I often get comments on the rims on my Thunderbird. They are period-correct mags, and perhaps not the first style you’d think of when you think T-Bird. I like the look, and based on the comments I get, they evoke a lot of good memories.
These rims have been around a while and while not in terrible shape, they have some weathering and stains that have resisted my cleanup efforts. Yesterday, I marshaled together all of the polishing and cleaning compounds I could find in my garage, pulled a front wheel and set out to experiment.
After an hour or so–and lots of elbow grease–I found that a good scrub with Nevr Dull wadding followed up with a traditional “Mother’s” mag wheel polish cleaned up the stains pretty well. Under the glare of a halogen lamp on my work bench, the shine didn’t look like much, but once on the car, the wheel looked pretty good. One down and three to go.
Today, I pulled out the Autolite I’ve been wrestling with and dropped it on the manifold once again. Results were similar–easy to start, but won’t run unless at high rpm’s with a little goosing.
I kinda expected that outcome.
Starting the engine with a newly installed carburetor means a little bit of cranking to get gas to the carb. I don’t need to crank the motor much these days, and it looks like it was a bit of a strain on the starter today. While I was testing that Autolite, the starter failed to disengage from the flywheel and it seems stuck there pretty good. I went back to the Edelbrock, which started up fine, of course, but I didn’t let it run long with the starter screeching away under there. Looks like a new starter is in order.
At first, I was a little upset about the breakdown, but then realized I’ve had a long stretch of pretty reliable driving. The last unexpected problem was the coil, which I replaced back in early February–and that wasn’t even a disabling failure. All in all, that was a nice run, especially considering where I was with this car a year ago.