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New Detent Plates for 1958-1960 Thunderbirds available.

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  • #46
    Dan, you're exactly right - I put one of Alexander's in my '62 and it's superb.

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    • #47
      Detent place, et.al.

      I ordered a detent plate way too long ago - got it mailed to me directly from Alex, bless him!
      FINALLY tackled the project; I'd ordered a new shift collar and shift lever and bushings - ordered by fax on a Tuesday, delivered Friday. Now that's service!
      The thing I was most concerned about went relatively smoothly; dis***embling the turn signal module and NOT losing the springs. Putting it back together took about 20 minutes. Had to snip the horn wire but used a butt splice with shrink tube with success.
      It was the roll pin that remains SOMEwhere in that Bird having found a really good hiding place SOMEwhere on the floor :-( Very happily, NAPA had one - 32. Until I got out to NAPA the shift lever was held in place with the same punch I used to drive the old roll pin out! A bit of a wrestle getting the shift lever in. Unfastened most of the items I'd already reinstalled, inserted the shift lever, then refastened.
      So shifting is now nice and tight. Putting the lever in "park" still won't hold the car in place but the Bird is scheduled for a tranny "look-see" next Monday. It lurches when placed into gear and won't up-shift unless I ease up a bit on the accelerator (and who wants to ease up when yer comin' off the stop light?!). It WILL automatically downshift to 1st, or Low, when I come to a stop. Found a well-recommended tranny shop; the owner went to work for Ford in the mid-50's and has plenty o' spare parts for the Squares if needed. Betting (hoping?) it's just some adjustment that's needed.
      Then, either repair or replace the vacuum wipers, look at installing an instrument cluster voltage regulator, tackle the suspension, and finally the interior.
      What's everyone else doing w/ their Birds this spring?
      Matthew 1959 Indian Turquise Hardtop
      Tbirdregistry RegistryNumber=13517
      http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdatasheet.aspx?RegistryNumber=13517

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      • #48
        New Detent Plates for 1958-1960 Thunderbirds available.

        I am glad to hear you got most of the problems fixed with the shifting. The problem of it not locking fully in place might very well be down at the tranny itself. It could just be an adjustment. It sounds like you have found yourself someone who knows their Ford trannys and that is good. If you are going to work on those vacuum windshield wipers, take a look at the Technical Resource Library under my signature element. You will find in the TRL, the information on ordering and installing the electric wiper motor. I will never go back to the vacuum motor! It is well worth the money spent.

        BTW, just so ya'll do know this, when Alexander p***ed away, Marianne, his sister, stepped in and took over the detent plate program. She has all detent plates from 1958-1966, as I recall, plus the others listed on our Home page. So if you click on the order link, your order will go to her and she will process, complete it and ship the item to you.

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        Walking the beaches of Hawaii
        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

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        • #49
          Mathew, did you find out what was wrong with your car not staying in gear? I replaced my detent plate yesterday, and thx to the instructions from the good people here on Squarebirds it went great. However, I have the same problem as you. Before replacement I had sloppy shifting and grinding in between park, reverse, neutral, and drive. That's still the same now that I've replaced the detent except now it locks into park very nicely but it acts like it's in neutral. Weird feeling to put her in park all nice and secure, let off the brake, and she just rolls down the driveway. Good thing my park brake is tight. The other gears act like they should in proportion to the shift plate. It's just Park that doesn't "park", and sloppy feeling to reverse, neutral, and drive.
          Anyone seen this before?
          thx!

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          • #50
            If the lever locks in park but it feels like you are in neutral it sounds like your shift linkage needs adjustment. If you hold the shift lever up will it lock the transmission in park. There's a fairly simple procedure in the shop manual for adjusting it. The sloppiness could be the gear shift lever. Did you check to see if the notches are sharp or rounded off.
            Last edited by jopizz; July 5th, 2011, 03:02 PM.
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

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            • #51
              No, If I hold the shift lever up it still stays in neutral, but before I did my new detent plate I could hold it up to get it into park. I think the new detent plate is more precise. I'll check the linkage according to the manual instructions this weekend.
              The old detent plate was in good shape, so I don't think the notches are rounded off, but I didn't really check it when I had it apart. The car had sat un-run for 15 years and the tranny was about 6 quarts low so who knows what shape it's in. I believe the car only has 95,000 original miles.
              Thx for the help!
              - Dave J.

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              • #52
                Hey John, what page are those linkage adjustment instructions on, I didn't see them.
                thx, Dave J

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                • #53
                  It's on 4-20 of the 1959 shop manual. The photo is on 4-18.
                  John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

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                  • #54
                    Thx John, not sure how I missed that, I think I was perusing through the photo's and went right by it.
                    - Dave

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                    • #55
                      Forgot to tell you John that I adjusted the set nut and it goes into park and stays there.
                      thx, Dave

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by davidmij View Post
                        The old detent plate was in good shape, so I don't think the notches are rounded off,
                        - Dave J.
                        Did you check the end of the shift-lever?

                        Mine was worn down and rounded, I got it built uo with some hard-face weld and re-shaped it.

                        I use a cutting disc to make a deeper Park notch so now it STAYS in Park.

                        Also deepened the Neutral notch.
                        A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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                        • #57
                          No, I just replaced the detent plate cuz it was very sloppy and wouldn't stay in park. Now that it stay's in park I'm good. I plan to replace the tranny with a 4 or five on the floor so it's only temporary.
                          thx

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by davidmij View Post
                            Mathew, did you find out what was wrong with your car not staying in gear? I replaced my detent plate yesterday, and thx to the instructions from the good people here on Squarebirds it went great. However, I have the same problem as you. Before replacement I had sloppy shifting and grinding in between park, reverse, neutral, and drive. That's still the same now that I've replaced the detent except now it locks into park very nicely but it acts like it's in neutral. Weird feeling to put her in park all nice and secure, let off the brake, and she just rolls down the driveway. Good thing my park brake is tight. The other gears act like they should in proportion to the shift plate. It's just Park that doesn't "park", and sloppy feeling to reverse, neutral, and drive.
                            Anyone seen this before?
                            thx!
                            I had the tranny worked on by a local yokel who started working at Ford in the late 50's! That solved most of the remaining issue. Still, though, now and again it still really needs to be PURPOSEFULLY placed in PARK, sometimes a coupla times as it would like to pop into "R" (for race!).
                            Matthew 1959 Indian Turquise Hardtop
                            Tbirdregistry RegistryNumber=13517
                            http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdatasheet.aspx?RegistryNumber=13517

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                            • #59
                              Hey Matthew, you guys are just north of us a bit but lower in altitude. I think you are about like Albuquerque, 5200 feet? Hear in Los Alamos we're at 7000. Can you tell me what your T- bird vacuum pressure typically reads by any chance. I guess the altitude makes a difference in vacuum readings.
                              Also see this link to check out an old turquoise T-bird I found clost to the NM and Colorado border. https://picasaweb.google.com/1014928...K6DyoHpu5DvyQE
                              regards, dave

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                              • #60
                                any chance one of these plates are still availible? if so how much?

                                appearently i need one my new 60 doesnt have park i hope its because of this plate and not a trans problem i havent dug into it yet to figure it out just tryin to get some ducks in a row
                                60 hardtop royal burgundy/ colonial white top
                                60 hardtop colonial white/red leather
                                60 convertable PARTS CAR will trade convert parts for hardtop parts

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