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Old 08-13-2019, 09:21 PM   #1
klev
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Default 1960 wagon west

This is my first post, though I have been on the newer Ford Truck forums for years - since I have three 4X4s: two '92s and a '94.

So, what brings me here? I am buying a 1960 Country Sedan, similar to the Country Squire in which, brand new in 1960, my family (Mom, Dad, three kids) took a coast-to-coast (and back!) summer trip. (A few years later, it was in the Country Squire that I passed my long-anticipated driving test.)

I have the Daily Log I kept on that long ago cross-country trip and intend to duplicate as much of our original route as possible in the Country Sedan since the car is in South Dakota and its new home will be in California. The route will take me through The Badlands, Yellowstone, the Tetons, SLC, Wendover and Lake Tahoe.

The car has its original 352/2 barrel and three speed Cruise-O-Matic and has been restored and cared for as part of the Ken Triplett collection most of its recent life.

I anticipate an adventure and, though I know there is no guaranty against breakdown, I hope to be reasonably prepared. Before the start of the trip, we will be adding seatbelts and replacing the wide white bias-ply rubber with radials - (keeping the OEM wheels and bias ply tires for their originality).

I need some advice on tire/wheel size. Should I replace the 14s with 15s? And what width wheel, what size tire?

I will be bringing an ignition point set, fan belts, generator brushes and some tools - plus my AAA card. The drive is planned for early October, after the hottest weather and before the snow (I hope).

Any specific advice or tips appreciated.

Happy Motoring! - and wish me luck ....

Last edited by klev; 09-02-2019 at 01:53 PM. Reason: not restored changed to: restored
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:32 PM   #2
miker98038
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Not too long ago, we left Montana, did Yellowstone, and ended up in Rapid City, SD. I’ve also been into Tahoe from the east and west. There’s a lot of empty country in there, are you going thru Rapid City? Are the plans to keep it stock or do some upgrades when you’re home? The reason I ask is 14” wheels and tires aren’t as common as they used to be. At least in SD, they probably still know what drum brakes are.

I’d throw in a fuel filter or two, just in case. I’ve change more than one of those on the road.

Last edited by miker98038; 08-13-2019 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Swapping to 15's would be a good idea, I think. Find out what the original size was and any tire store can look up the equivalent diameter in 15" size. If you're going to non-stock wheels, make sure offset is the same to avoid possible tire rub. Maybe have the store agree to a trial fit before paying for new wheels and tires.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

any trouble ive had in the last 20 years has always been the fuel pump.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

If the car has been cared for but mostly sitting in a collection for the last several years it would be a good idea to carefully inspect (or replace) all the rubber parts that could be dry rotted from age.
Belts, coolant hoses, fuel hoses, flex brake lines, and the wheel cylinders.
.

Last edited by dmsfrr; 08-14-2019 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

I have a full sized '61 Merc with a 352 two bbl auto, and the engine is probably up to the task, if in good condition. My car had 48k on it when I bought it and the cylinder compression ranged from (as I recall) about 140 up to 155 or 6, for the purposes of comparison. I personally would check the compression and change the oil a few times before going on the trip.


Original (unrestored) cars often have problems with sediments in the tank and fuel system, so if that hasn't been addressed, I would also check the system out and - as Mike said, bring some fuel filters.



I remember going from Nebraska to California in 1964 in our family's '61 Dodge Pioneer wagon, and it created memories for a life time. YOU'LL HAVE A BLAST!
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Thought I'd mention a few things I've taken along w/me w/a new to me old car for a 500 miles trip: jumper cables, couple cans of oil, antifreeze, duct tape, starter fluid, and most importantly, cell phone. Best of luck in your drive. Let us know about the adventures along the way. We've all got 'em.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

There is a thread over on the HAMB about a family that traveled from PA to CA and back following Route 66 in a '63 Rambler Wagon. Kind of long but worth a read, IMO.
https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...wagon.1153197/
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Thanks for the responses.
Along with collecting spare parts, I'm purchasing replacement 15" wheels and tires from afar since shipping time is involved and I'd like them with the car when I arrive.
Also thinking about installing the Pertronix Ignitor in place of points. Any reason not to?
Happy Motoring
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:49 PM   #10
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Post Re: 1960 wagon west

Quote:
Originally Posted by klev View Post

... Also thinking about installing the pertronix ignitor in place of points. Any reason not to?
pertronix ignitor ii
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Quote:
Originally Posted by klev View Post
... Also thinking about installing the Pertronix Ignitor in place of points. Any reason not to?
Like many other things their quality isn't what it was several years ago. I think the parts are made off-shore these days.
Carry all the parts needed to reinstall the points if you're stuck on the side of the road somewhere.
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Quote:
Originally Posted by klev View Post
Thanks for the responses.
Along with collecting spare parts, I'm purchasing replacement 15" wheels and tires from afar since shipping time is involved and I'd like them with the car when I arrive.
Also thinking about installing the Pertronix Ignitor in place of points. Any reason not to?
Happy Motoring
I am running two Pertronix set ups. Not a glitch with either now going on four years.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Lot's of good advice here! Dito replacing everything rubber along with the fuel pump. I would also take a serious look at the tank, and would consider pulling and flushing. Also highly recommend doing some serious test runs before hand. If you can do a good several thousand miles without having to touch anything, your close
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

I made an Alabama to California trip in a 66 Fairlane 390. The only problem I encountered on the road was some bad gasoline I bought in the middle of nowhere in Texas. A spare can of gas and new filter might be a good idea.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Quote:
Originally Posted by LD-Ordie View Post
I would also take a serious look at the tank, and would consider pulling and flushing.

This is good advice and very important. Gas tanks in old unrestored cars (especially from the era you're dealing with) are, IMO, "guilty until proven innocent."
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:59 PM   #16
klev
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

(Correction: the car underwent a restoration at one time and has been in a collection since.)
I am gathering parts for the trip and new rubber will be fitted. Anticipated start date is October 3. Hope we can stay ahead of snow in the mountains.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

Quote:
Originally Posted by klev View Post
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

(Correction: the car underwent a restoration at one time and has been in a collection since.)
I am gathering parts for the trip and new rubber will be fitted. Anticipated start date is October 3. Hope we can stay ahead of snow in the mountains.
Over 20 years ago I took the entire month of October off from work and took a family vacation and drove from California to PA and back. Made it all the way without any snow issues until we were almost home and ran into snow between Flagstaff and Phoenix, AZ. And I thought it was only Californians who couldn't drive in the snow. Turns out Arizonians are no better if not worse. Have fun and drive safe.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1960 wagon west

I have made two trips from NJ or Oregon (the second went down to San Jose) in my stock 56 Bird. Great trips. We (two others with their Birds) were out 5 weeks, made a lot of stops going out and coming back..
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