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  #1  
Old 11-20-2004, 03:34 AM
Mysticle31 Mysticle31 is offline
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Late Model Ranchero Handling, revisited..

Well, I got back from Asia, time to put some money in the 1977 Ranchero, or dump it.

I'm curious. What is recommended to make them handle? Obviously the 4000lb Torino/LTD biased monster is no porsche/bmw; although I'd like to make it a fun car to drive. Biggest problem I see is the weight and weight dist. Being a truck with a v8 in the front..

What does everyone suggest? I have and read Ranchero/Torino handing manual. Looking for something different; dropping the front of the car doesn't help the handling situation.
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Old 11-20-2004, 04:50 AM
Mysticle31 Mysticle31 is offline
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Oh, another thing. This is a full size car, I know. I wonder if I can put in another style front or rear suspension from another car. I know mustang II front ends are popular for other Fords at least. Are there any aftermarket options? Just geting a feel for my options. Steering is important to handling; and I already need a new steering column desperately.
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Old 11-20-2004, 09:23 PM
DRanchero DRanchero is offline
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I ordered a new front end suspension kit for $300 from Performance Suspensions in Arizona, but they have a website. That included polyeurethane bushings, polyeurethane sway bar links, steering linkage compenents, upper and lower ball joints... next i bought 2 sway bars from Dearborn Classics. They are aftermarket sizes, they fit exactly for the 72-79 Rancheros, and it is a major increase in taking corners. The front is 1 1/8" and the rear is 7/8". They come with install kits and extra links. I spent about $400 total for that. Next i bought some 1996 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor Shocks from the local parts store. I got the Monroe severe duty gas mangum shocks. It won't show up under Crown Vic P.I. at some shops, so you have to give the part numbers. If you go to monroe's site, you can get a part number for the Crown Vic PI, tell the store, and they get them for you. Mine were $44 each. They were labled emergency vechicles when i got them, and they are yellow with a severe duty sticker on them. I also bought a Grant steering wheel with a smaller diameter, so the turn radius makes it easier for you to steer corners. Tires and rims also help. I have 225/60R15 in the front and 275/60R15 in the back, but some ranchero owners that i have talked to put 17 inch rims on and only 255 tires, but all around. That is the best i've done for performance handling. I can't wait to see how it handles (still in restoration). For traction purposes, I put an Auburn Pro Limited Slip w/ 3.70 gears in my 9 inch rearend. That limited slip is one of the best ones you can get for traction. Not as great as a Detroit locker, but way better for the street. You can still take turns with it and not having to worry about sliding or clacking! I hope this helps. Good Luck!
Danny
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Old 11-20-2004, 09:35 PM
DRanchero DRanchero is offline
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Another thing you can do about the weight if you haven't already is replace a lot of the engine compenents in front. The 2 barrel intake, front timing cover, and exhaust manifolds are all cast iron and HEAVY! Replacing all those with aluminum intake, aluminum front cover from Summit, and headers will reduce the weight. I don't know what you have done to the engine, but aluminum edelbrock heads are also a weight reduction and major power increase! With my ranchero, im doing a lot of custom work. Im putting a 69 mustang front end on my 79, so im getting rid of a lot of weight. My original bumper had to be around 75-80 pounds. I also got rid of my A/C. All together the A/C stuff had to weigh around 100 pounds. Those are all things you can do. The more "small things" you do will add up to a big change. Good Luck.
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Old 11-21-2004, 09:05 AM
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krehmkej krehmkej is offline
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Ranchero Handling

Good mods all. Especially taking weight out of the front. I removed the front bumper and cut away most of the 200-pound box beam that's inside of it. Aluminum heads, intake, water pump and removed the heavy York A/C. Plan to add the small Sanden unit there. Actually these Rancheros are not THAT heavy. Mine now weighs about 3800 pounds (without me) on the certified scale at the quarry where I work. When rebuilding my '78, I got lucky at the junkyard and found a 78 or 79 Cougar with a special suspension (had an emblem on the fender) This had a giant 1-3/8" front sway bar. Fitted this in poly bushings and added an aftermarket 7/8" rear. 7/8" is as big as anyone would want in the rear, as this increases oversteer dramatically. I also had custom springs wound, 1-1/2" lower. My only regret was not taking the time to pull the steering box from that Cougar, as it seemed to have been a faster ratio box. That all said, this thing slams around smooth corners really well. A friend who is a retired cop drove it and said it reminded him of the LTDII police cars he drove years ago. One thing to bear in mind when doing this is that you have to adjust the balance of the car by changing tire pressures to get the optimum. Mine was really loose (oversteer) at first, it really came around in corners, so I fiddled with pressures to get it as neutral as possible. No push, it really turns in fast.
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:09 AM
Mysticle31 Mysticle31 is offline
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69 Mustang front end.. How are you going to pull that off?

How much does the front timing plate really weigh? A few pounds? I took it off when I replaced my water pump.

What is a Sanden? Where can I find one. All my AC is shot. And I'd like to rebuild it someday.

What is the spring rate of the springs you had made?

I found these on the internet. Anyone know anything about them? Firm? Good? Bad?

http://wthi.autoworldaccessory.com/V...?parttype=8785

Eibach Springs for 93-00 Crown Victoria. What do you think of these? Think their better or worse then Interceptor springs from the same era?
There are also Billstein and Toyo shocks available for the 93-00 Crown Victorias. Maybe these are better then the Motercrafts or others mentioned?
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2004, 08:03 AM
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krehmkej krehmkej is offline
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The Sanden AC compressor is a small aluminum unit used on almost all new cars. You can get them at NAPA, and they have an adaptor to mount it. Will need new hoses made, too.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2004, 09:22 AM
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ranchero77 ranchero77 is offline
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krehmkej hit it! thats the one that gets over looked and can save you the most weight up front. the bumper support is extremly heavy. I've been working on making new brackets to eliminate the support all together. plus I wanted to tuck the bumber in about an 1 1/2 for cosmetics. also you can swap out the glass headlights for new plastic ones.
does anyone know of a plastic fender well that will fit the 77-79?
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2004, 11:30 AM
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Hmmm. Interesting idea to tuck the bumper in! I'll have to take a look at that for sure. It kinda sticks out a lot. Should be no big deal to shorten those filler panels. Also shaved a few pounds by replacing the heavy bench seat with lightweight buckets from a late model Cougar. The last thing I have thought about is an aluminum driveshaft, Which should also help acceleration. Let's keep this thread going and see what other ideas come up!
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:44 PM
DRanchero DRanchero is offline
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Mysticle31
Here's how the 69 Mustang will work. I measured one to see how they will compare.
Mustang:
Fender Height = about 24"
Fender length from door to edge of fender well = about 17"
Fender length from door to middle of wheel = about 31"
Width from top fender to top fender = about 70"
Ranchero:
All pretty much the same! I was amazed. The major difference that the Ranchero bows out more on the body line, so the total width is around 76-77". I haven't decided, but either i will cut the fenders to fit the door, or I will cut my old ones off and weld it to the ends of the stang fenders. Same thing with the hood. I will probably cut off the very end of the chero hood and weld it to the mustang hood just to fit the curve. As far as the extra width that bows off...Fiberglass. I have an idea of like the Ferrari...or Lamborghini. I can't think of which one it is, but it's looks like a side scoop with a lot of lines and it looks like it gets smaller than bigger. It's my big custom project, but don't worry, i did my homework first! I'm still deciphering the body line. The mustang's is higher, but with that fiberglass panel, it may look cool having two different ones combining in this piece. They call me crazy...but its ideas like this that win car shows...and having connections with people who can help you build it. It should be interesting. I'll show some progress from here and there.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2004, 04:21 PM
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krehmkej krehmkej is offline
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Interesting. I have seen a few 'cheros with T-Bird front clips, and always wondered if a 72 Torino front would fit a '77-79 model. Wouldn't do much for handling, but that Ferrari-like fish mouth is tough!
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2004, 12:37 PM
Mysticle31 Mysticle31 is offline
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I found these on the internet. Anyone know anything about them? Firm? Good? Bad?

http://wthi.autoworldaccessory.com/V...?parttype=8785

Eibach Springs for 93-00 Crown Victoria. What do you think of these? Think their better or worse then Interceptor springs from the same era?
There are also Billstein and Toyo shocks available for the 93-00 Crown Victorias. Maybe these are better then the Motercrafts or others mentioned?

Any other input?
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2004, 12:09 PM
GTODave GTODave is offline
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Similar mods

Very interesting topic, as I see I'm not alone. My 74 Ranchero, which I converted to a 72 a few years ago, has seen almost all the same mods it seems DRanchero did on his. I'm running 275/60R15's on the rear and 235/60R15 up front. It's got a 9 inch out of a 77(I think) Lincoln with the rear disc brakes and 3.89 posi. I replaced every bushing on the car with Polyurethane ones, and it has new springs and Bilstein shocks. I couldn't replace the body mount bushings, even though I wanted to, but couldn't find anyone that made them or even had NOS ones. Mine are pretty smooshed after all these years. I also put a rear sway bar on and rebushed the front one and did the end links too. The steering could definitely be closer ratio, but I'm not about to take my engine and exhaust all apart just for that. It's probably just psycological, but I replaced my original steering wheel with a Grant, and it really gives you better feel. The diameter is a bit smaller and the rim is way thicker. Really nice to grip while in the turns.
Glad to see I'm not the only one who is trying to improve their Ranchero.

Dave
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2004, 08:41 PM
Mysticle31 Mysticle31 is offline
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Woo hoo! There’s a hand full of us!

I'm curious on the details of your sway bars and springs.. Did you convert your front bar to the rear?

Hows the balence of your car feel; Under steer, overseer? Does the front weight bias really make things funny?

Where did you find the billstein shocks? Their the billstein yellows? I thought the best shoks you could find were the Motercraft Police Interceptor ones from a newer crown vic..

I've recently got 245's on the front and rear of my car. Thinking about putting the widest tire I can put on my already new rim when the other one goes. Rubs a little bit, I'll go to a 50 seriesif I can't steer when I lower the car..lol
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:25 PM
Mysticle31 Mysticle31 is offline
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but it does ok for a 4000lb car..

How does the SB mout on the rear, to the control arms? That seems... unusuial..
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:25 PM
 
 
 
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