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'59, gift to my daughter

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  • '59, gift to my daughter

    My father-in-law is parting out with some of his vehicles to his granddaughters. My daughter, Megan, loved the look of this '59 over his '64. I'm hoping to fix/repair what's needed so she can drive it to the prom in May. She's thrilled as can be.

    1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

  • #2
    '59, gift to my daughter

    Hi John, Yes, the Raven Black really stands out and especially so when you put it in a tux! Like with the chrome air scoop, the chromed "eyebrows" over the tail lights, the curved tail fin pieces. When you put that chrome "bling" on it just really sets that color off.

    You will probably want to get her behind the wheel in a safe area so she can drive it and get used to the feel of it. It will probably handle a lot different than what she is used to...

    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

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    • #3
      We did let her drive it once, and I think she'll have to pass on using it for the prom this year. She's got one more chance to show it off next year. It needs some brake and carb work done before I let her do anything with it by herself.

      We spent 3 hours yesterday just cleaning the interior and windows (overspray, tar, sticky crap). I read on here of guys finding factory paperwork under the rear seat, so I yanked ours up. No paperwork. But, a nice big rat nest in the coils underneath the seat. Yikes!

      I can't believe the looks and double-takes from all ages when it goes down the road.
      1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

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      • #4
        That is really sad, John. Brakes are easy enough to redo on a Saturday. Isn't there some way you can get to it before homecoming?

        My Mom learned to drive when she was 47. The only car we had back then was a 1954 Ford Country Sedan (station wagon) and it was a stick. She did it; took adult driving classes at the local high school in the Michigan winter of '57, and suprised the crap out of my dad (who never helped her learn).

        The car had a six, with manual steering and manual brakes ('cause dad wouldn't pop for fancy options on a family car). It did have overdrive and we drove it from Detroit to LA in '59.

        Squarebirds often featured women in their sales ads and many thousands of women drove them successfully. Teach your daughter well and she can too. Yeah, Squarebirds are different from modern cars but so are ALL classic cars. They take more effort, are heavier and consequently, require longer distances to stop. Still, the more we drive them the better and more familiar we become, without incident. Much of this depends on the personality your daughter is. She needs to really want this. ..just my 2-cents. BTW, I have two grown daughters. - 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

        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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        • #5
          Nice Car !
          sigpic
          Mike Lemmon
          '59 Raven Black Hardtop

          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=2461

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          • #6
            Dave,
            She's a good driver, but there are still too many things that needs to get done. My father-in-law re-did the brakes, but I'm not sure if you're supposed to use Herculean effort to press down on them to stop. Everything I've driven had power brakes, so I don't know if that's the norm.

            Wipers don't work, and it needs all new window weatherstripping. The door windows are cracked, but can wait. Gas gauge isn't working (bad ground?).

            She's already asked if she could drive my mom's Porsche. I told her she'll have to go over and practice driving it a few times. A 17-year old girl in a Porsche. What can go wrong?
            1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

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            • #7
              Originally posted by V-John View Post
              Dave,
              She's already asked if she could drive my mom's Porsche. I told her she'll have to go over and practice driving it a few times. A 17-year old girl in a Porsche. What can go wrong?
              Plenty........
              sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

              Comment


              • #8
                We gave 'Tony' it's first wash and wax Friday evening. It was filthy from the car cover her grandpa used on it. This is Megan, and she is so in awe over this car. Her job is to clean and polish whatever there is to be done on it while I do the hard stuff.
                1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

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                • #9
                  I've been doing some work on the car lately. The heat riser was broke and stuck open, so my dad came over and helped me remove it. He came over to tune the carb, but insisted that we fix the exhaust problem first. We had to unbolt the exhaust from both manifolds to be able to get the heat riser and exhaust manifold out. The left side exhaust pipe gasket had blown, which explained the ticking. The choke wasn't set right and made the car run rich, hence the black plugs:

                  The tail lights weren't lighting properly. The running lights and brake lights worked, as did both turn signals. But, both back-up lights on the right were on continuous with running lights. I pulled the panels off inside the trunk and found a fine mess of wiring:

                  Above is the driver side wiring. The wire with the new red butt-splice wasn't connected to anything and found that it had to connect to the old red connector on the left. The wiring going to the socket on the right was almost broke and/or exposed, so I crimped new wires in it's place.


                  This had me sort of laughing. Someone probably came up short on wire and had to splice 3 short pieces together to make the connection to the WRONG wire. It should've went to the old red connector instead. The center holes on the tail light mounting plate had duct tape covering them, and so did some of the lenses. The inner right lens didn't have tape over it's center, so that must've explained why it showed a back-up light on, because the light shown through. I don't know if there is an actual cover or plug that goes in it, so I taped it closed, too.
                  Last edited by V-John; April 19th, 2013, 07:18 PM. Reason: resize
                  1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

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                  • #10
                    If you suffer from dry hair, just crawl under the car to moisturize it with plenty of oil and grease. The valve covers appear to not be leaking, but I fear the front of the intake manifold may be. Once we get 'Tony' running again we can get it outside and degrease the engine and tranny. Hopefully we can find some easy fixes.

                    Stop laughing!

                    Here are a few pics of the oil mess and some suspension issues. The right coil spring was either cracked or broken and was 'repaired' with welding. And not much at that, either.
                    Caked on oil:

                    Welded spring and leaky power cylinder:

                    Worn out control arm bushing:

                    Another coil view:

                    I just noticed this hose hanging down while uploading these. Is this for expansion tank overflow?
                    1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      '59, gift to my daughter

                      Hi John, Your pictures are not showing up. We would love to see them!

                      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


                      • #12
                        I never heard of anyone welding springs, because it just doesn't work.

                        I assume you will replace both front springs with new ones. If you have any questions, we can help. BTW, you don't need a spring compressor. You need the body high on jack stands and a small jack (like a scissors jack) under the "A" arm to let it down. The hardest part is separating the lower ball joint, and that's usually not too hard.

                        BTW, I see your pictures just fine. - 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

                        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          '59, gift to my daughter

                          I don't know why I was not seeing them earlier, but I am now. Strange...

                          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


                          • #14
                            I've been reading up on how everyone, and the Repair Manual, says to change the springs. Yes, I plan on replacing them and I think practically everything to do with the steering just to feel a whole lot safer. Thanks to the forum I've been getting ideas about where to order from.

                            There's a small car show this afternoon just up the street from us. My daughter is disappointed that Tony is still down. But, I told her that maybe someone will have a Squarebird and we can get some pointers and ideas on things. If there is I'll post some pics. I'll even ask if it's in the Registry.

                            Last night I watched West Side Story for the first time. Now I know see where she got Tony from. A real coincidence that it comes on TCM right after she names her car.
                            1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by V-John View Post
                              ...Last night I watched West Side Story for the first time. Now I know see where she got Tony from. A real coincidence that it comes on TCM right after she names her car.
                              So... her car is named after a former Jet who works in a candy store in NY? Well, ok. Wait 'till she finds out "Tony" is really a feisty and classy girl car. It's been many years since this old bird was in her glory. I'm glad you're bringing her back. - 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

                              From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                              Comment

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