So here's the story, back around 2004 or 2005 I was at the end of my lucrative manual labor career and was getting ready to make a change. I had purchased this 71 ford Thunderbird Hardtop a few years previous and, after a few years of being unable to work on it, it had degraded till the point it wasn't fit to be used in my new career. so it was parked. Now, after a few years, I am able to pull it back outta the tree line and attempt to resurrect it. This blog will follow along with the progress from rust bucket hoopty to a (once again) nice ride.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stripped down

Well after about two weeks.. I changed the interior from full of stuff (my stuff, car stuff.... umm... mouse stuff) to completely empty and clean... so as to better see what I was dealing with.. all in all i found $1.95 in American change, a Canadian quarter many assorted screws washers bolts etc..

Yeah so as you can see over there.. it went from completely full of stuff to nothing.. I have been working on taking each and every piece of interior trim and giving it a good wash before bringing it inside and neatly stacking everything against the wall..

You can just see that the foot wells in front of the back seats are very orange with rust.. but in working to gut the interior I did spend some time actually sitting directly on them.. and if you know me.. you know that would indicate they still have some integrity.
Gutting the interior did show some rust that I wasn't anticipating.. I was planning on ripping out the old carpet and laying down some new without doing much else.. Those plans have changed.. I now plan to get the turn signal switch replaced (next update) and get the mufflers repaired first.. I will drive it around for awhile with no nada interior while i check body shops for their quotes on the repair work..
I have not started cleaning the trunk out yet.. I am more than a little fearful of doing that.. for one there is bound to be more rust.. and there is a smell back there... let me tell you... phew..

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thunder-chicken stock

If I remember correctly this thing has issues with the brake lights.. It HAS taillights, they just don't get brighter when you step on the brakes. It also really needs some exhaust work done. At the tail end of the time it was being driven regularly the tailpipe on the drivers side, from in front of the muffler back, fell off on the interstate. So the TBird is a little on the loud side. Also the turn signal switch in the steering column is really bad. It has been replaced one or twice but each time it was replaced it was done with a graft in type... one size fits all... screw head for an electrical contact piece of crap available from the parts house.. They never did work right.. This time around I have a NOS (new old stock) turn signal switch coming from a fella on ebay.. everything from the actual turn signal cam to the electrical connector is coming my way and should be available to be swapped out by the middle of the coming week.

While I have it inside I am taking the opportunity to clean out the inside of the car. Years of not having any functional weather stripping around the widows and rotted out rear vent tubes has filled the inside with dust and dirt and vermin as well. Not to mention potential rust.. so the time is now to dig it out.

To get it road worthy
1. Exhaust
2. Brake Lights
3. Turn Signals

That's about it, but in the mean time I am also going to clean it out, replace the carpet set, the headliner perhaps, and any interior pieces I can get a hold of from ebay.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Well so here it is

Well so here it is Autumn.. Time for indoor projects.

I just decided that it was finally time to pull the old "71 Thunderbird outta the tree and see if I am able to make it right. The poor thing had been parked back in the tree line at my folks farm for approximately two years while I worked on advancing my career. Going from a factory worker to a white collar job... the old t-bird.. much as I liked it.. would have just stood out to much in the parking lot.. and not in a good way.. so I bought a 94 Ford Taurus and parked the bird back in the sticks. My mother was coming my direction and I took the opportunity to hop a ride the hundred some miles out to my folks place.. With the intention of driving the bird back. Moving the car around some on the farm told me that it did indeed still run but had absolutely no brakes.. That wasn't good.. My dad was sure that just simply bleeding the brakes would fix the problem. of course he was right.. (he owned an operated his own mechanics shop for thirty or some odd years).. I got up that morning an enjoyed a home cooked breakfast of pancakes and eggs courtesy of my pa.. a rare treat indeed. It wasn't very much longer and it was time to hit the road.. courage firmly in the hands.

It ran just fine all the way.. I CAN tell that the gas in the tank is old and the carb most likely needs to be degunkified.. But I was just really pretty happy all the way around.

The first task is to get this thing cleaned out and road worthy.. more about that next time.