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Mad Max - Galaxie Tow Rig

Discussion in 'Tow Rig Forum' started by Suicide77, June 11, 2015.

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    1. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Hey chefduane, a few years back I cut my hand slicing hamburger and had to get stitches. When the guy was putting my stitches in he had this sweet sterilized tool kit of different small surgical instruments (scissors, pliers, tweezers, etc...). When he was done he asked me if I wanted them because was just going to throw them away after we were done. I said heck yeah!

      [​IMG]

      Very handy for pulling the tape off of wet paint! And lockable to boot!

      In addition to getting the 'bat-wheels' painted, I've also since finished the last corner of the car in need of brake hardware!

      [​IMG]

      I love the space in the wheels wells on this thing! I can just about sit up straight while in them running the brake lines.

      Now, all the wheelcylinders and lines have been replaced, last part of the system is the mastercylinder:

      [​IMG]

      Out with the old, in with the new :)

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Looking good like a snake in the grass!
       
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    3. adamsbro2

      adamsbro2 Bryan Elite Explorer

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      Anthony your hauling ass bro....keep up the good work
       
    4. chefduane

      chefduane Texas Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      So cool to see and old car come back to life again. Still some good miles left in her!

      PS: We used clips like that for other, uh, purposes. (!)
       
    5. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Will do man! Thanks for the support!
       
    6. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Great build, looking forward to following along.

      I've thought of using my '60 Dart as a tow rig for the '70 Dart. It would definitely look cool pulling into the track like that :D

      [​IMG]

      And yes, they used to tow a lot of stuff behind, cars... but that doesn't mean it always worked well ;)

      The Galaxie's drum brakes would probably be fine in most flat land conditions, but add rain or hills and you could be really screwed. I had a '70 LeMans which had no brakes at all after driving through big puddles. I learned to ride the brakes to dry them off every time I drove through a big puddle:eek:

      I would definitely wait until you have the discs in front to tow.
       
    7. chefduane

      chefduane Texas Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      ^ Looks like Lucy & Desi in The Long, Long Trailer! Heh.
       
    8. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      It's been a whiles since I posted, but progress hasn't stopped on this rig. I'll do my best to fill yall in with the details, but at the moment here is how she sits :)

      [​IMG]
       
    9. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      Body off?

      Are you going to redo the entire frame?
       
    10. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Unfortunately the frame is totally shot!!! So I'm doing the right thing and fixing it...
       
    11. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Alrighty! Time to get y'all caught up on the madness! Here is where we left off:

      [​IMG]

      I had diverted most my spending money to school and was left with just enough to buy sand paper. So I decided to start knocking out some of the minor cosmetic problems, such as the tanked paint job.

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      [​IMG]

      In about a week I had gotten a decent chunk of the back end done.

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      Fast forward about a month and I had gotten the better part of the hood done.

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      The hood is bigger than our dinner table! I grossly underestimated how damn big this car is!

      Even worse, I still had a whole lot of car to go!

      [​IMG]

      I just kept at it after getting home from work/school and found myself closing in on being ready for some actual paint!

      [​IMG]

      Then mother nature showed up and we went from 70 degrees to 30 degrees. Into the garage she went for a long winters nap:

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: April 1, 2016
    12. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Well last month finally saw a warm spell in temperatures so I rolled Mad Max out of the garage and decided to crawl under the car and take a look at the frame. I recalled that it wasn't perfect and might have been in need of a little TLC so I thought I'd get a closer look:

      [​IMG]

      Who the hell was I kidding??? The frame was totally SHOT:shoot:

      So I sat down, meditated, and came to terms with reality. T-minus 2 months till Moab - - - and I've got some serious magic I'm going to have to pull off!

      The next day I rolled the Galaxie out and began the tear down. A couple pictures under the hood and a few bolts on the firewall to begin:

      [​IMG]

      Next was the 8 bolts holding the bumper on. Naturally these bolts ended up being a real pain in the neck, ribs, fingers, and wrists. I broke 4 of the 8 bolts trying to get the bumper off!

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      Finally after a few bloody knuckles I was able to free the chromy carcass from the front of the car.

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      I had this weird theory I could just pull the whole front at once. This was mostly due to how long it takes to completely disassemble and reassemble a front end. Maybe my theory was more wishful thinking, but hell, this isn't a show car!!! I don't think my Galaxie would mind if I tried something new, I mean, at least it made it this far without ending up in the crusher, right? I started by wrapping a tow strap around the front:

      [​IMG]

      Then I slowly began lifting, tracked down two bolts I missed, and continued slowly lifting...

      [​IMG]

      "I love when a plan comes together!".... or was it 'apart'? :D

      [​IMG]

      Ah, nothing like the sweet smell of freedom and victory, both of which were lingering in the air :) All that was left was to find a spot to put 'er down!

      [​IMG]

      I just tucked the front end back in the nose of the garage for safe keeping while the rest of the mayhem continued.
       
      Last edited: April 1, 2016
    13. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Next it was on to the rest of the body and what holds it on the frame.

      [​IMG]

      Now the nice thing is that all that holds the rest of the body down is 8 body mounts and 1 bumper. Or is the bumper a nice thing? Maybe not... but leverage will fix that!

      [​IMG]

      Now that's my kind of leverage! With a good jump or two I felt the bolt finally break off:

      [​IMG]

      Oh, just kidding! It was a cruel, cruel joke to bend down thinking I finally defeated the bolt just to find that my socket adapter broke instead :mad: I got a full size socket and one heck of a hammer and went to town!

      [​IMG]

      Muah-ha-ha-ha! The bolt was mine... well, close enough. If the bolts weren't enough of an indication what came to follow made it painstakingly clear: everything was completely rusted on! In fact, with no bolts at all even touching the bumper I still couldn't pull it off the car! The amount of rust that 'grew' around the brackets made a rust weld that only the engine hoist and pry bar could break off!!!

      [​IMG]

      Note the amount of rust on the cement below the bumper. Definitely a junkyard special!
       
    14. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      How dare you... risk a case of Patron to support the front end :nono:
       
    15. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      What better than a really stout drink to hold up your hopes and dreams? :D And speaking of supporting things with shaky ground, here is how the fateful day of the body pull went:

      [​IMG]

      Now, these boats are big pieces of metal that are low to the ground. I found starting with floor jacks is the way to go. I have the remains of a floor joist which have also become essential to getting the body up in the air. I'll just stick the boards on the floor pan in a way that common sense agrees with and pop the front half of the body up!

      [​IMG]

      Then I go around to the back and do a similar thing. Sadly my floor jacks don't go quite as high as I need, so some creativity usually gets involved at this point.

      [​IMG]

      Then wooden beams go under the body mounts and handyman jacks get involved. I have pulled a body with it just resting on the beams (6x4's), but now I bolt the body to the beams to avoid any 'tippyness'.

      [​IMG]

      After a little sketchy lifting on each side of the beams I hoisted her the rest of the way into the air just as it got too dark to see:

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: April 3, 2016
    16. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      The next morning I took the tires off the frame so I could slither it out from under the body.

      [​IMG]

      Now that the rusty bones were out in the light for the first time in 49 years it was time for an inspection. Let's see what we find?

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Hmmmm.... that's a fail. Or a win for not breaking under its own weight?

      [​IMG]

      At this point I finally had what I needed for my buddies Robb and Dustin over at Orion Off Road. They have a couple good Frankenstein frame builds under their belts so this was just up their ally. First though, I took it to get a sand blast to see if there was any good frame worth saving or if the whole thing should just get thrown away! It survived getting towed down the road to the blaster, and even survived the blasting booth. From there I took the Swiss Cheese'd frame over to my buddies and cutting ensued the following day. I showed up a bit after they started and just held stuff in place and B.S.'d more than I helped, thank goodness it went alright despite my presence!

      Here is how the skeleton looked after all was said and done:

      [​IMG]

      Not too bad despite having 18 feet of frame taken out!!! Here is a close up of Dustin's fantastic weld work:

      [​IMG]

      And of course who could forget the cutting and boxing of the rear end to accommodate a receiver??

      [​IMG]

      Upon the arrival of the surgically sound frame my cousin Tommy came over and we got to work sniffing POR-15 paint fumes in the garage.

      [​IMG]

      After 3 days of painting every nook and cranny we were left with a hell of a good looking frame!!!

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      I'll admit it was hard not to smile at this sleek piece of metal that just a week ago could have given tetanus to even the most reserved onlooker!
       
      Last edited: April 3, 2016
    17. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      This all finally leads into what took place yesterday and today - slapping the body back onto the frame!

      Now, before rolling it back under, we took a second to fit some SuperSwampers on and see how the backspacing looked:

      [​IMG]

      Even better than the wheels that were on it! Plenty of clearance from the frame. As for the body I think this response would be appropriate:

      [​IMG]

      Once we were done goofing around we got the frame back under the body and started lowering the body as close as we could before removing the wood beams. After hovering the body just over the frame Tommy got to work unbolting the beams:

      [​IMG]

      This morning it was on to aligning the frame for the final drop

      [​IMG]

      I can't emphasize just how much car this is. It was like trying to line the Titanic up for a mooring position at port!

      [​IMG]

      And of course the body mounts needed checking and rechecking as the body came lower and lower.

      [​IMG]

      Finally after all was said and done we put her right where she needed to be and made a great mate! Here's how she sits this evening now awaiting a little love to the rear bumper and for a new power plant :D

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: April 3, 2016
    18. Paul

      Paul Elite Explorer

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      Just freaking awesome! Can't wait to see it in Moab. Well done, and keep up the great work!!

      Paul
      '91 Sport
       
    19. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Thanks Paul!!!! I've got things in high gear to make the dead line! I hope it all works out :thumbsup:
       
    20. USMCBuckWild

      USMCBuckWild Elite Explorer

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      I'm surprised you didn't apply more reinforcement to the tow hitch installed in the rear crossmember. I am not a structural engineer by any means but I have learned the hard way about pulling stuff and ending up with bent hitches, bumpers, etc.

      All in all looks good. I have done a couple older Mopars and I recomend taking a good look at the wiring BEFORE buttoning it all up. Easy to add in the wiring for the trailer hit h/brake controller and redo some wires now than have to redo it later. I take it that 390 is going back in? Good stout motor, plenty of power.

      Question: while you had the brakes diassembled why not do the simple upgrade to vacuum assist? I see you plan on adding discs, why make life hard on yourself? I did a hydraboost from a newer Duramax Silverado in my Jeep (350/700r4/231/8.8/D44/38.5") and it was stupid easy and provided amazing braking.

      Just my $0.02.

      Regardless, you are doing very well.
       
    21. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      I just had to smile as I followed along with the unveiling of the rust. I've been through everything you described. It's fantastic that you've pushed through and are getting this done :chug:
       
    22. turboranger91

      turboranger91 Active Member

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      I love this build!
       
    23. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Hey BuckWild, good questions! Here is what I've got:

      The rear crossmember is 5/8 C-channel that happens to have the same gap as the outer diameter of the hitch. My buddy not only welded the hitch around the outside, but also along all for edges inside the C-Channel. As for the rest of the rear half, it got 3/16 plating welded in that goes all the way down to the C-Channel where it is also welded to the rear crossmember. At this point I think the weak link is where the frame goes over the wheel wells, and with no need to support tongue weight the whole Frankenstein operation should hold up pretty good.

      As for the wiring, not a bad idea! I'm kinda at a stand still till my Grandpa and I get the motor slapped together this weekend, so what better to do than to get some wires laid down?

      Vacuum assist? I've never heard about that? Is that for disc brakes?

      Glad you like it turboranger! Something this wrong never felt so right :D
       
    24. madbutcher

      madbutcher Elite Explorer

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      This build just makes me happy:thumbsup:

      I love it:D
       
    25. USMCBuckWild

      USMCBuckWild Elite Explorer

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      Vacuum assist is the big round thing that all modern brakes have, referred to as power brakes. For the most part its just the vacuum booster attached to the master cyl and a vacuum line to the engine. I ran hydraboost as it uses hydraulic pressure from the power steering pump to apply pressure to the brake system. The Jeep was an easy swap as most old school power steering pumps are already tapped for an accessory output. There are alot of 'how to' threads over on Pirate4x4.

      Run the trailer wiring now. Get a good brake controller and install it now, this way you can wire in a 4pin and 7 pin combo plug in and be set to pull anything from a litle utility trailer to a full on car hauler with electric brakes. Be proactive with it! I grabbed the stick on LED strips for $4 on ebay and slap them on the hitch as add-on reverse lights.

      The LED strips I got from eBAy were on sale: 10 strips for $22 shipped. I also put them under the hood on a mini toggle so I can see at night. He last set I put on my Subaru are still bright after 2 years.
       
    26. Suicide77

      Suicide77 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Good to know BuckWild!! Thank you for the info!!

      Madbutcher and Rick, thanks for the support!!
       
      Last edited: April 17, 2016

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