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  #1  
Old 08-27-2018, 09:23 AM
vernz vernz is offline
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Default New 55 - 57 owner with questions

Well, I went and did it. I bought a 57 with D code engine. This is my first foray into the world of Y engines (I have a 59 and 60 with 430 MEL engines). During my test drive of about 15 minutes, all at fairly low speed, the engine stayed cold with the guage needle staying on the low end dot below the running range. The engine idle dropped off to nearly nothing and did stall until it warmed up even to that point. Then it ran very nicely. My guess is a thermostat issue of some sort or an automatic choke issue (probably both). One modification I did for my squarebirds was to install electronic ignition in the distributor. Are there any quirks with these engines along the lines of low idle speed when cold? Is the electronic ignition a good idea?
Thanks, Vern
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2018, 10:44 AM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Super nice looking 57!

No real quirks - just the normal checklist of things to make sure are set correctly. Probably the most important is to have fresh gas! Definitely buy ethanol free or E-0 gas if available in your area.

Once you get used to it and drive it a bit you may want to:

Check timing and try it at 10 or 12 to see if it runs better but does not spark knock. This will probably change the idle speed.

Adjust choke - sounds like your main problem

Make sure heat riser below the exhaust manifold moves freely and is installed correctly

Adjust carburetor with a vacuum gauge and reset idle speed

Check the valve lash & adjust if necessary

If automatic confirm kick down linkage is correctly set per the Shop Manual. (PLEASE buy a Shop Manual)

Electronic ignition is a personal choice. I have points in my 57 and my 63SR and am fine with them. Change if you feel the need.

Enjoy!!
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2018, 12:02 PM
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jopizz jopizz is offline
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Beautiful car. It looks like a good candidate for next years calendar. I've had Y blocks in the past. Very reliable engines. I believe you are correct about the thermostat. As mentioned they have solid lifters so keep an ear out for any valve taps. Good luck with it.

John
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2018, 02:03 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default New 55 - 57 owner with questions

Hi Vern, I agree with John! She is an absolute beauty and a great candidate for me to consider for the 2019 Squarebirds.org Calendar! If interested, please review the threads in Anything Goes, on How To Pose her and set your camera for the calendar, and the one on past Squarebirds Calendars to see how others posed theirs. Make sure you leave enough room between the edge of the picture so you don't cut off the nose or the tail if you decide to do this. You still have plenty of time to do this. I will start getting serious about putting the Calendar together starting later in September...
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2018, 02:55 PM
vernz vernz is offline
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OK Ray. I will scout out a nice background for the Tbird. I don't actually have it home yet. I have vintage license plates on order for it which I will receive by the end of the week. Then she will come home. The current owner kindly agreed to keep the car in his garage until I get the license plates.


Vern
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2018, 04:17 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default New 55 - 57 owner with questions

Hi Vern, I see you are getting some good information from Joe on the new Bird. Joe knows his Babybirds! If the PO did not give you a Shop Manual, you can probably get one from CASCO. Many of the Babybird owners get their parts from them. They have been in the business for quite a few years. They, along with other Babybird parts houses are listed in the Advertisements Forum. I tell people these days to get it in CD format if you can. That way, instead of taking the book out to the car and getting grease on the pages, just print out the pages you need, then if you get them greasy, just throw them away. Usually, the CD copy is about $5 or so cheaper.

Also, you might want to visit this website if you have not already, to learn a lot more about your new Bird! Dot Lang knows a ton about Babybirds, and has a whole section pertaining to it. Here is that link to her main site. Just click on the 1955-1957 Tbird link.

http://www.portholeauthority.com/

Did you get the Hardtop with the port holes in it, with the car? I know that Hardtop for the Retrobirds needs 2-3 people to get it safely onto and off the car! Been there, done that! What some owners have done is to install a winch system in the overhead of their garage. When the Hardtop is off the car, it hangs from that winch arrangement. When they want it on the car, they lower the winch right down to the car, put it in place, lock on the Hardtop, wind the winch up a bit, to clear the car, back out and drive off. When they get back home, and if they want the Hardtop off, they just reverse the procedure...

Here is another website that you might want to check out, that has a lot of information on your Bird.

http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird...lections.shtml

Does your VIN # happen to have the letters MEX in it? If it does, you have a rare one because there were about 200 1955-1957 Babybirds, that were assembled in the Ford Plant outside Mexico City back then... I saw one here in San Antonio a few years ago that had MEX in its VIN #. As a result of that, I did some exploring into the history of Mexican assembled Babybirds. The history of that I think I posted in the History Forum regarding those Mexican assembled Babybirds. There is a lot to learn about your new to you Babybird! Enjoy it, and I will look forward to getting some great pix of her to consider for the Calendar! If I were to ever buy a Babybird, it would be a 1957 because of the advancements on it compared to the '55 & '56. For one thing, as I recall, they went to the 12v system in '57 and stayed with it after that.
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2018, 05:43 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Thanks for the kind words!! In response, I can only say two things:

#1) I bought my first '56 in 1976, and have since owned 2 57's. Yes, I may have some experience, but I am continually learning! There is always something to learn about these cars.

#2) A great wealth of my knowledge comes from the Shop Manual. Both in reading and applying what is printed to fixing my cars. The manuals are an invaluable resource to diagnostics and problem solving. No classic car owner should be without a full set of manuals!
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2018, 08:33 PM
vernz vernz is offline
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I am getting a shop manual with the car. I am also getting a porthole hard top in white. The soft top is blue. I've heard of the winch systems and will look into that. I had read the post about "mex" VIN's before I bought the car but mine is not a mex car. The options list is good. My car is pretty stripped down. Manual windows, seat and brakes. It does have the engine dress up kit though. The owner gave me a copy of the original dealer invoice. I will definitely look for the proper style seat belts. There are none in this car and it feels weird to drive a vehicle without seat belts. I added them to my 59. I thought I'd add a picture from the rear.



Vern
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2018, 08:38 PM
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Default New 55 - 57 owner with questions

Hi Vern, good that you are getting the shop manual with the car. There are other manuals that you might also want to get, because you may need them. As for not having a lot of power accessories, that can be a blessing, because that means you won't be having problems with electrical windows, power seats, etc... She is a great looking Bird and congratulations.
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