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57 parts unknown

This is a discussion on 57 parts unknown within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; 3 questions: 1. I'm new to this forum. When I logged in I got a notice I had an unread ...

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Old 05-15-2015, 12:08 PM
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57 parts unknown

3 questions:
1. I'm new to this forum. When I logged in I got a notice I had an unread message. When I clicked on the "read" button, I got a notice saying I didn't have the proper software to read the message, and was directed to download a piece of software. Is this legit or was it a phishing expedition?

I've looked at the illustrated guides and can't identify the following:

2. I have a thin wire poking into the engine compartment just above the data plate. The wire is green and will pull out to about 5 inches. It has an "eye" connector on the end and is not attached to anything. The only electrical things I've found (so far!) not to work are the clock, backup lights, lighter, and radio.
Any idea from where this wire originates and to what it is supposed to be connected?

3. I have a "cable" coming out of the top right corner of the plate where the heater box is located on the firewall. The cable is sheathed with rubber and runs under the heater, is held by the fenderwell clamp along with the heater hoses, and runs toward the headlight assembly. The cable has a screw in the end acting as a plug, with a hose clamp holding the screw tight. Obviously a kluge of some sort. My guess is the cable is really a vacuum hose. I don't know if this is relevant...the wipers don't work with engine off. Running, the wipers move about 45 degrees off horizontal and stop. I have no windshield washer fluid bag.
Any idea what this "cable" really is?

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:30 PM
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First, with the questions you're asking, you need to find another local TBird owner or join a small bird club. The old timers there can answer almost any question you might have.

Second, that wire could be anything, and most likely was added by some previous owner. The only way to track it is to work backwards. Get under the dash, pull the glove box cardboard if necessary, and start to trace it back.

The cable/vacuum hose (it can't be both) is most likely the vacuum hose from the heater controls in the dash, and connects to the vacuum operated heater valve on top front of the engine, just under the edge of the air cleaner, just behind where the top radiator hose enters the thermostat housing. Move the temperature control in the dash, and it opens or closes the valve to allow hot water to enter the heater core. Then again some previous owner may have ....

Third, your wipers operate on engine vacuum, and only when the engine is on. Each wiper arm is connected to a half circle shaped vacuum box under the dash. They seize up with age (yours aren't totally seized as of yet) and can usually be taken apart and relubed with petroleum jelly on the flapper leathers/rubbers to get them to move full left and right. Its possible that the wiper shafts are partly corroded as well.

As for the radio, it uses the old radio glass tubes and a vibrator that converts DC current to AC current to fire up the tubes. You either need a whole new set of tubes, a vibrator, or a fuse may be gone. All of these are still available from thunderbird suppliers (Hill's Thunderbird Center Thunderbirdcenter.com call them or email and get a free catalogue) Good Luck!
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