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1961 T-Bird Heater Core Replacement

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  • 1961 T-Bird Heater Core Replacement

    Hi Guys!
    I'm new on this forum and would like to share my experience replacing or fixing parts on my T-Bird.

    First of all something about me:

    I'm from switzerland so if they are some orthography errors please excuse me.
    I'm 31 years old and I'm a happy owner a 61' T-bird Convertible since 1 month I'm a big fan of US-Cars since I'm 15 years old and my dream was to own a US-Car with V8 sound and my dream becames true this year

    Ok, let's continue to the problem:

    I changed the cooler tubes and had a leak inside the car after that. It was the joint of the heater core flange that was old and broked by changing the tube. I had some troubles finding a replacement manual so i decided to take some pictures and create something like a manual on this forum.

    1st step:
    take out the 4 screws for the side dashboard cover

    2nd step:
    carefully take out the trim bar using a big flat screwdriver

    3rd step:
    remove the 3 screw of the air conditioner ventilation, the screw of the trim bar and the 3 nuts on the back of the lower dashboard cover (in yellow)

    4th step:
    remove the 5 screws of the dashboard cover, the one right down is fixed with a nut

    5th step:
    remove this cable

    6th step:
    remove the 2 screws of the temperature wire, the 7 screws of the cover plate and the 4 screws of the feet air blower ( i marked only 2, the 2 other ones are not visible on the picture)

    7th step:
    remove the heater core by taking out the 4 screws ( i also marked only 2 because of the other ones are not visible)
    D'ont forget to take out the water tubes inside the motor room

    Then you can take out the heater core, unlock the 2 nuts of the flange and fix the leak. I fixed the leak problem by adding a thick silicone o-ring. first a cleaned the flanges with a metal brush, added some grease to avoid rust in the future and putted this thick o-ring. I tested and it did'nt leak anymore.

    Hope this post can help one of you guys one day.

    Oh, you can see the aluminium tape on the dashboard ventilation, i take a old bicycle hose and cutted it on the right size and fixed it with aluminium tape because i hadn't the correct spare part, but it also works
    Last edited by just_big; June 21st, 2015, 02:39 PM.

  • #2

    Thanks for taking the time to document the heater core repair and the great pictures. I'm sure Ray will add it to the Technical Resource Library so it is handy for anyone else who has this problem. I've had to do this myself and your pictures are much better than the description in the shop manual.

    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • #3
      1961 T-Bird Heater Core Replacement

      Patrik, I will, indeed put this in the Technical Resource Library. We do not have this procedure documented for the Bulletbirds. I would ask you though, to go into Photobucket and change your photo settings to 800x600 pixels. As you can see, the photos are to large for the screen, causing one to have to slide to the right to see all the text. The maximum picture size allowed is 800x600 pixels, as stated in the Welcome that was posted to you in the New Members Welcoming Forum. Welcome aboard and thank you very much for the nicely done Technical tip on how to fix this problem. It will be a boon for years to other Bulletbird owners.

      This Technical Tip is now in the Technical Resource Library! You will find it below the Headliner information. Thanks Patrik!
      Last edited by YellowRose; June 21st, 2015, 02:09 PM. Reason: Additional Information

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411


      • #4
        Hallo Patrik,

        mein Name ist Emanuel und ich komme ebenfalls aus der Schweiz. Ich bin bei Summit über eine Bewertung aus dem Jahr 2018 zu einem Edelbrock Performance Kit auf dich gestossen. "Also ich schätze mal, dass das Du bist?!" Dein Name, Jahrgang und Farbe deines T-Bird von 61`, von den Bilder bei Summit und diesem Beitrag lässt mich darauf schliessen. Ich selber bin auch interessiert an diesem Kit für meinen 66`T- Bird, den ich gerade am restaurieren bin.
        Gerne hätte ich mich mit jemanden in meiner Sprache unterhalten, der diesen Kit verbaut hat und mir allenfalls noch ein paar Fragen beantworten kann.

        Falls Du wirklich dieser Patrik bist und Dich dieser Beitrag noch erreichen sollte, würde ich mich freuen wenn du mich kontaktieren würdest, um deine Erfahrungen teilen. Eventuell wäre es der Admin von möglich mir deine, oder dir meine Email Adresse mitzuteilen?

        Viele Grüsse Emanuel

        Hi Emanual,

        I have translated this for you so others who do not speak your language can read what you wrote.

        Hello Patrik,

        My name is Emanuel and I also come from Switzerland. I came across you at Summit through a 2018 review of an Edelbrock Performance Kit. "So I guess that's you ?!" Your name, year and color of your T-Bird from 61`, from the pictures at Summit and this post let me infer it. I myself am also interested in this kit for my 66`T-Bird, which I am currently restoring.
        I would have loved to speak to someone in my language who installed this kit and can only answer a few questions.

        If you are really this Patrik and this post should still reach you, I would be happy if you would contact me to share your experiences. Maybe the admin of would be able to give me your or my email address?

        Best wishes, Emanuel
        Last edited by YellowRose; December 26th, 2021, 03:41 PM. Reason: Translated page