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  • Just When You Think You Have It Made..

    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.
    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

  • #2
    ....."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.

    Eric,
    Registry 5347

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,
      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.
      Kev.

      Comment


      • #4
        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!

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Thoughts???

          JOhn
          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


          • #6
            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..
            A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just When You Think You Have It Made..

              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.

              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


              • #8
                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....
                sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.
                  sigpicBill
                  Thunderbird Registry 21903 & 33405

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    sorry to hear

                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Guys,
                      Has anyone sit down and tried to figure out a way to put fuse box and new wires in these old Birds?
                      sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                      Registry #33436

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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
                        Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
                        Thunderbird Registry
                        58HT #33317
                        60 HT (Sold )

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ray
                          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
                          sigpic
                          Bob M
                          59 Bird
                          72 Charger

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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)
                            John Byers
                            1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just When You Think You Have It Made..

                              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..

                              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

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