Having front end problems on 69 Ranchero.

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by Truckpoor, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

    Messages:
    21
    Front end is sagging so I know it needs springs and have those ordered. When I turn the wheel hard the tires are rubbing the body, especially on the passenger side. The strut rod bushings were recently newly installed, before I got the truck. but the wheels look to be setting to far back in the wheel well, and it appears that there is adjustment on the strut rod that would allow the wheel to be moved forward. Of course, this is an alignment problem but thinking of adjusting the strut rods to pull the wheels forward, just to be able to drive it. any thoughts on this?
     
  2. colnago

    colnago In Third Gear

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Stock wheels and tire size? If alloy rims, it could be that the backspace is too deep. Maybe you could get some spacers to move the rims out some.

    Joseph
     
  3. kaytbugsdad

    kaytbugsdad In Second Gear

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    34
    Got any pics???
     
  4. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,657
    Location:
    Prunetucky California
    strut rods are not adjustable
     
  5. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

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    21
    Thanks to all that responded, and in response to the statement that strut rods are not adjustable, I will say that those on mine appear to be adjustable with threads and nuts on both sides of the bushings and size of the threads appear to be the same on both sides. I would not know of any reason for about two inches of threads to be there unless adjustable, but then again You have experience with this and I do not and I thank you for your knowledge and help. It is unfortunate that I have not dealt with this style of suspension in the past, and I do not have books covering the work that needs to be done. Used to be, you could do a search on the internet and come up with all kinds of information when needed, but greed has just about taken over and it is hard to find anything but adds. Very little actual help information gets thru anymore. As to pictures, I will try and take some. Tires are 205-75-14 on American Racing wheels, which seem to be about right in width and backspacing. Will need to take one off and see if there are any specs in the casting. I don't know what the original tire size was supposed to be on a Ranchero , but I don think the tires are much different from original in size, but I could very easily be wrong. Rim dimensions may be different, but being as the tires are 205 and the rims don't seem very wide and seem to match the tire , I would guess not far from original. As to moving the tires out with spacer would only make the rub worse, as it is rubbing on the firewall or inner fender on the tread of the tire. Passenger side is worse than the drivers side., and it appears the wheel is setting farther back on the passenger side of the car, in relation to the wheel opening. I inspected the inner fenders yesterday for obvious damage, but culd not find anything that looks to be from a wreck, but did find some damage along the bottom of the front where the cross member in front had been hitting something in the past. Although, it only appears to be damage where truck bounced and caught on rock or such. Hard to get under the truck as it sets so low in the front. As I mentioned, the springs have lost tension over the years and front end seems abnormally low to me. The rear springs look to be setting lower than should be also but not as bad as the front, which could account for the front frame damage I saw. I did some checking of the length of the strut rods thinking these may have been replaced with the wrong ones when the bushings were replaced, and both sides appeared to be the same overall length. I have not as of yet tried to do any ball joint checks to determine condition of those, just from appearance the boots are good. Will need to check the brakes on the front as I don't like the feel of the brakes, and it has drum brakes on the front. Will be looking into putting disc brakes on if drums are bad. First, I have to get the front end where it can be aligned.
     
  6. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Portland OR
  7. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

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    21
    Wheels are 7 inch but no markings inside the rims for ID. Measure 3.5 inches fro lip to mounting surface on back side of rim. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

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    21
    Well, that did not work so well on the pictures.
     
  9. kaytbugsdad

    kaytbugsdad In Second Gear

    Messages:
    34
    Mine are adjustable, and are factory parts on my car...…. I replaced my strut rod bushings earlier this year. I marked the rear nuts with paint so as not to move the adjustment at all...….
     
  10. colnago

    colnago In Third Gear

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    The pictures are probably too big. I found an app on Google Play that lets me lower the resolution of photos on my phone/tablet. It's called Pixlr I think, but there are probably a zillion available.

    Joseph
     
  11. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,657
    Location:
    Prunetucky California
    My bad I forgot the earlier ones were "adjustable"
     
  12. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

    Messages:
    21
    The pictures show where the tire is rubbing on the body. and pictures of the right front brake hub with out wheel. In one picture, I have a level standing up center of the dust cap to show how much forward the upper ball joint is from the center of the cap. Eyeball measuring appears to be 1 plus inch forward of the center of cap, which is a poor way of looking at the situation, but trying to ball park the problem. Caster and camber both seem to be off in my opinion with the truck setting level supported by a jack on the lower control arm. However much the sagging springs affect these measurements, I have no idea. I do know the caster camber measurements listed in my motors repair manual list both in degree's and range from roughly 1/2 degree neg. to 1/2 positive ideally. What that means in terms of inches, I have no idea, but 1 inch in about 8 inches would seem like far to much. in my opinion, but again hard to say as the truck is setting on rough ground and not on the exact level, but not far off from level either. Both ball joints on the passenger side are good from what I can tell and tie rod ends seem to be good although the outer tie rod end was not tight enough as it had some play in the mounting so I took out the cotter pin and loosened the nut and found it loose to start with. I tightened the nut up to what I figured it aught to be and put a new cotter key in it. Wondering if the rubbing has caused it to become loose. Someone has obviously done some fairly recent front end work on the truck, but it would almost seem like it was not realigned afterword. Got the new springs in for the front end, but not the new rubber sound deadening cushions. Waiting on those to install the springs. Looks like a major PITA to me. These springs are long. Once the springs are installed, I will know more than I do now, or at least have a better idea of whether the front end is affected by the difference of the general overall front end height. Will keep everyone informed as to progress as soon as I can, and what I do. May help someone else out in the future. I would ask what original tire and wheel size was supposed to have been on the 69 Ranchero with a 351W, and also, how do you tell a GT from other models of Ranchero. The door panels say Grand Touring in a badge attached to the door. However, door panels are easily changed. The truck has a bench seat and not buckets if that matters.
     
  13. 1979 RANCHERO GT

    1979 RANCHERO GT In Overdrive

    Messages:
    881
    The front crossmember still could be some of the problem forcing the lower control arms rearward. The alignment shop or a body shop should look to see if it needs pulled forward.
     
  14. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

    Messages:
    21
    I had thought about that problem, but it did not appear to have any notable damage to those parts. I will have to do some more research underneath the truck as I work on it. I would ask if anyone else has this particular front end issue with their truck or car and what if any were the answers you cam up with as being the cause? At the moment, considering just adjusting the strut bars to aleive the tire rub, at least until I can get the problem solved.
     
  15. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

    Messages:
    21
    One problem I have is the lack of good front end people and knowledgeable persons to work with. The front end specifications most likely are long lost as the shops in my area are all newer and the old guys are gone and so are their shops. Since the strut arms are adjustable, unless badly damaged I should be able to adjust the strut to compensate for the problem. You are right in that it should be checked, but finding someone that knows how to do it right and has the knowledge and specifications to put it right here in the armpit of the world is difficult if not impossible. Truck came from Colorado and fro the looks of what I saw underneath, has been bounced over rough terrain . This may indicate sagging of the frame and or other damage to the front end. When the tires are pointed straight forward I can place my index finger and middle finger between the tire and fender at the back of the wheel. As I believe I've already stated, the tire does not appear to be far enough forward in the wheel well. Whether from damage to the frame, sagging springs, incorrect adjustment of the strut rods, I have no idea. I will start with the new springs and see what that does for the truck. I will check with one place about 25 miles from here and see if they have the measurements to check the front end out. They did a pretty good job of straightening my 66 F100 frame where it had been hit from the rear. I don't believe the springs will totally cure my problem, but hose do need replaced from what I see. The shock on the right side also is leaking some, and i will replace it also. Still, I don't think that will cure the problem. I was looking for information on wheel and tire size on the internet, and came up with several tire sizes that should have worked on my truck. Originally was listed but of course that was all done away with sometime in the 60's or 70's, and other sizes listed for the truck seem to be 195, 205, 225 70 14 . If anyone has any measurements pertinent to where the lower control arm should be inrealation ship to the frame or body, pleasse opst those. Thank you, Rich
     
  16. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    8,263
    Location:
    near SF
    They are absolutely adjustable on a '68-'71. Take it to a front end alignment shop, telling him you doubt the caster settings.
     
  17. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Overdrive

    Messages:
    845
    Location:
    Sutherlin, OR
    I will get some measurements off mine this evening...

    will the measurement from the front of the frame to the front and rear of the lower A mount work?

    Here are pictures of my factory front suspension
     

    Attached Files:

  18. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Overdrive

    Messages:
    845
    Location:
    Sutherlin, OR
    As for telling a GT from other models...

    the first 5 characters of your VIN :

    Mine for example...
    9 = 69 (year)
    A = Atlanta (Location of Assembly)
    49 = GT (model code)
    R = 428CJ 4V/RAM Air (Engine Code)
     
  19. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Overdrive

    Messages:
    845
    Location:
    Sutherlin, OR
    Measurements on mine...

    Looking at the caster pin on the lower A Arm, the bracket runs from the crossmember out under the frame on both the front and back. That point on the frame is where I measured

    Passenger: Front bracket to front of frame - 23 inches
    Rear Bracket to front of frame - 26 inches

    Drivers side: Front bracket to front of frame - 23 inches
    Rear Bracket to front of frame - 26.5 inches
     
  20. Truckpoor

    Truckpoor In First Gear

    Messages:
    21
    Thank you pony express rider, As soon as the weather dries up some I will be outside checking your dimensions against what I have, and the VIN numbers. I can wish my Ranchero came with a 428, but the 351w will do nicely. I do have a 427 that I could squeeze under the hood, but why ask for more headaches when it is not necessary. To many other projects to do that kind of changeover . and way to expensive in costs and time. I also have a mildly built 69 351w setting on an engine stand in my shop with World product senior heads and a nice comp cam, roller rockers , etc. that will push roughly 4oo hp and roughly the same torque, and an SVO 351w with factory 360 hp advertised. Sold all the 428 stuff except a new scat 428 crank which I intend to use in one of the 427's. I have several round-to-its, the Ranchero is going to be my daily driver. My 66 f100 is my daily driver now, but the 390 engine I bought and installed in it has issues, so I need the Ranchero to drive while I change the engine and transmission out again. I have a rebuilt 390 with a torque cam and another C6 that is ready to go in. Will have to wait until weather gets a little better to do that. No room inside my shop anymore to get another vehicle in there. To many engines and other stuff. At 72 I need to be getting rid of stuff and not buying more projects. Or at least stay away from major projects. Again, thank you for your help, and have a great New Year.
     
    PonyExpressRider likes this.

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