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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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My garage find story

Barn finds are all the rage, so I thought I would share. This is the story of a 1965 Galaxie 500 convertible. Actually a garage find. Pretty typical story, with a twist or two along the way. Warning: this is going to be long.

This is the outside of a suburban garage in central CT. Pretty standard house for my area, usually housing some kind of family hauler SUV. You wouldnít know there was a cool car in here.



We car folks often wonder how a classic car ends up neglected for years. Did the owner die? Is it a victim of an overly ambitious restoration project? Is it one of those ďIím going to restore it some dayĒ stories? Maybe the owner watched too many TV auctions and thinks it is worth a fortune? Whatever the cause, itís heartbreaking to think of such a car sitting neglected for years. At least this one was inside, protected from the elements.

As it turns out, this Galaxie fell victim to a variety of distractions. A fairly simple mechanical problem took it off the road. Then the owner was busy raising kids, and coaching their sports like soccer, softball, baseball, and basketball. A demanding job required long hours and a lot of travel. Then came time caring for elderly parents and in-laws. Next thing you know, eight years have gone by in the blink of an eye. And the classic car has become a storage shelf.

By now youíre thinking, ďletís see the car already!Ē Here is the Galaxie as found in late 2018. Sorry for the blurry photo - I must have dropped my camera one too many times. This poor classic was left neglected behind a variety of tools, toys, etc. Even worse, it was buried under a bunch of boxes and other garbage.



So, how did I find this car? Was it during my daily search of the local Craigslist? Ebay? Local swap meet? Tip from another car guy? None of that. I simply walked out the back door of my house. You see, that suburban garage is mine, and Iíve had this Galaxie since 2007.

My car has been in that spot since 2010, when the water pump went bad. I could have spent $60 and a couple of hours to replace the pump. But I guess I thought that was too easy. In future posts, Iíll show the detail of what I did instead. Donít worry, this isnít one of those dead end project threads that stops part way. This project is actually done and Iíll post a bunch of photos I took along the way. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting.

- John
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

OK, my photos are not showing. Trying again as attachments.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:04 PM
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Re: My garage find story

Well I'm interested! This is the first "barn find" found by the owner!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 06:59 AM
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Re: My garage find story

Looks like a PWC under a cover to me?

Iowan
"Obsolete is neat"

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:53 PM
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Hhhmmmmmm ???
Pictures huh??
Well ,, detective youve got us all sitting on the edges of our bench seats here..

Popcorn at the ready and a bottle of our favorite fizzy drinks..
You tantalize with the back story.. now on with the show??
Please....
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

This is going to take a lot of installments - I have lots of photos showing the work as it was being done.

Here is the car after I first got it home, back in 2007. I bought it at the Lake Compounce swap meet that spring. It was kind of fate - I had been casually looking for a '65 or '66 Galaxie convertible at that very time. And this one was really solid.



The story was that this car was pulled from a storage unit in upstate NY with several other, much more collectible cars. There was some damage to the rear bumper and trunk lid when they rolled it off a trailer without realizing it had no brakes. Apparently it hit an ATV - I hate to see what happened to that!

This was a Z code 390 car, with 3 speed column shift. Pretty much no other options. Manual steering, brakes, etc.
I spent a little time getting it running and driving. Usual stuff from sitting. The fuel tank was gummed up and rusty. I cleaned that out and replaced the lines. The brakes were gone, but thankfully new shoes, drums, wheel cylinders, etc were available and not very expensive. I put in a later dual reservoir master cylinder and all new lines. When I fired it up for the first time, it blew a whole bunch of acorns out of the exhaust! The clutch was stuck to the flywheel or pressure plate. I eventually broke it free and it worked fine after that.

I drove the car for a couple of years, until the water pump failed.

As it turned out, I had a different engine sitting in my garage from an aborted project. And a bit too much ambition.

Next up - one engine comes out, and another goes in its place.
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Last edited by gearheadct; 04-27-2019 at 06:46 AM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

I'm back with another installment. And I solved my photo display problem. I think.

Here is the FE coming out of the car.








Once that was out, I had a relatively large engine compartment to work with. Which is a good thing, because the engine I had hanging around in my garage was pretty wide. Maybe too wide.



I did some measuring and sketching of the engine compartment. It seemed like things would fit, although it would be a tight squeeze. So why not just lower the new engine in place and see if it could work?



It fit!

Anyone willing to guess what that engine is?
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

No guesses as to the engine source?

Hint: it's a FoMoCo product, w/double overhead cam and an aluminum block. Craigslist find leftover from another project.

Now, back to the story.

I confirmed the engine would fit in the compartment. So then I needed a transmission. Since my Galaxie was born with a manual shift, I thought I would keep it that way. It felt like a waste to leave that third pedal unused.

How about a five speed? This one was another Craigslist find. Sitting in some kid's yard with a battered hood laying on top of it. He assured me it was fine. What could possibly go wrong?

Here is the trans sitting in place.



The transmission situation looked promising. Seemed like a good idea to keep going.

Rather than wrestle around with the full engine, guess where I found a cheap short block advertised? Here it is, attached to the transmission and shimmed in place.



Another pic. You may notice the magnetic angle finder on the front of the block. To avoid driveline vibrations, engine/trans angle relative to the rear axle angle is pretty important. In my case, the rear pinion angle was 3 degrees if I remember right. So the engine needed to be at that same angle. I used the engine hoist and tilting chain mount to adjust it.





With the engine/trans hanging at the correct angle, things were moving right along. Or so it seemed.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:58 AM
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Re: My garage find story

4.6 32 valve from those ugly Lincolns and stuff?

1963 Galaxie 500
1982 Volvo 240 turbo swap
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 12:39 PM
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Re: My garage find story

So the galaxie was a manual car when you pulled the fe out did you leave the old manual transmission with the car ? just wondering im doing a engine swap 0n my 63 galaxie with a 4 gear and I want to leave the 4 gear in it . thanks peter I'm in joying your post
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 04:08 PM
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See i wouldn't have even thought about the angle to rearend ..
Learning as i read.. Hats off to you fellas that do these things.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:35 PM
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Re: My garage find story

pinion angle can be changed easily, but making it right as you build custom stuff is easier from the front as the mounts have to be made anyhow. if the angle couldn't come out right at the engine, the angle at the axle can change
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterford View Post
So the galaxie was a manual car when you pulled the fe out did you leave the old manual transmission with the car ? just wondering im doing a engine swap 0n my 63 galaxie with a 4 gear and I want to leave the 4 gear in it . thanks peter I'm in joying your post
You can leave the transmission in place when you pull the engine. You will need to support the front so that it doesn't drop when you separate the engine.

I went with a 5 speed on my swap. I'm using a T-45 from a Mustang, which bolts right up to the engine. 1996 I think it was - I got lucky on this because the trans can drive a speedometer cable. That made it easier to integrate with my stock dash.

- John
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

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Originally Posted by cwazywazy View Post
4.6 32 valve from those ugly Lincolns and stuff?
We have a winner!

Mine came from a Lincoln Mark VIII. Not really my kind of car, but I don't think they are ugly.

This is a WIDE engine. More about that later.

Similar engine was also used in the Continentals from something like '95-'98, but from what I've read the Continental version isn't suited for a swap like this. The block is set up for FWD only - apparently one or more bolt holes are missing. I haven't checked so I can't confirm that.

- John
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My garage find story

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Originally Posted by extech View Post
pinion angle can be changed easily, but making it right as you build custom stuff is easier from the front as the mounts have to be made anyhow.
Exactly! And a perfect segue into my next update.

Next step was to determine the correct location for the engine. Several factors to consider here. I needed to make sure the transmission cleared the firewall and tunnel. I couldn't have the engine or trans hanging down too close to the ground. There has to be room above the cross member for an oil pan. And of course the engine/trans angle.

The 4.6 modular is a wide engine, especially the DOHC version. So I had to watch the side clearance too. The engine compartment gets wider as you go up, but then you run into the trans tunnel or even the hood. One disadvantage to working with the short block is that I couldn't tell where the exhaust manifolds were going to end up.

The fore/aft position is also a factor. Need to leave room for a radiator, but also need to leave room for the throttle body, etc.

Here is an early attempt at the correct height: lots of clearance above that transmission.



But, this resulted in some problems. I was trying to use the stock FE engine mount brackets that bolt to the crossmember. Here you can see some issues with that plan.




Eventually, through trial and error, I was able to find a position that worked. I then took a bunch of measurements so I could design the engine mounts. Based on the photo dates, I was six days into this project. Pretty good progress, but don't let that fool you into thinking this would be a quick project...
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