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  #1  
Old 04-03-2009, 02:10 AM
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Austin D Austin D is offline
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Smile new and have some questions

Hello everyone. I just recently bought a 1959 thunderbird
from a junkyard here in washington state. It has all it parts
and has a small amount of body rot on the right rear quarter.

The firts question i have is the car a 6v or a 12v sys. The guy I bought it from has a 12v battery in it, but the day I got the car I found your site and found a thread about turning a bird from a 6v to a 12v. I was told that after 1955 there was nomore 6v.

The second question I have is that my vin starts with a J. From the research I have done that would indicate that it has a 430cid mel motor. The problem is that a 352cdi is in the car. Could it be that some of the sources I have been finding are inccorect cause I would love it if this thing was all original.

I would like to put pics of the car up, but I havent quite found out how to do that yet. Just to let everyone know that I am a certified Chrysler tech (please dont stone me ) here at Larson Chrysler Dodge. If any one has any Chrysler questions I would happy to answer them to the best of my ability. Looking forward to speaking with you all. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2009, 02:32 AM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default new and have some questions

Welcome, Austin! It is I who moderated and approved your membership a few minutes ago. When I saw that you were posting, I stayed up to welcome you again, as I did in Anything Goes, below. Our '58-'60 Squarebirds are 12V systems. That is the way they came out of the factory, with 12V systems.

Yes, a VIN # starting with a J is a Tbird with a 430 engine. Does it happen to have the Golde Top sliding sun roof in it, by any chance? If you do, that is something special. Here is a breakdown of the Data Plate that might help you learn what you car looked like when it came out of the factory.

http://www.tbird.org/DataPlate/vdata.htm

Here is another site that will be helpful to you.

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

Look at our Technical Resources Library. There is a lot of help there also.

Now, I am assuming, being a certified car tech, that you know a 352 when you see one. So that means that someone in the past took the 430 engine out and put in a 352. Actually, many of those who own Tbirds often tell me they wish their car had a 352 in it because parts for the 430 are harder to come by and more expensive.. And the 430 is certainly different in other ways than the 352. An easy way to tell the difference between the two, other than looking at the engine, is that a 430 has the expansion tank pointing in the vertical position toward the rear of the engine well on the passenger side. The expansion tank on the 352 is sitting parallel right behind the radiator on the passenger side.

Thanks for the offer of assistance on Chryslers! I hope the above information helps. I hope this turns out to be a great car for you. Thanks for rescuing another Tbird and bringing her back to life! I am glad you are a mechanic. You will be able to save yourself a lot of time and money working on her yourself. I am not that fortunate. I am not a mechanic, so I have to rely on others to work on my '59 Tbird. If you need parts, check out the Links page on the Home page. Most of our vendors we do business with are listed there...

What color is yours? What is the VIN number? There is a way to see if it has ever been registered on the TBird Registry before. If it is, you can learn a bit more about your Tbird. Go here for the Registry. http://www.tbirdregistry.com/ Then go to the Search Options and input your VIN number. It will either not show up, or an entry made by a previous owner will show.

If you would like to post some pictures, you can send them to me and I can post them tomorrow for you in the Our Rides Forum. Email them to rayclark07@gmail.com Welcome aboard again, and when you have more questions, please post them here!
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'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
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http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 04-03-2009 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Additional information
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2009, 11:55 AM
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Yes. Welcome aboard & congrat's on "saving" a '59 Bird Austin.

Parts are expensive & hard to come by at times for the 430cid engine when compared to the 352cid. Another way to identify a 430cid, is that they have a "raised" intake manifold- That is, air is allowed to pass under the air/fuel runners to keep the mixture cooler before dumping into the cylinders. You can stick your fingers around and under the 430cid intake. The 352-390cids all have the traditional solid cast intake manifolds....

-Jon
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:19 PM
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Smile hello

Welcome Austin,

Thank you for saving another T-Bird, we are becoming a rare bird indeed.

Well, you have taken on a monumental task,but you will find all the help you need right here.

Stick with it,I can asure you it will be worth all of your efforts when you see the final product.

Good Luck,

Sal
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60 T BD

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  #5  
Old 04-03-2009, 12:49 PM
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Austin,

Welcome to the site. Given the clues already posted, ensure that the engine is a 352 or a 430. You can also look at the fuel pump location, above the water pump it's a 430, to the left of the water pump, 352. If it is a 430, problem solved. If it's indeed a 352, the 430 frame engine mount have probably been cut out of the car, partially or entirely, as they would interfere with the 352's motor mounts.. I can supply photos next week to direct you where to look.

If it's a 352, and there is no evidence that the mounts have been cut out, then it's possible that the data plate on the door jam is not original to your car. The frame is stamped with the original vin number, you'll have to compare the two numbers and take it from there. On the 59, the stamping is on top of the frame rail adjacent to the heat riser valve, and/or on the crossmember beneath the oil pan. I also had that diagram which can be provided. Use to be on this site, but can no longer find it.

Good luck and check back with your findings.
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1959 J Convertible
1960 J Hardtop

Last edited by GTE427 : 04-03-2009 at 12:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2009, 01:04 PM
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there was a fair amount of information posted back in 2003 which I found via:

http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...t=vin+location

Also

http://squarebirds.org/images/VIN-number-location.gif

Last edited by JohnG : 04-03-2009 at 06:44 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2009, 02:25 PM
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This was the image I was refering to, shows all the vin location for the 58-60, originally posted by Alexander. Thanks John for finding it.

http://www.squarebirds.org/images/vin_location.gif
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1959 J Convertible
1960 J Hardtop
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:04 PM
Ca58tbird Ca58tbird is offline
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I looked at both the VIN# location images you guys provided and see that the '58 shows location only to be on the frame rail, however my '58 ht has the VIN stamped to both the frame rail and also the cross member. Both stamped numbers do match my 58 data door plate VIN# too. I do recall that other 58 owners have mentioned they have a VIN# stamped to the cross member also.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2009, 11:59 PM
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Default new and have some questions

I seem to remember a post some time ago about the later model '58's having VIN numbers stamped in the locations that the '59's do.. Maybe that explains this...
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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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  #10  
Old 04-04-2009, 01:43 AM
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Wow thanks for all the responses. Hope you all can forgive me because its going to take awhile to learn everyones name. The vin# is J9YH109315. This is on the body plate on the driver side, but it also matches the frame stamp in the engine compartment (thanks GTE427 for the link). To answer the question by yellow rose, no it does not have a sun roof. Kinda glad cause im sure it would leak and in seattle weather thats not what you want.

I found out it was a 352cdi due to some pictures I found on the net. The 430cdi has that high rise intake and the resivour tank that sit along the motor which was also mentioned by some of you. I was just curious and wondered why sombody would take the 430 out of this t-bird that I have and replace it with the 352 which is robbing the car of about 50 horses. I have heard stories about the 50's and 60's where engines may have been swapped at a dealer due to lack of the proper motor being in stock at the dealer so for instance maybe my bird had a bad 430 from the factoy. When they went to replace the motor at the dealer they may not have had that block in thier inventory so they replaced it with a 352. I was also told that between 57 through 60 ford did not stamp the engine blocks with vins so its kinda a crap shoot if you got the original motor. I do have to say it is kinda nice to be able to go to my local parts house and buy 352/390cdi parts without to much fuss. I couldnt imagine trying to find parts for that mel motor.

I know my car was origanly raven black it is now a sliver slash green. It appears sombody took it to maco and got the $500 special, they even painted the door jams and inner trunk. Then it looks like they took green house paint and tried to paint it green. 59 was the first year of leather and I got all turquoise leather. Power windows, steering assist. the 352 motor that did come in it did have the crome package meaning it had chrome valve covers and air cleaner. Some wise guy took out the clock and installed an aftermarket black faced tach. The one thing I dont see it that elusive windshield washer motor everyone seems to have a hard time getting to work. The button is on the a pillar of the car, but no squirt.

I hope to be in contact with you all as much as possible so I hope I dont get to annoying with all the bird questions. If you guys have any questions for me let me know. Thanks!
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