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Discussion Starter #1
Hi anyone and everyone. I have a 1963 galaxie fastback and wondering if I should make it a more user-friendly driver. The car has an original 406 complete running perfect also has a four-speed close-ratio transmission and a Ford 9 with 410 gear , Locker. The drivetrain is correct to the car motor is not but all original. The dilemma for me, new to older Ford cars is should I change gears in the rear change transmission or leave that stuff alone and maybe purchase separate units and put those components to the side. I don't know if those components are worth anything. otherwise I could just change parts in them but I would hate to do it if they are worth something as is.
Any input would be appreciated.
Thx.
 

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Heck, it sounds close to perfect as-is. :grin2: Well, maybe add a tri-power if not already there.


Is the locker annoying? I've never had one. If it's just the gear ratio, maybe slightly taller tires on 15" or 16" rims would help if you do more highway driving.


Enjoy!


Pat
 

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You could set up a 3.50 gear on a limited slip differential in a second drop out for cruising if your going to be putting miles on it. I've got a Detroit locker for my Fairlane and don't care for it on the street maybe yours is different. But you could save the original parts just bag them in heavy oil in a 5 gal bucket wit a lid and they won't rust.
 

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Hi anyone and everyone. I have a 1963 galaxie fastback and wondering if I should make it a more user-friendly driver. The car has an original 406 complete running perfect also has a four-speed close-ratio transmission and a Ford 9 with 410 gear , Locker. The drivetrain is correct to the car motor is not but all original. The dilemma for me, new to older Ford cars is should I change gears in the rear change transmission or leave that stuff alone and maybe purchase separate units and put those components to the side. I don't know if those components are worth anything. otherwise I could just change parts in them but I would hate to do it if they are worth something as is.
Any input would be appreciated.
Thx.
Confused a bit. "The car has an original 406" then "The drivetrain is correct to the car motor is not" Explain in more detail please. Then I have some thoughts on my own 406 journey.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi, thanks for thoughts. The motor is a 63 406 tri-power. The car is z-code and I'm not sure if car came with this motor being a fast-back.the trans and rear are "supposed" to be original to car. I also have a set of 4 Ford K-H steel wheels that came with car.
The locker is ok to drive with but with the close ratio 4-speed it's like driving a dump truck, you can drive car using 1st & 4rth, other 2 gesrs useless unless maybe racing. My issue is spending money on this car and changing things or buy another and start over.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The transmission is stamped 63. Not being a Ford guy, GM guy for most of my life even though I think Ford better engineered product.
This is where I'm at a loss. experience with these cars I don't have.
I would know what's correct and not,
All I know is the ratio is as close as I've ever used.
This is why I post on this forum, hoping people like you can enlighten and maybe advise.
When I got car, was ready to dump the steel rims that came with it until someone on this forum enlightened me about the Ford KH marks.
I appreciate any and all feedback.
So for example, what trans could I have in this car, and should I even touch it?
If this was a GM I would just tear it apart and change gearing.
But what I've experienced redoing this Ford has been, parts are few and between.
 

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Hi, thanks for thoughts. The motor is a 63 406 tri-power. The car is z-code and I'm not sure if car came with this motor being a fast-back.the trans and rear are "supposed" to be original to car. I also have a set of 4 Ford K-H steel wheels that came with car.
The locker is ok to drive with but with the close ratio 4-speed it's like driving a dump truck, you can drive car using 1st & 4rth, other 2 gesrs useless unless maybe racing. My issue is spending money on this car and changing things or buy another and start over.

Ok. If the car is a Z code it was born a 390 4 barrel. If it were born a 406 tri power it would be a G code like mine is. Get a flashlight and look from underneath at the passenger side block area. You should see a number similar to C3AE then a 4 digit number followed by a letter like V. For short that would be a C3AE-V block. Sometimes the stamping can appear backwards or not stamped completely legible. On the block you should also see a large HP stamp (high performance). technically you could find by your casting number you have a goldmine (cross bolted late 406 block) or even like my V block a block cast with the nubs so it could be drilled and cross bolted. ---- Most of the parts in FE motors are interchangeable. So in a pinch searching for available parts for a rebuild some folks cheat and slip in a 390 crank or such. So you cant know whats really 406 inside the motor without a big job. But I think the key for you to start is to confirm the block casting number. Something else that adds to the value of the 406 is how far it has been bored out over the years. As a general rule 60 over is the max. ----- If it was born 390 it likely would not have a Ford 9 inch rear end. but you can just look at the rear to identify a 9 inch. This link my help some, ---------- http://www.tbirdgarage.com/Site_2/FE_INFO.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi, thanks. The motor is a real 406, block stampings, exhaust manifolds, intake, cam (solid), dual point dist, air cleaner etc. I rebuilt motor sans machine work wich was clean and hone. I used to race power boats, cars, built a lot of motors in my time and this motor was what drew me to buy in this car because it is a work of art compared to the GM motors. The motor starts half a key turn, feels like a monster, I just don't want to beat on it, to nice to look at. Lol
The transmission, readend all show
Year correct markings.
Like I said, don't know enough about this era Ford car. Would hate to modify car if in this form is considered a desirable car.
 

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Agree with RoseCity427.

If your goal is better drivability in a 4000lb car like a Galaxie, you want a balance between SLR (starting line ratio) and cruise speed. In other words, you want the car to be able to move off the line well while at the same time, you want it to cruise at 65-70mph ideally turning 2500-2800 RPMS or less.

To do that, you need the right gearing. As RoseCity427 said, moving to a wide ratio transmission and 3.50 gears will accomplish that. Close ratio tranny's have a tall first gear and when mated with low rear gears (4.11, etc), they're fantastic at getting big beast Galaxies off the line at the strip. The downside is you lose cruise speed. In other words, you're taching 4000 RPMS at 65mph.

Switching the gearing will make all the difference. The wide ratio will have a higher first gear and when you mate that to a mid-3s axle, like a 3.50, you'll get the off the line gearing you need to move a big car out of the hole all the while you have the cruise speed at the top end.

Case in point: I converted my close ratio toploader to a wide ratio. Rear gears are 3.50. End result is my SLR is 9.73, a vast improvement over the stock 7.54 which is dismal for a '66 big-block car this size. Meanwhile, in addition to the car moving off the line much better now, I actually have better cruise speed. I'm turning turning about 2800 RPMS when cruising at 70mph.

Overall driveability has vastly improved. Hope that helps ...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info. I could do that and was tossing that around but didn't want to alter a original trans or rear thinking these parts are hard to find.
If this car is not worth a great deal the way it is, I would just buy another trans and rear and upgrade suspension and brakes etc.
I just know, guys say don't touch it or sell the drivetrain and the build what you want. Tough decision not knowing the Ford world.
I just know the original parts I purchased was painstaking.
 

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Unless you're into drag racing, change the rear. You'll still have plenty of "go" without the RPMs going crazy at high speeds.

My 390 with 3:50 gears (14" tires/wheels) is perfect for my driving.
 

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i say since your drive train isn't origional. make it yours.car didn't come with the 406, so change what you need. the 406 will pay for your stuff
 

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All the P/S stuff will be available on eBay - or find a donor car. There will be tons of it out there, and rebuilding it isn't too hard, or the cost fo a new ram or p/s pump won't break the bank - do you have a unused sheave on the crank and water pump pulleys?

If you've rebuilt the 406 - keep it in there, it's a known quantity and defines the character of the car - you have a ruff-tuff go-getter without having to pay the huge bucks a G or R code would cost.

Think about changing the toploader gear set out to wide-ratio or buy a wide-ratio box and swap it out - selling your CR box will get you back to close to where you started $-wise, but this is an option. You will have enough torque on the 406 to get it off the line quickly most times anyway.

Change out the rear-end gearing - 3.50 is a good mid-place to start, good for starts, ok for highway driving.
Consider a 3.25 or 3.0:1 for comfortable (modern-car-like) cruising at speed on the freeway if you intend to do a lot of that.

Mine had a 3.5:1 gear set and I found to revved too high at highway speeds so changed it out to a 3.00 and it's a lot more comfortable on journeys - it just depends on your usage. I still have the original T-10 and first gear is very tall, like the CR in my CJ Mustang. A WR box would be nicer, but I'm not wedded to the idea.
 
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