Ford XD Falcon: Reader resto

By: Scott Murray/Bill Salatas, Photography by: Bill Salatas

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Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon
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A 15-year-old boy gives an Aussie eighties icon a rebirth with some modern bells and whistles

Ford XD Falcon: Reader resto
Reader resto: Ford XD Falcon

 

XD Falcon resto

Dad bought the XD around August 1989 as a standard Falcon GL and has owned it ever since.

He converted the column shift to a T-bar auto he bought from a wreckers, replaced the buckled steel rims with EA S-pack alloys and had it lowered by Mick Webb SVO. Next was the interior; he bought and installed some XF Ghia seats and had the door trims done to match.

As for the engine, close family friend Simon Grig did a mild 250 Crossflow build and Mum helped put the engine together when she and Dad were engaged, adding the XE Weber carby and XF cold air intake. After all that, the drum brakes wouldn’t pull the car up properly, so Dad did a disc brake conversion and changed to LSD with 3.23 gears for more zip. Last thing he did was change it to a C4 auto with a shift kit because Mum blew up two transmissions when my brothers and I were born.

Dad used the car as a daily driver for two years until he and my uncle grafted on Bosch fuel injection from an XE. That destroyed the timing chain, so he removed the Crossflow and decided a 4.0-litre would fit as the XG he had at work looked identical in the engine bay.

When I came to it, some head gasket issues meant it sat in the corner of the garage. The head and turbo gear were removed and put on the shelf and the car stayed there while we went ahead with our XY restoration.

Over the next year my parents wanted to sell the car, but I insisted I wanted it as a project and my first car.

In 2011, after years of gathering dust and acting as a storage unit, it was time to start work. By this time the XY was complete and I had learnt a lot. Dad agreed to give assistance where it was needed.

We began by completely stripping the engine bay back to bare, all nuts and bolts were removed, bagged and labelled. We removed the block and had the turbo gear freshened up ready for the re-installation. However, me being me, I couldn’t just throw it all back together.

I decided that the engine bay needed a freshen up as it had a few battle scars since Dad would tinker with the car all the time back in the day.

The laborious task of sanding every inch of the bay began after school and on weekends. During any spare time I would be sitting in the bay slowly sanding away.

After the bay was sanded, it was time for some colour. We chose to have a go ourselves, which actually turned out quite well. All the nuts and bolts were then sent off to be re-anodized as I wanted the bay to look as factory and clean as possible.

Meanwhile, we took the block over to High Energy Automotive, where we spent two long nights with Simon again, rebuilding the 4.0-litre six. Here I was taught how to completely tear down and rebuild a whole engine.

Nothing radical has been done, just refreshing, which consisted of rings, bearings and a general clean. The tough 4.0-litre is boosted by a Garrett GT35/40 turbocharger that delivers 10psi, a Wolf 3D ECU module to control fuel, fans, ignition and boost.

After the block was back home, it was time to start bringing everything together. The engine was slotted back in and assembly began.

My aim was to keep everything as stealthy and as factory as possible, so this required me to think smart about where things were mounted and how. I discovered that Meccano experience is quite handy when trying to mount components flush and out of sight.

Small upgrades were carried out to minimise chances of failure and get the car to perform at its best. This included fitting Siemens 880cc injectors and adjustable Koni shocks. The brakes have had a sports upgrade to DBA Street Series rotors to ensure the extra power can be pulled up this time.

After the mechanicals were sorted, I decided that the interior could also do with an overhaul, so we laid fresh carpet and fitted some EB Fairmont Ghia seats, as well as Dynamat sound deadening.

I sourced the Dynamat, all the heat-shielding wrap, and fittings and fixtures from AutObarn Doncaster, where the new Alpine head unit, amplifier and kicker 6x9 speakers were also installed to play some good cruising music. Speaking of sound, the exhaust is a three-inch system with a Magnaflow muffler.

After one and a half tough years, the car was finally ready, so it was then handed over to family friend George Chalikouras, who worked his magic and tuned the car to perfection.

People always ask why I chose to go with the turbo-six over the V8. What they don’t realise is the beauty of the 4.0-litre. It’s quiet and very smooth, you can cruise around all day off-boost without a single worry, and it feels as crisp as a modern Falcon.

Doing this project with my dad is something not every 15-year-old student gets the opportunity to experience. So I’m very grateful getting to do something like this with him.

The future plan for the XD is to forge the motor and try getting it into the low-10-second bracket down the quarter-mile. There may even be a full respray on the cards, but for now all I want to do is drive the car and enjoy it as much as possible.


Ford XD Parts

BRAKE PEDAL PAD
XR-XF ZA-ZL
FC-FE F100-F350
$7.21

OIL FILTER
MOTORCRAFT
$24.18

INDICATOR ASSY
CLEAR FALCON
XD RIGHT-HAND
$40.76

WORKSHOP MANUAL
XD XE XF 6 & 8 CYL FORD
$54.95

PEDAL BOX MANUAL CONVERSION KIT XA-XC ALL XD-XE V8
$222.65


PARTS RESOURCES
www.rarespares.net.au

 


*****

 
More reviews:

> Bathurst Legends: Ford XD Falcon

> Ford XB Falcon John Goss Special

> Reader resto: Ford XA Fairmont GS

> Reader resto: Ford XC Fairmont

 

 


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