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The Ringer: 1973 Ford Gran Torino 4 door 351

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tobyvanderbeek View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13-August-2018 at 10:42AM
Hi there. New member Toby here. I just picked up a 1973 Ford Gran Torino 4 door hardtop.  Body 53D. It's in awful shape. Last registration on it was 2004 (14 years). I was told it was baking in the Chico sun for a decade. The windows were so dirty I couldn't even see out of them. I towed it home on my trailer with the help of some friends. I've cleaned it up a bit, washed it, wrenched on the weekend and got it started. The motor ran incredibly smooth considering. I even took it around the block on a short drive. It doesn't stop well so I'm currently working on the brakes. Already replaced the front caliper/piston/pads and bled the brakes. The brake pedal still goes to the floor so there are other issues. I have parts to do the rear brakes and master cylinder. I can't find a new or re-manufactured booster. There's a problem with the brake pedal returning very slowly which I'm still trying to figure out. Could be a dirty booster, bad or missing return spring, maybe dirty rear wheel brake cylinders. Aside from pulling an old booster out of another vehicle I've been told I can have mine re-manufactured which takes 4 weeks but is not expensive. Trying to keep costs down. I just want to have it running and looking decent. The front seat vinyl is a mess so I'm looking at new vinyl from Mac's or other. The car has non-split front and rear bench seats which seems to be less common, or at least the reason why I get funny looks from people when I say that. The trim code on the door panel is CTA which is beige interior, pleated vinyl. I just cannot find beige seats anywhere and I'm not going to pay an upholstery shop a ton of money to make it custom. I'm wondering if beige was just the general color inside. The seats definitely look like they have always been beige, and not ginger which seems to be much darker. Lots of other issues to share in the forums later. Paint color is 53D Gold Glow and it has a great patina/rust that I'm not going to mess with. I'm going for the Big Lebowski look overall. I've done a lot of research and learned a ton about this car but there is much more to learn. I'll post pictures when I have approval.

Any help on these issues is greatly appreciated:
Brake pedal slow to return
Replacement brake booster
Interior colors
1973 Ford Gran Torino 4 door 351C
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-August-2018 at 12:59PM
Hey Toby, welcome to the forum!  Nice to see another 4-door being saved.  There was a 4-door Torino at Carlisle this year that was dressed up like the big Lebowski car.  Defintiely an iconic movie car!
 
I don't believe the boosters are available for '72s any more, rebuilding is your only option unless you retrofit a newer one in it's place.  I am sure we'll be able to help you out with your car as you build it.
 
You're a full member now, so post up some pics.  Here are instructions if you need help.
 
Vince

1972 Ford GTS Sportsroof - Survivor, One Family car
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-August-2018 at 2:03PM
welcome! something to check on the slow pedal... my buddy's 74 was not returning all the way causing the calipers to drag, i thought it was the calipers being corroded but come to find out it was the pedal pivot was rusty!!! we sprayed it a couple time and let it work in and it started working fine! something to check...
 i have 1 good booster left for sale if you are interested....
JOHN
74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 VETTE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
68 MUSTANG FB CONVERSION
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eliteman76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-August-2018 at 6:09PM
Boosters can be reman by a company in California. 
Look up these guys. I used them on my GTS.

Another thing. Replace ALL the rubber hoses. Both caliper lines. Axle center hose. And look over the condition of your brake lines.

Old lines that look OK can collapse and you can have pedal issues.
Another thing is, honestly if you rent or borrow one, an pneumatic bleeder is great for forcing air out of the lines.  
Andrew
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:20AM
Here she is as I found her.
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tobyvanderbeek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:21AM
And the interior.

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tobyvanderbeek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:22AM
Dirty on the right, "clean" on the left. That's 14 years of dirt washed off.


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tobyvanderbeek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:28AM
Wrenching for a day with friends.

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tobyvanderbeek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:30AM
Lots of dirt and leaks. My co-worker says it's a 351 modified Cleveland motor. Once we got it started, it ran incredibly smooth.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:31AM
After a good scrub I think she looks pretty good. The patina is perfect. Color is Gold Glow.
My wife hates it next to her new Tesla. And that's my Jeep across the street.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 9:33AM
Thank you for the assistance. The carpet is nasty so I don't even want to climb in to look under the dash. I'll pull the seats and carpet out soon. I ordered new carpet and headliner from AutoKrafters. I have a new master cylinder ($42!) so I'll pull that and the booster out to check it out. I'll test the booster and re-manufacture or replace it if necessary. I'm sure greasing up various mechanical points on the brakes will fix it. But it's still only $120 for new parts for a complete front and rear brake job. Incredibly cheap. Lots more to do and not much free time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 12:03PM
cool
JOHN
74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 VETTE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
68 MUSTANG FB CONVERSION
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 12:19PM
The car looks great all cleaned up.  The patina looks just right.  Sounds like you are making good progress in a short time.
Vince

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewok1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 1:47PM
very good save
GET IT GOT IT GONE !!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 3:54PM
valve cover decal will declare displacement, the 351M didn't exist until 1975

what's the 5th digit of the VIN, it's a letter?

VIN code S is a 400, the origin of the 351M, they're externally almost identical
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 5:30PM
5th digit of the VIN is H for 351 =5.8l. It has 8 bolts on the valve covers so it's a Cleveland. I thought there was a leak at the back of the driver side valve cover so I pulled it off and some of the rockers and pushrods are rusty. Must have gotten some water in it. It's a pretty easy and cheap fix but the problem must go deeper. Considering pulling the heads of now. Took me an hour to get the oil filter off. It was stuck tight. Bent my oil filter wrench. Had to hammer a screwdriver through the filter and twist it off. I won't be putting in more oil just yet until I decide on the rockers and pushrods.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-August-2018 at 6:17PM
top end parts can rust just sitting, even inside a complete running engine. upon the last shut-down the moisture in the air inside the engine condensed and remained there for the duration. beware of 'project creep', that's where you start checking & topping off fluids and before you know it the engine is scattered across the front yard. i'd just spray the rockers down with penetrant / lube of the day and let the oil change do the rest

the valve cover decal should also ID the engine family, have you had a chance to take a good look at it yet?

what's the part number of the sticker in the lower right corner, is this it?





Edited by Rockatansky - 16-August-2018 at 6:22PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-August-2018 at 3:50AM
^^^ rock's totally right!
JOHN
74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 VETTE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
68 MUSTANG FB CONVERSION
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gpd294 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-August-2018 at 4:39AM
Originally posted by tobyvanderbeek tobyvanderbeek wrote:

My wife hates it next to her new Tesla. 

LOL! That was my favorite part! LOL 

Glad you are getting her back on the road! Clap
Carlos....1975 Gran Torino Squire Station Wagon restored to look like a 1973 Torino Station

Wagon my Dad bought new from McAnary Ford on June 6, 1973 in Gary,Indiana
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 7T9_Tbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-August-2018 at 6:16AM
Probably just my sick sense of humor, but I'd paint it bright yellow, add the checkerboards and top hat and go full hot rod taxi on the thing.  Just a though from a demented mind...Big smile
John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-August-2018 at 8:11AM
and whatever you don't use modern oil for roller tappet and catalytic engines!

that old motor needs old school oil, look at Lucas hot rod & classic oil, very good content

i'd do a scuff & flat clear


Edited by Rockatansky - 17-August-2018 at 8:13AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-August-2018 at 7:06AM
Originally posted by Rockatansky Rockatansky wrote:

top end parts can rust just sitting, even inside a complete running engine. upon the last shut-down the moisture in the air inside the engine condensed and remained there for the duration. beware of 'project creep', that's where you start checking & topping off fluids and before you know it the engine is scattered across the front yard. i'd just spray the rockers down with penetrant / lube of the day and let the oil change do the rest

the valve cover decal should also ID the engine family, have you had a chance to take a good look at it yet?

what's the part number of the sticker in the lower right corner, is this it?




My valve cover sticker is D3AE-9C485-BFA. I can't find a replacement. This one is pretty torn up, partially painted over, protective layer coming off. You know where to get this exact replacement?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-August-2018 at 7:11AM
I think the rocker arms and pushrods are so rusted that I'm going to replace them. Here is what I chose:

Sealed Power R-855 steel rocker arm with pedestal. $5.99 each.

Sealed Power RP-3226R pushrods 8.410" long. $7.99 each.

Sealed Power MR-1951 bolts. I'm guessing these are standard 5/16" bolts and generic will work. Probably no need to pay $2 each for these but whatever.

Total cost is $255 from Summit. I think that's worth it in peace of mind in really cleaning up this problem.

Any thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobyvanderbeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-August-2018 at 7:20AM
For reference, this is how it looks under the valve cover.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-August-2018 at 7:31AM
not exactly a pleasant surprise, but you still have the engine lifting brackets Thumbs Up

that sticker doesn't pop up in a quick search, i don't suppose every one is reproduced?

this outfit has a bunch, maybe they have it but not listed, or they can make it with a pic
http://www.blaap.com/catalogue/newmanuals/2bfordengineemission.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote handsofstone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-November-2018 at 1:02PM
I was going to say be careful getting the pushrods out. They may be stuck in the lifters and if you pull one out, off comes the intake.

It is most likely not going to happen but something to keep in mind.

-John
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