My grandfather recently passed, leaving me his 1972 ford galaxie 500 4 door in grabber blue. It was running fine 5 years ago when it was parked, but hasn’t been run since. Its been stored in a barn, so out of the elements fyi. What do I need to be aware of with getting this car running and back to original to honor his memory? I am planning on draining and replacing the gas, giving it an oil change, new battery, and pouring oil into the cylinders before starting, but am I missing anything? What else should I check before driving it?-Rich in Wisconsin
The first thing I would do is see if the motor is seized. I would remove all the plugs and put some oil in the cylinders and see it you can turn the engine over with a breaker bar on the crank pulley. if not pour some penetrating oir or kerosene in each cylinder and let it sit for a couple of days.
Once you can get it to turn by hand you can drain the oil overnight. and proceed from there.
Assume the brakes need service. Fresh fluid, new rubber hoses at a minimum. Get in and stand on the brakes once the engine is running. Stand on 'em hard. If the metsl lines or any seals are ready to fail, better it should happen now. Take a slow test drive applying the brakes to clean off the rust. Take them all apart and search for leaks. Repair, replace, fresh fluid and you should be good.
Assume you need to rebuild the carb and replace the rubber fuel lines. Maybe a new fuel pump. Do a tune up. Points (yes, points) plugs, cap, maybe plug wires, maybe a coil.
When you replace the gas, I would pay extra for non-ethanol fuel, until the fuel system components are replace with alcohol compatible components.
UPDATE I replaced the oil and added new gas, all hoses and belts are in good shape and the engine turns when the crank is moved manually. At least 2 of the wheels are locked up and when I attempted to start it nothing happened aside from a buzzing sound (electrical short?) from a cylindrical part attached to the firewall with a cable leading to the carburetor. I have 2 questions for everyone. First, does anyone know of a good way to get drum brakes unstuck aside from disassembling them? And second, does anyone know what part that is that seems to be fried/shorting?
Drum brakes need to be disassembled. If for no other reason to sand the rust off the inside of the drums.
Squirt penetrating oil on the round seam between the wheel and hub on the rear, and also the base of the wheel studs where the protrude through the drum. Then you need a brake spoon and a small screwddriver to un adjust the rear brakes through a slot in the rear of the backing plate.
On the front un-adjust te brake and remove the dust cap. cotter pin, castellated nut, retaining nut, and pull the drum off the hub. Try not to drop the wheel bearings in the dirt, You will have to clean and repack them after you are done.
If you can’t get the brakes un-adjusted because the star wheel won’t move , you will have to grind off the heads of the retaining pins at the backing plate.Then force the drums and shoes off together.
You should really look for utube videos of all this.
The second problem could be the starter solenoid which on certain fords mount’s to the firewall and the cable runs down to the starter motor. Image copied from Rockauto
Ford calls them a “Starter Relay” but they are an electromagnetic solenoid. I had other names for them not fit to post here. Most Fords I have owned had them. After the second failure I started carrying a new one with wrenches in the glove box. Very easy to replace. Either disconnect the positive battery cable or be very careful with the positive battery to solenoid cable.
If you remove the wheels and hold a short 2x4 against the drums and smack it with a heavy hammer several times there’s a good chance the wheels will turn to roll the car out of the barn. The car needs some close attention before driving on public roads.