Where to start??

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by skidunn, Nov 8, 2019 at 12:49 AM.

  1. skidunn

    skidunn In First Gear

    Messages:
    2
    I have a 73 Ranchero with a 351 C 4V that has been sitting in a garage for 25+years. I'm replacing the fuel tank but there's a ton of work to be done. My question is where to start? I was wondering if anyone who has gone through the process of what they did and in what order. The engine was rebuilt once at 90K and it has 120K now. The last time it was started was 20 years ago and the more I look, the more I see and I want to do it right. I'd like to get it back on the road as a weekend cruiser. Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.
     

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  2. KAB

    KAB In Second Gear

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Peoria IL
    I have been rebuilding a 73 351c for the last year and should have it on the road this spring. Everything was in pretty bad shape with exception of frame and body, so I've replaced almost everything. I started by pulling out all the original wiring and redoing with a Painless wiring kit. My original harness was cut, spliced and broken in many places. I had the motor rebuilt while I was doing the wiring. I have also replaced body mounts, rear control arms, shocks, springs and drums. I need the do front brakes, suspension and exhaust and it's road ready. It needs a paint job, but I'll worry about that later. I'll drive it with the petina look for a while.
     
  3. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,399
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Were it me, I'd first do the minimum things needed to get it running, then drivable. Once running and drivable you can assess where to go from there. Get it to where it can start, go and stop reliably (I'd venture that stopping (good brakes) is next after getting it started.

    On first look - once the fuel tank is replaced, tune it up (replace the plugs, points, etc., and clean/rebuild the carburetor, change the oil, bring up oil pressure) and get it started. Pay attention to the 4V timing and tune specs, they are different than the 2V by a lot. It is much easier working on a car that you can move under it's own power while you deal with "what's next". JMHO, YMMV.
     
    HuevosRanchero and The Wrench like this.
  4. KAB

    KAB In Second Gear

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Peoria IL
    My Ranchero came in pieces, maybe not the greatest example of where to start on a put together car, lol.
     
  5. super green dog

    super green dog In Third Gear

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Southern California
    I agree w 72GT. First get the motor running. My 69 (I know different engine & etc. , but getting it started, moving, drive able are issues most 50 yr old vehicles have in common) - mine overheated so bad - I had to do the cooling system first - even before a legit tune up. Unless you know the vehicle real well - also best approaching things from a systemic level... cooling system, fuel system, break system... If you get it to run that's great - but if it doesn't stop your in big trouble.
     
  6. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    8,301
    Location:
    near SF
    Start with fixing the brakes. Check the rear cylinders, replace the flex hoses, probably replace the master cylinder. It will all come to a sorry end if one of the flex hoses ruptures in traffic. Take a hard look at the booster unit also -- if that fails in traffic you'll have almost no useful brakes.

    With only 30k on the motor you can likely just get by with oil and filter replacement. It will likely need new tires also.

    Check that all the bulbs and emergency lights work. Keep a couple of clip leads in the car -- you might need to hotwire it to get it to run if some electrical part fails.
     

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