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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy all,

I'm sure I'll get plenty of ribbing about this, but I'm well prepared for the abuse, so bring it on :)

I bought a '63 Falcon for my wife and the notion of "We'll just leave it as-is and not do too many modifications..." lasted about 15 minutes. It has a straight six with the Dagenham 4-speed trans. The motor doesn't produce enough power to get out of it's own way, so I'm looking at V8 options. It sounds like the Dagenham isn't up to the task of handling V8 power, so a new transmission would be required. I haven't checked to see what the final gear ratio is yet, but It's really low. Gotta keep busy with the shift lever and the poor old motor is screaming at high RPMs when cruising the highway. And after driving it for a while, the little woman really wants an automatic transmission. Oh yeah, she also wants air conditioning.

So instead of hanging a set of fuzzy dice from the mirror and calling it a day, I'm looking at a new motor, trans, axle and an A/C kit. Considering the costs associated with these mods, my wee little brain hatched the idea of buying and donor car that has a solid drive train and dropping the Falcon body on top of it.

I know, I know, I should probably just find another Falcon with a V8 already on board, but she's already attached to this one. Has anyone undertaken such a project, and if so, what would be a good candiidate for a donor car?

Here's a picture of the money pit (the Falcon is in the photo too).

Thanks in advance!

 

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the idea of buying and donor car that has a solid drive train and dropping the Falcon body on top of it.
First off - Great looking 63, love the semi gloss black!


I am going to be blunt - "buying and donor car that has a solid drive train and dropping the Falcon body on top of it" is a stupid idea....

*That is* if you meant cutting out the entire floor and trying to drop the body on top of a full frame of some sort? Like a truck frame? Bad idea and a waste of your neat car.:tdn:

If you meant figuratively to drop the engine, trans and rear end into your Falcon from that donor car?...Then that is a great idea.:tup:

The swap is pretty straight forward and can be entirely a bolt in affair with a small block ford. If you do some research on here and other falcon/comet forums you will see that it has been covered many times. As for a donor car a 70's v8 Maverick/Comet would supply just about everything, obviously a rusted out early v8 Comet/Falcon would be best especially a factory V8 65 for it's front end components. Tons of people have put in 5.0/5 speeds but it is a bit more involved.
I have a 390 fe in my 65 and it was a pain to fit but is do-able.


Pierre
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Pierre,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I was pondering the stupid idea of dropping the falcon body onto something else. Not a truck chassis, but something like a Mustang, with a the drive train I'm after, better suspension, brakes, etc. I've seen a few very nicely done conversions, like a '55 Chevy pickup body on a later model Monte Carlo chassis that was apparently a fairly painless (relatively speaking) affair. I know anything is possible with enough dollars and talent, but I'm deficient in both categories, so I was hoping someone had found a similar swap.

If not, then I'd probably go the more intelligent route and bolt a different drive train ito my current chassis.
 

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I'm sure if you had a complete later model Mustang or whatever, and your Falcon in a shop and you could weld, fab and machine your own parts it'd be a fun project. But, it's going to get very complicated and the budget would have to be large. When we totalled our '02 Ford F250 4x4 PSD (shortbed, crewcab) in a roll-over I thought about doing the buy-back thing from the insurance company and doing something similar with a '70's Ford crewcab truck. I was thinking a full body swap using the '02's frame, drivetrain, suspension and as much of the interior and whatever else I could. After thinking it over carefully I decided against it but to this day kind of wished I could have done it.

As others have said I'd stick with your "basic" V8 drivetrain swap 'cause it too won't be easy or cheap once you get into all of the suspension, brakes, brakets and countless other items that will be popping up until the day it hits the road again. It's all very do-able but don't believe for a second it's going to be easy. Some parts are going to be harder to find than others and modifications to the original design complicate matters.

Have fun because if your not, it's called work and nobody wants that! :tup:

John
 

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Hey Pierre,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I was pondering the stupid idea of dropping the falcon body onto something else. Not a truck chassis, but something like a Mustang, with a the drive train I'm after, better suspension, brakes, etc. I've seen a few very nicely done conversions, like a '55 Chevy pickup body on a later model Monte Carlo chassis that was apparently a fairly painless (relatively speaking) affair. I know anything is possible with enough dollars and talent, but I'm deficient in both categories, so I was hoping someone had found a similar swap.

If not, then I'd probably go the more intelligent route and bolt a different drive train ito my current chassis.
You still sound like your wanting to graft two unibody cars together.
Very big job! I've seen a few write ups on pro-touring.com though. Lotsa work.

But you could find a wrecked mustang and use most of the drive train. Even the fuel injection and wiring.
Suspension would be more involved.
There are plenty of companys selling upgraded suspension for your falcon though.

Nice Falcon, cute money pit.

Jet
 

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Wow I love the look of your falcon..Looks very tough in black with the black wheels.....Like others have said no need to try and swap in a different chassis..A smallblock is an easy swap and can be built to any power level that you want....It looks like the car already has 5 lug wheels?..Has someone already upgraded it or are you running some kind of adaptors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was hoping someone would chime in with "Sure, just grab an '82 mustang, pull the body, lay down a bead of JB weld around the perimiter, and drop the Falcon body on top! Don't forget to cut holes for the rear passenger cup holders." After all, I did that once with a Hot Wheels car when I was a kid and I had no problems.

Looks like I'll just be searching for a small block motor, transmission and axle.
 

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My current project includes building a set of frame rails, and grafting in a suspension set up froma 96 Mustang GT. This project will also include the motor/ trans/ and whole wiring loom, but I have accepted the migraine that will come.
 

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Gonna chime in. Probably get Swacked but here I go...
The Falcon is a narrow body car, even compaired to its younger sister the Mustang 64.5year. To trans plant the body to a newer frame like a mustang you would need to narrow it. And that probalby be crazy expensive. If you are that talented to narrow a frame and make it work on the old falcon body then any of the other ideas would be easy.

I would think it would be cheaper and quicker to upgrade suspension either upgrading to stock location or a Mustang2.
Engine wise, many have swapped for a 5.0 with EFI engine.. Not saying its easy but 5.0 = 302/289 for engine size. Just the electricals and fuel systems to deal with that the 289 didnt have.
 

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There is an aftermarket company that makes a complete bolt-on frame and suspension for the Mustang geared toward street and road racing. Just saying.
 

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I wish I had read the entire thread before I posted.. I agree with um everyone. FALKONE probably closest to my thoughts. I only seen it done on TV by doing a body swap and that was by a huge team with endless money.

I love and a I cring at the Falcon on the early Bronco frame. Its one of those cool. but not me things..
 

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Nice. :tup: I like the Falcon, too. She's not after a fire-breathing monster, right? There are several early Falcons here and elsewhere that have gone the 'upgraded' route, using both modified stock (research Falcon road racers) and MII fronts if you need more room. For a power plant, a turbo 2.3 (Cougar/T-Bird/Merkur/Mustang SVO) will fall-in complete with factory air and better performance than the 289 4V, and more nuggets if you just twist the knob.

It's nice when you don't have to fight with the shock towers. Reliability is high and both info and parts are everywhere. Tied to an OD trans, it would make for a great commuter and grocery-getter in that light chassis, and a fun auto-crosser and weekend drag queen (the car ;)). Awesome mileage too.

If that's not off the deep end enough for you, then a turbo Zetec or new EcoBoost would be other options, as well as mildly boosting the original six.

David
 

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Actually my friend Colin has a pretty nasty 64 4door 6cyl falcon running a 200 or 250? that is crazy fast on nitrous. It sounds really amazing actually.

A built 6 with or without the nitrous would actually be the easiest way to make your car much more fun to drive.

Pierre
 

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Where is this 63 you guy's keep talking about? All I see is some cute girl in the parking lot of Ross's Pitt Stop :D ;)




What you are failing to relate to the young man is the fact that there is NO FRAME on the 63 Falcon... It's a unibody and to 'drop it' on frame from any other auto it would look as ridiculous as that red 4x4 in post 9....

I have a 61 Falcon, it's HAULS ASS. It's an inline 6 with a T-5. It get's 25.3 MPG at an average of 100 mph :) It WILL go faster, but I didn't need to. It handles very well with a 1 1/8" sway bar upgrade and good rubber on the ground. Nothing can make it better than it is if you don't need 3,000 HP to drive around with...

Plenty of power. Plenty cool, and with headers, plenty of cool sound :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
What you are failing to relate to the young man is the fact that there is NO FRAME on the 63 Falcon... It's a unibody and to 'drop it' on frame from any other auto it would look as ridiculous as that red 4x4 in post 9....
I see, said the blind man.

That shows you just how naive I am about this car, and cars in general. I'm a motorcycle guy (Former mechanic, racer, crew chief), and for the most part, I've considered cars to be really slow grocery transport devices that lean the wrong way in corners.

As she sits now, my Falcon has a 200 CI straight six out of an '81 T-Bird. It has good compression and runs fine, but it's a total turd. You'd think with the rediculously short gearing that's on there now that it would pull pretty hard on the low end, but that's not the case. To add insult to injury, it tops out at about 65mph with the current gearing, based on what my ear believes is the upper limits of safe RPMs.

I'm not looking for crazy horsepower, just enough to make it fun and to keep from getting mowed over by Prius' on freeway on ramps. And of course the sound of a V8 wouldn't hurt. We also have a gas saver vehicle and several motorcycles, so fuel consumption really isn't that much of a concern.

So a small block with an automatic trans would seem to fit the bill. Sounds like a small block and a C4 automatic trans with a floor shifter would be the easiest swap?
 

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The HEAD and carb are what's choking that 200. get a head from a 69 or 70 200 and put a Carter YF on it or a Webber 2V, and you get plenty of good movement out of it and nobody will stand on you.

But if you want V8 that's easy. A 289/302 is a bolt in application on that 63. No mods necessary.

You simply get the tranny cross member and motor mounts for the V8, grab a motor and slip it in.

289/302 even stock build will move that car fast enough to get a citation, even with a girl driving it ;)
 

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my Falcon has a 200 CI straight six out of an '81 T-Bird. It has good compression and runs fine, but it's a total turd.
Dispite what others say, you can dump tons of money and work into a straight 6 and it's going to run strong....for a straight 6. A mildly built 5.0 will run away and hide from all most the most radical 6 so why waste the time and money is my opinion. SBF parts are easy to get, cheaper I'm sure.

So a small block with an automatic trans would seem to fit the bill. Sounds like a small block and a C4 automatic trans with a floor shifter would be the easiest swap?
That's what I would suggest and don't forget the rearend and brakes!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dispite what others say, you can dump tons of money and work into a straight 6 and it's going to run strong....for a straight 6. A mildly built 5.0 will run away and hide from all most the most radical 6 so why waste the time and money is my opinion. SBF parts are easy to get, cheaper I'm sure.
That was my thinking as well. Plus a low stressed 8 may have better longevity than a high stressed 6.

That's what I would suggest and don't forget the rearend and brakes!
John
Yup. I have a Geo master cylinder/booster on there now and the brakes work surprisingly well, but fat discs and a beefier rear end are on the project list too.
 
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