57 Thunderbird chassis

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Posted · Report post

Hi all,

I am going to be taking on a 57 Ford Thunderbird AMT kit. I am sure some of you are aware that the chassis on this kit is not the best with the exhaust and drive train molded in.

Any suggestion on a good replacement I can kit bash from?

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Posted · Report post

You can try AMT's '56, although looking at the chassis it's a little on the big side. Or it could be that the '57 kit is not exactly 1/25.

I'd love to see a new tool '57 T-Bird, but I doubt that's going to happen.

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Posted · Report post

You could try the '56 AMT chassis, but the engine in the '56 is just short of junk. Proportions are iffy, and it has a kind of 'unfinished' look.

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Posted · Report post

I agree on using the AMT 56 Thunderbird chassis, though it is a tad bigger, (& as mentioned the 57 might be a tad undersized, AMT had a few kits that way in the so called "Golden Age" of the hobby), & will need some trimming to get it to fit. That's in the plans when I tackle my build of the 57, & I have both kits at the ready for the conversion.

I also agree with Chuck on the shortcomings of the engine in the 56 Thunderbird. If you have an AMT 56 or 57 Ford kit handy, the engines in those kits, albeit from older tooling, offer a better alternative to the 57 or 56 Thunderbird engines. Kit bashing the best parts from the 56/57 Thunderbird engines with the 56 or 57 Ford engines will give you an excellent basis for a nicely built engine.

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Posted · Report post

be aware that the Thunderbirds used rear sump oil pans when you're converting the "full-size" Y-blocks from the '56-'57 kits. also, the distributor on a Y-block exits the top rear of the block at an angle, not straight up.

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Posted · Report post

be aware that the Thunderbirds used rear sump oil pans when you're converting the "full-size" Y-blocks from the '56-'57 kits. also, the distributor on a Y-block exits the top rear of the block at an angle, not straight up.

YES! EVERY Y-block kit has gotten that wrong. The distributor is angled a few degrees to the passenger's side.

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Posted · Report post

Try looking at the Revell 1956 Ford F-100 truck kit as a powerplant alternative ........... Ed Shaver

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Posted · Report post

one other problem with the 56 t-bird is the interior and engine compartment is too deep and the frame rails of the chassis are visible below the rocker panels. this shouldn't be the case. the bottom of the frame rail should be even with te bottom of the rocker panel.

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Posted · Report post

It'll be interesting to see how correct the Y-Block will be in the new tool '57 Ford.

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