1972 Ranchero Project Cobra 32V

Discussion in 'The Stable' started by MinesGT, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,839
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    It is relatively easy - pull the front clip off, remove the 10 Body Mount bolts and once you've cleared the interferences of the transmission/throttle linkage, exhaust, and double checked wiring is clear you can lift the body off the car.
     
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  2. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    Yes, it was relatively easy to be honest. We are lucky enough to have a 2 post lift to lift the body clear. The body mount bolts came of fairly easy, and it was just a case of starting at the front, and checking for cables, linkages etc, which may prevent the separation, and removing them as you go.
     
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  3. Daleo56

    Daleo56 In Third Gear

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    234
    I just bought a 72' for dirt cheap that is a great candidate for a frame off restoration. I had no idea it was only a full day job. I have done it a few times on older Chevrolet cars (one currently) and I have been really happy with the results. I think I might try it!

    Thank you!

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  4. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    Well after nearly 5 months of waiting, the Crown Vic front end finally arrived !! :) , it had been delivered to the wrong address in Florida, and missed two container shipments, until it was found......

    It arrived with part of the frame attached (which we did not expect). The Crown Vic frame is narrower than the Ranchero, so not too sure if we should try and use this and try and stitch it into the Ranchero frame, or just modify the Ranchero frame to take the Crown Vic clip.

    A bit more measuring to do be fore we start cutting, i think ;)

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    Fitted some 2008 Mustang wheels to check the overall width. Needed to space the wheels from the hub by about 10mm, to clear the calipers.

    The overall width was 1855 mm ( the wheels are 8.5 x 18 with ET50 ). This was EXACTLY the same width as the Ranchero was with the original wheels it came width, so we should be ok with clearance.

    Might be able to fit 8.5 inch rim, with ET35 (to give a little more dish). We shall see,

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    Hopefully , the next few weeks should see some progress

    :)
     
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  5. Daleo56

    Daleo56 In Third Gear

    Messages:
    234
    Look forward to seeing it mocked up!
     
  6. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,839
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    I'm following this one closely - want to see how it turns out!
     
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  7. 74Rancherito

    74Rancherito In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    South Central, Cali
    awesome build!....Its gonna run/ride like a modern car.....
     
  8. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    8,393
    Location:
    near SF
    I'm curious to know what you plan to do about the right-hand steering in a Ranchero? Maybe an American rack-pinion would fit the rest of the front suspension?

    I'm guessing you'll decide that the simpler course is to graft the Ranchero frame onto the new front clip rather than the other way round.
     
  9. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    Yes, i will be happier when everything is tacked into position, with some wheels on! Trying hard not to get carried away, and make a mistake
     
  10. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    We are still keeping the Ranchero LHD, not a major issue over here to be honest :)

    It does look like we will be modifying the Ranchero frame to accept a section of the Crown Vic. I think it will become more clear once we have finished checking and re checking...
     
  11. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    Braced up the Crown Vic frame section, and removed suspension assembly/cross member. We placed it in position on top of the Ranchero frame, to get an idea of what direction would be best.
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    Although the Crown Vic frame is narrower, it does kick out front and back, and just about meets up with the Ranchero frame.

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    So we have welded in additional bracing to the Ranchero frame, prior to any cutting....

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    Going to remove the original cross member first, along with the top A arm mounts.

    We have measured about 10 times !!, and it looks like the top of the Crown Vic frame should end up being flush with the top of the Ranchero frame.

    Easy does it ;)
     
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  12. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    We finally cut off the top of the A arm mounts, so the top of the frame was more or less flush. Cleaned up the frame around the area we were working, and gave it a coat of marking fluid, to help with marking out.

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    This allowed us to check the centre line of the Crown Vic frame against the measurements we had obtained from the internet, along with the bolt holes etc.

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    In doing so we found out that there is some information out there which is incorrect!!

    We managed to locate the frame drawing for a 2005 Crown Vic, showing the frame location points for the front clip.

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    We know the wheelbase quoted is incorrect, however, it was just the front end we were worried about. It showed that one of the settings we made on the jig was 15mm out compared to the drawing we had before !!!

    Now that is set correctly, we can begin the process of marking everything out prior to cutting

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    Fingers crossed :)
     
  13. TestDummy

    TestDummy In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    23,261
    Location:
    C'Ville
    Diggin' that Capris in the background. My next door neighbor had four of them when I was in high school. They were total POS's, but still cool.
     
  14. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    Can't believe its been nearly 6 months since an update, and to be honest it has been a lot more work than we thought, but I think the end result will be worth it.

    First took a deep breath, and started cutting........ :O

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  15. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    We decided do the drivers side first as it looked the more difficult to do due to the different shape of the chassis where the steering box is attached. If it went well, then the authorised should prove a lot easier...

    The chassis section that came with the front clip, was marked out, prior to cutting. We thought it would be best if we could use the Crown Vic section which would have all the location points, bolt holes etc, etc

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    We cut out one side of the Crown Vic frame, with a view to sliding it over the original frame, to try and retain some strength.

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    The picture is not too good, but hopefully gives you the idea

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    Then, cut out the other side

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  16. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    Once we had trimmed back the chassis, we were able to test fit the Crown Vic front clip, and tack weld it onto place

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    Unfortunately the pictures aren't brilliant...., but it was a big relief when it all lined up.

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    Before we could weld everything into place, the trailing arm bushes needed to be sorted. Looked at a lot of pictures on the net, and the bushes all seemed to be mounted at an angle. You can see that the collar of the bush is slotted. A quick calculation showed that it would be about 40 degrees. With bent some 3mm plate to an angle of 40 degrees, to give it a try. To get it to align uo, we had to cutaway a lot of the chassis, and ended up mounting it "inside" the chassis.

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    Everything was still just tack welded, until we were confident everything lined up ok

    :)
     
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  17. eqshadimar

    eqshadimar In Overdrive

    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Austin - TX
    Impressive. Can't wait to see it all done!

    Laters,
    Jeff
     
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  18. MinesGT

    MinesGT In Second Gear

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Chester le Street, UK
    As we mentioned earlier, we found variances in dimensions we found on the net. Once everything was tack welded in place, we checked everything for alignment and squareness to the original chassis. When we checked the wheelbase, we found it to be 118.5", about 0.5" longer than original. After giving it a lot of thought, we decided to go with the 118.5" for a couple of reasons. One was that we always felt that the front wheels always appeared to be off centre in the wheel arch, and this extra half inch would help rectify that, also when compared with the original crossmember, the Crown Vic assembly located the engine closer to the bulkhead, so this extra half inch would also help rectify that.

    So now it was just a case of welding up the front of the chassis.

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    We used some masking tape to try and gauge how it would look when finished.

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    There were areas where we needed to restore some strength

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    The new sections need to be dressed off to size, but will need to turn the chassis over, as it will be easier than trying to weld upside down !!
     
  19. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    19,727
    Location:
    California
    Looks like you have a handle on it.
    Welding upside down is no fun!
     
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  20. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,074
    Location:
    Prunetucky California
    Looking great do you have to hide the welds on the frame from MOT inspectors from the pictures its going to look factory once you clean up and paint the rest of the frame.
     

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