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Projects '63 Ford Falcon 2-door sedan build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boulderdash, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Despite frequently browsing and using the encyclopedic search function of the fantastic HAMB, I ashamedly feel I perhaps don't contribute and post on here anywhere near as much as I aught. So, I have decided I would share my ongoing Ford Falcon build with you guys.
    Being in the UK, these cars are RARE, and parts availability is very slim indeed. So I was over the moon when last spring I came across this 1963 Falcon, as a recently imported, almost rust free (well......) rolling car complete minus engine and gearbox. But wait......I had a 302 and AOD sat in my workshop, which had been looking longingly at me for over a year, just primed for a car to put it in. Not only this, but although this was a six cylinder car originally, it had been swapped to V8 before being imported, complete with v8 steering gear and 5 lug front drums, and 8" rear axle, 3.09 gears and a Trak-Lok out back.
    With the car back at mine, I began researching parts combos and hatching a plan. I decided I'd fix the bodged drivers side rear quarter, build the 302, swap the rear gears for something taller since I plan to use the AOD gearbox, lower her 2" all round with a UCA/Shelby-drop and cut coils up front, and lowering blocks out back. I'm keeping the steel wheels, but ditching the white walls.
    So read on and witness a Limeys take on a 60's Yank car!!!
    I welcome constructive criticisms and advice with open arms.

    Here's how she came to me....
    17883741_10155050664371501_6610827311394900017_n.jpg
    17991150_10155050664386501_4692613628623868570_n.jpg 17991909_10155050664416501_3913829493635493740_n.jpg
    17992079_10155050664326501_4863272493367299444_n.jpg 18010181_10155050664341501_8078779443986424557_n.jpg 18010213_10155050664331501_8780640469168784348_n.jpg 18010979_10155050664381501_3248782205434277040_n.jpg 18033207_10155050664336501_3919166296971881953_n.jpg
     
  2. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    I was really pleased with the car. It was exceedingly solid, and had character and loads of cool touches by the bucketful. Despite missing both those chrome rear quarter trims (anyone got any???), it was complete, which for me saved the headache of having to find loads of Falcon parts over here (which I wouldn't!!)
    However, the one area I knew would need attention was the LH rear quarter panel. It had been bodged, no question about it. Think chicken wire and Bondo. Hell, I could just picture the brute carrying out his handiwork in a day gone by, grinning has he slavered body filler over the dents from some sort of accident in the past. It would appear that it has a had bump in that rear corner, as there's creases which have attempted to have been pulled out, as evidenced by the dented panel and numerous holes for slide hammer treatment. And the generous filler.
    So in amongst a not-unsubstantial Summit order for 302/5.0 goodies, I also bought a full rear quarter repair panel from C2C.

    I first stripped out the interior and fuel tank in preparation for cutting and welding, then set about bare metalling the quarter to find the extent of the malady. Note the dents alongside the rear light. I can;t think of anyway to repair this without cutting out the metal an replacing, as its clearly stretched and wont ever be made straight again (am I right?)
    IMG_1402.JPG IMG_1403.JPG IMG_1406.JPG IMG_1410.JPG IMG_1411.JPG IMG_1416.JPG IMG_1419.JPG IMG_1420.JPG
     
  3. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,238

    Cliff Ramsdell
    Member

    OK, I love '63 Falcons. Had a few as a kid and first one came from my grand mother when she got a new V8 Maverick in 1973.

    The chicken wire and screen might leave a bit to be desired but nothing that can't be fixed.

    I'm in, lets hit the road.

    Cliff Ramsdell
     
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  4. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    I marked out and began cutting. The boot floor lower extension panel was rotted along the bottom, so this was repaired, along with the rust hole in that corner below the lens, as shown in my first post. I also reattached the spot welds which had popped away along under the rear panel, presumably from when it was bumped into.
    IMG_1517.JPG IMG_1533.JPG IMG_1535.JPG IMG_1538.JPG IMG_1539.JPG IMG_1540.JPG IMG_1541.JPG IMG_1542.JPG IMG_1544.JPG

    Further forward, leaves and dirt had gathered on top of the inner sill behind the quarter panel, presumably from getting through the aperture for the winding window. This had caused more rust, so a section was cut out and replaced here as well.
    IMG_1496.JPG IMG_1493.JPG IMG_1490.JPG IMG_1534.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

  5. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    The plan next is to cut out the area outlined by the masking tape (with radiused corners as previously advised on here to reduce distortion), and graft in the repair panel as one piece, kind of like this:
    IMG_1503.JPG
    Again, any tips about doing this is most welcome :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,273

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    congrats on your project - making good progress - low gears for a 8" rearend are not common - used 3:55 with a AOD trans before and worked fine
     
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  7. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Thanks for that, I've been trying to decide what gear ratio would be best. 3.55 sound like a good all-round choice
     
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  8. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,768

    62rebel
    Member

    Nice save! I've owned a bunch of Falcons over the years; love the little buggers.
     
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  9. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,851

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Cool car, nice work! I look forward to your progress reports.
    With your skills, you should definitely put in subframe connectors.
     
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  10. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Thanks for the kind remarks guys!! Not sure about skills though; its not my first project but nonetheless, I'm learning as I go!!
    A question: whats the best way to make the repair section for that rusty inner wheel tub lip? Its a curved flange, and I'm without a shrinker/stretcher. Is it best to fold the flange last like this? I would love some people to share their techniques for making a repair panel this shape, when its this type of compound curved flange kinda thing.
     
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  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,851

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    I don't know much about metal work, but I do know you can buy a cheap set of shrinker/stretchers from Harbor Freight for $159 USD.
     
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  12. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Plus the same again in shipping and import duty to the U.K.
     
  13. Boulderdash, this always has me wondering. Do you have to pay import duty if you are receiving it from Canada or a European country?
     
  14. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,935

    indyjps
    Member

    You can get creative here, the basic requirements are water tight and needs ro meet the quarter panel flange lip. Look around at other fender lips on donor cars, os there anything you can cut out of a fender as a start.

    Paying crazy shipping is painful.

    While youre in there, consider if you want to widen or add height to the wheel wells for tire clearance. Nows the time.
     
  15. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Any goods bought from a country outside the EU
     
  16. Finnrodder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,960

    Finnrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Finland

    Thats a cool project!
    The shrinker/stretcher is way to go when forming lips to the fenderwells. I bought mine from UK's ebay, it wasnt the most pricey one back then. But i guess its not the most best quality product that is on the market. I cant remember who the seller was, but i guess they are still available there.
    So far its been working fine, i have cleaned the jaws after the work and i never let anyone use it for shit & giggles without some steel in the jaws. I guess that will make it last a bit longer. Here's a thread about that thing:

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/homemade-shrinker-stretcher-stand.622910/
     
  17. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,072

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Cool project.. Nice metal shaping and progress.. Keep the pics coming...
     
  18. DesertRat#1
    Joined: Nov 12, 2018
    Posts: 57

    DesertRat#1
    Member

    I'm a Falcon fan. The 63 1/2 Sprint being one of my "great white whale" cars. I did a 65 Comet and it is basically the same platform as the Falcon/Mustang platform and information and parts are plentiful. I like your build and hope you have good luck going forward to completion, good luck!
     
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  19. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Thought I'd share a little progress. And it is only a little.
    I tidied up the battery box area, as this had been hacked and was getting crusty. I shall fabricate a new tray in due course, before a liberal dose of POR-15.
    IMG_1700.JPG
    IMG_1667.JPG
    I also removed the steering gear. This is was for a few reasons. One was the idler arm bracket had been welded (!) to the chassis rail rather than bolted. Couldn't say why, but I can sure tell you I didn't like it. Unfortunately they'd welded right in into the corners, so it needed to be withdrawn in pieces :( Another part for the shopping list
    IMG_1662.JPG IMG_1678.JPG IMG_1677.JPG IMG_1669.JPG IMG_1675.JPG
    I am not sure now whether to clean up and replace the ball joints on this existing 6 cylinder set up, or swap to the v8 parts like man others do. I still am not 100% sure exactly why it is that people do the swap when going v8. I know about the bump steer advantages, but is this made any worse with a v8 rather than a straight 6? Or is it for clearance, in which case I'd have thought there was a 302 engine mount/sump/oil pickup that gets over this? Please educate me!

    I have done a bit more to the rear quarter too. I think I'll do that final inner wheel tub piece once the outer repair panel is tacked on, so I had a better idea of the shape I am working towards, if that makes sense.
    IMG_1695.JPG IMG_1764.JPG IMG_1765.JPG IMG_1766.JPG IMG_1767.JPG
     
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  20. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Aside from working on the car itself. but no less for it's cause, I have been making a few tools to help me with the panel repairs. One thing is I have been trying my hand at tuck shrinking. I made a shrinking fork, and a pair of shrinking pliers (as described in MP&C's excellent thread here), and had a go on some scrap metal. Still struggling to 'trap' the shrink, rather than flatten it out again., but I suppose its just lack of practice.
    IMG_1731.JPG IMG_1732.JPG IMG_1734.JPG IMG_1749.JPG IMG_1751.JPG
     
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  21. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,726

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    That it is!!!! I've had one in all my cars since '88.... :)
     
  22. kabinenroller
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 521

    kabinenroller
    Member

    If you have to replace steering components you might as well change over to ‘65 and later design steering. It bolts right in.
    I know that ‘64 &’65 Comet and Falcon share the same front tread width, you should confirm that ‘63 is the same.
    The newer steering will work better and give you more clearance for things like headers. I have posted a photo of the difference.
    Jim
    B024663C-8178-4920-81AD-AF8FAD467486.jpeg
     
  23. DesertRat#1
    Joined: Nov 12, 2018
    Posts: 57

    DesertRat#1
    Member

    When I built my Comet the prevailing thought was that on the 65 we had to install the V-8 steering if changing from 6 to V-8. Mine was born a V-8 so it was not a problem for me.
     
  24. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    That certainly seems the norm. I just haven’t had much success finding a definitive reason as to why you need to do change to the later steering. And again, the steering parts are pricey to get shipped.
     
  25. DesertRat#1
    Joined: Nov 12, 2018
    Posts: 57

    DesertRat#1
    Member

    It has to do with the drag link. The v8 one is larger diameter and deeper than the 6 cylinder one. I will try to get more information for you.
     
  26. DesertRat#1
    Joined: Nov 12, 2018
    Posts: 57

    DesertRat#1
    Member

    Building my Comet I joined the TFFN website. I just checked back in and there is a forum just for the 6/8 swap. Covers 60-65 year in great detail. Hop over and check it out.
     
  27. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    I have tried to join the TFFN forum, but as trivial as it is, I am struggling to get the security question on the forum registration process correct!! Seems whatever combinations of numbers and letters and symbols I put, it still rejects it. Anyone know if any of the moderators are on here? I can’t PM them about it over on TFFN if I’m not a member!!
     
  28. DesertRat#1
    Joined: Nov 12, 2018
    Posts: 57

    DesertRat#1
    Member

    I am still a member and I logged in this morning. When I get time, I will see if I can help you. I was on there for over seven years and by build thread is still there.
     
  29. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Yes please DesertRat, I’d really appreciate that. I am told there’s a wealth of info on the TFFN forum, but you need to be registered to see any of it.
     
  30. Boulderdash
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 149

    Boulderdash
    Member

    Bit more done. I have pressed on with that rotten rear quarter, and welded oin the repair section. But since these pictures were taken I have cut along about 18" of the horizontal front-most weld line and decided I'd do that part again, this time with both an extra pair of hands, and the use of their TIG welding. My attempt resulted in what I had most feared and tried my hardest not to do: distortion!!
    The trouble is its a long, straight panel, so any distortion will show up like sore thumb, and the weld is along a contoured, gentle curve in the original panel, so the steel has a natural urge to "spring" and loose its shape. Plus, dolly access is negligible behind that part as the wheel tub is in the way!!! Most annoying. I've done plenty of welding and panel repairs in the past, but a rear quarter repair on any car is (in my opinion) one of the harder, more advanced panels to do successfully. I feel particularly that on a car like this, I need to just take my time and not walk away until I'm happy with it. Besides, the rest of the car is mostly solid, so it makes sense to try and get this one area right.
    IMG_1968.JPG
    IMG_1961.JPG
    (that length of metal box section is just tacked on to hold things straight for welding; its not a permanent fixture!!)
    I have been making headway on the engine build too. As I work for an machine shop and engine reconditioning company, who specialists in old, classic, vintage and veteran car engines, I'm lucky to be able to stay on after-hours some nights and make a bit of headway on cleaning up the 5.0 blocks decks, and pressing the pistons off the conrods. I am planning to use Keith Black Hypereutectic pistons, and ARP studs, so next step is to press in the studs and then hone the rods, then they'll be checked for straightness.

    IMG_1784.JPG
    IMG_1785.JPG IMG_1861.JPG IMG_1862.JPG IMG_1863.JPG

    Another bit I've done is the door regulators. The drivers side had become completely detached from the window handle arm, so that needed addressing. I stripped the panels (man, those clips for the winders are fun to remove, eh?) and found the plastic pulleys than attach to the bottom of the glass were shot, and in the case of the passenger side in particular, the metal channel which fits along the lower length of the glass was rotten too.

    IMG_2010.JPG

    So I fabricated a new channel.....
    IMG_2022.JPG
    IMG_2024.JPG

    And made some new aluminum bushes to replace the knackered plastic ones....

    IMG_2015.JPG
    IMG_2016.JPG
    IMG_2017.JPG
    IMG_2019.JPG
    These are split-pinned in place and, after reassembling and testing the drivers side this afternoon, work very well indeed.

    I shall update as and when things progress. Thank you for reading, I value your comments and suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
    warhorseracing likes this.

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