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Old 12-19-2008, 01:15 PM
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going to look at a 65 Falcon- need advice

I'm going to look at a 65 Falcon Futura Wagon for the princly sum of 1000 dollars, sometime after christmas. Essentially, this is the first car this old that I've had to inspect as a buyer, and I want some help with what to look for. I'm worried about a too-good-to-be-true factor.


It's got an automatic (C4 I assume) and a 1969 302, with an Accel electronic ignition. I want to know how I can tell

A) what sort of 302 it is, high-po, what sort of cam, maybe the metal used? That sort of stuff.

B) how to spot any hackwork on the swap or ignition install, this guy seems like a backyard mechanic so I'm a bit nervous about buying another amateur's full engine and electronics upgrade

C) The owner says it needs front suspension work because of slop in the steering wheel (over 2 inches, he doubts it's safe to drive any distance). How can I tell, with the car not up in the air, what this might be and how severe it is. I'm thinking that replacing the ball joints and most of the bushings should solve my problem, how realistic is that?

D) I know how to spot cheap repairs and problem spots on the body, but how can I be sure the floor isn't rusty or hacked without tearing up carpet? If I see fiberglass, assuming it looks secure and well done, should I even care in a daily driver?

E) (gettin up in the alphabet now) The owner says it is actually a blend of a 64 and 65 body, with parts of the rear being 64. What parts could he mean? Where would I look for a seam? What other risks and problems could be involved in that?

F) he's got a 57 ford rear end with a 2.47 gear in it. I'm worried that it's not strong enough and is so low-geared that it might be lugging the engine and tranny. For a mildly hopped-up daily driver driven by a ******* teenager, should I be looking at upgrading the rear end to lower gears or a newer/tougher setup? Is it possible to put a limited slip in this rear end?

G) Rock Auto has most of the suspension parts I need, for fairly cheap, but I don't have a credit card and might not be able to get the stuff from the internet like that. Is there a way I could get parts for cars these old using cash, and/or not travelling too far?




Answers to these questions and any general comments you have would be greatly appreciated. I know that's a lot of stuff to answer, but any tidbits are useful.

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Old 12-19-2008, 01:52 PM
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A. Assume it is a high-miles, worn out, garden variety 302 with worse-than-awful heads. '69 heads were not made to operate on unleaded fuel, so even if you decide to keep and use them (bad decision in my opinion if you're looking for a performance motor), they will have to have hard exhaust seats installed. Most any motor made before 1972 will be a fairly high compression motor, so take that into consideration also. It may not operate at all without pinging (detonating) on the junk fuel we now have available at the pump.

B. If the motor runs and you can drive the car, assume the ignition system is valid. Get the Owner's Manual or Installation Instructions from Accel and trace out the wiring if it would make you feel better.

C. Assume the steering box, ball joints, tie rod ends and control arm bushings are junk.

D. Crawl under the car and punch around with an ice pick. If you can't stick it through the sheetmetal, assume it'll be ok for a daily driver.

E. Ask the dude what he means SPECIFICALLY and have him show you. If he has back-halfed the car due to repairs from an accident, assume the thousand will be better off in your pocket than in his.

F. 1957 was the first year of the 9" rear (very strong) and this particular model is highly sought after for rodding material because of its narrow track. There are several options for limited slip devices, including factory and aftermarket. Google for Currie Enterprises and Moser Engineering.

G. Go to your bank and ask for a secured credit card. You deposit money in an account that will back up the card. That way, the bank can never lose on it and you can order parts on the internet.

I may sound to you like a grinch and actually I am. In my 66 years on this rock, I have seldom been disappointed if I assume the worst in any situation dealing with another human.

The motor should be level side to side and on a downward tilt to the rear of 2-3 degrees. The pinion at the rear should mirror or closely mirror the engine tilt (2-3 degrees up) to allow the u-joints to function properly. A good primer for understanding engine swaps can be had for cheap. Once you get your secured credit card from the bank, order this book for $4.40 plus $3.99 shipping. It'll be a good education for you for under ten bucks.

Last edited by techinspector1; 12-19-2008 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:34 PM
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likely 80% of the play in the steering wheel is because the steering box has never been re-adjusted/tightened which is easy to do...
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for both the replys.

I forgot to add that I DO know that the heads are late 70s Mustang units for exactly the reason you mentioned, Techinspector.


So basically what I'm hearing is:

The 57 rear end is a very good thing

The engine is probably run of the mill but with the exception of the heads (which are probably ridiculously low compression) not a bad base for a DD

The suspension budgets should be, at least, new bushings anywhere and everywhere, tie rod ends, ball joints, and at least an adjustment to the steering box

If nothing is obvious by poking and prodding and looking, and the body changes aren't due to an accident, don't worry about it as far as rust and repairs

Make sure the engine and pinion angle are tilted back about 2-3 degrees and everything is level

And I've been thinking of getting a secured credit card for a while now, I guess I'll have to break down and get it.


Techinspector, I get where you are coming from, and I know that as a young (17) car hobbyist, one of the biggest traps I can fall into is my own over-eagerness and optimisim.



Anyone else with something to add, even just general advice or even information about the model of car, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:37 PM
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Oops, forgot the link to the book....
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...9722595&sr=1-2

It's unclear in your posts whether or not the 9" is in the car or is a loose item he's throwing in with the car. If it's loose, measure the axle flange to axle flange on the 9", then remove the wheels and tires off the rear and measure the diff that's in the car. This will tell you the backset on wheels to use so the tires will clear the inner panels and fender lip. If you install the 9", welding may/may not have to be done to re-position the spring pads so they will work with the Falcon springs. Be aware that you can easily warp the housing, resulting in bearing replacement on a frequent basis. Read this tutorial on the subject....
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...ar_end_housing

Last edited by techinspector1; 12-19-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:50 PM
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falcon

check to see if it originally had a v8 .. there are links somewhere to check the serial no and ID tag will tell you what the original engine and trans were,..v 8's had different suspension parts... 5 bolt wheels/ bigger brakes and an 8 inch rear end. a good 8 inch will take a warmed up 302 ok and traction lock or what ever Ford called it were available also... was only front bumper- grille replaced or was the body cut in halp and patched.... we had one in the shop that had a comet front half grafted on after a crash. ..ford rear still intact? is the 57 in the car?...I think the 57 is almost a bolt in .. the 57 usually needs different u bolts and bottom spring-shock mounts .. lots of 9 inch stuff can be found in older 1/2 ton pickups including several kinds of locker-limited slip... also check big ford or merc wagons for parts... there are ford falcon fairlane sites that have lots of info..cheapest front discs are granada monarch-lincoln versailles parts.... best calipers ane new mustang.. granada design tend to wear out one side of the rotor... a bad idler arm can also cause steering play

Last edited by timothale; 12-19-2008 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:20 PM
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1965 falcon

It will have a 289 if it is the original , they have decent heads,they have better rocker arm setup than mid 66 and later, as far as not working on non leaded fuel that is hog wash, if you were towing or useing as a taxie some seat pounding would happen. i have over 10000 miles on my 302 with 65heades ported useing 351 w valves and aprox 10to 1 comp, use mid grad fuel no pinging runs great, i used 289 conrods with trimed flat tops to get pistons to come to the top of the block,cut valve reliefs a bit to clear larger valves.now i live in surrey bc so the fuel may be a bit different, but rather dought that it is. cliff
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnunit
I'm going to look at a 65 Falcon Futura Wagon for the princly sum of 1000 dollars, sometime after christmas. Essentially, this is the first car this old that I've had to inspect as a buyer, and I want some help with what to look for. I'm worried about a too-good-to-be-true factor.


It's got an automatic (C4 I assume) and a 1969 302, with an Accel electronic ignition. I want to know how I can tell

A) what sort of 302 it is, high-po, what sort of cam, maybe the metal used? That sort of stuff.

B) how to spot any hackwork on the swap or ignition install, this guy seems like a backyard mechanic so I'm a bit nervous about buying another amateur's full engine and electronics upgrade

C) The owner says it needs front suspension work because of slop in the steering wheel (over 2 inches, he doubts it's safe to drive any distance). How can I tell, with the car not up in the air, what this might be and how severe it is. I'm thinking that replacing the ball joints and most of the bushings should solve my problem, how realistic is that?

D) I know how to spot cheap repairs and problem spots on the body, but how can I be sure the floor isn't rusty or hacked without tearing up carpet? If I see fiberglass, assuming it looks secure and well done, should I even care in a daily driver?

E) (gettin up in the alphabet now) The owner says it is actually a blend of a 64 and 65 body, with ford truck parts of the rear being 64. What parts could he mean? Where would I look for a seam? What other risks and problems could be involved in that?

F) he's got a 57 ford rear end with a 2.47 gear in it. I'm worried that it's not strong enough and is so low-geared that it might be lugging the engine and tranny. For a mildly hopped-up daily driver driven by a ******* teenager, should I be looking at upgrading the rear end to lower gears or a newer/tougher setup? Is it possible to put a limited slip in this rear end?

G) Rock Auto has most of the suspension parts I need, for fairly cheap, but I don't have a credit card and might not be able to get the stuff from the internet like that. Is there a way I could get parts for cars these old using cash, and/or not travelling too far?


Answers to these questions and any general comments you have would be greatly appreciated. I know that's a lot of stuff to answer, but any tidbits are useful.
You could go to ebay that offers shippng service. I am just not sure about the price bracket it should be.

Last edited by OneMoreTime; 12-21-2008 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Violation of guidelines. Please see: general board guidelines.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:51 PM
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'64/'65 are pretty much the same.. 1/4's, fenders, and doors are all the same. the diffrence comes with the trim. it probably has a mix of '64/'65 trim.. the taillights/ grille are diffrent also.. nothing that can't be reversed and put back to stock, but it shouldn't look bad as is.. just people who kno Falcons will be able to spot it
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:27 AM
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65 Falcon "IS" a 65 Mustang so structural and unibody and many mechanical and electrical parts are a direct swap and relatively dirt cheap from any of the Mustang resto-parts houses...
(95%+? of all the 65' Mustang parts are available)

compared to most of the older cars, it is inexpensive and simple to build to be a very nice car....

suggestion:
the Falcon/Mustang unibody wasn't designed for a V8 TQ,,,and most of these cars have been hit hard at least once in their life...
put about $150 in your budget for a trip to a frame shop....
and do add torque boxes to the lower firewall/frame/floors ($50 each?) to build strength back into the front end
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:16 PM
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The 57 rear end is in it, and the 302 is a rebuilt (who knows what he means by that exactly) 1969 model.

Thanks for the responses and advice.


As for the body panel swap questions, it's a wagon and I was told the rear parts were the non-original parts that are from a 64. I'll definetely check out a frame shop.
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