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Old 04-21-2014, 01:06 PM   #1
Billett
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Project Falcon

Recently picked up a new car and need some opinions from you guys before I really dig into this project.

My brothers and I recently purchased a 1961 Ford Falcon 4 door. We got it for pretty darn cheap and it runs and drives. At the time we were looking for a light autocross car to tool around in and not worry about the appearance. I realize a 4 door isn't what most people think of when they hear autocross, but I've been racing with my c10 longbed for a little while and we have a bit of a flair for trying to get vehicles to do things they aren't supposed to.

Original plan was to yank out the old inline 6 and trans, drop in whatever swap we felt like, disc brakes, drop springs, drive. We don't need it to be super competitive we just wanted it to be cheap and fun and not another miata. Problem is, I checked out the VIN number and it turns out that this thing, while beat to hell, is all original. Engine, trans, interior is all from the factory. 144 CI I6, 2 speed fordomatic. Paint has been done over and looks like heck.

My question to you guys is: what would you do in this situation? Clean it up a bit and try to flip it because it's all original, or yank out all that old junk because no one likes 4 doors anyway.

I realize getting it to be a corner carver is going to be a bit of work, Mustang II suspension is probably the easiest route, and we have no idea about the powerplant. We've considered turbo i6, sr20, modular ford, LSx.... Doesn't really matter to us, but just like the car we like it to be just a little odd haha

Here are some pics to get you interested.











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Old 04-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: Project Falcon

Me personally I just beat it into a decent family car. You can make it handle if you want but is that what you really want? I could easily see this thing as a nice mild custom with a strong 302 or a turbo inline four out of a SVO mustang. Five speed swap and a little paint. I wouldn't pour a ton of money into it. I don't feel this car has a strong collector market. While it is a nice clean mostly original car it isn't the crθme of the crop either.

So my ideas for a mild custom are....lower it(obviously) with an adjustable suspension. Get rid of the black. Maybe go with the stock color but with white flake roof. Shave the door handles and some simple pinstriping. Wheels would be either Cragar SS with white walls. Or a set of Tru Spokes with white walls. Set of bellflower tips. Nice stock like interior......ooooh I could go on. Power plant could be anything....

So if I wanted to go another way I'd make a gasser out of it. They look cool with a falcon. Econoline straight axle, smoking small block, fender well headers. Jack this thing to the sky. Make it more street freak than gasser though. I want you to drive this thing every where. Do what ever comes necessary.

For the autocross I'd start with a late model mustang. Something from the fox area. Then use the suspension from it to build your platform. Get it low and mean. I'd use one of those mod motors 2v or something. You can get them pretty cheap now. I'd also make it a straight drive, maybe a six or five.

Now I'd even build it NASCAR style. That would rock personally. Some big Aero wheels, nice mean Ford six. Ford sixes are small power houses really. Make it into a street stock style build but for the street and go autocross. Truck arm suspension, mustang front end. Cut the wheel wells for the look and get it low.

So there you have it what I would do if I had a few extra dollars, lol. Sorry but I had an itch and had to itch it. Hope this got the wheels turning.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:51 AM   #3
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Re: Project Falcon

well, you have a pretty original beater - but it's still not really very collectible. There are a whole lot of cars ahead of that one. Cool car, but personally, I would probably flip it.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Project Falcon

I like the ideas! I've always wanted to do a gasser, but my wife isn't really a fan of them. I think what I really want out of the car is to be able to just DD it. I really like my truck, but frankly it's just terrible on gas. Even with the LS and OD its just not good, not to mention it's 20ft long and can still only drive 3 people around. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'll ever part with it, just think it's time for a change of DD. The Falcon is sub 3000 lbs, seats 6, and still gets 25-30 mpg with an i6 and a 2 speed! Bringing it back to life with a reasonable interior, paint job, disc brakes, late model suspension, engine swap and OD would make it a cool cruiser just like my truck, but I'd actually be able to drive friends and family around and take it on trips.

I realize there are other way cooler cars out there. There's a 66 chevelle on CL near me missing an engine and trans and I happen to have a spare... but it's just too nice and still a two door. It would be uncomfortable and still worse on gas than this thing. I'll save autocrossing for another setup down the road and just get this one ready to be a damn good DD.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:33 PM   #5
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Re: Project Falcon

You don't always have to give up the autocross stuff. You just might not get to do it right now. These are really cool little cars and honestly a strong six, maybe overdrive and a tbi setup on the intake would make it a little bit more fun. Personally I like four doors just fine. There are always two doors at shows and in the parking lots. How many red two doors do you really need to see? Keep it simple and it will award you with many many miles.

So my plan for your car....lol. Let's say you keep the six or maybe graduate to something a little bigger. You add TBI which would be nice but not necessary or really any of the new fuel injection stuff out there on the market. Get it running right. Find a nice overdrive automatic. Give it some decent gearing. Make it peppy you know. Slap some disc brakes on it or change the front end to the mustang II if you like. Keep the paint simple and clean. Don't stray far from the original color combo. Turn the stock interior back to stock. Put a nice radio in it. As for wheels do something traditional. Do it right. Nice thin white walls and chrome steelies maybe. Personal preference there and just drive it. You can haul all six plus one and have tons of fun.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: Project Falcon

I like the idea of an I6, just not sure it's worth it... I looked into upgrading the 144 and it's just so expensive. Rebuild kit or aluminum upgrades would be way more expensive than even a 302 or LS. Hell if I was going to spend that much I'd go with a modular 4.6 or coyote. 300 "big block" I6 was in the running, but I just don't think I want to run carb'd and the EFI versions of those motors have huge intakes that would require some serious mods to the hood to fit in the engine bay.

I like carb'd engines, but not on a DD and if I'm going to make this thing a runner I don't want to have to worry about any of the normal carb problems. I want to be able to jump in and crank the key and have it come to life, no worrying about flooding, cold starts, hot starts, changing the tune depending on the weather and time of year... it's just not worth it anymore with as cheap as some of the EFI stuff is.

Definitely OD, but I haven't decided about auto or manual. I'd like one of my cars to be manual because it's just plain more fun, but again if this is going to be used regularly then I would probably be better off going automatic. That would help if I go LS because I can use the auto off of my C10 and swap a t56 in there, but the 4L80 is so damn heavy I don't like the idea of putting it in the Falcon since it's so light right now.

Gearing right now is 3.50 rears which is fine and would work with OD, but I'd like to swap out the entire rear if I'm upgrading the power. Maybe a cheap 8.8 posi from an exploder with rear discs.

Definitely front discs, but I haven't decided on front suspension yet. Those TCI kits are really nice, but soooo expensive. MII parts are pretty easy to find and a R&P setup and power steering and brakes would really change the street manners.

No idea yet about paint. I really like the idea of a gloss black with a flat gold hood and slight gold accents. Also thought about ideas as crazy as painting it to match the USAF Thunderbirds who fly F-16 falcons lol. I was going to go with white, but it would resemble the GMG falcon too much.

I'd like to keep the interior relatively stock looking, but at the same time, I want it to be comfortable. I've thought about trying to find a bench seat out of something newer that fits in there, but I think I'd rather just get the stock one redone with new foam and upholstery. Radio is a must. I like the idea of a retrosound, but of course I want the $400 one haha.

Chances are I'll stick with steelies for rims, or at least like you said stay traditional. I think TTIIs have there place and can look good, but I'm looking for something fairly plain. I think the steelies and trims rings on my truck really make the look. White walls are definitely in the running, and at the very least raised white lettering.


Keep the ideas coming though. I really like different perspectives and I try to look at them from all angles before deciding. For example, I really would like to stay I6, but the money is just not worth it for what I'm getting IMO. It is cheaper short run because I already have the engine and it's in the car, but a rebuild kit, aluminum head/headers/intake later and I could have a turbo 4.8 in there instead...
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: Project Falcon

On second thought maybe gloss black with a flat black hood would look good with the chrome trim...

I'm really not a huge fan of the stock colors, but the one from this car is pretty nice. Dark blue metallic, looks a bit like this one and I could really dig that.

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Old 04-23-2014, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: Project Falcon

Sounds like you know what you want. I like the inline sixes. I think you could do a 300 and do a something like a Howell tbi setup. I think it would fit under the hood as well. You could use a Clifford intake or if you are really adventurist you could find a Holman Moody intake. Even a smaller inline six would work. I don't know the sizes for Fords as well as I do for Chevys but I know that the Ford Sixes are really great platform to build off of. A built inline Ford is hard to beat. I know we are all Chevy here but I also know that the Fords are what kicked our but on the track.....

Me personally I don't like black that much. It looks good on the right car. I'd like to see a dark navy blue maybe. Stock trim. I like simple and clean. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. I can't wait to see some other ideas. See ya.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Project Falcon

I know I'm all over the place, but threads like these help me try to organize my thoughts. I end up thinking one thing would be great, realizing it'll either cost too much or just not be worth it, and then thinking about another cool idea, then two days later I'll rethink the first one and forget why it was so dumb haha

So the other day I was talking this over with some family at Easter and my uncle reminded us that we have a spare sr20DET in the barn and how much fun that would be... My brother's daily driver is a built 240sx with a monster sr20 engine in it and we have most of the parts needed to throw this one together. I know it isn't Ford, but it's a 4 cyl turbo, EFI, and gets decent mileage and power. Plus we already have the software to tune it. It would be cheaper than an LS and much more exotic/weird. AND its small, much smaller than a modular motor or an LS so while it might take some fabrication I don't think we'd need to mess with the strut towers as much. Seems like a good fit to me.


Oh and just for another thought, I was considering buying a cheap SHO v6 that came up for sale on CL the other day. Those yamaha engines are pretty impressive, but to rebuild one would be a nightmare. The intake alone has more replaceable parts than my old small block lol Cool idea, but not practical.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:08 PM   #10
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Re: Project Falcon

Didn't the Falcons come with a 144 6 cylinder?
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:39 AM   #11
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Re: Project Falcon

Yes, 144 or 170 ci I6. Mine is the 144. The engine still runs pretty strong, but with the 2 speed it only gets up to 60mph or so.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:51 AM   #12
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Re: Project Falcon

I like the idea of an off beat engine. I say rock it. If you've got the parts and pieces to make it happen then go for it. People often forget how much fun these things could be. Keep it up.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #13
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Re: Project Falcon

Kind of out of the box but what about a 4.3.You could go auto or manual,they're plentiful and inexpensive,would have plenty of power and Should fit easily.EFI could be stock or even TBI.The Exploder rear and MII frontend should handle it easily.Since it's a moor door that would keep it fairly budget,should be reliable and reasonable on fuel and very driveable.For more go a turbo wouldn't be out of the question.
For looks,maybe just buff out the paint and see what you get.I think steelies would look awesome.Paint them a bright color and use it for the details also to give it a color theme.Baby moons and trim rings in chrome to set it all off.
If you found an S10 or Blazer for a donor,you might even use the seats.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:27 AM   #14
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Re: Project Falcon

4.3 v6 was one of my first thoughts because they are so cheap, but I had an S10 before my current c10. The s10 only weighed 3500ish which is 1000 more than the falcon, but still a relatively light vehicle and could only manage 18mpg tops. It had pretty decent power and I've seen a few that can really rip, but it just didn't seem... right. I don't know. Definitely a different swap, just not what I was looking for I guess. I have a thing about v6s, I just don't like them haha. I prefer v8s, I6s, or turbo 4s. I know it doesn't make sense, but it doesn't really have to when it comes to cars, right?
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:49 PM   #15
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Re: Project Falcon

Heck you just need a Buick Grand Nation T type V6. Turbo, 200r4 and hold on. Now that would be different as well. Finding one of these might be hard but surely it can be done....
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:35 PM   #16
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Re: Project Falcon

Okay so I have one more idea for the Falcon. I know too much time on my hands but just one more idea......When I was in high school a good friend of mine had a '76 Nova. It wasn't a car everybody wanted. Inline 6, auto and a two door. White as the day was long, but it had one thing that made it the coolest car on the lot, air shocks. Yes it rode like crap fully inflated but man it looked like it could do the tangle with it's socks off.

So I got to thinking..........how about a retro '70s-'80s cruiser. You could add springs out back to bring it up in the rear. Or if you want shocks, but I'd like springs or homemade shackles too. This wouldn't make the car a nose high gasser either. Tint the windows, add a CB radio with an antenna on the deck lid. Get some wide meats for the rear. Paint it that dark blue you like. Find some Cragar SS and white walls. It doesn't have to be all disco tech just clean and a nice reflection to a time of muscle fun. Keep the inline six or go to a bigger one. Or a nice 302. It would still be a nice cruiser locked in a time gone past.....I like this one next to the gasser actually. Then when all was said and done you would have a reason to grow a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back. Glad I can day dream......lol.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:50 PM   #17
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Re: Project Falcon

Um, I don't even know what to say rusty76's last comment lol.

If that was my Falcon I would send it to the crusher and use the money for something else ... course that's just me =)
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:48 PM   #18
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Re: Project Falcon

CG

"Send it to the crusher"

Your Brutal Bro just Brutal...
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #19
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Re: Project Falcon

Any particular reason this is crusher worthy? I've seen c10s in worse shape that people pour 20k into...
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:50 PM   #20
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Re: Project Falcon

Falcons are just Mustangs, more or less, under the skin. Most, if not all, the same chassis and powertrain tricks apply.

Narrow up an Explorer 8.8 to get the posi, 31 spline axles and rear disks cheap. Mini tub it to the rails so you can get some tire under it. Use a bolt on front disk brake kit or go with OEM stuff and some Mustang Steve brackets. Shelby drop the UCAs and box the lowers and add some decent springs and shocks. Roller spring perches work wonders as well, (Daze Cars).
Drop in a Fox roller 5.0 H.O. and 5 speed. Carb it or retain the donors EFI, its literally a bolt in affair as the Falcons came with a 289 option.

Brace up the chassis with subframe connectors, and a good export brace. Toss in a "Shelby" style roll bar, some 4/5 point harnesses and some sport seats to retain your behind on hard corners.

Back "in the day" I had a 64 289 4 speed falcon 2 door that was tougher than nails. I really miss that car.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:30 PM   #21
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Re: Project Falcon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billett View Post
Any particular reason this is crusher worthy? I've seen c10s in worse shape that people pour 20k into...
It's not crusher material.... It is how ever great family car fun. I bet you won't get to see too many of these at the cruise ins. If I was searching for something family oriented it would easily be a more door. I like station wagons better but a four door is cool in my book. Especially when it isn't another Honda. You've got an old car. It's not an every day you see kind of car. It's comfortable. Actually has a real trunk. There's so many ideas I could come up with so I've got another.......

How about an Rally car style build. Hang with me here. It could be built fairly easy and you could keep the stock suspension or upgrade. The tires would need to be at least all terrains. There should be some flood and off road lights. Maybe some sort of tubular bumpers with the lights affixed. Imagine something along the lines of a prerunner or so.

I've seen a few Baja cars built from the 60s and 70s that I've always liked. There were also some Novas built in to ralley style cars. La Pan America style build would also be fun and it wouldn't have to be over the top either. And those cars handle as well. Look some of those cars up.

Now if I can talk you into doing a hill climb car........
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:26 PM   #22
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Re: Project Falcon

I've been looking at these two for inspiration. As much as I hate stealing ideas I think these are fantastic looking, but still functional as drivers.



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Old 04-30-2014, 09:31 PM   #23
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Re: Project Falcon

Quote:
Originally Posted by screamin_c10 View Post
Falcons are just Mustangs, more or less, under the skin. Most, if not all, the same chassis and powertrain tricks apply.

Narrow up an Explorer 8.8 to get the posi, 31 spline axles and rear disks cheap. Mini tub it to the rails so you can get some tire under it. Use a bolt on front disk brake kit or go with OEM stuff and some Mustang Steve brackets. Shelby drop the UCAs and box the lowers and add some decent springs and shocks. Roller spring perches work wonders as well, (Daze Cars).
Drop in a Fox roller 5.0 H.O. and 5 speed. Carb it or retain the donors EFI, its literally a bolt in affair as the Falcons came with a 289 option.

Brace up the chassis with subframe connectors, and a good export brace. Toss in a "Shelby" style roll bar, some 4/5 point harnesses and some sport seats to retain your behind on hard corners.

Back "in the day" I had a 64 289 4 speed falcon 2 door that was tougher than nails. I really miss that car.
Pretty much hit the nail on the head. I keep going back and forth about a roll bar but think I'll pass since it'll be a regularly used car. I'd rather not have my passengers crack their skulls on steel tubing. 5.0s are just so darn boring though... Mini tub is probably gonna happen too, but I don't know for sure yet. Haven't really checked what will fit back there, but I'm sure it won't be enough for my tastes.

I think I'm pretty set on the sr20 at this point. Parts are cheap and easy to find, and we've got most of them already, and it won't be hard to fit in there, but still be something way different than everything else out there.
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1968 C10 - Project Texa Go 6.0/4L80e
1961 Falcon - Project Falcon Punch 144 I6/2spd
2012 JKU - Funkmaster Flex 2.5" BB, 33" A/Ts
2004 HCH - HYBRID POWAHH
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:30 PM   #24
rusty76
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Re: Project Falcon

I like the black car. I think you could get pretty close to that interpretation. I like look and it could be done fairly cheap. You could go with a Street Stock style build. One of the cars we used to race with in street stock was a Falcon. It was really cool and really really low. It was amazingly fast with straight six and all. My only problem may be the rear tires may be hard to do in the four door. I like a wide tire for this look but feel it may end up being a limiting factor, but a little cutting, welding and grinding you can do it.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:09 PM   #25
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Re: Project Falcon

The trunk is surprisingly big so I don't think a mini tub in the rear would kill the truck space. Chances are I won't carry a spare anyway so that's more room too...
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1968 C10 - Project Texa Go 6.0/4L80e
1961 Falcon - Project Falcon Punch 144 I6/2spd
2012 JKU - Funkmaster Flex 2.5" BB, 33" A/Ts
2004 HCH - HYBRID POWAHH
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