Maybe they forgot to oil the gasket? Maybe it's been a long time since the last change. I'll dip and clean the bracket well before it's return. After careful study of the crud on my dipstick and the oil in the drain pan, I may go ahead and drop the pan for a good cleaning as well.
              I thought about plastic-guaging the bearings while I am down there, but that seems excessive for the time being. Thoughts?
              The wire to the oil pressure sensor. Does that just pull off? Little "L" shaped plastic connector. spins as one unscrews the sensor.
              Russell Cothren
              1960 Thunderbird hardtop
              1970 F 350 flatbed
              [/SIGPIC]
              "They are all crazy, we just have our favorites"

              Comment


              • #8
                I would not recommend disturbing the bearings. I would get the engine running so I have a better idea of the overall condition. I do recommend replacing the oil pump and cleaning out the sump while the pan is off. Your pan is probably loaded with sludge.

                The oil sender wire should just pull off. It does not screw on.

                John
                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                Thunderbird Registry #36223
                jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  getting a new heart and blood

                  I have the new oil pump along w/ gaskets in hand. I will take your advice and stay out of the bearings at this time. Kinda like getting a new heart and blood transfusion at the age of 54. Thanks again.
                  Russell Cothren
                  1960 Thunderbird hardtop
                  1970 F 350 flatbed
                  [/SIGPIC]
                  "They are all crazy, we just have our favorites"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    John, if he suspects water in his bearings, why not look at them? I mean, he already has the pan and oil pump off and out of the way... The caps are right there. Just askn'. - 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


                    • #11
                      I should have read his entire post. Certainly if the caps show signs of corrosion I would check them. I wouldn't take them apart just to plasti-guage them though.

                      John
                      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                      Thunderbird Registry #36223
                      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My guess is dirty and worn

                        So maybe the thing to do while I am there, is to pick a rod bearing that is in down position and pop off the cap and inspect it to see what info it may give me. That way I am not rotating the engine yet and can see the condition of a bearing that has been setting in a cesspool of oil, water, etc. If it has rust or extreme wear or it's looks good, I can at least know what to expect from the others. My guess is dirty and worn. The water seemed to be on the bottom of the pan and was low enough that the crank @ BDC was still out of the water. At the same time, condesation may have been enough to rust more than I expected. Clean and oil and replace the bearing and cap. No fowl.
                        From what I am getting out of the shop manual. The engine is unbolted @ the mounts. Just the two side mounts? (Good time to inspect the mounts as well). Lift about an inch and blocked. I do not have an engine lift. Where might you suggest the lift point be? (352) The pan and pump are removed and reassembled at the same time. Thoughts on permatex sealant w/ the pan gasket? If so the blue or black? I assume the factory never used a sealer. My pan gasket is cork. Upon reassembly, fit the pan loose and bring up to factory specs on torque,(What is that #?, I have yet to find it. I figure around 12# as a guess) working from the inside out. Let's have a cold one. If there is an obvious that I am missing, just let me know. You folks are the best. OBTW, I had my first t-bird dream last night.
                        Russell Cothren
                        1960 Thunderbird hardtop
                        1970 F 350 flatbed
                        [/SIGPIC]
                        "They are all crazy, we just have our favorites"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, the motor mount is held to the cross member by one bolt. There is a flat spot near the front of the block on each side. It is just next the oil filter on the driver side. That is what I use when I jack it up. Be careful of the radiator hoses if they are still on. You will be forcing those without the radiator moving. You will need to unbolt the oil pump and drop it in the pan to get clearance. I use black permatex to hold the gasket to the pan. I don't use any between the gasket and block. The torque specs are on page 1-65 of your manual. 12-15 is correct.

                          John
                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Once you get her on the road, there are many more T-bird dreams in your future. It's simply a fun car that turns heads.

                            I would use a cherry picker to lift the engine from the top. You need to put the car up on good jack stands and off the wheels first. You can use just about any intake manifold or exhaust manifold bolt holes with longer bolts for your chains. Even though you are only lifting, use two chains. Some of our guys lift from the bottom by using the damper pulley. It works, but I don't like it. Either way, pay close attention to your radiator so the fan/hoses/engine don't poke a hole in it. ALWAYS raise the hood so you don't put the air cleaner or carb stud through it.

                            Give the car a good shake before going under there because your life depends on it.

                            I line the floor with cardboard first. It gets you off the cold ground and it absorbs any liquids that might leak. When soiled, simply throw it away and put down some new. Get one of those twisted bulbs for your trouble light. They don't get hot, won't 'flash out' when dropped and they put out serious light.

                            The bottom halves of your bearing inserts get the most wear. You will see where the tin is gone and copper is showing through. This is typical for a worn FE bearing. Look for any scoring or taper. See if little pieces of 'stuff' are embedded in your bearing. Seriously, if I saw that I would pull the engine and overhaul it, especially if I knew it was original with high miles.

                            I use Permatex (Black) in the big pressurized can for the whole engine. For cork gaskets, I spread a THIN layer on both sides and let it 'skin over' or cure completely. I also clean the metal mating surfaces with lacquer thinner, then a thin layer of Black, for a good seal. The idea is to fill any small imperfections but still leave that elastic coating. Many times, cork gaskets come off in one piece because they aren't 'glued' in and cleanup is much easier than the first time.

                            I don't mash my gaskets. The secret is in using LockTite blue (not red). 12-ft/lbs sounds light but it could distort and break your gasket in places. When you see the gasket 'snug up' and you feel a little resistance on your ratchet, I give about 1/2-turn and done. Let the sealant do it's job and let the Loctite hold the bolt. Loctite won't work on grease so clean the bolt and threaded hole. If a little sealant goes in the hole, that's ok.

                            Make sure you clean your pan and pickup tube down to the steel. Carefully inspect everything you find at the bottom. If you find little nylon pieces, they could be from your cam's timing sprocket. Change it before starting your engine.

                            Back in the day, non-detergent oil was the 'standard' and folks used shellac for gaskets. Polymers were not discovered for many years later. I have seen Y-block valve covers completely mold a huge cake of dirt when removed. Others on this forum, had their oil pickup screens totally filled with caked-on dirt which starved the pump for oil and caused a major overhaul. - 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


                            • #15
                              I hate to say this but... you may need to raise the engine much higher than one inch.

                              That inch, is when the timing marks are at TDC. Otherwise, the crankshaft counterweights may be in your way. John is right about the oil pump. It needs to be unbolted before you actually pull the pan. Also. the pump holds the intermediate drive shaft up, so that may come down with the pump. When you reassemble, make sure you put the 'spring washer' at the top of the shaft. It's there to hold the driveshaft down when you pull the distributor.

                              Take lots of pictures as you go. - 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

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