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1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

This is more of the wifey's thread, I'm just posting for her. OK so in case you're wondering she loves this car. Yes it is a heap... feel free to finish that sentence ;).

But seriously she does want to learn how to fix this up herself and she really wants to start driving it as soon as it's road worthy. So this is at her pace, just weekends really. I'm just there to lend a hand or give advice/hints of what to do, other than do the extreme body work as this needs on one side.

This will not be a body off frame resto/mod, more of a tackle a bit of it as we go along while keeping it drivable as best as we can while trying to do this in an order that's logical.

A little background on the car, it was an evil-bay buy we hauled home from Texas. Apparently, from the evidence in the car, it was originally bought and stayed in El-Paso all its life. It does not run, stick a fork in its 390 because it's done... It had an engine fire, hence the burned off paint and melted bits under the hood, not to mention the gratuitous 2 gallons of water I drained out of the 390's oil pan.

So the short term plan is to donate the bog standard 390 from my '68 XL, as it will be a while before I'm ready for its drivetrain. We'll see how the C6 is in this '66. If the trans turns out to be ok and also not full of water we'll do a stock rebuild on it. If not we'll do a stock rebuild on the C6 from my '68 and use that.

OK, enough of waffling, here's some starting point pics...

Pulling the tarps off..


First things first, the 60's called and wanted their bias plies and rims back. So we obliged.

Actually the 80's turbine rims and some raised whites look better.

Bloody hell, it's like 'Galaxie Quest' here isn't. :rolleyes: But in all seriousness it's been a long time since this car has been in sunlight.

On the positive side, I've seen worse :eek:

Well maybe....haha

Hymm, I believe the saying "that's toast" is very appropriate here.

As Al from 'Happy Days' would say walking away and shaking his head, "yep, yep, yep, yep"

Once the car is under its own power again, I'll have to straighten out the body for her. I have a bit of donor car with the area around and including the tail lamp. I'll have to do a bit of cutting, hammer and dollying, welding and grinding to straighten that out. But it's important the sheet metal be straight and true in order for the eventual new weather stripping to keep water out.

There's only so much driving 'as is' that's realistic.

Until next time


Premium Member
616 Posts
That is a nice new project you picked up there!! I am pretty sure you are the leading member of this forum when it comes to the amount of Galaxie's owned. :tup: Looking forward to this thread.

1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello Again,

Well we hauled it into the shop and put it on the lift. Had a better look at things and to start planning a "to do" list. Of which after looking it was easier to draft a "what not to do list" :rolleyes:

But then we popped its bonnet off, err I need to stop saying that, hood I mean, and had a go at removing the engine. But first the exhaust needed to be removed, propshaft taken out and some minor this, that and the other disconnected.

Then we removed the engine and transmission together. And was that a tight fit. I think the engine will go back in first then we'll run up the transmission from underneath. We then put the engine/trans combo on the stand. And that was it for ones day work.

Here's some pics.

My gosh, the original exhaust system after 49 years. It's all intact.... amazing... But out it went. That muffler was obscenely heavy.

The corrosion isn't that bad on this car, too bad it was rear ended and had an engine fire.

Talk about a swing and a miss with that pan. I had it everywhere but where it was needed. Well at least the transmission fluid was reddish and I didn't see any evidence of water. And my floor won't rust, haha..:rolleyes:

Next weekend is dismantling the engine and stowing it for now and putting the C6 aside for an autopsy and rebuild.

deja vu....

Right, same Bat time, same Bat channel....

1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sitrep, it's all broken......

Well the engine and transmission have been dissected. Not good. I knew the engine was knackered by having 2 gallons of water in the oil pan and the halfwit that sold us the car gloated on how he started the engine and it ran, so it's good. What a pillock.

Well when we pulled the engine and transmission out of the car, we noticed the transmission wasn't tightened to the engine. And yes you can say trans pump damage of epic proportion.

But that's not all......

I've never seen a transmission this cooked before. I don't know what's more impressive the fact that the oil started turning to ash inside or the bloody thing kept going that long for that to happen.

But first here's the other carbon monster.

It is indeed a 390, bore and stroke confirmed that. As really with most common FE's it's nearly impossible to tell which one you have with out measuring at least the stroke through the spark plug hole. But get a load of that carbon!

It's pretty done for, while it wasn't seized, actually turned over easily surprisingly, it will need a complete machining. But for now, it will be stowed out of the way.

I really have no idea what's hanging off the pick up screen. Actually kind of scared.

The bin of disappointment.

The pile to the scrap guy grows.

Another scuz-o-matic on the stand, think the outsides dirty,,, just wait....

This is not looking right...

Oh my... It's literally ash on top.

The discolouration of the rotating parts is amazing.

And this is what happens when the transmission is not tightened to the engine. The entire pump is ruined. The front bushing spun in this bore and welded itself to the torque converter snout.

That's a new one, the band heated up so hot it's naturally straightened out.

Here's the source of the heat, the forward clutch is absolutely fried from slipping.

While the other clutches didn't slip the contamination ruined them.

Chunks of something munched between the gears. These planetary gears are done.

The one way sprag just fell apart, there's no tension left in the springs.

Words fail me...

Even in the tailshaft area, it's cooked.

In short, while this isn't beyond redemption. It would cost about 500 in new and used parts to rebuild this in stock form. Instead we are going to use the C6 as well as the 390 from my '68 XL for now.

Next time we'll go through those and freshen those up a bit. As for this it'll go back together and leave it possibly for a core.


1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hi Again,

Been a while, thought I'd share an update on project 'what have we gotten ourselves into now' :)

So a couple changes of direction with this car. After more stringent examination the body and or frame is bent. <sigh> So the plan is for now to use the spare chassis...

Ironically the spare chassis is right beside it. Aside from surface corrosion a close look inside the boxed sections show a frame that needs no repairs just a good sand blasting, sealing and paint. This one will be stripped and built up with new parts.

The body shell will need to go onto the jig to check for proper body mount location. This jig...

That jig that the '68 XL shell is on. Problem is, well, the '68 XL shell is on it :) So I'll be tackling the '68 XL one once the LTD is finished. Which means I'll be needing the '68's 390. Which then translates to temporarily lending the built 352 meant for the '66 galaxie 500 fastback, since that one is put on the back burner now.

But out of room at the moment and so my Impala SS is for sale to make room to build the second '66 chassis up in the shed.

Once this is sold we use the space to build up the other chassis for the '66 gal XL.

Is this convoluted or what :)

In the interim, and after cleaning a few pieces of the toasty C6, I thought eh, why not, lets build it after all. Actually after being fascinated by the failure modes of the transmission, I inspected the transmission for causes and discovered some interesting facts. The transmission had been worked on before and the case, valve body and tag are all 1966, but the forward clutch is newer (has the higher count splines) and also machined out for the extra friction and steel. All I have to do is machine the pressure plate on the direct clutch for the extra friction and steel.

However when they put the transmission back in they didn't tighten the case to the engine and the torque converter took out the pump which then started to roast the fluid, line pressure dropped, they still kept driving it and then forward clutch started to slip and burn adding to the cooked fluid. Then the thing sat for a long time and there must have been some moisture as well as acids in the nasty oil and that started corrosion on the higher up parts.

The trifecta of destruction; misalignment, low line pressure, and corrosion.

So I started cleaning everything taking note of what needed to be replaced. I took care of this bit as it would be very daunting to another wanting to learn and do this themselves. I figured if I cleaned it and bought the parts, then I'll let her do the easier overhaul to get familiar with it.

The case cleaned up pretty well.

The problem checklist started with this, the reverse/low piston. I could not find any trace of the air bleed ball retainer in the cavity and the piston was stained when removed and there was no indication there ever was one. So I made one out of a flattened and filed 'AN' grade outside star washer and pressed in place.

Corrosion has done its work here, the rear race is too far pitted to use. Fortunately they sell this already machined with a torrington. To that end I decided it would be best to 'rollerize' this trans to.

Here's the other part compromised by corrosion. The choice here is to either buy a used parking gear that's not pitted, or cut this one down (removes the pits) and use the Torrington here as well.

Another reason to rollerize it.

It already has the higher spline count inner hub for the forward clutch frictions, saves me from having to buy this. I should also explain, because this will sit behind the built up 352 this C6 in stock form would not probably hold up either, so we'll be building this up identical to the 1966 C6 I built up for the LTD.

Since Red Eagle frictions only come in the higher spline count for the forward clutch I would have had to buy this newer style (post '67-1/2) hub.

This forward clutch is also newer and cut to hold 5 frictions, however whomever put this together used the really thick steels so it would only hold 4 frictions..... <shaking head>

The valve body completely took me off guard with its little problem. I cleaned and checked every spool valve and bore for any damage. Took hours and hours. But after a good scrub it looked great. I was putting it back together and the check ball you see above just fell through the spacer plate.

For a minute I thought I had somehow had it backwards or something. It didn't occur to me that the seat for this ball was bored out to the size of a large through hole.

For those that are unfamiliar with the history of the C6, the 1966 and early '67 C6's were dual range valve bodies (green dot, etc shift pattern) and so parts for a '66 C6 valve body are pretty much impossible to find. It was dumb luck I found a place that had a stash of gaskets for this. But I could find no one with a replacement spacer plate.

Ended up TIG welding the hole nearly closed again. Of course any heat to the spacer plate and it will potato chip. And it did. Spend 3 hours carefully grinding the weld, using my new Martin hammer and dolly set to relieve the stress and completely flatten the plate without distortion.

Problem is I didn't know the original hole dimension. Since the LTD's 1966 C6 is awaiting an engine to attach too I removed the valve body from that and measured it's normal ball seat dia. Then reamed the hole back in this plate to match.

Talk about a pain in the posterior.

The rest of the valve body came out like new and there was thankfully no corrosion damage to the internals.

The rest of the bits cleaned.

After making a list of parts and cleaning everything I put it back together. It will be a lot less intimidating for her to tackle it now.

On a side note PATC is having a buy one converter and get the second half off. They make their own converters and I was able to talk to the guy who will make the 2 for these C6's, since I still need one for the LTD and one for this.

We were supposed to be working on this trans but then one morning I came out to the shop to start work and only half of the electrics were working and no 220 either.

I lost one branch of my 220 split line. Ended up tracing the fault to the underground cable. Which then ended up in digging it up to find the open in the lead.

This quickly ruined my mood....

If the original owners and contractor just spend another 100 on PVC conduit and encased the 300' run in that PVC this wouldn't have happened. Of course they put the phone line in PVC and even ran an addition PVC with nothing in it and not even connected but the power mains had to fend for themselves.

As a side note, this is what happens when you nick insulation on aluminum feed mains and it sits in wet earth. It undergoes electrolysis and turns into aluminum oxide. Problem now fixed but took about a week to put everything back in place.

My friends came out to help and one lent me his tractor. This little diesel tractor is the little tractor that could. I have to find me a used one :) The amount of work this saved us was incalculable. Took me a little bit to get used to working the back hoe but turned out to be really easy after about an hour.

Until next time.

1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A little update on this "fun" car. So we've begun on the least complicated part of the drivetrain because, well, it's all broken.

Besides what can go wrong with a propshaft..... I knew I should not have thought that. <sigh>

Turns out the Cardan joints have more rocks in the bearings than our driveway has. And the slip yoke actually has a deep groove worn into it from the seal.

So I showed my better half how to take it apart and she set to work blasting it, taking care not to blast the machined journals.


Here's the old slip yoke

This will just leak.....

So we looked up the part number and it superseded to this one from Ford

Problem is this old C6 has the slip in seal on the tail shaft that utilizes a hollow portion of the inner area where there are no internal splines.

The new slip yoke has the splines nearly all the way to the end. Which means you have to remove the seal on the tail shaft.

Otherwise you'll grind that seal up every time slip yoke moves in and out and have pieces of it floating round the inside of the transmission.

Next up I'll show what I've done to the transmission, almost done with it. Believe it or not the flame broiled C6 will be just fine, of course it has many new parts, I've just finished up the machining today, need to double check the critical dimensions then final rinse of parts, paint/powder coat and assemble.


1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·

I thought I'd post the highlights of building this C6. I followed the same procedure as my other post

The only difference is that this time I machined the pressure plates to accommodate the extra friction and steels instead of machining the drums themselves. Either way seems to be popular on forums but after machining the pressure plates I can say that is the better way to go out of the two routes.

Here's the lineup of new parts

The case was flushed once more, painted and new bushings installed in the rear.

The rear bushing was replaced with a Torrington and the parking gear was machined accordingly to accommodate the extra thickness of the Torrington.

A new rear sprag (one way clutch) was used as the old one just fell apart because the springs were collapsed.

A new rear race was purchased that was premachined for a Torrington bearing.

These are the frictions and steels for the rear clutch which is the reverse-low clutch. I machined this pressure plate because someone previously used a wrong thickness pressure plate and had to use only 4 clutch pairs instead of 5 and they set the clearance much to tight at 0.020". So in effect whomever tried to rebuild this transmission in the past (and I suspect it was a shop) they used the wrong parts for this case, reduced the clutches capacity by removing a friction and steel and they induced a lot of drag on this clutch by setting the clearance much to tight. I cringe at this kind of work.

By machining the extra thick pressure plate I was able to use 5 pairs of clutches and they are the high performance Red Eagle frictions with Kolene steels. I set the clearance at 0.065"

Here's a easy trick to not waste ATF to soak frictions, Torringtons and planetary assemblies.

The reverse-low planetary was machined for Torringtons, this planetary was replaced as the one in the transmission was knackered.

The forward planetary was machined for a Torrington and this is a replacement planetary as well.

The forward clutch pressure plate was machined to occupy 5 frictions and steels, these are also Red Eagle frictions and Kolene Steels with a clearance set to 0.054"

The reverse-high (direct) clutch pressure plate was machined to hold 4 pairs frictions and steels and again are the Red Eagle with Kolene steels with a clearance of 0.032"

Here's most of the transmission assembled, also used the wide Red Eagle band and the end play was set to 0.024"

I re-checked the valve body as none of the valves originally moved from all the crud in the transmission, this is the '66 valve body with Dual Range and not the select shift. It has a new gasket which can be tricky to find as it's a 1966 only gasket.

The spacer plate is also a 1966 only and I could not find one and this one was originally ruined by the pressure relief ball being blown through the plate, I TIG'ed the plate hole back to a proper seat for the check ball and then flattened the plate and planed it smooth.

Fortunately all the valves cleaned up and the bores were not damaged and they moved effortlessly.

Almost done assembling

Seems the rear plug that holds the parking assembly in place is kind of hard to find, the local trans shop couldn't find it. So I bought a Dorman 1/2" plug but it's too deep to set in. But if you stick it in a hydraulic press and squish it a little it fits perfect.

I added a drain plug to the pan and powder coated it.

Disassembled the starter safety/backup light switch and R&R'd that, in which the rivets are drilled out, and it's drilled and tapped for 8-32 button head screws and recrimped. A new perimeter gasket is made, contacts cleaned and repacked with di-electric grease, then painted. The switch is aligned correctly by using the #43 drill bit in the alignment slots whilst the gear selector is in neutral then tightened down, then it's checked with a continuity checker.

The torque converter is a flash stall 2400 RPM furnace brazed fins with internal Torrington bearing for the stator.

The transmission is almost done, just needs a vent tube made and a safety bar under the rear mount fabricated as it was missing on the car.

Here's most of the old parts that were replaced.

Well this old car is one step closer to running again, the prop-shaft is ready and pretty much the transmission is ready to.


1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·

That is very kind of you gentleman to say that. But just a notice, this thread died as it turned into this thread: 1966 galaxie 500 XL Rebuild.

This car was too far gone to try to fix up. I've learned my lesson with anything over a certain age and you just have to start over from a bare frame and body and build it back up if you want to have the best chances of a nice reliable old car. Otherwise it's a constant time and energy vampire keeping something old and worn out on the road as a daily driver. Case in point is that XL I recently bought 1968 XL. I don't care how much the previous owner boasted of how he took care of it for 28 years or how good it looks, it's a basket case and was unsafe to drive. I have the car just now to the point where it can be driven somewhat safely and reliably, but only for short distances.


1,855 Posts
Sorry to hear this "DesertXL".....I was lookin' forward to another of your fantastic "Restoration Adventures" with GREAT write-ups and photos!! :( :cry:

Hope you find another project to keep us enlightened and entertained!!(y);)

1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry to hear this "DesertXL".....I was lookin' forward to another of your fantastic "Restoration Adventures" with GREAT write-ups and photos!! :( :cry:

Hope you find another project to keep us enlightened and entertained!!(y);)
Hello Marauderjack,

Well there is still the three open 3rd gen Ford projects I'll be updating on:

1966 Ford galaxie 500 XL

1968 Ford XL


1966 Ford LTD of which I just bought all the multiport fuel injection components for this car as well. Just need a little time to work on it.

Never a dull moment in old car land :)

If this was a more general forum including all makes and models I could post on the 1973 Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible, the 1996 Impala SS, a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis LS and a crappy 1979 Dodge heavy duty 3/4 ton (basically a 1 ton with a 3/4 ton rear axle) Power Wagon - club cab with a full size bed truck. I guess if anything we can't be guilty of discrimination as we own fine (a very relative term in this case) examples of the big three.


1,855 Posts
WOW....I didn't know you had ALL of those vehicles to "PLAY" with.......where do you find the time?? :unsure:

I will anxiously await updates on the other FINE FORDS you're working on.......GOOD LUCK!!(y):)

Cheers right back atcha!!;)
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