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kreb
kreb Dork
10/25/09 12:59 p.m.
Opus wrote: Like the car, but that falcon looks different from the US model. May be the NZ in the address.

It looks pretty well the same from the front, but the rear treatment is decidedly different.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
10/30/09 6:06 a.m.

Kreb, check out the November issue of Classic Motorsports. Interesting story about Pike's Peak, one car is your Falcon.

Dan

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago Dork
10/30/09 11:59 a.m.
Opus wrote:
MadScientistMatt wrote: It's a distributed net of servers located all over the world, but that's not important right now. (Even worse "Airplane" humor.)
Surely you cant be serious

I am serious and please stop calling me Shirley.

pirate
pirate Reader
3/6/17 3:40 p.m.

I am serious but curious minds want to know if anyone here has ever started a Falcon project and finished and what was the results. Is there some years better then others as far as availibility of aftermarket parts. Like the sedans and hardtops but also think the Ranchero or Station Wagons are kind of cool! This thread goes back a lot of years are there other threads here? If so could not find them.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
3/6/17 3:48 p.m.

The problem is that some many of the top builders don't have the impulse to share with the class. There's a guy with a tricked-out Falcon who tears up Good Guys events in NoCal. Very inspirational. If anyone has info on him, please pass it along.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
3/6/17 3:50 p.m.

I think that it's this guy but I'm not sure. I remembered his car cornering flatter with less push:

Grizz
Grizz UltraDork
3/6/17 3:52 p.m.

Thanks to Roadkill putting the idea in my head I now want to see how something about that size does with a turbo 4 banger in the engine bay.

That little junkyard experiment they had a few weeks back got some very bad gears turning and the idea of an old valiant or some other 2600ish car with about 350hp from a 4 is suddenly more appealing than it probably should be

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/6/17 4:19 p.m.
pirate wrote: I am serious but curious minds want to know if anyone here has ever started a Falcon project and finished and what was the results. Is there some years better then others as far as availibility of aftermarket parts.

I built a 63 Falcon.

 photo 20150114_093340_zpsugmboe8r.jpg

Parts availability is pretty amazing. Everything mechanical can be picked up at your local parts store. Everything Falcon specific is well served by vintage Ford vendors and a few falcon specific vendors. The fact that the Mustang is just pretty much a tarted up Falcon means that as things like heater boxes and defroster vents crumble (made from cardboard) you can pick up very inexpensive replacements that have been molded from plastic. Almost everything you will ever need is available.

60-65 Falcons are narrower than the Mustang. This is important to note.

The front suspension is one of those relics of the bias ply tire days. It generates positive camber on compression and the bump steer is appalling by modern standards. The Shelby drop addresses the camber curve and adds a bit more caster and is pretty much free. The factory improved the bump steer issue in 64. If you can source the steering box, center link and tie rods from that car you will be much happier. If you can't find those bits the only real option is to limit suspension travel.

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the bump steer. Some folks swear that the shelby drop will fix it but there is just no way an improved camber curve can change the fact that the tie rods and control arms are vastly different lengths.

You can bolt the whole disc brake spindle off of later disc brake cars like the Granada for a super easy upgrade but know that the geometry of the steering arm will make the bump steer issue worse.

The steering box is very slow. Almost 6 full turns lock to lock.

What else? I could ramble on for hours on what I learned and would do differently. Be specific in your questions and I can be specific in my answers

pirate
pirate Reader
3/6/17 4:54 p.m.

Did the station wagon and Ranchero suspensions differ from sedans/hardttops. Do any of the aftermarket upper and lower wishbones help the suspension issues? Do the subframe connectors and various under hood bracing stiffen up the body. What about panhard bars for the rear while still using leaf springs. My concern is these cars for the most part were never meant for the horsepower some of the cars are seeing. Many many years ago a friend had a 65/66 notch back 289 hypo Mustang and was continually breaking factory spot welds.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
3/6/17 5:15 p.m.

Open tracker suspension.

Theres also a competitive falcon build over on pro-touring .com by a guy named bryce

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/6/17 5:37 p.m.
pirate wrote: Did the station wagon and Ranchero suspensions differ from sedans/hardttops.

Ranchero rear springs are different and mount differently. Well the whole back half of the vehicle is different. Wagon, aside from spring rates is the same as the sedan.

pirate wrote: Do any of the aftermarket upper and lower wishbones help the suspension issues?

There are aftermarket bits that claim to cure all sorts of issues. There is no lower wishbone, just an arm and a stabilizing strut

I have seen a kit that replaced the lower arm with a genuine wishbone, no idea how well it worked but it looked sharp.

pirate wrote: Do the subframe connectors and various under hood bracing stiffen up the body. What about panhard bars for the rear while still using leaf springs. My concern is these cars for the most part were never meant for the horsepower some of the cars are seeing. Many many years ago a friend had a 65/66 notch back 289 hypo Mustang and was continually breaking factory spot welds.

Mustang subframe connector kits will fit falcons. Yes you will need them with a lot more power and traction.

My car has a panhard with the stock leaf springs. I did it because my 215 width tires were rubbing on harder corners.

Fixing the camber and caster makes a Falcon feel like a different car. I have yet to address the terrible steering on mine. A faster ratio is definitely needed. Most of the steering rack conversion kits out there are "Street rod and Cruiser" oriented, meaning they aren't optimal geometry, sometimes make the bump steer worse or not fix it as much as they could. Heck, quite a few significantly reduce the turning radius of the car to the point that owners have to perform 3 point turns in parking lots.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
3/6/17 6:11 p.m.

steering "quickeners" are available in all sorts of ratios.

Fairly easy to install.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
3/6/17 6:35 p.m.

My '63 Ranchero has power steering, making it nominally 16:1 to the manual steering's 22:1 (according to random Internet document that doesn't even actually get back to my year so taking it with a grain of salt... I haven't actually driven the thing yet. I'm wondering whether I might end up happy enough with this and a power steering pressure adjuster to bring the boost down. But this one isn't getting taken to the track, and I'm just shooting for "pleasant to drive in an era where I've been spoiled by better and more modern cars."

Or the power steering could be deleted completely with this box, I think, though for its usage I'm not sure that makes sense.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
3/6/17 9:00 p.m.
iceracer wrote: steering "quickeners" are available in all sorts of ratios. Fairly easy to install.

Not when the steering box is one piece all the way up to the steering wheel, it isn't.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
3/7/17 9:28 a.m.
Ransom wrote: My '63 Ranchero has power steering, making it nominally 16:1 to the manual steering's 22:1 (according to random Internet document that doesn't even actually get back to my year so taking it with a grain of salt... I haven't actually driven the thing yet. I'm wondering whether I might end up happy enough with this and a power steering pressure adjuster to bring the boost down. But this one isn't getting taken to the track, and I'm just shooting for "pleasant to drive in an era where I've been spoiled by better and more modern cars." Or the power steering could be deleted completely with this box, I think, though for its usage I'm not sure that makes sense.

My '64 Ranchero with a built 302 was the most evil-handling car I've driven. In fairness, I couldn't afford any suspension upgrades, but recently a friend with a long racing history spent a lot of money trying to sort out a '63 to make it handle. His final take is that with that bad of weight distribution it's the ultimate turd polish.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
3/7/17 11:28 a.m.

In reply to Kreb:

I should clarify that I've had a '64 Ranchero and learned to drive in a '64 wagon, so although I haven't driven this car, I've got some notion of what I'm in for. I have some understanding of just how spoiled I am by other cars based on having driven these. The Ranchero took a set once it finished rolling, it just took a long time to do so, and heeled way over... That one had a manual steering box, terrible feel, and took way too much motion at the wheel.

"Ultimate turd polish" on those grounds suggests singularly poor weight distribution (it may not be great, but it's not more nose-heavy than, well, a lot of stuff). And I regard it as more pleasant than that base material in unpolished form. I'm just trying to keep my expectations sane about how shiny I can make it for reasonable effort. Or as an interesting stone one finds on the beach and which one might want to keep with a little cleaning but no polishing at all, if I may abuse the metaphor still further.

My dad's '76 Maverick somehow managed to be far and away worse-handling than any of our Falcons. I have no idea how.

NickD
NickD SuperDork
3/7/17 11:37 a.m.
kreb wrote:
Opus wrote: Like the car, but that falcon looks different from the US model. May be the NZ in the address.
It looks pretty well the same from the front, but the rear treatment is decidedly different.

It's just a Falcon Futura Sprint with the semi-fastback roof (Similar to the '63 Galaxie) that was sold here in the US

pirate
pirate Reader
3/7/17 2:59 p.m.

Well I should probably clarify that the car would not be a track only car. The reason I asked is I want to build something different. There are certainly enough Chevelles, Camaro's, Firebirds, Novas, Mustangs, etc. to go around. I like the size/weight of a Falcon compared to a lot of the full size boats of that era. The idea would be for a well handling (maybe not great handling) Falcon with doable horsepower in the 300 range. A nice street car with a lean toward performance other then in a straight line. Have the possibility to aquire a completely stock 63 Falcon Sprint with small block V8. Was looking for advise from people that have been there and done that. Thanks for the info so far!

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
3/7/17 5:13 p.m.

Is there a rack and pinion kit for these?

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
3/7/17 5:24 p.m.

In reply to Ransom:

Just to be clear, I'm quite fond of that generation of Falcon/Rancheros, and I'd gladly own another one, although I prefer the looks of the 63 to the later ones. I was 17 at the time and blew my budget on mechanicals and exterior cosmetics.

Has anyone ever compared the weight distribution of the Ranchero versus the coupe?

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
3/7/17 6:06 p.m.

In reply to Kreb:

Good question. I don't know what to guess with the combination of less body and glass but longer rear overhang... They're on the same ~110" wheelbase either way, no?

mblommel
mblommel HalfDork
3/7/17 6:07 p.m.
racerdave600 wrote: Is there a rack and pinion kit for these?

They are out there for Mustangs so I would assume they work on a Falcon too.

I once owned a '63 2dr post, black with red interior. Man do I miss that car, even if it was dog slow (170 CID with a 2-speed Ford-O-Matic)

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/7/17 6:17 p.m.
mblommel wrote:
racerdave600 wrote: Is there a rack and pinion kit for these?
They are out there for Mustangs so I would assume they work on a Falcon too.

Remember that the 60-65 falcon is something like 5 inches narrower than the mustang, so no the mustang ones wont work, but there are bolt in R&P kits for these cars.

The steering box in a falcon gives a total motion of something like 6.5". The longest motion on an aftermarket kit rack is 6" and a lot of them are around 5" and dramatically increase the turning radius of the cars.

Choose carefully

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
3/7/17 6:52 p.m.

I have found myself looking at the Heidts Mustang II front end kits and starting to do some clumsy math against Scarebird brake kit, shocks, bushings, fresh hoses for the P/S...

I know the MII is far from the be-all/end-all of suspension upgrades, but $2400 for a complete, fresh suspension, rack, and brake package which should be at least a big improvement over the Falcon bits... IIRC I was looking at about $500 for the Scarebird kit and related brake parts, and I'm guessing a couple hundred in bushings to freshen the front end, another hundred for shocks. That makes it a ~$1600 upgrade.

It's a long way from no-brainer, but it also doesn't sound entirely crazy. I wonder how good a job Heidts has done with the geometry of their kit. e.g. are the pickup points just the most convenient places to mount them?

How many more problems will I introduce solving a few that way?

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
3/7/17 9:50 p.m.
Jumper K. Balls wrote:
mblommel wrote:
racerdave600 wrote: Is there a rack and pinion kit for these?
They are out there for Mustangs so I would assume they work on a Falcon too.
Remember that the 60-65 falcon is something like 5 inches narrower than the mustang,

FWIW, Hemmings says that the difference is only 1.5 inches, Still enough to bugger your geometry, but 5 inches didn't sound right.

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