Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

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Joe Travers
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Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

After addressing another problem with my car this morning, I thought it may be a good idea to start a blog/thread on the '63 1/2 model. It's a transition car and deserves some attention, aside from the '63. FoMoCo engineers must have been working like circus poodles during this time, considering the fast and furious changes on all their models, starting mid-year 1963. Some items on the car are held over from '62-'63, while changes were carried over to the '64-'65. It can be a tough nut to crack, at times. I've found some of the aftermarket vendors don't get it right, as well. So maybe there will be a small nugget in my 10 month backlog of work I've put into making this car correct. It takes time and a lot of research. Maybe I can save someone some time and money as I go. I'm sure I'll be covering a lot of things that are quite obvious to some. As mentioned, these items apply to cars 1962-1965.

I really admire you guys doing total restorations. Engine builds, suspension changes, body work.....been there, done that for many years to keep daily drivers on the road to get to work every day when I was younger. I'm not an expert by any means but have owned and maintained over two dozen old FoMoCo cars, trucks and vans in my lifetime. Any advice is quite welcomed and appreciated. I'll backtrack and cover all curious items I've addressed over the past year. I have a few pictures to share and probably a lot of questions along the way. I work slowly and methodically, as time and money allows, so I won't blitzkrieg the thread.

Joe
Last edited by Joe Travers on Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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1963 1/2 Custom Hardtop

Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

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First item I addressed was traction. I took a big gamble with this car because the engine produces 200% more horsepower and 50% more torque than the original 260 cid engine, running through the original Warner T-10 and 8" differential. The slapper bar on the passenger side was missing the bumper, which could have scared off potential buyers. It was obvious the car had been hammered a bit. It was in the shop getting a new clutch when I was working out the deal with the seller. The slappers were an ill fit, rusty and a bit beat, so I pulled them. Finding a good fitting traction device for the 2" early springs is a bit of a challenge. I contacted TractionMasters in Burbank, Cali. back in May. They offer a set that fit the early Falcon but they haven't followed up my last contact, being they are backed up until eternity with the current supply situation. The shock plates are the same dimension as the six cylinder cars but are fitted w/ 7/16" U-bolts instead of the standard 3/8". Talked to a good friend about this and think we'll fabricate a pair in his shop after the weather cools down a bit. In the meantime, first and second gear get a quarter throttle, at most.

Joe
Last edited by Joe Travers on Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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1963 1/2 Custom Hardtop

SASSY
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by SASSY »

Joe, happy to see you dedicating the time and effort to detailing your efforts on that car!
A lot of people can benefit from it because it is a transition car there is knowledge that 64-5 car owners can use as well as owners of earlier models.
Keep the details coming!
Fred
I'd rather do it myself if it's done right or not,,,isn't that what hotrodding is all about?
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

Thanks, Fred! The 1963 Shop Manual Supplement does not include some details about the '63 1/2. I have to go to the '64 manual to find some of that information. I have no idea how the mechanics at the dealerships were handling this, it was changing so rapidly. It's a challenge I enjoy and still learning every day. I like a good mystery. :)

Joe
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1963 1/2 Custom Hardtop

A/FX
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by A/FX »

Joe Travers wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:13 pm
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First item I addressed was traction. I took a big gamble with this car because the engine produces 200% more horsepower and 50% more torque than the original 260 cid engine, running through the original Warner T-10 and 8" differential. The slapper bar on the passenger side was missing the bumper, which could have scared off potential buyers. It was obvious the car had been hammered a bit. It was in the shop getting a new clutch when I was working out the deal with the seller. The slappers were an ill fit, rusty and a bit beat, so I pulled them. Finding a good fitting traction device for the 2" early springs is a bit of a challenge. I contacted TractionMasters in Burbank, Cali. back in May. They offer a set that fit the early Falcon but they haven't followed up my last contact, being they are backed up until eternity with the current supply situation. The shock plates are the same dimension as the six cylinder cars but are fitted w/ 7/16" U-bolts instead of the standard 3/8". Talked to a good friend about this and think we'll fabricate a pair in his shop after the weather cools down a bit. In the meantime, first and second gear get a quarter throttle, at most.

Joe
Joe,
The slapper style bars worked OK, I had them on my Cyclone in its last form. This time around I wanted something that worked as well but was not visible. The Traction Master design is good and works well, but has one small downfall. In order for the suspension to work correctly the bars and the rear end housing must swing the same arch or it will bind. The binding causes a stiff ride and wear on all the components. I designed my bars to mimic the Traction Master bars but made sure they were swinging the same arch as the springs make the housing swing. You will probably mount your bars under the spring plates but the idea is the same. Here are a couple of pictures of my system during the mock up stage, the tubing is 1”diameter with a 1/4” wall DOM. The ends are urethane bushings in steel tubes that are welded to the bar in the rear, the fronts are adjustable urethane bushings from the hot rod world. My system works perfectly, the car rides well and there is no chance of wheel hop. With the car completed it is difficult to see the bars because they are up under the car, but if you n ed a photo of them installed I can shoot one the next time I have it on the lift.
Jim
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

A/FX wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:45 pm
The slapper style bars worked OK, I had them on my Cyclone in its last form.
Thanks, Jim! The universal slappers are a bit too wide and short for the 2" spring and rear wheel offset to tuck the tires on the '63 1/2 w/o major modifications. I'm keeping it stock for now.

I understand where you're coming from concerning geometry of travel and have taken that into consideration. I'm looking for lock-up to prevent pinion jump, knowing there will be some rigidity. My current plan is to fabricate a bolt-on shock plate, much like the Traction Master w/ tube to a front bumper bracket bolted just under and behind the front eye of the spring. A bumper bracket could be constructed to swivel a bit for limited travel, like the Calvert bar. No need going through the eye on a street car, considering my usual driving habits. I'm not hooking up the tires, just trying to cut down on seal wear. Much rather change bar bushings than seals.

More on leaf spring and seal issues coming soon.

Joe
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by poboyjo65 »

Yea glad you started this tinkering thread. Makes it like we're hangin in your shop. I know some of these guys on here cars' better than I know my own brother's cars. sounds like you got a good plan for this,dont forget to take pics, it'll help you remember how you did it ! :P :roll: :D
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Johno
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

poboyjo65 wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:54 pm
sounds like you got a good plan for this,dont forget to take pics, it'll help you remember how you did it ! :P :roll: :D
My purpose for this isn't really for myself as much as for someone who may fall onto one of these squirrely issues on their cars, John. I'm going over an older restoration that wasn't 100% completed or corrected for unknown reasons. I believe the main reasons were availability of parts and not enough study. I can't begin to tell you how many hours I've spent reading and cross-referencing what little accurate information I can find about this car. When the shop manuals don't tell you and vendors can't answer your questions, it gets slow and tedious to avoid making mistakes.

A short backstory on this car- rescued and registered 10 years ago. Restored and driven until 2017. Changed hands three times in three years with only 700 miles put on the odometer. Most, if not all of those were put on when PO drove the car across three state lines to get her home. I believe last three owners bought it for kicks, hammered on her a bit and sold her. There are/were a lot of small issues with this car that really add up to a headache for someone who doesn't love it enough to take the time to fix it. Inexpensive and easy fixes really, if you take the time to learn the car.

Joe
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

Here's a vendor boo-boo I ran across, if I'm not mistaken.

When I purchased the '63 1/2, it had what appeared to be early Mustang shackles. The bushings were pooching out a bit, from the frame and the spring. This was causing the differential to 'walk' laterally a bit with a loose feel in the rear suspension. When we got it on the lift, the shock plates were loose as well. The only explanation for this may have been availability of the 2" kit at the time of restoration. Found the 2" kit newly available from Falcon Parts. Seems these are sporadically reproduced or in very small batches. When it came time to install, we found the frame bushings were smaller 1" OD than the ones supplied in the kit. The larger bushings with the shackles were correct for the spring but not the frame. We buttoned everything up with the old frame bushings still installed so I could get it home. Here is the proper fit and the Moog bushing needed for the frame.

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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by poboyjo65 »

65's (& most likely 64s too) use 1'' bushings in the frame & spring eye. If you ever want poly bushings (which might help more with the diff walk) that's what came on my splitmono leafs from Calvert. I think Chrysler uses the same 1'' size which may be available elsewhere.

Yours sounds similar to my leafs that cam on my car, they had larger spring eyes & bushings (1 1/2'' I think) & 1'' frame bushings. (they were 2 1/2'' wide leafs) never did know what the springs came from,they looked as old as everything else under there. thought maybe they were falcon springs. they seemed shorter .When I got a new shackle kit is when I noticed, stuck a piece of pipe in there to fill the gap for a while till I changed springs. I just thought it was a bu bu until I put another set of leafs from a parts car on & they had 1'' on both leaf & frame :?
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

poboyjo65 wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:47 pm
65's (& most likely 64s too) use 1'' bushings in the frame & spring eye. If you ever want poly bushings (which might help more with the diff walk) that's what came on my splitmono leafs from Calvert. I think Chrysler uses the same 1'' size which may be available elsewhere.

Yours sounds similar to my leafs that cam on my car, they had larger spring eyes & bushings (1 1/2'' I think) & 1'' frame bushings. (they were 2 1/2'' wide leafs) never did know what the springs came from,they looked as old as everything else under there. thought maybe they were falcon springs. they seemed shorter .When I got a new shackle kit is when I noticed, stuck a piece of pipe in there to fill the gap for a while till I changed springs. I just thought it was a bu bu until I put another set of leafs from a parts car on & they had 1'' on both leaf & frame :?
Falcon Parts 2" kit bushings definitely a mistake, as all bushings are 1 1/2". I'm pretty sure my springs are stock, sag and all. The leaf eye bushing is 1 1/2". Was your donor car a 202, John? I never changed bushings on my '65 202. They may be 1". The '63 1/2 V8 uses the station wagon springs, just like the '64-'65 Cyclone but narrower.

Joe
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by poboyjo65 »

No both my car & my parts car were hardtops.I failed to add that. I should have said 65 hardtops have 1'' bushings. My theory on why hardtops have the smaller bushing is the frame isnt as tall in the area of the shackle mount hole,so the shorter frame did not have enough meat above & below the hole there, so a smaller hole to keep from weakening the frame.
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

poboyjo65 wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:46 pm
My theory on why hardtops have the smaller bushing is the frame isnt as tall in the area of the shackle mount hole,so the shorter frame did not have enough meat above & below the hole there, so a smaller hole to keep from weakening the frame.
I'm looking at the applications for the 1" frame bushing on Moog website. Lists Comets from '64-'73 but not '63 1/2. Does list for '63 Country Cruiser wagon and '63 Falcon wagon but not '63 Comet or Falcon. So.......'63 1/2 transitions to '64 on that one.

Joe
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by poboyjo65 »

Joe Travers wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:26 pm
poboyjo65 wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:46 pm
My theory on why hardtops have the smaller bushing is the frame isnt as tall in the area of the shackle mount hole,so the shorter frame did not have enough meat above & below the hole there, so a smaller hole to keep from weakening the frame.
I'm looking at the applications for the 1" frame bushing on Moog website. Lists Comets from '64-'73 but not '63 1/2. Does list for '63 Country Cruiser wagon and '63 Falcon wagon but not '63 Comet or Falcon. So.......'63 1/2 transitions to '64 on that one.

Joe
Well the phone rang, cant remember what I was gonna say. I did that the other day when you asked about shock plates. I cant remember what I was going to say that day either ,,,, I was looking for this pic & couldn't find it,got distracted & never replied. so now I found that pic!! ,,,,I'm gonna throw it in right here just for the hell of it :lol:

from my 65 comet ,with the leafspring isolator rubber. then I drilled for 3'' axle tubes & did away with the rubber & box so the u bolts got a little closer to each other,I had to cut a little off the sides because my rear end is so narrowjust to explain what the pic is. :roll:
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Joe Travers
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Re: Joe's '63 1/2 Tinkering Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

Yeah, this is running together a bit with the OP & 9" swap thread but that's cool 8)
As mentioned in the OP, the shock plate on the '63 1/2 seems to be a hybrid; same dimension as the six cylinder cars for the 2" leaf springs but drilled for larger 7/16" U-bolts. Appears to be a one-off piece. Not sure of the difference between the axle tubes but the original 8" housing is pretty small at the spring perch. The shock plate was changed in '64 when the spring got wider. Ford engineers were inching toward the '64 designs beginning in '63 and decided to release this car mid-year after they had a few bright ideas. I happened to get caught in the middle of this mess 58 years later :lol:

Joe
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