65 town wagon project

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65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:25 pm

started a build on a 65 town wagon , picked it up a few months ago . when i bought it i was told it would take a few hours and the wagon would be back up and running just needed a starter and alt , well after i got it home that was not the case . i had to go thru all the hack wiring just to get it to where i could even try and start it , finally got that done and the engine would not turn over ( i tried by hand first but only moved it 1/4 turn ) took the new starter out and tested and was good . pulled the valve cover off (slant 6 ) and found cover was not sealed and water was all over the rocker and springs , so i pulled the head and checked the block and found the engine would turn over now but the first piston had bad rings so i decided to just pull the engine and do a v8 swap .

while i had the front end apart and engine out i decided to modify the frame to accept a crown vic front suspension that uses the aluminum cross member will all the suspension tied onto it , Im almost done with the install just need to tie in the trailing arms that come off the lower control arm . Yesterday i went to the Jy and pulled a 5.9 magnum and got it mocked up then one of the motor mount brackets just about done , hoping to finish it off get the 2nd one done , pull motor back out , box in the lower portion of the brackets then finish off the trailing arms

day we picked it up

out with the old

old motor mounts out and frame pressure washed

boxing started

frame cleaned up

suspension installed



and how it currently sits


went to the junkyard and pulled a 46rh /a518 out of a 1990 d150 , got it all cleaned up and bolted to the engine . put both back in the wagon and found i had to cut out the old trans cross member so the new trans could sit in down, once i had that cut out the other cross member was right under the very tail end of the trans so i decided to make a new removable cross member .






started on the 4 link in the rear , so far i got a section of the frame plated and upper link mounts done on both frame and axle . also went to the junk yard and found a rear sway bar off a crown vic that fits very well , just had to make the axle mounts



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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:26 pm





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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:28 pm

went to the junkyard and pulled a dodge 1500 pedal assembly and brake booster , benefits will be cable gas pedal vs rod linkage and power brakes . also pulled backing plates and e-brake line from a grand cherokee do a disc brake conversion
made adapter plates which also covered the old holes then made an adapter for the steering column i picked up last week





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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:30 pm

got the new gas tank mounted up


pulled a floor shifter from the junkyard to see if i could adapt it to work in the dodge

what it looks like after i modified it

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:31 pm

Took Natalie to the jy today to find some seats and think we came out with some decent ones , also pulled the e brake foot pedal assembly and cable. Once we got back , put the engine back in to test clearances for steering once everything checked good got the steering pretty much done




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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:37 pm

frame is off and just about ready to go to powdercoat , cut off all the un needed brackets as well as body mounts since they were just riveted then ill just bolt them up when i get them back



got a lot done in the last 3 days , Saturday got the brake line and fuel lines on the frame done then cut the rivets out for the body mount brackets. got the crown vic front end off the frame then frame cleaned up and on the trailer
Sunday tore down the crown vic front end and cross member painted and made up the added floor for the rear seat
took today off so i could take the frame to get powder coated , got the hardware to get the hard brake lines done on the axle , got the axle cleaned up and painted , re-built the 3rd member and got the holes drilled in the added floor to mount it to the body along with holes drilled for the seat






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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:39 pm

got the frame and brackets back from powder coat . got the crown vic front end put on as well as fuel line and brake line



got the shift knob in from american shifter , made a union out of poly rod to go from 3/8 x 24 to 1/2x 13 . still need to weld the nut on all the way then grind it to match the diameter of the tubing


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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:42 pm

Crown vic suspension is completely installed now , had to make brackets for the rear trailing arms off the lca's. Also pulled the hand parking brake out because when set it pulls out and up and gets it the way of getting out. Installed a foot brake I pulled from the durango we got the seats out of





back on its own weight and rolling





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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:54 am

welcome to the community. i'm really digging this build. the crown vic suspension should make this old girl ride like a dream

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:52 am

thanks for the welcome , im hoping the crown vic setup does the trick with the 4 link in the back . im going to have to swap out the coilovers in the back though cause once i got everything done i was sitting about 3" higher in the back adjusted the coilovers to level and had no up travel left . got the new coilovers coming in and once they are on the truck ill have to wait and see if the front end will drop down with engine and trans if not i may need some lowering springs upfront  haha
here is the wagon just about level

also do you guys know of a good parts source , i need some new door hinges and misc body parts that i cant seem to find


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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:19 am

here are some door hinges
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/141246607035?item=141246607035&ttle=1961+Dodge+D100+Town+Wagon+Upper+Door+Hinges&vectorid=229466&tc=US&rmvSB=true

or try here..

Power Giant Parts - james.longoni@honeywell.com Call Jim (425) 501-0334 Woodinville, WA - 1959 & 1960 Dodge truck parts for sale

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rapidtransitrick on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:59 am

wow first time i've seen the crown vic done on this chassis. usually done on the sweptline d series. looks like you pulled it off though. i'm in for the ride keep up the good work
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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:35 pm

nothing but a shell , made a body dolly to roll it around to get blasted then eventually body and paint


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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:47 am

thats cool. right down to the bare bones.

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:28 pm


finally got the motor back from the builder along with the re-built transmission and torque converter . spent all last weekend re-assembling the engine and mating the engine to trans




also ended up needing smaller coilovers in the back so the ones i took off i was able to adapt to work up front on the crown vic suspension

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:57 am

engine looks great, this thing should skoot down thw eoad with ease

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:55 pm

little bit of an update got the body over to a shop and found out there was about $6000 worth of repairs that needed to be done , price also included sand blasting and primer . so i found a 61 locally and took the body off that which was in a lot better shape and had not been worked on too much . the floor pans were rotted out so i went ahead and replaced those myself and modified the trans tunnel cover to fit . one i got that done i frenched in tail lights and turn signals then test fitted the 61 body on 65 frame and cut slots in the rear panel for the new bumper brackets i made . I wasn't a fan of the original rear bumper so i found a larger chevy truck bumper that worked out pretty well , the license plate will be sunk into one of the door and fuel filler will take its spot . one i got the body sitting on the frame i put on of the fenders on so i could figure out what to do about a radiator , got the size so i went ahead and made a shroud for the volvo fan and relay i pulled from the jy







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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:54 am

happy to see this moving forward what did you do with the other panel?

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:09 pm

sitting in my backyard at the moment , the guy i have doing the rest of the body work said he may be interested in it so may trade it for bodywork

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:01 pm

body should be done at sandblasting wednesday , getting some of the wiring done so i can hopefully fire the engine up this coming weekend
for now pics of the core/radiator support blasted and powdercoated long with radiator , trans cooler and ac condensor installed



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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:12 pm

i gotta say that looks great

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:15 pm

got the body back for blasting and primer , got it set back on the frame and fired up the engine today Very Happy

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by rich on Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 pm

Wow good job!!! Thanks for sharing

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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by Ricky Rodder on Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:26 pm

penski61 wrote:got  the body back for blasting and primer , got it set back on the frame and  fired up the engine today Very Happy


sounds good did you get rid of the other body yet?
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Re: 65 town wagon project

Post by penski61 on Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:59 pm

yeah i parted most of it out , still have the dash and firewall but thats about it

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Re: 65 town wagon project

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