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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been contemplating starting a build thread for my project and decided it was time.

I purchased the car locally off of FB marketplace for $3000. When I showed up and asked to hear it run, the seller claimed to have misplaced the keys, which he would deliver to me over the next few days. The car had not been registered since 2010 and looked to be complete and in decent shape. More on this later....... Since the car was going to be a restomod, I was not to concerned about the details, just that it was complete and not a rust bucket. I forked over the cash and had the car towed to my house about 6 miles away.
After decoding the VIN and body plate, here is what she started out as:

Manufacture Date (06L) November 6, 1969
Assembly Plant (P) Twin Cities, MN
Body (60) (63C) 2 Door Hardtop Fastback
Engine Code (Y) 390 c.i. (2V) 2 bar. carb.
Production Sequence 123,741 of 998,796
Base Price $3,069.00
Curb Weight 4230 lbs
Original Color (I) Medium Lime Metalic
Trim Package (6GA) Dark Ivy Gold Vinyl
D.S.O. (74) Seattle, WA
Axle (2) Ford 9" 2.75:1
Transmission (U) Model: PGA-A3 C6 (xpl) manual 3-speed gearbox
Shifter Column
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After NOT receiving the keys as promised, and not wanting to waste any of my time chasing them, I decided to see if the old gal would at least start up. I went down the the local parts store and got an ignition switch to try and fire it up. After installing the ignition switch and hitting the key, nothing..... I am not sure what made me think that the 10 year old battery was going to be good, so back to the parts store I went for a new battery. New battery installed with the new ignition switch, hit the key, and SMOKE!!! The wiring under the dash had some major issues and at this point my enthusiasm to get her started was shot down in flames. The good news is that the motor did turn over for the brief moment before the smoke show. Enough of that, lets get her into the shop and start the tear down.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I started by tearing out the carpet, front/rear seats, and about 5 pounds of mouse crap. This is when I realized that the front passenger floorboard had seen better days. I originally attributed this to a leaking heater core, but found out later that was not the issue at all. I ordered a replacement floor pan from Dearborne/Eklers/Macs and moved on to the next part of the puzzle.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I needed to get a plan together on what I wanted to do with the car, so I came up with the following list:
  • Shaved Firewall
  • Shaved Door Handles
  • Shaved Trunk Lock
  • Shaved Gas Door
  • Shaved Emblems
  • Shaved Side Markers
  • Bucket Seats
  • Dakota Digital Gauges
  • Trunk Mounted Battery
  • Trunk Mounted Fuse Panel
  • Complete Rewire
  • Engine/Trans/Rear End Rebuild
  • PMT Rear Suspension
  • PMT Front Sway Bar
  • Complete Front Suspension Rebuild
  • A/C Delete
  • Complete Vacuum System Delete - man this car has vacuum EVERYTHING!
Having been down this road before, I shared the list of things I wanted to do with the wife and we discussed what this was going to cost. Something I have learned over the years is, it is easier to go to the well one time for budget approval instead of getting the reoccurring questions "How much is that going to cost" and "your ordering more parts for the car". Budget discussed and approved, I started my shopping spree online. YIPPEE!!
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next was the disassembly phase. Removed the hood, front bumper, headlight/grill assembly, fenders, radiator and core support. While this part of the project can be a bit satisfying, it reminded me of all the nasty dirty work that was ahead. 50 years of road grime can make things tough at best, but hey that's all part of the fun, right? Notice the worlds most expensive drain pan? Shhhh, we will keep that one under our hats. If she only knew I was using her $150 Williams Sonoma drink bucket :ROFLMAO:
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Next I got the engine/trans pulled and all the crap off the firewall so I could determine what I needed to do to get the firewall shaved and looking proper. With most everything out of the way, I started pulling the front suspension apart.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Time to clean up the frame. I was really dreading this part because shorty I was going to have 50 years of dirt, grease and who knows what all over me and the shop. I just kept telling myself, you only have to this once and then it will be all clean.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After removing the rear seat I could get a glimpse inside the trunk. I noticed boxes, a fan shroud and what looked like other car parts. But wait, this car is complete, why would there be car parts in the trunk? Since I did not have the keys.....thanks car seller dude, I contemplated how I was going to get the trunk open. A few beers later and a lack of patience, I took to the screwdriver and a hammer approach. 10 minutes later, wallah, open trunk. This was a bit like opening a Christmas present because I was not sure if I was going to get something cool or another pair of funky animal socks. Turns out, someone had been collecting parts for this car for some time. Fan shroud, radio, door panel, dash bezel and the list goes on and on. Oh well, into the pile in the corner of the shop they go. Back to the firewall I go.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started by making some templates for the sheet metal skin I was going to lay over the existing firewall. Then I realized how ugly the steering column and master cylinder part of the firewall was. This had to be fixed as well. Since I was going with a new tilt column, I wanted this to be as clean as the rest of the firewall. I was looking at the original steering rag joint and knew that was not going to work with the clean look I was going for, so a Flaming River U-Joint was ordered and trial fit.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Firewall panels cut and tacked into place. I thought my finger in the pics added some level of authenticity. :rolleyes:
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Decided to get the rear end pulled so I could get it over to the shop to be rebuilt. It was going from 1 tire fire with 2.73 gears to a Truetrac posi unit with 3.5 gears, new seals and all of the other goodies. Out with the old, and the new unit waiting to go back in.
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1965 Ranchero Deluxe
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Beautiful Job, Keep us updated. I just picked up a 1977 Ranchero that is at the disassembled stage and the Guy decided it was better to get out from under it than to proceed with the build. He bought the car about ten years ago, drove it for a couple years then tore it down to repaint it a different color. The funny thing is, he bought the car from MY hometown Wynantskill NY. We drove to Naugatuck Conn. and back in a blizzard to get Her, but we made it. Do you name your cars ?, I always give my cars a Woman's name. I haven't picked one for the Ranchero yet though, I am thinking of Drag Racing her.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Beautiful Job, Keep us updated. I just picked up a 1977 Ranchero that is at the disassembled stage and the Guy decided it was better to get out from under it than to proceed with the build. He bought the car about ten years ago, drove it for a couple years then tore it down to repaint it a different color. The funny thing is, he bought the car from MY hometown Wynantskill NY. We drove to Naugatuck Conn. and back in a blizzard to get Her, but we made it. Do you name your cars ?, I always give my cars a Woman's name. I haven't picked one for the Ranchero yet though, I am thinking of Drag Racing her.
Howdy Zorak, Congrats on getting your Ranchero home!! I typically do not name my cars other than the usual term of "Money Pit". Good luck drag racing you new found project!!
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Began my search for bucket seats that have built in shoulder belts. I pulled the trigger on a set of Cadillac CTS seats and was so excited to get them home, only to find out they are WAY to tall for the car. I looked at many options including making new brackets for the bottom of the seats and even carving up the floor pan and rebuilding the supports and structure. At the end of the day, the juice was not worth the squeeze. Other than buckets look cooler IMO, the power seat motor was shot in the bench seat which meant it would have always been in a fixed position. Take II, I purchased a set of low back Procar seats and they fit and look much better than the other ones. I did purchase the universal seat mounts by Procar but I was not happy with the way they mounted to the floor pan. Lesson learned make them yourself.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got the firewall pretty close. Needs some additional block sanding but the front suspension is ready to go back together. I used Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black (spray can) after a few coats of primer.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The tired motor was disassembled and ready for the engine builder. Broke almost all of the exhaust manifold studs, but I kind of anticipated that. The passenger exhaust manifold had a big crack in it. Probably one of the reasons the seller did not want me to start it up. Well, that and the electrical smoke show I mentioned earlier.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Decided to get the gas door shaved and the gas filer relocated to the top of the quarter panel. I used a pop up motorcycle cap and replaced/relocated the filer hose. While I was there I also inspected the gas tank internally and that looked great. The old gas filer seal at the tank was pretty worn out and brittle, so picked up one of those too. Part# E1AZ-9072-B.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Started getting the essentials for the complete rewire. I went with an American Autowire Highway 22 and full grounding loop kit. Although the grounding kit was not really necessary, I would prefer to have all my grounds at one of three central grounding blocks in the trunk, cabin, or engine bay (hidden). A bit pricy but a really nice kit that should allow for future add on's.

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Started getting the essentials for the complete rewire. I went with an American Autowire Highway 22 and full grounding loop kit. Although the grounding kit was not really necessary, I would prefer to have all my grounds at one of three central grounding blocks in the trunk, cabin, or engine bay (hidden). A bit pricy but a really nice kit that should allow for future add on's.

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Started getting the essentials for the complete rewire. I went with an American Autowire Highway 22 and full grounding loop kit. Although the grounding kit was not really necessary, I would prefer to have all my grounds at one of three central grounding blocks in the trunk, cabin, or engine bay (hidden). A bit pricy but a really nice kit that should allow for future add on's.

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we are working on a 68 tbird and would like to put a tko600 in it. My steering column is to the left of the master cylinder. It looks like yours is too. I wonder if galaxie pedals would work in our car?
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pulled out the old windshield wiper motor with not much consideration of how it was hooked to the original switch since I planned on replacing it anyway. Boy was that a mistake. I tried every way possible to bench test the motor without the switch and had zero luck getting it to move at all. After pulling it apart and taking a peek inside, I contributed this to the motor being old and needing to be rebuilt. I sent if off to RockAuto for their rebuild service ($70) hoping that this would solve the problem. When I got the motor back, one of the cast mounting tabs was broke off and laying in the box. After spending WAY to much time screwing with this wiper motor, I decided to buy an aftermarket one from Newport Engineering. Once it arrived I had the motor wired to a new paddle switch and working within 20 minutes. If anyone is interested in the rebuilt motor including the broken tab, drop me a message.
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