1978 Mad Max build: Beast of Burden

Discussion in 'The Stable' started by paul289, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    245
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    Marysville, WA
    Still haven't put a gauge on it (was on vacation for a while and have had a bad cold since then), but after adjusting the Lokar cable about two turns loose, it still shifts into OD at the same point, even when it's definitely starting to slip on the upshifts. However, I can get it to shift sooner by hitting the brakes for a second or so. I also noticed that it was having issues not going into gear when I was stopped at times, which led me to think that it's a fluid level issue. Especially since it will also shift into OD at lower speeds when going down hill. I'll top off the fluid and dial some more TV cable back into it here in the coming days and see what happens.

    But the new double pumper is performing pretty good! Feels like it has more power now, idles great, and has awesome throttle response! Still needs some tuning of the idle circuit, but that's easy enough.
     
  2. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    245
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Transmission has to come out. Seems as though the front pump has died. It's not maintaining line pressure, so it's slipping on shifts and in gear under load, and it won't engage any gear until about 2000 rpm. On top of all that, it likes to rock forward when I rev it in neutral. Luckily, a buddy has another AOD that is known to be good, so I'm gonna swap that in. I'm thinking about keeping the current AOD and building it up a bit, or start investing in some shocks and a bit of a lift.
     
  3. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Not sure if the front pump is actually bad or not, but I'm replacing the gears anyways since they were showing wear. Also got a full rebuild kit on the way, as well as a set of stamped steel drums so I can use the 6-clutch direct drum and the 2" overdrive band. Also started building my new gauge cluster, and broke down and bought a 12-circuit Painless fuse block. Just gotta figure out where to put it...
     

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  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Are you removing the old harness? If so, you likely can put the fuse block wherever you want to. I would think inside the glove box would give you easy access.
     
  5. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    No, I'm going more lazy and keeping the factory harness. I might screw it to the bottom of the cowl with some silicone sealer to keep it from leaking, since there's lots of room up there, and it's still accessible. Or while I'm working on the gauge cluster, I'll make a bracket to hold it there, maybe hold it in with JB Weld.
     
  6. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    245
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Got just about everything done and even fired it up last night, but it turns out I don't have reverse. So, back up on the jackstands it goes so I can pull the valvebody off and see what's up. So glad I put a drain plug in! But it's looking pretty good with the new corner light grilles and mild lift on the snow tires. Honestly, I'm pretty bummed that I've missed so much of the snow storm already. This would be an absolute blast in the snow!

    I will say, not having a wiring diagram for a 1978 Ranchero has made things pretty difficult. I've mostly had to go off of one for a 1976 (which has differences, like the ignition not going through the fuse block, and a few wire color changes), the owner's manual fuse descriptions, an old picture I took of the fuse block before it totally disintegrated, and wire stubs on the fuse block. Gauges work for the most part, though they cut out if I rock the car, so I think there's a short somewhere. Have I ever mentioned that I hate electrical work?
     

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    HuevosRanchero likes this.
  7. Doc76251

    Doc76251 In Third Gear

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    I've got a 77 and just finished a dash project, I can share my notes if they would help you out.

    Cheers,

    Doc
     
  8. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Location:
    Everett, WA
    I never found the copies of my 1979 diagrams (I think they made it to storage, again...), but I got mine from the Everett Library reference section, just by copying the pages, a full set even. They're the actual Ford diagrams. I think, as far as your gauges, that you don't have a short, but an intermittent open. It sounds like a wire terminal is loose, or the 5V regulator on the back is not properly grounded. I remember, on my old one, I had to take an eraser to the metal on the printed circuit, as well as a wire brush to the regulator bracket, to get a good ground. Also look closely at the connector, since it gets bent around, to make sure the foil runs are not broken.
     
  9. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Well, I've gone so far that there's nothing left of the original gauges. Not even the 5v regulator. It's all Stewart Warner gauges (save for the Equus speedo, which is mechanical anyways, and I intend to eventually replace that, too). I've had issues like this with the old gauge cluster, and even the windshield wipers, where nothing would turn on until I rocked the car, so there's definitely a break somewhere between the ignition switch and the gauge cluster. I know there's a few connectors along the way, so one of them could be corroded. I'll probably eventually venture over to a library and see what I can find as far as wiring diagrams, so I know what to do with the other 4 or so wires that are dangling but seem non-critical.
     

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  10. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Ah. Well, my statement, I think, still stands, although you could have a corroded connector. Babe did when I went to replace the headlight switch, so she also got a pigtail I soldered in. And the ignition switch design could also cause a loss of circuits; I've replaced Babe's twice, for falling apart and for water corrosion, plus on my '89 Bronco, 'Eddie,' for falling apart.
     
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  11. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    Even though the ignition switch is recently replaced, doesn't mean there's nothing wrong with the connection. The old one had corrosion on it, so that might be making a comeback.
     
  12. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Check the female terminals in the pigtail, and if they're clean, use a pick or a small screwdriver to 'snug up' the terminals, so they fit tight when connected. You might also want to try snaking a zippy tie around the switch and connector; I think I had to do that on my '74 Squire because the locking tabs were long gone.
     
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  13. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    245
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Think I found the cause for the lack of reverse: low-reverse servo seals aren't in that great of condition. After pulling it out and putting it back together, I now no longer have 1st either. So, new reverse servo is on the way. Sadly, I might not get to play in the snow with the Beast. So this weekend, I'll probably fiddle around with the wiring to make sure that's all working better. Also, next paycheck will be rear shocks. Already got a set of new fronts, and I can tell already that the front is much tighter! Kinda tired of the floaty ride. Still working on a whole suspension design for more travel, durability, and adjustability, but I think that for now, the spring spacers and new shocks will be fine.
     
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  14. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    Location:
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    For future info: Has anyone done a Toploader conversion in a late Ranchero? Wondering mostly about the clutch pedal arrangement, since it doesn't seem like there were any manual-equipped cars on this platform. I can just buy a Wilwood pedal assembly, but if I can find a bolt-in option, I'd prefer that route. (still, I kinda prefer hydraulic clutches anyways, so I may go that route)

    Mostly, I'm just tired of automatic transmissions. I don't have the money to send it out for a rebuild (much less an aftermarket transmission), I hear lots of horror stories from people that do get them rebuilt, and I don't like the high risk of something catastrophic happening, so I'm planning for a future upgrade. Ideally, I'd like to get a TKO so I can comfortably run 3.73s, but I do also have a set of 3.50s and a spare dropout, so a Toploader should work just fine. Or to continue the Mad Max theme, I've thought about using a ZF 5 speed from a 2wd F250 as well, though that is a MASSIVE transmission and may hang below the floor pan. Ideally, I want something that's fairly common that I can find parts for, can withstand lots of boost, and isn't thousands of dollars. If I have to cut the floor pan, so be it.
     
  15. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    And what about an M5OD? You're not making scads of power, so one of those could be a better bet, smaller than a ZF and come in 2WD. Also, clutch/brake pedal assemblies were in Torinos and Montegos from '72 till Ford stopped doing them.
     
  16. LSChero

    LSChero In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

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  17. Doc76251

    Doc76251 In Third Gear

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    Location:
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    Unfortunately Torino's only go up to 76'. That leaves us 77-79 guys in the custom world. I too am looking for a clutch package that I can make work in a 77 and the Wildwood system does seem to be an easy button, not sure how the brake reservoir would affect my stock power brakes tho????

    Cheers,

    Doc
     
  18. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    9,180
    Location:
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    The platform name change for 1977 was largely a nothing-burger - the vast majority of the '77 up LTD II platform is based on the torino - even the back bumper of the Ranchero is the same from '72 through '79 in case you didn't know.

    The dash shell is the same, the instrument cluster dimensions are the same '74 through '79, and the cruise and turn signal switches appropriate to tilt or fixed are the same. The point of all of this is the that it is likely that the '72 - '74 pedal assemblies will swap straight in. If you want to check that out I have a set here that you can look at to compare with what you have under the dash.

    Ford didn't invest a lot of effort in reinventing the wheel each time they changed the skin on their cars - which means a lot of commonality across a lot of years. For example, the ring and pinion set for the 9" rear carried B7 part prefixes - meaning that 1957 was the year that set was introduced and it carried forward throughout the 70's. FWIW
     
  19. Doc76251

    Doc76251 In Third Gear

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    139
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    We definitely have to get together about this and a great many other topics of mutual interest. I'm doing the cabling renovation project on the Dollar Tree Corp. building in Chesapeake (already built the new tower) and am looking for a sunny day to run Midnight out there to show an electrician (USN, Ret.) who is a big 60/70's Ford truck and hot rod guy. Wildwood is a bit spendy and that's above and beyond a T-5 to go with.

    Cheers,

    Doc
     
  20. paul289

    paul289 In Third Gear

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    245
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Well, the plan is to eventually make scads of power. An M5OD would probably last longer than a T5, for sure, but it won't last long once I get twin turbos (which is still part of the plan).
    I know that the '77-79 brake booster is different, with a non-rectangular stud pattern, but this might be a bonus, because no one reproduces or rebuilds the '77-79 brake boosters. As for the Wilwood pedal, I can get just the clutch pedal with a master cylinder for about $140. With a slave cylinder, it's $230. Then I just have to figure out a mounting system.
     

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