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Projects 1961 Ford Falcon four door RESTORATION

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GSEVEN, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Hello Ya'll,

    I'm a newb to the group so here is what I'm working with. I've never done a restoration and I can already tell I've bit off a little more then I can chew on this one. Bought this of craigslist for $1000 in the same town I live. Yes I know it's a four door but, I like the look and it's fits my whole family and I'm told has better gas milage then some modern cars. This is gonna be our around town Sunday grocery getter. No hot rod, it's gonna go to my daughter when she graduates. Maybe ;)

    After I got it home I realized it had more rust then I expected and therefore I am going to do a full media/sand blasting job on it. Before I started the strip down I attacked the engine to bring her back to life. Rebuilt the carb. Replaced fuel pump,water pump and did a tune up.

    Now I still don't know if it's a 144 or 170 yet but am thinking its a 144. The radiator was rusted out so I ordered a CU1463 Spectra Premium radiator but it didn't fit. It was a little thicker then the OEM even though it was advertised as a direct fit! :(

    So at the present I'm stuck in the water on that one. I did start her and she fired right up, yeah! Did a quick test gear shift and she moved so I may be ok on the tranny.

    So I jumped right in and started stripping her down. Removed hood, front glass and almost finished the two front fenders. The rusted bolts kicked my arse! There are a few down behind the front bumper that are rusted beyond belief. They hold the fenders to the front spoiler? I think it's called a spoiler. Like I said I'm a newb at this.

    Any way just wanted to introduce myself. Here's a few pics of the car and I'll post more tomorrow of the strip down. Till then...CYA!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,539

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    I like old 4 doors, I also like seeing something diffrent made cool, so make sure you follow through and get it put back together and it will be.:cool:

    You could name it Elvis, hence the bumper sticker:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  3. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,910

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Stop!!!
    Think!!!

    It's a big mistake to immediately start slinging parts off the car, especially with your experience level.

    Do you have a place to work?
    Do you have a place to store parts for...months at a time?
    Glass..What glass, the windshield?
    Have you documented every bolt, electrical connection, clip, washer, and rubber piece?
    Have you photographed each assembly before disassembly? You will not remember, it's like a Rubix Cube to the zillionth power.
    Have you labeled, each part with it's hardware, bolts and connectors bagged and tagged with it?
    Stay out of the whip zip bang cha ching after market parts catalogs at least for now. Most of that crap you do not need.
    Did you price getting the radiator re-cored/repaired from a reputable shop?

    Have you ever sand blasted a car? Are you prepared to immediately paint it afterwards? Do you know how to prevent sand or media from coming out of every crevice and grinding every hinge or moving body part for the next decade?

    Did You try to clean her up before you took it apart??

    I'm only trying to prevent you making the mistake I did when I was 15. The vehicle I destroyed meant something to me.

    What I would do if I were you.
    Carefully put it back together, if you can. Forget about the body for right now.

    #1 Evaluate the car, make a thorough bumper to bumper inspection. Actually you should have done this before you bought it.
    Pay close attention to the rocker panel and floor. Are the spring towers solid under the hood? How does the cowl look under the dash and how are the floors in that area. How does it look from underneath where the front end assembly meets the floor and firewall. This is the torque box. This car has no true frame. Rust especially surface rust is one thing, rust out is another. If the floors and torque box are rusted out, you may be better off finding another car.
    Check the floors under the mat/carpet. Check the truck and the rear suspension and where it mounts to the body. If it's repairable proceed, if not Craigslist or find a buildable Falcon and use this one for parts.

    #2 Buy the Factory Shop Manuals for this car.

    #3Will it roll? Will it stop? Make sure the brakes are in order. Grease the wheel bearings on the front while you do the front brakes. Do the lines need replaced? Most likely the rubber lines do. The wheel cylinders/master cylinder may can be cleaned up, if not buy new ones. Kits are a waste of time and money. Make sure the emergency brake works especially with the single cylinder. You may choose to upgrade the brakes later but for right now make sure whats on it works. Are the tires good if not replace them and you might as well paint the wheels or at least clean them up real good if you replace the tires.

    #4 The engine. The first thing you do to the engine is take off the gas cap and sniff but do not make a day out of it unless you want to be visited by Puff the Magic Dragon...
    If it smells like gasoline that's good. Most likely it will have a sicky sweet varnish smell, that's bad. Preferably outside with good ventilation away from ignition sources, drain the tank into a bucket or large pan. You may need several of these if the tank was full. Note the color and smell of the gas. Look for rust and crud. There should be a drain bolt on the bottom of the tank. If the gas was pretty clean you may can re use it if you pour it through a T shirt. If it smells of varnish and it's dirty or has water in it's no good. If you had to punch a hole through the crud to get it to drain, you likely need a new tank. You may can try to clean up but if it's rusty and dirty replacement id best. You can rig you up a small temporary tank to just run the engine.
    Blow out the fuel lines and replace any that are questionable. Put a good filter in the system.
    Have the original radiator repaired or try to find another Ford Falcon factory radiator and have it repaired. You may can find a good one at a junkyard.
    Make sure you have a good battery and all the wires especially the heavy wires are in good order. Check the ground straps.
    Lube all the carb linkage and make sure the fuel lines are new or a least clean, make sure the vacuum hoses are in good order.
    Change the oil and filter.
    Now the car should have decent brakes, a clean fuel system, decent tires, battery to the engine with all wires under the hood in order, carb hooked up and linkage working and the emergency brake in order, new radiator and hoses hooked up now she's ready to crank.
    Consult the manual for tuning info. If it runs OK you need to tune it up with new points plugs ect. If it runs poorly or not at all still replace plugs points ect. Keep the old condensor as the China/Mexico stuff may be bad out of the box. If it still does not run start trouble shooting it . tips swill be in the manual.

    Now the car runs and stops on good tires.

    #5 Check/change the dope in the transmission and rear axle.
    #6 Make sure tail lights, brake lights and head lights work.
    #7 Get insurance for it.
    #8 Take it for a spin and see what needs to be done.
    #9 Get some light Scotchbrite pads and lightly wash the car. Follow with rubbing compound. Buff then apply some car wax and buff again. You are going to be surprised in how good it will look. For the rust spots, scrub apply primer over naked metal with maybe some matching spot paint over that.
    #10 Now the car runs drives and looks pretty decent. Now you can think about serious body work or engine and brake hop up and upgrades. A plus with this method is you can still enjoy the car.

    IMHO this car does not look like it needs blasting.
     
    Surfcityrocker and shivasdad like this.
  4. mcnally351
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 407

    mcnally351
    Member
    from boston

    holy shit, what he said. lots of good info there
     
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  5. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Hello F One

    Stop!!!
    Too late I'm already past go
    Think!!!
    If I think too much I'll procrastinate

    It's a big mistake to immediately start slinging parts off the car, especially with your experience level.
    I'm a newbie at car restoration but I have 30 years of dismantling experience

    Do you have a place to work?
    McDonald's...just kidding....your looking at it, my driveway

    Do you have a place to store parts for...months at a time?
    Yes I have five moving containers in my back yard

    Glass..What glass, the windshield?
    Have you documented every bolt, electrical connection, clip, washer, and rubber piece?
    Yes in sandwich bags
    Have you photographed each assembly before disassembly? You will not remember, it's like a Rubix Cube to the zillionth power.
    So far it's pretty self explanatory but yes definitely will be taking pictures as I go.
    Have you labeled, each part with it's hardware, bolts and connectors bagged and tagged with it?
    Stay out of the whip zip bang cha ching after market parts catalogs at least for now. Most of that crap you do not need.
    I can't afford that anyway
    Did you price getting the radiator re-cored/repaired from a reputable shop?
    The radiator I have looks beyond repair and if I can get one for close to $100 that's cheaper then driving around.

    Have you ever sand blasted a car? Are you prepared to immediately paint it afterwards? Do you know how to prevent sand or media from coming out of every crevice and grinding every hinge or moving body part for the next decade?
    Sandblast before yes......yes primer will follow next day.....I'll be using tarps to catch what I can....a decade? I hope not.

    Did You try to clean her up before you took it apart??
    Yes pressure washed

    I'm only trying to prevent you making the mistake I did when I was 15. The vehicle I destroyed meant something to me.
    I made the mistake at 16 but he's all grown up now and on his own, 29 years later.

    What I would do if I were you.
    Carefully put it back together, if you can. Forget about the body for right now.

    #1 Evaluate the car, make a thorough bumper to bumper inspection. Actually you should have done this before you bought it.
    Shoulda, coulda woulda but I didn't.
    Pay close attention to the rocker panel and floor. Are the spring towers solid under the hood? How does the cowl look under the dash and how are the floors in that area. How does it look from underneath where the front end assembly meets the floor and firewall. This is the torque box.
    All that looks solid....just surface rust.
    This car has no true frame.
    Uni body
    Rust especially surface rust is one thing, rust out is another. If the floors and torque box are rusted out, you may be better off finding another car.
    Rust out in drivers door panel and rear quarter panel
    Check the floors under the mat/carpet. Check the truck and the rear suspension and where it mounts to the body. If it's repairable proceed, if not Craigslist or find a buildable Falcon and use this one for parts.
    Suspension looks seriously rusted. I was gonna yank it and replace all.
    #2 Buy the Factory Shop Manuals for this car.
    Got it in PDF.

    #3Will it roll?
    Rolls fine
    Will it stop?
    Master cylinder bone dry and brake lines rusted.
    Make sure the brakes are in order.
    $250 I can do front and rear pads and drums.
    Grease the wheel bearings on the front while you do the front brakes.
    Grease bearings is cheap and easy
    Do the lines need replaced? Most likely the rubber lines do.
    I was thinking of going plastic lines....cheap and easy
    The wheel cylinders/master cylinder may can be cleaned up, if not buy new ones. Kits are a waste of time and money. Make sure the emergency brake works especially with the single cylinder. You may choose to upgrade the brakes later but for right now make sure whats on it works.
    Was thinking of going disc but that's later down the roadAre the tires good if not replace them and you might as well paint the wheels or at least clean them up real good if you replace the tires.
    Just bought a harbor freight sand blasting cabinet today. 13" rims fit. Found some cheap low rider white walls at pep boys down the street. Gonna wait on that for final touches.

    #4 The engine. The first thing you do to the engine is take off the gas cap and sniff but do not make a day out of it unless you want to be visited by Puff the Magic Dragon...
    If it smells like gasoline that's good. Most likely it will have a sicky sweet varnish smell, that's bad. Preferably outside with good ventilation away from ignition sources, drain the tank into a bucket or large pan. You may need several of these if the tank was full. Note the color and smell of the gas. Look for rust and crud. There should be a drain bolt on the bottom of the tank. If the gas was pretty clean you may can re use it if you pour it through a T shirt. If it smells of varnish and it's dirty or has water in it's no good. If you had to punch a hole through the crud to get it to drain, you likely need a new tank. You may can try to clean up but if it's rusty and dirty replacement id best. You can rig you up a small temporary tank to just run the engine.
    Blow out the fuel lines and replace any that are questionable. Put a good filter in the system.
    Tank was drained, lines blown out and new filters put in....I'll be keeping an eye out to see how fast the filters get clogged.....if they clog to quick the tanks getting replaced.
    Have the original radiator repaired or try to find another Ford Falcon factory radiator and have it repaired. You may can find a good one at a junkyard.
    Time is money....not gonna waste that much time hunting unless a new radiator cost me over couple hundred bucks.
    Make sure you have a good battery and all the wires especially the heavy wires are in good order. Check the ground straps.
    New battery and new straps...done
    Lube all the carb linkage and make sure the fuel lines are new or a least clean, make sure the vacuum hoses are in good order.
    Done
    Change the oil and filter.
    Done
    Now the car should have decent brakes, a clean fuel system, decent tires, battery to the engine with all wires under the hood in order, carb hooked up and linkage working and the emergency brake in order, new radiator

    How does the cowl look under the dash and how are the floors in that area. How does it look from underneath where the front end assembly meets the floor and firewall. This is the torque box. This car has no true frame. Rust especially surface rust is one thing, rust out is another. If the floors and torque box are rusted out.
    I took a peek under the mats and I don't see rust...still need to inspect more
    you may be better off finding another car.
    Too late
    Consult the manual for tuning info. If it runs OK you need to tune it up with new points plugs ect. If it runs poorly or not at all still replace plugs points ect. Keep the old condensor as the China/Mexico stuff may be bad out of the box. If it still does not run start trouble shooting it . tips swill be in the manual.
    Did all that she's already fired up and idling.

    Now the car runs and stops on good tires.

    #5 Check/change the dope in the transmission and rear axle.
    #6 Make sure tail lights, brake lights and head lights work.
    All the electrical is working
    #7 Get insurance for it.
    #8 Take it for a spin and see what needs to be done.
    #9 Get some light Scotchbrite pads and lightly wash the car. Follow with rubbing compound. Buff then apply some car wax and buff again. You are going to be surprised in how good it will look. For the rust spots, scrub apply primer over naked metal with maybe some matching spot paint over that.
    #10 Now the car runs drives and looks pretty decent. Now you can think about serious body work or engine and brake hop up and upgrades. A plus with this method is you can still enjoy the car.

    IMHO this car does not look like it needs blasting.
    You think? I don't know what made me more tired, reading your post or removing rusted bolts. LOL. Thanks for all the advise....now back to work
     
  6. Holy Cow,there is already too much over thinking going on here!

    If I had read F-ones manifesto I don't think I would ever build a car! o_O

    I know he put a lot of though and time in his reply but if I did have more than 50 years of hot rods under my belt I would abandon ship!

    Congratulations on your first build,nothing about building a hot rod is easy,there are many skills to learn,my first few cars were built in the back yard,using nothing more than simple hand tools and a couple of drop cords for tools & light when it got dark.

    Enthusiasm & determination will always trump adversity! HRP
     
  7. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Manifesto haha funny....while appreciate F-one took the time to write all that, it was fatiguing. Luckily I didn't read it before I started the project, I would have given up before I started. I've have stripped motor cycles to the frame and rebuilt the motors and put them back together so I know I can handle this. Thanks Hotrodprimer for your support.
     
  8. Plastic lines? For the brakes?
     
  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,508

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Plastic lines are not DOT approved, not legal for use on public roads, in all 50-states, and dangerous on a vehicle that doesn't get rigorously inspected, ever single time it gets used.

    Lord help you if you are in an accident and the insurance adjuster sees them.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  10. Are you in California?
     
  11. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Excuse me, it was 3:00 in the morning and I was replying to a loooooong post. I ment flexible "rubber" brake line.

    S
     
  12. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    They say DOT approved. I've worked 20 years around several thousand PSI hydraulics and have bent and flared many steel tube for hydraulic line myself, so I'm confident I can handle a brake line that I plan on my letting my teenage daughters life behind the wheel.

     
  13. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,508

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Post a link to the plastic, DOT approved brake lines, please.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  14. That radiator WILL fit. I ran into the same thing...on the exact same car...even the same color...

    Cosmo
     
  15. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,291

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

  16. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

    So this is a restoration site now?
     
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,508

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    That makes more sense. Steel is real, and real safe.
     
  18. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Fit with modification? Only way I see it could fit is to not use mechanical fan and put an electric on the opposite side.

     
  19. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Here is Elvis resurrected from the dead.

     
  20. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    I'm sorry am I in the wrong place? Please advise.

     
  21. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Thanks I'll check that out
     
  22. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Damn cyber cops always point out that this isn't DOT approved
     
  23. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Yes Sir...SoCal
     
  24. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    Less drama, more car shit. Let's see some progress pictures!
     
  25. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 534

    shivasdad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Texas

    Sounds like you have a better handle on things than your initial post indicated. F-one's advice was sound for a complete newb, but you are only a newb to this site. I like Falcons too and wish you the best. Keep posting as you get stuff done.
     
  26. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,508

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    It is not approved, because it isn't remotely safe on the streets, doubly so if you have a single circuit master cylinder.

    Have an accident, and an investigator, adjuster sees plastic lines, and you might see the full weight and measure of both the law, and your own insurance company agsinst you.
     
  27. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Gypsyhotrod, you are correct and I am wrong. After close inspection it's said "not DOT approved".
     
  28. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Ok here are some progress pictures. From what I can tell this is the extent of the major rust.
    From what I can tell it's not that bad to me. I was caught by surprise on the inner trunk lip rusted. I was looking for panel skins and I don't think I see any panels for the a 4 door rear front quarter panel. The one that is in the door jam.
     

    Attached Files:

  29. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Well I'm a newb at car restoration for sure, but my background is in electrical, hydraulics, pneumatics and electrical/electronics. I am not a body guy and I think that's my short coming on this job.
     
  30. GSEVEN
    Joined: Aug 9, 2014
    Posts: 19

    GSEVEN

    Can anyone verify if the front quarter replacement panel front section QPFS-32-L on this picture for a 2 door is the same as a 4 door?

    The panel they have on that site is for a two door and the area I want to fix is in the picture of my car. The length of the two door fender is not a big concern because I really only need the left side of the panel where the door jam is rusted out. Unfortunately I don't know anyone who has a 2 door to compare to see if the shapes are the same between 2&4 doors.

    Anyone know for sure?
     

    Attached Files:

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