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Rusty the EL wagon. 

 

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 Post subject: Rusty the EL wagon.
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:29 pm 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 32

Posts: 2

Joined: 23rd Sep 2016

Ride: EL Falcon Futura Wagon

Location: Bundaberg
QLD, Australia

Hi All!,

So I have been reading and learning a absolute gold mine of information from this site for about 6 months, I finally signed up in September this year. You guys are great, there is such a wealth of knowledge here and it has help me out heaps.

This isn't my first go around the block but it is my first falcon. I have built up quite a range of different cars for various purposes.

I thought it was probably about time I introduced my Latest project, a 1997 Silver EL Futura Wagon.
The first Australian Ford I have worked on and only the second Ford I have owned. (third if you count late 90's Jags)

Its got rust scattered around the body and a few other gremlins, but I love it, that's the main thing. I do not intend on touching to body work or doing too much dress up stuff for the sake of it.
Everyone has to do a little bit to suit their personality, but for me, if I can improve longevity or performance and make it look cooler too, then I all for it.

So here is my story and a bunch of photos to get you up to where I am at now.

I picked up the old wagon with 365 on the clock for $400 bucks from a mate who had succumbed to his wifes demands to delete this car from her yard where it had been sitting for god knows how many years. I don't have a photo, but I actually had to remove everything accept the dash inside to get it clean and sanitary........ and the engine bay... well that was traumatising.

Initially, as these things often go, I just wanted to have something to haul gear around in, not expecting it to get much use, just a work horse when needed.

This really didn't go as planned, so now I have a full on project with a final goal in mind and a tight timeline.

Step one, was to get it running and registered. Which I did a few months back so it was cleaned up and registered so I had a blank canvas to start with.
This is where I began.

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From there, I set about acquiring all the parts I would need to completely rebuild and renew the brakes and suspension systems. This took about a month, I wanted to basically do it all in one hit over a week or so.

Once I had every thing was ordered and on the way, I put it in garage and stripped it down.

Couple of Photos here but the list goes like this

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New Front & Rear Brake Rotors
New Bearings
New TPS
New Coolant Level Sensor
New Coolant Temp Sensor
New K&N Filter (I wouldn't normally do this, but the airbox had already been deleted and there was a cheap pod on there already.)
New Power steering pressure switch
New Front link pin set
New set of silicone heater hoses - all hoses even those B**tards up on the firewall... (red for +25kw)
New Alloy Radiator
New Front and rear Shocks (KYB if brands are your thing)
Kings springs up front (lows) and blocks up the back with new u - bolts - This will be reviewed shortly, I don't really like blocks, but wanted to check ride height before working on a set of custom leaves.

Full new exhaust including tuned length headers and a high flow cat
New stainless braided brake lines
All suspension bushings, front and rear, every single bushing was replaced with a urethane replacement. Some Super Pro and Some Nolathane.
Upper and Lower Ball joints
New tie rod ends
There is a smattering of gaskets around too for good measure.
Fully adjustable control arm mounts for adjustable camber and castor.

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For the audiophiles
It also got a mild stereo with an android 7" touchscreen, 4 x 6" speakers, 2 x 12 subs, 2 x mono blocks. In a custom (albeit basic) enclosure.

Refurbished the front lower arms, upper arms, uprights, sway bar and strut bar. I gave the rear leafs a key up with a wire wheel and paint but again, they will be replaced soon.

I also got some new wheels and tyres, they are Hussler HX 27, 18 x 8.75 with 235/50.

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Many of the parts - and I mean ones that should be been replaced on a regular basis, appeared not to have been, I believe there were bushings there that the car left the factory with.
So it was a pile of work.

The body mount bushings for the front lower arms, the body mount eye bushings on the leafs and the upper ball joints gave me absolutely no end of hell, and probably consumed the most time and swearing. Otherwise, it all went pretty smoothly actually.

The body mounts bushings in the rear and front had been in the so long, there were well crusted/rusted in, to a point where my 6 ton press and half a can of lube still didn't make a difference so in some spots I literally had to cold chisel bits out just to avoid having to heat anything.

The upper ball joints were just a nightmare because the uprights didn't fit into my press, so I end up having to grease and freeze them and then press them in with one of the C-Clamp style presses and a breaker bar.

On the rear the break lines are riveted to the frame, so they needed to be drilled out, and then tapped to allow for a new mount, because I didn't want to rivet them back on (design flaw???).

At some point it its life it had the headers changed (with wrecker OEM parts) but on installation someone had cross threaded one of the bolt holes on the head, so that was an interesting experience.
I didn't want to make it worse by going at it with a tap, so I ended up having to use one of my new bolts and shorten it so it would thread and torque down on the cross thread...... I am gonna get flamed for that but a rebuild is coming anyway which will include a new head, so for now it works and its not leaking.

This is where we are now.

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I am happy with the stance and ride height, it doesn't rub at all and it stays off the bump stops in the rear.
The steering and front end are razor sharp now and the brake pedal is brilliant, I cant recommend enough the stainless braided lines, easily one the best bang for your buck mods out there.

What does the future hold?

To begin with, As you can probably tell, the support systems are all getting replaced and upgraded where I can. So this round of work closed off the brakes and suspension 98% and the next major overhaul will be to the fuel system and a little more work on cooling.

From there I will throw in a rebuilt gear box and rear end.

And then a built motor with one or two turbos and a haltech to finish it off.

Thanks for reading through my little saga, happy to answer any questions.

Little note about me - I like to think I am easy going, happy to give advice and accept it, I love the progress of my wagon, you may not like it or some part of it and that's cool too!, or you may have a better idea that I do, I am all ears, happy to hear anything I am not easily offended!!

But again, you guys on this forum are incredible, I have spent so much time here reading and learning and its a credit to you all.
Hopefully I can had something to knowledge and experience!

Cheers Guys!

Josh
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 Post subject: Re: Rusty the EL wagon.
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:59 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 2591

Joined: 22nd Jan 2009

Ride: '91 EB Wagoon

Location: Geeelong
VIC, Australia

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 Post subject: Re: Rusty the EL wagon.
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:37 pm 
Technical Contributor
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Age: 52

Posts: 5562

Joined: 14th Jan 2005

Gallery: 10 images

Ride: 96 XH/97 EL

Location: South Coast
NSW, Australia

chefjosh wrote:
The body mount bushings for the front lower arms
The rubber bushings take forever to get out, yet it only takes a few minutes to fit the poly ones :?
chefjosh wrote:
body mounts bushings in the rear
I found you can open the rear spring front eye a little by knocking a wedge in the gap, the loop springs back to where it was once the wedge is removed. Immensely helpful getting the rubber units out. Having done a few rear springs, would've been great to discover this at the start.

 

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96 XH Longreach 'S': LPG, Alarm, 3.23:1 LSD, Cruise, Trip Comp, ABS, Power Windows, Mid Series Dome Lt, Climate Ctrl
97 EL Futura S/W: LPG, Alarm, LED int Lts, Trip Comp, F/Lane Dome Lt, Climate Ctrl, T5 Conversion

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 Post subject: Re: Rusty the EL wagon.
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:46 pm 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 32

Posts: 2

Joined: 23rd Sep 2016

Ride: EL Falcon Futura Wagon

Location: Bundaberg
QLD, Australia

That would have been great.. that metal sleeve really rust welds itself in there. Ill keep that tip in mind. Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: Rusty the EL wagon.
Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:34 am 
Fordmods Junkie
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Posts: 11659

Joined: 17th May 2005

Gallery: 11 images

Ride: EL Fairmont, VFR400 racer

Power: 144 rwkw

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

That is great work there! Love the wagons.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous about all those new parts that went into the car.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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