67 Country Squire - Adventure in poor impulse control

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by jkrnld, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    [​IMG]DSC00239_1 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    TLDR: Had been looking for a 67 for the better part of a year, but nothing really lined up. Found one in CO, flew in from Boston, and after a few delays and more than one change in plans, brought it back to Boston after an epic 4500 miles.

    Found a 67 out in CO, looks like it's had a series of owners with varying takes on quality work. Car was way rougher than the photos I was sent suggested. Colorado allows for a 30 day out of state temp tag, so I had planned on taking a road trip out to CA, spending a week out there for work, and a week+ to make it back to Massachusetts. Grabbed a load of tools, fluids and spares, knew I had AAA with a 200 mile tow, and figured worst case, rent a uhaul w/ car dolly to get it back.

    [​IMG]DSC00217 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Took a few days to get a temp plate, since I timed everything poorly. Got to visit Fort Collins, catch up with friends, and take a day trip to Mishiwaka. From there, headed west and up an additional 6k feet to winter park CO. Coming down, popped a steering coupler pin, and had 10 inches of slack driving back down to 70. Limped the car to Silverthorn, spent a day waiting on parts, and another day putting them in. Sadly, could only get a hold of a 1970 or later rag joint, so needed to file the column out to accept the 2 big pin setup. Looks like a prior owner had welded these 2 pins on at somepoint.

    With 2 days left to get to CA and 800 miles+ to go, I punted and ended up going back to denver, and flying. Wasn't the fun answer, but likely the smart one. Will definitely make it to AZ scrapyards and a 66 proper adventure another year.

    [​IMG]DSC00088 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Got back to the car on a Friday, and had 11 days to get back home. Decided to stick southish to avoid winter weather (or so I hoped). Went down to Colorado Springs, spent the morning in Garden of the Gods and took the car up the Pikes peak toll road. She's an original Disc Brake model (as far as I can tell with the pedal to match), so no issues up or down. Stopped and got a new set of tires after, since one of the whitewalls was 26 years old.

    [​IMG]DSC00169 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Next stop was White Sands, NM - which was absolutely fantastic. Have it on the list to come back and camp here in the future. Went sledding down the sand dunes, and the Park Rangers were enthusiastic. Making the turn east, went to Roswell, NM. The tourist traps were just as kitchy as expected, but the surprise was finding out about Bitter Lakes Wildlife preserve and Bottomless Lakes salt water sinkholes.

    [​IMG]DSC00270_1 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr
    [​IMG]DSC00339 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Woke up the next morning to a bit of a surprise - snow in New Mexico! This started what turned into 2 days, 14 hours behind the wheel to go 450 miles to Oklahoma City. I've joked like everybody else about 2-3" of snow shutting down the south, having driven through it - I get it now. Drove 10mph for 1:30 outside of Amarillo, and watched a cruiser slide into the car they were stopping to check on.

    [​IMG]IMG_20200204_103134 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC00559 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Got a break at Amarillo in the morning, so at least got to stop at Cadillac Ranch!
    [​IMG]DSC00613 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Next few days were a slog, until I made it to the capital. Will be going back to TN / NC / DC etc this year, so wasn't too sad to go through them quickly. Was pulled over for the first time, but completely reasonable for cruising around the capital at 4AM looking for photo opportunities. Officer was super nice, and pointed out a place I could park and take photos after making sure I was legit. Not the greatest photo with the car, but had 1 or 2 I liked.

    [​IMG]DSC01167 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr
    [​IMG]DSC01229 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    And that pretty much wraps up the trip! 4500 miles, and 3 weeks away from home. 1 major steering repair, and a daily fight in the morning to get her to catch. Wasn't until I got home that I realized she had a 500CCA battery installed. Body will be mostly left a lone this year, but will be next winter's project. Will use a following post to start describing work to be done since this is already way too long.
     
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  2. HotRodRacer

    HotRodRacer Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Awesome story, awesome photos. Thanks for sharing both.
     
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  3. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    And since this is supposed to be a build thread:

    Going 4500 miles in something is a great way to get to know it (and make a short list of things that need to be addressed). She's in rough enough shape, I don't intend to try and keep it original. Current plan is a mix of bad ideas, but basic goal is to tow ~3500-4000lbs behind it in the form of a miata "race car" on an aluminum trailer. Stretching that, I want to slowly start prepping it for SCCA CAM-T autocross use on occasion.

    Issues to address:

    1) Door weather sealing / Broken Vent window rod.
    All the doors have dryrotted rubber, which has caused them to rust from the inside out since it hasn't been addressed. Since I'm not seriously addressing rust repair/body work until this winter when its off the road again, looking at solving this in the short term. All but the Driver's door currently seal good enough for minimal wind noise in the cabin, but drivers side is horrific. I think I've got the right bits in this seal kit: C5AZ-5420530-PR, but have seen conflicting information in searching online about it fitting all wagons 65-68.

    Vent window rod is snapped at the glass. I can't seem to locate NOS for the glass / mount. When pulling the door card off, was going to pull the vent window and see if it could be welded for now (not cosmetically concerned, more wanting it functional / air tight when closed).

    Power window switch - this was working for the front 2 windows when I picked the car up. Even though I knew better, I played with the lock switch, and now none of the windows work. Hoping this is an easy connection solution on the back, but worst case, appears dorman makes a functional replacement while getting it repaired.

    2) Cooling system:

    Car ran fine in the mountains, and in 70 degree heat. Unless I was climbing, the car had minimal heat the entire trip. I don't believe there is currently a thermostat installed, planning to go with a 180. No apparent cooling issues, aside from a leaking OEM radiator. Since I plan to tow a small trailer behind while doing longer trips, intend to improve on this.

    Sourced one of the 3 row aluminum radiators, which matched the core dimensions with the one currently installed, outside of being slightly thicker. Current setup doesn't have an overflow tank, was planning to attach one to the side of the radiator - found a 3x10 stainless tank for cheap, will be happy to not leave an occasional puddle everywhere.

    I've seen mixed comments on fan shrouds - there wasn't one present when I picked it up. I've found the repros for ~$80 online, but was considering deleting the engine driven non-clutched fan for an electric setup. Single 16" fan seems the easy button, and was going to mockup a shroud with pressure reliefs to attach it to. SPAL fan and wiring kit is ~$250, and would easily handle having a condenser out front as well. Kit is temp controlled, so on at 185, off at 175. Should help a bit with winter heat too (without putting cardboard up front).

    3) Exhaust:
    Current exhaust is interesting to be kind. OEM 390 manifolds into a 2" single driver's rear exit. Leaks like a sieve (and runs rich enough cold, free daily smoke test to confirm). Long term, needed to do this, as I'm planning on running Edelbrock's ProFlo 4 EFI setup. Roughly into the new header back setup for ~$900 after extra piping / clamps etc.

    Header options are kind of a mixed bag - from a little bit of hunting, there are 2 options for shorties, and 1 long tube header that should bolt in. I cheaped out, and went with a set of headers found on ebay, that claim compatibility with wagons - https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-65-69-...xhaust-Header-Full-Length-Black/174151205391?

    Couldn't resist the temptation that a $280 part shipped might be the answer (and would save snaking up to the shorties). Looks like a knockoff of the Hooker 6130HKR, right down to the fitment chart and slip fit for cyl #7. It's come in already, and I'm more than satisfied with the quality - welds were cleanedup, bends aren't kinked, and the collector isn't the worst. For the price, I really, really can't complain as long as it fits.

    Since I've read about GM A body stuff being close - Picked up a set of 2.5" flowmaster H pipes. Also grabbed one of the 2.5" slip fit kits, since assuming I'll need to extend it / space the h-pipe. picked up a pair of hedman 3" to 2.5" reducers w/ O2 bungs, so ready for the efi kit.

    Should be getting the car apart starting tomorrow. Hoping to have the exhaust done this weekend, with some of the cooling system resolved. Will be keeping the engine fan until I have time to layup a shroud.
     
  4. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    I have a full SPAL controller kit, I was going to use it if my Ranchero's mechanical fan didn't work with the '90 Town Car radiator (and I run a 195* t-stat!), but since it worked beautifully on my move down from Washington State, while carrying about 600 pounds in back, I see no reason to use it, and if you would be interested in picking it up for a decent price, NIB, PM me and we'll discuss it. BTW, running across the length and breadth of this great nation is not for the foolhardy or the weak-hearted. I commend you on nice photos and a good write-up.
     
  5. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    Thanks! Will PM you in a few. Highway towing I think I'd be fine (radiator rubber sealing is intact even), but more concerned on stop and go traffic with the trailer, that I've had on past trips. Since I currently have a non clutched fan, wouldn't mind reducing the load on the car cruising either.

    I've likely got enough for another wall of text on suspension thoughts - but biggest improvements may be a winter project. I've got a bit of rub on deflection while turning left, with a set of 15x8 AR 4.5" backspace wheels - needed a 3mm spacer to get them to clear the calipers up front. Since 18x11's are the eventual goal (with 295 35 18 BFGs). I'm going to need to play with clearances. Borrowed a set of 17x9s for initial fitting, but would have needed a 3" spacer with their +62 (s2000) offset.

    For now, limiting myself to a set of camaro coilovers from QA1, with the minor modifications to the lower arm to bolt from above. Not sure on spring rate, options from 350-750 are available, with double adjustable shocks to match.

    Need to measure the strut arm end and see if any of off the shelf control arm ends are roughly right. I know I won't solve all of my hate with the steering in the first pass, but will hold me over until the rear steer rack adaption with prius EPS column.

    Half of the exhaust bits are in already this morning - hoping to start getting it apart tonight.
     
  6. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    So with the good weather, wasn't entirely motivated this weekend....until the starter developed a dead spot. Was hoping to use the original coffee can style starter with the headers, but that appears to be out. Ordered the Powermaster 9606 that seems to fit most header setups, will be in Wed - Along with a few additional shiny pieces.

    In the meantime, started pulling the manifolds off for the the long tube header installation. Figured it'd be easier to do the starter install with the exhaust out of the way. Everything came free easy enough - No major signs of fouling. Comparison of old vs new is pretty silly:
    [​IMG]IMG_20200224_155712 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Test fit on the passenger side seems like everything is good. Was getting dark and cold, so waited on drivers side. If all is good, going to pull back out and sandblast the shipping coating off. If I'm happy with the set this year, may order another and ship to swain for coating inside and out.

    Downsides:
    When under the car, noticed the steering box seals are shot, and coating everything around them. This may get me to order the Unisteer Rack kit sooner than I planned on dealing with a rack conversion. I really, really didn't want a power rack, since I was planning the prius EPS column swap. Saves hydraulics, less drag on the engine, and think I have the room to stuff under the dash.
     
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  7. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    That sounds like it was an amazing road trip. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm looking forward to following the progress on wagon.
     
  8. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    So delays on my end, and taking the weekend off to go down to SC for Sandblast Rally. Made a little progress this week, test fit the headers, would have been way easier if I was doing them on a lift vs the ramps and stands.

    Ended up needing to clearance the block slightly with the die grinder for the starter to fit in the orientation that cleared the header. Test fit of the headers on both sides seems happy. I ran out of time before leaving to get started with the h-pipe install. Initially it looks like the spacing is correct, so shouldn't need to do any major modifications there.

    The big win, is the Edelbrock ProFlo 4 EFI kit came in, along with the fender mount fuel sump kit. With the promotion running, came out to less than $1700 for everything, which the other EFI options couldn't touch once fuel system changes were needed. The fuel sump setup won't be in the car for more than a year, since its not intended for performance use, but will last until I get to swapping the OEM gas tank with a fuel cell, and run the required return lines. I liked the Edelbrock kit since it included the port injection modified manifold, and I should be able to get the gauge data right on the android head unit that I'll be tucking in the car.

    Interested in what people have done for audio in the car - the dash is cracked apart, has a new(ish) dash pad ontop. has what appears to be an aftermarket single speaker just in front of one of the rear tires. The kick plats are a mess as well, and I can't seem to locate reproductions for the year. Given all that, was thinking about keeping a center dash, putting 6.5" in the kick panels and matching 6x9's in the back. Really low on the priority list, but just starting to think about it.
     
  9. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    Sounds like you made some progress. I'm the last person in the world to ask about audio. I still have the factory radio and speaker set up in every vehicle I own. I mostly listen to baseball games in the summer time, so an AM radio with one speaker works just fine.
     
  10. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    Been a slow week - Trip down to SC for the rally was fantastic. Have made a little progress.

    The stock clocking for the 9606 was perfect, just needed to have it wired up before installation as it places the wiring close to the block. I did take a few mms of material off of the block so it wouldn't bind. No shims needed and bolted right in.

    The cheap ebay headers were a different story - Passenger side slipped up and in without any major issues. Clearances were fantastic, no wiring or starter interference. Flange ends up directly underneath the transmission member. Driver's side ended up being a fight, needing to raise that corner to get the entry angle right, and disconnecting the shift linkage to slip through it. It just rubs the pitman arm, so slight dimple will solve. Overall, for <$300 for the headers I can't really complain. I would have saved myself a significant amount of time, had I noticed the included short mini head bolts meant to clear some of the exhaust runners.

    The advice on the GM A body exhaust kit is pretty good! Since I was worried it wasn't going to pan out, I cheaped out and bought the Flowmaster 17107 kit. Initial layout has the Cross pipe a little far back for my liking, so lopping off 1.5' from the infront, and extending after the mufflers to move them back to the factory locations. Pipe spacing for the headers was perfect,
    The Flowmaster 71226 mufflers I used are side entry/center exit, which has the axle portion clock well. Using the turndown tips included, its ~4" too short behind the axle, but I'm overall really happy.

    I'm starting to get frustrated with some of the hacked up wiring in the car - with a prior owner doing some light work / HEI bits, electronic chokes etc, there is a ton of non-standard wiring, with more than questionable connections. I want to do the EFI installation just to clean some of it up with a partial modern harness, but would love to handle the rest with one of the aftermarket wiring harness kits. I've started reading other build threads, but I can't seem to find many that get into the OE wiring. Any advice here would be appreciated!
     
  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Yeah, the problem with "OE wiring is that there are sooooo many permutations on all the wagons presented here. Do you have wiring diagrams? That's what I've always used, even if they don't include color codes (Chilton diagrams!), and you do have to look closely at the silhouettes on them to see which wire's which. A fistful of different color highlighter pens helps.
     
  12. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    And as far as your wagon's concerned, I have a Chilton's wiring manual. If you want, I can fish it out, snap high-res photos, send them to you via email. Let me know if you do.
     
  13. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    I have to say I chuckled a little when I read about your header install. In a previous post you mentioned how easily the passenger side went in, but you hadn't gotten to the driver's side yet. I had a sneaking suspicion you might run into some issues. We had a similar situation with the headers on our Ranchero project a few years ago. But it sounds like you found a solution. Good luck with the wiring.
     
  14. jkrnld

    jkrnld New Member

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    At least I can provide a chuckle!

    I've got the 67 shop manual which has been handy so far, and found the photos someone posted online for the wiring colors for the galaxie (which it sounds like all the full size share)? Downside is the harness has been cut back in places and wiring replaced with generic black and red runs. Also looks like things were bypassed and run straight to 12v off the starter relay ><

    Not a huge issue at the end of the day, but definitely adding time before getting to the EFI installation. Have it sitting on the garage floor tempting me to skip doing it right.

    [​IMG]IMG_20200302_184756 by Jacob Ronald, on Flickr

    Currently looking like I'll be mounting the sump in the driver's fender, since easy plumbing and wiring access and simple runs. Downside is the sump requires a vent run to the tank.

    Other small things - The sway bar endlink bushings are just gone, and one of the front shocks was loose on the lower 2 bolts. Grabbed a cheap set of helper shocks and new endlinks for the short term - Long term, will be replacing the lower arms, and switching to the coil on shock setup. All of the bushings on the car appear to be original, and in various states of disintegration
     
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  15. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Oh, bypassing the ignition switch isn't good. I got to rebuild a Chevelle wiring harness ('67, IIRC), where so many new electricals were run directly from the battery positive connector (five? six?), that it all caught fire underhood. After repairing underhood, I went to rehook up stuff underdash, and found that wiring was also burned! A $200 job became a $600 job! Man, was it a mess, but I got it done.
     

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