Rick’s Thunderbird Restoration

Rick’s Thunderbird Restoration

We’ve all heard of a “Rust Bucket.”  It’s that car that you see ambling down the highway at a speed approximately 15 miles under the speed limit.  The car may first be hidden behind a cloud of exhaust as you move to quickly pass and avoid asphyxiation.  As you pass, you notice that the paint has long since chipped away and the steel exterior of the vehicle is the color that you picture when you hear “tetanus.”

What about when you don’t want your car to become a rust bucket?

One Rust Patrol user, Rick, faced that dilemma when looking at his beautiful 1957 Ford Thunderbird.  There was no way that he was going to allow his vehicle to turn into a Rust Bucket.  Accordingly, Rick set about carefully protecting his Thunderbird so that it would operate well for years to come.

First, Rick tackled the internal problems.  He had always been plagued by a jumping mechanical tachometer cable that gets its’ source rotation from the distributor.  Rick applied Rust Patrol to the steel cable sheath. In doing so, Rust Patrol was able to penetrate and lubricate the rotating cable, preventing binding.


Next, he dealt with the carburetor.  The carburetor downshift levers would frequently stick.  Rick doesn’t like using heavy oils or greases to keep them free, so he tried Rust Patrol instead.  Rust Patrol’s penetrating capabilities came into play again and they were able to penetrate to free the levers. The long-lasting formula keeps the carburetor downshift levers free and working smoothly.


As with any steel parts, Rick had corrosion problems.  His OEM single piston brake master cylinder was prone to rusting.  One spray application of Rust Patrol and a wipe-off took care of the rust and is protecting it.  Although Rust Patrol is not technically a rust remover or cleaner, the penetrating qualities means that Rust Patrol can get below the artificial corrosion on the surface.  Getting to the metal surface also allows Rust Patrol to prevent future corrosion for a long time.


Rick also had an issue with his transmission staying in gear.  The detents in the shifter mechanism haven’t always seated the tranny in Park securely.  After an application of Rust Patrol, the problem is no more!


As Rick put it:  “Pulling the emergency brake mechanism has been an embarrassment; the force required almost pops a hemorrhoid.”  Yikes!  However, a liberal application of Rust Patrol penetrated alongside and into the mechanism to break down that corrosion, free it from rust, and lubricate the slide mechanism to work like it has never worked before.


Some problems had been plaguing Rick for years.  The Thunderbird’s under-the-dash mechanical speedo cable had always had hang-ups that caused a jumping needle.  By swabbing Rust Patrol over the wound cable sheath and letting it soak, Rick was able to solve this decade-old problem.


Did you know that back in the day, the only cabin floor ventilation was from vents that opened from the side of the front fenders?  Unfortunately, the mechanisms were exposed to the rain, salt, dust, rust, and other elements.  To compound the problem, the mechanisms could not be washed out.  After 60 years, the vents squeaked when forced open and shut – if they worked at all.  A liberal spray application of Rust Patrol into the internal mechanisms solved that problem! Now, the vents move smoothly, so Rick can enjoy the ventilation without the horrible squeaks.


After dealing with the mechanical issues, Rick turned to some of the superficial problems.  His unrestored engine had faded paint valve covers. Using Rust Patrol, he was able to bring them back to a nice satin shine.


One of the biggest headaches of all was the squeaky, screechy, and clunky sounding door hinge stops that were a constant problem, no matter what Rick tried!  After a spray application of Rust Patrol, he has finally solved that problem! Those squeaks and terrible noises are now a thing of the past.


A nuisance for Rick is that his T-Bird’s rear bumper chrome has flecked off.  Unfortunately, the exposed steel has rusted.  An application of Rust Patrol and a little rubbing has removed the rust.  Furthermore, the corrosion has not returned after washing.


Now, with the help of Rust Patrol, Rick’s Thunderbird is ready to roll (pun intended) and working better than ever!


Thank you, Rick, for sharing your experience with Rust Patrol with us!  To submit your own experience with Rust Patrol, send us a message at [email protected] or Submit a Story online.