A 1970 Squire wandering around in the UK

Discussion in 'The Stable' started by Dave Enty, Jul 18, 2023.

  1. Dave Enty

    Dave Enty In First Gear

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    North West UK
    I thought that this was the most suitable section for a write up on what I've been doing with my Ranchero since I bought it nearly a year ago. Hope this is OK with the Mods?

    I first looked at it, along with several other things, back in early July last year (2022). I'd decided that I "needed" a truck some time last year but didn't get round to doing anything about it for a few months for various reasons. I kept being drawn back to this one, mainly due to it's looks, though was made aware by the selling dealer that it did want a few bits doing to it to make it roadworthy. I could have bought something up and running with everything done for a bit more, but where's the fun in that? Not only that but you're never sure if the work has been done correctly...

    Anyway, it's a 1970 Ford Ranchero Squire, though the trim has long since been removed by a previous owner. It originally had a 351W engine with a 2 barrel carb according to the VIN, this has been replaced by a 429ci with a 750cfm 4 barrel Holley. It has a C6 transmission and a 9" rear end with a limited slip differential, suggesting that it was possibly built to have a bit of strip time with, especially with the Recaro seats and a B & M Star Shifter which I've since changed for a Lokar tail mounted one.

    I had it transported home as the rear tyres were exhibiting signs of age with lots of sidewall cracking and the brakes were interesting to say the least with a pedal that was either low or lower, so it seemed a safer way of getting it the 50 or so miles. It arrived here on August 1st.

    The seller had suggested that it needed front brake pads, even going so far as to supplying a set with the car, along with a pair of top ball joints which he also reckoned were needed. The old pads were removed but the pistons were really reluctant to return in their callipers, even with the bleed nipples undone. The rubber hoses were also perished and the master cylinder was spitting fluid out when the pedal was pressed. After checking the rears (drums) and finding that the cylinders were weeping slightly, I decided that the correct way would be to just replace the lot, which has now been done. The rotors and drums are the only things that I didn't need to change as they were fine.

    The steering was also checked at this time as, if any parts were going to be needed, it would be cheaper to order them all in one hit to combine the postage costs. As mentioned earlier, a pair of top ball joints were supplied with the truck. It turned out that only one was needed, the play on the other side was due to worn bushes on the inboard end of the wishbone,. Bottom ball joints were also required though it worked out cheaper to buy the full bottom arm. All track rod and drag link ends were fine though a few of the rubber boots were perished so they've also been renewed. The power steering controller was also replaced as two of the three pipes going to it had been cross threaded at some stage so were weeping slightly.

    While all these bits and pieces were being carried out, the truck was only moving very briefly in and out of the garage, so lots of stop/start stuff going on. It started to become apparent that something was wrong as it slowly became more reluctant to start. A few preliminary checks all pointed to a failed head gasket which I was pretty devastated about, mainly due to more cost and time involved. Having said that, it had to be done so, as there were a few other jobs which needed doing to the engine, it was time to lift it out. The heads were removed and number 3 cylinder seemed to have it's own water injection system. A lot of cleaning and tidying up later, a full new top end gasket set was fitted and it was rebuilt. One consolation I took from this is that it gave me the opportunity to inspect the bores which were literally like new.

    It had already been determined on an earlier inspection that both the engine and transmission oil pans were badly dented, so this was the ideal time to replace them, along with new gaskets, oil and filters. An added bonus to this is that it seems to have cured a lot of my oil leaks as the damaged pans must not have been sealing properly.

    A few other bits have been done, mainly minor stuff like wipers, washers and a bit of interior stuff, but they all add up and it's more ticks added to the "to do" list. This list is still pretty long unfortunately but we're getting there slowly.

    There are lots of things I'd love to do to this truck though I've stopped for a while at the moment mainly due to the price of stuff. The unexpected head gasket failure didn't particularly help as, apart from a full gasket set, it also cost me a set of Hooker headers due to the fact the old ones fell apart upon removal. Realistically they were rotten but would have survived a bit longer if they'd not been disturbed. The problem with being in the UK is that something simple, like a set of front coil springs, costing $60.62 in the US ends up costing me $182.26 when shipping and duty have been factored in. Basically three times what it would have cost if I was over there.

    I had every intention of posting a couple of pictures in this post but I can't find anything really suitable as yet so It'll just have to be the one below for now. I'll dig some more out later in the week hopefully.

    Right front clean smaller.jpg
     
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  2. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    13,695
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Have you replaced the front coils? If not, you should have some company, in-country, that can make new ones for you, or re-anneal your old ones.

    For a Squire, that sure looks tasty.
     
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  3. Kiwirancher

    Kiwirancher In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Gisborne , New Zealand .
    That’s a nice looking Ranchero . I have the same cost issues getting stuff to NZ as you do to the UK . About the same price difference , especially in freight . Thankfully I don’t need much for my 66 , although there is always something I could
     
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  4. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,274
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Thankfully I don’t need much for my 66 , although there is always something I could...

    IMG_0928-1800639390.jpeg
     
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  5. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    13,695
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Wasn't Gas Ronda's SOHC Mustang given a stretched front end, in order to fit that behemoth?
     
  6. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,829
    Location:
    Freehold NJ
    Pretty chero. Good luck with it.
     
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  7. Kiwirancher

    Kiwirancher In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Gisborne , New Zealand .
    What are you trying to do to me BB ??
    Denis.
     
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  8. Dave Enty

    Dave Enty In First Gear

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    North West UK
    No, not replaced as yet and there is a company just up the road who specialise in springs so I'll be speaking with them when I get the chance. Just trying to prioritise at the moment with the massive list of other jobs which need doing.

    Appreciated, thanks. :)
     
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  9. Garbageman

    Garbageman In Overdrive

    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    SW Washington
    Very nice ride.
     
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  10. Dave Enty

    Dave Enty In First Gear

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    North West UK
    I thought I'd just update with some of the bodywork which has been carried out so far.

    The car was basically solid though a bit wanting in certain areas. To be fair it's not been that bad up to now though every panel is absolutely full of body filler, over half an inch thick in places. The worst bit I've found so far is the tailgate. It had been repaired at some stage though badly. Very badly.

    It had vinyl stripes on it when I acquired it and as I started removing them, a big lump of tailgate just fell off. I stripped it to the best of my ability, though soon began to realise that it was way beyond my capabilities. I therefore gave it a quick coat of paint as a temporary measure and left it like that until I could get it sorted out properly.

    Both rear wheel arches were also showing signs of corrosion so they were the first things to get a decent repair. I have to farm more and more jobs out nowadays, mainly due to a bit of ill health a while ago and the fact that I'm not getting any younger. Anyway, the truck went down to my local body guy who did an excellent job replacing the metal.

    A couple pictures below: -

    LHR Arch 1.jpg


    LHR Arch 3.jpg

    The other side wasn't as bad though got the same treatment. It's since been painted but I don't have a picture of that to hand. :(

    He currently has the tailgate in his shop which he's working on in between jobs, mainly to save me a bit of money. To be fair, I'm actively avoiding contact with him as much as possible to avoid being accused of pestering/being a nuisance, though I did suggest there was no real rush for it. That could have been a mistake as he's had it 8 weeks now. I do know from his infrequent updates that it's had around 4 - 6" of metal welded in at the base, all lines are correct and it's actually in primer now and ready for paint.

    This shows the state of the tailgate once the paint and filler had been removed: -

    Bodyshop 01.jpg


    And this was some of the stuff which came off it: -

    Tailgate filler removed.jpg

    I'll carry on with occasional updates if that's acceptable to the members on here?

    They'll be intermittent as, whilst there's lots to do, I've slowed down a lot over the years and get distracted easily. :)
     
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  11. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,829
    Location:
    Freehold NJ
    Yes, please keep us posted from time to time; we all would like to see it come back.
     
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  12. As Is '66

    As Is '66 2 Wheeled Mod Staff Member

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    5,966
    Location:
    Southwest Georgia
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  13. Dave Enty

    Dave Enty In First Gear

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    North West UK
    Well, my tailgate has eventually returned from the painter. He's done a nice job with it, very well priced and to get it how he has from what he started with is pretty impressive. It was basically a twisted lump of rotting metal and now really tidies the back end of the truck up. The colour match isn't perfect but trying to match red from the 1970s is a bit of a challenge, especially as most panels are different shades anyway. It was initially rubbing on the bottom edge but a bit of adjustment seems to have sorted this out.

    Tail 18.jpg

    The hood is the next job as, like the tailgate was, it's full of bondo which is starting to crack and the intake scoop is trying to make a bid for freedom with one front corner lifting slightly. I've made a start on it though it's taken a while as were were up to 14 layers of paint and filler. As it was such a poor finish I've reluctantly taken it back to bare metal so that I can get it something like smooth. The scoop is now re-fitted and secured, just leaving a bit of tidying up around the edges to be done.
    I still have a bit more rubbing down to do, followed by a light skim of filler in a couple of places, then a bit more sanding and some primer. On the rubbing down thing, there are some pretty deep gouges in several areas on the hood. I've no idea what these are from, they were actually underneath the original paint though they seem to correspond to the location of the splits I had in the top layer. I'm trying to polish them out but they're proving a challenge to this old man. :(
     
  14. uk ranchero

    uk ranchero In Third Gear

    Messages:
    139
    best of luck with your repairs hope you don't find too much bondo. i found loads in mine, maybe i see you at a show oneday. had mine 23 years and still finding things i would like to "improve". currently trying to convince myself. i don't need a GT hood, as there is nothing wrong with my original.
     
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  15. Dave Enty

    Dave Enty In First Gear

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    North West UK
    Just a quick update. I've got the hood scoop about the best that I can personally get it now, mainly just trying to get it to stop splitting on the edges where it joins the steel. The problem is that there's very little material on the scoop to fasten down. The right hand side wasn't too bad and I managed to get a couple of rivets in there but the left wasn't playing at all. I drilled a small pilot hole which just crumbled, so I filled it all using an epoxy glue which I'm hoping will hold up though somehow I doubt it and am resigned to the fact that it will probably crack again. The problem is that the hood moves an awful amount when driving, just due to general vibration. It also flexes a lot every time it's opened due to both the physical size of it and the fact there's a large round hole in the middle, hence the need for the scoop. The hole is to accommodate the air cleaner as the carb is on a hi-rise manifold, so there's not a lot I can do really. Ah well, these things are sent to try us. I ended up putting some paint on it as I was sick of looking at primer. It's now in red around the edges, with the centre section in satin black with a thin satin black stripe round it. I did actually get the correct measurements for the paintwork, from edge to stripe/stripe to mid section etc. but then I thought what am I messing like this for? Life's too short and it's non-standard anyway with a massive scoop in it. :D
    Not the prettiest of jobs but not bad for a bloke with a few rattle cans on a driveway. : -

    Paint Strip 12 small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2023
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  16. Dave Enty

    Dave Enty In First Gear

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    North West UK
    Thanks for the thoughts, appreciated. :)

    Agree that it's a never ending process owning something of this vintage but, in reality, I knew this before I took it on. I won't be doing much to it now, though do have a bit of welding to do on the floors and the tunnel where I put the Lokar shifter in to replace the cheap one I had. I have pop-rivetted a couple of plates in for now but this was only ever going to be a temporary fix.

    As for shows/meets, I have one next weekend (Sunday 24th) up near Ripon in North Yorkshire but that will probably be my last one this year. Hopefully see you in 2024. :)
     

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