1 2 3 ... 5
mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 12:51 a.m.

Well figured I should start off my first useful post on the forum with something interesting. I'm Evan, a 37 y/o Electrical Engineer from Souther California, living in Northern Colorado. I work for RMSTATOR, we design and build electrical components for powersports motors (motorcycles, ATVs, SxS, snowmobiles, etc). I'm a lifelong car and motorcycle dude, and spend most of my time wrenching, riding, breaking, and fixing stuff.  I've had more cars and motorcycles than I can count over the years, but this thread will be about my current project. I use project loosely as I bought the car as a good driver already, but lacking lots of little things I would like.  I've been on the HAMB / Jalopy Journal for years, as I'm primarily interested in classic American cars and hot rods/customs, but not as niche as they seem to prefer. After reading a ton on GRM forum lately, this place seems like a way better home for my pretty varied car interests, with motorcycle stuff on the side here haha. I'm going to use most of my thread info I posted on the HAMB here, and then continue on with my project updates here.

Anyways, some backstory. 

I recently sold my 1951 Ford Deluxe 2 door sedan shoebox that was my driver for the summer, it's soon on it's way to Normandy, France to a good dude I met through the Shoebox Facebook group. I wasn't planning on getting another car for the winter, was going to focus on motorcycle projects. Fortunately, things didn't go as planned...


My first car was a 66 Mustang (still in the family), and I'd figured the next car was going to be another first gen Mustang build next year, time to get back to my roots. I was dicking around on Facebook marketplace like usual, and a crappy ad for a 61 Falcon popped up, that had some interesting details. Something about a 5.0 and a T5 swap, but the pictures sucked. It wasn't too far away, so I stopped by to take a look.

The car turned out be super nice! It looks fairly original, until you notice those traction bars underneath and the tire size... A Falcon is close enough to a Mustang to make me happy. It turned out to be a long term project by an older guy, who didn't really spare any expense.

Very nicely done 5.0 swap from a ~99 Explorer, and fully built. Lumpy cam, new top end, aluminum heads, Weiand Stealth intake, Holly Double Pumper, Performance Distributor, Hooker super comps, etc. Newly rebuild T5 swap nicely done. Whole car is straight, no rust, new paint, new interior, etc. Still needs a headliner (which he gave me), and gotta get rid of those 90's cougar bucket seats.

Suspension is all done with Falcon Sprint parts. Subframe connectors, sprint rear axle with 3.73's and new posi. Too much other stuff I can't think of or don't know about. Luckily the rad guy gave me a 3" binder of pictures and receipts for the entire build. Still need to sort through it all.

I'm driving the hell out of the thing and having a blast. Plan on taking it to the track in the spring, so going to upgrade and sort it out over the winter. I figure I'll post my project on here, should be cool.

On the way already are new Procar lowback bucket seats and mounts, and a Holley Sniper EFI conversion. I'll get into the details on those next.

This was in early November and how the car looked when I brought it home.

 

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 12:58 a.m.

OK continuing on...this was done Thanksgiving weekend:

Made some good progress on the car tonight. My new seats and brackets showed up, and I got started on the headliner.

Tore out the old seats and mounting brackets. They are actually really nice and comfortable seats, just not a good match for this car. (sold these yesterday!)

Got the headliner mounted in place on the bows. Still alot to do, but it's hanging in the car. I know the headliners are supposed to be installed before the front/rear glass, but that was obviously not done here. I don't want to remove new glass and rubber, so I'm going to contact cement the headliner in place on the front and rear. Hope it turns out OK! This is my first headliner job. Any tips?

Anyways, car is looking good with the new carpet inside and ready for the Procar mounting brackets.

For anybody wondering, Procar makes the 65 Falcon mounting bases, but they don't list them for any earlier model Falcon. They line up perfectly (at least on the passenger side I checked tonight) with the 2 outer original seat mounting holes. Will have to drill 2 new holes for the inboard mounts. They should work great.

And of course I had to temporarily dump one of the new Procar lowback buckets in the driver side to get an idea. They look awesome and are super comfortable. Should be perfect height after putting in the mounts and sliders. Probably sit about 4" higher than this pic.

Hope to get the headliner done and seats mounted over the next few days. Will update!

I've got a new set of Jegs lap belt hook/latch harnesses that should be great too.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:05 a.m.

Alright continuing on, this was about 2 weeks ago...

Got my Procar seat rails put on the seats, and started mounting the bases.

Also got my new headliner in. These are crappy pictures using the flash on the camera, it's not wrinkled as bad as it looks here. I'm going to hit it with a steam iron and maybe heat gun tomorrow to shrink it a bit, should pull in a bit tighter.

I put the headliner in without removing the front/rear glass. It's definitely possible and works OK, but not as good as removing the glass. May redo it in the future, but good enough for now, considering the new headliner was free. I used alot of DAP Weldwood contact cement, that stuff works great. I don't think I'll have any problems with it coming loose.

Then this popped up locally and I had to take a break. A 1971 Moto Guzzi Ambassador 750 with Velorex Jawa 560 sidecar. I've had a bunch of Guzzis over the years and love them. I'd recently sold my last BMW Airhead I rebuilt for a 1500 mile trip over the summer, and this filled it's spot. I had a nice 99 Buell Thunderbolt S3 that I had bought super cheap and fixed up, and did a trade + cash with that for the Gooz. This thing is gonna be a blast.

It's getting torn down soon for a new clutch and some much needed maintenance and and upgrades. I'll start a separate build thread about that if there's any interest in old bikes!

 

 

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:08 a.m.

Alright....sometime around December 1st? I don't remember...

Got the seats installed, they turned out great. Went with some Jegs lap harnesses for a seat belt upgrade as well. I'll talk more about this soon after catching up with my progress. Still not sure what I want to do with this car. Thinking about doing some bracket racing, or going another way and setting it up to try autocross? Or just leave it a really fun street hot rod. Anyways, we'll get to that later once the annoying stuff is done so it's at fun and comfortable driver status.

 

And I decided to add a stereo. As much as I drive this thing, I need some tunes. I went kind of overboard on the stereo though...next post.

Kept it simple and put 6x9's in the package tray.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:19 a.m.

Finished up the stereo last week. I didn't plan on going this ridiculous for an old car, but oh well. 

6x9's in the package tray like I mentioned above.

Forgot to take good/finished pictures of wire routing, but there is a 4 channel 600Watt amp mounted behind the trunk-mounted battery for the in-car speakers. I used Falcon Parts 6.5" speaker mount kick panels up front. I'll have to get a separate pic of those, forgot to take one.

This was an impulse buy on Amazon...it was super cheap and I thought it would be much, much smaller. Of course I didn't bother to read the description. It is a 14" or something ridiculous bass tube with integrated amp. Sounds pretty nice but takes up way too much trunk space. Might get rid of it, but I plumbed her in for now.

 

I decided to build a quick (and crappy) console to mount the head unit and my SpeedHut GPS Speedbox  in front of the shifter. I figured I'd try this out and  if I like it, will actually build a nice aluminum console. The dash and original radio are in too nice of shape on this car to cut up for a new radio. I like having a usable glovebox as well so I didn't want to mount it there.

If anybody is wondering, I'd highly recommend the Speedbox unit from Speedhut. 

https://www.speedhut.com/Speedbox.html

This car has a T5 in it with no cable drive output for a speedo. It came with a really cheap GPS speedometer velcro ed on the gauge cluster. I like the original horizontal needle speedo, so I had to have it working. The speedbox uses a small GPS antenna for speed signal, and then uses it's own cable to drive the original speedo. Works great, super accurate. I need to hide and mount it better, but this works great for testing for now.

OK sorry for the boring stereo stuff, but it's all done and working great.  I have a nice Classic Consoles center console coming which should be pretty useful. Other than that, interior and daily driving/comfort stuff is pretty much done, with the exception of the steering wheel.

The stock wheel is 17" diameter, and I just don't like the fit with the new buckets, it's just too large.  Ordered up a Grant 966 walnut wheel that should look great. Will have that next week.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:28 a.m.

Forgot a few more things! 

The car already had nicely done bracing underneath:

But having spent alot of time in 60's Mustangs, it definitely needed some bracing up top. Went with a Falcon Parts Monte Carlo bar, put that on yesterday. Still need to drill that 4th bolt hole on each side, but I'll get to that soon. Ran out of time!

OK, now i'm officially caught up to current.

The next phase of the project is a Holley Sniper EFI conversion. Always wanted to play with that system, and this car is the perfect fit for it. With the aluminum heads on this thing, it's pretty grumpy to warm up. If you're familiar with Northern Colorado winters, that is annoying. I'm hoping I'll see a significant improvement with the EFI system. It already arrived and is sitting in the box taunting me to get started:

Holley had a killer Black Friday sale, and a new Sniper system was $850, couldn't say no. I'm still waiting on the Falcon in-tank fuel pump module which was backordered. As soon as that shows up I'll get started. I'll document the EFI install here, any problems and solutions, and my tuning adventures. I'd like to do some EFI conversion systems for our product line in the future, so I want to learn as much as I can about tuning with this system....for research purposes right?

Once it's working well with the new fuel system, I'm going to add the Holley Hyperspark distributor, CDI box, and coil, and begin playing with the EFI controlled timing. One step at a time!

Alright, that's it for now.  I'd love any feedback, thoughts or input on this thing. I love the car and plan on keeping it and improving it. I don't know what my end goal is yet, other than I have a great starting point, it's already fun as hell, and I want to keep making it more fun. I feel like some sort of racing would really a blast with this car, but need to define my goal a bit before the next round of changes past what I've already documented.

Thanks for reading!

03Panther
03Panther Dork
12/12/20 1:46 a.m.

I have always liked the 64 - 65 bodies a bit better. Also prefer the hardtops, to the sedan. But that, sir , is one of the sweetest Falcons, ive seen in years. Of any body style. I love it. Those low backs are perfect in it as well. And the wood grain wheel is gonna be great.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
12/12/20 7:45 a.m.

Wow.  Can't quibble about your tastes!

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/12/20 8:18 a.m.

Love the early falcons!

wawazat
wawazat Dork
12/12/20 8:27 a.m.

Car looks great.   Love how it came to you as well as the direction you're taking it!

I also love the old Guzzi.  Please start a thread on that too.

Supercool project. Nice that the Previous Owner cared.

As for the Guzzi thread, yep, there's interest.

noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
12/12/20 9:20 a.m.

Nice car!  Keep going!

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
12/12/20 9:43 a.m.

Sweet!

The previous owner gave you a good base to work with, and I like the changes you've made to it so far. Should be a fun car to rip through the gears on a dragstrip.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
12/12/20 10:08 a.m.

Nice car.  I noticed the Scarebird sticker on the shock tower, I assume you have his disk brake kit?  He makes pretty decent stuff.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:33 p.m.
03Panther said:

I have always liked the 64 - 65 bodies a bit better. Also prefer the hardtops, to the sedan. But that, sir , is one of the sweetest Falcons, ive seen in years. Of any body style. I love it. Those low backs are perfect in it as well. And the wood grain wheel is gonna be great.

Haha I think this is true for everybody. I prefer them as well, but this car was such a steal price-wise that I couldn't complain about year. Given all the bodywork and paint was done decently well, there's no rust, I couldn't complain too much about the year. Thanks so much for the compliments, I'm loving the car and going to have a lot of fun dialing it in. I'll post updates on the new wheel when it comes in next week.

I did have a 61 Ranchero that was my driver for a year when I first moved out to Colorado in 2016. It looked a little ratty, but was a great driver. I certainly prefer the Ranchero over the Falcon for 61, but this one is super cool so complaints!

Bonus pics of the Ranchero since I save pics of every car and bike I've owned over the years, and we're on the subject:

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:34 p.m.
914Driver said:

Wow.  Can't quibble about your tastes!

Thanks buddy!

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:35 p.m.
wawazat said:

Car looks great.   Love how it came to you as well as the direction you're taking it!

I also love the old Guzzi.  Please start a thread on that too.

Thanks man! I will do a thread on the Guzzi. It's on the lift now ready to be torn down. Going to start this weekend.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:36 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) :

He definitely did, the PO was a great guy and did a very nice job on this car. He just lost interest after 5+ years and never finished it. Best kind of projects to pick up! Guzzi thread coming, I'll link it here when I get it going.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:37 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

Agreed! Thanks man. I think it will be a really fun car to experiment with some drag racing even if it's not really competitive. 

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:37 p.m.
stuart in mn said:

Nice car.  I noticed the Scarebird sticker on the shock tower, I assume you have his disk brake kit?  He makes pretty decent stuff.

Yes it has a Scarebird disc conversion on it. It works great. I've used his stuff on other cars and am a big fan.

mickpiston
mickpiston New Reader
12/12/20 1:38 p.m.

I'll go through the build book with all the receipts sometime soon and post some of the interesting parts that are on the car. I think I have a receipt for every dime the PO spent on it. Just looking through it a month ago when I bought the car, I came up with more in receipts for the drivetrain than I spent on the whole car. This one was a hell of a buy!

Will
Will UltraDork
12/12/20 2:24 p.m.

This is exceptionally nice. I've always thought a Falcon done up like this would be a great daily driver, especially now that you're putting EFI on it.

DarkMonohue
DarkMonohue New Reader
12/12/20 5:20 p.m.

Boss little car and a hell of a find. As one who gravitates toward OEM when OEM is available (and not irredeemable junk), I'm curious why you're going with a carb-style aftermarket EFI setup rather than using a factory Ford manifold.

Shaun
Shaun Dork
12/12/20 6:30 p.m.

That is a great looking well set up little hot rod.  IMHO The 60-63 is a much better looking car with just the right mix of curves lines and jet age chrome details.  The later car is drawn with a ruler and most of the detailing is gone-   the panel surfaces are way less complex and I'm sure were much easier to form.   Nice score, Sweet car!!   

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
12/12/20 8:50 p.m.

Love the old falcons. I had a 62 Comet that was a really fun cruiser. A T5 would have made it that much better.

I like the look of that speedo drive, but I don't think it will work with my MB speedo. Just what I need too.

1 2 3 ... 5
Our Preferred Partners
aTH7VtZfOrgYToFmbL0SmwGW7pDOQbs7af95ZQhPBuADF3eO7gFo8RDn5sX1vCQ5