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  #1  
Old 12-22-2012, 03:21 AM
Griffin Griffin is offline
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Default Correct way to open the trunk on a 61 convertible

Hi All

I know there are no such things as stupid questions (only stupid people) but I want to make sure I get this right.

My car is going through customs on Monday morning and they will want the trunk open to inspect inside. The battery is flat - apparently this is what happens after a month at sea even if a battery is fully charged.

Does the motor have to be running? There will be a battery available to jump it. I know (from reading) that the control is on the driver's door. I take it that pushing the switch up will raise the lid and vice versa. How far does the trunk lid come up before it wants to open the top?

The car comes with a shop manual but I won't get access to it until after it's cleared by customs. Any advice on the correct procedure would be much appreciated.

Cheers (and Merry Christmas!!)

Mark
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:43 AM
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Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mark.
You will need at least battery power to run the top. Ford did not want these tops operating whilst the car was moving, so they controlled the top through the Neutral Switch. The gear shift MUST be in PARK or NEUTRAL with the key ON. Then operation should go as expected.

Of course, it's always best to run the engine while operating the top because charging voltage is 13.5-volts, which tends to make electric motors run a little faster. A running dynamo also keeps the battery topped off, but running the engine isn't absolutely necessary.

Over fifty years, Squarebird gear shifts may develop slop, and require adjustment. Your car may be perfectly fine.

Some folks reach around the steering column with their left arm and pull up on the gear shift while turning the key to start the car. If this kind of mal-adjustment exists in your Neutral Switch, the top won't work either (until the gear shift is pulled up or down).

I'm telling you this common problem in case the Customs guy thinks the top is broken, when all it needs is an adjustment. There is much discussion on this forum regarding the Neutral Switch. - Dave
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:12 AM
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Thanks for that Dave. Just to clarify, what do I do just to open the trunk and not the convertible top? Customs just wants to check there is no contraband etc in there. Is it simply a matter of how long you operate the switch?

Sorry to sound so dense but this is my first time with one of these beauties. Plus, if something goes wrong and we can't get the trunk open, the car will sit in their warehouse until the New Year.

Mark
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:26 AM
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Whether the top is fully up or down, the first operation is the hold-down screws for the lid. Once they are disengaged, you can manually lift the lid a bit, but I recommend you use the button.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:49 AM
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You can stop the top and trunk operation at any point by letting off the switch. Just open the trunk far enough so it's erect and the flip lid doesn't start to raise.

John
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:17 AM
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Thanks Guys

It all went off without a hitch. Even though the battery was almost flat there was enough power to raise and lower the deck lid. The car is now home. I had to jump it to get it started but after quite a few cranks she roared into life. Even though it still has to go through a roadworthy inspection and registration, I couldn't resist taking Julia for a spin. I can't believe how light the steering is for such a big car. Can't wait to take it on a long drive to blow out the cobwebs.

Have a great Christmas all

Mark
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:19 AM
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Glad it went well for you, mate. They built these cars to last a very long time back then.

It's officially Christmas Eve now in Detroit. Merry Christmas, Mark.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:21 AM
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Default Correct way to open the trunk on a 61 convertible

Hi Mark! I am glad to hear you got the car and was able to take Julie for a spin in it. I hope that she enjoyed that! Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the new toy and let me know when to start looking for Julie's new toy!
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