Archive for August, 2010

I was the ebay high bidder on a used gas tank for the Ranch Wagon. It came out of a 1958 Edsel Bermuda Wagon, and was in very good shape.  This particular gas tank is interchanges between the 1957-58 Ford Wagons, 1957-58 Ford Rancheros, and the 1958-1959 Edsel Wagons.  The top side which is usually rusty beyond use, was just surface rusted.  It was quite a surprise to find a tank in such good shape, and for a decent price. New tanks were reproduced around 8 years ago, and have since been discontinued.  The remaining tanks are sold by parts vendors for about $450 dollars!

It also came with a good filler neck as well.


The car cover I usually keep over the car was getting ripped on the jagged Right hand door.  The door had been so damaged in the accident in 1969, that the outer skin protruded out wildly, and the jagged edges were quite sharp.  I had ordered and received a new cover but wasn’t about to put it on until I had done something about the door.

Today was that day.  I left the hinges bolted in the door jamb, but removed the bolts holding the door onto them.

Just by removing the door, I have dramatically increased the value of the car, and home values of every house within a 3 block radius of my home.

I will be putting on the new door I got last week so that the local cats won’t decide to make it their next penthouse.


I have installed the good door.  The door post needs some tweaking on the latch side, as the collision damage has dented the area in. This will be easy to straighten so I am not worried too much.

Bob has done it again! He found and forwarded me a craigslist ad for some ’58 Ford Ranchero Parts that will interchange with my Ranch Wagon.  The ad was posted by a fellow in Idaho, who was coming down to Woodburn Oregon for the All Ford Drag & Swap meet.  He was listing some parts he was going to be bringing down with him that were left over from his own ’58 Ranchero restoration.  I called him and after a nice conversation, a deal was struck between Laroy & I for the following parts:

2 doors

2 fenders

Hood hinges

Radiator support

Heater Box,Blower Motor with Housing & Plenum

Emergency Brake assembly

Seat Tracks

Front Cross member for a V-8

Laroy and his lovely wife Donna would be staying the night in a Hotel near my town, and would meet me the day before the swap meet so I could pick up the parts.

When I met up with these folks at their Hotel, they were the kindest people you could ever want to deal with. Although their long trip to Oregon was met with both 100+ degree weather, (and some jerk who cut them off on I-84, causing their loaded trailer to shift and a large gas pump slamming into the back of their nice tailgate,) they were smiling and friendly.  The parts were everything I had hoped for. Laroy & Donna live in north western Idaho, which is desert country. That is the best place to find great sheet metal.  The parts were beautiful. The doors were nice and solid. No rust. The Fenders were already striped and found to be solid and again,no rust. They had typical door dings, but no collision damage.  The rest of the parts were clean and functional. It was a delight to find kind and honest people who were willing to meet up with me BEFORE a swap meet.….and they both helped me load it all into my truck!

They have alot left on the trailer, including another set of doors, a RH fender, a complete rolling chassis, a couple of engines, axles,ranchero bed trim, lots of bins of smaller stuff and 2 nice old gas pumps.  They will be at the All Ford Swap meet in Woodburn Oregon on Sunday, don’t miss ’em. Their prices are great, the parts are clean, and you won’t meet nicer people.

Fred Flintstone Floors

Posted: August 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

I took the front seat out of the Wagon today.  I wanted to get the factory rubber mat that covered the floors removed so I could really get a good look at the floors:

There was plenty of debris, pine cones, pine needles, tattered remnants of floor mat and an old pull tab Olympia Beer can.

I rolled the garbage can around to the side of the car and and started tearing up and tossing the rubber floor covering.  This stuff traps moisture between the floor boards and the floors and does more damage than its worth.  I will be replacing it with sound deadening and carpeting when that time comes. Probably around 2019.

Before cleaning up LH floor board:

After Cleaning the LH floor board:

I did both left and right had front and rear floors.  Here is after the complete scraping and vacuuming out of the floors:

Oh, one interesting thing I found under the front seat was the factory Radio Delete plate for the Dashboard. I guess my car was ordered without a radio. I stuck it back in its place, which covers the radio opening between the heater controls and the glove box.  My wagon also does not have the factory dash clock.

I am completely wiped out. I am sore in places I had forgotten existed on my body. I feel how those floor boards look.  Extremely Sorry.

I’m not to worried about the floors though. The EMS sheetmetal business I posted about earlier has all the panels I need, and they are complete panels, not just patch panels.

Here are the replacement Panels I will need, directly from the EMS website:

Lh & Rh Toeboards:

Lh & Rh Front Floor Pans:

Lh & Rh Rear Floor Pans:

Transmission Tunnel:

Lh & Rh outer Rocker Panels:

I will also need inner rocker panels, but they are not pictured.

Hey. Fred Flintstone’s car had no floors at all.  So why should mine?

New Clean Sheetmetal Source

Posted: August 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

I found this sheet metal reproducer. Its called EMS Automotive Products. I have placed an order for a RH passenger side door jamb as the one on my car is completely rusted out. The price was extremely fair and looks like a very good reproduction.  I can’t wait to get it.

This company also has the Inner & outer rocker panels. I will need these for the RH side.

I got ambitious tonight. I pulled the car cover back and decided to take a peek under the hood. I had only really glanced in there before, knowing that it was all going to be gutted and a different engine used.  I grabbed what was left of the Hood, which was merely laid on the open engine compartment.  The RH Hood hinge had long ago rusted off its mounting, unable to hold up the rusty hood any longer.  I set it off to the side and really looked at this car:

It was scary. The kind of Scary that stays with a man for a long time. It was rusty. Jagged.  Weathered.  Tired. Gutted. Sad.

Alot of pine needles compacted in clumps all over had held moisture over the  years.  It rusted most anything they had come in contact with.  Battery trays & their Battery areas in general corrode due to the years of battery acid & battery sweat taking their toll on the metal. However this panel was completely gone.  In fact the battery was still connected, and dangling from its cables in the area that used to be its perch. The whole area was gone, exposing the RH tire and wheel. It also corroded the RH front crossmember area:

The Battery Tray Area. Or lack thereof.

The Rusted out Crossmember:

Scary, huh? But I know its all fixable. With time, money, patience, money, experience, money, good friends, oh….and Money.

An Ebay find

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

I was the winning bidder on this NOS (New Old Stock) 1958 Ford Back-up lite kit.  It was unopened, and factory sealed.  I was the first person to ever open it.

The lights were an accessory option, and could be bought over the counter to ad to your 1958 Ford.  The kit included both Left and Right light assemblies, complete wiring harness, hardware, and a template on where and how to cut holes in the rear backing plates to mount them.

It will be a LONG time before I ever get to use them, but its nice to purchase items and stow them away.  Atleast that is what I tell myself.

After our first junkyard being so successful, Bob & I  went to the next yard. This yard specializes in what looked to be pre-1979 cars and trucks.  They had quite a selection.

This yard was packed with many 50’s & 60’s cars trucks, with the occasional 40’s car or truck mingled in.  I wished I had taken more pictures, but I was awestruck at just how many cars there were, and how I had never found this yard before! Bob’s been pulling these awesome junkyards out like a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. This yard had a rare 1958 Ford Courier, which is like my wagon, but has no rear seats, no rear side windows and one large one piece tailgate that hinges open like a hatchback.  It has 1957 Fairlane front fenders and sheet metal.  It was “Not for Sale” at this time as the yard owners have delusions of grandeur of one day fixing it up, along with the other 50 cars they have stowed away.  I can’t blame them, as the Courier is extremely rare. Here is a photo of what a courier is:

The Courier was mostly used as a commercial delivery vehicle for dairies, dry cleaning, Newspapers, or other business uses. They were usually one color and had almost no options or additional trim.

The Third and final junkyard we went to was in Vancouver Washington and is called All American Classics .  It is a very big yard and they specialize in classic cars from the 30’s on up to the mid 80’s.  They had afew possible donors. Here is a very rusty 1958 Ford Custom 300:

It’s previous owner had started to fix it up, compiling many spare parts that we found piled in the trunk and interior of the car. But like so many projects, this car was either too far gone or the owner lost interest. It was pretty rusty in spots, but the RH door was not in too bad of shape. It needed some minor rust repair:

The fender wasn’t too bad either, only needing a small patch panel on the lower part near the door. However after getting a price quote from the yard guys, it was a little too pricey.  Especially with both the door and fender needing rust repair. Pre-rusted body panels should be discounted, not jacked up!

A very interesting car Bob and I stumbled upon in the back row, which means it is going to be crushed VERY soon:

It WAS a ’57 2 door ranch wagon that someone shortened (cut the body behind the doors and the rear wheel well and removed that section, than welding it back together. Thus making it “shortened”).  It was also sitting on what looked to be a Jeep 4×4 frame!  It was a strange car to say the least. There were some decent parts on it but it is striking close to midnight for this cobbled together concoction of a Ranch Wagon.  I think it was begging to be put out of its misery.

It was a very good Saturday overall. We found a ’58 2 door ranch wagon to cannibalize for parts (and did) and found a few parts cars in yards that are possible candidates if I can’t find anything else better & cheaper.

We also made a long,long,long drive to the Oregon coast to look at a ’58 Ford Custom 300,……. but that story is for another day.

I decided to sweep/vacuum out the floorboards of the Ranch Wagon today.  I cleaned out the rear floor & under the seat.  The floors are solid underneath the seat. Which is good news.  The foot area however was a different story. They are very soft or non existent.  When I got to the front floor board on the Passenger side, the vacuum hose became clogged on something.  I assumed it was another pine cone stem, as the squirrels who used the car as a restro styled condominium for decades had filled the car with them.  When I reached down to unclog the vacuum hose this fell off in my hand:

Treasure? In my Ranch Wagon? Through all the years of working on old cars you become accustomed to finding loose change under seats, a quarter here, old pennies there. Old car wash tokens, even a wooden nickel for an old grocery store chain. This was different, because it was very heavy and so large it clogged the end of the suction hose.  I turned the vacuum off and stood up to look at the coin in some sunlight. It was so much heavier and  a lot larger than a Kennedy or Eisenhower half dollar. It was a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar!

There be treasure in them there floor boards matey!…Arrrghhh.

The vacuum was moved to the side and I grabbed my flash light, the dust pan and small hand held whisk broom to continue the  treasure hunt.  I carefully swept the floor board one inch at a time, and uncovered this:

Another 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar!

I was getting more and more excited, and my internal dialogue in my head was adding “Matey” and “Arrghh” behind every thought. Why was I talking like a pirate? I guess finding treasure will do that to a land-loving scallywag like myself.

I continued the hunt. More sweeping. There was the familiar shape of a coin, Aha! I picked it up. Just a stupid washer. There must be more. More. Keep looking. Come on! Bottle Cap? NO!!!!!!!!!

Then, the familiar circular shape. Shiver me Timbers!!  another coin!:

This coin was an 1878 Morgan Silver Dollar!!

I was now at a mad scramble to find more. There was no “X” marking on this car was there? Because this was the spot.

I peel back a chunk of vinyl floor mat and Whamo! Another coin!:

This coin is a 1922 “Peace” Dollar!

I continued to carefully excavate the treasure floor, but alas….no other coins. The floor was fairly rusty so I wonder how many more coins happened to find their way to the ground over the years?

I don’t know what they’re worth, but maybe these coins might pay for a restoration?  Hmmmmm.

Oh yeah, all this coin finding and I almost forgot, the cars floor boards are clean now.

Today, Bob and I started very early (for a weekend anyway).  We left Bob’s house at 9:15 am on the ultimate treasure hunt.  We were looking for 1957-1958 Ford Wagons, or 1957-1958 Ford Custom 300 2 dr sedans that we could harvest organs/parts from to ensure my 1958 Ranch Wagons survival. To remind you of my wagons afflictions, it has cancer of the tailgate, spare tire well, gas tank, rocker panels, floors, hood, fenders, and radiator support. The prognosis if not fixed:  TERMINAL

The very first salvage yard we went to was a small yard in rural Clackamas County.  Bob had seen this donor car a couple of years ago, and lucky for me his memory for future car project supplies is sharp.  In fact, this very yard & very wagon supplied Bob with its upper & lower tailgate just 2 weeks before. These items are in my garage awaiting use on my wagon.  It was now my turn to see this possible transplant part harvest candidate.

This particular 58 Ranch wagon was also a 2 door. It has resided in the same salvage yard for over 35 years.  It had seen better days, but there was plenty to use still left on  it.  Armed with 2 pairs of vine clippers/hedge shears we cut our way around & into it.  It was like excavating in an archeological dig as we carefully continued cutting away, and removing soil and debris trying to reveal the treasures within.

The interior of the wagon was packed with many parts that had been removed from it years before.  We couldn’t even see them before we trimmed all the blackberry vines, thistles, and tall grass that had grown up through the car.  The rear side trims had been taken off and were laying inside.  I had been looking for some of these, as my trims were extremely pitted and would need a considerable amount of filling to make them usable.  We pulled them out of the car and they were in amazingly good condition! SCORE!

We set them aside and continued with the excavation. Bob noticed what looked like a hood tucked away inside as well. We carefully pulled the hood out of the car and laid it up against the wall. It was the best hood Bob and I had ever seen. There was no avalanche of rust chunks parading down onto our feet when we shook it. The understructure was intact and rust free. The top of the sheetmetal was straight and no rust bubbles were anywhere on it.  SCORE!

The rear spare tire well door was still closed, concealing its condition. After more brush trimming and more junk removal, I got the tire well door open.  The tire well was intact and in great shape! There were only 2 small pin holes, and the rest was solid and dry. SCORE!

The area between the bumper and rear cargo area was virtually rust free, but had a dent in the middle. My wagon is extremely rusty in this area. After discussing the hood, interior trim, and spare tire area with the owner I inquired about possibly purchasing this area as well. He was more than willing to cut the section out, along with the spare tire well as one large piece. The price was agreed upon and will soon be cut out of this wagon to be used in my car.

My wagon will continue to live on, because of the death of this Junkyard wagon.  I will be forever appreciative.

To be Continued……

This was one of 3 different locations we went to today. I will post later about the other two locations.  Stay tuned.