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Denver T-Bird

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Posts posted by Denver T-Bird

  1. Took the car, a 57 Tbird with the 312 engine,  for a short drive to warm it up.  Later I noticed some drips of oil on the ground, It was brownish color - maybe antifreeze mixed with the oil, coming out of the crankcase ventilation tube at the back of the engine.  Maybe related, when adjusting the timing I put a vacuum gauge on the carburetor but it did not show much vacuum.  The engine seems run smooth and I did not notice any issues when driving.  Any thoughts on what the cause is- leaking heads?  Thanks

  2. Thanks to all for the suggestions.  I removed the generator and took 4 voltage regulators (1 original, 1 purchased in May and was tested and found bad and 2 units recently purchased online) to a new  shop.  The generator tested good, again. The 2 new regulators purchased online were verified bad.  The shop even removed the cover and made adjustments but could not get them to work.  The one I purchased in May was tested and found to be working fine.  Surprised to find that new units were bad from the start and the one the first shop thought was bad, is working.  Now all is charging as it should.  Thanks again!  

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  3. The generator did test OK. I realized that when the contacts are closed the resistor looks shorted.  When I press on the contact to open them the resistance is about 35 ohms across the Arm and Field resistor.  A new regulator shows 35 ohms without having to press the contacts open.  I did clean the ground and all terminal leads with some sandpaper to ensure they have good clean contact.

  4. Hi TerryB, 


    Belt is tight, cleaned contacts and wires for generator / voltage regulator awhile back.  The regulator is new and is the points kind. Battery cables are tight.  Suspect the brushes in the generator are sticky/worn.  Thanks for the suggestions.

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  5. I finally got to have some fun driving my Tbird around town.  I stopped to get some gas and then could not start the car and had to get a jump.  Once I got home I connected a volt meter to the battery and jump started the car again.  Driving around town the volt meter would read 11.8 volt  for a while (even at RPM 2000)  then jump to 13.8 volts.  I drove the car for about 20 minutes, during the drive the voltage dropped slowly from 13.8 to 12.8 volts and held steady.  I was able to start the car with out a jump later in the day.  I am assuming that the brushes on the generator some how are intermittent?  Why would the voltage drop to 12.8 volts? (is this because the battery was charging)   I have a new voltage regulator.  I am assuming that the generator needs to be rebuilt ??  Is there anything else to check?  The battery is about 1 year old and reads and 12 volts after sitting for a day.   Thanks

  6. Thanks for the help.  For now I am going to leave the distributor "as is" and set the timing based on how the engine runs.  When I have more time I will pull the distributor and rotate the rotor as suggested.  The engine is running pretty smooth now.

  7. Need some help getting the timing set on my '57 with 312/4 brl. The car seems to lack power. I initially set the timing with the vacuum hose connected, the marks jump around pointer but I can get it set close to about 10 degrees - is this a vacuum leak issue? The car idled OK but has a consistent popping and engine jumps slightly when the timing is set close to the marks but seems to smooth out if the timing marks are farther away from the pointer -maybe 1 inch away from the pointer.  I wanted to get a better timing setting so I disconnected the vacuum line (as recommended in the manual - why remove the vacuum lines??) at the distributor and put tape over the hole and also put tape over the line going to the carburetor. The marks are about 1 inch away from the pointer (before removing the vacuum the pointer was close to the 10 degree mark but bouncing), idle is set about 6-700 rpm. As I rotate the distributor the marks come closer to the pointer but the engine runs rougher and almost dies. I checked the points - the gap is about 0.015, as recommended in the manual. Points and condenser have about 200 miles on them but that was over a 20 year period. Any suggestions? Thanks for the help

  8. After much digging, the rubber grommet around the signal light socket housing was bent around and not inserted into thru the fender allowing the insulation on the wire near the light socket to be worn off. The bare wire shorted to the chassis intermittently.  Thanks for the inputs.



    • Thanks 1
  9. Any suggestions how to fix an oil leak coming out of the inlet tube back at the oil pump?  I have been told it is a compression connection, I tightened the nut a little and the leak seems to have gotten worse.


  10. Found the cause of the problem - pulled the left front signal wire from the socket to the junction block and went for a drive.  Both signals worked all the time.  So the issue is with the light socket or wiring to the junction block.  How can the bulb create a short in the socket? 

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  11. Removed the left signal light and used some sand paper to clean up the inside of the socket.  Turned the key to ACC and turned on the left signal.  Started rattling wires around, first under the hood- nothing happened, still flashing, then under the dash, nothing.  Moved to the trunk and rattled wires on the left side - nothing, still flashing.  Opened and shut the drivers door and the fuse blew, also took out the flasher.  Still trying to track this down ....

  12. Sitting in the garage , ACC on, both signals worked consistently.  Started the car and turned the wheel far right with the signal on then turned the wheel far left with the signal on- all OK.  I took the car out for a drive.  I used the right signal many times with no problem.  Next tried the left signal, it worked once or twice then the fuse blew.  The flasher is still working.  
    Only thing I can think of is to turn on the left flasher and rattle wires around until the left signal stops/fuse blows.

  13. The break lights work and do not blow a fuse - I believe that they are not connected with the turn signal fuse.  The signal lights work when just sitting but the fuse blows when driving around. Maybe the short happens when the wheel is turned??



  14. I think the battery is charging now.  Battery voltage initially was 12.8V (engine not running), then 12.6V at 800 rpm , and 14V  at 2000 rpm. 


    Now back to the original problem .... The turn signals blow a 7 amp fuse and takes out the flasher.  I have not found an obvious short or worn wires.  The first thought was that fuse was taken out by over current from a faulty regulator, but now that the regulator has been replaced not sure where to go.   The parking lights work.  Is there a way for the signal switch to cause an issue?


    Thanks to all for the help.

  15. I made some measurement at the regulator and got the following:



    RPM     1800           800

    Batt.      13.5V       13.4V

    Field.      mV

    Arm.     13.8V          13.6V


    Resistance (removed the positive cable from  the battery)

    Batt.  48.5K ohms

    Field.   2 ohms

    Arm.   0.6 ohms



  16. I am new to having an "older" car.   I took the generator and voltage regulator to a shop to be tested. The generator was good, the regulator tested bad.  I replaced the regulator and tried to polarize the generator by touching the regulator field wire to the battery wire for about 2 seconds (per instructions in the shop manual.)   When the car is not running, the voltage across the battery is about 13 Volts, after starting the engine the voltage drops to 12.7.   If I remove the positive battery cable when the engine is running it dies.  Any suggestions? 


    I have heard of other methods to polarize the generator - what is the most reliable way to do this?

  17. I just purchased a 1957 T bird-  the power steering reservoir has fluid squirting out the vent hole.  How do I determine if the issues is with the control valve or just air in the line?   There is whining when the wheel is turned.  The lines look to be in good condition.  Thanks for the help!

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