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How to Change the Battery on a 1960 Ford Thunderbird

Although it was larger than and not as sporty as its 1957 forebear, the 1960 Ford Thunderbird boasted classic lines and the unique "Square Bird" front end. Another appealing aspect of the 1960 Thunderbird was what lurked under the hood: a 352-cubic-inch V-8 engine capable of unleashing more than 300 horsepower. If you are lucky enough to own one, or are in the process of restoring a 1960 Ford Thunderbird, then you will no doubt need to change the battery so you can experience the thrill of hearing the V-8 growl.

Tools Used: Crescent wrench and Pliers (or correct-size box wrenches), Battery post and terminal cleaning tool, Gloves (optional)

Change the Battery

Open the hood on your 1960 Ford Thunderbird and make sure that it is safely propped open.

Adjust your crescent wrench to the correct size, ensuring that it fits snugly over the nut on one of the battery clamps. If you have a set of box wrenches, simply use the correct-size wrench instead of the crescent wrench; it'll make your job much easier. It doesn't matter whether you start on the positive or negative battery clamp.

Loosen the nut on the clamp. If the entire bolt in the clamp turns, you may have to use a pair of pliers to hold the bolt while you loosen the nut. There should be no need to remove the nut entirely; just loosen it enough to loosen the clamp from the battery post. Once you have one cable removed, repeat the process on the other clamp, loosening it until you're able to pull it off of the post.

Lift the old battery out of the compartment. If the battery is corroded or leaking, you should use gloves to lift the battery, as the acid is extremely corrosive and can burn your skin.

Clean the Thunderbird's terminals and clamps with your terminal cleaning tool. Brush it until the metal is clean and free of any corrosion. This will ensure you get a better connection when hooking up the new battery.

Place the new battery into the compartment. Be sure to place it in the correct position. The positive post (usually marked with a plus sign) must be lined up with the car's positive cable and the negative post (marked with a minus sign) with the negative cable.

Slide the terminals over the correct battery posts and tighten the clamps using your wrenches. Once the clamps are tightened, you should not be able to move the terminals on the battery posts.

Remove any tools that are near the engine compartment and start your Thunderbird. If the car fails to start, check the terminals. Try taking them off, cleaning both the terminals and battery posts with your cleaning tool, and replacing and tightening them. Start the car. Close the hood.

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