Posts Tagged ‘1958 Ford Ranch Wagon’

I must confess, when I started this front end rebuild in August, I really didn’t think I would get it done by the September 15th deadline.  I thought for sure I would eventually run into an insurmountable obstacle. But no such roadblock occurred. I must ALSO confess, I didn’t meet the deadline. Saturday the 15th brought duties that my household and family needed me for. I postponed my car stuff gladly and happily. My brother and his family came by Saturday,and I enjoyed their company, and for my brother helping me unload a ton of wood pellets I had picked up that morning.  He was impressed with the progress I had made on the Ranch Wagon, and offered to help me finish it up on Sunday afternoon.  I took him up on the offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got the brake drums ready to be installed by gathering up the new wheel bearing grease, and a lot of rags. Packed the bearings, tightened the nuts down and slipped the cotter pins in. Then we got the tires put on. I was essentially done. However, since I had my brother here to help me, I asked him if he wanted to take a ride to pick up the front clip I had stored over at Bob’s house. “Sure, sounds fun” he said. So on the road we went to get the ’58 Fairlane front clip I had removed from the parts car Bob and I had cut up almost a year ago. (Link to that adventure HERE)

Bob was helpful as ever, helping us load it into the back of my truck, strapping it down, and loading my truck with the other bits and pieces I had stashed away from the parts car behind his Shop.  We were back on the road and ready to get home to get installed back on the car.

We got all our body bolts ready to install, we got the new doghouse/front clip lifted up, and into place.  My 3 nephews ( ages 4, 6 & 7) were in awe of their dad and uncles ability to lift the whole front of a car into the air! They came running at us while he had the front clip in the air, and an attentive Aunt and Mother quickly moved in to keep their awe and amazement at a safe distance.  We got it bolted on, did some shimming and adjustments for the doors to open, and tightened it all down.  We were greeted with a Hero’s welcome from the boys who had witnessed what they thought was the coolest thing ever. We stopped there, as we were also suppose to be Barbequing their lunch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the kids and family were fed, they decided to take a walk to the city park, which left us guys there to finish bolting it all together. We put the grille and front bumper on, bolted the hood on, and decided we were finished. So, I got the front end done, & as an extra bonus, retrieved the front clip and got it installed.

The stance with the lowered springs looks great. I can’t wait to get the floor boards & rust repair done. I also want to get the 351 Windsor & C4 combo installed.  I can honestly say, this is the most satisfying auto project I have done in a long time.  I haven’t decided what my next goal & deadline are. But I’m sure I will enjoy it as much as the front end rebuild I just accomplished.

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.

The Boxes of parts have been flooding in this week! Coil Springs, wheel cylinders, Brake Shoes, Spring Kits,star wheel adjusters  & Brake hoses are all here.

I sandblasted the backing plates & spindles and coated them with Eastwood’s Rust Capsulator. After a 24 hour drying period, I then sprayed them with Eastwood’s Chassis Black Gloss early this morning before work,  which gave them a mirror like finish.  It got to 90 degrees here today, so the heat was good for baking that paint on real nice by the time I got home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then began assembling everything by attaching the backing plates to the spindles. Followed by the wheel cylinders, Brake shoes, star wheel adjusters, brake adjuster spring, and finally the return springs.  I had an expensive set of brake  spring removal/installation tool. It actually was such a pain in the butt to use,  I went back to my trusty old $3.00 spring tool I bought 20 years ago when I worked on my old Datsun pickup. It was so easy, and fast. I think I’ll give my brother the expensive/complicated brake tool. One less contraption to have to store.

One problem I did come across is that the brake shoes I ordered were about 1/2 in too wide. I actually think they sent me rear shoes. The ’58 wagons have wider brake shoes for the back, and the drums are wider also. This is unfortunate, as I don’t have time to send them back and exchange them for new ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh well. Now I have a set of rear shoes.  I inspected the old shoes, and they looked fine. The pad surface was very thick, not cracked, and looks like they had been replaced before it was parked in the late 1980’s.  I will purchase new pads at another time, but for the meanwhile these will suffice for driving it in and out of the garage.

So, in between rain showers, I decided to dig into cleaning out the Ranch Wagon. I removed the Front seat, swept up all the stuff on the floors in order to get a real good look at what I am dealing with.

It looks pretty good. Of course comparing it to the floor of the first Ranch wagon they are Cherry! The under floor bracing seems solid, with only one needing replacing.  The under seat section of the floor is solid as well. It looks like I will be able to use the cheaper floor pans after all.

The seat springs are in good shape, and will be reused. They have been moved to the garage rafter storage area because it will be awhile before I get to that part of the restoration.

Next I will be setting the new floor pans down to see how they will all line up.

**Side note: Rusty the Parts wagon is gone. He was drug onto a flat bed wrecker and was given a ceremonious crushing last week.  So long Pal.