Opinions needed: what to do next...

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by Jakob Zamora, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Jakob Zamora

    Jakob Zamora In Second Gear

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    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!

    -Jakob
     
  2. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    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.
     
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  3. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    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.
     
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  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    I agree with the above. Assess the condition first, then decide if you even want to make any mods.
     
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  5. 6delta

    6delta In Third Gear

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    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 Maximum Overdrive

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

    Joseph
     
  7. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    If wishes were pennies, I'd be rich....
     
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  8. Jakob Zamora

    Jakob Zamora In Second Gear

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    Having the intake manifold replaced. Grabbed a couple photos. Ports a def pretty big!

    checkout the valve covers I have, can someone explain what was welded on because I need to find some rubber stoppers to plug one of them.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Those ports and those valve cover mods are telling me drag racer! The valve cover mods are probably oil return lines to keep oil off the track. Not "reliable daily driver" stuff.
     
  10. Jakob Zamora

    Jakob Zamora In Second Gear

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    I have the original valve covers, should I just put those back on instead this crazy looking setup on the shiny valve covers? (Mind you these covers were in a box my Dad had...no idea the history on them)
     
  11. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    The aluminum valve covers in your pictures are Ford Motorsport aftermarket, they do closely resemble the factory option engine decor group sold on high end (fully optioned) cars (mostly Mustang). The fittings welded on to them appear to be someone's idea of a "better"*** method of dealing with the oil fill cap and Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) connections and may have been something needed for a somewhat exotic build of a 351 C engine or something required in selected classes of racing.

    My '72 Ranchero GT 351C/4V (CJ) 4 speed car and my '73 351C/4V (CJ) Mustang Mach 1 had the Ford Original type aluminum valve covers and I preferred them over the stamped sheet metal valve covers that I had a couple of other of the same engine. The aluminum covers were much better at sealing and not deforming when pulling the valve covers. In rebuilds of a couple of the engines that came with the stamped covers I did replace the valve covers with the Ford Motorsport aftermarket aluminum covers (I used the standard oil fill cap and PCV grommets, however). The Aluminum covers are also a lot more work in keeping them looking sharp.

    I'd suspect that your dad found an opportunity to pick them up for probably the right price and he had something in mind for what he was going to do with the car when he got to it.

    My opinion is the aluminum are better than the stamped. JMHO, YMMV.

    *** "better" is your interpretation of how one deals with the oil fill and PCV cap/connections,
     
  12. colnago

    colnago In Maximum Overdrive

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    My take is for you to decide what you want to do with the car, then go from there. I personally prefer aluminum valve covers to stamped steel, so I found a set on eBay . My car is a daily driver, so I need reliability, but the aluminum satisfies my "need for bling." They also match my aluminum air cleaner cover (I hate those chrome Edelbrock or K&N covers). That being said, nothing looks better (to me) than a restored set of the stamped steel covers.

    Joseph
     
  13. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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  14. Jakob Zamora

    Jakob Zamora In Second Gear

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  15. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Geez, just DON'T put them on- those are NOT what you need or want for a reliable daily driver. Those are race pieces.
     
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  16. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    They are. I suggested in your other thread to sell those, and buy what you want. Hell, a set of Mickey Thompson covers would be t!ts, IMHO. But for now, the stamped covers and thick gaskets will do fine till you can do what you really want.
     
  17. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

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    One of those fittings is going to have to go to a filtered air supply. Or else, the crankcase is going to need another clean air supply.
     
  18. Jakob Zamora

    Jakob Zamora In Second Gear

    Messages:
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    Well, here are the valve covers fitted with the new intake manifold. Before and after photos (air filter not reinstalled yet, still tuning the carb). All original parts cleaned and kept for storage.

    Engine compression was also checked and no issues, fluids changed, new spark plugs, a few new wires that needed replacing, fixed the wiring on the electric choke and oil changed.

    I didn't put on the headers, however this is the last of my projects for some time - maybe the headers in a year or two...
     

    Attached Files:

  19. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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