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Need help with getting 66 convertible top working

This is a discussion on Need help with getting 66 convertible top working within the Flair Birds [1964-1966] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; I have a 1966 convertible. The top was in the final stage as the deck lid stopped half way down. ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 173.136.235.87
Old 08-18-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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Need help with getting 66 convertible top working

I have a 1966 convertible. The top was in the final stage as the deck lid stopped half way down. I have checked all of the switches and relays and here is where I am in the process. After adjusting all of the switches and making sure they are working properly, with the top up, I can get the deck lid to go down, but when I press the the top up switch, the deck lid will go back up, the upper back panel will then erect all the way up, but then the top does not go up. The upper back panel relay plus the motor are still clicking when I push the switch. (The top motor and solenoids are working properly if I use a jumper wire on them) The top relay should be clicking at this point and the top motor and solenoids should be engaged. I reset both the inner and outer rotary on the upper back limit switch, but I am still not sure the the limit switch is working properly. So, I have ordered a new limit switch from Thunderbird Ranch. Does anyone have any other suggestions? If the new upper limit switch does not help, I will really be at a loss of what to do. Thanks for your reply.
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  #2 (permalink)   IP: 71.58.48.241
Old 08-18-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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Did you check out all your limit switches including two behind the deck cylinders? Also all connections for corrosion. sometimes rubber connections on relays are loose also. Sounds like upper back panel limit switch could still be out of adjustment, This must be correct. Plus you should not have a lot of play in the gear box for the limit switch. Here is a link for adjusting that switch, I would adjust it again. Look under instalation and adjustment procedures


Certified Rebuilders, LLC
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  #3 (permalink)   IP: 173.95.172.205
Old 08-18-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Thanks Boaterbob

Yes, I checked the switches at the cylinders for the deck. They were good. I also checked the connections at the relays and filed a few to make sure they are conducting properly. The site you sent me looks very complete as to how to adjust the limit switch. I will try it today and let you know what happens.
Thank you so much, Steve
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  #4 (permalink)   IP: 173.74.104.18
Old 08-18-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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What -exactly- are you referring to when you say "upper back panel relay"? Also; are you using the trouble shooting guide in the shop manual?
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Boaterbob

Thanks Boaterbob. I adjusted the limit switch again and the top started to retract. It looks like the system is in sync., but the set screw on the outer rotary is puling through the plastic. I may have popped it earlier. At least I now know what the problem is and will replace the limit switch with the one I have on order from Thunderbird Ranch. The upper panel gear does have extra play in it. Is there some way to fix the gears in it? Also, my top motor reservoir is leaking. I think it needs a new O-ring. Should I try to replace it locally or is there someone who sells them? When I take the motor/reservoir out, what size caps should I get to keep the system from leaking?
I am very glad I found this group. I have owed this bird for 27 years and have been dreading the day that I would have top problems. But, now I don't feel like I am totally alone out here.Thank you again for your help.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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If I have a mailing address, I can send you the "O" rings for the reservoir. Use private message again. Harley
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  #7 (permalink)   IP: 71.58.48.241
Old 08-18-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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There is one bronze gear that sometmes wears out in the box. Gear is replaceable, Not cheap. All the venders have them. Most of the gear cases are cracked or worn where the shaft goes through and also need replacing. I had a couple bad cases but never had a bad gear [Lucky]. If the case has to much play the adjustment won't hold. When the flip lid tucks under it will bounce down and limit switch will be out of adjustment.
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  #8 (permalink)   IP: 96.33.65.140
Old 08-18-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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On my 64 conv, I replaced the gear box cover (using the orginal gears from a cracked orginal) and installed one of John Traxler's (Tbird Ranch) flip panel switches. Once I correctly adjusted the gear box and the switch, my top operating problems went away.
I no long have to be concerned if the tip will work properly.
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  #9 (permalink)   IP: 96.33.65.140
Old 08-18-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Sorry about the typo. Sentence was supposed to read, I no longer have to be concerned if the top will work properly.
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  #10 (permalink)   IP: 209.240.206.205
Old 08-20-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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Congratulations on you mastery of this complicated system. You are VERY lucky boaterbob and harley are here.

Here is a current eBay auction for your Gear box, switch and motor which ends 22 Aug. No guarantee parts are any better than what you have.
http://www.skweezer.com/s.aspx/-/cgi...ts_Accessories
"will replace the limit switch with the one I have on order from Thunderbird Ranch. "
[ Believe John Traxler just sells aftermarket electronic unit whch replaces factory set-up ]

"When I take the motor/reservoir out, what size caps should I get to keep the system from leaking?
[ NAPA has brass plugs but don't know size. Hydraulic line solonoids should block fluid flow thru disconneced lines. . Best to have a towel under any line connections as you open them. ]

Poor man's cure for play in rotary switch and/or gear box:
LIGHTLY push on flip lid with one finger.
Art
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  #11 (permalink)   IP: 173.136.14.193
Old 08-22-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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upper lid limit switch and gears

I received my E-limit switch from Thunderbird Ranch and before I installed it, I ran the upper lid up and checked the play in the arm. It was ok. Then I ran the arm to the down position and there was a lot more play in it. 1/2 to 3/4 inch play. So, I took the upper lid off and took the arm, gear housing and motor off. It took the gear housing off and inspected the worm gear. It looked OK. I then checked the brass gear and could not see any gaps, worn, broken or bent teeth.
I put it all back together and ran the arm up and down off of the car. I stopped in several positions while lowering the arm with the motor and did not notice any excessive play in the arm until it was all the way in the down position. Why would it have play in the down position if the brass gear appears to be OK. What am I missing? The gear housing has no cracks and is not broken.
Also, if I do need to replace the brass gear, how do I do this?
Thanks everyone, Steve R.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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There is a set screw in the gear box to adjust the play. Turning it clockwise
takes slack out of the gear. It is just a trial and error method. You dont want it tight enough to bind the gear. It should turn very easy with a small screwdriver while you wiggle the top panel up and down.

I dont know if you actually took the gears out of the gear box or not, but there is a tiny ball that goes in the gear box at the end of the worm gear. If the adjustmen wont take out the play, this tiny ball may be missing. Voice of experience and lesson learned the hard way.

Hope this helps. Dan
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:20 AM
 
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I haven't had one of these apart in awhile,But there should be two brass gears and one steel worm gear. Did you check both gears for wear? Also where the shaft goes through the case. The holes in the case sometimes become egg shaped. I think when cranking down, pressure is one way then at a certain point arm flips to put pressure the opposite way and you get your play. Sometimes the case is stripped so the adjustment screw does not hold, But try it anyway.
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  #14 (permalink)   IP: 68.243.162.76
Old 08-23-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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upper lid limit switch and gears

I installed the E-limit switch and the system is working. Now, I will put the upper lid back on and see if the system works without addressing the upper panel gear box. The worm gear looked ok as well as the brass gear. The brass gear looked the same all the way around.
Thanks to all who responded. I don't think I could have done it without you guys.
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