1970 Ranchero build - first ranchero, first restoration

Discussion in 'The Stable' started by 1970Ranchero, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Hey Everyone,

    I thought I'd start a build thread on my 1970 so you could follow along and I could pester you all for advice.

    Crossposting from my other intro post to consolidate here:

    My name is Jack and I am the proud new owner of my first vintage car. I am 26 and am not entirely new to cars - my dad and I built up a 1968 Mustang convertible and I helped my buddy restore his 1967 Camaro.

    However, this is personally my first resto so I am excited to dig into it and learn along the way. The goal for the build is to make a super strong driver, with the driveline sorted and cosmetics left alone (not that my wallet would let me in the first place haha).

    About the car -- it's nothing special. It's a 1970 Ranchero with a 302 2bbl, automatic and an 8 inch rear end. I am working on a shoe string budget so I wanted something cool, solid and all-there. My buddy gave me a good price on this one and it checked the boxes so I picked it up in June and now have time to dig into it. I got it running out of a can so that's start. Work to follow includes brakes first, then cooling/fuel system, transmission and finally suspension if I can get to it in time.

    Anyway, I am excited to start the build and learn from all the collective knowledge here. I know all posts are useless without pics, so have at it below haha.

    Thanks,
    Jack
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    First order of business was to get the car off of my buddy's place in Napa and back to my other buddy's place in the Bay Area where will be doing the majority of the work on it. Per the older registration cards under the seats and original dealer license plate frames, it seems like the car was a long-life CA car originally purchased in Bishop, CA.

    After a brief power wash and hood removal, we popped in a new battery and the car fired right up, running out of a can. We then towed the car all the back to my buddy's place all the way back from Napa, its future home for the time being.

    This brings me to my first question - anyone have any insight to how to unfreeze stuck hinges? These things are pretty stuck and I have doused them in WD-40 to no avail. Would like to keep them as it seems quality repops aren't super available (but would still be open to buying them if anyone knows of a vendor I missed)
     

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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  3. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    The rust in them needs to get worked out, then properly lubed to work right. Make sure they aren't binding if you're able to get them open.
     
  4. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    After we got the Ranchero back to the garage, the first order of business was a deep clean of the interior and some small stuff like changing out the spark plugs wires.

    Pleasantly surprised to find the floors etc. super solid. There's only a small amount of rust in the bed where moisture collected, but otherwise super solid as far as I can tell.

    A few in-progress pics:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Thanks, Andy. I am going to give them another closer look. They're stuck in the open position. A previous owner before me bowed the hood trying to get it closed, so there's that to get fixed too...
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  6. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Oh, be very careful with the hood. It's like someone already pushed down, and you don't push down. You put both palms against the edge of the hood with fingers upward and push, horizontally, backward. That will make the hinges fold down without bending the hood.
     
  7. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    After the deep clean and strip of the interior headliner, carpeting etc., we have started tackling the main systems to get the car to run, drive and stop. And this pretty much brings me to where I am at now - just trying to get the car to move under its own power and make a trip around the block. Things like suspension, steering etc. will be addressed once its running and driving.

    I have broken down the necessities into three distinct systems - Fuel System, Brake System and Cooling System (+ transmission).

    I will start with the Fuel system first as that seems to be the low hanging fruit and the easiest for me to start with. First up is the tank, sending unit and filler neck:
    Leaning towards A as the linked tank looks identical to mine (pic attached), just without the Evaporative Emissions equipment. If there's any issues with swapping a non-EE tank into a smog-car, or anything else I'm missing on either setup, let me know. Hopefully this thread will make it easier for 70-71 owners in the future.

    Thanks everyone. Open to anyone's thoughts/suggestions on whether A or B might or might not work.

    Will be ordering soon.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  8. Jeff B

    Jeff B In Maximum Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

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    Jack, work the hinges with a good penetrating lube. I like Kroil and there are other favorites. When you get the hinges moving, do like Andy said and make sure the hood is moving under its own weight without adding too much downward force. My current hood has welds on the bottom side where someone had that same problem.
    While on the subject, the springs lose tension and there is a thread somewhere about adding a booster spring inside the original to help. When working under that hood, make sure it is fully open so you don't get clunked in the head if you happen to shake the car or a breeze catches it.
     
  9. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Thanks Andy! Very good to know. The P/O really pushed down on it to bow it:(

    Thanks, Jeff. Once I have the hood back on, I will re-size things up and see if the hinges are truly stiff or if the P/O was simply closing the hood the wrong way and mistook the hinges for being stiff haha.
     
  10. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Maximum Overdrive

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    Hood Springs are available through NPD and CJPony.
     
  11. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    - Good to know, thanks PonyExpressRider. I don't know how I skipped over NPD...
     
  12. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Which reminds me, I need to see about a new set of hood springs for Babe; the ones I snagged at the yard oh-so-long-ago are now sagging a bunch.
     
  13. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Did some small work on the Ranchero today, replacing the fuel pump and plugs.

    Also, I did a close comparison of my factory gas tank and the Autokrafters tank and it looks the Autokrafters is almost an exact copy. I am going to confirm dimensions and will order it if they match up. Hopefully 70-71 owners will finally have the off-the-shelf repop tank we have been asking for!
     
  14. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Updates!! Made a bit of progress on the Ranchero since I got the gas tank out - replaced the whole braking system (all new lines front to back, booster, MC, distribution block, and F/R brakes).

    Also, got the gas tank replaced and fuel system plumbed. Good news for 70/71 owners - the ACP tank fit right now and was an exact fit.

    Next step is getting new wheels/tires and swapping out the fluids. Should have it on the road soon!

    Quick question - does anyone where the fuel sending unit wire connects to?

    (mine is hanging free in the second pic and I can't find any other line in the car where it would connect to)
     

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  15. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    I would assume the wiring harness runs down one side of the body or the other, especially for the rear lighting. If nothing is there all the way up front, you may have to run your own wire, and of course, ensure that you have a ground strap from the tank to the body so you have a decent ground.
     
  16. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Gotcha, thanks Andy. Looks like I am running my own wire!
     
  17. 1970Ranchero

    1970Ranchero In Second Gear

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    Quick question for the group here regarding ignition issues:

    After I start the car, I cannot get it to shut off (turn the key to off and it keeps running, even with battery fully disconnected). I have tried troubleshooting in a few different ways (solenoid, etc?), but still have no luck.

    Anyone have any recommendations on how to diagnose/fix this issue?
     
  18. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

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    Somehow your ignition is being fed by the alternator instead of the ignition switch. Did you change any wiring underdash or under the hood?
     

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