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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1965 Galaxie 500 LTD in 99.9% factory condition with the 6-way front power bench seat that I've removed for repair.
In summary;1) What is the best mothed to check solenoid function? 2) How can I make seat driveshaft cables or find an affordable replacement?
In detail...
The front/back function works fine but the seatback recline and bench up/down didn't work. After disassembly and testing the braided driveshaft cables for those functions are completely broken. More importantly, when I hit the switch for the broken cables the shaft for those cables doesn't turn.
I believe I've narrowed this down to a solenoid issue where the seat adjusting regulator shaft isn't engaging the motor driven gear.
As far as I can tell all three gears turn together when the motor is engaged and the regulator shaft is pulled down to engage the teeth on the gear face. My first issue is that either these solenoid cylinders are broken or the shaft was seized in the bore. The motor engages correctly on all switches so I don't think it's a relay issue.
Secondly are the cables within the tubes. At a minimum two of them are sheared and need replacing. Unfortunately the few that I can find online are $$$ just for one. It seems as though switching to a more solid steel square profile shaft could be an option, otherwise I need to find a way to get a length of the braided style and figure out the method of squaring the ends. It'll need a good cleaning and some form of lubricant, I sure don't know what this old blue stuff is, maybe just regular grease with copper corrosion.

My 66 Fairlane and my 67 Cougar don't have power seats so this is a first for me. Still sorting out the vacuum actuated ventilation components on the Galaxie in the meantime.
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if you're asking about the solenoids(last pic?). to test, apply 12v and see if they magnetize. abolt that fits in side should get pulled in or pushed out.
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #3
I'll do a test on the solenoids with 12V tonight, not sure how much force these are supposed to have or if there is a specific height they need to be at to engage the magnets. I'll report back with the results, certainly hope they're good since the only one I can find it a $200 NOS piece.
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #4
Considering a few options for replacing the drive cables, looks like I could just use some speedometer type cable and a die to make square ends so I could cut to length. Has anyone had experience with this? My main concern is strength and just having another failure. I see some other similar products under the "flex drive cable" description.
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That gear/solenoid set up is the same as my ‘64 Lincoln. The problem you mention is very common. I rebuilt mine for the second time last year - but then I’ve had the car for 20 years!

The magnetics are probably fine. They are just wire windings and are very robust. Unless someone applied excessive voltage and/or left them shorted for a long time

The magnets aren’t super strong so hard grease stops them from working. Take the gears and shafts out (I recommend one at a time) and clean the old hard grease out. Clean the shafts and gears thoroughly. Use a degreaser if needed. Watch for washers/shims. Use a good grease lightly and put it back together the way it came apart. Add some more grease and put the cap back on. I don’t recommend white lithium grease.

The cables are another story. I think they are heavier than a speedo cable but I don’t remember for sure. I am surprised they are broken- I don’t think the motor has enough torque to do that. I have used a similar tool to square off speedo cables so if you can find the right cable and tool it should work.


- John
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #6
Gearhead, very much appreciate the response. Im happy to see that someone else has gone through the same process. I’ll do a standard cleaning and rebuild then testing for actuation. I’m guessing wheel bearing grease is too thick? Maybe molly lube.
 

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I think I used Super Lube multi purpose synthetic grease the last time. It may have been a different multi purpose grease. I think you are right that wheel bearing grease may be a little too thick.
I used white lithium the first time and it was quite sticky when I cleaned it out.
- John
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #8
I was able to test the three solenoids last night after cleaning up the rods and it looks like everything is good. There was certainly plenty of the old hardened grease on the shafts and a little in the bores.
Thankfully all three gear sets are the same components so I won't have to mess with individual height. It also looks like the braided cable fell apart and got chunks of wire stuck in the bushings which couldn't have helped.
Next up is a basic rebuild of the motor assembly and then onto replacing the flex cables. I'd love to replace the motor on principal but it's been difficult to find a direct replacement.
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I love taking stuff like that apart and thinking that someone assembled it by hand back in the days when the factory worker was the main workforce. So cool to open up a vacuum wiper motor or something like that. Thanks for all the pictures. I had no idea there were so many parts in there and all made of METAL!
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #11
It's going together pretty well, my big hold up now is finding replacement drive cables! Even if I could get lengths of flexible cable, I can't seem to find any available squaring dies to shape the ends.
If anyone has a method or a source I would appreciate it.
 

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Do you have a pic and/or measurements of the steel tubing assembly that your cables go through? I might have a spare from a ‘64 Lincoln. Hopefully they are the same.
Otherwise I know there are companies that make them to custom lengths but probably not such low quantity.
- John
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #13
I haven't measured the exact square and round diameter yet. I have the part numbers from the Ford manual and parts catalog but they turn up no results in any search. The tubes on everything are fine it's just the cables really. A liner is originally specified and the original damaged cables to have a liner around them, but the working one does not which makes me think it was replaced at some point. I don't think the liner is critical since it won't be used all the time. You can see that these aren't even solid core wires, just windings.
I just can't even seem to find a square profile die tool even if I get the cable. I could just do a small weld on to a square drive cable end if it will fit in the tube. This one has me stumped.
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Can you post a pic of the full steel tube/housing assembly? And/or post the part numbers? I can compare against the Lincoln to see if they match. Of course, that assumes I still have and can actually find the spare Lincoln items.
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #15
I appreciate the offer, but don't worry about giving up your spares, They might match but I have at least four cables to do so I need to be able to either find or make my own. I've been able to find some square crimping tools online but they only do a very small length of the wire. I know some guys have made their own dies but my drill press won't be able to machine a slot like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's really looking like I'm just going to need to do something like this...
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Look at the radio control plane/boat providers. They use cables like these. Not sure what diameters or what they do with the ends though. The die will be tough. Could you use the narrow die and apply it multiple times along the length?
I think it would be pretty easy to make the die with a mill, but I no longer have access to one.
Universal speedo cables use crimp on ends like that. I think they are smaller dia though. Will that crimp on end fit into the steel tubing properly?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm pretty confident that I can make a steel crimp on connector work by giving it a good squeeze and a small weld. I'll be sure to post my progress.
 

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1965 Ford Galaxie LTD, 1966 Fairlane, 1967 Cougar
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Discussion Starter #19
The diameter of the cable square end is about 3.5mm, while the full cable diameter is 4.5mm.
Unless I can find a vendor who has the original spec cables available for a reasonable price I'm going to proceed with sourcing and making my own. There's no spec I can find on the strength or exact original material, so I'll likely use the "driveshaft" versions rather than a speedo cable.
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Discussion Starter #20
So I was able to find a vendor who can make the cables I need with square ends at customs lengths, Speedometer Cables USA. They were very helpful and quick to respond, however, for the six cables I need at a total length of 14' the price is about $210. While this would be the best and quickest solution, I'm going to try one more time to fab them myself and if I fail at that I'm going to bite the bullet and order the custom lengths.
I can source the cable, but I'm still trying to find an off the shelf squaring die.
 
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