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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my first post to the forum and decided to go ahead and make a short writeup of my partial rebuild of a -68 LTD Country Squire. Let's say that the level of detail is "good enough".

Ever since I sold my -68 XL Fastback early 2018, I had been looking for a wagon. "Naturally" -68 with hideaway headlights was the only choice. Finally in the summer of 2018 found one located in California. Seemed a bit rough from sitting since -85 but on the other hand it wasn't that expensive and decided to go for it. 390 2V, C6, manual drums, power steering, factory AC, white interior, 2.75 rear end.

Here is the Craigslist ad:
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All of the pics from the seller are here.

After deal was done the only thing left was to wait for it to arrive to Finland. Took a basic 2.5 months in total and after that it was ready for a pick up. Got it running in the terminal from a can and drove it onto the trailer. Needed a bit over 2qt of transmission oil. Brakes were a bit stuck, which was good because unsurprisingly master cylinder was junk. Hauled it back with the F350.

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First I installed new brakes. Only old parts left were hardlines, rear hose and front drums. New engine oil and filter, spark plugs, etc. Installed (almost) all new suspension bushings, shocks, etc. Added a brake booster with an aftermarket bracket. Used a Volvo 960 booster because I have those around. Unfortunately engine made pressure to the cooling system and at this point I decided not to even open the but sell it with the transmission if someone buys. And got it sold pretty easily.

I rebuilt the 390 in the Fastback and spending that money and time again did not interest at all. The choice was to use -06 Crown Vic 4.6l 2V and 05-> Mustang GT TR-3650 which I had used in two Volvos earlier. Now it found itself a suitable home. Made exhaust manifolds and all new 3" exhaust with big mufflers following the original route.

But before I got close to fitting the engine, the body needed a lot of work. And it still needs but that is something I'll do when it starts bothering enough. Cowl area was the worst. Leaves, dirt and rain do not fit well.

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All front end parts, frame and bottom of the car were sandblasted and I painted them with epoxy. Also installed new heater core and hoses before assembly, cleaned and coated the insides of the tank, etc.

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All of the bodywork can be found here.

Fitting the engine required some basic stuff. Welded brackets to the front crossmember and made a reccess to it too. Decided to use stock motor mounts and those needed small mods. Also had to flip the oil pan. Might have been easier to use another pan because some boltholes go outside the edge of the pan when flipped. Having a turbo in mind I made front facing exhaust manifolds but that didn't happen. Might have gotten a bit sick of the car after the bodywork and wanted to just drive it
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Fitting the engine and other stuff made in 2018 can be found here.

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Got it road legal earlier last year and drove it some in the winter with studded tires. At first it looked like this with cut stock front springs and sagging rears.

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Since then it got new front springs(stiffer than any stock option) and rear shocks with helper springs. Was better to drive but still pretty sloppy. Drove it some 1500 miles or so between late winter and summer. A stock 2V 4.6 was so much better than the 390 in the Fastback even though the wagon has much lower rear gears. I can use 2nd gear from standstill up to 74mph(rev limiter)
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390 had a good valve job, better cam, 4V intake and Edelbrock carb, etc. But it's not really a fair comparison.

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And here is more.

Car had been standing in the yard since last summer and I finally decided it's time for a turbo install. Megasquirt 2 has followed this engine since I first installed it into a Volvo 242. I also have had the same Mustang ~580cc injectors since then. Cheap from Rockauto.

Choice of turbo is a good old HX40 with #23 exhaust so it won't give too much low end torque. And it was cheap from a friend. Basic 600x300x76mm intercooler with modded 2,5" in/out. Remade exhaust piping inside the engine bay. Some V-bands, HD flex joints and making stands for turbo and wastegate later it was running and driving. All it needed was about 3 days worth of work just before Christmas.

Had to move all electrics to the left side and I still have to do a couple of wires. Some of them because I have to relocate washer bottle. I cut the vacuum tank in half so that I could fit the battery next to it. Turbo takes the original place of the battery and wastegate is under it in the wheelwell. What a nice difference does even a little boost make, but that's nothing new. My goal is to tune it to around 0.5bar/7-8psi, more if dyno numbers are not "high" enough. Will have a bit over half the hp than what my Volvo 240 got but much more wider rpm range and low end torque
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Got to visit a dyno anyway because making the turbo road legal needs an inspection with a dynosheet.

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In the mean time installed new shocks front and rear. Some C1500 Kyb Monomax to the front and Monroe airshocks(MA711) to the rear. They are just the good amount shorter than stock. Now you can really drive it compared to the old shocks. Doesn't anymore move around when changing gears. Needs good front seats in place of the bench. I've now driven a bit over 200 miles and been enjoying it much more than before and not the least because of the shocks.

Also installed new high beams. Headlights I changed early this year to H4's which I had laying on the shelf. Old stock ones were basically junk. Before installing new high beams the lights were pretty dim because all of the current going through old stock wiring and having two bulbs per wire at the same time. Now it has all "clear glass" lights. H4 is a generic aftermarket with Philips Xtreme bulbs and high beams are Cibie Mini Oscar LED. I was pleasantly surprised of the LED lights even though the numbers say that they aren't that good. And they were over three times cheaper than the next retails them.

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As I said earlier, the body still has work left but it's still manageable and does not effect the use. The rear window needs plastic guides because it doesn't move too well and tilts to other side, doors need seals, etc.

That's it for now. Will be adding more info as time goes by and I get some dyno sheets. And maybe video at some point.


Oh yeah, there was a buch of period correct stuff in the trunk. And original paperwork when the car was bought new.

The rest.


Last Thursday did a 200mile trip for a dyno visit and the results were pretty much as expected. Turbo is perfect size for this engine and it shows. Exhaust manifolds get pretty red but they are thin walled regular exhaust pipe.

0.5bar 398hp and 667Nm/492lb-ft. 0.6bar 421hp and 720Nm/531lb-ft. Didn't dare to go for more, should be enough for a stock 2V
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Limiter is 6000rpm, dyno ratio is a bit off.

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Sort of a video. Dyno fan was very loud, should've filmed from the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And then it's time for a question. Tailgate window mechanism does not move very well and it seems that the plastic sliders/rollers have given up. Where can I find those?
 

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Welcome to the FFO!!!

Nice pictures!!!! And interesting collection of stuff left over from the previous owner.

Are the rear window rollers the same as side window power windows?

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Like these?

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I try to document most. I'ts more fun to later look at the pics rather than just trying to remember what I did :)

I think all the stuff in the trunk might even be left from the original owner. The car has changed ownership(might be in the 80's) at least once but inside the family. It was located only 10miles from the dealership which sold it new.

Haven't dared to try if those Highway flares still work, explode or are complete duds :D

Those might as well be? Do you have a part number? Some pieces fell down when I last time used the tailgate. Should take a closer look when repairing the tailgate. And yep, also the bottom of the tailgate is rotted completely. Window also needs a new weather strip, that might be fun to find/make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. Ordered some(from another vendor with better shipping prices). Funny how shipping to Finland for such small parts might be twice or thrice as expensive as 5-6 pieces of plastic.
 

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That happens in the states as well. It is the total price that I am interested in when shopping. Can be a nice price with S&H that is way expensive.

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Another nice wagon in Europe :D

David , France.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Been a while and this has again been just sitting because "too many cars"o_O Did ordered the window rollers though and finally decided to repair the tailgate, because current situation of the world has given enough free time to do more projects.

Took the tailgate off, disassembled it and started cutting. It's basically junk but used market is nonexistant and my goal was to make it last a bit longer. Not to make it like new but something along the lines of butchered and original :D Basically had to replace 6" from the bottom up and make a new mounting point for lower left hinge.

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After some shady measuring and estimations I made new pieces. The inside got OE-style reinforcement channels too.

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No wonder the glass didn't move well :rolleyes: Made new pins from bolts. Only angle grinder with 1mm cut wheel and a straight grinder for the threads needed for "machining".

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First time installing the tailgate was after everything was welded and fitment is good. Insides got lighty sandblasted before the paint. Left side has a big gap because I repaired also the body between the taillight and tailgate and it came a bit short. All places got epoxy primer and polyurethane top coat along with plenty of antirust agent.

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Now the tailgate works in both directions and glass moves nicely. Only thing lacking is good outer seal for the glass. I got a plastic type seal that goes between fenders and body on older cars but that's too narrow. I'm in the process of getting a wider, more rubber-like, stuff.

All of the pics from this operation are here: https://lankku.kuvat.fi/kuvat/muut/LTD+Country+Squire+-68/Laitot+2020/
 

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You have a talent for fabrication work!!!!!

Very nice.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey, at least it's better than before :) I like to make everything I can and have the tools for(or access to). Even though I'm just at an average level.

It was getting really frustrating to fiddle with the glass every time using the tailgate.
 

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Your judgement of being just at an average level in mu opinion is understated.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I could do better but that takes way too much time :D

Made new spark plug wires. Old ones were two different sets which I just dug up when originally installing the engine into a Volvo 242. It was randomly breaking up and after fiddling with the wires one cylider got worse. To begin with the wires had different resistance. Left side set was 6k and right 1k(was new set). One 1k wire had a 6k resistance, one 15k and one had varying connection inside the wire. Now all wires are 1k and I made them long enough for relocating and mounting the coils properly.
 
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