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Old 08-03-2011, 10:31 AM
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Talking Project: StopGap--59 Galaxie "rat rod"

Introducing my newest member of the fleet. Project: StopGap. My new-to-me 59 Galaxie.


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I picked this one up Saturday for-get this-$550, a half tank of gas, and the cost of a UHaul trailer. It's a great car with solid and straight sheet metal. With the exception of the rear bumper and a tail light lens the car is complete with all of the trim, emblems and the interior.

I thought when I bought it it had the original 352 engine. But after decoding the vin I found that it was a 292 Y-block car. I checked the casting numbers on the intake, heads and carb and that is leading me to believe that it's actually a 390 out of a 64 Tbird. I'll have to confirm that but what a find!

I'm going for the Rat Rod look on this one. It has patina to die for. I figure that I'll get the engine running, refresh it if needed, stab a lumpy cam in it and toss on some straight pipes. I'll rebuild the suspension and brakes and drive it until the wheels fall off. I've set a budget of $2500 for myself. I don't know if I'll get it there for that but I'll try.

I'm calling it Project StopGap. I'm military and stationed in North Dakota right now. I love my truck and have a project thread open on it:
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/99...350-build.html<O</O
But I'm a hot rodder at heart. I needed to get back into some vintage steel. I have a few other projects but they're all in storage in North Carolina. You can see them in my albums:
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/members/jokerforever-albums.html
It was cheaper to get into this car than to ship or tow one of them up here. This one won't be a keeper (though the wife has fallen in love with it and may have something to say about that). This is a stopgap until I retire from the service and open up my hot rod shop. Hence the name, Project: StopGap!
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:59 PM
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My mentor that taught me about spinning wrench's talked all the time about owning one of those when he was a teen back in the 70's that he had built to the hilt, and how the judge took it away. loved listening to stories like that...

you sure are right about that patina on this old girl! a thumpin 292, Indian blanket seat cover, and a set of cragers! keep us updated!
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:06 PM
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Oh yeah, my grandfather owned one of these and my dad's first car was a 60 Tbird so I have a bunch of folks excited about this one.

The 292 was replaced at some time with a FE motor. I still haven't figured out exactly what's in it yet but I'm thinking it's a 390. Either way, it was a good install that I thought was factory until I started looking at the numbers and the car a little closer. As long as the engine serviceable it's going to stay. If it isn't, I'm going to replace it with another FE motor. I'd love to build a Y-block but I have a bunch of time with FE engines and I have some hot parts in reserve. There are enough 390s sitting in junkyard 70s pickups that I should be able to score a core on the cheap if I need it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:06 PM
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Amazing that it still seems to have all the glass too!!
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:05 PM
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Cool project!

I really dig the late 50's Ford cars.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:35 AM
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Well got into the car a little over the weekend. I rebuilt the carb and then pulled the valve covers. I found, amazingly, no sludge, no build up, no dirt, nothing. It just looked like a clean, well taken care of old motor. That is until I found the bent push rod. I pulled it and bought a replacement. Bolted down the rockers again and bam! bent the new rod. Looks like I have a stuck valve...

I picked up a valve spring compressor at Sears on Sunday. Hopefully I can pull the spring and work the valve free without dropping it. If not, off comes the heads.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokerforever View Post
Well got into the car a little over the weekend. I rebuilt the carb and then pulled the valve covers. I found, amazingly, no sludge, no build up, no dirt, nothing. It just looked like a clean, well taken care of old motor. That is until I found the bent push rod. I pulled it and bought a replacement. Bolted down the rockers again and bam! bent the new rod. Looks like I have a stuck valve...

I picked up a valve spring compressor at Sears on Sunday. Hopefully I can pull the spring and work the valve free without dropping it. If not, off comes the heads.
A few years ago I read an article about how to not drop a valve into a cylinder if you are not removing the head. I kind of recall getting a flimsy type of cloths line type of rope and pushing it into the spark plug hole to stop the valves from dropping when the spring is removed. Never tried it so just working on memory on something I read years ago. Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:42 AM
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That's exactly what I'm going to do. I've never done it but I've seen it done. Seems to work pretty well. But it won't hurt my feelings if I have to pull the head. This is still a mystery motor so it would give me a chance to check the condition of the heads and cylinders and I could measure the bore and stroke to figure out what motor I really have.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:09 PM
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My buddy used an adapter that fit the spark plug hole on one end and an air fitting on the other, then he just put some air from his compressor to it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:19 PM
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I thought about that too but then I'd have to track down an adapter. I know that they should be sold at most good parts stores but "good" parts shores are hard to come by up here.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:39 PM
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I thought about that too but then I'd have to track down an adapter. I know that they should be sold at most good parts stores but "good" parts shores are hard to come by up here.

He fabricated his own tool. But, I don't know how.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:13 PM
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It wouldn't work for me anyway. In the course of my troubleshooting I did get the valve to open a little. Now it's stuck open so the air pressure would just blow right past it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:32 PM
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I may be paranoid but if it was mine I'd want to pull the head and remove the valve. just to check it out.

I'd want to disassemble it and got thru it. Maybe that's why I'm still working on my project after 5 years.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:57 PM
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Yeah, I would love to tear down this engine and go through it. Or even better, find a 390 or larger engine and build it to the hilt. Especially considering that after working on it this weekend I think I really do have a 352. But one of the goals for this project was to get it onto the road as quick as possible and as cheaply as possible. Head and intake gasket wouldn't cost me much but it is still money that I'd have to spend.

I could afford to go all out with this car but the money isn't the problem. The most precious thing I have right now is time. I just need this car to run and drive so the family and I can have some fun with it. If I blow the crap out of the engine then so be it. Then I have a great excuse to build something special to power this rig.

And I know all about the long term projects. I've been working on my Mustang II since 96 and My 65 Mustang since 93. That's another reason why I don't want to get too into this one. I wanted a quick project, with a quick pay off, for some great summer cruising. What I need is a driver
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:48 PM
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Well I had an interesting week. I pulled the spring and was able to get the valve unstuck. That's when I had a hunch and pulled all of the springs. Sure enough another stuck valve on the other bank. I had a hell of a time getting them broken. I won't go into details but it involved a big hammer and a bigger crowbar.

So I went from this
Click the image to open in full size.

to this
Click the image to open in full size.
an engine ready to be buttoned up and ran (actually this pic was taken be for the repair. You can see the bent rod on the number 6 cylinder)

Oh and I forgot to mention that I rebuilt the carb last weekend.
Click the image to open in full size.

These babies haven moved in a long time
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I enough parts left over from two other Autolite rebuilds to get the thing back together. Now if it's going to work right with a mix of parts...we'll see.


I got a box from Summit Racing this week!
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I also picked up a rebuilt Duraspark Distributor from the parts store. I've ran the Duraspark Disto controlled by a MSD box on a couple of different project and had have great luck with the setup. It was a big chunk out of my budget but from my experience a good ignition system makes these old cars so much more enjoyable. Also I thought with the unknown condition of the motor it would be cheap insurance to have better gauges. Sunpro's are cheap but I'm on a budget. They'll work for what I'm doing.

So Friday night I made a big push. I got everything bolted back together, changed the oil and ran up the oil pump, sorted out some wiring issues and got everything ready except wiring in the MSD box.
Click the image to open in full size.

So yesterday, with the help of my wife (she's a grease monkey in training-god I love this woman), we wired in the box.
Click the image to open in full size.

Well, we tried and tried but the old girl wouldn't fire off. We had spark, we had fuel but they wouldn't make fire. Set the distributor a couple different times, confirmed DTC a couple different times and still nothing. I'm kind of at a lost right now but I think there is something screwy with the timing. I've seen a bunch of FE motors jump a tooth on their timing chains. I may have this here.

More wrenchin' to come...
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