Welcome to the website of the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland (CTCC). We are dedicated to the preservation of the 1955, 1956 and 1957 Ford Thunderbird.

The Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland was formed in 1961 to bring together owners of this unique automobile and to provide a forum for the exchanging of ideas, technical information, social activity and fellowship. Whether your classic Thunderbird is a driver or show car, members have found CTCC an invaluable support group of spirited enthusiasts.


Come and enjoy the fun, the cars and the friendships that you will find in the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland. Don't wait, Join Today!

For membership information:
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  • Ken Smizinski, President
  • Len Keil, Vice President
  • Liz Werth, Secretary
  • Jim Wilson, Treasurer
  • Ed Levin, Director
  • Lloyd Schellin, Director
  • Len Vinyard, Director
  • Bert Eisenhour, Bird-News
  • Ken Smizinski, Technical
  • Madeline Zambon, Membership
  • Liz Werth, Publicity
  • Bob Wenderski, Librarian
  • Mike Cielenski, Web Admin


For more information, requests, submissions, and comments, email us:

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Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland

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Tech Tip: Power Steering Fluid

Posted on 09/07/2008 by jlgrnbrg

The power steering systems for the 1955-1957 Thunderbirds were designed to run on Type A transmission fluid. Since Type A transmission fluid is no longer available, many Thunderbird owners and their mechanics have used power steering fluids in their Thunderbird steering systems. Power steering fluid will work in your car's system, but by using regular power steering fluid your system is subject to developing leaks. This is due to the fact that power steering fluid is "thinner" than Type A transmission fluid. The "thinner" fluid is able to leak out of the seals, central valve, and cylinder. The solution to this problem is to once again use transmission fluid in your Thunderbird's power steering system. Though Type A transmission fluid is no longer available, Type F or FA transmission fluid is available and is an acceptable substitute.

Since Ken Smizinski has supplied this important maintenance tip, I asked him what a Thunderbird owner should do if he has been using standard power steering fluid in his Thunderbird. Ken recommends that to insure that the system has not been damaged or compromised, the power steering system should be drained completely, inspected, and refilled using the above recommended transmission fluids. Since draining the system completely introduces air into the system which can render your system inoperable if not removed completely, this complete change in fluid should only be done by a qualified mechanic! This is not a job for someone like me, your typical "dangerous" do-it-yourselfer. Make sure you know your own "mechanical" limitations. A Bird, and its owner, are a terrible thing to waste!!!

As an alternative to complete replacement, the less preferable option is to start using the above transmission fluids as you need them. Remove as much of the power steering fluid as you can from the reservoir and replace it with the appropriate transmission fluid. As you run low on fluid continue to add transmission fluid. Power steering fluid can be mixed with transmission fluid. If your lucky, you will eventually have enough transmission fluid in your system to stop any leaks caused by using power steering fluid. This fluid change over, however, will not fix any leaks in your system caused from old, hard seals, worn out pumps, and other problems associated with an aging system. If your car, however, has a new power steering system, yet you have leaks, this tip may solve your problem. Good luck, and remember your own "mechanical" limitations!!!

Source: CTCC Tech-Tip Manual 1993-1997


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