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1966 Ford Fairlane GTA

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  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
1966 Ford Fairlane GTA
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 7:18 PM

I'm taking a break in building a very large O'guage model railroad to build an Ertl 1:24 Ford Fairlane GTA. This was the car I owned from 1966 through 1968 when I was at Michigan State U. It was the car I owned when I got engaged to my wife (50 years in April). 

There's a story about this car. While working at a manufacturing plant during Summer break, I was told about a 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe hot rod that was for sale at a local Hot Rod club. It wasn't quite done, but was drivable and very, very cool. I was in love with hot rods. We lived in Philadelphia which is about 700 miles from MSU. I took my then girlfriend to see the car, but she wasn't very happy with it. The car was severly channeled so the seats were almost on the floor. It wasn't conducive to getting into with a skirt (this WAS the mid-60s). My parents were also not very happy with it. I doubt that the car even had a heater (Michigan Winters..) and it had little to no luggage space. It wasn't a car to make the trip to and from E. Lansing to Philly 4 times a year. But I was very insistant.

We were having dinner at my house and my future wife was there. My brilliant father opens a discussion with, "You know... you only have enough money in savings to a) buy the hot rod, or b) buy Michele an engagement ring." I was dumbstruck! What the heck! Michele was sitting right there and I hadn't even asked her to marry me yet. Needless to say I didn't buy that car. But my parents realized that my aging 1959 Olds 98 convertible had seen better days and needed replacing. They bought me a new 66 Ford Fairlane GTA which was significantly more expensive than the hot rod, but it did have a heater and a big trunk. It also had a 390 cu. in V8 putting out 335 Hp and could lay rubber as long as you had you foot on the throttle. It was very fast, didn't handle very well and eventually burned oil. We traded it in shortly after getting married, however what we replaced it with was awful and that's another story.

Here was me, Michele and the car during a camping trip at Muskegon, MI on Memorial Day weekend 1966.

We don't look much different today as we did then...

The car was sunshine yellow with a black interior. It was the first US car to have Firestone Wide-oval tires. It was the beginning of the low profile tire revolution that continues to this day.

The engine is "Ford Blue". I mixed it up with Tamiya blue, white and a little green. The kit didn't include chrome valve covers so I painted them with Tamiya Bare Metal spray and then used AK Interactive real metal cream to brighten them up.

The kit is a bit crude and I haven't built a car kit of any kind since the late 50s. I'm more used to the sophisticated models that are available today, but I'll make it work. I found some light yellow lacquer and wet-look clear at the Scale Reproductions today which is a close match to the car's light yellow. I will use Bare-metal foil where appropriate and will try to add some piping and wiring to the engine.

I put Micro-sol liquid mask on the areas of the engine that will receive other parts so there will be bare plastic glue areas for the remaining parts.

The styrene doesn't seem to respond to the Tamiya solvent cement as quickly as I'm used to. I don't know if it's due to the age of the kit, or just the composition of the material.

Stay tuned...

  • Member since
    July, 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Thursday, November 09, 2017 7:39 PM

 I love it when a W.I.P. include's a "Background story"  The sentimental connection always bring's out our best work. ( and also our own worst critisizem's ) 

I built this kit many year's ago and seem to recall I had a "Bear" of a time getting the headlight assembly to line up with the fender's ( and they are a bit too thick ) I reccomend at least sanding the chrome  Compleatly off the back of the headlight's.  But please test fit first....For all I know  I may be remembering a bad fitting gear on a Roundhouse Shay.....

                      Dont worry about the thumbprint... paint it rust and call it "Battle damage" !

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:28 PM
You may be able to contact MCW, they may have the exact color for your car. I think they still advertise in Scale Auto, FSM's sister magazine.
  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, November 10, 2017 9:09 AM

Checked out MCW and yes, they do have Springtime Yellow. I'm not sure I want to invest many more $$$ in this 'diversion' project. But, I've saved the page if I have a change of heart.

I'm having trouble with Photobucket. In fact, I hate it. The popup ads are ridiculous and it's now not letting me share photos with paying $330 a year. Sorry! That ain't going to happen. It's also horribly slow and I have 116 MB/S download speed.

Is there any other way to get pictures into this site without that hassle?

Problem Solved!! Switched to Google Photos. Went to the help section of this forum and found the answer.

Well... I thought the problem was solved. When trying to upload so more pics to Google Photos, it just seems to hang up when "processing photo". By hang up I mean no action over a periof of hours.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:21 AM

After seeing what you have been doing on your other projects, this one is going to be fun to watch.

Be aware of using Google, I tried that approach and after time, people either can no longer see the photos, or they disappear.

I bought a yearly subscription for $20 on Imageshack and absolutely love it.  It has easy to use drap and drop management of the albums, its not taylored to mass sharing of albums like other sites, and its easy copy the photo file location to imbed into FSM posts.  So many other sites seem to make it a 10 step process.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, November 10, 2017 6:05 PM

I just joined ImageShack and it IS MUCH, MUCH BETTER, FASTER AND MORE STABLE, and yes, it cost me $19.00. I believe it's worth it.

Today was one of those days where you take 1 step forward and three back. I want to add ignition wiring and attempted to drill out the kit's styrene distributor cap. Not only did it not go as intended, I broke two tiny carbide drills in the process. 

So I attempted to machine one out of brass. I have very small brass capillary tubing that will serve as bushings for the wiring and I though (wrongly) that I could solder these bushing into the brass. 

The machining went fine, but the layingo out and drilling the 0.032" holes for the bushings was a complete fiasco. Not only was my spacing all over the place, but I broke some more carbide drills and left a chunk in one of the holes.

So I went to plan C which was to machine it out of aluminum.

Again, machining was not a problem and yet again, putting the holes into the cap was a nightmare. Besides the spacing problem reappearing, I also broke more carbide drills. While inexpensive, these things aren't free.

Here are the three rejects. Picture was hard to get into focus.

Now I'm on Plan D which is creating another one out of Plastruct plastic pipes being machined to shape. Drilling will be much easier. If this doesn't work, I'm going to my LHS and buying an after-market distributor and wiring. I've alreay spent more than that on all those carbide drills.

ImageShack seems to work much better moving pictures.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:18 PM

Re: sanding chrome plating off the back of the headlights:  An easy way to remove chrome plating from plastic parts is to soak them in Windex for a few hours.  It will completely dissolve the chrome, like magic!

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:23 AM

Not sure why you think that kit is crude. It's a fairly well done kit, tooled in 1991 or 92.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:56 PM

My opinion was based on the fit of the parts vis a vis the size of the pins versus the size of the holes, the lack of positive location of the fender inner walls, etc. My right hand one is crooked since there was no position keying and I must have moved it before it dried. When you compare this kit to a Tamiya or Meng kit, the comparison is easy to make.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:53 PM

After looking at the web for pre-made distributors I found that none of them solved my problem, but I did see a Detail Associates distributor kit that had separate top plates with 6 or 8 cylinder arrangements which made me realize that I too can make a separate top plate and if so, can lay it out better than trying to drill into the machined distributor itself. 

So... I laid out a plan on Adobe Illustrator an 8-cylinder arrangement on a 3/16 circle which is the smallest size of gasket punch to make a nice round disc. 

I made six copies considering how many I'd screw up. I spray glued the paper and glued it to some 0.020" sytrene and then used a sharp end of a divider to *** punch the cross points on the drawing. My first attempt had the marks on the a layout circle that was a bit too close to the outside edge so I then punched inwards to the tips of the layout lines and this proved okay.

I drilled them with a 0.021" drill and then followed up with a 0.026" drill which is close to the size of the micro-tubing that's going in the holes to provide a raisded tubular surface for the wires. In looking a pictures of this engine, the spark plug wires come off at 90°.

You can see the three that I drilled produced one really good array which is the one that I ended up using.

Actually the first one that I attempted was on a piece of thin ABS. After gluing the disc to the Plastruct tubing and attempting to turn it on the lathe, the glue didn't hold and the disc disappeared into the quantum rift. 

I then decided to use the styrene. The Plastruct tubing isn't styrene. It's butyrate and therefore, doesn't respond totally well to the ABS or styrene. It seems to bond, but then it doesn't. So this time I CA'd the disc to the butyrate. I then made the distributor. It wasn't easy since I had a collett that could hold the larger diameter (1/4") tubing, but when I turned it around to turn the small shaft that would mate to the engine, I had to improvise by using part of pin vise held in the lathe's three-jaw chuck. This worked marginally, but good enough to get close. After I machined it as far as I could go, I measured the shaft, found a drill that gave me a hole that size and drilled out the mounting hole in the intake manifold to fit the distributor. The results were good. I'm now going to machine a tiny natural aluminum vacuum advance diaphram to simulate this part with real metal so it will look spiffy. All in all this little distributor project has taken a lot of time and I'm not done yet.

I then turned back to railroad work since the brass I needed to complete a 10ft long model chain link fence to surround part of the refinery project I'm building. I'll be working on the GTA interspersed with building the refinery.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 6:00 PM

Nice work.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Sunday, November 19, 2017 5:51 PM

well looks like you "got 'er done."  will be watchin' with interest. 

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 5:53 PM

Back on the GTA. I cut tiny pieces of 1/32" thin wall tubing and installed them in the new distributor. It looks a bit ragged since the heights of each is not uniform. I was not particularly careful when drilling the holes regarding their depth and really didn't cut all those pieces of tubing the same lenght either. But when painted, you can see any of this variation.

I also added tubing in the tip of the ignition coil. I had to remove the tapered portion of the plastic part to give me a good surface to drill. I then added the taper back using medium CA with accelerator filling the profile back. I also drilled out the tiny sparkplug tips and added tubes there to receive the spark plug wires.

I added the exhaust manifolds, the carb and did touch up painting. I painted the ignition stuff gloss black. For the carb, I first painted it flat aluminum and then overcoated with Tamiya clear yellow.

I needed to machine a vacuum advance diaphram and did it on the lathe, I now realize that I forgot to add the pipe input to its face and will add that with a small NBW casting.

Here's the engine just about ready to receive wiring and plumbing.

I'll be working on the railroad tomorrow, and then will have paint drying and be back on the GTA. 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:29 PM

Just about got the engine finished today. First I CA'd a resin hex nut to the vacuum advacnce diaphram and then piped it to the base of the carb using some 0.010" brass wire that came from the fancy cork netting on a couple bottles of Spanish Rioja wine. Besides getting this very nice fine gauge brass, wine bottles are also a great source of foil that can be used for lots of detail scratch-build parts. I ultimately painted this aluminum.

The NBWs are from True Details and you can see the resin block to the left.

Next I used some 0.021" brass wire for the PVC pipe from the right valve cover to the intake manifold. This pipe was painted engine blue.

And then it was time to put in the ignition wiring. First I was going to use some very fine gauge stranded copper that was an interesting yellow color. This was salvaged from an old printer that my grandson took apart. But it was a little too fat so I substituted 0.016" black iron wire. The iron wire holds its position well. I bent the ends going into the distributor cap 90 degrees since the prototype's wiring comes out this way. I use CA to hold them into place. I have no idea what firing order I created, I just alternated the leads coming out going to one cylinder bank and then the other. 

I painted all the ends and tubes Tamiya Rubber Black so it looked like the rubber boots on the wires.

I added the rest of the details (oil breather cap, air cleaner, belts set with alternator and fan). 

The air cleaner got a detail telling us that this is a 390 cu. in. V8. These are old style decals with large extended clear film areas. It means you have to trim them very close, but then there's nothing to grab hold of with the tweezers. I used Micro-set solution to soften the inner clear film so it snugged down inside the air cleaner's depression.

I realize you can go further than this on engine details. There's wiring to the starter motor (not seeable), alternator wiring to and from the voltage regulator (which I don't think is included in the kit), brake lines (car had a simple, non-power brake cylinder which doesn't appear to have anti-lock brakes which weren't available in 1966) and full lines from tank to fuel pump to carb. I may add that since the fuel pump is on the engine.

I have some great images of the interior which should be fun to do. This is the first car kit that I have completed in about 53 years. I did run "Grandpop's Scale Model Clinic" at a community center and some of the middle-schoolers were building cars. That was a fun thing to do that was inspired by my older grandson. I ran two consecutive sessions.

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Nashua, NH
Posted by Mr Mike on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:49 PM

I remember you posting the picture of your GTA with you and your wife next to it when I was building my '66 GT over on the Scale Auto forum.  I really like the detailing on your engine!  We all tend to do a better job when building the cars of our youth.  I remember the detailing I put into my '70 Duster 340 that I built a few years ago.  Keep up the good work!

"That's Spenser with an "S", like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On My Bench: Foose Ford FD100 Pickup; 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

Classic Plastic Model Club 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Sunday, December 03, 2017 6:21 PM

Thanks fellas!

I finished up the refinery project on the model railroad. It was an 8-month endeavor that came out better than I expected. 

So today (rare Sunday session) I got back to working on the GTA. First I painted the aircleaner element white. I may add a dark was in the folds to give it more definition. I'm pretty much done with the engine and got to work again on the chassis.

I wanted to drill out the exhaust pipe ends starting with small one and going to the final size, but it didn't work as planned. The Ertl plastic is brittle and the wall broke out when I tried to open up the hole. First I tried to repair using CA and re-drilling, but it broke out again. So I went to plan B; making new ends out of brass tubing CA'd to the existing pipe.

Thinner walled brass tubing would even work better, but I didn't have any.

I glued the shocks into the chassis and then the leaf springs. I glued the rear together, sanded the very obvious seams after it dried, and then test fit it into the springs. The instructions show putting in the exhaust system before the springs and rear go in, but I wanted to air brush all the gloss black at one go and I wanted to paint the exhaust a different color. The exhauset could be put in, but it took a lot of bending and I think it would mess up the paint. So... I'm leaving out the drive shaft and rear until after the exhaust is in, but painting all the rest of chassis.

The exhaust pipes were also painted gloss black in preparation to receive various metallic shades and a gloss black base coat is usually recommended.

I also sprayed the engine compartment and radiator plate with gloss black. Engine's not glued, just sitting there looking pretty.

Tomorrow I'll finish painting the exhaust and install it, then put in the rear, install the engine and drive shaft and fasten in the radiator. I've decided I'm not going to add any more wiring except battery cables to the voltage regulator.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, December 04, 2017 7:10 PM

Just blew away today's post by attempting to click on the tab in my browser while getting a picture from Imageshack and inadvertantly hit the "X" and closed the tab. So we'll do it all again.

I didn't have much work time today, but did get a little over an hour in the shop and about the same amount of time reviewing videos on YouTube on how to open up model doors and add hinges. I hadn't done this since 1971 so it was time for a refresher before I screwed up an out-of-production model.

I used the method that has you gradually scraping out the seam with the back side of a sharp #11 blade. I augmented this with my very fine MicroMark razor saw. The saw's kerf is only 0.005". It was tricky cutting the vent pane away from the roof, and I thought I might lose it, but it did work. I came out of the lines a couple of times and filled the minor scratches with Tamiya fine putty.

I have a lot of work left on this part since the interior needs to be separated and door jambs have to be created to fill in all the open spaces.

I painted the exhaust pipes a home mix of gray and flat aluminum to make a "steel" facsimile. I then masked the pipes and sprayed the mufflers with Tamiya rattle can bare metal.

I installed the pipes and then CA'd the rear into position. It was time to connect the engine, but the drive shaft was too long. Way too long! I re-checked to make sure I didn't install the leaf springs backwards since the rear is not centered and if I got them backwards, it could account for the poor drive shaft fit. But, after checking, it seems I did it correctly. Furthermore, the mounting holes were not the same size front to back and varied side to side. Also the shock mounts were inside and towards the front. 

I measured the overage and cut the drive shaft at the transition point and removed the excess piece. I wanted to re-attach the two parts together using a piece of 0.032" brass rod. I drilled the universal joint piece with a carbide drill successfully, but broke the drill in the long end. When you have a chunk of carbide stuck in a hole, you're basically out of luck. It was time for plan B. Plan B was to make a new shaft out of aluminum tube of the same size. I narrowed the plastic parts so they would slip inside the tube. Here's the new assembly being fitted. I haven't glued the parts in yet. That will come tomorrow.

I kind of like how the real metal tubing looks, but it's not very prototypical. I also shot the entire chasis with Dull Coat since I was told that Ford never finished the engine compartment with gloss black.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 5:33 PM

Again a short work session. 

Got the engine glued into the chassis. In the attempt to get the transmission's tab keyed into the trans support beam, the engine/transmission joint gave way and I had to reglue that and wait for it to dry. I touched up the exhaust system in the mean time.

I then got back to work on the body. I cut out the inner door. First I took time to locate the inner panels relation to the out door and marked the outer door. The inner and outer doors do not exactly overlap on car door since you have a door jamb in between. I had a little booboo the needed some filler and did so. BTW: the few scratches on the outer body filled nicely and shouldn't be noticeable. Even real cars have filler applied at the factory before painting... at least they used to.

The inner door panel sits almost vertically, but the outer door has curves and turns inward near the bottom so there needs to be a shim to fill the empty space that would be occupied by the lower sill part of the interior piece. I added a piece of plastic scrap to fill this space. The end spaces will be fill with the jamb pieces on both the door and the body.

Here's the door test fit together.

Then I had to start building the hinges. My first attempt is a little too wide. I've reviewed videos on this and most folks use styrene tubes to hold the hinge wires. My first attempt uses brass tube with a 1/32" i.d. to match the 1/32" brass wire. It'll take a few attempts to get them exactly right. Persistence pays off. Since I'm going to be epoxying the hinge into the door, whether I use brass or styrene doesn't make a difference.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 7:17 PM

Happy Wednesday!

spent most of the afternoor with Apple Support figuring out how to import the Photos library from my wifes 8 year-old MacBook to her brand new MacBook Air, and how to get my MacBook Pro to be able to run Windows. The Book Camp Assistant kept crashing and we couldn't figure it out. That left to about an hour in the shop.

First I attached the radiator plate, connected the lower heater hose and installed the upper one. The fender walls were too wide apart and I had to enlarge the slots on the radiator piece to get it to nest in properly. It will need some touch up painting.

I will attempt to add some heater hoses too. I checked out a walk-around video on YouTube that nicely documented a beautifully restored 66 GTA. I was able to pause the playback and make focused screen shots of various images including the heater hose locations. I was also able to get some great shots of the interior that's going to very valuable in detailing the car. It's been almost 50 years since I sat in that car and frankly, don't remember very much about it.

Got back to the hinges. Made a second set that was a little better than the first, but the geometry was wrong. The legs that connect to the body, can't be on the same level as those in the doors. They have to extend a bit downward toward the door skin since the mounting point on the door is a bit elevated due to a pad of medium CA to level out the mounting surface.

This led to the 3rd attempt which is more workable. It's not perfect yet, but it may work. The door sites at the proper attitude and swings fully outward.

 I had to cut a couple of minor slots in the inner door panel to give some clearance to those large loops. I'm wondering if the loops need to be a bit smaller and that would move the hinge closer to the door's edge. I might try that which would be attempt number 4.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, December 08, 2017 6:09 PM

Woke up thinking about a crazy idea of making true scale hood hinges. I did a Google search to find good images of them and found pictures of the actual hinges for the 66 Fairlane (also Mustang).

I downloaded images of front and back and put them into Illustrator and traced over them. I don't have actual sizes of the hinges. A neighbor has just restored-upgraded a 64 Galxie 500 and I might ask to measure his. After drawing the image, I needed to figure out how the darn thing works. It's not as simple as it seems.

The hinges are a parallelogram like a scissors jack. I found a video on adjusting old Ford hood hinges and watched the action when they operate. The side arms move away from each other with the big spring between adding counter tension to offset the hood's weight. I copied and pasted a bunch of copies of three different sizes and the smallest one seems to be close to what a 1:25 hinge will be. 

That all being said, I'm really not sure if I can a) make two, b) make them workable, c) attach it to the car, and d) have it actually close the hood correctly. I'm going to try, but not spend very much time on it. There's a reason why modeler's don't usually make scale hinges for model cars.

Back to the door hinges.

The 3rd version hinge's loops were much too big which led to version 4, 5 & finally 6. I got 6 as good as I was going to get it. I found that the thick plastic doors and body sides were interferring with each other so I thinned them both and carefully trimmed a little bit of the door edge. I decided to use plastic tubes to hold the body side hinge mounts for eash of gluing them in place.

Versions 4 and 5 had smaller loops, but the drop I bent in the wire was too severe and it pushed the door away from the body.

This view shows the smaller loops and the correct drop.

And here's a vertical shot showing the rest of the geometry. With the newly designed, smaller-looped hinges fit closer to the door's edge and I didn't need those relief cuts so I filled them with some styrene stock.

The inner panel needs relief under the dash area to clear those plastic hinge holders. I'll do that on Monday. So happy Friday and great weekend.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Saturday, December 09, 2017 6:00 AM

Your photos are all missing. The recent ones. Nice engine work. A suggestion on the chassis, a factory stock chassis would be red oxide primer with body color overstay.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, December 09, 2017 8:43 AM
The photos are showing up on my browser. I don't know what to do about that. Re: the undercarriage... I think that horse has left the barn. If I build it again, I'll do that.

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