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About 1957Birdman

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  1. 1957 ford thunderbird transmission issue

    In Gil Baumgartner's manual on running Early T'Birds in the 21st century he recommends running type F transmission fluid which is what I have used in my car for the last 20+ years. The original type A is no longer available since it was whale oil based. As for the other kinds of fluid, you will need to know if the transmission was rebuilt what fluid they used. I guess if you drain the fluid, torque converter, and do a transmission flush then you would be able to start fresh with Dexron III. I am no expert on this so I probably wouldn't take the chance. I would suggest that you pick up a copy of the Ford-o-matic shop manual from CTCI and have the shop use it to trouble-shoot your problem. Let us know what they find. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  2. 1956 ford thunderbird

    When was the last time this car was driven? To get it back in driving condition will probably take the following at a minimum: Complete brake service including new lines, hoses, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, and brake linings Cleaning out gas tank and changing the hose to the fuel pump, rebuilt carburetor, etc. A transmission service New tires New battery Going through the suspension to make sure it is all right. In other words, a rebuilt engine is only the first step to getting the car on the road. Is this an east coast car? From the amount of rust underneath I would guess it is. That is just another fact to consider. I agree with Trimacar, better to put the money into buying a better car. Good luck with it, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  3. 1957 ford thunderbird transmission issue

    Hi To Hanby, Welcome to the forum! Is this a recent occurrence with your car? According to the 1956-57 Fordomatic Shop Manual the most probable cause of "No Drive in Dr." is the Front Band needing adjustment. It could also be the valve body. Have you checked the transmission fluid recently, that could also be part of the problem? The Fordomatic Shop Manual is available from CTCI. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  4. To FENDER or Not to Fender repair?

    I vote to replace with the NOS fender. Unless it is very expensive you will get a better result at a cheaper price than trying to repair it. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  5. Sweet 1957 Thunderbird around the corner....

    The "port" windows as Ford called them serve a real practical purpose, to eliminate a hazardous blind spot that 1955 T-Bird owners complained about when the driver needed to look back over his left shoulder. My car has them and they definitely help with visibility. Why round windows? That seems to be because they solved the problem of visibility with little additional expense. It also gave the car a bit of a nautical flair. There was another design that was tried but it didn't work as well as the port holes. You could order a 56 or 57 with or without the portholes, but most had the portholes. The better option is the soft top, just because it stores with the car and the owner does not need to worry about where to store the top when not in use. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  6. Sweet 1957 Thunderbird around the corner....

    I love those west coast T-Birds. Inca Gold (yellow) is a nice color that also looked good on the full size 57 Fords. As for values, the early T-Birds "suffer" these days from the fact that so many of them survived over the years. There were a little over 53,000 manufactured during the 3 years of production and I believe that at least half that number have survived. That is the main reason Corvettes of the same vintage go for higher prices. In 1955 Chevrolet produced 700 Corvettes and Ford produced 16,000 T-Birds. The other thing that has happened is the internet. When I was first interested in getting one of these cars the only place I had to look was in the local classifieds. Then there was Old Cars Weekly and Hemmings. Now you can look on the internet and see several hundred cars for sale any day. There a number of things that have gone down in value since the advent of the internet. The good news is that the selection allows someone to be more selective on the car they buy. Selection plus an excellent parts network will be an advantage of owning an early T-Bird for the foreseeable future. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  7. Question on Harmonic Balancer

    Hi Frank, The short answer is no, the damper is unique to the 1955-57 T-Birds. There are several unique parts used on the T-Bird because of the use of the fan shroud. These include the damper, spacer between the water pump and the engine, a different pulley on the generator, and differences in the power steering brackets. The dampers are available, but you will have to pay $$$ for one. I would suggest you call Rick at Prestige Thunderbird and/or Hill's Thunderbird Center and ask about the availability of one. You can also check with Damperdoctor and see what they may have. They also show up from time to time on Ebay. Good luck, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  8. 1953 Lincoln Frame Number/VIN location: Help Needed!

    Try looking at the top of the frame in the engine compartment on the right (passenger) side of the car. On the early T-Birds it is stamped in the frame on the top just back of the generator so that you can see when you look down from above. On my car it wasn't particularly noticeable and I had to strip off the paint to find it. The serial number is also stamped in two other places that are not easy at all to find. I hope this helps. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  9. 1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore

    I think it may be a problem with your power brake booster. I did a fair amount of driving in a 67 Ford back when they were new and the pedal travel was not the same as with a manual brake car. Without the boost the car will stop, but with a longer distance for sure. Of course I'm assuming that the brake lines have been bled properly. Good luck finding the problem. You are doing a great job on your restoration. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White Thunderbird
  10. What are these parts

    Hi Frank, Let me know what you find and if you need help with anything else. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  11. What are these parts

    Hi Frank, Do you see a part number on either item? That would definitely help. I don't recognize either of those parts on my '57. My guess is that they are related to the parking brake but not of T-Bird origin. It certainly wouldn't be a surprise if you got a car that came in pieces. Many of these cars were kept on the road by whatever means possible in the days before the current excellent parts network existed. Who knows what may have been done? Anyway, let me know and I will help identify it if I can. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  12. I have a soft spot in my heart for 1940 Fords because my dad's first car was a 1940 type 66 Deluxe Convertible Club Coupe. His was green with a black top and tan interior. Anyway, according to Ray Miller's book The V8 Affair, the V8 60 was only available in the standard models. Since your car looks like a deluxe model it should have come with the 85 hp engine, unless someone made a deluxe out of a standard model. It looks like a great car. Enjoy it! Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  13. The '57 Is Finally "Home"

    Hi Victorialynn, You have a great looking car there and I'm sure it will give you many miles of smiles and good service. Nobody else has mentioned this, but the Ford Y-Blocks are know for sticking valves if the car isn't driven regularly. When you get things sorted out I would suggest that you plan to drive it regularly. I try to drive my T-Bird every week if possible and it definitely runs better as a result. I am curious about what the color codes are on the dataplate for your car. Let me say first that I really like the color combination and what I am about to say is not meant as a criticism. Sunset Coral was a late 1956 color and was not a color offered in the color offerings for the 1957 Fords. Reading the Ditzler chart you linked to confirms this. If the dataplate has an "S" as one of the colors then it is possible it was painted Sunset Coral as a special color. Anyway, in the end none of this matters if you don't intend to compete in car shows. Just drive and enjoy a car that is a welcome change from the typical silver sedan we see on the roads today. Best regards, Lew Bachman
  14. I will be driving my 1957 T-Bird (white with a red interior) in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC. I am scheduled to carry Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2017. Hopefully there will be no thundershowers in the morning. Regards, Lew Bachman
  15. Velocity Channel Ruins Wheeler Dealers

    This has turned out to be an interesting discussion. For me personally, I liked the interaction of both Mike Brewer (the British used car salesman) and Edd China (the basketball player sized auto mechanic), kind of a gearhead version of Abbott and Costello. The show started on a shoe string and got more expansive as the popularity increased. The good news is that it seems to have fans in over 200 countries. The bad news is that many of these people (not anyone on this forum I'm sure) are not taking the news well. It is really sad that Mike Brewer, his wife and his daughter are receiving death threats because of the change. Let's hope that everyone gets a grip and looks to what is really important in life. Now, as for writing to Velocity to express your opinion... Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird