Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tachometer Cable Noise

Tachometer Cable Noise
By Gene Nelson

The Question-- All of a sudden my tachometer started to make a real loud whinning noise. It does increase and decrease with varying speed. Could it be that the drive cable needs lubrication? If so, which end can the cable be removed from, the distributor or the tach itself? Or does the head need rebuilding or replacing? Any info you can share will be helpful as always.

The Answer-- The best way to lubricate the tachometer cable (and the speedometer cable) is to remove the inner cable at the gage end. You can easily reach under the dash and turn the round retainer nut. this should only be finger tight. Once it is disconnected, move the cable end so it is between the dash and floor. The inner cable will come out easily. Pull it all the way out, wiping it off as you pull it out to remove the old lubrication. Be careful because the old black lube will get all over your carpet, upholstery and clothes. It will leave marks that are hard to remove. When you reinstall the cable put some cup grease in your hand and apply it as you slide the cable back into the jacket. When it is all the way in, rotate the cable to make sure it seats in the gear on the distributor end. Then slide the end back into the tachometer gage, hand tighten the nut and try it out.

The Results-- I did exactly what you suggested with the removal of the cable and cup grease and reinstalled it. I only got to test drive it for a half mile, but it sure was quiet. Much obliged. Bob

[Source credit- TARTC Newsletter, Dearborn, Michigan]

In Memoriam


It is with sadness and a deep sense of personal loss that we note the passing of Bill Thelen, an active long term member of CTCC.

Bill joined CTCC in December of 1994 and soon became the owner of a 1957 Thunderbird. Bill and Bonnie were married in 1997 and they participated regularly in Tours and numerous other Club Events.Bill subsequently purchased a Retro 'Bird, finding its "comfort level" to be a marked improvement over his '57.

Bill's friendly, outgoing nature was always evident, especially when he became involved in discussing his professional career.

The Officers, Directors and membership of CTCC extend their hearfelt condolences to Bonnie and family as we share in their loss.

Bling and 'Bird

Marylu Kramer

Once upon a time. long, long ago. I had a blossoming relationship with an out of town boyfriend --- we met in college. It was long distance, but it turned into a romance and we phoned and wrote often --- no email, Skype, I phone - as these were the days of yore! We eventually agreed on a visit and he told me he had a surprise and that it was shiny --- oh happy day --- yes indeed I immediate!y pictured the something shiny and on the tiny side.

I couldn't wait to see him, and after weeks of planning, he finally arrived --- it was shiny alright, and small --- he introduced me to his 1956 Ford Thunderbird --- and the color --- kind of a pea green. But I was happy to see him: the car (shiny) , albeit a bit small, was cute, I have to admit. It did turn heads as we spent the next few days sightseeing around Chicagoland.

With anticipation I thought the surprise was still forthcoming. My family wasn't too impressed with a suitor showing up in a Ford, as my Dad was a true Cadillac man! After a few days it was time for him to leave --- and nothing shiny came forth --- I was thinking of bling --- a ring --- a diamond. That was my idea of shiny. We said our good-byes and I finally blurted out in a hissy fit. "Do you mean to tell me that you bought a car instead of an engagement ring"? What kind of rational was that --- a car before a ring --- it was over, or so I thought.

It was soon to be Christmas and again, after a few months of phoning back and forth, he said he was coming out to see me for the holidays. I was eager to see him --- there he was pulling up in his family station wagon --- and I might add, again, a Ford. I meekly said, "Where is the cute little car?" (which I secretly did like). He SOLD the T-Bird and bought a ring --- oh happy day --- but the long distance between us did not kindle the romance --- he said to keep the ring! Youthful indiscretion and too much testosterone is a disastrous combination! We said good-bye.

Many years later I met the man of my dreams. And you know what --- this guy had a Ford Station Wagon and also a '66 T-Bird. I eventually told him about the previous suitor who bought a T-Bird instead of a ring. He totally understood why that first guy bought a car instead of some bling! Is this some kind of code among men and their love affairs with cars?

As a surprise, he managed to secretly hunt down a '56 T-Bird in Sage Green - exactly like the first one long ago - and he surprised me with it: we have had many laughs over my "girlish ideals". However, was this just a good reason to buy another 'Bird?--- that, I will never figure out!

Guess what --- I have the fairy tale ending --- I still heve the bling --- I have the car, the man of my dreams, and we did get married. The rest is history.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Executive Offices
1308 E. 29TH STREET
SIGNAL HILL, CA 90755-1842
PHONE (562) 426-2709

Dedicated To
(1955, 1956,1957)

December 3, 2011

Congratulations to the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland on 50 years of operation. From the time your club was formed as the Thunderbird Sports Car Club of Chicagoland in 1961, you have exemplified your interest in classic Thunderbirds while embracing friendliness and sociability of the members. Your members are, and always have been, very active and continue to drive their Thunderbirds to all events. Since your Charter from CTCI as club #9, you have hosted and managed many events for CTCI members including the Pheasant Runs, the CTCI International Convention in 2000, the 50th Anniversary Party for the Classic Thunderbird, and the USPS dedication of the postage stamp honoring 50 years of the Thunderbird. Your enthusiasm and participation have encouraged all members of CTCI to be more actively involved.

I also want to personally thank the perseverance of Bert Eisenhour for publishing the Bird News since 1970, 41 years of continuous editing and publishing. This is an unequalled effort of any club newsletter editor that deserves special mention during the 50-year anniversary of your club. CTCI wishes to thank your current members who have served on the Board of Directors including Bert Eisenhour, Ken Smizinski and Liz Werth. I want to also acknowledge the original classic Thunderbird owners, Joe & Sandy Kraatz, for keeping their 1957 drivable since its purchase new in 1957. I mention just a few of your many members who meet, socialize, and maintain the spirit of good fellowship while using their classic Ford Thunderbird.

The members of the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland, for the past 50 years, have exemplified the purpose of CTCI, to encourage and promote the admiration and ownership of the Classic Thunderbird. Thank you for your dedication and may that spirit continue for 50 years more.

Chuck Korenko
President, CTCI

I'd like to Congratulate CTCC on their 50 years of success as a club of CTCI.
I wish you many more years of continued success,
I'd also like to take this time to Congratulate Bert Eisenhour on 41-years as the editor of Bird-News.
Gwen Stadstad - Director of Region 2

Monday, January 2, 2012

A new "Bird lover

Imperfect 1956 T-Bird is just the right pet for its new master

By Debra Powless

My mate, who is a longtime car collector, came home one day and showed me pictures of a 1956 Ford Thunderbird. He said he wanted to buy it for me, but I told him I didn't like it.

A few days later he came home with it to sell it in our little hobby business where we help people sell collector cars. Well, he brought it home and the car was so cute in person and by the time we had taken the photos for the ad, I had changed my mind and decided I did like the car.

So the first thing I did was join the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland that focuses on the preservation of 1955-56-57 T-Birds. What a nice group of people. They welcomed me into the group and advised me on basic T-Bird rules of thumb. which ended up being very helpful. Not everybody knows how to work on a T-Bird, and since my car had transmissioin and carburetor issues. I am so glad that the president of the club directed me to a gentleman who is an expert at T-Bird repair.

When I drove my little 'Bird, the first thing I noticed is that you do not drive that car unless you are in a pleasant frame of mind and ready to talk to everybody! People, especially girls of ALL ages, love this car! I am used to following my mate in his collector cars and I often enjoy how young boys will sometimes stop and stare as the old car drives by, but that did not prepare me for the attention that my little 'Bird gets.

The mate found an interesting ad for a 1956 T-Bird painted Buckskin Tan so we looked it up and my car is definitely a 'custom color.' It is supposed to be Buckskin Tan but after looking at the car in the ad it appears that my little 'Bird isn't Buckskin Tan or Sunset Coral. I keep going back to look at the photos of the old T-Birds in Buckskin Tan and Sunset Coral, and I definitely like the color of my T-Bird and wouldn't change it. The color of a collector car is so important and makes all the difference. However, maybe, as with my children, I like the color of my little 'Bird because it is mine. We put a cream color soft top on my car, and I am glad that I went with the lighter color.

Anybody who has old cars knows that you do not enter into a relationship with an old car without being prepared to sort it out and learn the quirks. Overall, my little 'Bird was in pretty nice condition. A few chips and stress marks in the paint, but it looks really good from five feet away. However, the carburetor and the transmission needed serious attention. The car was sent to a local garage so I didn't get to drive it for a few weeks. Unfortunately the garage did not fix the problems, so our friendly mechanic made a housecall to work on my car, which ended up taking more than two weeks by the time he took the parts out, sent them off to be fixed, and put them back on the car. Then the mate insisted that I get a soft top in case I ever got caught in the rain with the hard top off. Our friend who owns a salvage yard up in Detroit found me a nice frame and fabric so I made a trip up to Detroit. My brother and his family live there so it was a nice visit, and my nephew and his two sons helped me get the top so I enjoyed spending time with them.

Our interior guy said it would only take him a day to put a new top on. NEVER, ever, believe somebody who tells you that. It doesn't happen. More than a week later, the top was finally on the car but it rained for days so there were more delays in getting to enjoy the car.

The first day I was able to drive it out to Rockford, Illinois, which is about a two-hour drive. I enjoyed the heck out of the ride except the car's speedometer read 70 mph, and I didn't think I needed to drive any faster than 70 mph, and the cars and trucks were just flying by me. Later I learned that these old 'Bird speedometers often read 8-9 miles slower than you are actually driving.

OK, now I am ready to enjoy my car! Oh, wait - the mate has the T-Bird guru come over and do a 100-point inspection and makes plans to rebuild the transmission and put in power brakes and some other improvements and repairs. I am saying 'No, no - let me drive it the way it is and I will have the work done this winter.' The T-Bird guru had an opening in early September so there went my 'Bird again. My mate insisted that he wants to have the car in excellent running condition for me. Ok, it is sweet but still annoying because I just want to drive my car.

T-Birds have an 'X' frame that requires the engine to be pulled to get to the transmission so you can imagine the time involved to work on a transmission. During the downtime, we drove over to get the steering wheel so we could take it to the car painter because the black steering wheel needed to be painted brown to match the interior. The horn ring we were going to have plated was going to cost $1200 to be plated so the T-Bird guru found a nice used horn ring in good condition. However, I had to go get the horn ring from the plater because we needed to use the internal workings for the replacement horn ring. Then I had to take my carburetor to the carb guy in Rockford to be rebuilt. My carb problems earlier were because somebody stuck a 1956 Lincoln carburetor on the car which was too big. Now I have the right carburetor but it needs to be rebuilt. The good news is that the transmission has been repaired and the car is running good and lots of things have been updated or repaired.

So it took all summer to get my car sorted out and ready to drive. I have three granddaugthers, and I have a feeling that they will get a lot of enjoyment out of this car too.

(Reprinted from Old Cars magazine)