1981 Bird resurrection!!

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,507
atlanta, ga
It runs, it drives, it needs some tuning....but video coming soon. It had a shakedown drive 10-12-2022. Had to remove front right wheel as something was EATING my rim. (minor casting flash on caliper needed to be REMOVED) No I did NOT check that before moving as this has been done 100000 times by everyone else with no issues!!!!! Welcome to MY WORLD Only 1 issue came up on the drive, as I did a little "warm up" it blew off the heater hose "cap" so had to abort. found cap re-installed and ensured it was fully tightened and drove back home (about 1 mile).
PLUSSES: power steering worked/felt good, brakes (including e- brake) function as designed, headlights/tail lights work no shimmys, clunks or ugliness, also ran AT temp as fan cycled per design.
MINUSES: need seat belts and driving time to feel the car BEFORE twisting screws trying to tune it. Fuel level is OFF, reads FULL but only has about 4 gallons in it.
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,507
atlanta, ga
While it has/does run and drive the reliability is scary bad. So far I ran to the gas station to fill it up...then parts house. While in the parts house and BIRD idling outside...poof...she dies. Will not restart....drain battery trying, note a loose batt cable, barrow a jump box and away I go.
Next, idling at the house about to go for speedo check drive while son follows....she dies....discover coil puked (another thread).
Replace coil and ford solenoid in trunk (too much typing to go over that 1) also add an adjustable vacuum advance since I have cap n button off...do speedo check drive Yay!!! ITS REALLY CLOSE!
Go for round the block drive....get 6 miles away and she dies while driving (no ignition)...all my back-up help is OUT so sit and wait and dodge the light rain drops. Support comes I replace battery with one from my truck...she fires and drives 5.99 miles home and she dies again...i did get her in the driveway) doing system checks NOTHING is jumping out other than NO IGNITION FIRE. So I unwrapp all the wiring to the MSD box and seems the BATT wire I sodered 31 yrs ago is corroded badly, cut it out, quick butt splice...hit the key (after charging the battery) BANG backfire from being flooded..she fires up and up the hill into the barn we go.

RESULTS:

So it appears I will be re-wiring the engine from scratch to eliminate old age issues....THEN get to put miles on it. At least I do have my relays/buss bars wired in mounted and working. Guess I will be doing the headlight relay wiring and fan rewire NOW as well since I gotta scrap everything. ARGHHHH
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,507
atlanta, ga
So got the new fuel tank sending unit installed, swapped in del-alum leaf bushings all buttoned up. Next up is the dash for a new light switch and whatever lights do not work!!!
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,507
atlanta, ga
Well that didn't quite go as planned....imagine that. I took it up the street to fill up the tank to verify the new sending unit actually WORKS. The tank had about 4-5 gallons in it and gauge showed 1/4 tank YAY....Didn't get to the gas station as I noticed the oil pressure was lower than the normal LOW, so back to the house. I had just done an oil change from SAE 30 ^^^ to SAE 40 as I do NOT like the idle pressure being 7 psi :eek::(. The low idle pressure has sucked since birth. I got a little frustrated and said hell with it ...OUT SHE GOES. Snatched the motor and tranny out to evaluate WTH is wrong AND it makes it SOOOOO much easier to make the new engine wiring harness as what's there has proven to be unreliable.

SOLVED:
Oil pump bypass check ball was hung open. Once I finally got it out I discovered a very small piece of casting flash lodged between the ball and seat. That explains the 80 psi start up dropping to 5-7 after warm up at idle.
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,507
atlanta, ga
As usual....more mess. So I am replacing the rod bearings cause they look like crap (mains looked pretty good but they are FULL groove) Get my parts....ARGH ARGH ARGH I get 15 bearings :mad::mad: so...must wait to receive 1 rod bearing so I can button it up. THEN.... while the motor is hanging on the hoist... BANG chick runs a stop sign and wipes out my truck. Flipped it and rolled it....so NOW I'm down my TRUCK ..AND I'M down with multiple broken ribs a couple fractured vertebrae. Merry Christmas
 




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