metalmoto

Sitting garaged for 33 years

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As a for-whatever-its-worth comment, i would join the leave it alone bandwagon. You can have any restored Falcon but only one where all your family members sat on the original seats. Great car you have here.

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Falcons (and their cousin, the Comet) are red hot right now. I sell every one I can find rather quickly. I think it's a bit of a desire to own something that's not a Mustang but to have a similar package that's easy to work on and has plentiful parts and upgrades. This is a great car you've got. I would join the others in saying that you should get it mechanically healthy and leave the rest alone or freshen it as needed, but don't worry about a full restoration. The six-cylinder cars are reasonable performers and you'll find that there are a lot of enthusiasts that embrace the inline motors just as much as the V8s. They're tough and smooth and thrifty, a perfect hobby car if you're on a budget. Parts are still plentiful and easy to find and if you get it sorted out, it will run forever.

 

Power steering units in these Fords are notorious leakers. Even new units will probably leak in short order. Your unit might be good, but over the years, all the fluid has simply leaked out. That wouldn't be a surprise. Before you tear it apart, get everything else functioning so you can start the engine, then top it up and see what happens. If it works, you may just have to bleed the air out of the system. Just be aware that leaks are normal with these setups and keep an eye on it. Otherwise, parts are inexpensive and easy to get from the usual Mustang vendors.

 

There's no frame under this car. The important places to check are the rockers, the toque boxes (where the front of the rear leaf springs bolt to the body tub), and the outer trunk edges where it has a deep trough that goes down and attaches to the quarter panels. Junk can collect in those areas and hold water so it rots from the inside. Surface scale is no big deal, just look for perforation or structural issues.

 

Add in the memories that you have in the car, and this is a winner. It will never make you rich in the wallet, but it will enrich your life in ways that you never imagined. Enjoy the process of getting it healthy and invite your dad to participate in any way he can.

 

PS: Skip the additives. The unleaded scare is a complete non-issue.

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

PS: Skip the additives. The unleaded scare is a complete non-issue.

Totally agree with Matt, especially for your car. Applies to any oil additives too.

 

Really nice car and story. I hope you get it running and stopping and enjoy the heck out of it. Cars can be restored from a single rusty door but are only original once.

Scott

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 5:04 AM, metalmoto said:

My father purchased the car from the original owner for $500 in 1978. (I was 13 years old, at the time). It was barely running, as they thought something major was wrong with the engine. It turns out, someone mixed up the spark plug wires. It ran fine, after he figured that out. Then it became our second car, and soon a daily driver for my family.

The title says it had 47,000 miles on it, when he bought it. It now has 126,000 miles on it. Yes, the odometer turned over, so it reads 26,000 miles on it now. My father said he rebuilt the engine 10,000 miles ago. 

From what I remember, and the date of the last state inspection, of 1984. It was driven daily by him and my late mother for 5-6 years.

My parents divorced in 1984, the title was signed over by my mother, and it was garaged ever since.

 

I had to get a job, and started working, I was 19. I moved out, and my father moved out, and couldn't get the car started, so he had it towed to his new house, and parked in his garage. There it sat, for all those years, untouched.

 

My father promised me the car many years ago. But I didn't have a garage to park it in, until I got married, and inherited my wife's Father's house, after he died. 

Just 2 weeks ago, I finally got it towed, on a flatbed truck to my home. The picture, is of it in my driveway, right before I winched it into my garage. 

 

It means more to me than anything... My memories as a teenager. We drove that car 110 miles to the Pocono mountains every weekend and back to Philly, for years... It never let broke down. I am all choked up, must digress...

 

It's the deluxe Futrura model, if anyone noticed?  Automatic and power steering. Still has the original Ford AM radio.

In fact,  it's completely original, even interior and glass! 

 

My father is 81 now, and can only get around with two canes or a walker. Deaf as a door-nail, I love him and help him out, whenever I can. Fixing his current cars. Yeah, he still drives a car!

 

Paralyzed from Polio as a child, he leaned to walk again. Then he was struck with TB, and they removed one of his lungs, to save his life.

Amazing man, never gives up, He had a triple bypass, and now lives with a pacemaker. Nothing will stop him, until God takes him from this earth, sometime soon, I don't want to think about.

 

As far as the car goes, I removed the very old battery, The brakes are gone. Drained the coolant. It's leaking power steering fluid from the unit under the car, even just sitting in my garage. I have a big project, and I've only just begun.

Fortunately, the gas tank has a drain bolt.  That is next. Engine is not seized, but I got to put some oil in those cylinders...

And rotate the engine, by hand.

 

Glad to be a part of this forum, and will post pics and my progress, as time goes on.

I have many years experience working on cars, just nothing this old , with points ignition etc.

 

Thank you all for your positive replies!

I have so many questions, and will gladly contribute my knowledge to others, in return for your help.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dave

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave,  Get the engine running FIRST, before you invest in other items. 

If the engine should turn out to be a disaster in some form, you will not have invested cash into other items.

Get the car running, make it safe, then get your Dad in the car for a ride ....... while there is still time.

P.S. If you have not done so yet, buy yourself a Ford Service Manual for your correct year. 

Best money you will spend.

Edited by bobg1951chevy (see edit history)
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I had a 1965 Plymouth (Barracuda) with a 225 slant 6 that had roughly 100K miles on it when I pulled the head to have valves done.  This was around 1980 and I did not have hardened valve seats installed.  I drove as my daily driver for another 140K or so and poor running towards the end (around year 2000) was due to low compression.  Pulled the head and found massive valve seat recession.  The car never towed anything or regularly sustained heavy loads, etc.  I ended up swapping in a later head in with induction hardened valve seats.  If you plan to use the car as a daily driver and have any reason to pull the head off, you may be able to find a later model head with hardened valve seats already in there.  Otherwise, I would suggest using a lead substitute in the gas. BTW, nice looking machine, good luck with it!

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Hello again, 

First, I'd like to "Thank Everyone" for all their great comments and suggestions!

I haven't had any time to work on the Falcon. Besides it was so cold inside my garage this winter, it would be difficult to work on.

I recently installed and electric heater in my garage, and plan to start repairing it. 

 

I think I should start a new thread. As I have a lot of questions about the car. And want to share my progress with it.

Will also include more photos, and I welcome everyone to come and follow my new thread.

 

I guess I'll use the title. Help me get my "65" Falcon running.

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If that is an electric space heater be very careful of using solvents to clean parts and NEVER use gasoline. The temptation is great but too many of our local enthusiasts have lost car and garage doing so ......

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Just an observation but that car was built before things like collapsing steering columns so +1 on good seat belts (and Fords was big on safety, our 61 T'bird had seat belts so not incorrect). Drive with arms out (head behind the B pillar saved me when flew my split-window.

Been using 93 unleaded and CD-32 additive in the Judge for over thirty years now. No problems. Have a set of 6X heads but never needed them..

 

Remember being rudely awakened by a Falcon while spending the night at turn 1 on the Sebring track. Was practicing for a sedan race before the 12 hour.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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4 hours ago, vermontboy said:

If that is an electric space heater be very careful of using solvents to clean parts and NEVER use gasoline. The temptation is great but too many of our local enthusiasts have lost car and garage doing so ......

 

Hi, I understand, and gave a lot of thought to that. Actually the heater was removed from a piece of printing equipment, that was being tossed out. It's comprised of a squirrel cage blower, attached to a heating element.

It is far away from all flammable fluids and combustibles. The car has already been drained of gas. And I don't intend to try starting it, in my enclosed garage.

 

The heater is there, only to keep me warm, while I take it apart, for repairs. 

Thank you for your concern. And you are right to point this out.

D  

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You MUST take the tank off and have it flushed or replace it with a new one. New tanks are not that expensive, under $200 and there is a good chance the old one is worn out. If the terne plate is worn off, and it usually is at that age, the tank will never stop rusting. It is cheaper to buy a new one.

 

So called lead additive is for race cars and high compression muscle cars. It is no use in your car. Suggest you get some Upper Cylinder Lubricant like Redex, Bardahl, Marvel Mystery Oil, Rislone or your favorite brand. It lubricates the valves and rings to prevent wear. Modern gas is too "dry". A few ounces in each tank of gas does the trick.

 

You will need to replace the battery, brakes, tires, all lubricants including transmission, differential etc as well as engine oil. Check all the rubber under the hood carefully. Hoses etc are probably either mummified or mushy. Don't forget the motor mounts. And wiper blades.

 

Other things will break like the power steering leak. Probably a seal kit will fix it. Steering box does not need to come off for this.

 

Once you get it going take it for a few short drives. 10 - 25 miles. Be alert for funny noises, burning smells etc. Fix what goes wrong ( there is always something). After a while you should be able to take trips of 100 miles or more, and the car will be nearly as reliable as a new one.

 

You are lucky that it is a popular car. Simple, not much to go wrong, and all parts are available at reasonable prices usually much cheaper than new cars. It will take a lot of work to put it back in commission but it should prove a reliable and fun car when you are done. It will run happily on the cheapest regular and get well over 20 MPG possibly 25 on hiway trips. No Boss 429 Mustang can make that statement lol. Seriously, you can have a lot of fun with a car like that while everyone oohs and aahs over the $100,000 muscle cars the owner is scared to drive them in case he gets a stone chip and can't afford to keep gas in it when he has to buy it at the airport and gets 8 miles to the gallon.

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Gas fumes and most flammable fumes hug the floor. Mount your heater high, it will be a lot safer. With the blower you can mount it up 5 or 6 feet off the floor with the blower aimed down to circulate the heat. Then it will be safe.

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Hi Everyone,

 

Me and the Falcon are still here...

 

I haven't done much to the car, except took out what was left of the battery tray.

Half of it is completely gone, and there some holes in the metal below it. I cleaned up all the rust, and painted it, to keep it from getting any worse. My father gave me a new battery tray, but I want to reinforce the metal below it, before I mount the new one.

 

I decided, before I do anything more. I wanted the car titled in my name.

My older brother said he had the title, but it took him forever to find it...

 

Then came much disappointment. My mother signed the back of title, long before she died.

Years ago, a signed title was all you needed to get the car put in your name. I live in Pennsylvania.

Seems the laws have changed since then. And I had a hell of a time, trying to get the car in my name.

It either had to be notarized, or my mother had to come with me, to get it transferred. 

Mom's been gone for over 10 years now. And everyone I spoke to, (many people) said I would need a "court order" to get the car put in my name. I have her death certificate, but since I'm not the notifier on it. She has passed away too!

 

To make a long story short. It took me a "year" to finally get the car titled in my name.

Let's just say, I found someone, who knew someone. And avoided having to petition the court, to get it transferred.

Ironically, it just so happened on my birthday! So someone above, Thanks Mom, must of sent me a Great gift, for my birthday!

 

Just started getting back to the Falcon, as life gets in the way. And I've been spending every weekend trying to keep my Jeep running. As I need 4WD to get to work in the winter here. My route to work is all 2 lane winding rural roads. And your not going anywhere in the snow, without a Jeep or a 4WD vehicle.

 

I recently noticed, the Falcon has a 4 lb radiator cap on it. At first I thought maybe it was 14 lbs, and the "1" was worn off the aftermarket Stant cap. But no, the cap is rated a 4 lbs. It should be a 13 psi cap, as I found from researching it.

Does anyone know why my father would put 4 lb radiator cap on it?

 

I asked him, but he is going on 85 years old now. And he dosen't remember much. about what he did to the car, 35 years ago.

I will start a new thread on this. As I need to learn more about cooling system pressures, and how they effect cooling.

 

Thank You all, for your positive thoughts and suggestions about this car. 

Unfortunately, I doubt I will get it running and driving, before my dad dies, to take him for a ride in it.

He barely able to walk by himself now. Both him and his girlfriend are now living near the NJ shore, enjoying the last of their lives in a beautiful place. But he still calls me, every few weeks or so, and asks me about the Falcon...

"Did you get it running yet" he asks... Sorry Dad, It's going to take me some time...

 

He old, and forgets the car was sitting for 35 years. I can't just put gas in it, and drive it!

I still need to pull the oil pan and drain the trans fluid. Not to even mention the gas tank and fuel lines.

Not going to even attempt to start it, until I'm sure the engine is good.  Don't want to ruin a good engine, being in a hurry to see if she will run.  So far the engine looks good, good compression, but must make sure oil is getting to the top.

 

It's completly orginal. Except my father says he rebuilt the engine, and it only had about 1,000 miles on it since he did the work.

Somehow, I can't imagine my father rebuilt the engine himself, but who I'm I to say he's lying. I was just a teenager at the time...

I'm just glad to have the car, that brings back so many great memories of when life was simple and great!

I'll be 55 soon, so the last time the car ran I was 20. Wow, the time flies!

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As others have said, you have a fantastic car and a great story to go with it.

 

Since you are understandably safety-conscious, I strongly advise that you replace all of the steel brake lines and the master cylinder.  Steel brake lines rust from the inside out, and can fail when you apply the brakes.  

 

I also agree with the advice to replace the fuel lines and tank.   I would also have the carburetor professionally rebuilt.  A troublesome carburetor will frustrate your restoration efforts.

 

Enjoy your car!

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I'll check back in a year for progress.

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Glad to hear that your Dad is still with you, and that you still want to get your car going.  You're correct to get the paperwork and title settled before proceeding too far with the car...the potential for frustration is too great if you don't approach it that way. I wouldn't be too cautious about cranking the engine over, though. If it was rebuilt it probably doesn't have all that much sludge in it, even if it was sitting a long time. If you didn't see large-ish pieces of solidified oil and sludge when you first drained the oil, that's a good sign. You could even change the oil one more time to see if any residue was loosened by the previous oil change.

 

One thing you could do is put an aftermarket mechanical oil pressure gauge (of decent quality) on it. My experience with factory fomoco gauges of the '50's and 60's has made me presume they are inaccurate until proven otherwise. If the engine is turning freely (take all the plugs out to see how freely it turns) you can crank the engine without starting it (since I think you previously said you put oil in the cylinders) and see if the oil pressure goes up any on the gauge while cranking. You might also take the valve cover off to see if there's any evidence of oil around the rockers and shafts while cranking. If you get positive results on both those things, you might have the carb issues addressed and see if you can start it. 

 

I personally wouldn't do anything to the transmission or gas tank or fuel lines until I first saw how the engine runs at idle. (Of course, you'll need to run off of a gas can to do this.) As with the title, you don't want to go down costly or labor intensive avenues until you've incrementally verified the most essential functions of the car. My approach wouldn't be to get the car prepared so you can start it up and drive around the block, but to first see how good the oiling system is, then see how well the car runs, then see if the tranny needs work, then have the brakes checked, etc., etc.  Each success will motivate you to do more...and will be less daunting than getting the car entirely road ready.  Best wishes.

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On 10/11/2017 at 5:04 AM, metalmoto said:

 

 

 

I have many years experience working on cars, just nothing this old , with points ignition etc.

 

Thank you all for your positive replies!

I have so many questions, and will gladly contribute my knowledge to others, in return for your help.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dave

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, not used to working on anything, "...this old." Sigh. Now I feel VERY old myself!! 😞

 

Seriously though, Good luck with your project car, Dave. And welcome to the forum! 

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I want to second what Rusty said. They make brand new fantastic correct-style gas tanks for most popular collector cars from this era. I'm sure there must be brand new reproductions available. It's SO much better than fighting incessant problems with dirt/rust getting into your carburetor. 

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Your Falcon is a great little car with heaps of family history and significance.

If you haven't taken care of the gas thank I also vote for just replacing the entire tank with a new one.

While you've got the tank down replace all rubber lines running to the tank.

Everything in the fuel system should be updated to new parts that can hold up to the ethanol in today's gas, even if the parts still look good, replace them anyway.

 

Keep plugging along on your car and you'll get it all done.

 

Good luck with your continued project.

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When you get ready to start it ....

 

Rig up a temporary gas feed & bypass the existing fuel system.

 

If it runs with no major issues:


Replace the gas tank and the fuel pump along with any rubber or plastic fuel lines and the filter.

 

 

 

Jim

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Great news that the car was garaged the entire time of your parents' ownership of it, which of course, helped preserve it.

 

For all the times you will be driving that car, lap belts fitted in the original anchors should be sufficient.  Attempting to retrofit three-point seat belts properly in an older car can be a nightmare, especially a hardtop body style.

 

Craig

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