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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:03 am 
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See? it here viewtopic.php?f=69&t=19514

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:05 am 
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Pictures would be nice.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:39 am 
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Dave C.,

Welcome to TFFN! The 61 happens to be my favorite year for the Falcon. Not too many 61 Futura's have survived, so you have a keeper. Any pictures you have can be resized the 800x600 and posted on the forum for everyone to see. The condition does not matter. When you are composing a post, scroll down and you will see a tab for attaching pictures.

The Futura originally had 13" rims with a Futura specific full wheelcover. Unfortunately there is not a good 13" tires to choose from anymore in the correct dimensions. The diameter was 24.5" which is the 185/80R13. So 14" is the better choice for tires. That leaves the choice for full wheelcovers lacking.

The deluxe fordor is still abundant, but it is nice you found a Futura instead. If you do not know how to decode the door tag, post it here and we will tell you or you could get a 61 service manual and decode it yourself. I imagine the engine code will be either a S for 144 or U for 170. Common axle code was J for the open differential with 3.50:1 ratio.

Terry L. Rahn

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Wow, I didn't even see this part before. I decoded the numbers the other day and it's an original 3.10 axle. I see there's an S in the serial number (5th digit), so it must have been a 144 car originally. My engine has a D casting number on the intake, however, and it's wearing a 170 air cleaner, so I'm guessing that whoever restored it swapped out the engine for a 1970s mill. The 144 would be more in keeping with the character of the car, since the only option seems to be the AM radio.

I posted a picture to my "Members' Garage" post, I'd put it here too, but I can't seem to find the picture uploader and image codes are off so I can't link to my photobucket account. More (better) pics to follow, I promise.

-Dave

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 5:16 pm 
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I bought Juliano's seat belts a few weeks ago and finally got started on the installation yesterday. The front belts in quite easily, as my car already had washers and nuts in the floorboards (albeit not tapped, but it was a simple matter to tap them after removing the rubber plugs in the holes). I was in the process of trying to figure out how to remove the back seat when I ran out of time. I haven't gotten to do any wrenching today - too busy being a dad!

-Dave

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:07 am 
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New pics in my “Members Garage” section.

I went to the Midland Antique Festival/Car Show/Swap Meet this weekend. I struck out with regard to an electric wiper transmission, but did pick up a manual, and a fourth small-cap 14-inch steel wheel.

I’ve also composed a list of things I feel like I need to get done right away on the Futura:

1. Electric windshield wipers (or do something to dramatically improve the vacuum wipers);
2. Spread POR 15 or some other rust-encapsulation coating on the floor boards;
3. Patch the one spot of rust-through on the driver’s side rear quarter;
4. Troubleshoot the temperature gauge (it doesn't register half the time, and the other half just stays at the absolute coldest position);
5. Troubleshoot my front-end and brake noise (squeaking and thumping when making left turns; growling when braking hard);
6. Replace the crumbling weatherstripping and poorly-attached windlace;
7. Re-clock the steering wheel (driving straight ahead, my hands are at about 3:00 and 11:00);
8. Replace the turn-signal switch (it won’t stay on to signal right, and doesn’t always flash the dashboard indicator light, though I can hear the flasher clicking); and
9. Troubleshoot the anemic heat (sounds like the heater core needs a good flushing with the garden hose).

That should keep me busy this summer.

-Dave

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:49 pm 
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That is a nice looking 61! Both inside and out!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:26 am 
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Futura Blog

Well, I discovered today that a company called New Port Engineering makes an electric wiper conversion that uses the stock vacuum linkages in a 1960-1962 Falcon. They even offer a little extender to use their switch with the stock knob. It’s not cheap, but after driving across the state on two-lane blacktop behind a semi throwing spray, I decided that I wasn’t going to keep hoping I lucked into the electric-wiper parts from a ‘63. I’m going to bite the bullet and buy the New Port conversion. I’ll do my best to detail that installation here.

The other conclusion I’ve reached, though this is more susceptible to change, is that I’m going to track down a 4-cylinder S10 transmission instead of using a Mustang transmission with an S10 tail shaft. This should not only be cheaper, but I think my 170 will benefit from the lower 1st gear ratio. The trick here is that apparently I have to find an early Econoline bellhousing and use a Toploader-to-Muncie adapter on it. That’s a down-the-road kind of a project, though, as things like wipers, brakes, turn signals, and heat are my priority.

In other news, the funny noise my front suspension was making has gone away. I’m not sure why, but I’d like to think it’s all the driving getting lubrication back to places it’s supposed to be.

-Dave

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:57 am 
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David,

That is a costly alternative. With the accesories the cost could easily get over $300. No motor or switch is worth that to me. Have you looked at other years for the conversion? The 62 - 65 Falcons/Comets were available with electric wiper in single and two speed. 63 was not the only year that fits. Vacuum wipers can be a pain, it was the first change I made to my first wagon in the early 70's. Mine came out of a Comet. The wagon I have been working on has a 65 Falcon 2 speed in it now and the foot pedal washer pump. That one was free.

Out of curiosity, are you going to change the taillights to the 61 design or just leave what is there? They look like the 62 Falcon taillights.

Terry L. Rahn

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Terry L. Rahn wrote:
No motor or switch is worth that to me.


Given the particulars of my situation, I’m going to have to say that it is worth it to me. My only concern is that, like any aftermarket part, if it fails, you can’t come up with it locally, and you’re at the mercy of the supplier as to whether it’s even available anymore.

I work a lot, and have a young family, so I really don’t have time to comb swap meets. I’m free to wrench on the car on the weekends generally (if I’m not working on the house), but parts-gathering expeditions create serious PR problems for me and the car, as they take me away from the homestead and to places my wife doesn’t enjoy going.

I wouldn’t mind checking junkyards, but this is GM country and there simply aren’t ‘62 to ‘65 Falcons and Comets to be found locally. I had initially intended to use an F250 motor and switch that I already have, but I’m growing weary of seeking out the correct transmission gear.

Finally, there’s the safety issue. I haven’t got the dual-diaphragm fuel-pump I ought to, so any time I drive in the rain I’m fighting the wipers the whole time. They don’t work unless I let off the gas and they won’t park when I’m done using them unless I shut them off at just the right time. I don’t want to do that much longer, and this is my driver, so it’s got to be useable.

Quote:
Out of curiosity, are you going to change the taillights to the 61 design or just leave what is there? They look like the 62 Falcon taillights.


I wasn’t aware the taillights were incorrect, thanks for bringing that to my attention. This car is weird, and it gets weirder all the time, between the odd data plate, the apparently mismatched old paint, the missing trim on the front sheetmetal, and now the wrong taillights. It’s as if someone assembled two or three cars to make one good ‘61-ish Futura. I don’t care, as it’s a nice solid Falcon, and that’s all I wanted, but it makes me want to unravel the mystery.

I will probably change them eventually, but they work and I’ll leave them alone for now.

-Dave

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Dave,

Too bad your wife does not have an interest in vehicles. Until my wife had a back disease, she helped me work on vehicles and liked walking through the junk yards. It was nice we shared a lot of common interests. When the boys were babies, I carried them in a backpack when we went to a salvage yard.

That is the only problem with the Ford F series conversion. The electric wiper arms are needed for it to work. Your Futura was someone else's idea of what they wanted. Now it is your turn to make it what you want. The missing trim to some seems neat, to others, it loses the identity of the vehicle. The radiator support behind the grille is best in chassis black or a dark color. The light colors tend to hide the grille details.

Terry L. Rahn

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61 Futura 76-17 RIP
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Terry L. Rahn wrote:
Too bad your wife does not have an interest in vehicles.


Untrue. She actually likes old cars probably more than any woman I’ve met and was a major factor in my purchasing this car. She appreciates the looking and the driving, however, more than the wrenching, and certainly doesn’t enjoy the thrill of the hunt when it comes to old parts. I pick my battles, then, and limit my searches to the parts that are more fun and glorious than windshield wiper transmissions - stuff like missing trim, or hop up parts.

I like the idea of going to black behind the grille. It is a bit indistinct now, and the black would really make it “pop”. I hadn’t really considered that someone might have shaved the trim to personalize the vehicle, but I would prefer to have it back. I’m proud that my car is a Ford Falcon, and I want people to know it. That’s why the non-original taillights don’t bother me quite so much, as at least they’re the big, round Ford taillamp.

Finding ‘61-correct lights will be a good project for when I get around to exploring my concept for LED taillights and a period-looking third brake light.

-Dave

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:03 pm 
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Dave,

I have also thought about the LED for the taillights. I still want to keep the original lenses and housings. I found a LED that lit from center to the outside at a truckstop one time when I rode with my truck driving son. I did not know if it would fit, so I passed on it and measured when I got home. They would fit inside the housing, so I told my son to pick them up next time he stopped there. Unfortunately, they no longer carried them and that was only two weeks after I saw them. What I liked with that particular one, was the extra bright LED's, the sequential option, and the high bulb count. Never found them again. I wanted a bright LED as it would have to show through the original red lense. There is also LED bulb replacements for the 1157. Ron Francis is one Vendor for the bulbs. The Hot Rod suppliers have the third brake lights available that could mount in the package tray and rear window. I do not want one myself, but it was a thought when we were looking at kit cars.

Terry L. Rahn

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61 2 Dr Wagon
61 Futura 76-17 RIP
http://members.fotki.com/tlr41552/about/


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:09 am 
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Terry L. Rahn wrote:
The Hot Rod suppliers have the third brake lights available that could mount in the package tray and rear window. I do not want one myself, but it was a thought when we were looking at kit cars.


Created a data tag thread.

On the subject of third brake lights, I've never liked the aftermarket lights that are available. They all look very "billet" kind of angular and 1980s-street-rod. I'm thinking a trio of 1937 Ford tallights mounted in the center of the package shelf, perhaps.

-Dave

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:21 am 
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Neat looking Futura. The taillights really threw me for a loop, as they are indeed '62 buckets and lenses, but the '62-'63s had a differently shaped 1/4 extension to mount these larger diameter buckets. Your car has those different extensions, which leads me to believe that they were welded on later either as a repair for a minor rear-end collision, or possibly as a mild custom addition. In any case, the smaller '60-'61 lights won't fit properly, but the art-deco looking '63 lights will.

-Mike S.

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