Crab's '63 bagged and ragged Ranch Wagon

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by CrabSpirits, May 10, 2018.

  1. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Let me preface this abbreviated tale by giving you glimpse of my background. I have several previous car builds under my belt, but the ones relevant to this thread are the two cars I made to run in the 24 Hours Of Lemons series. This is basically unlimited class racing, save for having a maximum allowable budget of $500 to spend on the car (excluding safety equipment, tires, and other items you wouldn't want to have fail at speed). With that in mind, I first made a Geo Metro with a mid-mounted SHO V6 for $460.
    [​IMG]
    This car is now one of the fastest in the series.

    Then I built the "Firebug", a 70 Subaru 360 with a sportbike/Geo drivetrain for a small profit. Yes, I MADE money building this car, although this was before it was banned and I ended up adding nice wheels, paint and other shiny.
    [​IMG]

    So now that I've impressed upon you my delusions of grandeur, you can stare into the black abyss that begins with this Craigslist ad.
    [​IMG]

    After spending way too much time on CL browsing for cars I do not need, it seemed as if I was being paid to haul it away. So I hitched up the trailer.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Obviously, for a classic this cheap, I expected every part of the car not visible in the pics in the ad to be completely destroyed. It delivered on that note. Floors shot, interior wrecked and bland, suspension pickups wrenched free...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Grizz likes this.
  2. Grizz

    Grizz Are we there yet???

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    815
    Trophy Points:
    393
    Wagon Garage:
    2
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Well that was rather anticlimactic...I remember your metro and didn’t you post a video of that suburu? Great work! I love the “awful computer” paint job. So I was reading about these cars and getting very excited about your wagon and then you just stopped with how crusty it is?! What’s the plan? Make it fast!!! Although it will take quite a bit more than a crotch rocket motor to move that beast. The anticipation is killing me
     
  3. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    The idea at this point was to toss in a small block, weld in some metal, bag it, and just build a basic rat rod wagon. Cue the frenzy of measuring for equipment to harvest from the junkyard.

    This segues into the first stage of ownership of this gen Fairlane. You come to two realizations.
    1.Nothing fits into the Fairlane.
    2.If it fits into the Fairlane...
    a.It is expensive
    b.It is not readily available at the junkyard (too old of a donor)

    Sure, I could grab a SBF, but the motor was the least of my concern. Almost every other mechanical was wrecked, and it would be easier/cheaper(in my mind) to start from a clean slate.

    I came across this front subframe assembly someone dropped out of a Fusion.
    [​IMG]
    Even this was a bit wide, and needed to be cut down.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It has some neat features. I fully intend to bag this car to the pavement, so the suspension offers some consistency in the alignment dept. The design is zero-scrub. Functioning disc brakes are a nice upgrade, as is the sway bar. Notice the EPAS rack. Although bulky (this will come into play later), I can eliminate the ps pump. Oh yeah, that took some trailblazing into getting that to work, along with another trip to the jy for the PCM.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  4. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    I think about all my builds in an all-encompassing mental 3D cad schematic. So along with the IFS, we begin acquiring basically the entire car aside from the body from various junkyards in the Chicagoland area, and assembling them into modules.

    Next thing to tackle was the rear end. The brakes were toast from sitting for decades, and it needed to come out anyway for bag mounts. I decided to swap it easily accessible and feature-rich 8.8 unit from an Explorer.
    [​IMG]
    I swapped out one of the shafts in the yard with the shorter side from another donor. This axle will also be narrowed to fit.
    [​IMG]
    At the same time, I purchased most of the air suspension.
    [​IMG]
    Now spliced back together. It's a 3.73 with a Torq Lock. New wear items.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  5. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Then I cleaned and gutted the thing. As I became intimately familiar with this mouse domicile, the aforementioned demoralization set in. It's worse when you're removing parts from vehicles that are in far better condition than your something-less-than-a-rat rod. No sense in turning back now, I guess.
    [​IMG]

    Time to pull a motor, a 4.6 4-cam from this wrecked LSC.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Wrecked, and loved. The perfect candidate.
    [​IMG]
    The rain added to the fun.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    To help with morale, I purchased some bling. I hope these clear with the new underpinnings.
    [​IMG]

    I like the more upscale-looking Mercury dash much better.
    [​IMG]

    I like to sprinkle aviation parts throughout my builds because that stuff is heavy duty and awesome. These mechanical oil pressure gauges from a B-24 will now keep an eye on my bags.
    [​IMG]
    They will go into this underdash panel with the system valves...
    [​IMG]
    ...along with the necessary lightplate from a Vietnam-era F-8 Crusader fighter.
    [​IMG]
    The "autopilot" features will operate the cruise control.
    [​IMG]

    There was no way the 4R70W was going to work the Meteor speedometer, so I cracked that open and combined it with a Crown Vic cluster that runs off the VSS signal.
    [​IMG]
    Other than the odometer not reading tenths, you can't tell.
    [​IMG]
     
    Poison_Ivy and Grizz like this.
  6. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    11,213
    Likes Received:
    1,835
    Trophy Points:
    560
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    B24. Haha, I once rented room and board from a car salesman/enthusiast years ago who was a B24 armorer in WWII. I know he would've either loved it or really rolled his eyes, then laughed.
     
  7. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,078
    Likes Received:
    1,883
    Trophy Points:
    608
    Location:
    Yakima Washington
    Pretty cool that you are saving this one. I'm excited to see how things progress.
     
  8. Grizz

    Grizz Are we there yet???

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    815
    Trophy Points:
    393
    Wagon Garage:
    2
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Where are you finding spare airplane parts?!
     
  9. 55crownvic

    55crownvic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    82
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Just a thought on your gas tank situation, you could modify the seating area of the third row seat, and fit an original 63 fairlane(sedan/hardtop) tank in place of the original, they are available as well as the senders.
     
  10. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    eBay has an aviation section. You would be surprised at what you can find with a few Choice Search terms.

    So far I have tried a Crown Vic tank that was just massive, and the rear tank from a Ford Chassis cab that would drag the ground. I don't want to hack up the third row as I think it's one of the cars coolest features. But I ordered a 15 gallon Wrangler tank and I will probably cut into the calf area of the seating position to fit it.
     
  11. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Dogzilla Fan

    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Messages:
    11,095
    Likes Received:
    3,401
    Trophy Points:
    706
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Feeding effigy ice cream to Dogzilla
    Thanks for giving him ideas. This should make his '54 Pontiac project even more interesting. Especially, when the Amphibcarjacker locates an afterburner
     
  12. Grizz

    Grizz Are we there yet???

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    815
    Trophy Points:
    393
    Wagon Garage:
    2
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Hahaha:rofl2:
     
  13. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Just search for "burner can" in that av section, hahaha.

    So this engine is an absolute massive beast. Thus we begin the many technical hurdles of fitment issues. The IFS, engine, and chassis all have to be arranged within a tolerance of 20mm.
    [​IMG]
    These are details which probably everyone will find boring but this is a major stopping point on this project. Remember that microcar I built with everything packaged to the millimeter? This is actually harder. I went through the engine, fixing some stuff, throwing away useless items, and gave it a little shine.
    [​IMG]
    Note the clearance between EPAS "box" and starter. As fitted into the car the firewall will be right at the back of the cylinder head. Interestingly, the mark 8 drive shaft will fit perfectly with no modifications.
    [​IMG]
    Also the headers are fun to fit into the engine bay in between the frame rails, everything must be assembled in situ.

    On the driver side, the steering shaft is proving to be fun as well.
    [​IMG]
     
    Grizz and Poison_Ivy like this.
  14. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    11,213
    Likes Received:
    1,835
    Trophy Points:
    560
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    And you do this for fun? Wow. I do wish you good luck, though!
     
  15. CrabSpirits

    CrabSpirits Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    I've characterized this stuff for awhile now thusly: I am an amateur watchmaker, except everything is built from trash and I will be the only one to fully appreciate it. My rapture is leaving my creation somewhere somebody will see it, and walking away.
     
    Grizz likes this.

Share This Page