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  #1  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:38 PM
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Default Tbird Buy Checklist

Considering the problems that one of our new members ran into with his Squarebird purchase recently, it was suggested by Richard Hord that we consider putting together a check list of things to look for when checking out a Tbird you are considering buying.

There have been many comments made across many threads and posts in the past. Finding them would be difficult. I would like to have something that we could put together into the Technical Resource Library (TRL) for prospective buyers to read prior to putting their money down on something that might be a rust bucket.

Things like: Areas or parts of the car to check for rust. (one of our members is already working on this for us) If the engine starts, what to look or listen for while it is running. Checking the oil and tranny fluids and what to look for. If you can pull the plugs, what to look for on a plug or two or more. How to check the radiator and what to look for. How to check the carb and what to look for. Driving the car and what to listen for, or look for. Quality of the interior and trunk. Paint and chrome conditions. How to check for bondo or repairs that are hidden. Brake and braking problems. Lights. And anything else you can think of that I have not listed.

I hope this would not be to much to ask. It would be a great service to new members and old members who are going to buy a Tbird. I can ask several of our members if they mind if I use their pictures, like those showing the rust areas, and others. Between pictures and a check list of things to look for, it should be a huge help to future prospective Tbird buyers.

I have posted this in the Squarebirds Forum, but it would also apply to other years of Tbirds. You can post your comments here and I will gather them, or you can email or PM them to me. I will compile the check list and post it in the TRL when we are finished.
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Last edited by YellowRose : 02-21-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:06 PM
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One thing I'd include is to be wary of claims of 'numbers matching', which I've seen in ads occasionally. Since there are no records matching engine, trans or other numbers to VINs, there is no way to prove that a Squarebird has it's original drivetrain. You can only verify that the parts were cast before the engine assy date and that the engine assy date is prior to the car's build date. That means it's possible, maybe even likely, that it's the original.

Folks who claim 'numbers matching' don't know what they're talking about, and since there aren't any numbers to match, they're obviously making it up. What else might they have made up?

I'd at least ask to have them show you what they mean.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:18 PM
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Also the famous "frame off restoration" on our birds. That one really makes me laugh.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgs View Post
One thing I'd include is to be wary of claims of 'numbers matching', which I've seen in ads occasionally. Since there are no records matching engine, trans or other numbers to VINs, there is no way to prove that a Squarebird has it's original drivetrain. You can only verify that the parts were cast before the engine assy date and that the engine assy date is prior to the car's build date. That means it's possible, maybe even likely, that it's the original.

Folks who claim 'numbers matching' don't know what they're talking about, and since there aren't any numbers to match, they're obviously making it up. What else might they have made up?

I'd at least ask to have them show you what they mean.
This is a really good point. I've had several inquiries on whether my car was "matching numbers" on ebay. I then take my time to explain to potential buyers that there is no way to definitively determine if the engine and trans that's in the car are the ones that were born with the car because there are no VIN numbers stamped on them. I get the the feeling from one or two potential buyers that they thought I was full of bologna so I direct them to do their own research on the internet.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowRose View Post
Considering the problems that one of our new members ran into with his Squarebird purchase recently, it was suggested by Richard Hord that we consider putting together a check list of things to look for when checking out a Tbird you are considering buying.

There have been many comments made across many threads and posts in the past. Finding them would be difficult. I would like to have something that we could put together into the Technical Resource Library (TRL) for prospective buyers to read prior to putting their money down on something that might be a rust bucket.

Things like: Areas or parts of the car to check for rust. (one of our members is already working on this for us) If the engine starts, what to look or listen for while it is running. Checking the oil and tranny fluids and what to look for. If you can pull the plugs, what to look for on a plug or two or more. How to check the radiator and what to look for. How to check the carb and what to look for. Driving the car and what to listen for, or look for. Quality of the interior and trunk. Paint and chrome conditions. How to check for bondo or repairs that are hidden. Brake and braking problems. Lights. And anything else you can think of that I have not listed.

I hope this would not be to much to ask. It would be a great service to new members and old members who are going to buy a Tbird. I can ask several of our members if they mind if I use their pictures, like those showing the rust areas, and others. Between pictures and a check list of things to look for, it should be a huge help to future prospective Tbird buyers.

I have posted this in the Squarebirds Forum, but it would also apply to other years of Tbirds. You can post your comments here and I will gather them, or you can email or PM them to me. I will compile the check list and post it in the TRL when we are finished.
I think this is a great idea. I’m glad that my experience has prompted this thought and that potential new owners could benefit and learn from it.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:44 AM
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Default Tbird Buy Checklist

Thank you for your input and comments. I am putting them into a Word document and building a checklist with them. Marcelo, would you object to me using the pix that you posted showing the rust areas on that Tbird? They would be good examples of what to look for when checking a car over.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2012, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowRose View Post
Thank you for your input and comments. I am putting them into a Word document and building a checklist with them. Marcelo, would you object to me using the pix that you posted showing the rust areas on that Tbird? They would be good examples of what to look for when checking a car over.
I do not object at all. Please do and I would also like to contribute more to this project. When I have some time this weekend, I'll put some notes down and maybe we can speak over the phone and have a brainstorming session. I think this will be a real asset to the forum and a really great tool for new potential buyers.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:32 PM
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Default Tbird Buy Checklist

Thanks, Marcelo! I need information on what to check for regarding the engine. What to listen for, what to look for in checking the oil, the spark plugs, etc.. Same for the tranny. And other areas of the car. I think we will have the rust issue taken care of shortly.
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'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

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http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowRose View Post
Thanks, Marcelo! I need information on what to check for regarding the engine. What to listen for, what to look for in checking the oil, the spark plugs, etc.. Same for the tranny. And other areas of the car. I think we will have the rust issue taken care of shortly.
It would be great if we could get Mr. Dare to collaborate on this. His wisdom on all things mechanical would be a great.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default Tbird Buy Checklist

I have been researching '55-'66 Data Plates, what they look like, and how to tell if they have been replaced. Also where they are located at. I have pictures of them in the checklist also. So I think I have that covered pretty well.
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"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
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