Sunday, November 12, 2017


Sunday OCT. 5 we drove the Starliner to Mohave Valley (about 70 miles) for the Sheriffs K9 benefit car show.

 There is a verity of different cars that show up.
 Local jeeps nicely done

 Nice restored Edsel.
 The Sheriff deputies put police dog demonstrations during the day this dog is still in training.

 This 41 convertible won the store owner award.

 There were only 3 awards given by the store owner, Fire Dept. and Sheriff Dept. so out of the over 100 cars that were there we won the Fire Dept. award.

Monday, October 30, 2017


With the engine installed the rest of the parts and accessory must be found; sorted, cleaned (again) then installed, if I can find all the right screws, nuts and bolts.

 I had installed a new back plate for the dash & transmission controllers with a terminal strip, pre-wired the dash and wiring harness for all the new senders, gauges and cruise control.
 The dash was installed along with the A/C ducts and new vacuum lines for the rear fresh air ducts and e-break release.

The A/C system & lines, fuel / EFI system & lines, radiator, fan and front of engine, power steering pump, windshield washer & lines, alternator and belts all took a lot of work and time as there is not much room around the engine.
 I install a new battery box (from Hot Rods By Dean) and a new Optima battery, the rebuilt surge tank, aluminum radiator and shock tower braces. The EFI wiring was installed and connected.
 The re-chromed  trim and center console with all the accessory that go into it went together without a hitch. The swing a way steering wheel was another challenge to find and fit the parts.
 Once the center console was in I tried the lower panels below the dash and found they would not clear the new back plate and controllers and had to cut down the plate and move & remount the  devices and terminal strip then rewire it all.
 The new, relocated fuel door needed a revised filler pipe assembly that I made from a 45 degree filler hose and then cut and welded the filler pipe to fit.

 The pictures above and below are of the fuel filler pipe cover plate; the gets installed in the trunk, was cut and fitted with a new piece.  This goes around the filler hose and then is welded.
 The filler cover installed.
 Sail panel and rear air grill was installed.
Still lots of trim, door and rear quarter windows, weather striping and testing to do.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


After almost a year I picked up the Thunderbird from Hackberry auto body and can begin to put it back together. The following 3 pictures are the day I got it home, the color "Blazin Copper" and changes in different light as you can see in the pictures.

 The camera that we have had for 12 years stop working so I missed recording the first week of work of reinstalling the wiring, new A/C system, wipers & motor, new Fitech fuel tank, windshield washer system and all the water, vacuum & A/C lines.
 With the engine back in the car's front end came down about 3" and gave it a nice low stance.

 The trunk and back of the car got a re chromed bumper assembly and new bird emblem & new lock Bezel.
There is not much room for any added electrical control devices behind the dash so I installed the digital gauge and transmission gear selector control behind a removable panel in the front of the center console along with a terminal strip for the cruise control and other added accessories.
 There is lots of wiring & vacuum lines to be sorted out and connected in these T- Birds.
 This is the back of the new digital dash.
 This is the front of the new digital dash.
 The engine bay was completely smoothed, filled and detailed at the body shop.
We bought a new Nikon digital camera that took these pictures and I will provide progress pictures as the car goes back together.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


In August we had planed a trip to Coeur d' Alene Idaho to met up and visit with my daughter and grand kids and Karen's daughter and her grand kids it turned out that the Good Guy's car show in Spokane was at the same time and decided to take the Starliner for the 3 day show. The trip was 22 hours of driving and 1800 miles one way (long trip.) Spokane is about 30 miles from Coeur d' Alene and I would drive the Starliner to the show each day. Friday morning I picked up my son in law and drove to Spokane for the first day, all went well.

 The Spokane Fair Grounds is very nice with lots of trees and grass and we got the car parked and cleaned then went for a walk to see the other cars.
 Took very few pictures on Friday as we would have 2 more days for them and Saturday has the most cars at the show.
 This is a DeSoto 2 door with a Fire Dome (hemi) in it. I had a 57 DeSoto Fire Dome in my 50 Ford in high school.
 Friday afternoon about 3 PM we started the car to drive back and had our first problem, the car would not go into gear had no reverse and no drive but it went into gear in low. we got out of the show into the parking lot and  checked the shifting linkage  and still just had low.Started out and found it would shift to all 3 gears so drove out to the freeway and got about 10 miles when the car died running at 65 and coasted to the shoulder. Tried every thing I could think of to get it started with no luck and burned up the starter solenoid in the process. Was able to find a tow truck that would get the lowered car on it without damage and took back to the RV park where we were staying. Loaded the car into the trailer using the wench and called it a day. That night I started some internal bleeding and took it easy on Saturday, that afternoon the bleeding continued to get worse and Karen took me to the Hospital where I spent Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night. They got the bleeding stopped and I got out Monday morning.
 Monday afternoon I felt OK so we went with my Daughter (below) and grand kids to a gold mine about 30 miles out of Coeur d' Alene.

 Grand kids and son in law on the tour of the mine.
 Some of the old tools left in the mine.
 Karen in the gift shop buying post cards.
 After the mine tour went out to an area setup with tubs of sand and stones in water to learn how to pan for gold.

 Karen and Charlie enjoyed the nice weather.

 We all tried our hand at panning for gold with little success but found a lot pretty stones.

 Karen and my Daughter drove me home that took another 22 hours and 2 days. 
 After a few days home I worked on the Starliner to find out what went wrong. First installed a new starter solenoid then installed a new electric fuel pump at the gas tank to make sure the Fitech tank had gas in it then called Fitech after trying to start the car several times. The tech had me run some tests and found that the high pressure pump was not working and that,s why the engine die,ed (ran out of gas). I fabricated a spanner wrench to get the Fitech Tank apart to install the new pump they sent me. The engine fired right up with the new pump.

 Last problem was the transmission. After checking everything outside the transmission I dropped the pan and found that the shift rod had come out of the shift arm. There is a stop on top of the shift arm that has warn out over the years and must be removed to weld a new stop on it.
I found a transmission shop in Kingman that is willing to come out to the house to do the repair but will have to wait until next Saturday for him to have the time.
A long trip with a lot of problems but it was nice to see the family.