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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #21
Started ordering the suspension parts for both the front and rear. Ordered a new PMT Fabrication front sway bar hoping it would bolt right in, but like everything else it required some ingenuity to get it installed. Since it was only listed for 65-68 (now updated to 65-70) I should have known, but all in all it went pretty well. I drilled and tapped some new mounting holes in the bottom of the frame and we were off to the races. The PMT bar is significantly thicker than the stock one as you can see by the picture. I also opted for PMT's front strut rod kit.
For the rear I am using the PMT rear trailing arm kit. All of the parts appear to be excellent quality and I would recommend them based on customer service alone.
I am not affiliated with PMT in any way, just wanted to share the experience so far with them.
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That sway bar alone will make a HUGE difference in how the car feels/drives/handles/corners.

I put a big a$$ front sway bar on my 66 Galaxie and couldn't believe the difference.
That was when it was still "as purchased" and mostly stock suspension.

Of course other suspension upgrades will help too, but better sway bars are a must for these old cars.
 

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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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Interested to find out how you get on with the wiring kit.

I am at the point of considering wiring options for my 66.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #24
Howdy Galaxiex,

Since I was adding so many new components to the car, and moving everything to the trunk, a complete rewire just made sense. Below is a list of the components that would make up the system:
I wanted to mock up the wiring and test the circuits outside the car before bundling the wiring into three main harnesses (rear, cabin, engine bay). To do this I mounted 2 8ft. sheets of plywood on the shop wall to mimic the approximately 17 ft. of the car itself. I also purchased 30 12v 10mm LED's to identify when the circuit was triggered and to validate circuits that had constant power vs. accessory power. Once the plywood was mounted to the wall, I marked out the electrical panel and battery location by approximate size. This allowed me to make sure my electrical components stayed within the boundaries of the space I had to work with. Additional tape was added to mark out each circuit in the system (taillights, fuel pump, trunk led's, fuel sender, door/trunk poppers, etc.). Not wanting to cut any of the wires until the final install, I added some hooks at the top and bottom of the plywood to take up the slack of the wires. I should also mention that I purchased the American Autowire Long Wire Trunk Mounting kit which includes longer and bigger gauge wires to handle the current. The keyless entry/start system relies on the brake switch to start the car so I added a 12v momentary push button switch to mimic the pressing of the brake pedal.
After days of shuffling through the mounds of instructions, I decided to use a couple computer monitors and an old laptop to display the digital versions of the instructions above the work area. This was a huge time saver and allowed me to easily bounce between instructions as needed.
The battery was placed up off the floor and some small jumper cables got power to the system using a few bolts through the plywood.
I cannot say enough good things about the AAW system. Each wire is labeled with the circuit name the full length of the wire, which makes installing and troubleshooting much easier. I needed to contact their tech support to get a sanity check several times. The tech I worked with through the project was more than accommodating, even drawing pictures as needed.

Below is the list of items I purchased from AAW to complete my project:
Highway 22 Plus Universal Wiring System $519
Highway 22 - Long Wire Trunk Mount Kit $124
All Copper Grounding Kit $199
6 Gauge Alternator Connection Kit $49
Trunk Mounted Battery Cable Kit- Side Post $139

All said and done, about $1,100 with shipping.

Hope this helps. If you have any additional questions feel free to post.
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Discussion Starter #25
Now that the wiring was all laid out and tested I needed to start moving the components to the trunk area. The first thing I needed to do was eliminate the torsion springs used to open the trunk and replace them with struts. You can find more information on this process in this thread.
Since the trunk is so cavernous, I opted to box things in a bit and add a door that dropped down to access the battery and electronics. After looking at the design I realized that accessing everything tucked into the spare tire space was going to be an issue. To combat this, I added a slide out drawer that will contain the battery, fuse block, amp, relays etc. The slide hinges I used are 18" long and can support up to 250 lbs. they also lock open and closed to prevent the drawer from sliding open on hard acceleration. Once I figured out the bracketry to mount the slides, I fabricated the drawer, lined it with black automotive carpet and covered the face of the drawer with marine grade vinyl. In the pictures below you can see the two blue handles/knobs that are used to release the drawer when locked closed or open.
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craving, I just tuned into this thread and I’m glad I did. Great work so far. I love the way you mocked up the wiring on the boards. That’s the way we prototype harnesses in my line of work.
The firewall looks super clean. And I’m blown away by the trunk - that is going to be awesome. I look forward to seeing more progress!

- John
 

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Howdy Galaxiex,

Since I was adding so many new components to the car, and moving everything to the trunk, a complete rewire just made sense. Below is a list of the components that would make up the system:
I wanted to mock up the wiring and test the circuits outside the car before bundling the wiring into three main harnesses (rear, cabin, engine bay). To do this I mounted 2 8ft. sheets of plywood on the shop wall to mimic the approximately 17 ft. of the car itself. I also purchased 30 12v 10mm LED's to identify when the circuit was triggered and to validate circuits that had constant power vs. accessory power. Once the plywood was mounted to the wall, I marked out the electrical panel and battery location by approximate size. This allowed me to make sure my electrical components stayed within the boundaries of the space I had to work with. Additional tape was added to mark out each circuit in the system (taillights, fuel pump, trunk led's, fuel sender, door/trunk poppers, etc.). Not wanting to cut any of the wires until the final install, I added some hooks at the top and bottom of the plywood to take up the slack of the wires. I should also mention that I purchased the American Autowire Long Wire Trunk Mounting kit which includes longer and bigger gauge wires to handle the current. The keyless entry/start system relies on the brake switch to start the car so I added a 12v momentary push button switch to mimic the pressing of the brake pedal.
After days of shuffling through the mounds of instructions, I decided to use a couple computer monitors and an old laptop to display the digital versions of the instructions above the work area. This was a huge time saver and allowed me to easily bounce between instructions as needed.
The battery was placed up off the floor and some small jumper cables got power to the system using a few bolts through the plywood.
I cannot say enough good things about the AAW system. Each wire is labeled with the circuit name the full length of the wire, which makes installing and troubleshooting much easier. I needed to contact their tech support to get a sanity check several times. The tech I worked with through the project was more than accommodating, even drawing pictures as needed.

Below is the list of items I purchased from AAW to complete my project:
Highway 22 Plus Universal Wiring System $519
Highway 22 - Long Wire Trunk Mount Kit $124
All Copper Grounding Kit $199
6 Gauge Alternator Connection Kit $49
Trunk Mounted Battery Cable Kit- Side Post $139

All said and done, about $1,100 with shipping.

Hope this helps. If you have any additional questions feel free to post.
View attachment 167634 View attachment 167635 View attachment 167636 View attachment 167637
Wow! Thanks for the detailed reply. :)(y)
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #28
Wanted to share my experience stripping the paint off the car. I looked into using chemical strippers and media blasting but neither appealed to me. I started by using 80 grit paper on my DA sander, but that was a very slow process. After some poking around on the interwebs, I ran across this tool from Eastwood called the Contour SCT. Although it was a bit expensive for a single use tool, I decided to give it a go after watching several YouTube videos. Anxiously awaiting the tool, when it showed up I was like a kid at Christmas, although that applies to every package I get related to the car. The tool is very well built and has some good weight to it. I installed the included drum that comes with the machine and was quickly disappointed. It seemed to take forever to make any progress on both the paint and surface rust. figured I must be doing something wrong because my results did not match what I had seen on the videos. That's when I realized they make several different drums for this machine. The drum they include with the machine is red in color and is a "finishing" drum. I quickly purchased two of the 40 grit "stripping" drums and awaited their arrival. The drums are $50 a piece, but by my calculations I was still way under budget vs. chemicals or media blasting. MAN what a difference!!! These things took off paint, primer and any surface rust that was present. The drums last a good while, but I have A LOT of car to strip. At the end of the day, it took about 4-1/2 drums to get the entire car stripped to bare metal. I would recommend this tool to anyone looking to get back down to the base metal.
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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #29
I wanted to something original with the rear reflector under the rear taillights. I wondered why Ford never had lights behind this piece but I guess you have to cut corners somewhere... Initially I thought I would add two LED strips like the ones you see under truck tailgates behind the red reflectors. These LED's incorporate running lights, left/right turn signals and brake lights into a single strip. Once they arrived I unrolled the LED's and placed them behind the reflector and put some power to them. Well....The reflectors did exactly what they are designed to do and emitted very little light through the front of the plastic. I looked at Tap Plastics for some red plexiglass and found out they will cut and drill any plastic to your specs for what I thought was a reasonable price for two identical pieces ($70). I sent in my specs and received the replacements in short order. I order two pieces so that I would have one on the outside (visible) and the other as a backer over the two LED strips. This made a HUGE difference and achieved the results I was after. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures during my testing, but below is what it looks like assembled but not polished yet. I have also included my specs for the plastic in case this intrigues anyone else.

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Discussion Starter #30
Here is a pic of the front end suspension reassembled. Every component was replaced with the exception of the upper/lower control arms and the steering box. This included:
Upper/lower control arm bushings
Upper/lower control arm ball joints
Pitman arm
Idler arm
Center link
inner/outer tie rods
Tie rod adjusters
Strut rods and bushings
Sway bar
Sway bar links
Springs/Isolators
Shocks
Brake discs
Calipers
Brake pads
Brake hoses and lines
Inner/outer wheel bearings

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Discussion Starter #31
Took some time this weekend to get the Dakota Digital and the keyless entry control modules mounted behind the dash. Also created a new gauge mount and covered it in black vinyl.
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Discussion Starter #32
I always wanted to ditch the rear bench seat in favor of something a bit more modern. So after looking at those Escalade seats sitting under my bench, and kicking myself for buying them before doing some additional measurements, and knowing they were likely destined for the dumpster at the end of the project, I decided to strip them down to just the cushions and frames. I think they came out pretty good after making the mounting brackets and getting them secured into the car. Not to sure if I will keep the armrests with final upholstery.
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Hey, looks like warmers in the back seats, just what every two door car needs, eh?

Maybe now you need to convert to floor shift and build a custom console from front to back.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Hey, looks like warmers in the back seats, just what every two door car needs, eh?
Yeah all the warmer guts have been ripped out, along with the power everything.

Maybe now you need to convert to floor shift and build a custom console from front to back.
Funny you should mention that. Not converting to a floor shift, but have started working on the center console mock up.
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Discussion Starter #35
Since the car will not have A/C or heat I decided to clean up the dashboard a bit by eliminating the passenger vent in the dashboard and turned the center vents into a a place for my double din stereo.
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Not to sure if I will keep the armrests with final upholstery.
My first thought was maybe you should ditch the armrests. Now that I see you're going with a full length console I'm sure of it. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
My first thought was maybe you should ditch the armrests. Now that I see you're going with a full length console I'm sure of it. Just my opinion.
Thanks 289Galaxie, I appreciate the input. At first I thought they would be a cool edition, but the more I look at it, they look out of place.
Playing around with kerf cutting some scrap pieces of plywood to see how I can get the articulating curves for the center done. I plan on inlaying the top panel 3/4-1" below the top of the sides to give it a bit more of a channeled look than just a square box shape.
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Yeah, the waterfall from the back seat is looking good. I'll also say the arm rests don't go with the rear installation. You may want to revise the waterfall to form an arm rest? I'd suggest a more consistent material, like MDF, for kerfing and bending, instead of plywood, and kerf on the backside, not the face of the bend, even though it will get foam and upholstery.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Spent the weekend getting the core support and inner fender wells welded/shaved of the the unnecessary holes. Time consuming, but in the end I think it will produce a better look under the hood. Also got the emergency door/trunk popper switches mounted which you can barely see in the last photo. These will not be visible once the fender is mounted back on the car.

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Discussion Starter #40
Yeah, the waterfall from the back seat is looking good. I'll also say the arm rests don't go with the rear installation. You may want to revise the waterfall to form an arm rest? I'd suggest a more consistent material, like MDF, for kerfing and bending, instead of plywood, and kerf on the backside, not the face of the bend, even though it will get foam and upholstery.
Thanks 70XL, Was able to get the materials for the center console (MDF), that is next on the hit list.
 
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