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1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I've started on this car a long while back, but I'll be darned if it isn't going to get done this summer along with the '66 galaxie 500 XL. The last time I posted to this was some time ago and that's when I was using Photobucket and then all the pictures seemingly bloody well left the building. I had a look at the old postings on here and now they are gone. So in the interest of picking up where I left off I am going to post a link to the other Ford galaxie forum where it was mirrored and all the pictures are intact. I'll start posting here with more or less present progress.

Here's the link to the past work done to this car that was lost on this forum. 1966 LTD from the start...

The reason why my mojo was more or less zapped was the roof had some rotten areas under the vinyl top and padding that was added. Actually if Ford didn't put the padding on the ends the steer roof would have probably been just fine.

Hello All,

I wanted to pick up from where I left off on this project. I intend to finish this car this summer along with the 1966 galaxie 500 XL.

The reason my interest waned in the LTD is I found a good deal of rot under the vinyl roof and padding.

Here are the pictures of what I found:


Ford used this fibrous padding under the top but only on the sides to hide the steel roof body lines under vinyl.




The padding stops at the seam on the sides of the main top section.


It's the padding that seems to have held the moisture and do the damage.



This is the disturbing portion of the show. The vinyl top was stapled and nailed, yuppers, nailed into the steel roof. There are loads of holes to weld and grind smooth shut.



I am currently working on stripping all the paint and glue from the roof as well as remove the front windscreen to fill those holes created by loads of staples and nails.

More to come.

1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #2

It's been awhile, but back to work on the LTD. My plan for dealing with the body sheet metal was to start at the easy section and work my way back towards the corrosion. But I did tackle another problem along the way (one of the many niggles to be sorted out).

So the fuel tank filler neck seal was on the list to be sorted out. It was leaking when I filled the tank. I put a new O-ring in there but it wasn't quite right obviously. It appears there are two different kinds of seals used on 3rd gen fuel tank filler necks. One uses an O-ring and the other uses a lip seal. The tanks are physically different and one seal is not interchangeable with the other.


This seems to be the more common type fuel tank it uses the lip seal.


This one. However the fuel tank in the LTD has a tank with a recess in the opening to hold an O-ring. I went through about 75 dollars worth of O-rings (Mc Master) before I finally found one that fits properly.



This is one of those seemingly simple problems that turns into a multi-day way more expensive problem than it ever should be. But this did the trick.

Next was to start removing the rest of the detachable parts off the main body shell. It still had two complete doors on it and so I removed the door innards in order to make them lighter.


Next I removed the new tail lamp assemblies.


So now I can just remove the deck lid and the doors when I was ready to block sand the entire body before paint.

Next the windscreen had to come out.


At first the glass seemed useable, just a few nicks and pits as one would expect. However....


The glass is starting to delaminate around the edges and hasn't spread beyond the side trim yet. But it will. So I shall have to buy a new windscreen for the car. I'll keep this as an emergency replacement.


It may be hard to tell but Ford went pyscho on the staples and nails into the roof for the top in the front as well.

Before I get deep into the repair I wanted to remove the dash and steering wheel.

More in next post.

1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

All this had to come out. I'd leave the column as that could be covered to protect, but I still need to move the car, of which it moves under its own power.


So the process started, then I found something amusing then disconcerting.


So this is the back of the instrument panel. You can recognize the radio on the left, speedo in the middle and the fuel gauge on the right. The thing in the middle of the speedo and fuel gauge is the voltage regulator, which is nothing more than a high speed flasher. However this one is a virgin and was never connected.

The jittery electrically noisy flasher/voltage regulator works in this case because the fuel gauge is thermal electric and buffers out the current pulses with the thermal mass of the bi-metal needle mechanism and heater in the gauge.


Um there's one screwed into the dash frame.


I guess someone was hungover at the factory the day this one was put together. Too funny.

Now for the irritating portion of discovery. Rodent damage and a possible shorted ignition coil at one time in its life.


The right turn indicator never worked and my natural assumption was a bulb. Um no, the wire was chewed clean through. And you can see the beginnings of a nest of insulation behind this. There was no feces so the rodent never really settled in.

This seemed to be the extent of the damage from rodentia. Whilst this is unfortunate it is still better than newer cars where the wiring insulation is soy based and is very yummy to animals. This new biodegradable insulation was phased in around 2000 and is apparently a huge problem for newer cars and trucks. As if overpriced cheap disposable vehicles aren't expensive enough to have these kinds of problems as well. But I digress.

The next problem I noted was the tape on the main harness was melted.



It looks like the ignition resistance wire was the hot one (pink top one). I can only surmise the coil shorted at some point early in the cars life as this LTD still sported the yellow top Ford coil.

I had already planned on replacing the entire harness anyway as I am redesigning the electrical system somewhat but this is just another reason why you cannot trust an older car without completely going through it.

Continued in next post.

1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #4

Next was to repair the front windscreen frame area.


I removed all the butyl window sealant. Good grief that was tedious, I am not using that for the new windscreen. The windscreen and rear window will be glued in with modern urethane after the body is painted and the new top fitted.

Here you can see all the holes in the top glass frame.


Next was to plug weld all the holes. I used ER70 0.025" wire with a gas mix of CO2/Ar and the current and wire feed for 18 gauge mild steel.


After I plug welded every single hole next was to very carefully grind down each weld with a Dremel. This was very time consuming as each weld had to be at least flush to the plane of the channel as not to interfere with the top material and top stainless trim. This requires loads of patience as you do not want to accidentally cut into the thin sheet metal all the while lightly feathering the weld into the existing structure. It almost requires scalpel like precision in order to avoid making even more work.


Done. All holes are filled in with steel. There is no need to finish the metal perfectly smooth as all this is hidden anyway. The only two goals were to fill the holes in order to stop the ingress of water during a monsoon and also add a layer or two of corrosion protection of which the 2 stage paint job will more than adequately do.

Well that was the easy part that was finished the other day.

More to come.


1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Roof Repair

Hello All,

I have been working on this roof project and it's a bugger. With that here's some updates. I finally have the roof stripped of irritating glue, paint, vinyl, padding, silicone, butyl, nails, rivets and staples. That was unbelievably tedious. The glue Ford used must have been from the space program as that just didn't want to let go. Not to mention dealing with all the other stuff on there. I want to slap that someone at Ford for thinking, hymmm, this is a good idea.

The worst side on this car is the passenger side, but since metal/body work is not my forte I had a lot of apprehension starting on this so I decided to tackle the drivers side since it was far less worse. There were only two areas that needed to be cut out and patches welded in.


First area.


Second area.


First section cut.


Second section cut.


Patch pieces. These are from the donor '66 roof so it should be the same exact steel as in this car.


Now I've watched countless videos on metal shaping even bought a couple from British master coach builders and whilst those guys could do the most amazing work with the basic of hand tools the one thing that always struck me as odd is they never did anything for corrosion protection. They would layer bare steel together or have exposed steel back sides. It's like they welcomed the eventual come back to fix the same rusty panel..... again...... and again.

So since I'm layering steel over steel for the window flange, I applied some weld through primer to stave off corrosion between the bare layers of steel. Now I will be using a internal frame type spray inside the roof area to coat from the inside after I finish all this steel work. But I even see body shops missing this step as well.


Stuff I use.


Did the under and back side of the replacement piece also.


Every little bit helps. I DO NOT want to ever have to fix this roof ever again.


This little guy was first. There is no direct access to this area from the inside with the internal roof framing in the way. If I crawl into the boot of the car I can barely access it. So I had to get creative on how to fixture the patch to weld. So I used these little neodymium magnets to hold the piece in place.

continued in next post.

1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Roof Repair Continued


This piece is actually a slight compound curve and I bent the patch close as I could at this point. I gambled that at least one corner of the patch would sit flush with the existing roof and I won that bet and that's where I started with tacking.


To locate the trim stud hole I drew a slew of intersecting lines through the original hole and extended them outward as with the curves it's nearly impossible to use any other reference point. Once the side flush was tacked I crawled in and removed the magnets and used the little screwdriver to pry the edges of the patch till they were flush with the roof skin and continued tacking in this way.




Did a quick grind and found my centre for the trim hole and drilled that before I lost my reference lines.


Did a first round grind flush and I had low spots.


Since I can't bump them out from behind I got to use this guy.


It's a spot welder and slide hammer rolled into one. You spot weld onto the area and use the slide hammer to bump the metal. Then twist and it comes off. "Rinse and repeat."


I filled in some of the dimples from the puller with more weld and...


No plastic filler required.


tapped the hole for 8-32 and this patch is done.

continued in next post.

1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Roof Repair Continued


This one is next.


The patch was held in place by some Clecos. Now I did screw up and removed too much metal from the roof skin as the gap was a bit wide at the top.


Fortunately the MIG welder and I have become really good friends over the years and can deal with that with no problems.


First round of blending. I had a low spot in the lower section.


I reworked it, but still had a dew low dimples, then I remembered why am I even bothering, first the vinyl top will hide slight imperfections anyway, and secondly I am going to try to lead that seam so I can just put a little lead in the low spotted area to calm the OCD.


I had to resistance weld the flat section of the flange together so I used the Harbor Freight thingy. Damn this spot welder is heavy. I got lucky and it was an open box item and the checkout girl basically sold it to me for 50% off. It actually does the job.


The only bit left was to install the peg for the trim.


I bought the attachment for this machine that welds those on. I bought a bag of 100 of them and did some practicing.


Did some experiments with scrap first. You can't adjust the current as it's fixed, but you can adjust the weld time. I think this machine puts out 3500 Amperes. I turned up the time and it just melted the little peg.


2 is the magic number for this job.

continued in next post.

1,198 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Roof Repair Continued


I measured off the other side and installed the peg.


This side is done, for the little pits elsewhere I just plan to lead those in and smooth out.


Still have 18 million staple and nail holes to fill and grind.


Damn it Ford... your pissing me off with this nonsense. :mad:


I still have to do this side, but after tackling the other side I feel a bit more confident now. Don't get me wrong, this is truly the hideous side of the project and it will probably take a couple of long days to complete. Took me 10 bloody hours to do two small patches on the other side.


I did just about patch all the staple and nail holes, have a couple to redo as this is not an easy area to on. At least the windscreen was big enough to stand up in and work. This rear window is very difficult to work on in the middle.


That's it for now.

Until next time.


752 Posts
Very nice work. (y)

A suggestion.... have you watched any of Fitzee's Fabrication videos?
He does amazing sheet metal repairs with the most basic of tools.

Fitzee's Fabrications

Perhaps this vid might be of some small help...


2,886 Posts
I too, have always found it curious why rust repair shown on TV and videos seem to not treat the inside and back side of repairs. Is it any worse than the original condition? Why wouldn't you treat the surfaces somehow, ospho and weld through primer, etc., while its open and you have access. I can't see a downside to doing it, but what do I know?

Greta work and attention to detail, as usual. (y)
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