Posts Tagged ‘1958 Fairlane’

I started prepping and assembling the front end at around 9:30 am, and 2 Napa Auto Parts, 1 AutoZone, 5 Diet Cokes, 2 Metal splinters, 1/4 tank of gas, 2 Arby Roast Beefs, 38 miles  and 7 hours later, I am almost done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really ran into a problem with hardware. I didn’t have any new castle nuts for the upper ball joints to bolt to the spindle. The lower ball joints had hardware. Also, I needed castle nuts for the tie rod ends because I didn’t want to reuse the old ones. I also needed cotter pins.  A quick trip to the local auto parts store should end that need, right?

WRONG.

The first local NAPA Auto parts store got me this reply: “I don’t carry Castle nuts, but I do have cotter pins.”

Okay. So I bought cotter pins.

A 14 mile drive into the next city with an AutoZone  store brought me Castle nuts, but in metric only. GRRRRRR.

So I traveled across town to a NAPA Auto parts that did have Standard Castle nuts.  Of course, by then it was Lunchtime so a quick detour into the Arby’s drive thru and I was on the road home.

All I have left to do tomorrow is finish painting the brake drums, and get the wheels on and it’ll be landing time.  Wheels on the ground and goal achieved.  My shoulders ache from holding the spindles up, and working the jack to compress the spring from under the lower control arm. My wife already has the Icy Hot on the nightstand ready for a long back rub rehabilitation of this sore Ranch Wagon owner. But it was worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress from August 4th to September 14.

While laying under the wagon disconnecting the tabs that hold the fuel/brake lines to the frame, I decided to poke the body brace with a screwdriver to see how solid it was. The screw driver went through the brace and through the inner rocker.  I kind of just starred at it in disbelief. I pulled the screwdriver out and started poking further which opened up more daylight gaping holes. I started poking more and more holes in the brace where the body mount bolt goes through. It was really bad. I poked further up the brace toward the tranny tunnel area and…. No problems. Solid as a rock.  This little discovery was unexpected and unwanted.  So I went all around the car poking all the floor bracing. All were solid.  So I guess Just one of my brace ends needed to be replaced.  I can pinpoint this particular area being a problem, because the car sat outside for a long time with no door glass in the Driver side door. The rocker,  door bottom, and now this particular floor brace are all rusty in the same area. With the door shut the rust all lines up. This is the worst spot in the whole car.

New floor braces ends are available new. There are 4 different braces that run from driver to passenger side that go from the front to back. The particular brace end I need is the second from the front. The price for one of these braces range from $125 to $175 dollars each.  That is as much as a whole floor pan new!  So I went to plan B: Find a good used one.

This leads to this story. I made a new car friend named Dave a couple of months back that also has a recently acquired ’58 Ford 2 door wagon.  He was advertising that he was looking for some ’58 wagon parts, and I answered the ad. ( I had lots of wagon parts from the first wagon I started out with but eventually parted out)  He looked through my boxes of extra parts and picked out a few items he needed. We settled on price, however when loading the parts, one of them, the front valance wouldn’t fit into his car. I offered to deliver it the next day as he only lives 15 miles away. So when I get to his home to deliver the part, he shows me his collection of cars. Dave is into ’58 & “59 Edsels, and has many project Edsels and Rancheros in various stages of restoration. I am amazed at how many solid cars he has. He also buys Edsels and parts them out for his own parts shelves, and also to sell parts to other enthusiasts.  He recently acquired a ’58 Edsel 4 door from dry southern Oregon.  He had taken the front clip off, the dash, the teletouch steering wheel/push button trans column, and misc trim.  After he stripped it, his plan was to fill it with scrap metal and take it to the scrap yard. Dave schooled me on the Edsel line of cars. There are 2 kinds of Edsel. The 2 lower end body styles are based on the Ford platform. The floor pans and frame are the same as the ’58 Ford Fairlanes/Custom 300’s. The two upper end Edsel body styles are based on the ’58 Mercury platform/Frames which are not compatible with the Ford Line of Floor pans/frames. I never knew this and was amazed at how much Edsel knowledge Dave has acquired over the years.  I enjoyed the tour, and after showing me his newly acquired ’58 Ranch Wagon I made the mental note to keep Dave’s number as a future contact for Ford related parts.

As I pondered my options on the rusty body brace suddenly, Dave The Edsel Guy‘s name flashed into my mind from the mental Ford Rolodex in my brain! I gave Dave a call, and asked him if he still had the Edsel 4 door. He said “Yes I do. However I’m taking it to the crusher in 3 days because I’ve got everything off of it I want.” I told him my predicament about the rusty floor brace  and he said “Do you have a sawzall? Because you can come out and cut off whatever you need.” I was relieved! I showed up, and Dave and  his wife were preparing the area for me to get to chopping the brace out. Their kindness and hospitality were appreciated. Dave says his wife is as passionate about his old car hobby as he is. Which is neat to see.

So Dave and I unbolt the front seat and pull it out. The seat is a 40/60 split bench seat, which is rare.  I ended up purchasing it from him and plan on using it in the wagon. The springs are in great shape, and the 40/60 split gives those entering the car from passenger  side to get into the  back seat a whole lot more room than a standard 50/50 splint bench seat.

After removing the body bolt I use my sawzall to cut through the rocker panel and into the floor pan up to the tranny tunnel, and back around to the rocker panel and now I have a perfect condition body brace and a cool seat for the Ranch Wagon!

 

I drilled out the spot welds using a Blair Spot Weld cutter bit, and have the bracket separated and read to be ground down and used when I replace the inner/outer rocker panels later on.  It’s good people like Dave the Edsel guy, who make this hobby enjoyable. By allowing me cut out a part I needed for my car, out of a crusher bound Edsel, Dave has really proven that old car guys look out for each other. Thanks Dave!

 

I purchased a set of reproduction Ball joints for the Ranch Wagon.  I just couldn’t find NOS lower ball joints at a reasonable price.  So I found the best quality reproductions available.  The rubber grease boots are high quality, which is important to look for in a reproduction ball  joint. Too often the boot ages quickly, dries out and becomes brittle. This leads to it tearing and falling apart. Then the grease won’t stay in the housing, and grit and contaminants can get into it and ruin the ball joint.  The vendors don’t sell the grease boot by itself, so you are usually stuck buying a new ball joint just for the boot.  FRUSTRATING!!!

I have soaked the upper control arms, ground the factory rivets off of the upper ball joints, hammered them out, and will be sand blasting them tomorrow.  I then plan on taking them and a number of other items to the powder coater.  I am cutting it close to self imposed deadline of September 15 to have the front suspension refurbished/replaced and the wheels on the ground, but I think I can make it.

  

Knowing it was going to be extremely hot today, I got an early start (6:30 am) to degrease the front end of the car. I started with an assortment of putty knives and large flat end screwdrivers to chisel away at the 54 years of “Patina” on the frame and suspension. I put plywood down first to catch the chunks of hardened grease, dirt, grime, grit, and decaying rubber parts I would be scraping off. It made quite a pile.

After getting all the chunky, brittle pieces off I started spraying the frame and suspension with Super Clean. I then began using some large wire bristle brushes to scrub everything. Areas that I couldn’t reach with the large brushes I used the screw drivers and smaller wire brushes to get to. Then I would soak it down again with Super Clean, let it set for 20 minutes and then rinse with a high pressure nozzle on the garden hose.  I did this 4 times until it was completely grease and dirt free.  The next step is to begin dismantling the front end and removing the coil springs, upper and lower control arms, steering gear box, tie rods, brake and fuel lines, and spindles. I need to get the frame bare so I can begin grinding it smooth ( There is a lot of factory slag on it from when it was made in ’58!) and get it sealed, and painted with Eastwood’s Heavy Duty Chassis Gloss.

I decided the time had come to get the front clip taken off the Wagon. I wanted to get the front frame cleaned up, and do the front end by the end of summer. I am shocked at how few bolts actually hold the whole front clip onto the ’58.  11 bolts, disconnect some wiring, and you can lift the whole front Clip (Dog house) off in one piece.  It’s taken me longer to change the oil on a car than to remove the front clip on this car!

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First  I had to remove the front bumper with brackets attached. That was fine, except for the one chrome bumper bolt on each end of the bumper. They fought back pretty good. I had to sawzall them off.

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I was without any help to lift the front clip off, so I had to tilt the front forward onto some large Foam cushions I had saved out of an old travel trailer I had gotten rid of years ago. They are a perfect for laying under vehicles to work on, and for cushioning large loads like this.

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Next I will be removing the wiring from the front clip and saving it for future use. This front clip needs work. The front fender bottoms are rusty, and the hood is so badly rusted it is of no use. So either I will sell this old clip to someone who has nothing, or dismantle it, save parts and scrap it.

So I spent Friday night dismantling the control valve, in order to soak it all overnight for a Saturday morning rebuild. It all came apart relatively easy. After having it all soak all night in some super clean, I cleaned it all up an then soaked all the internals and housing in some power steering fluid. I rebuilt the valve with a rebuild kit and a new ball stud kit as well. Then I coated the spool valve spring and nut with some white lithium grease and installed the end cap.

I then painted it in some chassis black semi-gloss and installed the stud boot and retainer. All done!

It’s been awhile, so I had better get with it!

I have decided that the next project I will tackle will be rebuilding the power steering from the parts car. The next few posts will be about this process.