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1967 Galaxie 500 Project


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So the left side came apart with minimal fuss...

 

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This reverse light is crazy! It's completely sealed inside the light, so if your reverse light goes out you have to take it to a mechanic, who has to remove the bumper, remove the tail light assembly from the car, and disassemble the tail light, just to change a 75 cent bulb...   😄

 

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It just uses a simple foam seal to keep it (in theory) watertight, so it should be easy to replicate...

 

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Right side did not come apart so easy, more on that later. First gave the lenses a bath...

 

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Oddly the reverse light lens is made of GLASS! 😳

 

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This is sort of what I have in mind, but obviously the end result will be a bit more complex than that...  😄

 

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So the chrome trims on the lens faces are attached to the lenses via tiny, tiny studs and nuts (visible in photo 2). Left side came apart with only one broken stud, but there's 4 studs on each piece of chrome so no biggie. 

 

The right side chrome piece around the reverse lens ended up with three broken studs. And I have no current idea on how I would fix that, short of buying a replacement...

 

So now I am thinking of just making my own lenses...   😄

 

 

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Cleaned the lenses with some super fine scrotch-brite to get as much of the gunk off as I could...

 

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Then spent some time polishing them...

 

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Also used some 0000 steel wool to try and clean up the chrome bits. Hopefully you can tell which is the before and which is the after...  😁

 

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I honestly don't want them to look "show quality", just decent. And I think we are there with the chrome bits...

 

Also, I happen to have some transparent red paint specifically designed for painting glass, sooooo....   😊

 

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Decided to do some CAD to show you what I had in mind. And of course, to use as a pattern to make said thing...  😁

 

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I am planning to get some sheet metal tomorrow and cut it to that shape, then attach that to the light bucket. Then the LED thingies will attach to said steel plate... 

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Got some sheet metal and transferred that shape over to it and cut it out. Then attached the lights to the sheet metal piece and gave it a test fit in the light bucket...

 

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I decided to trim the edges down a bit so it was just big enough for the lights, and as you can see I had to overlap them slightly to fit them inside the tail light lens...

 

Next I used the drill and a Dremel to make a lot of holes. In total I needed two of these in each light bucket...

 

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Then I mixed up some epoxy to attach the light sockets to the housing. While I did that I went ahead and made something from the leftover sheet metal to cover the stock tail light hole...

 

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Now the outside has two sockets, one for each light...

 

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Then finally assembled it all for a test drive...

 

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The reason I elected to use two light sockets instead of one is to make future wiring easier. The bottom light will be the brake light and the top light will be the turn signal. 

 

I still have no idea how, or even if, I can reattach the center chrome "crosshair". The outer ring went back on without a hitch, but the center broke all but one of it's mounting studs...

 

I may just leave it out and see if I can replace the center of the lens with another piece of plastic cut to fit. we shall see...

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On 4/25/2020 at 7:20 PM, datsunfreak said:

I still have no idea how, or even if, I can reattach the center chrome "crosshair".

 

Gee, if only you had some sort of, oh, I don't know... adhesive?

 

On 4/25/2020 at 7:20 PM, datsunfreak said:

Then I mixed up some epoxy to attach the light sockets to the housing.

 

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41 minutes ago, dimlight65 said:

Gee, if only you had some sort of, oh, I don't know... adhesive?

 

The thought had occurred to me wiseacre, but the gap is quite large between the chrome piece and the tail light lens in some spots. Definitely large enough that there's no way to keep the epoxy in there long enough to make it stick.

 

Then you are also dealing with the heft of that chrome piece, and of the glass lens. Together they are definitely heavy enough that I would not trust epoxy to hold them on permanently...

Edited by datsunfreak
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I had some Nissan heavy truck tail lights gathering dust, and since I need at least one Datsun part on every car, I cut them up...  😁

 

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Did a little more CAD...

 

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Transferred that over to the donor lenses and cut them out. I cut them slightly oversized and then sanded them down to fit snugly...

 

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Mixed up a little epoxy and used it to glue these into the stock lens...

 

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The fluting matches fairly well, considering they come from different decades and opposite sides of the planet.

 

Once that is hardened, I am going to go back with a paint brush and a bit more epoxy and fill the gaps so it looks like all one piece.

 

Should look great from at least 5 feet away...   😁

Edited by datsunfreak
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On 4/28/2020 at 7:14 PM, datsunfreak said:

Should look great from at least 5 feet away...   😁

 

 

That looks really good!  When you were talking about it today, all I could hear was Charlie Brown's teacher.  Now that I've seen it... Yes!  That is awesome!

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21 hours ago, Chopper Jim said:

Is there enough material where the studs broke off to drill & tap a hole & put a machine screw or all thread to hold it?

 

Sadly, no. There is no material at all. Those studs are loooong pins that go all the way down (up?) to the face of the chrome. 

 

The only remotely possible fix would be to find a tiny but lengthy coupler nut, tap the existing stud, and screw some all thread rod into that. I gave this consideration, but the studs are too close to the wall to tap them. If I was a better welder (and honestly if this was better metal), I might be able to weld some all-thread rod to these pins, but neither is changing any time soon.

 

I honestly feel like I exhausted every possibility of making it work the stock way short of just buying new (or even just new to me) trim pieces, so we are rolling with this for now. I will post some pics of them on the car this weekend so you can see if I am dumb or if it works...  😁

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Never dumb. We just used some 2 part epoxy on a door handle on a 31 REO. Still holding together. Rough up the remaining stud so it will grip the epoxy, use a piece of all thread, let it cure for a while. Then install with just enough torque to hold it.

 

Chopper Jim

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4 hours ago, Chopper Jim said:

Rough up the remaining stud so it will grip the epoxy, use a piece of all thread, let it cure for a while. Then install with just enough torque to hold it.

 

That's a fair notion, but it's a little too late...  😁

 

 

So obviously the assembly needs new gaskets, so I made some yoga gaskets for the lens-to-base seal, and you can see I made them a little strangely. You'll see why later...

 

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The reason I did that is because out in the sun you could see the green inside the light, which I did not like. Now, all you see is the LED ring...

 

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It does not compromise the light's intensity at all, and looks better to me. Low beam...

 

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High beam...

 

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It's obviously not perfect, but frankly these are already too nice for my car...   😄

 

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And tail lights back in...

 

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And couldn't resist one last test, this time in bright sunshine. I think they will be okay...

 

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That took 20 minutes. Spent the rest of my time just trying to fight the damn column out of the car...😅

 

Took the column out for 3 reasons. One, to remove any unnecessary bits like the stuff for the automatic shifter. Two, to clean and repaint it after that. And three, to install a quick release...  

 

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While the column was out we noticed the bushing that holds the top end in place was completely gone, so we improvised. I took the whole turn signal assembly out of the column (you'll see why some day) and used the center of it to create a plastic bushing to center the column shaft. Also, the centering bearing no longer spun free, but a soak in some WD40 and it spins super fast now, so the column turns nice and smooth with no wobbles. 👍

 

 

Hopefully my ace welder can get the quick release sleeve welded on for me on Wednesday. The it's just get the shifter stick out, a bit of paint, and back in it goes...

 

Except it can't go back in straight away because stupid coronavirus. Have to wait 3 weeks for a part that should have taken 3 days to get here, a Nolathane rag joint, because fuck using an old piece of tire to hold your steering together...  😁

 

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Decided to at least get the column lumpectomy started. Removed the gear indicator and filed it down smooth. Then removed the shift lever, and cut it's lump off. Had to stop before I got it filed smooth, but will do that on Wednesday...

 

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Got the shifter lump filed down and sanded smooth, so I passed it off to Tim for some zooking...

 

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Then put a bit of black paint on it...

 

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But this paint can do a magic trick. An hour or so later, it looks like this...  😁

 

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35 minutes ago, Lockleaf said:

Wrinkle finish steering column.  I'm intrigued by this aesthetic.  Now i really want to see it in the car.

 

Well, this has created a bit of a snowball effect, so now I need to wrinkle paint the dash and everything else up front first.   😁

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I was cajoled into buying a new lower control arm for the left side to match the right. And now seeing the original off the car, I am glad I did...

 

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That was bolted in, along with the new coil spring, new shock, new ball joints, and a refreshed spindle...

 

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Now I just need to get new inner tie rods (could have sworn I already had some), and it will be ready to put it back down on the ground...

 

I may have gone a bit too far with something though, but we shall see. I decided since it was not going to be low enough in the front as is (tire gap was 2.5"), I went ahead and cut one coil off the springs. Well, based on my measurements now, the tire gap appears to be about -0.50"...

 

So I don't think I will end up getting taller tires for it after all...  😄

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13 hours ago, EDM620 said:

I like what you're doing with this, my dad had a '69 two door that I loved. The '67 was a much nicer body style

 

For whatever reason (perhaps styling?) I think the '68 and '69 models are very unloved/underappreciated. They don't bring much money on the open market, but can be very cool cars. 

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New outer tie rods showed up. Nice that they came already painted satin black, but boo that they came with crap rubber boots. So, urethane to the rescue!

 

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Assembled with the outer tie rods and connectors, then those got a bit of matching paint, and fanny's your aunt...

 

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It was way too rainy to put those back in, even though I reeeeeeally wanted to, so decided to fix one more thing on the column before it goes back in...

 

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I never fancied those wobbly rubber donuts holding things together, so out it comes...

 

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Cleaned up and painted that little bow tie bit, and then got one of these...

 

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Couldn't find anyone who makes the urethane rag joint donut for sale to fit my car, but an Aussie company called Nolathane makes one for the Aussie-spec '60s Falcons/Fairlanes. Crossed my fingers and ordered one, and luckily the Aussie cars use the exact same donut as the US-spec Fords of the '60s. 👍

 

Hopefully Wednesday will be dry and all that can go back in, then the car can finally sit down on the ground and show off it's new (much) lower stance...

Edited by datsunfreak
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Got the tie rods installed finally. Will get the brake rotor put on Monday and set it back down on the ground...

 

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Been meaning to tear into the dash for awhile to see what's what. Gauge face is in good shape and was surprisingly easy to get out...

 

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I want to do round gauges instead of the sweep speedo so trying to see what that takes. The answer is, a lot...  😃

 

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I may experiment with just replacing the entire dash face with some sheet metal or carbon so I can fit aftermarket round gauges...

 

Also, this sort of started because I wanted to see what the wiring in the dash looked like to see if it was salvageable. It is not... 😃

Edited by datsunfreak
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