View Full Version : 63 Ford Falcon Restoration

07-27-2015, 04:58 PM
Note: edited to correct the tire info. I had assumed the tires were rotten & not fixable but I went out and actually looked at them tonight, they're not anywhere near as bad as I thought and i was able to change out the bad one & inflate all the rest, so i think they're good to go.

Please forgive the length of this article/ad but I feel it pertinent information regarding the sale of this car.

My father-in-law was driving past a small dealership in Spanaway about five years ago and saw this 1963 ford falcon and purchased it for $1500. He drove it home from Spanaway to NE Tacoma (Federal Way/Brown's Point area) and parked the car. The car smoked really bad out of the muffler like something is bad wrong with the engine but I have no idea what it would be. We then put a cover over the car. A couple of summers ago I was going to sell it so I uncovered it and fired it up, still smoked really bad but started up. Had a few guys come look but no takers (was asking $1600 back then).

So again this summer I uncovered the car (charging the battery to start it now), took a bunch of pictures and posted it on Craigslist hoping something would happen and I could finally sell this car. One guy called and offered $500 for parts but I felt it was just too low.

Finally a guy named Mike from Spanaway (who is a member of this club) came to my rescue! He came by and looked at the car and explained in detail what was good and what was bad about it. He showed me what pictures I should be taking and what parts knowledgable Falcon owners are actually interested in. He also told me to get it off Craigslist (and I did) and onto this site so I can connect with people who know what I have and who know what they want. THANK YOU MIKE!!!!

So admitting I only know what I learned from Mike, here is the car info and pics.

Here are the tech specs that the vin number pulls up:

Body - Falcon Standard 2 Door Sedan
Color - Code=P Number=1454 Color=Mid. Green Met. Sales Name=Silver Moss
Trim - Code=18 Scheme=Lt. Gold and Lt. Gold Met.
Date Completed - September 06, 1963
Domestic Special Orders - Code=74 District=Seattle
Axle - Code=5 Ratio=3.50:1
Trans - Code=1 3 Speed Manual Shift
Assembly Plant - Code=R Twin Cities
Engine - Code=S Straight 6 -144ci Over Head Valve
Assembly Number=101757 - number 1757 off the assembly line

Like I said I will get the engine running in the next couple of days but Mike said its a must to start the car up for people.

Front wind shield is cracked and the back right window is gone altogether.

The driver and passenger windows are original and have the logo (see pics).

Has some pretty heavy rust problems in spots. The front floor board is rusted through, also in the trunk and at various spots along the sides (rear quarter panels) but under the doors are good (see pics).

You can see the condition of the interior from some of the pictures, looks rough in areas but some parts seem good and original.

Certain chrome pieces are good so I have attached the pictures of them.

My father-in-law would love to see someone purchase and restore the car to avoid losing one more Falcon but sellers can't be choosers I guess so if your are looking to buy and part out this car might interest you. We do not have the time or desire to part the car out so we are selling the whole thing not individual parts.

Here is a link to 50ish different pictures of the car so you can see its condition.



P.S. Mike you the man!

07-28-2015, 10:48 AM

First of all I hope you do find someone who will revive the car. That is the ultimate goal of this club. I will be honest with you though - you are in for an up-hill battle.

When you look at the condition of the car, and I have looked closely at every picture, and then look at the high-retail price range this car might command, which is currently between $3500 and $6500 (maybe toward the higher if restored to the level Don is doing on his '61 - see the "grandpa" thread currently running), I think the price is quite a bit high. It was probably a quite a bit high when your father-in-law bought it.

Just doing a basic clean-up, reseal of windows, weatherstrip on doors and trunk, finding and replacing bad or missing glass, replacing the interior and headliner, engine work, and rust repair - not including paintwork, brakes, suspension which will all need doing - the cost will ramp up to low retail very quickly and probably surpass it. Just in parts alone - not including purchase price. It will have to be a project of love and "knowing loss" as opposed to anything close to an investment. I really see nothing that doesn't need to be touched. Touching anything costs money.

Being the sport roof model as well, getting some of the missing glass parts will be a little harder.

Not trying to bust your bubble or anything, though I probably may be. Just offering a perspective from someone who does a lot of car building.

07-28-2015, 02:33 PM
Roger thanks for taking the time to review the photos and the car and give me an assessment. Not sure what we are going to do but we felt like putting online with good pictures and detailed description would be a good start. Your input has given us a bunch to think about.

Thanks again,

07-28-2015, 03:05 PM

I figured it would - and I hated bearing news that was less than favorable.

If you want my best guess of what it would take to get the car tight and sound and a nice driver - you would be in the neighborhood of about $4000. Just doing new math in my head. Then you'd be into it about $5500 at this selling price and it would be worth then about $2000-3000.

I do agree with Mike who came out that getting it very clean and driving with tires that hold air. I would go so far as remove the headliner (leave the bows in place by tying string between each down the center to hold them up there and in order) - because no headliner is better than one that dangles in you hair. And put some Goodwill blankets over the seats. Will go a long way towards taking the ick factor away.

And post those pictures.

Good luck!

07-28-2015, 03:22 PM
Again thank you, it is encouraging to hear we are on the right track. So as an update last night I got the tires either pumped up or changed out so I have four inflated tires on the car right now! I will totally take the headline and blanket advice and we are going to do a little sanding and putting primer on the outside. I also plan to get it turning again and my father-in-law is going to cut a board we can put on the drivers side to cover the hole. We will see what happens but either way we are working on cool old cars which is a win!

07-28-2015, 06:03 PM
Roger knows of what he speaks. I would say he was dead on with the prices in this market. And we have a pretty robust market around here in general so you have that going for you. And I also agree that your father-in-law overpaid so it may be tough to get your money back. But there are lots of things you can do that don't cost much and will help you get the price up a bit.

Also consider posting on craigslist for the entire west coast as well as Idaho, Nevada, and however farther east you want to go. The more lines you have in the water, the more likely you will land a buyer. And it may end up as a donor for someone fixing up another bird but at least it will give up the ghost helping another Falcon to get restored.

I don't think this has been addresses but the smoking engine may be leaky or broken off valve seals. If the smoke is very heavy when you start it after sitting for a long period and then gets better as it warms up, it may be oil leaking around the valve stems and into the combustion chamber.

These seals aren't too difficult to change and are inexpensive as well. I may have a set I will send you unless they were sold at the swap meet. But you do need to know the "rope through the spark plug hole" trick and maybe buy a spring compressor. These seals are black rubber, umbrella shaped, and tend to get brittle and break apart over time.

Good news is it's easy to see if that's the culprit. Just remove the valve cover and peek inside the springs to see if they look intact. Sorry, I'm not sure what your knowledge level is with old cars so I'm keeping this kind of basic. But fixing the smoking engine would be a huge plus. Here's an image I found showing the umbrella valve seal after the spring was removed.

07-28-2015, 06:22 PM
You should be able to borrow the valve spring compressor from O'reilys or one of the comparables.

07-29-2015, 11:25 PM
Not sure where to begin but I feel have made a lot of progress with just a couple hours in the evenings and all the great advice I have been getting from this forum. I will group it into a couple of areas so its easier to follow.

1. Sale of the car
I am happy to report I have averaged a lead almost every day of some kind and this forum is the only place I am currently advertised. I plan to post on a couple larger, farther reaching websites (as advised) but I wanted to get the car in a little better shape first.

2. Car Progress
I have received a lot of recommendations but I have had to put them in order by priority as my time is limited. The first was the tires and I am happy to report they are all holding air nicely for the last few days. I also realized I have all four original hub caps. A couple are scratched and dinged up but a couple are in pretty good shape for originals.

see video in the dropbox link (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2bubct00r...hCXS6ntXa?dl=0) - I also added some more pictures and will keep adding more as we progress. I started with the idea that I don't want to spend a bunch of money but also want it looking its best so I started with the battery as it was shot and the last owner just put some smaller better in it. I went to budget battery and got a nice overstock battery for $56 (including tax) as they didn't have any reconditioned ones. The battery was also the right size and has the right cold cranking amps.
Once the new battery was in it would turn over but not start. I found I was getting gas (I added five gallons of fresh gas to help combat the old gas) so it had to be not getting spark. I made the rookie mistake of just replacing the ignition coil (hey it was cheep) and as you might guess same problem. I then did actual testing and found I was getting spark into the distributor but not to the plugs. (I bet you have already solved it). Anyway figured out it was either the condenser or the points so I replaced both, ended up being the points and I probably could have just cleaned off the connection point and kept using it but the parts were cheap. Finally fired up and RAN WITHOUT ANY SMOKING. I am starting to think the smoking was just the old gas (as pointed out on this forum [BOW]).
I also treated the gas as their is still a little old gas in the tank.

3. Next Up
I will change the oil, oil filter and fuel filter.
Drive it round the block.
Sand and primer some of the rust spots.
Put cover over seats (blanket or whatever).
Remove old head liner.
Wash off windows
Put board over drivers side floor hole.

By then I should have a better idea of what we will end up doing but for now we will just leave the price and see what happens. Still have plenty of interest and enough advice to keep me busy for a while.

Side note I'm at a campout with my church for the next couple of days and reception is spotty so I'll try and get back to any and everyone I can.

08-08-2015, 09:51 AM
Sorry for not getting back sooner (not that anyone was waiting) but had plenty of interested people in the car and we were planning on getting a few things fixed and really getting it out there to advertise to get top dollar but after working on it together with my wife we realized we really enjoyed working on it together and we are going to purchase it from dad and start a rolling restoration project of our own.

After all the great support and advice from this group we are also planning on becoming official member of the Rainier Falcon Club. So we will get the ball rolling on that.

Roger not sure what to do with this thread? Do I close it or does a moderator move or close it as the car is no longer for sale?

Thanks again to everyone who helped and we are starting a list of what we want to do and I will need this club more than ever during the resto process.


08-08-2015, 11:18 PM
Dan, You'll see the thread has moved to the "Show Off Your Ride" forum. I'm excited for you. Hope we can help along the way!

You can edit each thread you did to make the sale/selling bits go away.


08-24-2015, 10:30 PM
So if you have followed this thread then you know that my wife and I were trying to sell this old 63 ford falcon base model for my father in law. Along the way I meet guys from this forum and came here to get advice to sell the car. Well as my wife and I were working on the car together we realized how much we enjoyed having this project together and the look of the car really grew on us so we purchased it from dad and now it is our project.

I promise we are going to need some serious help but at least we have accepted we are never going to get our what we put in but what we are looking to get out is enjoying it together and in that sense it has already paid off.

BillP 98201
08-25-2015, 06:36 AM
Looks like you and your wife are going to have hours of fun!
Welcome, you will find a great group of folks here. :BEER:

06-22-2016, 11:35 PM
Sorry for the long pause in updating but my wife and I bought her a 63 nova and we were not sure if we wanted to continue with the Falcon project, especially once we investigated the body and found all the rust.

Anyway we are moving forward with the project. Recently I pulled the interior out so I could deal with the rust that the previous owner had simply tried to spray undercoating over. Surprise that doesn't kill rust it just hides it from you until you fall through the rotten floor.

So once I got the interior out, seats, head liner, door panels, mirror, etc... I treated the rust with a chemical that changes its make up thus killing the rust and making it where you can paint over it and its dead.

Next is cutting out the floors and putting in the new floor pans that I already have that are just waiting for me to weld them in.

Then its finish rebuilding the 302 and installing it and the new t5 tranny into the car. (got some great help on this over in the tech area btw).

You can see way to many pic here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z29vw5empj7zwsc/AADsCKfn2QC6kkIZ5yFvW3GRa?dl=0 if anyone is interested.

If you want to see any pics of specific areas just let me know.


06-23-2016, 02:53 PM
Cool pics, Dan. Good to get a fix here and there.

You should really pull the heater box and driver side cowl vent and inspect the underside of the cowl. Often, with that much rust, the culprit is water coming in from up under the dash. If it's been outside you can often see evidence of wet up there just after a good rain - or a soaking from a hose in the outside cowl vent. Though a few of us have repaired this sort of thing the hard way by drilling all the spot welds and removing the cowl, you might not need this severe a repair. But you should look while you can.

Looks like a nice roller motor you got. Didn't look too bad from the tear-down. Are you planning just a re-ring, full rebuild, or just re-gasketing?

Electric water pump too? Was this a raced motor?

Noted the JB-Welded threaded boss on the last engine pic. I would not suspect that to hold-up... if you ask me. It's probably not the end of the world to have that bolt be left out, but you may want to get a large-thick flat washer and a longer bolt and use a nut on that boss. Drill out the threads (if you can) and make it a through-hole instead of a threaded hole. Use the broken tab as just a spacer around the bolt.

Anyway, looks eerily familiar, all of this...

06-23-2016, 09:09 PM
Ah ok I will add removing the heater box and cowl to my task list and thanks for the wisdom, I would have totally missed that. My concern on the floor is that my new floor pans only go up so high in the front the and rust goes up closer to the firewall so I am thinking I will need to weld in some metal above the new front floor pans to take care of the weaker metal closer to the firewall.

As for the engine you are exactly right. I got the engine from a guy who was an old ford master mechanic and he was using it in his 84 Mustang as a drag racing care so it had the electric fuel and water pump. When I opened it up I found a couple of bent rods but everything else looks good. He has the zero compression loss rings, heads milled and ported, etc, etc... So I'm doing a new high volume oil pump, clean up, new push rods and new gaskets. Let me know if you think I missed anything.

Great eyes on the weld! I didn't use jb weld, my brother in law works for Boeing as a mechanist and worked with this stuff called Quick Cure. He said its the best and strongest stuff he has ever worked with so I got some off ebay and gave it a try. A master mechanic friend of mine saw it and said the exact same thing you did so I am going to drill it out and use a bolt, large washer and nut and try no to over tighten. I figure its better than nothing.

Thanks again, when I joined I never thought I would get this level of help! I'll have to come buy you guys a burger or something!


06-29-2016, 11:32 AM

Don't mind me, just working towards my goal of 4000 posts! ;:)

They do make the "toe boards" for these cars. This is the metal that goes up the floorboard a bit. But if you need only small patches, good flat sheet metal can be trimmed and massaged into place as well. Get a plastic body hammer (Harbor freight has them - cheap) and when you tack a spot, use the hammer to massage the metal between welds to get the metal to shape. Trying to do this with the metal flopping around is near to fruitless. Tack, hammer, tack, hammer. You can flow a flat sheet into the shape you need that way.

Good luck and we're here to help - no burgers needed! ;)

06-29-2016, 06:26 PM
Thanks for all the great help Roger! I'll look at the car again and try and decide how much metal I'll need. Do you know what gauge of metal was most often used in those cars?


07-02-2016, 02:01 PM
Hi Dan,
I'm just catching up here and really enjoyed the story. Looks like if I was in town we'd almost be neighbors. I think we're all excited to follow another falcon restoration. I look forward to checking out more of your drop box pics. Keep up the good work!

07-05-2016, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all the great help Roger! I'll look at the car again and try and decide how much metal I'll need. Do you know what gauge of metal was most often used in those cars?


Dan, I don't know the gauge, but most of the re-pop panels are thinner than the original. Just be sure not to go too thick that you can't work the material.