I have finally bitten the bullet and retired my BeaXT from active service. The car is no longer my daily driver and my business will now be based around a new car.
The car is not a “new” new car just new to me! I have decided to buy my daughters BA XT – appropriately, and turn it into my business and daily driver.
These two Falcons now roost in my garage!
My motivation is the car turning 44 years old and soon to be 45 years old in 2014! That year is also when I expect to be cutting back my work commitments even more as start a more serious semi-retirement! In that plan is the hope to get out to more car shows and cruises – and that means I want the BeaXT to be in a much better shape!
Retire the Old Girl
The last ten years have been pretty demanding on me and the car! Running a business and using the old girl as the main mover has taken a toll on the duco and the interior! Little knocks and bumps add up and before long ……
So to get things back in to shape I need both time and access – and working fulltime and having the car actively moving every day with a trailer on the back makes that very difficult!
I put her on the axle stumps to make it too hard to drive! Thus forcing me to get on with repairs!
So I made the decision this year, 2013, would be the transition year to a different lifestyle for the BeaXT. More time in the garage for a while and then more relaxing journeys like car shows with my grandkids in tow, cruises and trips south to visit family and friends.
Freshen up the Falcon
My youngest has scored a job that supplies a vehicle so she was going to sell her falcon. I had a little think and realised that the timing could not have been better – I could do us both a favour and buy the BA!
Now it needed some work and I have spent the last 3 weeks repairing and tidying it up so it’s ready for work.
We had problems with the bonnet latch last year and it broke again after I reconnected it! So I went to Ebay and found a new cable to fit – I mean you really cannot keep on using a pair of pliers to open the bonnet to check oil and water!
Anyway an hour of my time and the cable is in and working fine!
Ford have learned their lesson on this one and the new cable is much stronger in the handpiece so it should last longer than the original.
Old cable assigned to the rubbish!
Next up was the rear suspension upgraded for towing. So down to Peddars Joondalup and an overhaul of the rear suspension – struts, link arms, bushes and 4 wheel alignment – oh yeah, and a tow bar!
She is now good to tow 1500kg!
The next step was to attack the paint and patch a few rough spots – one major one on the front right quarter.
The paint has been peeling off this quarter panel for some time.
Paint is on just needs compounding a little and then clear coat!
Not perfect but the right colour and water proof! Took me a couple of days sanding it back and then priming and painting the quarter panel – but a reasonable job. Thanks to my pals at Autopro Edgewater for the colour match using they high-tech paint centre. $21 for an excellent spray can of paint that has a larger than normal quality nozzle for a great finish. Then a coat of clear coat to seal the job!
The rest of the blemishes are minor and with a bottle of Maguiar’s compounding product, the worst are gone and the car looks like new.
The BA is a dual fuel so I generally run it on LPG and use petrol when I run out or the price is too high! This gives me a huge range – over 250km on gas in the city with almost enough fuel in both tanks to get to Albany and back!
Now for the BeaXT
My first two jobs have been the rewiring of the dashboard and the repair of the first of 2-3 rust spots.
I have extra gauges that I have used in the BeaXT to keep track of oil and vacuum values and it is time to mount them properly along with the new temperature gauge that has been dangling under the dash! Every good Petrolhead wants to now whats going on under the steel bonnet!
Here is the final result – all gauges in and the dash rewired on the back – tidied and even LED lighting fitted! More on that in another post!
Much better – and everything within easy view!
I have had a bubble pop up on the rear of the car near the windscreen and it has bugged me for some time so to get into that one has been great fun!
This is the before shot.
Note the rising paint – which is not rust it turns out but a filler reaction! For some reason the filler I used several years ago to repair some rust here has swollen. Experience has taught me this is usually caused by rust and is a expected repair. However, once sanded and cleaned out there was no rust to be found just this lump of swollen filler!
Sanded and primed the new surface is flat and looking much better!
Next step is to get some spray putty on to the primer to take out the last little bumps and scratches.
This will be sanded with 600-1200 grit sandpaper to get a sexy smooth finish and then another coat of primer ready for the top-coat!
Primer on ready for topcoat!
My Personal Spray Paint Mix
I have some matching paint in a tin that I will have put into a spray can at Autopro Edgewater!
The paint was prepared for me by a spray painter who mixed up the paint for me by eye – we parked the car in his workshop and he set to work mixing 500mL of paint for me. He added black and metal flake and like magic, a perfect match!
My new spray can with my paint! I still have enough in the storage can for another spray pack!
First coat on the patch and the colour match is perfect!
This is the first of several minor chips and dents that I have to remove from the old girl and I need to get this all done before the summer ends since the humidity and rain of autumn can cause problems when painting!