Opinions needed: what to do next...

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by Jakob Zamora, Nov 10, 2019 at 6:37 PM.

  1. Jakob Zamora

    Jakob Zamora In Second Gear

    Hey all,

    I have posted a few times regarding the Ranchero w/351C 4v I inherited but in no way am I "car guy" so I am looking for some advice on what I should do next.

    Before my Dad passed, he had ordered a ton of parts, the biggest being:
    • Edelbrock performer intake
    • Hooker competition headers
    • Valve covers
    I found a reputable guy in town that only does work on classic cars and runs it out of a full blown backyard garage.

    Now my questions:
    • If I do install all those parts is there other parts that I should have done at the same time?
    • If you had just inherited a car you didn't know the history on, what would you look into to make sure all is well? i.e. fluids/spark plugs?
    My only goal with the car is to continue to make it a reliable daily driver but done with tasteful upgrades as needed.

    Thank you!

  2. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Portland OR
    Jakob, if you are seeking a reliable daily driver, you need none of those parts in my opinion. A reliable daily driver is the way it came off the assembly line. Once you start deviating from that, you are climbing a slippery slope. I'd recommend posting those parts on ebay or craigslist (especially the headers), and using the cash for oil changes, filters, belts & hoses.
    Jakob Zamora likes this.
  3. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Chesapeake, VA
    Before installing the parts you have on hand, it might be prudent to assess the car to learn it's actual state, specifically:

    - Do a very thorough inspection of the brakes
    - A compression test to gauge the overall health of the engine.
    - Check for leaks, oil, exhaust, transmission, differential
    - Look at the suspension components for wear and serviceability

    Your dad likely had some things in mind when he bought the parts, suspect some of those are upgrades, or maybe more at being able to continue to keep the car in service. 351C/4V engines used a spread bore manifold and a 4300D carburetor - those are becoming rare and finding someone familiar with their nuances is becoming difficult, that may be why your dad got the edelbrock manifold, to change to a more available carb. The exhaust manifolds are unique to 4V and difficult to find, and the passenger bank is notorious for cracking which might answer why headers were ordered. And so on.

    Perhaps the mechanic you mentioned can do the suggestion inspections above and advise you on the condition. From there, you can choose what you need to do first and then update or upgrade as needed once you've got things basically reliable and you have a good idea of the overall health of the car.

    JMO. YMMV.
    Jakob Zamora likes this.
  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Everett, WA
    I agree with the above. Assess the condition first, then decide if you even want to make any mods.
    Jakob Zamora likes this.
  5. 6delta

    6delta In Third Gear

    Citrus Heights, CA
    You should certainly check out the condition of everything. Then decide if you like it or not. Some of us like the 70-71 style (I ended up with 3 of them) some prefer other models. Some even like the El Camino. If you like it and you have a good base it can be a reliable driver. You can even enjoy having something different from what everything else out there. However, it is not a easy road to go down without knowing what you are getting in to. Older cars, if you don't know anything about them, can be expensive to own. Let me make that EXPENSIVE. However if you are interested, and do the work yourself as much as you can, they can be fun and almost affordable.

    Depending on the condition of the vehicle the parts may help or hurt how it runs. As someone who buys 2nd hand parts (even 2nd hand new parts) you will not get more than a couple of hundred dollars unless you are lucky. The 1970 Cleveland may have a good block number/date that might make it desirable to someone who likes Clevelands. Some Ford guys don't like them. The 70 does not have a spread bore manifold/carb though so that is a plus. Actually, you may get more money if you part the entire thing out if you have time and the room to do it.

    Bottom line for me is I do not envy your dilemma. Being it belonged to your Dad makes it a little harder than normal. If my Mom was still alive she could tell you my favorite line. "Buy it, fix it up, then sell it and make a lot of money." (Pay no attention to the car lot in my front yard, back yard, trailer and garage.)

    Good luck.
  6. colnago

    colnago In Overdrive

    Ridgecrest, CA
    That's funny! Make a lot of money? I must be doing something wrong … very wrong!

  7. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Everett, WA
    If wishes were pennies, I'd be rich....
    colnago likes this.

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