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1961 Bird Pulls to Right when Braking

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  • #16
    Sorry to hear about your close call. At least you and the car came out unscathed. Unfortunately I suspect you still have your right front brake issue since your car is still pulling to the right. Those things don't fix themselves. A loose strut or bad ball joint isn't going to cause the wheel to overheat and lock up. I think you're back to square one with that problem.

    John
    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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    • #17
      I told Geoff he probably has two problems that are NOT associated with each other.

      He called today and reported the wheel moved about 1-1/2" forward. Ok, that accounts for the trashed lower arm bushing. The lower arm should never move forward/backward. There is a strut mounted to his frame and to the lower arm that only allows up/down motion, not front-to-back.

      Geoff, I urge you to disassemble that arm and inspect the rubber and washer parts. The washers are supposed to hold the arm from poking through.

      If you lock up your brake, the body wants to push forward but your wheel wants to cram the strut backward. If the strut washers are trashed, it makes sense that the lower arm IS moving and pulling the car to the right. Once the wheel locks up, it is no longer a brake issue but a suspension issue.

      I would get a long pinch bar and torque the lower arm backward and forward by hand. Notice what is allowing any motion. I also believe the 'snap' you hear is also from the strut.

      Use all your senses. If the strut is solid, look closely at the frame where the strut is mounted. Something is moving and it's a very dangerous situation. Again, no lower 'A' arm motion front-to-back is acceptable.

      Logic says; if the RH 'A' arm moves forward the car will veer LEFT. If the RH 'A' arm crams the strut backward, the car will veer RIGHT. An inch and a half in either direction is HUGE!

      I only wish I lived closer to help you out. This is purely a mechanical problem that should be relatively easy to prove out. Remember, when you hit the brakes hard with the car going thirty MPH those struts exert thousands of pounds of force on the frame on both sides. The other end of the struts bolt directly to your OEM ball joints. Clean the frame area well and carefully inspect for cracks in the surrounding strut/frame members. - Dave
      Last edited by simplyconnected; June 18th, 2016, 11:54 PM.
      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

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      • #18
        Lots going on here to think about and consider but the cause of 1.5" of movement should certainly be fairly easy to locate.

        Which leads to another point:
        We all probably drive our cars very easily and carefully, but once in a while we should slam on the brakes (preferably in a safe location and close to home) just to check and make sure everything should work in an emergency situation. I had to make a panic stop from 70 many years ago in my 57 and finally stopped BESIDE a restored Mustang. Thankfully there was a nice wide berm and no accident. This was the motivation to convert this car to disk brakes as the Little Bird linings are very narrow and were completely faded away after one hard stop.

        Be safe & Happy Father's Day!

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        • #19
          Happy Father's Day

          Gentlemen,

          It's a time of reflection, family and surfing! I am taking the day off!

          Happy Father's Day to all of you "Bird-r's" out there!

          Tomorrow I am back to work, so when I find time this week, I will crawl under Betty and get this figured out.

          Regards,

          ~g
          Geoff In Carlsbad
          1961 Thunderbird Convertible aka: Betty:cool:


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          • #20
            I agree, although the water here is a little too cold for my liking. Have a great Father's Day.

            John
            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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            • #21
              Strut Bushings

              Hi guys

              Didn't get out today. But I did look under the front strut bushings. I want to replace them when I replace the other ball joint this weekend.

              But I'm am a little confused as to which set I need. Then illustrations by Ford posted earlier by simplyconnected show something a little different from what I'm seeing. Perhaps the old bushings are squashed.

              These are the right side:






              This one doesn't look good.


              Left side looks better but if doing one doing the other.




              But this does not resemble the drawings.

              PS using photobucket to place photos. Hope that takes care of any spam.
              Last edited by GeoffInCarlsbad; June 21st, 2016, 03:25 PM.
              Geoff In Carlsbad
              1961 Thunderbird Convertible aka: Betty:cool:


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              • #22
                I believe Dave's drawing was 1963-66. Here's the 1961 Diagram. It may be a little different.

                John
                Attached Files
                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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                • #23
                  I have that too

                  Yes, so do those in my pics look like 3a187? Mine look pretty mashed if that's the case.
                  Geoff In Carlsbad
                  1961 Thunderbird Convertible aka: Betty:cool:


                  sigpic

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                  • #24
                    This is what they are supposed to look like.

                    http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_th...eces-1961.html

                    John
                    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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                    • #25
                      Geoff, the 1961 diagram exactly matches your car. The only thing they left out is the frame mounting plate for your strut. After showing the correct 1961 diagram, Geoff said his looked like the '63, so I posted that diagram as well. I also referenced the 3A187 stack of bushings:

                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      I was looking for an illustration showing the space between your ball joints but couldn't find one. In the mean time, here's your front suspension:


                      The lower bushing is important but so is the bushing stack (3A187). I suggest you do ALL the bushings at once. If you had done them when changing ball joints, it would have been 'once and done'. Then do the other side the same way...
                      Originally posted by GeoffInCarlsbad View Post
                      ...I also have that same picture, however it is not 100% accurate. That diagram does not show the stabilizer bar that I have. I don't know why because I do see it on the 63/64 diagram. My reference is Larry's illustrated book...
                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      Geoff, your car left the factory with the correct suspension. Somewhere down the line someone changed it because the '63 system didn't exist in '61.

                      Here's a genuine Ford diagram of the 1963-66 T-bird front suspensions:
                      ...
                      Now, it looks like we're back to '61. That strut picture of yours proves the brake is pushing the strut back into the frame and that is why the car veers right. It's also the reason your other bushings are shredded.

                      Sorry for re-posting, but someone isn't reading my original posts. - 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

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                      • #26
                        I'm just confirming correct part

                        Dave

                        I am Reading all your posts. There's no confusion on using the '61 diagram. I have a stabilizer bar not shown in the '61 diagram but is shown in the 61 shop manual. I was only confused by the bushing shapes. Just on the apparent shapes of the strut bushings. My bushings look so mashed they don't match the diagram. So I am just confirming the correct part. 3A187 has several designations so Johns post confirms correct designation. I have a local supplier and I want to make sure I get the right part.

                        Also I still have a brake mystery as the right front wheel still heats way too much. So it's not releasing properly. I have tests to run there. But I am zeroing in on it. I'll know more this weekend.

                        I am only documenting my journey in the spirit of the forum. I apologize for any confusion on my part.
                        Geoff In Carlsbad
                        1961 Thunderbird Convertible aka: Betty:cool:


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                          I told Geoff he probably has two problems that are NOT associated with each other...
                          ...Geoff, I urge you to disassemble that arm and inspect the rubber and washer parts. The washers are supposed to hold the arm from poking through.

                          If you lock up your brake, the body wants to push forward but your wheel wants to cram the strut backward. If the strut washers are trashed, it makes sense that the lower arm IS moving and pulling the car to the right. Once the wheel locks up, it is no longer a brake issue but a suspension issue...
                          Yes Geoff, we spoke at length about your car having a brake issue AND a suspension issue ten days ago.

                          Your suspension and your brakes are stock, just as described in the 1961 illustration but it's up to you to recognize old, shredded parts will probably not look the same as new ones.

                          I hope you get these problems resolved using correct parts for a '61 T-bird. BTW, those bushings are sold by many T-bird vendors including Larry's:

                          These are twenty bucks, not eighty. - 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


                          • #28
                            Yes, I can get locally for $20

                            yes, I can get those for $19.95 locally. I have a good local source for all things T-Bird.
                            Geoff In Carlsbad
                            1961 Thunderbird Convertible aka: Betty:cool:


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                            • #29
                              You mentioned earlier that you can get the wheel to bind up when it's cold just by pushing on the brake. The wheel should turn just as freely after you push on the brake as before. If that's the case one thing you can try is to jack the right front wheel up and spin the tire. Make note of how freely it turns. Then push and hold the brake as far down as you can; release the brake and spin the wheel. If it doesn't turn as freely as before then loosen the two nuts that hold the master cylinder to the booster. Pull the master cylinder away from the booster about 1/4 inch. Spin the wheel again. If it frees up then your push rod is too long and you will have to make it shorter.

                              John
                              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Brake & Suspension Work

                                John:

                                that is an easy test. yes, when the brake is depressed and released, the right wheel is more difficult to spin. It is not freely spinning as it should. I can do the test you describe below tonight or tomorrow morning. If that does not work, I shall try cracking the bleeder on the wheel cylinder and see if that releases the wheel.

                                Dave:

                                Yes, I have the new strut bushings. I have piecemealed the right side as a learning experience. I have all the materials I need for the left side, so I will perform that complete bushings replacement at one time. I have a new LCA bushing (the hardest part to press out and in the new one), new Strut Bushing, new Lower Ball Joint, new Stablilizer Link Bushings. the Upper Ball Joint is already new. So I can knock that out all at one time.

                                After all said and done, I will re-post with my results.

                                ~g
                                Last edited by GeoffInCarlsbad; June 21st, 2016, 05:29 PM. Reason: spell check
                                Geoff In Carlsbad
                                1961 Thunderbird Convertible aka: Betty:cool:


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