Posts Tagged ‘Ford Wagon’

In preparing to do the floor pans, there are some items I need to remove from the firewall. One of them is the Heater Box.  It is a 3 piece box, with a largest section bolting on from under the dashboard on the passenger side.

The Blower motor & blower motor housing are bolted on from the outside of the car on the firewall.The remaining 4 bolts that hold the large heater box section under the dash also hold the blower motor housing to the firewall. So I had to remove it first.

What a surprise! A Mouse nest! I can’t remember when the last time was that I ever pulled an old car apart and didn’t find a mouse next somewhere inside of it.

Last was the Heater core & it’s metal housing.  Now that these are all out, I can start cleaning the toe board & floor pan up and get to drilling spot welds , cutting pans and prepping to weld in those new pans!


The Wagon has had a seized up wheel ever since I got it.  It has made it a pain in the neck to move around as I need to, and this morning was the morning to tackle it.  I jacked it up and got the front wheel off, pulled the hub & drum and discovered the brake pads were adjusted so far out they were stuck to the drum. The adjuster was frozen in place with rust.  Also as expected the front wheel bearings were very dry, as the grease had turned to a tar like consistency or chunked up dry bits that fell out when I scraped them.

I cleaned the hub, spindle, and removed the star wheel adjuster.  I soaked the adjuster and finally got it to break loose. Cleaned it up and reinstalled it. Found the outer wheel bearing was bad, luckily I had a new pair in my garage from when I had a ’58 T-bird and used it.

I repacked the hub, bearing and installed the brake drum, tightened it all down and boy does it roll now! I will do the same to the other side,  because even though it spins, it does so grudgingly.  It’s a little too hot now so I think I’ll do it this evening after the overhead sun is on the other side of the garage.


I did the Driver side this evening after the sun was on the other side of t he garage.  It was slightly less seized as the other side. When I was done, I lowered the jack, the tires hit the ground, and promptly rolled backwards off the concrete pad and into the yard! I think it rolls TOO well now.  Pushed it back onto the concrete and blocked the tires.

I had the need to dismantle something this weekend, so I decided to tackle pulling parts off of the ’58 Parts car.  I removed the rear tail light extensions and chrome backing plates.  They are in decent shape, and I will be selling them on Ebay to help fund the wagon restoration.

I also removed the Full Dashboard as one assembly. I will be using it in the Wagon. It is in very nice shape. In fact, it is one of the cleanest and best preserved original dash assemblies I have seen.

The parts car had the optional Town & Country Signal seeking Radio.

The next item I will be removing from the parts car will be the complete front clip. It is very nice, and I will be using it for the wagon.  The whole car is relatively rust free. It is a shame it is a four door, because its worth is only in its parts that interchange with 2 doors and convertibles.

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.

Well I removed the good windshield from the parts wagon.  It was going well until a I was cutting a chunk of old brittle windshield seal with a Razor knife and it jerked back and gouged deep into my thumb.  You know its deep when you see the white meat of your flesh split wide open, followed by an unstopping stream of Blood.  Luckily I had some black electricians tape in my tool box. I put a clean Kleenex over it and taped it in place tightly which stopped the bleeding. It now looks like somebody got murdered on the hood of the Parts wagon!

After cursing the razor knife, I continued on. The stainless trim around the windshield was really put up a fight, but eventually pried out. I then carefully removed the windshield.  These 50’s curved windshields are fragile and notorious for cracking if you aren’t careful. I learned this the hard way when I was 15, removing the windshield out of my ’58 Ford T-bird. I gave the windshield a good hit with my palm in order to get it loose, and cracked the whole corner of it.  That was a $850 mistake I would never make again.

The  Wagon I will be working on has a very badly broken windshield, so this is a good exchange.

I am actually thinking of cutting the parts wagon in half, and transforming the back half of it into a towable trailer to match the Wagon.  Here is a picture of one done on a ’54 Ford Wagon. They added a boat to the top, but I would keep the top the same, and maybe add a luggage rack.

Pretty cool, huh?  Now, where is my Sawzall?

The car has been off the road since 1988.  It was originally a V-8 car, with a 3 speed manual transmission.  It was originally sold at Phillpi Ford in Stayton Oregon in 1958.  It currently does not have an engine or transmission.

The floorboards are rusty, but are repairable.

The Rear tailgate is extremely rust free, as is the rear cargo area.


The car came with a good hood, it is laying in the back of the cargo area.

Nice 70’s orange shag carpet on the tailgate will be the first thing to go.  Yuck.

This wagon is a much better project to start with, and hope you all continue to follow along.

I got a call from Bob, who was scavenging the Albany Swap Meet last weekend about some 58 Ford parts that he had come across.  He told me he had found a good lower Grille valance, and upper grille valance.  They were priced reasonably, so I told Bob to get them.  He dickered with the seller and got them for even less than what he was asking.  They are in amazingly good shape with no rust or deterioration.  I only brought the upper panel home as the lower valance was too large to fit into my car.

This is a picture of the panel that is rusty on my car (panel between Headlights that has FORD on it)

This is the Good Used panel that Bob found at the Swap Meet.

Thanks again to Bob for more good finds for the Wagon.

The ’58 Ford 2 door wagon Donor car that Bob had found a couple of years ago has given up yet more vital parts.   This time, it was the Passenger side Inner fender & Battery box, the RH upper control arm, and both front fender trims.  Bob was kind enough to pick them up and deliver them to me, as he was going to be in the area.  Both Bob and the Junk yard owner were amazed at the condition of the inner fender.

This car has been in the junkyard for over 35 years without a hood on it.  Oregon gets its fair share of rain, so it was a shock to find a panel that was not only relatively rust free, but still had its factory black paint on it.

The Upper control arm is solid, and will need a new ball joint.  My old one is so rusty, that parts of it were literally flaking away on the edges.

The stainless steel fender trims were in excellent shape. They were straight, and only had one minor ding.  After a dent removal, filing, sanding and buffing, these trims will be like brand new.

Bob’s lovely wife Luanne was with him for the parts drop off.  She hadn’t seen “Rusty” (the name my wife has given to my ’58 Ford Ranch Wagon) in person.   So Bob and I slowly rolled back the car cover, which acts  like an auto cocoon that sheaths the Ranch Wagon during its metamorphosis into an awesome ride.  Her reaction was much like my wife’s:

“Wow……it’s…..going to need……. some work.”

Translating this from Car wife talk to Car guy talk equates to:

“Nice project! That’s going to be awesome when it’s finished.”

My wife came out and we all stood around “Rusty.  As Bob and I walked around showing the wives the great parts about the wagon, Luanne comforted my wife like only someone who is married to Car Nut could.

It takes a special kind of woman to put up with the disease that is Car Nut Madness.  And we love them for it.

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.

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.