1957 Ford Thunderbird misses on acceleration

ford
thunderbird

#1

Have 1957 Ford T bird with 312 engine. Runs great cold warms up and starts missing when accelerating.


#2

Ignition points, coil, spark plugs, ignition wires, bad fuel, carburetor needs rebuilding… All could cause a miss.


#3

In 1957, cars needed spark plugs, points and condensor, Inspect cap and wires, chech dwell and reset timing and usually a carb adjustment every 10,000 miles. Also, make sure the choke is all the way open when hot and make sure the exhaust heat riser is not frozen shut.


#4

And the fuel system was not designed for ethanol fuels.
Depending if you want to keep it pure stock or not. I would replace the ignition system with a modern pointless system and either go with a new carburetor designed for ethanol or a throttle body FI system.


#5

Those had some choke problems too, or at least ours did, so check to make sure the choke is fully opened when warmed up. A good ear usually tells you if a miss is spark or fuel.


#6

If the choke isn’t causing the problem check the exhaust heat riser valve and the entire exhaust. A restriction in the exhaust on either side will force exhaust gas under the intake and overheat it. Often the heat can get severe enough to make the intake crossover glow.


#7

Vacuum advance hose shot or diaphragm broken? Suck on the hose and see what’s happening under the dist cap.


#8

I would check the vacuum advance too. I had a leak in the diaphragm on a 69 Skylark, idled fine, would bog down as soon as you gave it gas.


#9

The bird only does this once it fully warmed up…runs great cold.


#10

How long does it take to fully warm up?

Some 312 engines had 3 thermostats, 2 in the block behind the water pump and 1 at the intake. One of the block mounted thermostats can cause the cylinders on one side to overheat and miss without affecting the other.


#11

You may need to go to a nursing home to find a mechanic with the right experience to troubleshoot, or get in touch with Jay Leno.


#12

NURSING HOME… I resemble that remark. I have worked on mid 50s Fords including T-Birds with Mercury 312 engines and hope to be busting my knuckles 'till I run out of gas… But realistically getting that car properly taken care of could require a ‘seasoned’ mechanic who enjoys getting under the hood of one of the great cars from the past. And I enjoy a challenge occasionally as do my ‘seasoned’ friends. Asking around for recommendations in the area might be worthwhile.

BTW, does the car have a 3 speed manual?


#13

Funny you should think you need to go to a nursing home. In Automobile magazine this month they had an article on McPherson College in Kansas. They have a four year degree program for automotive restoration. They only take 40 kids a year but they learn all about the old cars, car history, body work, painting, engines, interiors, etc. Plus they have to take the normal course work for a liberal arts degree. Sounded like the grads do quite well and are sought after by car museums. Jay Leno is a supporter. So I dunno, maybe drive down to McPherson, Kansas and have the kids take a look see after class.

Even though I was dying for some practical articles like body work and painting, this is the closest I’ve seen and I’m still not renewing this subscription either.