Posts Tagged ‘Ranch Wagon’









I ended up finding some NOS (New Old Stock) original suspension parts. They were new in the box, and despite some box wear, and some surface rust on some of the parts, they are in great shape. I got a heck of a good deal as well. $25 dollars per Box! The shaft kits were especially nice to find, as I needed to replace 2 of the 4 shafts on my car.

I am disassembling the upper control arms and shafts and will be sandblasting them for powder coating.  I am in  “Get ‘er done” mode and despite the weather being close to 100 degrees for the past 3 days, I am working feverishly to get the frame prepped for the paint that will be here Friday.

Here is the song I frequently hear playing in my head during this recent flourish of work on the Ranch Wagon these past 2 weeks!

Benny Hill would be proud.


I finished removing the passenger side suspension Saturday morning. The lower control arm shafts were really putting up a struggle, but with enough PB Blaster penetrating oil, and pounding with the small sledge hammer they reluctantly came out of their perches.  The passenger side control arm bushing failed, and the whole it was pressed into was completely rounded out. The arm is ruined and not reusable. That is fine, because I already powder coated the lower control arms from the parts car and planned on using them in the wagon.

I have ordered some products from the Eastwood Company to clean, and finish the frame. They are the Rust Conveter, Rust Encapsilator, and finally their Black Chassis Paint. I have used the Eastwood products in the past and have had great success with their products. They are durable, and easy to apply.  I usually wait for them to have a sale (Which they are having right now) and purchase.


I had to remove the steering column as a whole, because the steering shaft cannot be removed from the gear box. So out it came. It is a 3 speed column shift unit, and I am replacing it with the  automatic shift column from the parts car. I will reuse the steering wheel though, because it is in beautiful condition with no cracking.

I am scrubbing and cleaning the frame areas that I couldn’t get to before, which were under the upper control arms, and where the steering box were bolted onto the frame.  When the Eastwood products are delivered on Friday, I will be ready to get to work with them and get the frame conditioned and painted. I can’t wait!!










I have been searching for a motor & transmission combo for awhile now. The search is over! A Ford 351 Windsor & auto tranny were found, and I picked it up for a very reasonable price.

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.