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Classic car as a daily driver

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Classic car as a daily driver

Post by DEMONSPEED on April 26th 2012, 7:38 am

I'm looking at a 1963 Ford Econoline Van. The guy says " I drive it daily but it takes work to keep it going." What are some things that makes them hard to keep running? I know things like spark plugs, wires, fluids, tune up, etc., anything major?

I'm sure it's going to need things like that as well as brakes. Maybe ball joints, suspension parts?

What else to make this an acceptable driver?

Rob
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by Blue Eyed Devil on April 26th 2012, 11:48 am

Haha! I talked to the same guy about the same van. You do NOT want to consider that as a daily driver. It is going to need some serious work before you could even think about it. Not saying it couldn't be done, but I would hate to see you get it and depend on it to get you around when it could possibly need a complete overhaul. The rear end is also growling in it, so it's not gonna last long. It's a cool van, but it's a PROJECT, not a "driver". Not worth anywhere near what he is asking for it...
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by DEMONSPEED on April 27th 2012, 1:32 am

What did he tell you about this van? What kind of work do you think it will need? It will be a while before I get my full license so I could do work on it in that time. I always have another car I can drive anyways as long as there is nothing serious. This would also be something I could learn off of, again, if it's nothing serious like broken/rusted frame etc.

One last thing, what kind of rear do these vans have in them. Very hard to find info about these haha.

Thanks,
Rob
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by Truxter Fordly on April 27th 2012, 1:46 am

DEMONSPEED wrote:

One last thing, what kind of rear do these vans have in them. Very hard to find info about these haha.

Thanks,
Rob

The early ones have the same rear end as a six cylinder Falcon. Gears drop out from the back. Not very stout. About '65 or '66 thru '67 the ones badged "Heavy Duty" had a removable carrier Ford nine inch and a 240 Big Six under the engine cover. That's the rear to look for instead of rebuilding the weak one...
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by Blue Eyed Devil on April 27th 2012, 2:00 am

I haven't personally looked at the van yet, but they are VERY prone to rust-out in the rear spring mount area. This is usually a deal-breaker because these vans are UNIBODY. There is no frame under them besides the reinforced sheet metal mounting points. When they get rusty, the vehicle is done for all intents and purposes. I kept asking him about the problem areas and he was very vague, as if he was hiding something. I drove a '64 Econoline for a few years, so I know them pretty well. The guy seemed like a fast talker and wanted to tell ME about "old cars" and how they behave, when I know full well he is throwing a line of BS.

He admitted to a good amount of rust, the rear end making noise and the van runs poorly. It definitely has carburetor issues, and wiring is suspect. He said the starter has problems, and then proceeded to blame that on a alternator conversion "his buddy" did on it. He also said he pumped grease into the rear end to quiet it down, so it is toast. Who knows about old cars here? I forsee a rat's nest of bad wiring, rust issues, poor repair work, worn parts and then some.

Count on an engine overhaul, probably transmission, definitely rear end, brakes, suspension, kingpins, brakes etc. and that is ONLY if the unibody structure is sound enough to mess with.

Like I said, I would NOT buy this van with any intentions of driving it without a LOT of work. It's not worth anywhere near the asking price as-is.

BTW - The rear end is a small Dana unit, similar to the ones used in Falcons. The giveaway is the 13" wheels. Ford also made a Heavy Duty Econoline with a 9" rear end and 14" wheels, but this is not one.
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by Blue Eyed Devil on April 27th 2012, 2:01 am

Hey Truxter, my '64 panel was a badged Heavy Duty. It had a 9" but was still a 170. I miss that thing!
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by Truxter Fordly on April 27th 2012, 2:14 am

Blue Eyed Devil wrote:Hey Truxter, my '64 panel was a badged Heavy Duty. It had a 9" but was still a 170. I miss that thing!

Really? I didn't know they had the "Heavy Duty" option that early on. Surely couldn't have been a 240 because Ford didn't start making them until '65. Thanks for the info. Your comments concerning this particular van sound pretty on the money.....
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Re: Classic car as a daily driver

Post by DEMONSPEED on April 27th 2012, 2:38 am

Thanks for the info, guys. Yeah, I'm backing out of the van. He is trying to feed me a bunch of bull.

"rearend is good. I lubed up the diff. a couple years ago. Engine is going need eventual service.It has a noticable miss that comes and goes. I had the generator replaced w/an alternator so a different starter might be in order. Might just be a tightening issue.This thing could REALLY use a set of shocks."

I knew something was wrong when he put emphasis into the shock thing.

Again, thanks for the help. Good info about the diff's

Later,
Rob
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