Tire And Ride Height Question

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by DeepBarney, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney In First Gear

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    KS
    If I proceed to build my recently acquired '69 Ranchero I want to do something a bit different (I say different because I can't find much documented online that answers my following questions). It's a ute, and I want it to be functional. I want to be able to take it camping and not think twice about pointing it down a dirt road or forest service trail, go explore beaches possibly, all the while carrying motorcycle(s).

    To this end I'm thinking about a set of 225/70r15 tires for their taller narrower profile. Will that size fit a '69 Ranchero at all four corners? I see people say it fits on later models but nothing re the 68-69 body. What other similar sizes should I consider? I don't really want less than a 205 or more than a 235 width and want around 27" (or more) in height. I've got a set of 14" mag wheels on the car and a spare set of aluminum alcoa wheels off my Ranger (what I thought I'd use to get a more modern readily available tire size).

    Also has anyone lifted or know a good way to lift a Ranchero? Say 1", 2" max. The rear isn't hard. Longer shackles and/or longer more arched leafs. The front is less straight forward for me. Taller springs (don't know what if anything is available), spacer to go under/over the spring? Not sure what I can do there, especially in regards to seriously screwing the steering and handling (I've already accepted it would handle worse just due to the higher COG alone). And longer shocks would be needed which I doubt are going to be easily sourced.

    Alternatively, has anyone ever swapped a twin I beam front suspension under one of these cars? That and some off road driving lights would make for a robust Baja ready Ranchero.
     
  2. ribald1

    ribald1 In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    17,011
    Location:
    California
    Arching the springs in the back is a better option than longer shackles.
    For the front, a straight axle would be easier than a twin I beam.
     
  3. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney In First Gear

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    KS
    Thanks for the reply. Suspension geometry is still something I'm learning, so would you to explain your reasoning for the rear? Wouldn't arching the springs more effectively shorten them? What effect would that have?

    The only way I'd put in a straight axle is if it had a differential in it. Since I'm not ready to go full redneck on this car that won't be happening. I'd like to use the stock suspension for simplicity if there's a way to lift it that little bit I want.
     
  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    5,540
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    When you arch the springs, it brings the bushings closer together, so it sounds to me as if you would move the shackle bracket forward to meet that shortened distance. Go check out www.fullsizebronco.com and search for 'shackle flip. It's a way to add height at the rear axle without re-arching the springs, but I don't know if it would be adaptable to the Ranchero's rear suspension.
     
  5. Jeff B

    Jeff B In Overdrive BRONZE MEMBER

    Messages:
    763
    For the front you could try a leveling spacer. Some are made out of urethane and can be had in different thicknesses. The trick would be to find what would fit since most of these spacers are made for late model stuff.
    Go easy on the front as well so you don't have issues topping out and popping ball joints. Longer shocks should not be a problem if you know the stock length and the lift amount.
     

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