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Did I forget to say PLEEAZZEEE? Newbie needs urgent help.

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  • Did I forget to say PLEEAZZEEE? Newbie needs urgent help.

    Where do I begin. Bought a sand-shell beige '63 for a good price almost on a whim. Now that I have it and had really good looked at it I keep saying - WHAT HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO?

    There is so much chrome? How do I clean / preserve it? Is there anything I can do about the oxidation spots?

    This car is all original (apparently) what kind of gas and oil do I use? A friend of mine recommended adding Marve Mystery Oil? to the gas? Is this recommended?

    Alternator or generator which did this come with? The Excide battery which came with the car looks new but will not hold charge.

    RUST! I have a few small cancer spots. I do not want to paint the entire car be cause it was mostly garage kept and not bad at all but 2 spots are between the top and the body just passed the door, has anyone used naval jelly in an application such as this?
    THANKS IN ADVANCE, I hope this group can help because good info on this car is RARE IN N Y!
    Last edited by TheKid!; May 16th, 2012, 08:58 AM. Reason: no response

  • #2
    I imagine most folks are just busy with their own cars - it's the prime time to get them out and head for the shows or cruze-in's.

    This info is based on the info you gave that you have the original drive train - not been changed for a newer fuel injected motor etc.

    #1 - buy a shop manual (small investment with big benefits) and find a club in your area. This on-line forum is super but nothing beats seeing someone make the repair or helping you do your own. If you can't or don't want to work on your own car the club might have a member that does or someone reasonable they can recommend. I'd at least have someone look at the braking system first - won't help to have it look or run good if it won't stop.

    Chrome - I use Never-Dull then wax it with a good wax like Nu-finish (both available at the big auto parts stores like O'Riley, Advance etc). It's a never ending process. Some use very fine steel wool to lessen the effects of the pitting in the chrome but I would try it in a place that doesn't show first - I think it just scratches it - the Never-Dull really helps. If your plans are a show car you'll either have to replace it or send it off to be re-chromed.

    Gas - what ever it will run on. I have to use premium in my '60.

    Oil - Shell Rotella-T 15W40 Triple Protection (or probably any of the T series Shell oils) - has the zinc needed for older engines.

    Marvel in the gas - basically does the same thing as the Shell oil - may lube the carb as an added benefit but pretty doubtful - so little oil compared to the quantity of gas - shouldn't hurt it running some through every now and then. Might keep varnish from forming in the carb if the car sits often.

    Pretty sure these had the Alternator with external voltage regulator. The regulator on the '60 is on the inner fender. Do you have a volt meter to check the output of the Alternator?

    I think the Naval Jelly will ruin the surrounding paint? You can sand it down and paint with primer then find a close match in a rattle can to get you by. The club may have a body shop they can recommend and just touch up the areas that need it.

    Post some pics if you can - lots of fun to see other folks projects.

    Good luck,
    Last edited by DKheld; May 16th, 2012, 11:32 AM.


    • #3
      Did I forget to say PLEEAZZEEE? Newbie needs urgent help.

      Thanks, Eric, for stepping in and helping out. As he said, a lot of our members are busy working on their Tbirds, or getting them ready for car shows, etc. According to what John Draxler, of Tbird Ranch said, 1963 was the first year for an alternator on a Bulletbird. You should be able to tell by looking in the engine well to see if it is a generator or an alternator that you are seeing. Here is a link to his site. He has a ton of information on it about these old Tbirds of ours.

      Here is his main site.

      We have many Tbird parts houses that deal only in Tbird parts. Check our Advertisements Forum for the listing of them. As Eric said, you will want to get a shop manual for your '63 Bulletbird. All the Tbird shops sell them. MAC's is close to you there in New York. Call them, or email them and ask for their free catalog. Do the same with the other vendors. You will need them. Most of them also have an online catalog you can look at. Good luck!
      Last edited by YellowRose; May 16th, 2012, 11:43 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


      • #4
        @DKHeld &YellowRose 1963 Newbie needs urgent help.

        - I was concerned about the lack of led in the gas we use today. (what an odd statement) someone told me that it would ruin the engine. I was also told the oil particularly synthetic would do the same. I appreciate your advice. There is low test in there now and I need a refill, but when I turn it off it knocks and I figured it was the gas.
        - Chrome the guy I got it from suggested triple weight oil and fine steel wool i don't know how that would'nt scratch?
        - I had a '66 mustang once and a '7? Capri and '72 they were relatively straight forward however. This Tbird is a little daunting when your actually face to face with it. I will post pics the car is so good looking i won't have to do much... I think.
        - Alternator I got under there yesterday, in the rain, with a flash light and its small like an alt but the regulator threw me off it is an alternator however probably original. The regulator is near the front of the engine.
        You guys are the best!


        • #5
          Follow Eric's suggestion and find a local club. Knocking can be from many things including lack of octane, timing too far advanced, lean carb due to altitude etc. Your local classic car guys will have run into the same problems.

          Your trim pieces are stainless steel. When buffed, they shine better than new. If you have dents or dings, carefully metal finish them first. Then find a good fast (3,600-rpm) buffing wheel and use buffing compound for stainless. I NEVER use abrasives unless I'm trying to remove metal. I won't touch dry dirt, because it shows scratches.

          You should be concerned about lead content if you take long trips. For cruising around town, unleaded gas will be ok. Gasohol too, IF it has enough octane rating. Lead and gas additives (like Marvel) tend to foul plugs prematurely by building up deposits on the spark plug electrodes.

          Your '70's cars were MUCH more complicated than your '63 just because of emissions controls (that didn't work very well). You can easily get parts for your FE engine if need be and there are fewer things to go wrong.

          Put a volt meter on the battery while the engine is running. Your meter should show about 13.5-volts when charging. Harbor Freight has meters for a few bucks. Hope this helps. - 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


          • #6
            A '63 Alternator

            Here is a pic of what a '63 Alternator looks like. As for you posting pix, please go to the New Members Welcoming Forum and you will find the greeting I posted for you and information on posting 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