Introduction To Project
I've started a similar thread on a 1966 Ford LTD resto-mod car. I have taken a break from that car for a bit for a couple of reasons. First and obviously, needed a break, especially after unveiling the rusted out roof. That one zapped my mojo if you know what I mean. The other reason is I have been accumulating so many parts for this car project, I had to start this project in order to get them out of my way.
On the LTD, I have everything I need now to repair the roof, and the mojo is regenerating. It is very difficult when you are effectively a one man band type operation. But we shall crack on with a similar project in the interim.
This is the wifes car, she fell in love originally with a beautiful 1966 Ford galaxie 500 7 litre at a car show. Well over the years a 7 litre model was next to impossible to come across, actually an XL model was hard to come across as well. Well she found one and against our better judgement we bought it anyway. In other words we bought a massive pile of........
This fine example of material waiting to be recycled into a new major appliance sat for years as this was clearly not a fixer-upper. A complete tear down and build up would be in order.
Now this car wasn't beyond redemption, however it was really beat. It's a Texas car all its life till we hauled it over one state over. The one thing this car had in its favour was it wasn't really rusty. However, it was hit, and hit hard. It was hit so hard in the back it also pushed the front end into another item, most likely the car in front of it at the time. The whole body on this was tweaked from the rear bumper to the rear of the doors. The frame was bent in the rear and in the front. Someone had already tried to pull the damage out, albeit badly.
I truly understand the allure of wanting an old car, however some are so bad unless you have unlimited time and funds they should be avoided. This would be one of those examples as I even haven't touched on the rest of the malfeasance of this car yet.
The pictures above show exactly how we bought it. The engine was incomplete and in the last picture yes that is fire damage. The fire damage is not from the engine, but rather the transmission caught fire. Yes, that's right this had the rare Ford option of the internally combusting C6. Something I didn't know was even possible. But to add insult to injury when it caught fire, obviously the fire department was called out and proceeded to pour copious amounts of water on it. So much water in fact that about 2 gallons ended up in the engine.
Now the.... person.... that sold us the car told us he poured gas down the carb and started the engine, yes without checking that there was 2 gallons of water in the oil pan. FYI, water does not make for a good lubricant. Now this same person also had the temerity to ask for even more money for the car once we were loading it on the trailer. I'll just let your imagination run wild on what I told him he could do with his solicitation.
To tally all the problems, and they are many, the frame is bent, the body is bent, the rear quarter is crushed beyond redemption. The deck lid is bent and heavily dented. The engine hood is warped from the heat of the engine compartment fire. The engine is in need of an entire rebuild, the transmission is in need of an entire rebuild. The interior is quite literally burned toast and needs to be replaced. All the accessories will need a ground up refurbishment as well, such as the brakes, steering, radio, wipers, HVAC and instrument cluster gauges.
The Plan of Action
Since sitting for so long and having a couple of other 1966 and 1968 parts cars it became apparent to not even bother with the frame nor the majority of the body. Instead a donor body shell will be used as well as a donor frame. The interior bones will be used to build up a new interior. In all 4 different clapped out cars are going to be used to build this one back up. The transmission has been rebuilt. As for the engine, well the plans are to use a 352 half done, but I'm still thinking about the correct date coded 390 for it that it came with. Dunno, jury is still out.
I started on the interior as well and have been accumulating the necessary parts to rehabilitate it. I've been putzing around with this car over the last couple of years here and there. I be glad to cover all that as well as the present work of building up the frame.
The End Goal
It's important to have a clear concise end goal before you start. The goal of this car is to have a reliable daily driver that isn't concourse in appearance nor totally original. I have no problems with upgrading certain parts of the car whilst keeping the essence of the 1960's. What we want is a car that has sufficient corrosion control to daily drive in all weather except snow and doesn't have to have award winning paint work. Something you can power wash after a long work week and take to the car show and not be embarrassed.
The immediate upgrades will include:
1.) 4 wheel disc brakes.
2.) Fuel injection - no more carburetors. At this altitude and fuel quality we receive they are nothing but problems.
3.) Alloy wheels of some sort the wife likes. No hub caps.
4.) A variety of anti-theft, built in cameras and radio location hardware.
5.) Original AM-FM radio with a multiplex add on (stereo) along with antenna injection ancillary input (MP3 player).
6.) HVAC system converted to R134a.
7.) Power trunk lid release.
8.) Factory type power windows.
9.) Power door locks.
10.) Remote entry using Ford key fob.
Long term upgrades:
1.) Overdrive transmission
2.) Intermittent wipers.
I think that's a good intro for now.
As the Terminator said, "I'll be back".