May 26, 2014

Parts and Pieces: The 1965 Galaxie and "other" Ford's

The good news about having this Galaxie: This vehicle type is growing in popularity
The bad news about having this car: We still have this car...and it's still not done! But, that's the story of a shop owned project.
1965 Ford Galaxie Fastback
1965 Ford Galaxie Fastback

We have gotten a lot of questions about where we source parts for this car (and several other Fords) and we will share some of our thoughts on our sources below in this blog post.  We are well on our way to having her up for sale. We just need the "free time"
to put her together. Our delay is time to physically work on the car as we are consistently working on our customer jobs.

For more detail on how far this lady has come in her makeover, see the gallery for the 1965 Galaxie's. Today, the fenders are on, drivers seat is installed and the engine runs. We have taken her up to 55 MPH on the dead end road nearby( don't worry, the road is over a mile long). Next we need to get the hood, deck lid and interior installed. If you have questions about this, or other projects of ours we are happy to share some resources with you if you contact us via our email,  drivenrestorations@gmail com or in blog comments

Now on to address some of the questions we've encountered on Galaxie parts.  Below is a list of a couple different suppliers and resources to consider when you are looking for parts for your Ford project.

 Parts for Galaxie's and other Ford's:
Before you Begin:
Always remember that as well as Google may seem to work, it doesn't always find you the resource that is best for YOU in the end. It simply finds the ones that are best at being found thanks to SEO and computer nerds(I mean that in the nicest way, I need them too).

We can't list every resource here.  This list should provide a few places to get started.

The Search for Parts:
Want to know what color your car started out as? Learn more about the engine? De-code the VIN? See Mercurystuff.com and select your make, model and year(or just browse around in what's on their site) to discover a little more about your cars history.
Enter your VIN and get your report at Decode This
Here's a guide to decoding the tags: Galaxie tags (note: the Galaxieparts.com is owned by eckler's and will simply take you shopping...)

Once you have a shopping list: 

Dennis Carpenter: Ford Restoration Parts for a variety of Ford makes and models. This site allows you to select your make and model or a span of years as a category, however, search-ability is a challenge as once you "cart" an item you have to re-enter your search requirements. You also lose your search entries after page 3 of  parts browsing. Frustrating. BUT, despite the speed and search challenges with the site function, they offer quality parts at competitive pricing for the selection available. They have mostly reproduction parts, not much for "options" or odd parts you may need. They are definitely worth a look first.

Eckler's Deerborn classic's:Fairlane, Falcon, Torino and Galaxie Parts. See their complete catalog here.  Be warned: their shipping arrangements are challenging. We once received 8 boxes on the same day...then one more 4 months later(backordered). We weren't in a rush for that striker plate though so we waited and it was a surprise when it finally showed up as we had no idea when to expect it. These guys will email you discount codes or have them posted on their site on a regular basis. It's worth subscribing and only buy with a discount. Otherwise they are generally higher priced.

Mac's: 1960-1972 Ford and Mercury passenger car parts. They often have sales. NEVER pay full price!!! Their shipping is a little better than Eckler's but it may have been luck. Prices are about the same as Eckler's as well.

Classic Car Auto Parts: Select gas tanks, sending units, gas tank straps, disc brake kits and radiators

Master Power Brakes: Specialty supplier offering brake kits and accessories only

Andy's Auto Sports: This site offers some aftermarket accessories for lower prices than some other sites. They however organize the site by product brand, which may be a plus if you know exactly what you want, or a challenge if you are just browsing. Fitment may not be the best on their products as frequently they are not actually FOR a Galaxie 500 when that is what you THOUGHT you were searching for. I only note this as they appear every time I search parts. This indicates1 thing: excellent SEO(Search Engine Optimization) which is usually a red flag for fitment and actual car knowledge of the seller. *Note:We have never ordered from this supplier as we have minimal use for their listed products*

Hagen's Auto Parts: Rebuilds cores and offers electrical and select brake, engine components.  They also have some fun memorabilia if you are interested. They offer parts/parts service going back to the 1920's

Summit: engine and related parts are shipped at VERY low shipping rates and extremely fast. Their distribution, return/exchange policy is second to none. However, before you start looking for more horsepower, always make sure you know exactly what you are building. Have a build plan for the engine(and the car) and work with your installer to ensure it will all fit inside the engine compartment (or maybe you don't want it to, in which case...can we drive it too?)

Steele Rubber Products : Check pricing on weatherstripping, bumpers and seals. When shopping for items of this nature be sure to look for a "package" of everything you need. It is faster(not always cheaper) than trying to locate each piece and ensures you won't be missing that one little piece at time of installation.

Rubber the Right Way: An alternative to Steele Rubber Products, but the offer very much the same products

Original Auto Interiors: If you need a new interior they can likely get you everything you need for your car or truck.

Is your Ford Galaxie a convertible?
1963 Ford Galaxie Convertible
1963 Galaxie Convertible
We would highly recommend the trying Convertible Top Guys: They may not be the absolute lowest cost, but they sent us some great products and had excellent resources for questions on convertible top materials and installation and they had everything IN STOCK which is always a bonus!

For the hard to find parts and pieces:

There will still be parts you will have a hard time locating or parts that you will need to have fabricated, bought aftermarket or re-finished. We have made our own sheet metal for several locations on the car and had many pieces of chrome re-dipped as they were not available aftermarket(headlight bezel, belt line trim and fender badges). The re-dipped chrome will be a higher quality finish, however, for some car owners the cost is not justifiable and they may prefer locating a better condition used piece from a salvage yard or independent seller. For chrome we use Custom Plating Specialists.

Ford Galaxie crhome trim
Galaxie Belt Line Trim: Needs Re-Chroming-NOT available aftermarket

For those items you need to locate that are not available through a catalog, try local swap meets, Craigslist(post on dealing with Craigslist coming soon) or e-bay. There are also salvage yards. These yards can be hard to work with over the phone and typically have poorly organized websites(if they have one at all) but occasionally they have exactly what you need and you're able to find the part you need in a condition that doesn't need too much repair.

Examples of salvage yards with a decent online presence:
CTC Auto Ranch: Salvage yard located in Texas offers a variety of used parts in several makes and models. Inventory will vary.
Trinkets and Junk: Another example of a fun online salvage yard to browse...we are not responsible for any purchases you make (like another project...)

In Closing:

Overall the shopping experience can be fun! Once you get to the items on your list that are nearly impossible to locate  it may turn into more of a frustration. Never hesitate to use your resources. The more people that know you need a part, the better the odds you'll find it. As always, we are happy to help.

In the end it's worth the time to Make it Driven.