Gil’s Garage

Gil Baumgartner
CTCI Authenticity Chairman

New & Updated Articles

Removing the windshield Wiper Motor

The windshield vacuum wiper motor is mounted to a bracket ...
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Bench Checking an Overdrive Solenoid

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The overdrive solenoid can ...
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Body/Suspension/Steering

1955/56/57 Thunderbird Steering column repair

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman I have recently had several Thunderbirds brought to my shop to correct a botched ...
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Correct Color for Power Seat Riser Bar

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Correct Paint Color for Power Seat Vertical Bar (Right Photo) The power seat track ...
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Brakes

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman I have recently observed several Thunderbirds with what I will call "maintenance malpractices" used ...
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Brake Fluid

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman Adapted from the Airheads BMW Club newsletter - July 1995 Battle of the ...
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Disc Brake Performance

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Two types of combination valves are shown in picture 1. When installing a combination ...
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Disc Brake Conversion

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman Converting to disc brakes on your Thunderbird will provide you with significantly improved ...
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Dial-O-Matic Seat Basics

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman This article and accompanying photos will provide some basic information about the Dial-0-Matic seat ...
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Change That Brake Fluid

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman If you cannot remember or do not know when the brake fluid was ...
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Windshield Wiper Vacuum Source

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman This article explains how to connect the vacuum source from the engine to the ...
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Wheel Info – 1957

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman 1957 Passenger Cars except Station Wagons, Retracts and Ranchero. 14" X 5" with slot ...
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Tire Safety / Age

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Many members will be taking to the road this summer, in their Classic Thunderbirds, ...
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Seat Belt Instructions

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman (Click here for instructions.) Gil Return to Gil's Garage ...
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Repairing the Differential Flange Seal Surface

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman A common problem that is easy to repair is oil leaking from the pinion ...
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Rear Brake Wheel Cylinders

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman This information applies to drum brake cars only. I have detected a potential problem ...
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Mechanical Brake Light Switch

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Thunderbird parts dealers have developed a mechanical brake lamp switch designed special for the ...
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Manual Window Mechanism Modification

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman While adjusting the side door glass you may have experience difficulty in getting ...
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Keys: Ignition, Trunk, & Tag

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The ignition key on the left is the type that fit the FoMoCo replacement ...
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Improving Windshield Wiper Function

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman A Frequently Asked Question: How do I improve the function of my original Thunderbird ...
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Idler Arm Bushing

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The power steering idle arm bushings are more than likely one of the most ...
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Front Hub Bearings

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman I recently repaired a 57 Thunderbird that had bearing failure on one of the ...
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Fender Skirt/Tire Rub

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman I have listed common causes for rear tire to fender skirt rub, which ...
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Electrical

Overdrive and Power Window relays bench check

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Bench Checking Overdrive & Power Seat Relays The overdrive relay can be bench checked ...
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Bench Check Window & Seat Motors

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Window and seat motors can be checked on the bench with a power supplied ...
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Bench Check Ignition Coils

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman No doubt the ignition coil is one part that has been changed when it ...
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Checking Pertronix with a Sun Distributor Machine

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Above are three pictures using a 9V battery to check Pertronix. Attach a 9V ...
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Battery Cables

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The importance of good battery cables, clean connections and good grounds are sometimes over ...
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Batteries

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman A frequently ask question is what type and where can I buy a battery ...
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Battery for 6v to 12v Conversion

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman When making a 6 V to 12 V conversion on a 1955 Thunderbird it ...
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Checking Operation of Fuel & Temp Gauges

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman It is very simple to check the temperature and fuel gauges that have been ...
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Batteries Revisted: Current Battery availability For 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Authentic Power Punch batteries that were installed in 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds at FoMoCo when our ...
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The Importance Of The Correct Engine To Firewall Ground Cable

The Thunderbird engine is mounted on rubber mounts. As a result, it’s necessary to install a ground wire from the ...
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Switch Accessory Overload

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The ignition switch on all 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds have a threaded post designed to accommodate ...
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Removing Dash Switches and Controls

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Removal of dash switches, etc is a fairly simple task that can be accomplished ...
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Removal of 1957 Speedometer

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The 1957 Thunderbird speedometer removal is not as difficult as it may appear. It ...
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Overdrive Kickdown Switch

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman If you have attempted to install or replace an overdrive kick down switch without ...
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Overdrive Governor Test

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The overdrive governor is actually a grounding switch. When the vehicle reaches a speed ...
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Heater and Vent Control Assembly

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman When installing a reproduced heater control plastic faceplate (P/N 18619) the letters do not ...
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Headlight Switch

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The rheostat for the dash lights has proven to be the weakest part of ...
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Engine

1957 Reproduction Air Cleaner Assembly, Potential Problem

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Photo # 1(click on picture for larger image) Photo # 2 (click on picture ...
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Balancer (Squeaking Noise Lower Front Engine)

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman I will quote a statement that I have heard from several 1955/56/57 Thunderbird owners ...
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1957 Thermostat

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Because of its large opening the NAPA # 6 has been a very popular ...
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Distributor Vacuum Advance Line Connections 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The following procedure is used to insure the vacuum line from the carburetor to ...
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Distributor Rotor Retainer

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The 1955 & 1956 distributors have a retainer clip attached to the upper center ...
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312 Truck Y Block Engines

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The Y block engines used in Ford Trucks from 1954 - 1957 had the ...
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Cracked or Broken Ear on Exhaust Manifolds

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Most cracked or broken ears on exhaust manifolds are caused by the use of ...
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Facts and Myths regarding Engine Oil

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman As you know when you go into an auto parts store to purchase oil ...
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Valve Gapper

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman More than likely the best tool ever for adjusting the valves on the 292/312 ...
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Ford Y Block Head Bolts 239, 256, 272, 292 & 312 CI Engines

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman One of the most common errors made while installing cylinder heads on a ...
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Cracked Exhaust Manifold

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman What created the condition that cracked this 1956 Thunderbird exhaust manifold? Exhaust manifold over ...
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1956 Ford Dual Four Carburetors (8-V Option)

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The first high performance kit for 1956 Ford models was released September 22, 1955 ...
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Transmission Bell Housings

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Over the years, I’ve received several calls regarding the finish of transmission bell housings ...
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Thermostats

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Thermostats allow the engine to reach efficient operating temperature as quickly as possible. They ...
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Small cylinder head plug

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Small Cylinder Head Plug The right hand (passenger side) cylinder head on all 292/312 ...
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Revisit 1955/56/57 Thunderbird Overheating

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman As most of you know, engine overheating can be a problem, and if you ...
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Proper Lubrication before Starting a Newly Rebuilt Engine

Gil's Garage Gil Baumgartner CTCI Authenticity Chairman Before starting a newly rebuilt engine the oiling system can and should be ...
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Preventing Paint Burn Off On the Intake Manifold

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Paint burn off at the intake center cross over has always been a problem ...
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P&G Valve Gapper Model 111 Instructions

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman PHOTO 1 - Insure the dial indicator plunger is free. It must move freely ...
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Notes on neoprene Rear Main Seal

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Rear Main Seal Oil leaks from the rear main seal on the Ford Y ...
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Neoprene Rear Oil Seal Installation (Plus other key points to consider)

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman By Ted Eaton Y-Blocks would appear to have garnered a reputation for marking their ...
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Locating Top Dead Center

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The FoMoCo shop manuals address the location of the timing marks on passenger cars, ...
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Installing Intake Manifold Gaskets

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman If you own a Thunderbird long enough sooner or later it will be necessary ...
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Frozen Distributor Points Plate

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman If the vacuum advance mechanism is unable to rotate the distributor points plate and ...
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Engine Oil Pump Rebuild Procedures

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Many Thunderbird owners prefer to retain the original aluminum housing style oil pump during ...
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Engine Oil – Part 2 (Engine Oil and ZDDP)

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman In the last year or so loads of information has surfaced regarding engine oil ...
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Engine Oil

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Engine oil has always been an interesting topic as well as constantly changing to ...
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Fuel System

Holley Carburetors and the Holley Custom Shop

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman All 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds were originally equipped with Holley carburetors. The following pictures show the ...
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Carburetor Base Gaskets

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The following information corrects previous available data regarding the carburetor to intake manifold gaskets ...
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Carburetor Vacuum Leak

Does your 1955/56 or E-model 57 idle rough or too fast and appear to have a vacuum leak that you ...
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Choke Tube

Parts that are occasionally neglected are the pieces that make up the coke heater system. The 1956/57 models have a ...
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Vapor Lock and Electric Fuel Pumps

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Vapor locks are created in fuel systems when excessive heat turns liquid fuel into ...
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Revisiting Fuel With Ethanol

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman As most everyone knows it is extremely difficult to find gasoline that does not ...
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Holley 4000 Carburetor – Power Valve System

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The Holley 4000 carburetor, standard equipment on 1955/56 Thunderbirds is a very good carburetor ...
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Fuel Pump Leakage

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman If you own an Early Thunderbird 1955/56/57 sooner or later you will experience oil ...
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Ignition System

Distributor Installation

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Over the last few months I observed several Thunderbird distributors installed with a gasket ...
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Distributor

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman When doing a major tune up the importance of the of the distributor function ...
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1957 Vacuum Advance Mechanism

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The 1957 vacuum advance mechanism contains a spring, a stop, and washers. Washers can ...
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1957 Distributor

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The function of the 1957 distributor differs from the '55 and '56 models in ...
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Vacuum Advance Mechanisms

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Pictured from left to right are the 1955,1956,1957 vacuum advance mechanisms. These items are ...
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Timing Marks

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The timing marks for all original 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds can be difficult to locate on ...
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Timing Light

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman As mentioned in the article on ignition timing one essential function of a major ...
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Mallory Distributor

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman Pictured is a Mallory centrifugal advance tach drive distributor for a 1955 thru 1957 ...
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Ignition Switch Wiring – 1955, 1956, 1957

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The wiring diagram can be confusing, especially the ignition switch, for anyone using the ...
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Starting/Charging System

Starter Bendix

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman A problem you do not need unless you are at home with the car ...
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Transmission

Bench Checking an Overdrive Solenoid

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The overdrive solenoid can be bench checked before installing it in the transmission overdrive ...
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Transmission Fluid Leak at the Drive Shaft Yoke

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman As our Thunderbirds reach close to 60 years old, strange problems are starting to ...
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Servicing The Overdrive Transmission

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman When servicing or checking the oil level in an overdrive transmission it has two ...
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Removal and Replacement of the Neutral Safety Switch

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The neutral safety switch P/N 7A247 is no big deal to replace. Removal and ...
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Fordomatic Transmission Identification

Gil's Garage Gil BaumgartnerCTCI Authenticity Chairman The identification of the Fordomatic transmission can be rather confusing. There are fifty eight ...
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