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1963 Z-code galaxie fastback

19980 Views 181 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Jazzmeister
Hi Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm looking for a little help on some questions about axle identification. But first a little background on the car.

I bought a 1963 z code galaxie project in 2013 as a 30th birthday gift to myself. I actually went to investigate a 1961 Starliner but that proved to be a lot more rotten than advertised. A buddy and I drug the car out of a building with a partially collapsed roof, trailered it home, changed all the essential fluids and let some mystery oil sit in the cylinders for a week or so before attempting to start it. With gas out of a can it fired up but ran rough. I added a pertonix ignition, disc brakes and fixed a few of the major leaks so it could be a fun driver every once in a while. In 2017, while out cruising with my wife one evening the headgasket popped near cylinder 5. The car was parked in the garage and typical life distractions got in the way. Fast forward 2 years and my wife moved out(divorced shortly after) and I dove head first back into the galaxie.

I wouldnt quite call it a body on restoration but its pretty damn close. With the help of a friend (another classic ford nut) living with me(he's currently going through a divorce), we rebuilt the 390(bored .030 over) and installed with a rebuilt, upgraded c-6 transmission, new wiring pulled and a lot of other small projects done( rebuilt heater box, dash repainted and being rebuilt, etc).

Currently, I'm waiting on the seats from the upholsterer and parts for the rear suspension(nothing crazy, lakewood traction bars, new springs and shocks).

Did the 9" rear axles in Z-code galaxies come with the standard carrier bearings; 2.89, or the larger 3.06? I know there was a ton of variability from the factories with these cars but I'm working on ordering parts for next week(company I work for is closed the week after the 4th) and might not have time with work this week to pull the 3rd member. Important note, the original axle tag is long gone.

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I tried that as well. great minds and all. :ROFLMAO:
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Is the hood seal missing or did you just take it off to do the filler panels?
@m in sc - did it make a noticeable difference?
@cwazywazy - just removed so I didnt tear it up while working
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on mine, didn't make a difference. But my seal from the rad support to the hood is also intact. .02. not really sure how much that matters TBH.

I fought creeping temps all year last year, went to a high flow thermostat, and all the other stuff i mentioned, was bad in traffic, to me. it never crept much over 210 which is 'ok' but was too close to the 'edge' for my likes. I had a 'tuff stuff' waterpump on it that i kind of had issues with from day 1. Luckily summit was really understanding and took it back almost a year after i had installed it, (10 mos i think) and i bought the flow kooler from them. hands down that solved the issue, being able to move the coolant at idle, in traffic, on a hot day, in sc with the ac on. To the point w the new pump, on the highway it almost cooled TOO much over the winter, I was seeing 150-160 water temps on cold days on the hwy. previously I was in the 170-180 range same stretch of road. (with no other changes). pulley ratio is fine, etc. On hot days i was maybe seeing with the new pump somewhere in the 195-200 range in traffic as a peak, then cooling back down to 195-180 ish (depending how long i sat at the light) which is wayyyy better than I expected as I've read repeatedly normal is 210-215. this is just my experience. and everything in or on the motor was new as of last year. (including a hot tanked block etc) with new aluminum heads and intake.
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@m in sc Thanks for the information. I'm in a similar position, the block was hot tanked but I'm using massaged factory heads with an alumnium intake. Plan is to finish these panels and go drive it, keeping an eye on temps. If they continue to creep towards or over 200 then I'll bite the bullet and replace the W/P. Re-doing things is getting old but this is why we test drive. Its been a long process and I want to drive it before the summer heat hits( I dont have A/C yet).
Radiator closeout panels are ready for paint but there are a few more places around the radiator I need to make some small pieces for to prevent air from going around the radiator. On the driver's there are 2 "holes"; one near the top and one near the bottom, and one on the passenger side where the vertical radiator seal meets the top of the core support. Plan is to make some small block off plates for each.

Automotive tire Hood Vehicle Tire Grille
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Ran a few errands in the gal friday after work and encountered a couple issues.

It decided not to crank in the Lowes parking lot. After resetting the sniper efi it fired right up. Still not sure what happened. At least it looks good. Dogs were happy.
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Motor vehicle

The big issue is a complete blowout of valve cover gasket directly above #5 spark plug. I was using rubber and theyve been on and off a couple times. Switching to the thickest cork gasket I'm able to find from fel pro. I'll confirm and restraighten the valve cover edges and am going to try "the right stuff" gasket maker this attempt. Fingers crossed.

Oh yeah, painted the closeout panels black after errands to feel like I accomplished something instead of small steps backwards friday evening.
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Vehicle
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Did you do your front seat yourself. I've been thinking of how to add bulsters to a bench seat.
@Touring919 - Benito at Triangle Auto Interiors in Cary, NC did the seats, door cards and package tray. He does amazing work and like a lot of people these days has a 3 month waitlist last I heard. His team fixed/restored the seat frame, springs, all new foam and covers. Highly recommended.
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First off I love everything you've done with the car so far. I was wondering how you like the HydroBoost set up you put in it, and what you are using for brakes, front and rear?
Thanks @SuperDave390 . The car has the factory rear drums on it and the front discs are from a granada with a 1" drop spindle. The bendix hydroboost and MC came from a 1997 mustang Gt or cobra, Adapted to the firewall with a blank antispin hydroboost plate from streetrays(TX i think?). The powersteering pump is CARDONE 208726 for a 87 chevy diesel. Steering has a similar feel to factory, ie doesnt do much at low speeds, because im still running the factory powersteering setup.

We had to do some modification(sorta documented some pages back in this thread) to make sure the pedal had roughly the same travel as factory. The pedal feedback falls somewhere between good to a little overboosted. Its certainly softer than my modern Boss 302 and roughly the same as my Tundra. I've not had to panick brake in it yet, but have done a few quick stops without any drama.
I used the thickest Felpro cork gaskets after spending the better part of 2 nights cleaning and then straightening the valve cover edges with a body hammer and dolly last week before scurrying off to the beach for a short weekend away. Upon returning on sunday, I decided it would be a good idea to drive the car roundtrip 50 miles to a friends birthday party and am happy to report no leaks from the valve covers.

We drove in 80 degrees weather and it seems the change in fans and closeout panels are working, never saw coolant temps above 192 and it would quickly drop back into the low 180s when moving. It can be better but i'm more confident it wont have overheating issues.

New Problem reared its ugly head. Fuel Sender started swinging wildly between 3/4s and below empty on the drive home. Parked the car about 8pm sunday night and went about my evening. Flipped the key tueday and the gauge didnt move. Dissappointingly, I think the brand new sender died after checking both the power and ground connections. I used an AM Autoparts sender, P/N: AM-93734847. Does anyone have the OEM part number for a new fuel sender?

Also, the external fuel pump that came with the sniper is annoying loud, so I may swap it for an Aeromotive intank electric pump and then will have to figure out the sender. Anyone have any experience, luck or horror stories with that?
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Need to express a little frustration. I'm not naming the machine shop who did the work.

Car hasnt moved since Sunday. I still don't trust that all the leaks are solved so I poke my head under it every day on my way in or out of the garage. Last night, 4 days after last being driven, there was a small new puddle on the floor. Coolant. Damnit. Dripping from the access cover between the engine and trans. Double damnit.

Checked the previous culprits, water pump connections, thermostat, heater hose. All dry. Friend says maybe its the core plugs, I blow him off and go inside for the night. Jump on the FE Forum and read about core plugs this morning. Ah crap, I bet the machine shop who did the block work, who i asked if they were familiar with FEs(theyve been around since the 1950s) put 3/4" plugs in instead of the 49/64".

Call machine shop because my receipt just says "Brass core plugs" no part number, no other information.
'Sir we used melling part number MPE-110BR'.
Me: " Thats a 3/4" core plug, too small for an FE"
'This is what comes up when we search for core plugs for a Ford FE"
Me: "Well that sucks, because its the wrong size"
'Let us go do some research and we'll call you back'

I'm still waiting for a call back. but it seems ive got 2 options:

1) Band Aid fix with stop leak and cross my fingers, toes, and anything else that a plug never pops out while I'm driving
2) Pull the engine and replace all 6 plugs

I'd love some feedback from this group on what you recommend. I really dont want to go down the path of stop leak but am not looking forward to pulling the engine.
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Being optimistic. I went thru this myself, but it wasnt the freeze plug. It was the water pump seeping after the motor was stopped. after it would sit, it would seep down the block slowly, and run along the channel on the upper lip of the oil pan and and drip right down the bellhousing plate where it looked dead like it was a rear freeze plug, just like yours. took me a while to find it, but thats def what it was. I thought it was the head, intake, all sorts of stuff. nope. was the fkn waterpump. I found it by looking down with a flashlight and saw the upper lip of my oil pan where it meets the block on the passenger side was a bit 'shinier' than it should have been. well, it was wet. 😬
Good call @m in sc I'll check the W/P again. That was the culprit the last 2 times, seal against the block once and the other was a loose clamp on the tiny hose at the top of the back of the W/P. The oil pan rail looks dry on the front of the engine and the drivers side. Unfortunately it looks wet about 1/2 way down the passenger side. I really dont want to pull the engine but knowing the wrong size plug in there means that is the right solution.

Its more worrying that the machine shop who did the block said "we've used those 3/4" plugs on "all" of the FE's weve rebuilt. Swing on by and we'll give you a bottle of Wynn's stop leak, had good success with that on our dirt track and drag racing engines". Who knows how many FEs theyve actually machined and/or built. To be clear, they did not assemble the engine, simply the machine work on the block & crank.

Further reinforcement of my decision to take the heads elsewhere for machining was the right call.
side anecdote:

a very good friend of mine worked for williams F1, then benneton, and then came here to the US and worked for pretty much most of the big race teams at some point until he got out in 2013. He was telling me how they used stop leak on the racecars from new. lol. I asked why, he said it worked, and no time lost running if a drip developed. He swore by it. I didn't have to resort to it luckily but, he swore up and down he witnessed it all the time, and no real negative effects on teardown. of course everything as brand new but still. I found that very interesting.
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Also see this recent thread on FE freeze plug leaks on the FE forum:

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You asked about the OEM part number for the 1963 Galaxie fuel gauge sender. Here's what I got from my 1960 - 64 Ford Car Parts and Accessories Manual. I'll give you page numbers and section numbers too if you have access to the books. From the IPB, Page 298, Section 90, base part number is 9275. From the text manual, page 440, Section 90, the full part number is C2AZ-9275-D.
'60 - '64, big cars (except Station Wagon), Gauge Assy, Fuel Tank Unit. Gauge and outlet tube assy. Service package includes COAF-9276-A gasket. Gasket, fuel gauge, tank unit is made of buna rubber, 2.41" ID, 2.58" OD, 0.125" thick. A little part number fun to brighten up your day. Of my four "toys", the '66 F-100 and '64 Falcon have OEM fuel senders and are fairly accurate. My '63 Galaxie and '66 Mustang use AutoMeter senders and are not accurate (yet). Fortunately, both of the last two have accurate AutoMeter speedometers with trip odometers so I can use those to tell me when to go open my wallet and cry. Hope this is of some use to you.
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@635Rangoon427, i had a good laugh at your line about crying. Thanks for the part number and manual information. Ill see if i can track down that book, i remember a thread about an online version via dropbox and thought i'd bookmarked it. I'm really hoping for a bogus/bad sender. I plan to take it around to the gas station and fill it back up, see what it takes and figure out from there. I expected some movement in the gauge without baffles but not a 3/4 tank swing.

@1964Fastback I'm a lurker over there. Ton of knowledge on that forum, and most of it very useful. Thanks for the link.

@m in sc well thats a little comforting. I'd like to drive this old gal on NC backroads to visit family in SoPi, Charlotte or maybe Asheville if I'm feeling real adventurous. I know the likelihood of one of these core plugs popping out is low but eats at the peace of mind.
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