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  #1  
Old 12-11-2017, 10:38 PM
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Default 61 Convertible Deck/Flip Lid Gearbox Housing

Hi Folks:

The gearbox housing on the deck/flip lid motor drive broke. You can see it in the pictures. In order to take off the old housing, I had to remove the entire assembly, and remove it from the trunk lid. Easy to do, the assembly is held on by 3 1/2" bolts. First I did remove the deck lid by detaching it from the swing arms used to raise/lower the deck lid. Again, easy removing the 4 7/16" nut/bolt combination. Just had to have a friend help me hold up the deck lid and help me remove it so it didn't crash into the trunk.

All good, 20 minute just. Now the conundrum:

As you can see from the second set of pics, there is the gear inside the gearbox housing, but I don't see how to remove the axel from the housing! I though I would find a clip holding it in place on the outside of the gearbox, but nope, I don't see anything. The axel is welded to the swing-arm, so I am unsure how to get that out of there. Does anyone have any experience or magic wand with this?

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2017, 10:52 PM
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Geoff, have you looked at the Technical Resource Library (TRL)? There is a really good article there on 1960-1966 Convertible Top Troubleshooting. Perhaps you will find the information there on how to combat this problem. There is pretty extensive tech tips on the Squarebirds through Flairbirds Convertible top problems. Go to the TRL and do a Ctrl F (for Find) and type in Convertible Top Maintenance, or something like that. It should take you right to that section. (Thanks to Dave for adding the Find option to the TRL some years back!)
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2017, 10:57 PM
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Although I haven't done it I've been told that it has to be pressed out. I would contact one of the Thunderbird vendors and ask them. Since they sell the new housing they should be able to tell you exactly how to remove the arm.

John
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopizz View Post
Although I haven't done it I've been told that it has to be pressed out. I would contact one of the Thunderbird vendors and ask them. Since they sell the new housing they should be able to tell you exactly how to remove the arm.

John
Have removed many John. get a soft aluminum drift and just tap it / drift it out . There will be two washers on the side of the gear that will fall out as well .
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 01:32 AM
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Default Pressed in...

great I was thinking they were pressed in and tried knocking it with a rubber mallet to make sure I didn't mushroom the end of the shaft, but was cautious in case I was wrong, and didn't tap it hard enough.

It was too late to call the vendor, so i will do that in the morning as well, to see if they have any secrets to success!

But I can press it out. Thanks y'all!

~g
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 07:54 PM
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Default Thanks for all the great help...

All set. thanks to all who contributed to the success of this project.

I was able to knock the shaft out, but with a few solid raps on the shaft. Used a 3/8" x 6" steel rod, from a previous project, secured old housing in a large vice, and started to give it some pretty solid raps, a lot more than a few taps I was anticipating.

Inspected the shaft, and filed down a few burrs on the edge created by some previous taps. Once I had it out, I placed the gear and the 2 washers (1 on each side) and used my large vice to press the swing arm & shaft back into the new housing. I used a 3/4" socket as a receiver to accommodate the shaft being pushed all the way through. filled it up with lithium grease, and I was in business.

The easiest way to address the project was to disassemble the entire assembly, giving me plenty of room to maneuver and re-assemble before re-attaching the assembly back to the trunk. Ran several tests, and the swing arm acts accordingly.

I did replace all the machine bolts and nuts used to secure the assemblies. You can see the new bolt and nut on the lower portion of the housing. I also put a socket bolt in the top hole of the housing to make it easier to remove, should I have to do that any time in the future, but this machines billet aluminum should last for quite some time.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg New Housing Starboard Side.jpg (71.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg New Housing Port Side.jpg (76.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg New Housing Close Up.jpg (72.5 KB, 9 views)
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 08:06 PM
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Geoff,

Thanks for taking the time to document how you removed and reinstalled everything. It's basically the same procedure from '60-'66. I'm sure other users sometime in the near future will need to replace either the housing or the gear or both.

John
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Old Yesterday, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopizz View Post
Geoff,

Thanks for taking the time to document how you removed and reinstalled everything. It's basically the same procedure from '60-'66. I'm sure other users sometime in the near future will need to replace either the housing or the gear or both.

John
Also, if I may add to Johns reply, be sure to adjust the limits so that the flipper goes snug against the rubber stops when retracted . I see many just hanging there and not secured to the stops . Imagine going over a bump in the road and how that flipper weight reacts on that little gear box . Big reason why they bust open in my opinion .
Nice to see it all back together .
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Old Yesterday, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUR5T8BIRD View Post
Also, if I may add to Johns reply, be sure to adjust the limits so that the flipper goes snug against the rubber stops when retracted . I see many just hanging there and not secured to the stops . Imagine going over a bump in the road and how that flipper weight reacts on that little gear box . Big reason why they bust open in my opinion .
Nice to see it all back together .
To add to that if the flip lid sags too much it will lose contact with the limit switch and the trunk won't open.

John
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 11:38 PM
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Talking So far, all is well

Quote:
Originally Posted by jopizz View Post
To add to that if the flip lid sags too much it will lose contact with the limit switch and the trunk won't open.

John
Everything works fine. I am working in my garage tonight with a low ceiling/garage door, so I can not retract the roof; however, I exercised the trunk opening and closing, with the deck lid flipping up (in retract mode) and then folding back down (in erect mode). No sagging in either mode.

I will back her out tomorrow morning, and see what it looks like with the top retracted and the deck lid extended to cover the rear deck. But as of this writing, all is secure as it should be, limit switches exercise properly, gaps are measured and are similar. I'll pull out the calipers in the morning to measure it all, but for now, all is working as it should.

Thanks again!

~g
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