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  #21  
Old 02-14-2010, 06:57 PM
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your dash pad looks quite good!!! When I got my '58 and knew totally nothing, the dashpad cost me $300 and took about a million hours to install.

Old suggestions: on all gauges and sending units, clean all ground connections and take nothing for granted.

Buy a really good coil (cheap) and the best points you can find. This will make starting much easier as well as life in general.

Good luck!
John
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2010, 08:16 PM
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Aaron
In regards to the front end rebuild kit I am sure there are other T-Bird parts suppliers that have the same products in a kit I just though www kanter.com had a very complete kit you can also order there catolog on line
Bob
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2010, 11:44 PM
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Kanter's kit is about $200. It includes everything you need to rebuild your existing "A" arms. Sometimes they include things you don't need, so be careful. macsautoparts.com also has your parts. If you can get the bushings as a set, they are usually cheaper, so call them. T-bird.com will have your bushings, too, even though they deal in '55-'57, most of the bushings are the same for many years and models.

If you are doing new spindles, you might as well do the whole job. It can be expensive, but since you have everything apart, anyway, consider new springs, 1-1/8" front swaybar, bushings, bumpers and ball joints.

When you have all these parts off the car, it's soooo much easier to work on them. Your ball joints might be just fine, but if you change them, you will find the old ones are riveted in. On the bench, it's easy to deal with that (while you're doing your bushings).

The picture shows, '57-'59, but it goes thru '60 for T-birds.

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Last edited by simplyconnected : 02-16-2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: I forgot the slash in "1-1/8"
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2010, 08:48 AM
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Before doing a wholesale replacement of parts, I would suggest doing a thorough inspection of the components and replacing only what is needed. Of course it also makes sense to renew all the pieces on a component while you have it removed, but remember that the original parts were the "good stuff" made in the USA and the kits being sold are most often made in India and the quality is ?. Most of the parts come up on evilBay occasionally or can still be ordered individually from some of the specialists. Some of the older parts houses in your neighborhood may still have them in stock. Just my 2 cents.
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  #25  
Old 02-15-2010, 01:24 PM
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Nice looking TBird - glad to see that there will be another one on the road. Inherited mine as well from my Dad who bought it new.

For me the hardest part of the disc brake conversion was getting the Booster and Master cyl in without cutting or drilling (but that was 6 or 7 years ago before a lot of the new kits were available). Finally found a place that would modify your stock booster to accept the later style disc/drum master cyls. Power Brake Booster Exchange - Oregon. About $300 for the mod and complete rebuild - works on under the hood boosters only - all stock from the booster back which made that part of the job a little easier. I did the Granada conversion which is not so easy to get aligned but works great.

Looking at your brake master cyl it appears someone has already changed it to a disc/drum style or at least a dual drum unit. Can't see the master cyl very well in the pics but the engine shot in the video definately shows a newer style master cyl so half the work may be already done. I'm thinking you have the power booster under the dash judging from the vac line running in that direction and that looks like a power brake pedal.

Could just be adjustment on the tire wear but most likely worn parts. Look to see if your ball joints are rivited in (originals) or bolted in (replacements) - might give you an idea if anything has been replaced. Possibly wheel bearings too. I replaced my ball joints, wheel bearings (NAPA), tie rods (Concourse), A-arm bushings, sway bar bushings (Kanter) and idler arm bushings(?) when I converted mine to discs. A good alignment and it drives better than new with the radials. I'd try to put the discs on it as soon as possible.
I know you'll replace the front flex lines but don't forget to replace the one rear flex line feeding both back brake cyl's - it's probably 41 years old!!!


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Last edited by DKheld : 02-15-2010 at 03:03 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02-15-2010, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
I know you'll replace the front flex lines but don't forget to replace the one rear flex line feeding both back brake cyl's - it's probably 41 years old!!!

Great thinking / additional info Eric!
(Altough I won't do a conversion on mine, I follow these threads with interest and never saw this point of view goes by) Just another reason why this Forum is a treasure of info.......
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  #27  
Old 02-16-2010, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
your dash pad looks quite good!!!
My grandfather had it replaced when he had it painted, i believe in 1989. He mentioned it wasn't easy too.

Quote:
Looking at your brake master cyl it appears someone has already changed it to a disc/drum style or at least a dual drum unit. Can't see the master cyl very well in the pics but the engine shot in the video definately shows a newer style master cyl so half the work may be already done. I'm thinking you have the power booster under the dash judging from the vac line running in that direction and that looks like a power brake pedal.
Very interesting for you to notice this! From what I know, my grandfather did replace the single master with the dual unit sometime in the early 60's when he changed the motor. It DOES have the Power Brake pedal, although there is no external booster. If it is there, it has to be under the dash and i can't say i've seen it. I do notice that i have to pump the pedal a time or two before i get full braking power. I assumed the lines need to be re-bled and also blame the original shoes being out of adjustment. It does stop though, i've learned to countersteer the pull.


I went out and played in the grease some more today. The ball joints appear to be original. They appear riveted. Looking at the A-Arm bushings, they do not seem to be all that bad really. I would hate to replace components that I could leave well enough alone based on a financial fact, and also because I can and do drive the car to shows and fairs and such and it's not screaming at me to be repaired.

The tire wear issue has been a very recent uprising. The tie rods definetly need replacing. They look shot almost in the picture i took. The a-arm and sway bar bushings really seem to be the only salvagable ones from what i can tell. I really want to be able to do the whole job at one time which is why I appreciate all the good information everyone has been providing. So far it looks like, ball joints, tie rods, the bearings, and the disc rotors and calipers, etc. Is it agreed that I can retain my master cylinder or is there no chance of that. I will double check in the morning on the status of a booster under the dash. I can't say i've noticed it.
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  #28  
Old 02-16-2010, 03:03 PM
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"I do notice that i have to pump the pedal a time or two before i get full braking power...."

Looking at the video more it sure appears that the master cyl is a Disc/Drum unit (rear chamber larger than the front). Just thinking that if the larger chamber on the master cyl is connected to the front brakes you probably get a lot of volume to the front wheel cyls with the larger disc chamber but not much pressure which is why you have to pump - air is a possibility too - either way it needs attention.

You'll probably see two bolts holding the master cyl in place and 4 smaller empty studs for the old drum master cyl - possibly someone made an adapter plate but it would be just as easy to drill 2 new holes in the firewall for the new master cyl. It will be unusual if you have the booster under the dash and no A/C but you do have the vac line headed that direction so it's probably there - every car I've seen with the booster under the dash has or had A/C. The blower duct on your firewall is a non A/C unit but guess it could have been changed and or the booster added. Is there any evidence of a rectangular cutout that was filled in the firewall above the trans belhousing? - that's where the cold air to the car would have been run through a duct if it had air originally.

Something else you will want to add to you list if you are installing the front disc's is a combo or proportioning valve. I used a combo valve on mine from Master Power Brakes. (approx $125). Basically it evens out the system so you don't get nose dive with the discs and has a valve to shut off a failed line among other uses.

http://www.dropshots.com/DKHeld#albums/Tbird%20discs

Good luck Arron - great to hear your progress.

.........................................

Marco - you're right - lots of great info around here !!! Still enjoying the brochure.

Eric
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  #29  
Old 05-12-2014, 05:49 PM
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Default Sat for five years, 59's time for new parts

My 59 bird has been sitting for the past four or five years, although i have ran it, changed the oil and kept good coolant in it, it is now suffering from leaky brakes, a corroded freeze plug which is letting fresh coolant escape, the detent plate has not been good for years, the ball joints are shot as are the lower control arm bushings and the outer tie rod ends.

Theres barely any exhaust on the car, and I need a replacement idle air mixture screw for my 4100 before I can even think of throwing a new battery, plugs, and wires on her. I DID have the starter and generator rebuilt at a local shop and have no other major issues that I can think of, oh... a rear end leak. From the pumpkin and out the right rear wheel.


So, I have a pretty good idea of what parts need replacing, and I do know of the main sources of the parts.

I am planning to spend about 1,000 dollars in parts but want to stretch this as much as I can, and I have a local NAPA store which I would prefer to shop at if prices are within range.

On the list:
  1. Upper Ball Joints
  2. Lower Ball Joints
  3. Outer Tie Rod Ends
  4. Lower Control Arm Bushings
  5. Shift Detent Plate
  6. Front Wheel Bearings, Inner + Outer
  7. Rear End Axle Seals
  8. Block Core Plugs (1) Brass
  9. Alignment

The upper control arm bushings, sway bar bushings, and rest of the block core plugs are in good shape, and i do not wish to replace them.

I may replace all four shocks while I have it apart.

I am not positively sure of the process on getting my front end components apart, and I am in no hurry with that coil spring in there. So, if someone could give me the proper procedure that would be great. I did view the tech article on the site but it does not specifically say, jack vehicle up, remove drum brake assembly, etc. and thats what im looking for. Don't want to do it wrong and have the thing shoot out at me.

I plan to rebuild the wheel cylinders while it is apart as well to compliment the new shoes and hardware. I do not believe it is feasible for me to convert to discs at this time affordably because I think I want to retain the master cylinder that is on the car, which i think still has the under dash booster.

Im curious on price comparisons,and quality and such so any reccomendation on brand is fine, looking for quality, cheap!

Here are some pictures. I am in the process of removing the brake components, and inspecting the current hardware. The brakes do not NEED replaced, but id like to start with new parts to make adjustment hopefully easier.

I won't have a problem clearing the brake lines with pressurized air, and I should be able to free up the wheel cylinders with the tools at hand. I am mostly concerned with replacing the front end components, and getting the car, "driveable again".

I am also referring to dgs documentary http://www.salguod.net/gallery/squar...build/gallery/









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  #30  
Old 05-12-2014, 06:01 PM
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The first thing you need is a shop manual. It will give you step by step instructions on fixing any part of the car. You can either buy one in book form, on CD or via download. As for buying parts first check out www.rockauto.com. Their prices are usually cheaper than you will find at NAPA. Since very few parts are made in the USA anymore the quality will be just as good. There is usually a 5% discount coupon code if you look in the advertisers section. Replacing the lower A arm bushings is easier on squarebirds than most other cars. You don't need a spring compressor or any special tools. Just a couple floor jacks. I've never had much luck rebuilding wheel cylinders. Normally they have to be bored out and oversized kits installed. The price of new ones is pretty reasonable so to me it's not worth the effort. Don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you like. Most of us have done the same jobs you have ahead of you many many times.

John
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