I bought this 1976 Ford Courier last June. I took it off the hands of a nice couple living in the woods near the town of Carson, WA. The couple had quite the collection of vehicles in various states of disassembly sitting around their lot, including a decommissioned ambulance.
The Courier had been relegated to the role of a light-duty beat-around truck used for hauling odds and ends. As with many of these old Couriers and 70's Mazda pickups, the body is rough. Rust has eaten through the rocker panels, the bed, and the cab leaks. Not to mention if the brakes ever go out, I can always pull up the steel plate over the driver's side floorboard and stop the truck Flintstones style. But hey, what I saw was a running JNC for a very reasonable price. I paid $800 for it and drove it across the Bridge of the Gods back to my home in Portland, OR. While crossing the bridge, a light rain started coming down and I realized much to my embarrassment that the windshield wipers were non-functional.
I know, right? Living in the Pacific Northwest, the wipers should have been one of the first things I checked. I guess I let myself get carried away with excitement. Luckily, the rain stayed light and I made it home without a hitch.
I was driving it to work every day as long as the forecast was clear. Since I was working two jobs, I found I just didn't have the time to do even the smallest of repairs. Now I've got a new job that I don't need to drive to, so I can garage the truck. And, I've got more time (and more money, thanks to the new job) to throw at the thing.
I plan on doing everything myself, learning how to do the things I don't know along the way, and I expect the whole process to be... well, quite a process.
I'd like to keep the truck as stock as possible, but I know I'll have to make allowances due lack of parts availability as well as out of a personal desire for some comfort and safety.
A Short List of Things I Need to Do:
1. Install a Weber 32/36 (DGV or DGEV?) with one of those air filters that sits on top. The current carb is functional, but the stock air intake has duct tape around it, and the choke mechanism is a little temperamental, so I figure I might as well replace that whole fuel/air mess rather than try to put a band-aid on a gaping wound. I'd like to keep the functionality of the setup I've got now, where I can use the manual choke to help with cold starts and the electric choke regulates the idle. So I'm not quite sure which version of the 32/36 I need. Also, should I be ordering from Redline? I want the real deal and I understand some places such as webercarbsdirect sell imitation knock-offs.
2. Replace hoses, including: that funny cloth (?) one that goes from the other end of the intake down to the exhaust manifold, and the heater hose (it has a lot of holes in it, I keep the window open when I drive 'cause I think I'm probably inhaling a fun mixture of fumes otherwise).
3. Adjust the timing, it's really retarded right now.
4. Replace the wheel cylinders.
5. Replace the stock brake lines and hoses with copper-nickel lines and steel-braided hoses.
6. Fix the the wipers.
7. Install a larger alternator and convert all the lights to LEDs if possible.
8. Bodywork and Interior. No way around it, it needs a lot of love, welding, rubbers, and paint.
Some More Pictures:
I will be posting some more pictures soon, including some of the mess under the hood, the dash, and the instrument panel.
If anyone out there has any advice on where to source parts or what direction to take this in, feel free to let me know.