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Projects 1963 Ford 406

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pat Gauntt, Dec 27, 2021.

  1. Pat Gauntt
    Joined: Dec 27, 2021
    Posts: 2

    Pat Gauntt

    I need an opinion or two. I recently bought a 1963 Ford Galaxy 500 XL. This car is in good driver quality condition, no rust, original interior, 406, 3x2, 4 speed. Everywhere I look, this car seems original, even the exhaust. It has the look of 100,000 mile car but with oil leaks, etc. NOW, do I restore or keep it like it is. I know one thing leads to another. Help!
  2. Rramjet1
    Joined: Mar 13, 2018
    Posts: 207


    Sounds like a great barn find. Think I would make it safe and reliable then drive it.
  3. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    from Alabama

    How bad is the leak?
    Where is it leaking?

    Use common sense.

    If it spots the floor after a few days and is not losing an appreciable amount of oil....
    Personally, I would run it as is.

    If it pours oil and loses a quart every few days... yeah, you need to get into it.
  4. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,839


    Run it as is. I pay more attention to an original or worn-in car than I do a resto.
    Rebuild the engine when you feel like it needs it, paint it some other time.

  5. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,368


    First take a compression test to verify the rings are sealing . If there is a lot of blowby, you have to stop that to prevent seal or gasket leakage. It the compression is good, replace all the 50 year old gaskets and seals.
    Elcohaulic, loudbang and Deuces like this.
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 1,135


    I'd sure like to see a photo of it!
  7. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,620


    You’ll just have to drive it a little and evaluate it. A little oil leak from the engine, trans, or rear end you may be able to live with but coolant leaks will need to be fixed. I always check the brake system and pack the wheel bearings no matter what when I buy a car. I also check the suspension for anything seriously wrong. Including missing cotter pins and loose, damaged or substandard hardware.
    If it cleans up nice and looks presentable I would leave it alone but if it has different color fenders, hood or trunk lid and large areas of surface rust, I’d think about painting at least the bad stuff and trying to match the patina of the rest of the car.
    That’s a very cool car you got, like the man said, we need pictures!!
  8. Do some research before you get too deep into making modifications... If I remember correctly, those were not found on every street corner, especially the fastbacks. Check the serial number and see if you can get a build sheet. If you're seriously considering a restoration vs. making a nice driver out of it, also inspect your wallet. A restoration can be a deep spiral in terms of $$$ and time. As a take-off on Julia Roberts' line..."What do you want it to be?"
  9. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,955

    from Michigan

    Yeah, me too..... more than would be cool.....:cool:
  10. Pictures please......Love those '63/ '64 Galaxies.
  11. All of the posts are on point when referencing the required maintenance. If the car is an all original G code car, leave it as is. That is a rare car, and worth more as is. If you want to modify, save all the original parts for when you decide to sell. Check out the SoCal Galaxie web site. Pictures please!
  12. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 8,419


    It’s driver quality, make sure it’s safe and, well, drive and enjoy it. If you restore it, you probably wind up with it sitting for extended periods of time and your main accessory will be a comfortable folding chair you sit in at car shows. Your most often used phrase will be be like the placard near the car. … “please don’t lean on or touch”.

    After you’re 110% satisfied it’s road worthy, wear the damn thing out.
    I’m not saying to squeeze it in a parking spot at the grocery store, but I think it would be more enjoyable as a vehicle than a show piece.
  13. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,598


    I have a very small leak in my work trucks power steering cooler line, it's a 2001 Chevy 3500 one ton van. I put about a 1/4 of a quart in the power steering once a month. My mechanic told me to get a couple gallons of transmission fluid and keep topping it off. Keeping fresh oil in it is helping the pump stay alive.
  14. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,598


    I would love to see the Galaxie. Those 60 to 64 Fords were such fantastic cars, they never got the attention they deserved. The 64 Galaxie is on my personal, top ten best looking cars ever made list.

    I would leave it alone. Some cars look cheap when there all redone with low copper, Chinese chrome.

    One of my favorite things is the sound of the 64 back, Ford starters. You could always tell a Ford starting. We had a neighbor named Carl. He had a 57 Ford. I asked my dad how did they get his cars starter to say his name when it starts.. Carl, arl,arl,arl..
  15. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 391

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    Keep it afloat so that others may enjoy it. Restoring it means it will be undercover and out of sight.

  16. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,598


    Tom is right. When they get the frame off resto you usually never see them again.

    My brother did that to his 69 Goat. Before the restoration, he drove the wheels off that car, as of today, it hasn't been out in three years. It's kind of sad to see it sitting there all covered up.

    Thank you for the excellent topic.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
    Deuces, bchctybob, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  17. Run the VIN number. I saw a rare R code '64 Galaxie sell on eBay for HUGE buck$. It was trashed, the value was mainly in the VIN plate.

    If the car is the real deal, it may be worth more as is unless it is a high-end professional restoration. I see lots of car shows with survivor classes.
  18. Make a hot rod/street brawler out of it like would have been done when they were still "commonly" available (common beaing a relative word here). Let me quote the HAMB focus here just to give me self some authority well beyond that which I have.
    raven, loudbang and bchctybob like this.
  19. An original 406 Galaxie is not a common car, perhaps even rare, I have only seen a few. It would be worth a lot to a Ford enthusiast .If its pretty much original I would just get it in good mechanical condition. Or restore it for a really nice car you seldom see anymore.
    Joe Travers, bobss396, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  20. The 406 itself is an almost forgotten motor. I have not read the stats but I am not sure that Ford sold many of them.

    There was a 406 63 1/2 running around here in the '90s that was your basic resto-rod. It was a numbers match car. The guy was running a 4 webber setup (he bought it from Ford with a matching glass hood) and polished Americans. I would have personally prefered more nostalgic wheels, but it was not a bad looking car. White with red interior.

    I obviously have a buikd direction I would take one. Doubtful it will ever happen.

    I can say this, a 406 Galaxie is a cool car no matter how you slice it.
  21. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,481


    I would follow the advice on checking the #s to see what you have. A car is only original once, a survivor car, especially a low production early muscle car is very kool IMO
  22. If you take the engine apart, you will more than likely be rebuilding it. If you are going to drive it, you will need to worry about the condition of the bottom end. 406's had a reputation for blowing up so exercising caution could be wise. It is possible to pull the pan and put a mail seal in but from what you described as the general condition, every gasket could have a problem. As usually gets stated: it's your car. Do what makes you happy. If you're looking at it just as an investment, a different set of rules apply. I have been a fan of 63's since they were brand new. Walking by the Ford dealer and looking at those cars always made me wish and smile. :)
    Deuces likes this.
  23. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    from Alabama

    Since no photo I assume it’s a “ box-top” or early ‘63. In mid year the ‘63 1/2 or fastback debut.
    The 63 1/2 could have the 406 but by mid year the cross-bolt 427 was available.
    The 406 was 2 year motor, available in ‘62 and ‘63. The 406 was in response to the Chevy 409. The 406 is not in the ‘62 Shop manual as it was added after the manual was printed. 406s commonly came with the 3x2 induction of the SHP390s in 1962.
    It’s a very neat engine and a rare one at that.
    Joe Travers, finn, Deuces and 3 others like this.
  24. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,135


    I wouldn't do anything to the car you can't easily undo. Way to valuable a car to be changing or modifying things. It would be interesting to see a partial or picture of the data plate to see what you have there.
  25. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 28,610

    Jalopy Joker

  26. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,059

    from oregon

    I knew a guy in the early 70's that had a 3x2 406/4speed 63 Galaxie, not the original owner.
    The guy was an absolute kook in that thing, actually he was always a bit squirrely.
    He would visit a friend of mine and EVERY TIME he left he would leave rubber for a block.
    For several months nobody had seen him, seems his "spirited" driving caught up to him as he'd had a clutch/flywheel explode and it took the back of the block out.
    Man, I sure wish I'd seen (heard) that.
    bchctybob and fauj like this.
  27. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,876

    from Nebraska

    Photos please!
    guthriesmith, fauj, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  28. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,819


    Like the others say drive it and find out where the leaks are coming from it could be as simple as bad valve cover gaskets causing your leak. Nothing wrong with replacing old gaskets and keeping it all original.
    Deuces, F-ONE and loudbang like this.
  29. Their only original once ,clean it up and drive it like you stole it !!!
    Deuces and loudbang like this.
  30. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 558

    from Mo.

    The rear main seal is rope. If not driven for some time they will drip a little. Once you start driving more regular they will stop or slow down. Anyway thats my experience.
    bchctybob, F-ONE and Deuces like this.

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