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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked this up, a deal so good I couldn't pass it by. 1968 Ford Thunderbird with the 429 option.

Runs and drives great but I have a question about electronics for you guys... the windows worked when I test drove it but were slow, then were slower when I drove it home, now nothing. I can hear them click when I press the buttons but no go. It has a newer battery and the charging system is good. Also the radio clicks when I turn it on and off but no sound. Same with the blower motor, and door locks, and horn, and blinkers, lol. Basically everything inside has some power but not enough to do anything. Any ideas???
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Welcome to the FFO!!

Very nice 'Bird!
First year for the 429.
Has cornering lamps & power antenna
Very nice under hood. Doesn't look like anyone messed or modified that area.

Now to your power issue. Or lack of power. Just because you have new electrical parts does not mean they are well connected or working well. That is only an assumption and for now we know there are issues. Just don't know what is at issue.

Do a quick & EZ test. With a volt meter across the battery what is the voltage with
engine off & door closed?
Engine on warmed up at idle?
Engine on warmed up and about 2000 RPM?

The wiring in a 50+ year old car may need help. More so for the connections. And do the above for a good start.
Also just give wiring a gentle tug, are battery cables firmly connected? How about at the starter relay? Alternator? Regulator?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply!

A quick back story should be in order for this topic, the starter solenoid was recently replaced by the PO with a cheap parts store Chinese one that promptly melted both battery cables the same day that I got it home. I was able to pull one of the terminals loose before it caught fire or exploded the battery luckily! I replaced it with the best (most expensive) MotoCraft solenoid from RockAuto along with a new battery and cables and I added another heavy gauge ground from the engine to the frame while doing that.

After replacing those I checked alternator output and everything is normal there, 14v @ 2000ish rpm. The headlights are as bright as I assume they should be. I am having brightness problems with the taillights but I'm going to try replacing the crusty sockets and mismatched bulbs before I go further down that rabbit hole. But on that topic, Where is the flasher located on these? I would like to replace that first to see if that helps my sequential blinkers.

Anyway, back to the other electricals, last night I pulled the window switches from the drivers door and I'm only getting a couple volts at best if any going to the switches. So something before the switches is either cutting the power completely or severely restricting it. What could cause this in this car? I wiggled and jiggled all of the wires and plugs under the dash already, lol.

Edit: and all of the fuses are good
 

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OK sounds like the charging system is working. And just over 14 volts would be a better place.

Do check grounds.
The engine may have a good ground to the frame. But almost nothing uses the frame for a ground. Most all of the grounds are to the body.
Make sure the engine to body ground is connected. It is at the back of the engine to the cowl.
Where does the - battery cable bolt to?

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yea, it gets over 14v the higher I rev it. I dont have a tach, I was just checking to make sure the voltage went up with RPM. The battery negative is bolted to a bolt just behind the alternator on the engine. then from there I have another auxiliary ground going to the frame.

Still have not figured out the windows. Does anybody know where the window relay is located on these birds?

The heating/AC blower fan clicks when I cycle the switch so there is power getting to it. I'm beginning to think that it it just seized somehow, either from sitting or a buildup of something inside there. But to access it I think I have to darn near pull the engine! Is there an easy way to access the fan motor?

Also the radio has very slight sound going to 1 speaker at max volume so the head unit works and I can get radio stations to play but does this sound like wiring or connections or speakers or what would cause that?
 

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Still have not figured out the windows. Does anybody know where the window relay is located on these birds?

The heating/AC blower fan clicks when I cycle the switch so there is power getting to it. I'm beginning to think that it it just seized somehow, either from sitting or a buildup of something inside there. But to access it I think I have to darn near pull the engine! Is there an easy way to access the fan motor?

Also the radio has very slight sound going to 1 speaker at max volume so the head unit works and I can get radio stations to play but does this sound like wiring or connections or speakers or what would cause that?
Full sized Ford of the era commonly had the power window relay fastened to the starter relay under the + battery cable.

The fan clicks or the AC clutch clicks?

Sounds like the speaker is bad

This publication may help
ORIGINAL 1968 FORD THUNDERBIRD SHOP MANUAL SUPPLEMENT BOOK ~1st Printing~ | eBay
To be used with the 1968 shop manual
1968 Ford and Mercury Shop Manual - Ford Motor Co. | eBay

If you want to go hard core get the wiring diagram. Can be bought separately
1968 FORD THUNDERBIRD FACTORY OVERSIZED WIRING DIAGRAMS SHEETS SET | eBay
Or the whole set for all models
FORD 1968 Wiring & Vacuum Diagrams Registered Technician Manual Form 7795 P-68 | eBay

That whole set is a steal!!!> I have seen those sell for $75 to $100

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