'56 Thunderbird Engine Bay Restoration

Discussion in 'The "Other" Bench' started by Bluzilla, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    I was flipping through some of my shop project photos and thought these may be of interest. This 1956 Thunderbird with a 312-cubic inch Y-Block came to me after sitting for more than 12 years. It came for what was to be simple brake work and engine fire-up. When I pulled the second spark plug to give her a shot of fogging spray, ..... coolant poured out. Then when I pulled the exhaust manifold so I could remove the head and replace the head gasket I found acorns, seeds and fuzz in the exhaust ports of the right head (along with plenty of turds). That's where this full blown project took off. After a full engine rebuild, stripping, prime and painting the engine bay and front frame section, replacing the main harness (dash and forward harness are all in one), rebuild and restoring every component from the firewall forward along with a boat load of new parts, all 4 brakes including lines, hoses, fittings and hardware, rebuilding the power steering control valve and power assist ram, and power steering pump, the dual piggy back distributor vacuum advance canisters (sent out) for restoration, rebuild and updating the "Tea Pot" carburetor and all fuel/vacuum lines, new radiator, rebuild and restore the 12v generator, along with correcting countless issues with components.
    After all was said and done when I went to fire it up it started immediately. The only issue was after running the engine for a minute or two I could hear rattling in the right exhaust and after shutting it down that pipe smoked for at least 5 minutes. I removed the right side exhaust and once again found acorns, nuts, and fuzz inside the muffler (a couple acorns where actually burning), ...... I ended up installing a new full exhaust system. Those critters crawled up from the tip of the tail pipe, all the way through the muffler baffles and up into the exhaust ports!
    After everything was said and done, ... Then all was good!
    Too many pictures to put up so I'll try to hit the best ones and add a few on the next post.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
    1967 Big Buick likes this.
  2. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    Here's a few more pics.

    Attached Files:

  3. 1972Mach1

    1972Mach1 Just some guy.....

    Nice work Larry! I love the Y-block T-bird valve covers.
  4. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    Thanks, ...... yeah I like those valve covers too. The car came to me with the black steel covers that were mangled up. I had to twist the car's owners arm a bit to get him on board with the aluminum covers, but he did and I think it paid off.

  5. Brian Albrecht

    Brian Albrecht Gold Level Monkey

    Love the muffler cut-a-way shot! Nice work!
  6. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    Thanks, Yeah I didn't feel like wasting time dealing with all the spot welds as it was just going to the scrap pile anyway, ... so I grabbed the trusty air chisel and got her done. :cool:

  7. BYoung

    BYoung Stage me

    That’s some impressive work.

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