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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:56 PM
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tbirdscott tbirdscott is offline
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Picked up a 79 Ranchero

Always wanted to do this but never thought I would find a decent one in this area in a condition worth working on for a bargain price. It has 50,017 original km owned by an old hermit in the sticks. Not perfect, front clip is beat, too many ditch excursions in its time. Sat for 10 years, always parked under a roof. Rust free and the rear 1/4's and bed are straight. Perfect candidate for a cross bred thunderbird conversion!

Gonna be a week and a half before I will be home to play with it but I am stoked. Hit a moose and wrote off my previous bird a week and a half ago so its kind of a rebound build but something I always wanted to do and things kinda fell in to place to make it happen.

Here is the starting point.

Click the image to open in full size.

At the moment I am thinking red and black tu-tone or maybe red with gold or black GT graphics.

Click the image to open in full size.

Car has the 351m that will easily accept a proper timing set and cam when the front clip is off. Kinda strange options imo. Pwr drivers seat, 8-track, clock with date, no tach, no slider, crank windows, no a/c.

Has tow package, how much can I pull with this thing? I call ot the 'thunchero' project, because it sounds like 'funchero' and this gonna be a fun project, might put it on air bags too.

Where can I decode the door tag? Want to know which trans it has.

Scott
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1960 Comet mostly stock, summer DD
1979 Ranchero stock fix up for now
1980-82 thunderbirds everywhere
1994 F350 IDI turbo getting a 1959 Mercury M700 body transplant
1994.5 F250 PSD, 5spd 4" rancho on 35's
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2012, 11:27 PM
85e150six4mtod 85e150six4mtod is offline
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Transmission would be C6 or FMX. All aluminum, one piece: C6. Aluminum bell, iron case: FMX

I THOUGHT this was a 351m build, but he made a 400 out of it:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/85...o-numbers.html

As you may know, the 351m has the sunken piston problem, so while you can make giant improvements with a cam & intake and a few other items, the real power involves the move to a 400 crank etc.

I'd peel the wood off this and paint it satin black and get big subwoofer to fill what's left of the bed:

1975 Ford Ranchero - 604ci Hemi-Powered Ranchero Squire - Hot Rod Magazine
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2012, 11:24 AM
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Tell me the door tag info and I can tell you what it is.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2012, 03:55 AM
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FoMoCo never offered a sliding rear window for Ranchero's, was only available from autoglass shops.

Do not believe the mileage: The odometer reads to 99,999.9 then returns to ZERO.

Rust free? Below the Ranchero's bed floor is the station wagons floor pan, has foot/seat wells and the spare tire well.

Ford used caulking on the front/rear and sides of the Ranchero's bed floor. Caulking chips off, water seeps in, has no outlet, so rust begins and it's hidden from view.

Besides a 1977/79 T-Bird Ranchero, you could also have a 1977/79 Cougar Ranchero, or a 1977/79 Continental Mark V Ranchero as the front clips interchange.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:11 AM
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Thanks numberdummy i say rustfree bacause other than the battery tray I couldnt find anything more than light surface rust anywhere, nothing under the carpet, inside the 1/4's, in the bed doors or outer 1/4's. A rarity in this country! Im sure there is gonna be some found once I get it home and in the air but I aint scared!

Here is a pic of the door tag, any info would be appreciated.

Click the image to open in full size.

The guy in possesion of the car now got it from the original owner, old tycoon who retired to a small ranch at the lake in the 70's and never strayed far. He knew him well before he passed and purchased the car from the estate, overall condition of the interior, body, and mileage seem to fit and he seems like an honest guy so I believe it. Regardless it is a solid starting point for my project and the price was too good to pass on. 50 or 150 thou its game on!
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1960 Comet mostly stock, summer DD
1979 Ranchero stock fix up for now
1980-82 thunderbirds everywhere
1994 F350 IDI turbo getting a 1959 Mercury M700 body transplant
1994.5 F250 PSD, 5spd 4" rancho on 35's
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2012, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdscott View Post
Thanks numberdummy i say rustfree bacause other than the battery tray I couldnt find anything more than light surface rust anywhere, nothing under the carpet, inside the 1/4's, in the bed doors or outer 1/4's. A rarity in this country! Im sure there is gonna be some found once I get it home and in the air but I aint scared!

Here is a pic of the door tag, any info would be appreciated.

Click the image to open in full size.

The guy in possesion of the car now got it from the original owner, old tycoon who retired to a small ranch at the lake in the 70's and never strayed far. He knew him well before he passed and purchased the car from the estate, overall condition of the interior, body, and mileage seem to fit and he seems like an honest guy so I believe it. Regardless it is a solid starting point for my project and the price was too good to pass on. 50 or 150 thou its game on!
Production Date: 5/79

9 = 1979.

H = Lorain OH Assembly Plant.

47 = Body Style 97D Ranchero 500.

H = 351, either a 351M or 351W

172039 = 1979 Numerical Sequence of Assembly.

2M = Dark Red.

A7 = FoMoCo of Canada LTD, Pacific L/M Division, where the original selling dealer ordered the Ranchero from.

97D = Ranchero 500.

DD = Red all Vinyl.

RADIO 2 = AM w/o CB Radio.

AXLE B = Ford 9" Rear Axle / 2.47-1 / No Limited Slip.

TRANS X = FMX Cruise-O-Matic.

SPRING 7788:

77: 7 = R/front; 7 = L/front / (2) D4AZ-5310-E / .663" wire diameter / 1,984 lb. load rate.

88: 8 = R/rear; 8 = L/rear. No other info available, 8 not listed in the parts catalog.
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2012, 01:09 AM
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No wonder he warned me it wasnt fast with the 2:47 gears! Same as the t-birds. Rear end has air bags and coil over shocks, musta been a heavy hauler lol.

Thanks for the info NumberDummy
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1960 Comet mostly stock, summer DD
1979 Ranchero stock fix up for now
1980-82 thunderbirds everywhere
1994 F350 IDI turbo getting a 1959 Mercury M700 body transplant
1994.5 F250 PSD, 5spd 4" rancho on 35's
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:06 PM
burnout400m burnout400m is offline
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Cool. My first car ever was a '74 ranchero GT with a 400 and C6 with 3.55:1 if I recall. I owned it for about 12 years until a super duty forced itself on my baby last summer. Insurance gave me WAY more than it was worth but it was still sad. It was still driveable and the guy from the salvage yard that hauled it off told me someone always snatches them up and fixes them. Said some guy in Australia bought the last one they had. Aussies love 'em.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:41 PM
twosfamily twosfamily is offline
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Nice project! Keep us up to date on the progress. I never seen the Thunderbird front end conversion. It looks great!
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2012, 11:27 PM
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Word of advice stay away from air shocks, They are worthless if you are not hauling. Gabriel is the best thing you can put in the rear... It will sponge the bumps up so good you will think your riding on water.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twosfamily View Post
Nice project! Keep us up to date on the progress. I never seen the Thunderbird front end conversion. It looks great!
Yeah this is the first I've seen of it. Makes me like the '77+ rancheros a lot more.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2012, 01:00 AM
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tbirdscott tbirdscott is offline
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Well it is on the trailer and waiting to be hauled the rest of the way home tomorrow. Hot humid disgusting weather made for a long day picking it up. Will be hitting it with the pressure washer then removal of the front end begins.

Click the image to open in full size.

The ranchero got delayed because I found another 1980 t-bird to replace the one I drove through a moose last month, 1300km and a ferry trip and it is home safe and sound and not being driven at night!
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1960 Comet mostly stock, summer DD
1979 Ranchero stock fix up for now
1980-82 thunderbirds everywhere
1994 F350 IDI turbo getting a 1959 Mercury M700 body transplant
1994.5 F250 PSD, 5spd 4" rancho on 35's
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2012, 11:36 PM
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Well a little spit polish inside and out, and stuck on a set of tbird hubcaps that were kicking around just to cover the steel wheels a bit.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Looked at a 78 Thunderbird Town Landau today, should know tomorrow if it is mine or not. 'Thunderbird Ranch Landau' has a good ring to it Make the passenger seat power, add A/C, power windows, didnt check if it had tilt or a 400 but that would be nice additions too.

Anyone ever change from the base gauges to the gt style gauges? wondering if I need to change the entire dash harness or not.

Scott
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1960 Comet mostly stock, summer DD
1979 Ranchero stock fix up for now
1980-82 thunderbirds everywhere
1994 F350 IDI turbo getting a 1959 Mercury M700 body transplant
1994.5 F250 PSD, 5spd 4" rancho on 35's
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chamblizi View Post
Word of advice stay away from air shocks, They are worthless if you are not hauling. Gabriel is the best thing you can put in the rear... It will sponge the bumps up so good you will think your riding on water.
Maybe if you get some that are made in china. I have air shocks on my 78 now and they are amazing. Gave it a much more smooth ride and added a more aggressive stance.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:32 PM
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