Teenager's 1969 Ranchero Project

Discussion in 'The Stable' started by Mike1969, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Mike1969

    Mike1969 In Fourth Gear

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    I bought a 1969 Ranchero over the Labor day weekend. It is originally Wimbledon white with nugget gold interior. 302, 3-speed automatic with floor shifter, console, A/C, P/S, P/B (disc). The car was the right price and it was reasonably close, so I had to have it. It has some issues that I need to sort out before driving it, but I'm honestly not too intimidated. Specifically, rust spots along the body, a cracked windshield, nonfunctional left taillight turn signal, overly 'bitey' brakes and a hilariously sloppy shifter. I can live with the rust for now, but eventually I'd like to patch them as finances permit. Things like the windshield and turn signal need to be done quickly so I can get it inspected, registered, insured and ultimately on the road. Overall, I'm very impressed with the car considering the price I paid for it.
     
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  2. TestDummy

    TestDummy In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    How about some photos of this beauty.
     
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  3. ForistellFord

    ForistellFord In Maximum Overdrive

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    He's got some in his intro thread. Looks good, too. And so do the DD rims.
     
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  4. TestDummy

    TestDummy In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Oh, that's his? I didn't check the name. It is a little rough, but still cool.
     
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  5. ribald1

    ribald1 In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

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    Keep us posted.
    Saving one is something we all like to see here.
     
  6. Mike1969

    Mike1969 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Missouri
    I went out to our workshop after school today to admire my Ranchero. I am amazed at how well the 2bbl 302 starts! I'm used to pumping the daylights out of the 4bbl's on Foxbodies to get them to start.

    Problems with Ranchero:
    1. Windshield is cracked (I'm upset because it's the original glass and I'll have to replace it)
    2. Brakes are too sensitive to drive in traffic. The pedal gets to a certain point, then it just 'bites'. I don't think it locks up, but it's a strong jerk. Maybe a proportioning valve problem?
    3. My 2003 Mustang Mach 1 wheels didn't fit. At all. I didn't have any other five lug wheels with tires on them besides these, so I guess I'm stuck with the baby moon wheels until I can afford some new 14" tires for the original wheels.
    4. Sloppy shifter.
    5. Trashed bucket seats.
    6. Console doesn't have a lid.
    7. Speedometer needle 'wobble'. I have 15" wheels, so I know that throws it off as well.
    8. Nonfunctional left rear turn signal. I tried replacing the 1157 bulb, but it didn't fix the problem. Maybe a loose connection?
    9. Rust. R-U-S-T.
    10. Someone screwed the trim into the side of the car. Major bummer!
    11. It's got coilover shocks in the rear, does this mean they now support the car instead of the leaf springs? I heard that they can punch through.
    12. Very, very light steering. I thought it would act like a big heavy car, but it's almost effortless to turn the steering wheel with one hand. Maybe a wrong or aftermarket steering rack?
    13. BRAKES indicator light is always on? My Dad's '68 Mustang does this as well and he says it's common?
    14. Nonfunctional parking brakes.
    15. Headliner is toast.
    16. Passenger side window will roll-up off the track if you're not careful with it.

    Good things about the Ranchero:
    1. It drives down the road well. MUCH better than I anticipated.
    2. 2bbl carb runs well, if a little rich. But hey, at least it runs well.
    3. Transmission goes through all the forward gears smoothly. Changing from park down to D is clunky, but I chalk that up to it being a 45 year old transmission. (3 speed).
    4. 302 seems healthy. It keeps up with traffic and doesn't leak too much oil. Previous owner told me to use oil with zinc and phosphorus. Is this because it's not a roller cam engine?
    5. Dash is pristine! Very pleased with the condition. No cracks or warping.
    6. All gauges appear to work.
    7. Original radio stills works and sounds great!
    8. Brand new exhaust system on the car. Walker brand muffler. Not too loud, not too quiet. I wanted Cherrybomb glasspacks on the car, but the system it has is too nice to change.
    9. All lights (besides the aforementioned turn signal) function.

    Driver side fender in front of door.
    [​IMG]

    Driver side quarter above wheel.
    [​IMG]

    Driver side quarter behind wheel.
    [​IMG]

    Passenger side quarter behind wheel.
    [​IMG]

    I've seen much worse interiors in newer cars.
    [​IMG]

    Beat up console without a lid.
    [​IMG]
    Thanks for the welcome to this forum. I've found them to be a wealth of information in past. I'm active on Foureyedpride.com (I have a 1983 Mustang GT project car). Hopefully people who are more experienced with the Ranchero can chime in and point me in the right direction. Most of my (limited) experience lies with the foureyed variant of Foxbody Mustangs.
     
  7. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

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    Don't fret over that console---take advantage of it.
    When I built my 66 Elky---I intentionally left the lid off the console----perfectly holds two of my smaller coffee mugs. (about 20oz each)
    So the lid--just lives under the seat now.
     
  8. ribald1

    ribald1 In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

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    The rust will be a challenge.
    As to the steering, unless you are a snowflake, it has never been an issue. Power steering and brakes were added to help city bred women handle a motor vehicle.
    The speedo wobble can be taken care of with 'cable ease', every motorcycle parts store has it.
     
  9. Mike1969

    Mike1969 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Missouri
    Bryan59EC- That's a good idea. I don't know how easy it would be to find a console lid in Nugget gold anyways. I suppose I'll take up drinking coffee while I don't have a lid!

    Ribald1- The rust is a bummer. My thought is to find a donor car. That seems like the easiest path, to be honest. So, you're saying that the steering is intentionally that light? I'll look into the 'cable ease'. Thanks!
     
  10. Jeff B

    Jeff B In Maximum Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

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    Nice find. I did not catch if you had drums all the way around or front discs. Kinda sounds like the brakes are just about out of lining.
    Would be good to go all the way thru the brake system. Sound like it goes, stopping will be a plus. Good luck with your project.
     
  11. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    The lid for the console can probably be found either as a repro or a used part - just be patient. Barring that an upholstery shop can make you one that will look good and serve pretty well in form, fit and function. Are the lid hinge mounting locations present and not gooned up?

    Could the clunky shift from park to drive be the u-joints?

    For that turn signal - check/clean the ground connection at (or near) that socket. Next step is to clean any corrosion that might be present at the contacts. Then check the continuity of the wiring from socket up to the turn signal switch. Likely a ground issue (most common), followed by an issue with the light socket, then a degraded or broken wire somewhere in the loom.
     
  12. eqshadimar

    eqshadimar In Overdrive

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    Welcome to the board again in the Stable section. American cars always had super boosted power steering (up until the late 80's at least). You should be able to turn the steering wheel with just the slightest effort using a couple of fingers. Same with power brakes, not very proportional kidda just on or off requiring a very light touch. I would say that having the brake warning light always on is not normal and might go away when you find the issue with your brakes. With that much rust on the body make sure to look underneath the truck and see if the torque boxes and floorpans are damaged. The shifter sloppiness is probably worn bushings or even just some loose bolts. The transmission is more than likely a C4 which you can do all sorts of mods to if you like. C4 are very popular with the Ford drag racing crowd.

    This board is a great resource and I look forward to seeing your progress!

    I also had a '83 GT (with T-tops). I loved that car but it got too difficult to get it inspected and I needed a truck so I got the Ranchero.

    Laters,
    Jeff
     
  13. Mike1969

    Mike1969 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Missouri
    I put on some 17" Mustang wheels from an '03/'04 Mach 1 that I had laying around on the Ranchero. I know some of you guys really liked the baby moon wheels, but I couldn't stand them. I also have some 17" Mustang wheels from a '99 Cobra that I'm tempted to try on. I had use to 1" wheel spaces with 1 1/4" studs to get the wheels to fit. There's still some rubbing on the driver's side front, but I think I can fix that with a hammer. I also figured out my turn signal problem, and it looks like I'm going to have to buy a new switch. Bummer.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. mo.herbfarm

    mo.herbfarm In Maximum Overdrive

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    Could someone here be kind enough to inform the dummy here (me) as to whether this year is a Fairlane platform? I'm familiar with the "generations" of Explorers, since I've owned 3, but the '72 Ranchero is a new experience and All I recall is that first years were full size Fords, then Falcons, then Fairlanes, Torino, big Ford again?

    Sleek looking old Ranchero! Nice going! mo.
     
  15. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

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    Torino, with a brief phase in period, replaced the Fairlane platform... So it is technically a "Torino" based car.
     
  16. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

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    And before the Falcon name was phased out completely----it was also on the Torino platform---only for about 6 months and then the Falcon was gone, and the Maverick appeared.
     
  17. mo.herbfarm

    mo.herbfarm In Maximum Overdrive

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    One of the six 5.0 HO Mustang engs. I picked up went into a Maverick for a young man in Phoenix. He stuck it in, had an automatic. I wired it up, got him a functioning fuel system, and he was off! In the '90s, many folks were still pretty leery of EFI, but some were not. The conversions I did turned out satisfactorily, though a lot of work, but a rewarding pastime! One notable was a Toyota pick-up. It's gas tank was the most easily accessible for alteration. The owner lived in the mountains near Show Low (AZ), it WAS a 4X4! mo.
     
  18. Mike1969

    Mike1969 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Missouri
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I confused a few people with these pictures, speaking of Torino's.
     
  19. mo.herbfarm

    mo.herbfarm In Maximum Overdrive

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    Am included! mo.
     
  20. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

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    I have 17" Bullits on mine. I'm running 38mm rears and 25mm in front. No rubbing issues whatsoever with 235x45-17s all around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014

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