77 ranchero Front clip swap

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by Blue Thunder Jet, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    I am contemplating swaping the front clip on my Ranchero.
    I have been thinking about:
    A 1972 Mercury Montego
    A 1977 Mercury Cougar
    A 1977 Ford T-bird

    I am not sure if a 1970 Mercury Cyclone Front Clip would work, I know where I can get one rust free for cheap, I just don't know if it work

    Here's My Ranchero
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    If you are willing to work at it, even a 68 Jag front clip would work.
     
  3. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    but would it be as much of a bolt on for the cyclone clip as it would the others
     
  4. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
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    73 Montego would be almost bolt on, 72 is going to require at the least frame and fender mount modification, 70 would require major modification all around up to and including widening the fenders or hood at the rear and tapering back into the grille.
     
  5. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Mchenry , IL
    If you want a 70 montego you would need a 70-71 ranchero. That would be more of a bolt on. I am doing the 73 on my 79 (check out ranchero/montego update in ranchero pic's section) and the only two things I can think of off the top of my head that I had to modify to make it a "bolt up" where the top fender mounting hole on the cowell (one closest to windsheild) I had to make oval and the the 77-79 rancheros have an extra set of hood bumpers on the cowel top. I had to remove those. The 77 cougar would be a direct bolt on as well as the t-bird. With the exception of the 77 cougar all of the front clips in some way or another will need some wiring harness mods for the headlights/parking lamps (t-bird being the most work) You have a great car to start this project. Car looks solid. Good luck with whatever you choose! Dan the ranchero man
     
  6. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    what about a 71 cougar would that bolt up? I found a shell for cheap. I am contemplating the swap becuase my hood is missaligned and is crinkled bad at the edges
     
  7. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    No. It won't cross over well. If it is just the hood that is crinkled you are better off replacing the hood, should be fairly easy to find one as all the LTD II and Ranchero will work. A front end swap for a crinkled hood is a lot of work. Unless you are setting out to do something like Dan TRM is doing you are really better of keeping it simple.
     
  8. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    I am kinda set on a 73 to 75 cougar front end, a 73 to 75 thunderbird front end, or a 73 to 75 montego. I just don't like the stacked headlights on my ranchero
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  9. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,907
    Location:
    Mchenry , IL
    You could use the 74-79 cougar front clip. The 73 cougar is a different body format. the 73-76 T-bird follows the Lincolin Mark and would also not work, But the 77-79 T-bird sits on the midsize ford platform and would be ok to use. Montego 73-76 would work fine. With ANY OF THESE FRONT END SWAPS GET A DONOR CAR IF POSSIBLE!!! This way you will have ALL the peices you need to make it a succesful swap. Sometimes buying a $1500 running car is cheaper than buying peice parts and having to search all over for the parts you need (something to think about)
     
  10. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    sounds like a plan, I am now collecting parts for my 429 T-jet swap, manual to auto swap, suspension overhaul, new brakes. If I get a whole car I can rob the front end, dash, kick panels off for cheaper than buying the parts individually.
    This would look awesome on the front of my ranchero
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    Has anybody on here done a cougar front clip swap?
     
  12. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    While that Cougar front clip would look interesting, I think you need to do some quick measurments. That year Cougar shares the same basic dimension engine bay and cowl as a 71 thru 73 Mustang. Much narrower than your Ranchero. There's a real good reason why only the mid-size T-Bird, Cougar, & Torino Elite front clips are popular swaps. The body on frame Rancheros all share the same basic design on the mounting points and dimensions for those front clips. Any other clips you consider will test your fabrication skills severely and may still end up looking out of proportion. The 70/71 Rancheros share the same dimensions and mounting points with like year Montego/ Cyclones. The unit body underneath the front clip is the same on them, that's why you see that conversion now and then. Comprende ?
     
  13. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,907
    Location:
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    The cougar you pictured (77-79)there would be the easiest of the swaps. Bolt on and the harness for the lighting should be a very near match if not an exact fit. You could go into a 74-76 cougar too if you wanted.
     
  14. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Ya'll jumping years too fast for me. Agree that the 77/79 Cougar front looks great on a Ranchero. Mercury should have done those and had an upscale version.
     
  15. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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    Petey ITs.... BTJ..........
     
  16. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Yeah ...... I know. Still, you never know who might pull a rabbit outta' their hat and produce something really unique. Remember, the only dumb question is the one that wasn't asked. There's a good chance he's good with a welder so never say never.
     
  17. pdw72

    pdw72 In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,268
    Location:
    southeast MN
    these are a couple pics I found online, I would like to do this swap sometime after the '72 is finished, but probably not.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    But Dan's Montego swap looks real good too!!!
     
  18. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Angleton tx
    I am a good arc welder, but haven't done much body work. I was wondering how similar the dashes are? Mine on my ranchero is cracked in many places, if I find a parts car how tranferable is it?
     
  19. Blue Thunder Jet

    Blue Thunder Jet In Overdrive

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
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    Th last pic looks amazing!!!
     
  20. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,267
    Location:
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    If the car is in the same class and within the same year group, dash and components cross very easily. If they are not within the same year group you will have some wiring issues to overcome. As Dan TRM mentioned, get a donor car and have at it.
     

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