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Features 65 XP Falcon sedan build. Yeah, its a 4 door, coupes are expensive here!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Liam-B, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Thought some of you on here might be interested in my project, seeing as I have enjoyed reading about your cars, thought it was time I gave something back to the H.A.M.B

    I am a New Zealander been living in Melbourne, Australia for the last 6 years, so its kinda home now I guess. These old falcons were built here in Melbourne, and also Brisbane, (plus lets not forget Wellington New Zealand.)

    I have been looking for a 65 XP Falcon for awhile now (would have loved a coupe but so rare and expensive here now) and after months of searching I even found the right colour scheme, as I always wanted a blue and white one for some reason! I love the thunderbird style tail lights, they look great. Some of you know this model had Mercury front sheet metal fitted by Ford to give the falcon a facelift for our 65 model year. This was a very popular model that year, it won the wheels car of the year award and has been a cult classic ever since!

    Plans are to start tidying it up and get it closer to road worthy for my liking, even though I drove it home no problems. It looks pretty good in the photos as you can see but there a few things not quite right with it that need to be addressed, the interior seats are worn pretty thin, the shifter handle knob is from an old kitchen utensil I think haha and there is a couple of very small rust bubbles on a couple of the doors but over all, its in great shape. I could not find any signs of filler with my trusty magnet and no signs of accident damage as well, always a bonus.

    It now has a 250 pre cross flow engine from a 1972 XA Falcon, but this car was originally a 200 super pursuit. It currently has 4 stud 14inch XP fairmont rims but has drum brakes on the front which I want to change out for some later model boosted vented discs. Probably going to put a Windsor 302 V8 in it when funds allow.

    The paint is pretty thin in places, it is a bit crazed here and there, stone chips etc but I quite like it like that, its looks cool, lots of patina (extra bonus points these days for original patina right haha) Seats are getting re-trimmed though, they are pretty worn!

    So, plans are :
    Lower it
    5 stud conversion
    Steel wheels & thin band white wall tyres
    Brake upgrade
    Interior tidy up
    Windsor V8 when funds allow


    Anyway, here are the pictures, progress updates to follow soon cheers.

    [​IMG]

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    Cheers
     
  2. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Ok, so made quite a bit of progress on the old beast, been acquiring a few parts, making inquires about what works etc etc.

    Anyway, scored a factory AM radio

    [​IMG]


    Wacked it in the dash. Removed the under dash radio and moved the aftermarket gauges across to the middle. Was thinking about removing them but hey, they are in there and working so can stay for now. I also replaced the wok handle gearshift with a proper ford one lol

    Before :

    [​IMG]

    After :

    [​IMG]


    I noticed the Alternator bearings were rumbling pretty badly so threw a new set in. Rest of the alternator was really good, so just cleaned it up and reassembled.

    [​IMG]


    Picked up a set of 87 XF Falcon front stubs complete from pick-a-part. The brakes are like new, measured the discs and 2mm over mix thickness. Bonus. I measured for run out with a dial gauge and none. Excellent. I will be reusing the pre-loved pads also, as they are as new condition. The bearings however are the original Ford Timkin ones, so will put a new set in for good measure. Will put a new set of brake hoses in, I am pretty sure XF ones bolt in to XP but will have to check.

    [​IMG]


    Been doing a few other bits and pieces, I removed the rear speakers and I replaced the rear parcel shelf, Replaced the front indicators as the rubbers had gone right off and they were falling out of the bumper ha ha. I called the trimmers and will be sending the front and rear seats out soon for re-upholstery. I Gave the engine a tune, replaced the heater hoses, fitted a washed bottle and rad overflow bottle... Need to suss out the wiper switch, I have a later one I want to fit as it has wiper delay and wash button built into it.

    Got the new indicators in, the old ones were pretty much roached and ready to fall out, the LH one actually was half out and boths lens were cracked as well.

    [​IMG]

    Had to cut the rubber apart, it was toasted!

    [​IMG]

    Shiny shiny

    [​IMG]


    I did something about the gearshift selector pointer, someone had put an old light bulb holder in there, pretty dodgy but it worked I guess!

    [​IMG]

    New pointer fitted. Probably should have painted the honey pot but Meh. Its getting a different column in it when I eventually get all the bits for a Windsor conversion next year.

    P for Primo

    [​IMG]

    I adjusted the linkages at the shifter pinch nut as the pointer was miles out of alignment and would not select gears properly in the gate. I shifted the column around until it all aligned up again and worked as it should, it kind of wants to pull out of park to easily, does not lock fully in as it should but its pretty good for the age of the car I reckon.

    I fitted up the new overflow and washer bottle & pump I scored, The old ones were had it.

    [​IMG]

    I went through the whole car and replaced all the light globes, even the ones in the dash. Got the dash lights working again and also the RH indicator light on the dash, that wasn't going as well. Should be set for another 45 years now, they all looked to be mostly original inside the car! Funny story, I was tidying up wiring under the dash and securing everything nicely etc when I noticed the interior light was always staying on. I thought I must have done something weird to one of the wires, so I went back and rechecked the diagram and kept thinking about the headlight switch. Only to realize I had turned the headlight switch on fully to the left that being the cause of the interior light staying on... I forgot old falcons had a switch on the light switch for the interior light, its been years since I owned a car that did that!

    Excited as I made a few recent purchases, I ended up going with a Hoppers Stoppers brake booster set up, turned up on Friday :

    [​IMG]


    Scored some new peep mirrors :

    [​IMG]


    And best news of the day, I just scored a 5 stud 8 inch Ford Maverick diff, pretty happy about this as I was reluctant to use anything else. Not exactly easy top come by here in Australia as they never sold those cars here, so its been imported from the States :) These are a direct bolt in swap for those that do not know, same width & mounting points and the 3.00 ratio should suit the 250 engine nicely for now. (and the 302 Windsor conversion eventually when I get all the parts together soon!)

    [​IMG]


    So, I hope to get the brake booster in and the front brakes soon. I want to get the rear springs reset 2.5 inch's lower, they need doing anyway as the rubbers are split on the leaves, so once that is done I can think about bolting the 8 inch Ford Maverick diff in :)
     
  3. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Got my 1988 ford falcon XF disc brake conversion on (bit like a granada conversion I guess?) Also put some new ball joints in while I was there, seeing as the old ones had split boots. There was no play in the old ones but anyway, all sorted now.

    [​IMG]


    Rest of the front end is pretty sweet actually. Previous owner fitted Pedders front suspension, bush's etc. I must admit it seemed to handle pretty nice when I first drove it home. I am actually going to lower it some more next and also do the upper control arm Shelby drop to improve the handling a bit.

    [​IMG]


    Managed to get the after market brake master vac installed. It was not as straight forward as I would have liked but got there in the end. I tried my very best to mount it in there with the least amount of cutting or panel beating but you definetaly have to cut the strut brace to fit it, there is no other way to clear the master cylinder cap. Bummer as I did not really want to cut it but anyway, its in at least after a whole day of mucking around!

    Old single circuit master cylinder gone

    [​IMG]

    Have to enlarge the pedal box hole, remove the old mounting nuts for the master and grind the inside edge so the new booster has enough room

    [​IMG]


    I had to hit the inner guard a bit, some people don't apparently but My car need bit of a tap. You can see where I drilled the holes on the firewall, as you can see, I drilled them a bit too big, but I needed to try find the centre as well as panel beat the inner guard at the same time to get it in there. I did this first and then moved the booster as far down as possible. Once this was in position I reinstalled the pedal box and marked where I needed to drill the 4 holes and match the hole to the pedal box.

    [​IMG]

    I also had to cut the booster pushrod to the same size as the original master as the push rod was way too long

    [​IMG]

    Then I could bolt it all up from the inside nicely. Have not clipped the push rod on yet fully as I need a new nylon bush for the pivot.

    [​IMG]


    Mounted the master in, would not fit originally, so I hit the strut brace up a few times where it was making contact with the end of the brake master. Managed to get it in but there was no way I could fit the lid, so out with the die grinder. I was really hoping not to have to do this but it was worth it in the end.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Scored a rev counter, looks the part I think. Could not complain with the price as well. Anyway, I like to keep an eye on engine rpm :) Its just held to the column with a hose clip and is fairly discreet.

    [​IMG]


    Also got my wheels back from the powder coaters. New Master craft 195/75/14 white wall tyres fitted up. Have not cleaned the protective paint off, so I guess they are blue walls for now haha

    [​IMG]

    You can see the car is sitting a bit too high. I have not driven it to let it settle but anyway, its still way too high, even though its got lowered springs. Shelby drop should get another half an inch. Might have to lose 1 coil and see how it looks after that :D

    Thats all for now, got to make the brake lines up next and then fit my 8 inch Maverick diff. I have all the parts from summit to rebuild it now, so thats on my list for next time, plus I will get the leaves reset lower to match the front as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  4. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558

    ken1939

    Nothing wrong with a 4 door mate! Look at the Falcons that followed and the cost of some of those 4 doors :)

    Nice car, good looks, nice work on your part.
     

  5. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Been busy with the front end still, actually been waiting on ultra low front springs to arrive but anyway, I carried out the Shelby drop on the front strut towers. Those of you already know that it allows for a better Camber arc under compression and more caster plus also gives a slight drop to the front height. This was a bonus, just required a re-drill and slight tap to clear the upper arm. where it meets the strut tower. Heres more info for those that are interested http://dazed.home.bresnan.net/drop

    [​IMG]



    I was trying to figure out the front springs and why they did not look right after comparing them with other peoples spring photos, so I put them against a set of standard height stock springs at the wreckers and found my supposed 2 inch lower pedders springs were in fact the same height as stock height springs... That and they had a bigger coil diameter! Obviously the completely wrong springs were fitted when the front suspension was rebuilt by the previous owner (or pedders) No wonder this thing felt too stiff in the front end! I am guessing they are V8 stock height springs or something for a later model car. Anyway,

    So, I had a look around and found some Ultra low King springs, 2.75in drop front stock height but had to wait for them to be made to order. Heres the difference :


    [​IMG]




    Here they are fitted, they don't look so coil bound as the other ones that were in there and I did not need the spring compressor to fit these in, they are only just captive (so, only just legal then!) At least they will not fall out when I jack the car up and I did not have to resort to cutting springs to get the desired result. I also gave the bump stop bit of a trim to suit and checked the shock absorber has enough travel under full compression with the spring removed, so thats all good it already has shortened shocks fitted. Also check the ball joint was not binding under full compression and it seems to be fine with a little movement to spare, so no worries about breaking anything I suppose. I might look into getting some proper bump stops that have not been cut but have the same length as my cut down ones.


    [​IMG]



    Also spent the whole day making brake lines through out the whole car, took me awhile to get them in nice and neat, its been years since I made brake lines, mind you I spent my apprenticeship making heaps for old cars back in the day, so it slowly came back! I had a proper kit to make them with a pipe bender tool etc, made life easier but still made a few mistakes and had to redo a couple but got there in the end!


    [​IMG]




    Also scored another steering wheel, my original white one was cool and everything, apart front a few cracks and a tired horn ring (fairly common to have cracks) but I like the look of this wheel and I think it is one of the best looking factory wheels ford ever made! It has a genuine falcon crest center cap which is pretty cool. Its also a smaller diameter than the stock wheel and sits a bit further back, so much better suited to my driving position.


    [​IMG]




    Anyway, that is all for now, getting the rear springs out tomorrow and getting them reset to suit the front. Will get a pic up to show slamage then!
     
  6. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    lOVELY CAR
     
  7. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Due to the power of internet time lapse I have another update, because I all know you have been hanging out like me to see some more progress!

    I removed the diff and rear springs not long ago and sent the springs off to be rebuilt and reset properly. An extra leaf was added (so now a 6 leaf) plus its about 2.5 inches lower now. Sweet, should line up with the lowered front height perfectly. Time will tell as not quite on the ground yet! Also replaced all the bush's as they were pretty tired and worn out.

    [​IMG]



    I also had to modify the diff to spring mounting brackets, I used late 80's Falcon ute U bolts and brackets. You can see how small the early stock ones are in the top there, tiny as! Anyway, seeing as the rear springs on a later model ute are 2.5 inch, they are too wide, so I welded up the holes and re-drilled them closer to the stock XP leaf spring 2 inch width and also welded a washer so it can centre on the spigot properly.

    [​IMG]


    All painted and shiny, mounted up you would never know my custom mods :lol

    [​IMG]


    I decided to rebuild the diff properly while I was there, so completely disassembled the whole thing, replaced all the bearings and seals etc. I set up the back lash and pinion to crown wheel pinion mesh to factory specs. No pics of this sorry, I dont know what happened to them! Anyway, just as well I decided to have a look as the bearings were on there way out with wear and the pinion seal was pretty used up. Like brand new now :)

    [​IMG]


    I also decided to clean the housing up and give it a quick coat of paint,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    All bolted in now, pretty happy its nearly there! I got supplied the wrong axle seals for the half shafts, so could not fit the axles or brakes today, so will have to get the right ones tomorrow for my housing and them I can get it all back together, brakes done, wheels on. Cant wait for that moment!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I am yet to measure and set the pinion angle now the car has been lowered. I dont want any drive line vibrations, so I will borrow a dial gauge and suss out the difference, then go to a 4WD place and grab some shims to set the angle correctly. Apparently they have all sorts of angles shims available to suit.

    One thing that has thrown a spanner in the works is that the universal joint is giving me hassle. I thought I had sorted the correct one to do the conversion and be able to bolt up my 65 driveshaft but alas, its correct in every manner except its too wide to fit into the yoke on the driveshaft. I tried swapping the larger cups on to the 65 U joint but its not wide enough to sit on the differential yoke, so will have to do some more homework here. Might even have to get another driveshaft if I cannot sort this out. I have been thinking of making some U joint cups in my work lathe, cannot see why it would not work, I just need to make them slightly wider where they bolt to the pinion.

    Anyway, that all for now, looking forward to getting some pictures up of the car sitting on the car looking low and mean.
     
  8. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Thanks! Yeah sedans are more practical in these parts :D
     
  9. Very cool! I love the mixture of parts that make the Ozzie cars unique. I finally figured out the front fenders (wings!) are 1960-63 Comet.

    I'm curious was your car built there or an Import from Canada? or ??
     
  10. 60srailjob
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    60srailjob
    Member
    from nowhere

    That thing sure looks straight...very cool four door....My wife got this one.....
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    These were stamped out and built here, up the road from where I live actually at the Melbourne Ford factory (still making Falcons at present, although sales have been declining for the last few years)

    They also built Falcons in Wellington, New Zealand where I used to live. Seems like they only make movies there now though lol

    Yeah, I guess Ford Australia decided Mercury Comet front end sheet metal was an easy way to facelift the car from the earlier aussie Falcons :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  12. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Looks really nice in Silver, don't see many that colour! No engine in your car at the moment?
     
  13. Phil Stevens
    Joined: Mar 24, 2002
    Posts: 392

    Phil Stevens
    Member

    great work there Liam, IMO XP's are the best of the early Falcons, I owned one
    a few years back.
    Looking forward to more updates.
    Cheers, Phil
     
  14. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,157

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Nice project.
    Ever thought of adding a turbo charger to the 6 cylinder engine you already have.
    Should make good HP and not weigh as much and easier to work on...
     
  15. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    ^ Yeah, I have actually considered turbo charging the engine I already have, it would certainly go pretty good but to do a turbo set up properly you would need to run EFI, I am more than capable of doing something like this but but I want to keep this one a bit more traditional and put in a mild Windsor V8 :D
     
  16. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Back down on the ground, finally!


    [​IMG]


    Before fitting the lowered front springs on the front end :

    [​IMG]


    After fitting new springs :

    [​IMG]


    Stoked! The back will come down a bit more and will be level with the front, when I fit the spare wheel back in and fill the petrol tank :)
     
  17. NRDave
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 19

    NRDave
    Member
    from Deltona,fl

    I love it! And I'm a 4 door only kinda guy so that helps.
     
  18. garvinzoom
    Joined: Sep 21, 2007
    Posts: 1,169

    garvinzoom
    Member

    Nice car, live seeing the Australian cars. Wish we could get the falcon ute here....
     
  19. 60srailjob
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    60srailjob
    Member
    from nowhere

    I'm digg'n the Falcon.....
     
  20. ClearSpot
    Joined: Aug 20, 2009
    Posts: 939

    ClearSpot
    Member
    from Michigan

    Your doing a great a great job! Keep rollin!
    Myron_
     
  21. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

  22. 1950Effie
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 798

    1950Effie
    Member
    from no where

    I love the tail lights and rear fenders. Cool ride!
     
  23. Scumdog
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 624

    Scumdog
    Member

    Hey mate, do something about the 'Park' notch for the shifter, there's been a shitload of cars damaged/people hurt when a car that was sitting there running suddenly popped into Reverse when the shift dropped down a notch due to wear & tear on the Park notch over the years.

    Most '60's Fords had that issue.

    I used a skinny cutting disc to deepen the notch on the detent plate - and built-up the lever where it had been worn down to a rounded edge.

    Nice car, it would be a shame if it got damaged by something as simple as the shifter dropping from Park into Reverse position eh!
     
  24. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Cheers for the comments guys, keeps the motivation going!

    Yeah, I've already sorted the column shift linkages, it never used to lock into park properly when I first got it but its rock solid now :D

    Got a few more things planned, so will keep on at it
     
  25. RoddyB34
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 542

    RoddyB34
    Member

    When i changed from 2 speed to 3 speed i got a new detent plate and clear indicator ,even with the new parts park position is not pleasant ,if i leave car idling i use neutral and the hand brake and stay with the car,as stated 60s Fords had this problem,,

    and the XP looks great ,my daughter has a nice XP wagon,, she loves it ,,,she is 26 and only ever owned XP falcons ,,,a 4 door sedan first car ,,now the wagon ,,
     
  26. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    I've adjusted the handbrake really well, along with the all new brakes in the rear, it pulls up 3-4 clicks on the ratchet lever, so don't think it will be a problem.

    Yeah, early Falcon wagons are cool. I really want to get a ute next though :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  27. Chrisbcritter
    Joined: Sep 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,892

    Chrisbcritter
    Member

    Another Comet item I see is the instrument cluster; looks like the bezel is plastic (originally vacuum plated?). Looks like it's in MPH as well; I thought Australia was metric?
     
  28. Liam-B
    Joined: Apr 6, 2012
    Posts: 152

    Liam-B
    Member
    from Melbourne

    ^ yeah, another Mercury comet parts bin special that Ford Australia used. It goes to 120mph though!

    Its supposed to be vacuum chrome plated like you say but they always wore off in the harsh Australian sun over time. Mines actually been painted but I am seriously thinking about getting it re chromed. There is that spray on method available these days as well.

    I think Australia went Metric in 1971 or something.
     
  29. Man, I hate to break the bad news to ya', but the steering wheel is on the side!

    Good luck with the build! Sounds like a good laundry list of things you wanna get done
     
  30. sideshowrob
    Joined: Apr 14, 2008
    Posts: 167

    sideshowrob
    Member
    from australia

    Neat work there, hope to see it round some time.
     

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