My two teenagers are about to buy a 1966 Ford Fairlane 500, 4 door. Has 182,000
miles on it and the current owner says his now deceased parents bought it new
and it hasn't been started in ten years. It appears to have been in a garage
during this and it apears to be all original, with no major dings and dents.
The paint and interior are in very good condition. A look under the hood found
many cobwebs and muddobbers nests. The car has a 289 V-8 and a three-on-tree
manual. Besides figuring the battery, tires(probably dry rotted, though appear
to be holding air), hoses and belts need to replaced; the fluids (oil, gas,
anti-freeze) need to be drained and replaced along with the oil and fuel filter
before even thinking about starting the car; what else should we be looking
for? The transmission linkage and carberator linkage appear to move with no
trouble and the car has been rolled out of the garage onto a driveway for
viewing, so the brakes don't appear to be frozen. Carburater did appear to be
rusty/gunky when I took off the breather. Kids want to restore it and make it
somewhat a muscle car and then use it to impress friends and foes. Current
owner has it priced at (US)$1500 OBO. Thinking $1000 might buy it, but how much
am I looking at to help finance this restoration project? Insight /Experience
anyone? Tanks in advance.
I Care, But I Don't Worry!
Knowledge is the accumulation of mistakes!!
The Pursuit of Perfection is my Driving Force!!
It IS a good project car...
You pretty well nailed it... look closely at everything thats rubber or
I'd do a brake fluid purge and if it's at all muddied, look at changing ALL
cylinders, full purge of brake lines. Look at doing Power disk brakes for
front, if not already
The Big Block ford engines will fit in there but the 351W is more available.
And there's more/cheaper aftermarket parts.
$5000 on the Cheap, 10,000 up for first class Street Machine
GREAT family project.
My Grandfather had a 65 Fairlane 289, bought new. The 66 is a different car.
If you live in the snow belt get under the car, take a very careful look at
the firewall and torque boxes (just behind the front wheels), where the
power steering hydraulic ram mounts to the frame, the inner fender wells for
rust out. Check floor pan for metal tears / cracks.
The top of the gas tank is probably the bottom of the trunk floor. This
could be a safety issue in an accident.
Coil over upper A - Arm front suspension is fun to work on trying to cure
the "Ford squeak"
The rear leaf springs are probably soft and need replacement.
Great Project Car.
I cured the squeak I had in my 65 fairlane by drilling into the bushings and
installing grease fittings. I remember they were harder than hell. I think I
wound up using a boron drill bit to get through them.
Since you have a complete car. fixing it up should be pretty easy. The hard
part of older cars is always the body and trim. You have those already, so
it's mostly mechanical, and parts shouldn't be too difficult to come by.
Every day is a good day- it's just that some are better than others.
a friends cousin had a 56 chevy conv.. brand new.. had it for about 6
months and then he was drafted.. he then put it in the aunts garage and
then spendt the next 2 yrs. in germany.... he came home and pulled the
car out and put a new battery in it and some new gas and the car was
total loss.. the hydraulic valves did not work.. the carb. was all
blocked up from varnish.. the rag top was rotten and the tires were all
down(rotten).... he not had a junk car... with alot of work on it he got
it running, but not like when he left the car in the garage....
a pretty good project car and you know what you getting in this case..
dont forget the hydraulic brakes (they got rubber in there also... but
an easy car to work on.... if its anything like my 66 mustang was when i
was messing with it, then it will be a pleasure to mess with....
there is nothing wrong with the old "mason jar" master cylinders. i have them
on all 4 of my cars ,from 95 hp 170 6 cylinder to the 400+ hp 428 4 speed 7
litre the problem lies in the dryrotted brake hoses and leaky wheel cylinders
It was the first part to fail on my 66. Shot fluid back thru the firewall under
Luckily, I was on my drive when it happened.
I could have replaced it with another jar and never had another problem, but a
dual cyl swap is cheap insurance.
Agreed, I've had 3 Master cylinders fail on me in two years. Two were old,
one lasted a couple weeks. Old seals can start leaking at any time, and
sometimes it's luck of the draw and you get one of the few with a defect. In
all of these cases it was in either my '67 or '68 Galaxie, so thank goodness
for dual reservoir master cylinders, as I had brakes each time. Also had two
wheel cylinders go bad on me, one was new. You just never know when shit is
gonna happen, and it _will_ eventually happen to you. Better safe than
sorry, especially at 70 MPH.
I would have like to have been there trying to tell a young punk
how a three on he tree works. That would have been priceless.
Just a few notes from experience with my 65 289. If its been sitting,
you probably will have a few lifters collapse on you and have a loss of power or
valve train noise. The 2100 (?) two barrel was a pain
on mine and i replaced it with a holley. Check out the rear springs
for leaf breakage. Look closely at the frame for any signs of stress.
As others have already stated, i would rebuild all four wheel cylinder and check
the brake hoses before you put it on the road.
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