Where to begin

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Help' started by HVAC22, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    I have never had a vehicle in the condition of my 73, so comes the question, where do I start. Know that proably sounds stupid to some but I never claimed to be brilliant! o_O Mommy accused me of being ass backwards more than a few times. Anyhow, for those that are not familiar with my posts in 73 Marti Update my 73 needs engine work, body work, floor pans and what ever I may find. Do I pull the motor and tranny,repair and put back in and drive while working on the other items or put motor / tranny repairs on hold and get body, interior, etc done. Budgeting in progress with a starting balance of 5k, or is that unrealistic. I know everyone has their opinion but I know there are alot of you that have had to start in a worst position than I and your experiences interest me in the hopes of saving me money and time from possible dumb decisions.
     
  2. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    #1 - Have you determined that you are going to keep it? If so, do you plan to restore it near original or something else?

    #2 - You indicated that while the PO was driving it home from the shop that overhauled the engine it overheated and was thence parked. Does the engine turnover? Have you even tried to start it?

    This is just my opinion in answer to your question:

    I would first do what was needed to get the engine to start and assess what it will need to make it a good runner. Depending on what the previous overhaul entailed, the SUSPECTED damage from overheating, and then the years of neglect it may decide for you what is next. For the little that it is worth, I don't know that "overheating" would destroy a freshly rebuilt engine, in fact doubtful that it would unless it was driving the car to seizure, most folks stop the car once it starts steaming. I have survived multiple events where my cars have overheated, some from real "moments of brilliance" (not) activities in my wasted youth (of which many fond memories persist), and some trying to just get it home and hoping it would make it. Methinks getting it running and then assessing, or a partial tear down, inspect, and get it running is a good place to start. It may or may not be that grim.

    Second - I would get the floors structurally sound, and doing the work to get it to structurally sound in 80% to 90% of the work to get it "right".

    Once I got it to where I could start it (engine) and drive it (structurally safe) then I would seriously look at answering in depth question #1 above.
     
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  3. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    I drained the oil contaminated with water, installed new oil filter and oil. Gas Tank of coarse was empty,so I dropped and cleaned, blew out fuel lines, fuel pump was new. Poured couple gallons of fuel in tank, primed and engine started ran off tank. Ran roughly, transmission shifts but leaking. After trial run about 5 minutes, checked oil, had signs of water. Pulled spark plugs,all were new clean and dry. Thought maybe timing chain cover might have rusted through from sitting 11yrs. Removed it was pitted badly but did not see any leakage points. stopped at that point
     
  4. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Overdrive

    Messages:
    853
    Location:
    Sutherlin, OR
    It might help if you go over to the "Stable"... lots of historic, and epic, documentaries on how cars went from beginning to end!

    Including mine... (My 69 Ram Air 428CJ) which was a ground up factory restoration.

    As for the budget... I started with a $15,000 budget... I blew through that in short order, think I went through that before I even got to body and paint! But its good to have limits! :cool:
     
  5. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    That it ran is a very positive sign, signs of water in the oil suggest the possibility of a head gasket (fairly easy fix on 351C), and running roughly is likely carb and timing related (I wonder if the distributor centrifugal and vacuum advances are functional after the neglect of time). Timing cover is a very unlikely source for water/oil contamination in the 351 C. The fact that it started suggests to me that it isn't as dire as it could be.
     
  6. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    The timing chain and gears are new. Plans are to keep but past projects were also and there was always someone that offered enough money to get them from me. Again never had a project this needy. My Galaxies are original so I kind of wanted something a lot more racy looking. Looking at the marti report I do'nt think I have anything super special I'm assuming.
     
  7. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    It is certainly easier to work on a car that you can start and move around on its own power. Just a casual observation - and it is accepted that some work has to be done with the power train out if you are going that far in the project.
     
  8. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    I'm a bad one to opine when it comes to Rancheros - I've liked them from the time I first saw one and have pretty much always had at least one for almost all of my adult life. I'd be looking to fix it and drive it so if you are looking for a vote, and from what I've seen of what you have, my vote would be to fix it fully admitting that I have a soft head for Rancheros.
     
  9. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Thanks PonyExpressRider, still looking over alot of the post on this site, didn't think about that. Wow! 15kwashoping to not to go over the 10k I have readily available for this truck. Prices are proably alot more in Oregon than NC at least I hope. My daughter moved there 3 years ago,Hillsbough I think, just came back home.
     
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  10. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,220
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Don't know the circumstances (and may never know) how that special order came about - as far as the report details what it was built as, not particularly special. It seems to be a fairly nice example of a middle of the spectrum build.
     
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  11. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Thanks 72 GTVA, your opinions are whatI wanted. I'm hoping the cracked gasket is the extent,would be great.
    I did get estimates for engine and transmission rebuild from great mechanics I've know and had work performed for me.
    Complete engine rebuild $2800. Tranny $1800 would love not to have to do the engine.
    Thanks for your input, its much appreciated. BTW haven't forgotten your offer on the A/C. My Dads not been feeling well the last couple weeks so been running him to heart doc and working. Another reason I have had time to ponder what to do on the ranchero
     
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  12. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    8,353
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    I don't 100% agree that the timing cover isn't the leak source, and in looking for a water leak, you want to check the easier things first. Also, I'm curious...was the engine fully rebuilt, or just a freshening-up?
     
  13. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Overdrive

    Messages:
    853
    Location:
    Sutherlin, OR
    If you go look at what I started with, it may give you an idea. But also when I got my Marti Report and realized what I had, I kind of had a feeling that my budget was probably on the very optimistic side. There were several detours in the initial plan!

    Like getting it stripped down and deciding to have the body sand blasted... which actually wasn't to bad, like $400. But all those little detours added up...

    The folder that holds all my receipts (every one of them) is about a bulky inch and a half thick... I also put a spread sheet together to help keep track of vendors, part numbers, as well as the costs... Wife saw this about half way through the build, not that I was hiding anything... but!!!


    Hillsborough... Suburb of Portland! For the rural areas of Oregon, more commonly referred to as Moscow on the Willamette!
     
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  14. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    I was told it was a complete engine rebuild but I can't confirm. This is why I wanted ya'lls input, proably dumb for me to remove the parts I have but I do have new water pump and timing chain cover to install. I'm not sure the water pump was working properly. It diffently was not new and the round part the fan blade attached to had a warped rotation to it.
    Thanks for the reply!
     
  15. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Yep, that's correct, outside Portland. She enjoyed it to a certain extent, bit of a culture shock of course to start with.
    Your truck is gorgeous worth every penny I would say.
    I keep a spread sheet on everything, my wife is an accountant, its the law in my house!:)
     
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  16. Doc76251

    Doc76251 In Third Gear

    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    IMHO, YRMV and looking back at your Marti report ...... you had a special order car, given the pics of your car and your $5K budget you are probably not looking for a frame off restoration to the tune of $70K+to start. In reality even if you did spend the $$$ your car would be worth about $30,000, stock original. Welcome to the club of unappreciated but well loved cars.

    When I got Midnight she had been recently painted gloss black (ALL gloss black), that pretty much set in my head that this car is never going to be original and in reality I didn't want her to be, I wanted to BUILD her, they call it RESTOMOD. In my particular vision I wanted a cruising/touring car. I won't win at the drag strip or at the 24 hrs of Daytona but I want it to be able to drive to the drag strip or to Daytona and not cringe at bug guts because I was doing 70 MPH in NC.

    So the reality is what do you want the car to be? Weekend dream car that only comes out on sunny days? Back up daily driver? Bone stock restoration? Show car? Long term project of love?

    From what you have posted the car is not safe to drive because your motor is killing itself every time you start it. Gottaa fix that. Tranny may or may not be bad it's never had a motor in front of it that works right since you owned it.

    Given just that I would consider pulling the motor, dropping the tranny and drive shaft. Get the motor gone over / rebuilt or built. Spent your "free time" cleaning up the engine bay / wiring /
    hoses / bits and pieces. Look at your brakes, suspension and body mounts, fix what needs fixed. Get into your interior, fix the floor pans, strip what needs stripped, sand what needs sanded, rattle can primer and bed liner on anything that doesn't show.

    If cutting, welding and replacing body panels is above your skills then send it off for body work and paint while the drive train and interior is out and the motor is getting re done.

    It's a process and a project, somethings can move to the right and some things have to be done first but you have to have an end goal or vision of where you want to be. Once you commit to which road you want to go down the process becomes much easier.

    Cheers,

    Doc
     
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  17. LSChero

    LSChero In Maximum Overdrive PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,017
    Location:
    Area 6 NV
    Budget kinda dictated by level of resto vs funds.My experience body resto tends to suck up most of my funds.Mostly because my lack of talent
    in the area.Buying a donor truck sometimes lessens the pain.The good news,if your not going pebble beach correct,Most fomoco drive lines up to 95 fit under the hood.My 72 had water in crankcase when I bought it.Crank was toast from running with contaminated oil.Bought another block. Had about 3k in that engine rebuild.I would pull engine/tranny,tear it down and inspect decide if you want to go foward.I enjoy my rancheros,not many out there..I like that!
     
  18. cbolt

    cbolt In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    534
    Location:
    Palm Coast, FL
    Actually HVAC I would say diving into a "freshly built" engine would be much easier than one that has run for 100K or so, and that is where I would start. If the story is correct its obvious someone overlooked something during the rebuild... perhaps as simple as a proper torque being overlooked, a gasket getting damaged during assembly, etc. Since the parts haven't had a chance to repeatedly heat and cool the disassembly should be fairly easy. Since it runs I would recommend a compression test, then a full gasket replacement which will provide the opportunity to inspect everything and possibly discover the reason for the water contamination. You didn't mention where your trans was leaking from however if the vehicle sat for any length of time your most likely leak is from the pan gasket. I would recommend dropping the pan and replacing the filter, giving everything a good inspection, and replacing the pan gasket with a quality form a gasket, like "the right stuff" gasket maker which I used with great success on my other car. The rough running could be as simple as dirty float or needle and seat area of the carb, again likely due to sitting for an extended period.

    That's where I would start. As mentioned it is much easier to work on a car that is running. Personally I like to combine projects like the interior and floor pans. Since you will have the interior removed to repair the floor pans that is the perfect project to combine, if that makes sense. (That's the maintenance Chief in me coming out lol)
     
  19. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    803
    Having been rebuilt, the engine should be checked for a head gasket installed wrong - it's fairly common with Fords, they have the word "front" stamped on the gasket, but quite often it's ignored and installed backwards, causing it to overheat. Pull the heads, have them magnafluxed (crack checked, very inexpensive) look at the rest of the bottom end while you're at it, and reassemble. Pay close attention to the gaskets when taking apart to see if they were actually installed backwards.
     
    cbolt likes this.
  20. HVAC22

    HVAC22 In Third Gear GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Doc, thanks for the opinion. Your points are well received, my thought process before posting my question was the wish to be able to drive my Ranchero which has not happened since I have had it. The extent of the work needed though begged to questioned if I should just go ahead since having to possible pull motor and tranny and get all body work, engine bay and interior work completed. I believe if I can do this on a 10K - 12k budget I will begin to do so but if not I am going to get her driveable and enjoy her as I decide how I want to complete her.
     

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