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About fordrodsteven

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  • Birthday 01/05/1954

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  • Location:
    : North Andover, MA


  • Biography
    All-round machinist, Hydro-mechanical technician, Took night course in auto body, Been working on cars & motorcycles since the age of 12.

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  1. fordrodsteven

    Where can I buy the 'dust covers' for the 2 front struts?

    Rock auto dot com - strut bellows Range in price from $10.31 to $13.21 depending on which you want to buy. First though, I would check through ROJ and buy through Amazon if possible. (If I remember correctly this helps support the ROJ and keeps it available on line as the very valuable resource that it is.)
  2. fordrodsteven

    Good T-Bird Forum?

    Is there some specific thing you need information on? I will try to help if I can. I have old Motor's manuals and some Chilton's manuals. I am now retired and have been working on cars and motorcycles from my pre-teen years. I never had a bullet bird. I had a '66 convertible and I am currently working on building a modified "55. The winter is closing in so I probably won't be in the garage too much for the next few months. (no heat out there). Heck there's no heat in my house right now either. I live in the area that was affected by the Columbia Gas overpressurization event back on Sept. 13th. I'm going to swing over to the vintage Thunderbird site to see if I can help with some of the questions on your list.
  3. fordrodsteven

    Good T-Bird Forum?

    You've got a very nice looking 'Bird there! I use a few Thunderbird websites and lurk on them everyday. Sometimes I sign in to answer a question or send a copy of a page out my old manuals to help people out. The three that are very active are:,, and a couple others I peruse are; and the ford barn. Edit - I just saw your post on the vintage thunderbird website. You may find some information regarding your questions at the squarebird site. My recommendation would be to ask one question per post or maybe a few questions that relate to each other. I find on the websites that if you hit people with the shotgun approach they tend to go bywithout trying to address all the questions.
  4. fordrodsteven

    Did you know?

    This site is my "go to" place. Every time I'm on the computer I come here and "lurk" If I see something where I think I can help I login and make my comments. I still have my Reatta. I haven't been driving it much lately because the A/C compressor quit on me. It's been consistently very warm around here for the last couple of months. They are still predicting 90 degrees this coming week. I have decided that I will wait until spring to replace the compressor. I will be driving it some more this fall when the weather cools a little.
  5. fordrodsteven

    Gasoline smell when parked

    Om my '88 I would get a strong smell after filling the tank. I thought it was the tank leaking but it was an issue with the fill tube. I bought a replacement from Jim Finn and it's been fine ever since.
  6. fordrodsteven

    Heater core replace

    I know on my '88 Reatta that the heater core comes out on the interior side and the AC evaporator comes out the firewall side. To get the heater core out there is a cover you remove from the plenum under the dash and the core pulls out through there.
  7. fordrodsteven

    Fan Speed for AC

    There is a tutorial on the ROJ to replace the A/C evaporator. It goes well beyond just removing the fan to clean it but it does have instructions on what bolts are there holding the fan in place. unfortunately there's no picture of it but there are five 7 MM bolts holding the blower fan in place. It is possible to get the fan out without any major disassembly of anything else on the car.
  8. Finished up stereo install. I also ended up replacing the larger front and rear speakers. I put a six plug fuse block inside the console in front of the original radio (next to the shifter.
  9. I decided to wait a little before replacing the AC compressor but in the meantime I'm working at installing a single din radio in place of the cassette player on my '88. The new radio will have USB / IPOD capabilities. I making it so it will be an easy changeout if I want to install a Bluetooth capable radio later. I'm also going to use a 12V powered (amplified) hidden antenna. So far I have made a new panel bezel and have setup power and wired the rear speakers for the new installation. Next will be working to rewire for the door speakers. I also have incorporated a 3 plug panel into the bezel for (2) 12V power and (1) USB double charge port. I plan to pull the fuses for the original radio and power antenna because I will not be using them. I will post the pics when I finish up.
  10. Well that didn't turn out well at all! We decided to stop in Exeter NH to have breakfast. As we pull into the parking lot the AC cut out and dash said low on Freon. We had breakfast then I went to a parts store to buy a can of Freon and give it enough to make it work. It worked for about 20 minutes and shut down again. We turned around and went home. The next day (Friday) I looked at it and thought I found a small leak at the receiver dryer connection. I tightened the fitting and recharged the system. I ran it for an hour. It looked good. Then Saturday I started the car and it tripped out and said low Freon. Further research and lots of intense inspection of the whole system. It appears to be leaking out the center shaft of the compressor where the clutch is bolted on. I think it needs a new compressor. I pulled out my receipts from when I had it converted to R134A. Turns out it was two years and two months ago. The compressor was guaranteed for two years. Now that's perfect parts life management planning right there!!!! I just left it parked there in the yard while I decide when / how to get it fixed (myself or take it somewhere). Getting that compressor out is a PITA. By the way..... She has again lost faith that it can be considered a reliable car. LOL. I'll win her back!!!
  11. Thanks Dave, Yes she has grown somewhat accustomed to it. One reason is because I haven't had to work on it to fix anything for quite a while. She feels it might be reliable enough now. She even asked me to take the "for sale" signs out of the rear window. We are planning a little road trip this Thursday to drive it up to Wells, Maine to go to the car museum. It's about an hour and 15 minutes from home. We will probably stop in Kennebunkport on the way back and stop into the Maritime museum.
  12. Replaced spark plugs, PCV valve and oxygen sensor today. Then went out for a nice drive to dinner , a bit of a cruise then stopped for ice cream. The car runs better at idle (not so rough) and mileage went up from 14.7MPG to 15.7MPG.
  13. Thorough cleaning and detail. Going to a show in Eliot Maine tomorrow morning! (Father's day)
  14. fordrodsteven

    Me and My Buick Reatta

    My Reatta story started out on a whim. I was messing around on the computer one night. I saw an '88 reatta for sale on E-bay with no reserve. I asked my wife if she might be interested in a two passenger car. She said "sure". I bid on the car and I won it for $1,340. (I sometimes wondered if I was fortunate or unfortunate) I drove the ninety miles to pick it up from a very ill gentleman. He said he had to get rid of it because he couldn't even get out of the house. I paid for the car and we did the paperwork. I chased out the chipmunks and mice, put in a battery. It fired up and I drove it home. The only issue it had seemed to be the cruise control. I found the Reatta web sites and bought the manuals. I began the process of cleaning out the rodent nests, smells and fixing things before I could register it here in MA. I fixed the cruise control. Next thing I found was that the headlights operated three times and then stopped going up. rebuild time! I learned that I could not buy an exhaust so I had one custom made and installed. The guy didn't want to do it because there was things rusted under the car that he didn't like. He finally understood I was fixing things as I found them and agreed to do the exhaust. He did a GREAT job by the way! Next I went through the brakes (also replaced the accumulator ball). Then it was four new tires. I was finally on the road and driving after almost three years! While I was under the car I saw some bad rust on the rear control arms. I bought a rear end assembly from a guy in MI. I drove there (with my SUV), picked it up, brought it home and changed out the whole rear assembly. Of course while doing this job I changed out all the sub-frame to body mounts on both front and rear. My wife didn't like that the A/C didn't work. I knew it need a compressor and I didn't have proper equipment to work on A/C. I asked the mechanic to convert it to 134A whilst he was replacing almost the whole system anyway. He had the car for 7 weeks. Five of those weeks was him trying to get the A/C compressor to start and keep running. I brought the car home. I did some troubleshooting with the help of Ronnie. We determined the problem was the power steering pressure switch. So.... Here we are four years later. I store it during the winter and try to drive it at least once a week during the warmer weather.(usually to a car cruise show). I have found that the more I drive it the better it behaves. It seems that not a lot of people at the cruises really know what a Reatta is and it frustrates me a little bit. I was surprised last week when a guy asked what car I brought. I pointed at the Reatta and he immediately started talking with me about it. Turns out his wife had one when they first came out. That's a good feeling!
  15. fordrodsteven

    Give a asks for more

    I have also had success with stripped heads by cutting a slot using a small cutoff type wheel on a dremel tool and then the flat blade screwdriver to turn the screw.