Skip to main content
Topic: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage (Read 5829 times) previous topic - next topic

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #30
Since i have to swap out my belt tensioner for a later one to replace it, as the older style one is not available anywhere, i decided to take it all apart in preparation and do a few other things while im in there.
Almost got stopped dead right at the beginning since you have to take off the smog pump pulley to reach the top long bolt for it but for some weird reason i threw a 5 1/2" 2 jaw puller in my trunk like 2 weeks ago and i needed it for this since it was stuck on there.
Taking out the alternator/smog pump bracket was alot more involved than i thought it would be, Everything has to be off to take it out. If i wasnt halfway there already i probably wouldve let it ride.

Yanked out the fuel pump and compared it to its replacement.



Grimey. I tried to clean it some but i aint a detailer i dont got the patience for that like some people have.









Seems this parts store no name fuel pump was cracked on top. No clue why or how that would happen.
Thankfully its replacement is a nos factory rebuilt one with nos gasket.



Didnt have the right socket set to fit the crankshaft bolt and light up the timing marks to install it so itll have to wait till next time.
So since i had a straight shot to the one sparkplug behind the smog pump, a flexible stubby ratchet and a 5/8 sparkplug socket i figured why not and i grabbed my new wires and plugs and threw those on while i was there.
Despite being replaced before, since they were autolites and not motorcrafts and were obviously installed with no intention of ever being replaced again if torque was any indication, the rear passenger one was broken and had a worn electrode but the rest other than some oil on the threads looked basically new. Oh well, peace of mind regarding that now.
Kinda wish i waited now to do the plugs and wires from the top with everything out of the way since the valve covers could use a redo on the gaskets they are leaking in a few spots.
I have steel ones and gaskets(both cork and rubber ones)laying in a box somewhere but i might just pop off the plastic ones and do the rtv gaskets like the book says. Ill see where life takes me when that time comes.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #31
Last sunday i went back and grabbed the sockets i needed for the crank bolt to tdc it and finally put the fuel pump in.



Test ran the car before putting all the tensioner bracket stuff back in to see how it runs with the new pump now and its noticably much better, starts right up after a single pump when cold and restarts no problem without pumping the pedal now.
Feels good when replacement of a part had a noticable effect on something.
Today i took off work to put the car back together with the later more common belt tensioner pulley, which doesnt sound like much but required pulling the all the stuff on the passenger side out and replacing the alternator bracket with an 84+ one and the tensioner bracket for the common one.







Note the flat area for the tensioner bracket to mount to compared to the staggered earlier tensioner bracket, the later common one also has two m12 1.75 bolts holding it on to the alternator bracket instead of the earlier one having one m12 1.75 top bolt and lower is m10 1.50. I had to run to the store to pick up one since the bracket i bought only came with the smog and alternator bolts.
The smog pump had a spacer on it when on the older alternator bracket but the later one had no room for it, the bolt on the later one had a shoulder on it and i dont know if a washer goes back there on this later one but it didnt have it, and it fit when tightened and the pulleys still all lined up.



That was the only one the store had in that size so i had to make do, if i grabbed it from a junkyard i wouldve grabbed all the bolts with it but i didnt so it is what it is its not in the way of anything and thats what washers are for. Only the top bolt hole allowed me to do this the lower one bottoms out in the bracket.
I picked up those m8 bolts because the top of the tensioner had a hole there for one but i couldnt remember if something went there or not. On the earlier one it did.




"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #32
Havent done much lately, took it out for a day to drive around last week after my daily had problems and after filling the tires up it runs and drives real nice.
Got around to replacing that extra long bolt for the tensioner bracket with one of proper length.




Replaced the oil cap with the original one since i finally got the petrified hose off and made the seal work.




So after that all i have left to now do is the valve cover gasket (there isnt one but there will be now) and creatively make a temp gauge for it.
I bought a housing you tie into the radiator hose just for this but since i dont want to cut a perfectly good hose i decided to go another route and cobbled together a water outlet with a plug hole and found a threaded plug to tap to fit in it for a no cut solution.







Ill see how this turns out but i might redo the tapped plug since the threaded hole in the outlet was drilled crooked by whoever made it.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #33
That sensor seems a little short. Hopefully it's fully into the coolant, or you'll get bad readings.

Bet it was nice to get it out and drive it.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #34
That sensor seems a little short. Hopefully it's fully into the coolant, or you'll get bad readings.

Bet it was nice to get it out and drive it.

The sensor came with some info display i got for the car, its 10mm or something like that.
I was concerned about that but i dont know where the thermostat will seat and dont want it to hit it. I might get a deeper one if it doesnt work because its not submerged enough.

It was nice but traffic sure wasnt. Everybody is all over the road anymore and atleast half the cars i see have accident damage on their sides. I feel like an alien on the road with it as well since you dont see stuff from even the 90s anymore driving around.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #35
So since i had off today i went down to the garage to tinker on the thunderbird as i had plans to attempt a thing on it, but the garage was blocked by a vehicle that was so close i couldnt even get to the door.
Sucks, living in the city is a P in the A sometimes since parking is a premium and they wont tow anything anymore round here these days, this was the 3rd time which for me is the last time so its find a new storage location time.

Anyways, on to business.
 Since i cant talk about what i did ill talk about what i was going to do.
My "intention" today was to attempt to finally install a temperature gauge on this car and after a few "revisions" to my plan i finally settled on how and what.
The original plan was to do this as reversible as possible with no cutting anything and install the water neck(posted previously) with a brass fitting to use the 10mm temp sender that came with the chinese info center thingy i bought a long time ago, but im scratching that as that thing will look so out of place in the car i cant put it in there.
Instead i picked up these neat "dated looking" linear digital gauges that will serve the purpose of temperature and oil pressure readings me.






The gauges were about the only thing i could find that wasnt a big cheap looking(some of them werent very cheap, these werent either) circular one, which to me looks out of place with the digital dash and whatnot. Even the factory ford ones stuck out like sore thumbs.
This is just my opinion and preference, if you fancy those kind of gauges in your car i mean you no offense its your car do what you want :P
The sender for the new temperature gauge is 5/8 18tpi, which is what the thread size just happens to be on the water neck without the adapter i originally needed and shamefully bought. So now the sender will extend down into the coolant more and minimize the chance of bad readings, and still clears the new old stock thermostat i picked up for it(since im there already) which i dont have a decent pic of but is some kind of weird flat puck style looking thing i never saw before.



I bought 90° push on wire connectors for them to go on the senders since the way the the with the gauge goes on looks cheesy and cheap. This will look factory when im done installing it under the hood.



Im still waiting for the other one in the mail since i couldnt find these style connectors in any store and once i figure out the size of the oil sender hole a tee fitting so i can keep the factory light.

Im still up in the air about how and where to mount them, the "plan" is to put them on the panel under the steering wheel on each side of it but that may change depending on how i can position them.
A side project im still figuring out what to do with was picking up a dash clock and gutting it to make a void for something i havent settled on yet.
It was going to be another gauge, or possibly a tachometer but im not sure yet.




Unfortunately i dont believe the new gauges would fit into the space where the dash clock goes but i havent tried yet so who knows.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #36
Since it was warm out today i stopped by the thunderbird to get some belated work done.
Todays mission: Drop Fuel Tank and retrieve Fuel Sender.



Started out by undoing the rear fuel line fitting to hook up something to siphon the remaining fuel out. A horrible mess, gas all over me multiple times since the brass connector on my siphon hose was too short and the area to work in was tight. That and the hose on the car was 3/8 instead of being 5/16 like i was expecting. Ugh.
Moved onto the front to do this first and some mess but success.




I used one of those hand pump things that harbor freight used to sell for like 5 bucks but the one i bought from autohole cost $35 and said it was safe to pump gasoline, which the harbor freight one clearly said dont do. Slow but worked and spent some time soaking up all the spilled gas with all the trash on the floor and using my blower to dry it up enough to work on it.
Whipped out the jackstands to support the tank and pulled it out.





The tank, they must have had a grand old time spraying green and yellow paint all over randomly on this car cause i keep finding it.




The new tank



Then began the task of removing the sender.
Glad i always have a non sparking tool around considering how heavy the gas vapors were in the garage at this point.




Checking the positioning of it inside the tank.


Now that i got it out i can see it and check it over.




E3SE-9275-EB is the part number

There was a broken wire on it yet it still worked fine for some reason. Weird. Going to clean it up and measure some things on it so i can continue with my possible replacements project.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #37
I measured some things.
The full length of the tube, when unbent, from the bottom of the plate to the end of the tube is 10".
From the bottom of the plate to the bottom of the sender as installed in the tank is just over 6", considering the tank is 7 3/4" deep from the lip where the sender sits i guess thats so it aint pounding on the bottom of the tank and punching a hole in it when it pulls up.
From the top of the plate to the top of the outlet tube is 1 1/2".





Tested it with a multimeter, didnt have roach clips so couldnt test the sweep but got 12 ohm empty and 163 ohm full, so technically there is nothing wrong with this but after pulling off the filter and seeing the rust and crust inside narrowing the tube down to about 1/8 im certain on replacement. I have parts coming for that project that ill post in the thread i started regarding this.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #38
It was nice out today so i headed out to get atleast one of my cars up and running again, so i went finally put the new gas tank in and the sender i made for it.
First task was to replace the broken plug for the fuel sender.



Then install the sender itself, i had to bend the lockring tabs down they were so up it wouldnt fully lock down.



Good, now thats out of the way i can install the new filler tube seal and tank vent and gasket.



The old one was stretched pretty bad and petrified im surprised it didnt leak. Pic for comparison of old and new.



So, now thats taken care of up with the tank back into the car.



I didnt rip that mat thing off the old gas tank that went between it and the car body and put it on the new one, hopefully wont be an issue.

And finally installed new rubber fuel lines, threw a fuel line check valve i picked up for it in there.



Hehehe... What could go wrong with putting that in?

Put a few gallons in and checked the dash reading, was at zero bars with 4 gallons. Not completely deterred i decided to head out and put more gas in it at the gas station, which i did.
Now at 13 gallons in the tank it was reading above half so i wanted to head out onto the highway to test if the gauge would change using up some of that gas. Right as im about to pull onto the onramp the car started bogging hard everytime i gave it some gas.
So scratch that plan and heading back to the garage to figure out what is happening.
Stalling out so bad i couldnt even make it back to the garage and basically died on the roadside a few miles away.
Bummer.
No tools handy so i could only poke around underhood looking for whats going on.
Pop off the top of the airpan and check for gas squirting out when i move the throttle, nope, basically none. I got no gas.
That cant be i just put gas in it, whats going on?
Open the gas cap and pressure, no problem there.
I finally remember i have my leatherman and crawled under the car to see if i didnt tighten the clamps enough. Nope, no leaks dry as a bone.
Ok, lets take off a fuel line and see whats going on, maybe i put the check valve on backwards. I took off the line at the pump and plenty of gas all over my arm so theres fuel a plenty.
Then it hit me, did the fuel filter get clogged by something? Running out of daytime hours and battery almost dead from turning it over with starter fluid i had to make a choice.
Well it was the choice of walk back to the garage and get my daily driver, a new one(thankfully i bought some nos ones awhile ago) and the tools to change it or call a tow truck.
So i walked back to the garage to get what i needed, took it out and instantly saw all the metal chips literally blocking the filter. Couldnt get a decent pic of that but im sure you can imagine what it looked like.
I thought for a second thinking literally how could metal chips clog this. New gas tank could have metal chips in it but metal in the tank that big wouldnt make it past the strainer on the sender.
Nothing was inside of the sender and any of the stuff on it wouldnt have made it past the strainer on the sender either.
Then i remembered the check valve being cheap chinese stuff so im betting thats where it came from despite blowing thru it testing it before installation.
Ok, installed new filter and fired right up, ran like a top drove it back to the garage and walked back to get my other car.
Im going to have to go back over some things before i take it back out again.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #39
At least it was something simple. Glad you got it out on the road and it sounds like you're getting closer to having it road-worthy.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #40
The problem was simple but the whole roadside ordeal ate up over 4 hours, and pretty much killed my other plans that day.
I usually keep atleast a few tools and things in the car to fix stuff on the road but i pulled them out to inventory them and never put them back.
The car is running and driving now so ill make time to drive it around, all i have left to do to the car is change the valve cover gaskets, inspect the speakers since one sounds ripped and a new problem that popped up during this ordeal the drivers window doesnt want to go up without some help.
I have the gaskets but waiting for another reason to dig that far into that mess of hoses first and ill fix that while im in there. The speaker thing i need more room to work in than i have, cant open the door in there so that will have to wait untill i get my mustang going so i can swap garages with them. The window thing will have to wait now for above reason.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #41
I cut the old filter open and didnt find anything in there to cause the complete blockage situation i had.
What a terribly cheap made part.





The metal pieces that was in there fell out before i got to do it but upon further inspection it wouldntve cause the complete stoppage of fuel anyway.
Now im confuse.
The plastic shape of the internal filter housing is warped but not enough to completely seal it. The screem material is very clean, since it only had under 400 miles on it im not surprised by that.
Guess some investigating is necessary.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #42
would a grenading fuel pump send metal pieces down the line?   :dunno:
Mike

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #43
Unlikely.

Either it was in the filter or the check-valve.

I'd say it's clear now.
Long live the 4-eyes!  - '83 Tbird Turbo

Re: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage

Reply #44
would a grenading fuel pump send metal pieces down the line?   :dunno:

I thought the diaphram is a rubber disc and when they fail itll leak out the pump(or thats what its supposed to do when it fails)?
The old pump was cracked on top but no leaks, i never checked the original filter the car had. New pump is nos oem remanufactured.

Unlikely.

Either it was in the filter or the check-valve.

I'd say it's clear now.


I hope so. Either way that check valve coming out next time i get to the car, i have one of those glass inline fuel filter things im going to throw on in its place so i dont have to cut a new piece of hose for it.
"Beating the hell out of other peoples cars since 1999"
1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage
1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo Convertible
2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost