Authenticity

These are some pictures of some original authentic items on the Squarebirds. This includes build sheets, data plates, computer punch cards and some hard to find parts.

 

1960 Ford Thunderbird Restoration Project by Tom Young - Pictures of a Thunderbird undergoing a concours grade restoration.

1960 Ford Thunderbird Restoration Project by Tom Young Part II- More pictures of a Thunderbird undergoing a concours grade restoration.

1960 Ford Thunderbird Fuel Filter

1960 Ford Thunderbird Window Sticker

1960 Ford Thunderbird Service Policy

1960 Ford Thunderbird Build Sheet (ROT)

1960 Ford Thunderbird Engine ID Tag

1960 Thunderbird Sunroof Computer Cards - These cards told the factory workers what color to paint the sunroofs. These may have given rise to the legend of the "Gold Roof Thunderbird."

Cowl Drains - These are the rarely seen cowl drains located behind the splash shields behind the front wheels.

1960 Thunderbird Carburetor Tag - This is the original tag for a Ford Carburetor on a 352 engine. This is a rare find, as when a carburetor gets rebuilt, the mechanic repairing the carburetor invariably throws it away.

1958 1959 1960 Thunderbird Windshield Washer - This was the most problematic and poorly designed part of the whole car. Few of these remain intact on Squarebirds. They used Rube Goldberg design rules on this accessory. Luckily, the rest of the car was of good design and lasted.

Dealer Nameplates- These were commonly attached to new and used cars. Few are left, since most restorers toss them away when restoring a car. This page is for the lucky survivors.

Wheel covers for the 1958 to 1960 Thunderbird. These are pictures of the full wheel covers available from the factory.

Draw-Tite class I trailer hitch for the 1958 to 1960 Thunderbird. This rarely seen accessory may have been dealer installed.

 

Technical

January 1958 issue of The Ford Mechanic introduces the 1958 Thunderbird. This rare issue has many pictures, diagrams and instructions not found in the shop manual. Includes a maintenance chart and specifications, including refill capacities and fuse location.

 

Accessory Installation

Air-conditioning installation instructions for the 1960 Thunderbird. This is the original installation manual for putting in an A/C unit in a Thunderbird that that did not originally come with one.

Seat belt installation instructions for 1958 to 1960 Thunderbird. These are the original instructions included with the dealer installed seat belts.

Seat belt installation instructions for 1958 to 1960 Thunderbird. This is a photo documentation by Squarebirds member Mark Maron of the original style seatbelts being installed in a 1960 Thunderbird.

Seat belt retaining loop for 1958 to 1960 Thunderbird. These photographs illustrate how to reproduce the retaining loops that hold the front seatbelts in the proper position on the bottom of the front seats.

Sun Ray Applique Attachment - This is the better way to attach the Sun Ray centers on the 1959 and 1960 Thunderbirds. Only the sharpest eye judge will see the modification from stock. The advantage that your wheel covers will absolutely not rotate or fall off.

 

Restoration

Trunk Mat and Cardboard Replacement: These are instructions on how to replace your worn and tattered trunk lining with new reproduction vinyl or authentic Burtex trunk material.

Dashpad replacement: Some pictures on how to replace a 1958 and 1959 Thunderbird dash pad. 1960 Thunderbird dash pad replacement is similar and is also shown.

 

 

Repair

Detent Plate Replacement: Part of the problem on automatic transmission cars is that the car pops out of park into reverse because the detent plate is worn. Improved detent plates are available for the 1958-1960 Thunderbird.

1958-1959-1960 Thunderbird Steering Wheel Disassembly and Repair: These are tips on how to fix horn problems on your Squarebird.

Odometer resetting: If your original speedometer/odometer is broken on your1958-1960 Thunderbird, these are instructions for resetting the new odometer to the correct mileage on your car.

Temperature and Gas Gauge Calibration: It is possible to calibrate the gauges on the Squarebirds if they do not read correctly.

1960 Sun Roof (Golde Top) Repair: Instructions on repairing and adjusting your rare factory sunroof.

Rear Main Seal Replacement: These are instructions on how to replace and the rear main seal on a 352 engine without removing the crank. This procedure can be used on any Ford FE series big block engine.

Wiper Motor: These are instructions on how to replace and rebuild your windshield wiper motor.

Clock Gasket: If you have taken the clock apart to repair it, you may have found that the paper gasket between the two halves has dried up and disintegrated from age. This is a PDF file (requires Adobe Acrobat or compatible graphic program to open) is a template of gasket. Just print it out on your computer on thick paper stock.

1958 to 1959 Sail Panel Roof Molding Detailing: This is an easy repair to cover up those unsightly pits that develop in these pot metal pieces that often the plating shops have difficulty getting out.

1958-1960 Control Arm Bushing and Ball Joint Replacement: This is not an easy repair. It can be done with the right equipment. Some restoration details are included here on this assembly.

Customization and Modification

Fan Shroud: Fan shrouds for the 1960 Thunderbird have been rumored to be put on a few late production cars with air-conditioning. The legend is that the part is extremely rare. Find out here that this part is actually readily available as a reproduction.

1960 Thunderbird Sequential Tail Lights: You can easily install sequential tail lights in a 1960 thunderbird to give it a feature that Thunderbirds did not have until 1965.

PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) Valve Conversion for 1958, 1959 and 1960 Thunderbird with 352 cid engine: Tired of breathing blow by fumes in the interior of your Squarebird? Try this neat conversion to PCV valve system.

Front drum brake to disc brake conversion for the 1958, 1959 and 1960 Thunderbird: You can improve the inadequate front drum brakes of the stock Squarebird by installing 1975 to 1980 Ford Grenada disc brakes. It is an easy swap.

Clock to Tachometer conversion for 1958, 1959 and 1960 Thunderbird: Keep track of your engine instead of the time.

Making a maplight for a 1958, 1959 and 1960 Thunderbird: You can easily make this convertible only map light feature for your Hard Top or Golde Top Thunderbird.

 

Safety

Warning about petroleum based brake cleaners: Never use flammable brake cleaners anywhere near an open flame! These products are highly inflammable and can be ignited by even a remote flame such as from a heater pilot light. Explosions, burns, injury and death may result if you are not careful, read about a personal experience.

 

 

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