Summer Tweaking

New cigar lighter connector. I also tapped into this circuit for the "clock" feed to the stereo head unit.
New cigar lighter connector. I also tapped into this circuit for the “clock” feed to the stereo head unit.

Summertime is drive time, even here where the weather is almost always nice. I haven’t been on any really long trips with the Thunderbird, but have had numerous runs in the thirty to fifty mile range (including one to look at a 1962 F-100 I eventually bought), and the car has run superbly—no overheating, odd noises or hiccups whatsoever. I feel like I could drive it as long as I please; a nice feeling when I look back at where this all started.

However, even on short trips it was hard not to be annoyed by a few loose ends not wrapped up in the spring, so I took some time this weekend to tweak a few items.

First was the cigar lighter. When I put the dash and console back in, the push-on power lead wouldn’t stay in place. It was just worn out, I suppose. I finally cut the old connector off and soldered on a new fitting. Two screws and the assembly was back together. I don’t smoke a lot of cigars in the car, but it is nice to have a way to charge up the phone, especially if I am going any distance.

A little shocked at how easily this went back together.
A little shocked at how easily this went back together.

The second item was a piece of unfinished business courtesy of the glass company that sealed up the windshield a few months back. They left out a screw in the trim piece above the driver’s side window, which allowed the plastic trim normally hidden underneath to droop. I put this off because sometimes taking the trim apart just makes things worse. After a while, though, the sag was obvious, embarrassing and rapidly getting worse. After removing the trim, the plastic internals went on with little trouble. I was surprised to find that the trim went back on easily—I even found a decent replacement screw in my box of spares.

This coming fall I expect to tackle suspension, front a rear. The car rides ok as it is, but rattles and squeaks beyond all reason.

3 thoughts on “Summer Tweaking”

  1. I’ve got mine on the road again this summer as well! Replaced the sending unit in the tank so no more guessing and/or carrying an emergency jug of gas. Just some additional tweaking with ignition timing every now and then. Cam is a little bigger than stock so I just keep advancing a little at a time until it seems like maybe its too much. One of my FE engine builder buddys always said that if it still starts easily when hot there is no reason not to try another degree of advance.

  2. Hi Steve! Your blog is a dream come true! Nice to I’m not the only one who dives in and makes it happen with old cars. A little late but useful: I’ve been installing speed bleeder on all my cars brakes systems. They make brake bleeding a snap. The supplier also sells a fluid capture bag with a silicone hose; makes the job clean and neat and the bag is reuse able. I think the website is speedbleeders.net. If the Thunderbird isn’t listed the fellow will reply via email with the correct size to order.

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