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1957-59 Ford retractables-fun to own or too many problems?


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19 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

The E codes are super rare and expensive and That looks like a good restoration. There’s a guy name Jerry that does really good ones. 

 

Well I got caught in the rain so had to pull over on the way and put the top up. Went super smooth, probably because the battery was charged from driving. 

 

Thanks for the compliment. This old gal is growing on me. 

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Looks like a light turnout last night. Last year the first meet was packed.

I saw you driving thru Dundee around eight. You must have left early.

I couldn't make it due to another obligation, Probably will next week though.

Supposed to be 80 next Wednesday.

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34 minutes ago, JACK M said:

 

Looks like a light turnout last night. Last year the first meet was packed.

I saw you driving thru Dundee around eight. You must have left early.

I couldn't make it due to another obligation, Probably will next week though.

Supposed to be 80 next Wednesday.

It was not full early but the front field mostly filled up in the end. No cars behind by the track. Still a good turnout, but like you said, lighter than expected probably due to rain. 

Yes I had left early. We got there about 2 or a bit after. This pic was when we first pulled in. 

Some of your friends asked about you. 

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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 12:48 AM, victorialynn2 said:

I drove an SLK. Their mechanisms are way more complex. Most mechanics will not touch them. 

 

Nothing on the SLK that a good mechanic can't fix, but if you don't have the factory software and tools, you are guessing at what part might bad and even if you do guess right you might not be able to replace it. The soft tops on Saab and Volvo are almost identical, but I don't touch  Volvo's. I'm tooled up for GM and I will do Saab's, even a Cadillac retractable hard top if someone brings me one. I don't even know anyone who will touch a Mercedes.

 

The Ford may have a million miles of wire, but  they are child's play compared to these things. Most of what gives you trouble on the Ford can be found with a circuit tester and fixed with a can of contact cleaner.

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No need for anything fancy, there are service manual CDs on ebay for a few dollars and I like the Autel Diaglink scan tool with the Benz module for my SLKs. Are more limit switches than a 67 Grand Prix but hydraulics are similar and are quite a few in central Florida.

 

Agree a Ford would not scare me but do as much electrics as mechanical, from what I've seen keeping the screw jacks lubed is important. Also is not my rice bowl so can take as much time as needful.

 

What I like about my retractables is that when the top is up, it is quieter and the AC works better than a cloth top (and we have been running 90+ every day for the last few weeks with not much rain. Also can put the top up or down under the raised door in the front garage. Have a unfilled desire for an XLR but have to despose of one or two others first.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

 

Agree a Ford would not scare me but do as much electrics as mechanical, from what I've seen keeping the screw jacks lubed is important

I agree the SLK with the top up is very quiet. I just love those. Maybe someday I will have one. (I had a boyfriend who collected them for a while). 

Dumb question: what are the screw jacks and how do I lube them?

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http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1957-1959-ford-fairlane-skyliner1.htm

 

This doesn't really have helpful pictures, just text explaining it some.

 

Though it may have looked simple from the outside, the retractable mechanism that evolved was fiendishly complex. Seven purpose-built electric motors, each with its own circuit breaker, were needed to operate the screw-type decklid and roof locks (two for the former and four on the latter), and the screw jacks that moved the decklid and roof.

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On ‎6‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 10:54 AM, victorialynn2 said:

 

Dumb question: what are the screw jacks and how do I lube them?

 

Those are the parts that I dealt with.

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On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 11:15 PM, victorialynn2 said:

For the record it’s coral dusk. 😆 I can’t imagine my dad admitting he drove a pink car. 

Thank you for the compliment. 👍

I stand corrected. ;)

 

Cool car, though; IMHO, 57 is the best looking year, and the period finish makes it all the nicer.

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31 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

I stand corrected. ;)

 

Cool car, though; IMHO, 57 is the best looking year, and the period finish makes it all the nicer.

Agree. My favorite Skyliner year and the color is just fine with me. 👍

Dad has cars of all colors, mint greenish Rampy, yellow Bronco, etc... it was a rainbow of cars. 😂 He always tried to keep them as original as possible. 

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6 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Here is a picture of the screw jack in situ. 

 

What is situ? I'm familiar with stfu but they're probably completely different.... :o

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13 hours ago, padgett said:

"in place" or "as operational".

 

What I want to know is what is the seventh motor for ?

Not sure but there is a specific one I believe just for the flip down portion of the top. 

 

See @JACK M. Retractables always look like that. I think once the owner turns their back, they relax into this pose on their own. 🤷‍♀️

 

@mike6024, that car is coral sand. That is the color mine is supposed to be, however with the color on the top. It was painted over with the Tbird coral rose of that year, which I actually like better. I do like the coral sand also though and that’s a nice one. 

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Imagine the designers of the retractable coming back to a car show today. "We designed that car to look good as a hardtop OR and convertible. And were so proud of the job we did. Why are they all sitting there in mid position?"

 

Kind of like Raymond Loewy looking at a row of Studebakers with the hoods up.

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On 6/4/2019 at 2:14 PM, Matt Harwood said:

It might be reliable today and fail tomorrow. I bought a '62 Thunderbird Sport Roadster two years ago and made the seller put the top up and down twice before I paid him. Great! Took it home and the minute we tried to put it down for photos it croaked. $2000 later, it was working again. I just sold a '65 Thunderbird to a guy and told him to leave the top alone. Nah, he put it down as soon as he got it off the truck, put it up and down to show it to his neighbor, put it down to go to dinner, his wife complained so he stopped to put it up, then drove it to work the next day with the top down, put it up in the parking lot, took buddies out to lunch and put it down, put it up to park after lunch, put it down to drive home, and pulled into the driveway and decided to wash it, so he put the top up and it stopped halfway with the trunk open like a parachute that wouldn't fit into his garage. He sent me an angry message telling me the car was junk and I had to pay for the repairs. He used up about five years' worth of top operation in less than 24 hours. I pointed to the big, bold letters in the operating instructions I gave him that said LEAVE THE TOP ALONE.

 

 Think of it this way: it was designed for perhaps 1000 duty cycles. After 60 years, it's probably on 987. Every cycle after that is a miracle from God.

Had a 61 Tbird conv't.  It was always like rolling the dice.  It never completely failed but boy you were wondering. Man was it slow.  I bought an original roadster tonneau for mine and a good car cover.  If it rained unless it was a monsoon you just went faster.  Top went up in the fall for storage and down in the spring for the summer.  Only once put it up at a gas station under a canopy because it was raining. 

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They are beautiful cars, and will always draw a crowd when raising or lowering the top. Several years ago at the Newport Hill Climb there was one with the top stuck half down. The guy was looking for help to get it down so he can drive home. Before long there were six or eight of us shade-tree mechanics, myself included, with tools and voltage meters.  It seems they draw a pretty good crowd trying to fix them also!

 

We were checking voltages and trying to jump the switch. We were trying to jump the individual Motors. I think we eventually loosened a bar or two and got the thing folded down into the trunk so he could drive home. I hope he found someone to fix it correctly after that...

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1 hour ago, JACK M said:

 

It looks like the photos were taken at the Forest Grove Concourse.

They were. This is a Realtor in Beaverton. I know he is or Was barreling cancer. I know him from work, but not well. 

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