Back from the Dead

It was a little over a year ago that I came to the realization that my Bird was further gone than I expected–sadly, more of a restoration work than a rolling project (where I could simply fix things as they broke). Back than, I decided to work through the major areas of concern to ensure that the mechanicals were sound.

Some time in the last few weeks, the ‘Bird passed out of that phase. The engine is running strongly, brakes are reliable and the running train from the transmission to the rear wheels has been completely overhauled.


It’s not to say that the car is perfect. The clunky old suspension could use some bushings and the steering box leaks Type F so fast I often wonder where it’s all going. But, the Thunderbird is ready to fly again. A drive to the beach, local shows and evening cruises are definitely in our future this summer–all completely out of the question last year at this time.

I replaced the old light switch. Corrosion on this one kept the interior lights from working properly.
I replaced the old light switch. Corrosion on this one kept the interior lights from working properly.

Still, “back from the dead” is a tenuous position. So, work continues–big and small. Digging into the center console last weekend, I reattached some loose trim and silenced a nasty rattle. Also, I got the seat belt warning light working again, fixed the cigarette lighter (power for cell phones and navigation units these days) and reattached the lamps that illuminate the glove box.

That all worked well, but something must have gone wrong, as the dashboard lights are now dead.


Under the hood, I’m getting ready to install my new (old) carb. An air cleaner is in the works and most of the parts for the choke heater are on the shelf and ready to go. I would like to do the swap in a single day, so am biding my time until everything I need (including the necessary time) is on hand.

2 thoughts on “Back from the Dead”

  1. Uggh, headlamp switch. So I thought my switch was bad because the rear night running lights wouldn’t come on. If I jumped a wire between the hot wire and the plug for the rear lights everything worked. New switch came, took the old one out and started to look at it and realized that the switch looked to clean to be the original. After a couple of hours poking around and looking at the wiring diagrams I noticed that my female connector had 8 sockets and the 64 switch only has 7 pins, turns out that cars made in the first few months of 64 had an 8 pin switch and most supply places only carry a 7 pin switch 🙁

    Nothing like have to bust out the connector and hand wire all of that stuff up. Thought everything was working fine, but I have a situation where if you open the door everything is fine, but if you turn on the lights, turn them off, then open the door, the rear lights and the instrument lights turn on.

  2. You might be able to clean up the old switch. In the photo above, there’s a patch of green corrosion–that’s the contact for the courtesy lights. I bet if I cleaned it up, my switch would still work.

    You might also look at the courtesy light relay–it’s over by the fuse panel.

Leave a Reply