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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Not sure if it sits any lower, but the drive did feel better today (although the show was a bit ****e). Didn't feel as much like I was about to lose control as before. She has a 428 engine which is pretty mental when I floor it. The front end just launches up and I loose all control at the front, but today it felt a little better, so maybe that has fixed it.
She's all covered up again now so pics are not possible until another day.
 

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When you install the new front bushings,
if you tighten the control arm bolts with the car jacked up and the suspension "hanging"
this puts stress on the bushings and causes the front to sit high.

You must tighten the bolts with the suspension at normal ride height,
ie; with the car sitting with full weight on the ground.
Quick question for you, galaxiex. I replaced the bushings you speak of two years and approximately 7,500 miles ago with the suspension hanging. If I loosen the control arm bolts with the full weight of the car on the ground now and use the procedure you outlined, will it make any difference or has the damage already been done? Certainly don't want to be doing the job a second time around.

Thanks.
 

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Quick question for you, galaxiex. I replaced the bushings you speak of two years and approximately 7,500 miles ago with the suspension hanging. If I loosen the control arm bolts with the full weight of the car on the ground now and use the procedure you outlined, will it make any difference or has the damage already been done? Certainly don't want to be doing the job a second time around.

Thanks.
Hard to say if the bushings are damaged.
Close inspection of the rubber to see if there is any cracking or if the rubber looks "stressed" in any way.
It's hard to see in there, so you may not notice anything.

It probably won't hurt to try the loosen/tighten procedure.

While loosening, carefully observe the bushing to see if it rotates slightly, or "snaps" into a new position.
Again, it's hard to see in there, but just possible you will be able to see it move if they have been binding.

Best to use a 2 man procedure.
1 guy loosening and the second closely observing the bushing with a good light.

Good luck! :smile2:

HTH
 

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Hard to say if the bushings are damaged.
Close inspection of the rubber to see if there is any cracking or if the rubber looks "stressed" in any way.
It's hard to see in there, so you may not notice anything.

It probably won't hurt to try the loosen/tighten procedure.

While loosening, carefully observe the bushing to see if it rotates slightly, or "snaps" into a new position.
Again, it's hard to see in there, but just possible you will be able to see it move if they have been binding.

Best to use a 2 man procedure.
1 guy loosening and the second closely observing the bushing with a good light.

Good luck! :smile2:

HTH
Great, thanks for the quick reply. I'll give it go over the weekend and see what happens.

I'm now wondering if because I didn't do the installation correctly, that's why I didn't feel that the car handled any better than with the 50 year old bushings. Plus, I've always felt that the front end sat higher with the 1" lowered springs than with the old, worn out ones.
 

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Great, thanks for the quick reply. I'll give it go over the weekend and see what happens.

I'm now wondering if because I didn't do the installation correctly, that's why I didn't feel that the car handled any better than with the 50 year old bushings. Plus, I've always felt that the front end sat higher with the 1" lowered springs than with the old, worn out ones.
Ya, sitting higher with new bushings (tightened while the suspension hanging) and lowering springs installed, is a sure sign the bushings are in a bind.

Please let us know what happens after the loosen/tighten procedure.
Ride height, handling, etc.

Thanks!
 

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Ya, sitting higher with new bushings (tightened while the suspension hanging) and lowering springs installed, is a sure sign the bushings are in a bind.

Please let us know what happens after the loosen/tighten procedure.
Ride height, handling, etc.

Thanks!
Finally got around to doing the loosen/tighten procedure but before I did, I measured the ride height on both sides of the car from the floor to the fender lip. I started by driving up on ramps and loosening the lower control arm bolts. There was a noticeable snap sound from both bolts when I first loosened them but I couldn't tell if it was the bushings or the bolts. I wasn't able to see the bushings so I don't know whether or not they were twisted.

I backed off the ramps and then loosened the upper A-Arm nuts and found that two of the four weren't very tight. After that I drove back and forth in the driveway several times (approximately 25 feet in each direction) and ended with hard braking to make the nose dip. I tightened the upper A-Arm nuts, drove back on the ramps, tightened the lower control arm bolts and went for a ride.

The ride was approximately 10 miles consisting of straight smooth roads as well as some winding roads with a few patches of light to moderate road surface imperfections. I found that there was minimal, if any difference in the handling. After pulling into the garage I parked in the same spot as where I took my first measurements and took them again. Much to my dismay, they were exactly the same. In conclusion, I don't know whether the damage has already been done or doing it the proper way had no noticeable effect in my particular case.

The front springs I replaced were the original 50 year old springs. I suppose it's possible that they had sagged so much that even the new 1" lowered springs were still higher and the proper procedure wouldn't have made a difference regarding ride height.

In summation, I was really hoping for the front end to feel much tighter than it does and was hoping this was the magic pill. I've replaced the upper and lower control arm bushings, strut rod bushings, springs, shocks, upper and lower ball joints, upgraded to a beefier Hotchkis front anti-sway bar as well as a PMT Performance rear trailing arm kit with anti-sway bar in the rear. All this and yet it still feels somewhat loose when going over rough patches just as it did before I replaced everything. I can't imagine this is how the car felt when new, but I'm now at a loss.
 

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Finally got around to doing the loosen/tighten procedure but before I did, I measured the ride height on both sides of the car from the floor to the fender lip. I started by driving up on ramps and loosening the lower control arm bolts. There was a noticeable snap sound from both bolts when I first loosened them but I couldn't tell if it was the bushings or the bolts. I wasn't able to see the bushings so I don't know whether or not they were twisted.

I backed off the ramps and then loosened the upper A-Arm nuts and found that two of the four weren't very tight. After that I drove back and forth in the driveway several times (approximately 25 feet in each direction) and ended with hard braking to make the nose dip. I tightened the upper A-Arm nuts, drove back on the ramps, tightened the lower control arm bolts and went for a ride.

The ride was approximately 10 miles consisting of straight smooth roads as well as some winding roads with a few patches of light to moderate road surface imperfections. I found that there was minimal, if any difference in the handling. After pulling into the garage I parked in the same spot as where I took my first measurements and took them again. Much to my dismay, they were exactly the same. In conclusion, I don't know whether the damage has already been done or doing it the proper way had no noticeable effect in my particular case.

The front springs I replaced were the original 50 year old springs. I suppose it's possible that they had sagged so much that even the new 1" lowered springs were still higher and the proper procedure wouldn't have made a difference regarding ride height.

In summation, I was really hoping for the front end to feel much tighter than it does and was hoping this was the magic pill. I've replaced the upper and lower control arm bushings, strut rod bushings, springs, shocks, upper and lower ball joints, upgraded to a beefier Hotchkis front anti-sway bar as well as a PMT Performance rear trailing arm kit with anti-sway bar in the rear. All this and yet it still feels somewhat loose when going over rough patches just as it did before I replaced everything. I can't imagine this is how the car felt when new, but I'm now at a loss.
Thanks for reporting on this.

I don't mean to be alarmist, but it is possible the new bushings have become weakened from the 2 years and 7500 miles of use with them tightened when the suspension was hanging.

This "might" account for the present loose feel on rough patches.

The other thing is.... who did the alignment and do you know if it was done properly?

A good alignment man will road test the car before touching anything and get to know how it "feels" so he can deviate from "factory specs" to hopefully improve on any shortcomings.

That said... the original design of these cars suspension was considered so good in 1965 when it came out, that NASCAR builders adopted this design from the mid 60's all the way into the 80's.

In that time if you were watching a NASCAR race, it didn't matter whose name was on the car, Chevy, Ford, Mopar, whatever, they all had the 1965 Galaxie front suspension design.

It's a good one.

Of course, for NASCAR the front suspensions were custom built, but they ALL had their roots in that 1965 Galaxie design.

Really, I have driven many mid 60's and up full size Fords with this design and always been impressed with the handling and ride.

Now all that said... the Hotchkiss setup modified the upper arms to allow more caster angle to make the car feel more stable. So there is room for improvement....

.... and of course this "antique" design does not hold a candle to modern cars and their suspensions.

Is it possible you have been driving something newer and come to subconsciously expect more from the Galaxie?

Just my opinion... but if it were my car I'd take it to a known good performance alignment shop and see if the shop will work with you to really get that beast dialed in.

I know these cars can ride and handle really really good (for what they are), it's just a matter of having it setup correctly.

The front springs I replaced were the original 50 year old springs. I suppose it's possible that they had sagged so much that even the new 1" lowered springs were still higher and the proper procedure wouldn't have made a difference regarding ride height.
This is a possibility...
 

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..........

In summation, I was really hoping for the front end to feel much tighter than it does and was hoping this was the magic pill. I've replaced the upper and lower control arm bushings, strut rod bushings, springs, shocks, upper and lower ball joints, upgraded to a beefier Hotchkis front anti-sway bar as well as a PMT Performance rear trailing arm kit with anti-sway bar in the rear. All this and yet it still feels somewhat loose when going over rough patches just as it did before I replaced everything. I can't imagine this is how the car felt when new, but I'm now at a loss.
Just had another thought on this...

How is the frame on this car?

They like to rot in critical areas and can be more "flexy" than when new, or at least, when in good solid condition.

Ford engineered the frame and body on these car to work together to provide a nice smooth quiet ride with good handling.

The ad's back in the day touted the Galaxie as being "Quieter than a Rolls Royce" and Ford had road test decibel meter tests to prove it.

The body and frame mounts must also be in good condition as the body acts as a "stiffener" for the chassis.

The body and chassis are each engineered to flex a certain amount in certain directions and "cancel out" road noise while keeping the overall structure stiff to provide good handling.

Any compromise (rust) in either area will affect handling.

I had a 67 Custom 500 (basically a base Galaxie but not calling it a Galaxie) and it had severe rust in the frame.
The car was a $200.00 beater that I used as my daily driver for about 5 years.

The frame eventually got so bad the passenger side frame rail became detached from the rear torque box and the frame would "rack" when going around left turns.

Imagine making a left turn and having the distance from the right rear wheel change (get longer) in relation to the right front wheel.

Basically the frame was trying to "pull itself apart" at the rusted thru weld.

An extreme case to be sure, and driving it was a handful and I ended up scrapping the car.
I would have fixed it if that was the only thing wrong, but it also developed an engine bearing knock and that was enough for me.

Before the frame rail weld broke, I could tell that the severe rust in the frame made it a "flexy flyer" and I never pushed it hard in corners.

You could feel the whole car flex going over rough railroad tracks at speed.

Check your frame... and hope that it's still solid.

If it's not, no amount of handling parts and alignment tweaks will help.
 

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The other thing is.... who did the alignment and do you know if it was done properly?

A good alignment man will road test the car before touching anything and get to know how it "feels" so he can deviate from "factory specs" to hopefully improve on any shortcomings.
The alignment shop I brought it to is a one man operation and the owner has been in the business since the '60's. He's built and raced cars locally and currently owns two Mustangs which he's modified to more modern drive trains. Not that any of that means anything, but I feel more comfortable with him than the tire shop that offers free alignments with the purchase of tires. I'm sure they're ok, but I'd bet the alignment guy at the big box tire store had never done a proper alignment on any '60's era cars. For me, I'm more comfortable with the old guy that's been doing it for years.

Just had another thought on this...

How is the frame on this car?

They like to rot in critical areas and can be more "flexy" than when new, or at least, when in good solid condition.

Check your frame... and hope that it's still solid.
This has been my thought for some time. The frame has been patched at some point in time at both rear wheel arches. The face of the left front torque box had pin holes in it five years ago when I bought the car and now I think I can push my finger through it with some effort, the rest "looks fine" from the outside. I put an inspection camera in the frame holes and saw large pieces of rust lying inside the frame, especially the drivers side. I can also stick my finger in the torque boxes and pull out bits of rust. Body mounts are more than likely dried out and cracked.

With all that being said, I found a '68 Galaxie convertible with an absolutely solid frame (no engine or transmission) that I purchased for $1,000. Somehow the car made it up here to NH and was sitting in the back parking lot of an auto repair shop less than 10 miles from me. The body was bad (amazing what Bondo and flat paint will hide) due to Florida salt air but the frame is great. I was able to sell $985 worth of parts that were still usable so I'm into the frame for $15. My plan was to hire a shop to swap out the frame this coming winter but having to replace the roof on my house has delayed my plans. Maybe next year..........
 

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I had a 67 Custom 500 (basically a base Galaxie but not calling it a Galaxie) and it had severe rust in the frame.
The car was a $200.00 beater that I used as my daily driver for about 5 years.

The frame eventually got so bad the passenger side frame rail became detached from the rear torque box and the frame would "rack" when going around left turns.

Imagine making a left turn and having the distance from the right rear wheel change (get longer) in relation to the right front wheel.

Basically the frame was trying to "pull itself apart" at the rusted thru weld.

An extreme case to be sure, and driving it was a handful and I ended up scrapping the car.
I would have fixed it if that was the only thing wrong, but it also developed an engine bearing knock and that was enough for me.

Before the frame rail weld broke, I could tell that the severe rust in the frame made it a "flexy flyer" and I never pushed it hard in corners.

You could feel the whole car flex going over rough railroad tracks at speed.
Great narrative, thanks for sharing that. I could visualize what was happening and got a bit of a chuckle out of it.
 

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The alignment shop I brought it to is a one man operation and the owner has been in the business since the '60's. He's built and raced cars locally and currently owns two Mustangs which he's modified to more modern drive trains. Not that any of that means anything, but I feel more comfortable with him than the tire shop that offers free alignments with the purchase of tires. I'm sure they're ok, but I'd bet the alignment guy at the big box tire store had never done a proper alignment on any '60's era cars. For me, I'm more comfortable with the old guy that's been doing it for years.
Sounds like a guy I would trust as well, so the alignment shouldn't be an issue.



This has been my thought for some time. The frame has been patched at some point in time at both rear wheel arches. The face of the left front torque box had pin holes in it five years ago when I bought the car and now I think I can push my finger through it with some effort, the rest "looks fine" from the outside. I put an inspection camera in the frame holes and saw large pieces of rust lying inside the frame, especially the drivers side. I can also stick my finger in the torque boxes and pull out bits of rust. Body mounts are more than likely dried out and cracked.

With all that being said, I found a '68 Galaxie convertible with an absolutely solid frame (no engine or transmission) that I purchased for $1,000. Somehow the car made it up here to NH and was sitting in the back parking lot of an auto repair shop less than 10 miles from me. The body was bad (amazing what Bondo and flat paint will hide) due to Florida salt air but the frame is great. I was able to sell $985 worth of parts that were still usable so I'm into the frame for $15. My plan was to hire a shop to swap out the frame this coming winter but having to replace the roof on my house has delayed my plans. Maybe next year..........
The rust and repairs you found are likely why the handling doesn't feel right.
That left front torque box is certainly an issue.

Rear frame cracking at the wheel arches seems to be a common issue, I've heard of others with those cracks.
I've personally seen 2 Galaxies with cracks in that area.
One a 69 XL and a 66 LTD 2dr Hardtop.

Both belonged to friends of mine and I helped repair the 69 (welding) it lasted about a year and cracked again.

For the 66 LTD, my friend bought a solid 66 500XL with a bad engine (289) and swapped his LTD power train (390) into it.

Glad to hear you have a solid frame to work with.

I repaired mine in this thread...

https://www.fordmuscleforums.com/1629128-post4.html

Cheers!

:smile2:

Edit; I hear you about the roof replacement, I just had mine done, both house and garage, so that expense has cut into my fun car hobby.
 
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