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1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build

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Post  BigBlockRanger December 9th 2021, 10:16 am

Judd has been on the lookout for a project car he can truly call his own. Well, last Saturday he found it. It's a 1969 Galaxie 500 Sportsroof. It is a 390/C6 car with power steering and power disc brakes. It doesn't run and definitely needs work, but it was cheap. It was last on the road in 2002. These cars could be had with a 429, so a 460 swap is just a set of motor mounts away.

These cars have never really been on my radar. The Sportsroof consists of a recessed rear window with sail panels that is very similar to a 68-70 Charger. Chassis-wise they are very simple. Body on frame with a 3-link coil-sprung 9" in back.

Currently, the plan is a basic 460 build using a lot of stuff I have lying around. Stock D3 heads, stock iron 4bbl intake, 650 Holley, the HEI distributor I used to use in the 83GT, Ford Motorsport valve covers. Judd will pick a cam, and some Silvolite 3191 hyper pistons to bump compression and set of headers. Should make for a decently torquey engine.  

Trans will be a C6 I have that will get a shift kit and a higher stall converter.  Rear gears will be something in the high 3.xx or low 4.xx range. I think with the higher stall converter, lower gears and torquey engine, this thing will be a blast.

The goal is to get it running and driving, then go about improving what needs to be improved.

1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211220
1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211221
1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211222


Last edited by BigBlockRanger on March 10th 2022, 11:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  1982GT December 13th 2021, 11:48 am

The 68-70 Galaxies are definitely an overlooked car. I recently picked up a 62 galaxie two door post model. Original y-block deal. It's definitely going to get a mild 460. I can't wait to get started on it!
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Post  Mark Miller December 14th 2021, 12:21 am

BigBlockRanger wrote:Judd has been on the lookout for a project car he can truly call his own. Well, last Saturday he found it. It's a 1969 Galaxie 500 Sportsroof. It is a 390/C6 car with power steering and power disc brakes. It doesn't run and definitely needs work, but it was cheap. It was last on the road in 2002. These cars could be had with a 429, so a 460 swap is just a set of motor mounts away.

These cars have never really been on my radar. The Sportsroof consists of a recessed rear window with sail panels that is very similar to a 68-70 Charger. Chassis-wise they are very simple. Body on frame with a 3-link coil-sprung 9" in back.

Currently, the plan is a basic 460 build using a lot of stuff I have lying around. Stock D3 heads, stock iron 4bbl intake, 650 Holley, the HEI distributor I used to use in the 83GT, Ford Motorsport valve covers. Judd will pick a cam, and some Silvolite 3191 hyper pistons to bump compression and set of headers. Should make for a decently torquey engine.  

Trans will be a C6 I have that will get a shift kit and a higher stall converter.  Rear gears will be something in the high 3.xx or low 4.xx range. I think with the higher stall converter, lower gears and torquey engine, this thing will be a blast.

The goal is to get it running and driving, then go about improving what needs to be improved.

1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211220
1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211221
1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211222

Damn looks pretty clean for a 69 they don't look like that up here in the Rustbelt of Northeast,Ohio hell you don't even see many Galaxie 500's!!

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Post  BigBlockRanger December 14th 2021, 1:27 am

Yeah, it has very little rust.  Floor pans are solid and the trunk just has a few pin holes.  The West Texas heat took it's toll on the interior though. Still, it is a good first project car for a kid in high school.

He cleaned on it for a couple of days and then we drug it to the shop.  Him and a couple of buddies tore down the donor 460 and then he set about fixing the driver's side window that had come loose from the plates.

1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build Img_20231969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build Snapch11
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Post  bruno December 14th 2021, 9:43 am

Very cool project !!!

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Post  Falcon67 December 14th 2021, 6:57 pm

I'd be all over that. Living in west Texas, was probably right under my nose out here. Dang it.

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Post  BigBlockRanger December 14th 2021, 10:55 pm

It was in Tulia most of it's life, so a little North of you.

This sucker makes a 28/10.5 look small. Sure wish it was a 4.5 on 5 bolt pattern like everything else we have!

Edit: they might actually be 5 on 4.5. All the rotors and drums on Rockauto show 4.5. If that is correct, that is good news!

Edit 2: They are 4.5 on 5! Whoo hoo!

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Post  BigBlockRanger December 20th 2021, 11:30 am

Dang. Headers are expensive.

Surprisingly, these are the single most expensive item on his parts list. Crazy. Headers used to be a cheap upgrade. No so anymore. He briefly considered using manifolds. Briefly. We don't have any, so he would have had to find some and buy them. Then he'd prob want headers later, so he chose to bite the bullet and just buy them now.

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Post  Mark Miller December 21st 2021, 12:11 am

BigBlockRanger wrote:Dang.  Headers are expensive.  

Surprisingly, these are the single most expensive item on his parts list. Crazy. Headers used to be a cheap upgrade. No so anymore. He briefly considered using manifolds. Briefly. We don't have any, so he would have had to find some and buy them. Then he'd prob want headers later, so he chose to bite the bullet and just buy them now.

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Are those the 6126 Hooker Headers if so i had them on my 1978 LTDII when i had the 460 in it?And it looks like Summit Racings price on them are $667.76 ouch!!

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Post  BigBlockRanger December 21st 2021, 12:25 am

Yes they are. Judd bought them thru walmart.com for $635 with free shipping. They were $741 a couple of weeks ago!! Crazy
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Post  Mark Miller December 21st 2021, 3:51 am

That's a good price i think i seen Quick Fuel Dominators pop up at Walmart i was like WTH!!

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Post  BigBlockRanger December 21st 2021, 10:22 am

They just operate like a lot of places. You order from them and the product is drop shipped from the manufacturer. 30 or 40 bucks here and there makes a big difference when you are on a high school kid budget.
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Post  BigBlockRanger December 24th 2021, 12:33 am

Put a battery in it. No smoke or fire! Most everything works like it should too!

1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build 20211226

Holy smokes I think I am dead. Judd started taking the rear brakes apart and the passenger side drum Would. Not. Come. Off. We pried and pulled, hammered and banged and finally got it off. The self-adjuster would not back off so the shoes were hung in the drum. The parking brake may have been stuck on just a bit, not sure. Driver's side came apart real easy though.


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Post  BigBlockRanger December 24th 2021, 12:53 am

Judd got busy taking stuff apart this afternoon. He finished taking the rear brakes apart, pulled the axles, and disassembled the front brakes and rotors. In spite of the fact that the pads were completely used up, the rotors are in great shape. Next step I think is taking the front suspension apart to install new bushings.

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1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build Img_2029
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Post  BigBlockRanger December 28th 2021, 10:39 pm

 Late this afternoon, Judd started tearing the front suspension out. A couple hours later it was all out. He learned some good stuff about getting cotter pins out, hitting the spindle with a big hammer to get the ball joints loose and using a pitman arm remover to pop tie rods loose.

The rubber bushings were complete junk. They were just falling apart. The ball joints were in surprisingly good condition, but the rubber boots were toast. We will replace it all and never worry about the front end ever again.

The coil springs are crazy long!

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Post  BigBlockRanger January 11th 2022, 11:09 am

Old bushings and ball joints are out and Judd cut some tubing to reinforce the arm when pressing the new bushing in.

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Post  BigBlockRanger January 11th 2022, 11:12 am

While waiting on parts, Judd worked on the heads a bit.  He cut down the guides and removed a broken exhaust manifold bolt.  He ended up having to drill the bolt, but managed to save the threads. My buddy that runs a machine shop came by and picked up his block. Hopefully it will be back fairly soon.

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1969 Galaxie 500 - high school budget build Image_39


Last edited by BigBlockRanger on January 11th 2022, 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  BigBlockRanger January 11th 2022, 11:14 am

Judd and his buddies started putting the front suspension back together. They had trouble getting the bushings in the upper control arm or they would have had it all back together. We figured out a technique to get them in, so the second upper should be a lot easier.

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Post  BigBlockRanger January 26th 2022, 12:21 pm

Front end is finally going back together with all new bushings, ball joints and shocks.

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Post  BigBlockRanger January 31st 2022, 10:26 am

More Galactic progress.

Front rotors and brakes are on.
Rear drums brakes are assembled (not his favorite task!)
Rear shocks on.
Longer wheel studs installed
Diff disassembled, mini-spool and 4.10 ring gear installed.

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Post  BBFTorino February 3rd 2022, 12:49 am

With stock 28 spline axles? Those will be the weak link!

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Post  BigBlockRanger February 4th 2022, 10:15 am

Yeah 28 spliners. We'll see how long they last. Judd is on a high school kid budget so he is trying to reuse what he can.
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Post  BigBlockRanger February 14th 2022, 10:33 am

Judd did some work to the 9" this weekend. He ran into a few little snags, but is still progressing. We put a new crush spacer in the pinion and had a heck of a time getting it to crush. We ended up using a 6-ft cheater bar in order to produce enough force to begin the crushing. I was worried my breaker bar was going to twist off, but it worked.

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Post  BigBlockRanger February 18th 2022, 10:33 pm

Judd cleaned a lot off stuff today including the C6. It was pretty grungy and probably needs another round.

Then he bench pressed the 9" into the housing and installed the axles. I guess all that time at the gym is paying off. Haha.


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Post  BigBlockRanger February 28th 2022, 11:17 am

Block is back. Made a piston pin stop tool to make installing the pins easier and consistent.

Saturday was a good day in the shop. Judd and I popped the hood off and proceeded to yank the disgusting 390/C6 combo out of the Galaxie. Not surprisingly, we managed to lubricate the floor very nicely with transmission fluid. Nice.

Once the engine was up we realized we really didn't need to unbolt the engine mounts because they were both completely delaminated. The engine was literally just sitting in there. Haha. Our machine shop buddy came by and hauled it away for us because he has a client that wants a 390 built. He has really taken care of us in the past and frankly we just wanted it gone. 👍

Judd then set about putting the rods on the pistons and installing the piston rings. The piston pin stop I made worked great.

One thing I noticed that I have not told Judd about is the fact the FE uses different frame perches than a 460 does. Not 100% sure how we are going to deal with that just yet. May have to go scour the local wrecking yard and see if we can drag up a set.

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