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Daily driver questions

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falcon_master
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Daily driver questions

Post #1 by falcon_master » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:40 am

Hey everyone. So I got some more good news I think I may have tracked down a decent 200 to buy later. But for right now I am writin to hear your all opinions. I want to use my 64 as a daily for about a 10 mile round trip to high school and back. I’m just worried because a lot I people say falcons are horrible daily drivers. They say the brakes are non existent at best and the steering sloppy. I know these are problems but I anted some outside opinion. I have no problem fixing things that break or tuning up but if it’s really unsafe and not able to handle daily driving I need to figure something out
Junior year high school AFJROTC cadet and car enthusiast. Likes all things ford and engines of any company. 64 falcon 2dr sedan,144CI and 3spd column shift. estimated 124,000 miles. Resurrected after sitting outside for 18 years, In process fixing for use as daily driver YouTube channel for repairs coming soon. “Old cars may break but are never broken”-RCR

frozenrabbit
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #2 by frozenrabbit » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:16 pm

Properly rebuilt, I've NEVER had problems with drum brakes, even on the single bowl master. Biggest down side of single bowl is when one brake line goes out, you loose all braking. Easiest upgrade is to a '67 Mustang manual drum/drum master, no proportioning valve required.

7 year daily driver '63 before being torn down for a full rebuild. Heavy city traffic and frequent 120 mile weekend freeway trips. 170, 2-speed auto, 3.10 rear, 22" diameter tires, 24 m.p.g. average. Daily with Ohio winters.

Steering slop is from worn parts, also properly rebuilt will not be an issue.

'PEOPLE' say a lot of things.

I think the people here on the forum are much more on the side of real world inside advice.

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62Cometman
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #3 by 62Cometman » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:37 pm

I dont know who said they are terrible daily drivers? Compared to modern cars id say they are definitely worse but i wouldnt say terrible they are no worse than any other car from the 60s really the down side is the lack of amenities. No A/C, a very subpar radio that typically only has AM, vacuum wipers or subpar wipers, manual drum brakes, "vague" steering, and generally underpowered and a non synchro first gear with 2.77. Plus they are noisey and smelly, varies form car to car, minimal safety standards. But all of those things can be fixed for the most part. The thing is what do you want to drive and what do you want your daily to do.

IF you want good A/C and heat, and want a nice radio, and it to be quite and drive great on the interstate and get great gas mileage and have quick turn power steering and power brakes then yes the falcon isnt for you and you would be better suited buying a 1k 90s crap box as a daily for the mean time. But if you understand and accept the limitation of the falcon as is then its perfectly fine as a daily. You can also find a way to best optimize your car for a daily driver application, swap rear end gear and add new lights and change tire size, upgrade to alternator stuff like that can help make it easier.

I typically drive my comet every day during the spring summer and fall when its not raining or cold. And i have no issue, its never not started, its never left me stranded and i keep up with traffic just fine. Plus i get compliments galore about driving a cool old car. :beer:
1962 Mercury Comet 170 ci, Dagenham Trans, 2.83:1 7.25 rear.
She ain't fast but she's fun. 8)

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falcon_master
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #4 by falcon_master » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:03 pm

Thanks everyone. I already rebuilt all 4 brakes and put a dual pot master cylinder in. Steering is sloppy but not terrible. Just get nervous. Sometimes I feel like my car is bad lol. Weakest engine, generator, no seatbelts etc. but I’ll fix it. Once I drive it for abit and decide the 144 is woefully inadequate I’ll probably find a 200 and go crazy. But reading those old magazines I kinda wanna turbo that 144 they could be decent but at that point it’s not worth the $ lol. I’m also in the market for a classic 4x4 pickup. So got a few projects going lol
Junior year high school AFJROTC cadet and car enthusiast. Likes all things ford and engines of any company. 64 falcon 2dr sedan,144CI and 3spd column shift. estimated 124,000 miles. Resurrected after sitting outside for 18 years, In process fixing for use as daily driver YouTube channel for repairs coming soon. “Old cars may break but are never broken”-RCR

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StarDiero75
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #5 by StarDiero75 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:55 pm

Ive been driving my Ranchero for 2.5 years now. The first 2 years were a pain with a lot of stuff going out but underneath jts perty much brand new now. The 200 keeps up with traffic fine and i get great highway mileage. Just upped my jets in my weber carb and it definitely has a little more get up and go.

Steering being sloppy is generally an old car thing but if everything is rebuilt/new its fine. Mine drives straight doing 70 but my entire steering has been replaced minus the center link(new bushings though) and the box got rebuilt.

I'm on my way to do front disks so that'll help breaking but otherwise my 4 drums havent been bad. I've seen jesus a couple times when people slam on the brakes on the highway but they've never had any issues. Heck, I've never had them fade either!

Just gotta maintain it a bit man. Check oil every week or so. Check tranny and diff fluid if they leak every so often. The only real daily difference i notice with the old stuff is that you just gotta pay attention to it a little. Rather the new cars are more get in and go constantly. The old stuff is too to a degree, but they require a little more love. But thats why we drive them, we love giving them love.

Have fun man, RITID (Ride It Till It Dies),
Ryan
--1965 Ranchero w/1966 200, dual friction diaphram 9" Modern Driveline clutch and billet flywheel all balanced, 1985 SVO WC T5 with front shift, 1966 2.8 Ford 8", Weber 32/26 with VI adapter, CRT Performance HEI.
--1961 Studebaker Lark VI, OHV 170 l6 in the process of being resurrected. But it lives
--Creator of the only Weber 32/36 conversion video.

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bubba22349
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #6 by bubba22349 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:33 pm

falcon_master wrote:Hey everyone. So I got some more good news I think I may have tracked down a decent 200 to buy later. But for right now I am writin to hear your all opinions. I want to use my 64 as a daily for about a 10 mile round trip to high school and back. I’m just worried because a lot I people say falcons are horrible daily drivers. They say the brakes are non existent at best and the steering sloppy. I know these are problems but I anted some outside opinion. I have no problem fixing things that break or tuning up but if it’s really unsafe and not able to handle daily driving I need to figure something out


:shock: Seems as though these same conflecting opinion's are always twisting you into knots. I wonder who are the people who keep disparaging you? Do they have any actual experience with an early Falcon? If they don't have any experience then why would you even listen to them?

For a daily driver going 10 miles round trip the reality is the 144 will do that easy and with great economy. Taking care of the loose steering maybe as simple as tightening up the adjustment screw a little on the top of the steering box, in worse case it may need a set of new bearings, and or it may be from a loose ideler arm, worn tie rod ends, ball joints, A arm shaft bushings or some combo of them. Yes the drum brakes (depending on the speed your planing on driving at) can be somewhat lacking, but again if you drive the Falcon within reason it shouldn't be a problem.

If you want to talk about a slow car my first car I bought at 13 was a 1928 Model A Ford was all stock rated at 40 HP and had mechanical drum brakes, took some time to get them all adjusted right but then it would really stop well. It could Cruse on the freeway at 50 MPH, once also took it to the local drag strip and ran blistering 24.54 in the quarter mile. I had loads of fun driving and showing that car. You need to decide what you really want or need to get from a car then decide if the Falcon can meet these expectations. If you should decide that the Falcon isn't worth all your time let me know I might be interested. Good luck and don't be discuraged you have come a long way with your Falcon project already. :thumbup: :nod: Edited
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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powerband
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #7 by powerband » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:59 am

RE: DAILY DRIVERS' :

... from previous discussion:

.. for over 15 years I've been running a patched up - bondoed' '63 more-door wagon with a 170/2.8. It used the worn but servicable original ' 63 170 for @ first 5 years while I upgraded brakes , broken springs, sloppy front suspension, fuel tank , etc, working out common recovery gremlins.

The capable '63 is basically my fair-weather daily driver with the necessary mods being shoulder belts from the '71 Maverick and the dual MC . Original drums , the Mavs' 4 lug14" wheels with 215/70 14's, thicker front sway bar and rear air shocks flatten the old wagons' handling (and load carrying when needed). No intention or need for big-budget horse power or major mods in a good running mostly original car.


When I could afford it, eventually swapped a less expensive NWC ("Non-World Class") '84 V8 geared T5 keeping the original 3.50 rear axle. This low cost setup makes for excellent modern drivability without major mods or money. The 3.50 rear and T5 gearing lets the 170's available torque accelerate well and with the mentioned .63 Overdrive, easily cruises at modern interstate speeds. The 'new' 170 is inexpensive untouched Craig List (V8swap) 1971 Maverick block/cam/etc with only "mods" being a D7 ('77) cyl head milled @ .070 to a combustion chamber volume of @ 48cc's. An E-Bay - Merc' Capri 2.8 V6 Holley/Weber 2Bbl on $15 adapter and dual out header complete the engine 'mods'. Someday I will swap out the OEM points ignition - IF they ever have a problem...

An observation over the years: these days the '63 wagon draws more interest at cruises than the big-block - big money - shiny muscle cars of well-off old timers from a long gone era fading from interest of 'millenials' who don't even remember what a Pontiac was ...

haev fun

2001:
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"Take time to stop and smell... The roadkill..."

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StarDiero75
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #8 by StarDiero75 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:14 pm

These "people" that tell you this sound like Chevy people. You be careful hanging out with them. They'll getcha into trouble haha
--1965 Ranchero w/1966 200, dual friction diaphram 9" Modern Driveline clutch and billet flywheel all balanced, 1985 SVO WC T5 with front shift, 1966 2.8 Ford 8", Weber 32/26 with VI adapter, CRT Performance HEI.
--1961 Studebaker Lark VI, OHV 170 l6 in the process of being resurrected. But it lives
--Creator of the only Weber 32/36 conversion video.

Georgia200
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #9 by Georgia200 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:22 am

A vintage vehicle is at a disadvantage on the road. Im upgrading my 9in brakes to 10in brakes. All my steering is new (thanks PO).

You have to remember and be aware at all times that everyone on the road stops faster than you do and has better steering than you do.

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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #10 by ags290 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:30 pm

My son drove his Mustang as a daily driver while he was in High School and had a blast. The one thing that I didn't see in the thread was to check the grease in your steering box. Most of the time this is neglected. You might be amazed at how much steering feel you get from just making sure that the steering box has the proper amount of grease in it.

Kevin
Kevin
Early 1965 Mustang with a 170

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Econoline
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #11 by Econoline » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:45 pm

ags290 wrote:My son drove his Mustang as a daily driver while he was in High School and had a blast. The one thing that I didn't see in the thread was to check the grease in your steering box. Most of the time this is neglected. You might be amazed at how much steering feel you get from just making sure that the steering box has the proper amount of grease in it.

Kevin


This is so true. After I got my van I drove it for several months. I had checked the grease and it looked like it was full but apparently it was just some grease pushed up near the plug. When I did fill it after I went through the van it took an insane amount of grease. And it's a whole process filling it. I don't remember the directions but you turn the wheel one way and pump it in until its full then turn it the other way and it sucks it in and you roll the wheel back and do it over and over again until it won't take anymore. Fortunately in the van you're right there at the wheel when pumping the grease in ;) And the steering definitely improved, it felt better. I ended up adjusting the nut around 3/4 turn to tune it up after I changed the tie rod ends on the steering link and checked out the mounting bolts(they were loose) and the pitman arm joints.

OP, If you adjust the screw on the steering box, only adjust it 1/4 turn at a time and then drive it and check it out closely. If there is any noise or binding in the steering back it off. If the adjuster is turned to far in it will destroy the gearbox. And it is incredibly dangerous. If you get to 1 1/2 turns and it still has slop, it needs to be replaced or rebuilt. Most importantly, don't even think about turning that adjusting screw until you've checked, and most likely replaced, all the steering link ends and the drag link in the steering system and check for slop in the pitman arm where it is connected to the gearbox and the drag link. Those things are where most of your steering slop is going to come from. All those joints have to be good with zero slop. Grease them while you're down there ;). Then look at the steering box.
It ain't gonna fix itself

Charlie Cheap
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #12 by Charlie Cheap » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:41 am

I have a 1965 Mustang 200 six that was used daily for years. I had a 64 Falcon Ranchero six also I drove daily. Anyone telling you they are bad daily drivers does not know this car. They were designed as daily drivers by Ford. Drum brakes work fine for daily use and simple tuning about twice a year keeps things running. I am 75 years old, an ASE certified mechanic, spent 50 years building street rods, I am a federally licensed gunsmith, have a degree in electronics, built race-cars and daily drivers. I tell you all this to show I am very familiar with mechanical things and electronics. DO NOT listen to today's so-called car experts. At my age I am still learning and building cars. After decades with V8's I find the little sixes and fours fascinating to build. Are you aware the old points ignition with todays points, a modern ACCEL or similar coil, platinum plugs, better wires and adjusted properly, is just as good as any MSD, HEI, Mallory-ACCEL after-market system, FOR STREET USE? Many tests show a good points system works fine up to around 4500 RPM...which you will seldom see on the street. For 4500 to 5500 RPM it is 90% as good. So unless you plan to race it, just upgrade the old points and drive it. The same holds true for the brakes. Make sure they work as designed, and enjoy. OH, the old AM radio...needs to go.

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chad
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"Loose ster"

Post #13 by chad » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:19 pm

B very careful w/that nut on the steer box. Read post 11 just for a caution, but get even more, complete info B4 messin w/it. The auto is a system. CK the whole (ster link) system 1st B 4 goin off 1/2 cocked...
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

[T00lbag]
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #14 by [T00lbag] » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:20 pm

I drive my 1964 Mercury Comet with the 200 cu. in. and Merc-O-Matic 2 speed auto tranny almost every single day. In fact, it is the only car I own. Daily average is 5-10 miles city driving depending on what I have going on. No problem whatsoever. The only suggestion I have is to drive defensively. You're right in that the drums will prove to be inadequate if you get into some major accident. And avoiding small fender benders won't be any problem if you are keeping an eye out for trouble. As for slop in the steering, sometimes you just have to aim it in the general direction you want to go and let it do it's thing, then deal with rebuilding/replacing the steering box when you get a chance.

Enjoy it! That's what they were made for.

63falcon4drwagon
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Re: Daily driver questions

Post #15 by 63falcon4drwagon » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:14 am

There is no grease in my steering gearbox! It's full of gear oil and it doesn't leak.
Here is some interesting info I copied on why factory caster settings for bias ply tires will cause an old vehicle to wander when radial tires are installed. Many years ago my wife's 66 mustang with bias tires steered very straight. My 68 Mustang with radial tires wandered. Now I know why.

"Why did most cars have negative caster specs prior to 1975 ? There are a couple of reasons for this. In those days, people were looking for cars that steered as light as a feather, and cars back then were not equipped with radial tires.
Non-radial tires had a tendency to distort at highway speed so that the contact patch moved back past the centerline of the tire (Picture a cartoon car speeding along, the tires are generally drawn as egg shaped). The contact patch generally moves behind the caster line causing, in effect, a positive caster. This is why, when you put radial tires on this type of car, the car wanders from side to side and no longer tracks straight. To correct this condition, re-adjust the caster to positive and the car should steer like a new car."
"Six-cylinder models need 0-degrees minimum caster and 2-degrees positive maximum due to the front-end weight difference."
Another recommendation was: "0* camber + 2* caster"
'The Ford manual (1965 Mustang) says: 1/32-inch change of shim thickness at either bolt will change the caster angle approximately 1/2 degree."

"Positive caster is obtained by adding shims to the front of the arm or subtracting shims from the rear. This does also affect camber when these are added or subtracted, so I add equally and subtract equally to front and rear to get more positive caster. I will want the front to back shim pack difference to be the same for both sides of the car. The shim packs may be different thicknesses though from one side to the other."
My first car at age 16: 1956 Victoria 292ci .045 milled heads, Mallory dual point dist, Autolite 4BBL, three on the tree + 3.89 gears.

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