Question about 1988 Ford Thunderbird

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1965 Ford Thunderbird swing away steering wheel,

Hi, I am wondering before I decide to buy this 1965 Ford Thunderbird,how do you swing away the steering wheel, He has no Owners Manual &He was never told how to, I'm guessing it`s at the center of the steering wheel where the horn is, but when I grab it, it`s very loose,And the Driver side window is powered, slides up & down by hand is it off track?, Is there anything that I should look for before buying it, I don`t have a lot of money, but I am mechanically Inclined, just don`t want to throw my money away, Thanks Brian

Posted by Bonemangler on

  • Greg Bernett
    Greg Bernett May 11, 2010

    The hardest part about what you are looking to do if it needs repairs is that the parts are a little hard to come by....even searching ebay. Plus, the year and the model of ford you have makes the parts more expensive.



    To get a manual, go to the Ford Dealership and talk to them. They are a good resource. Even though they normally charge an arm and a leg for things, it is the manufacturer of the vehicle.

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Anonymous

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The swing-away column has adjustable features -- it should swing away when it is in "Park." If it does not, extra upward pressure on the shift lever (upward) may release it. If this is the case, however, be careful when pulling the wheel back to center -- the shifter may fall out of park and go into reverse. The horn center is a bit vexing, but it is removed with a 1/4 (or so) turn, and pull off. Then, examine it to see how it should go back on. Not the best setup. As to the glass, the plastic gear in the regulator may be completely shot, allowing the free movement. Good luck.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

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Hi there. They are great cars once you get all the little bugs out of them. I own a '66. So if you have one that is not rusted it would be a good purchase since most of the things that go on these are easy to replace or fix. To swing the wheel to the right do the following: When the shifter is in the park position, move the shift lever up and slide the wheel to the right at the same time - it's pretty cool. I joined a T-Bird Forum and learned some good things there.

Posted on Dec 16, 2010

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Hi!
I have a 1966 and my column had the same problem. With my car, the mechanism just under the dash was rusted. A few shots with PB Blaster (penetrating oil) and it would move but very stiff. I adjusted it a little and it moved easier so that may fix your problem. It should move with I think 5lbs of force with the car in park. There is no lever to trip for this function. While you are working on this, observe how easy it is for the column shift operates. If it is easy to shift from Park to Reverse, your detent plate may be worn. I would HIGHLY recommend you replacing this item anyway. You don't want it to shift out of park unexpectedly and doing damage to your car, shop, or even worse you! They are available from several restoration vendors and are not that expensive. Things to look for is rust. These cars are uni body construction and rust in the wrong places will be expensive to repair. The most common areas are trunk (inside), battery tray inner fender area, floor boards, and rear fenders. If there is rust in the torque boxes, I would pass on this one, maybe buy for parts. As for parts, there are several reproduction companies as well as your local parts store for engine parts. The Ford FE engine series, 390 in your case, is still a popular engine and stock parts as well as performance items can still be had at reasonable prices. EBay is a good source of used as well as NOS parts. You wont be able to get many parts at the dealer, especially owners manual but these are available reproduction. Your window problem is more than likely the nylon rollers are worn. Pretty common. If you buy this car, the first thing you need is a FACTORY shop manual available on EBay. Second is join VTCI. Its a club for Thunderbirds that have many knowledgeble folks that can help you with everything!

Posted on Apr 06, 2009

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