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Where are ALL the smartest Ranchero Guys

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Jerry125357 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01-January-2021 at 6:06PM
I'm looking for the smartest guys on this site , who can help me with front and rear end ideas for circle track racing.
Things like inner changeable Control Arms .
Steering Gear Boxes swaps
And any swaps in stock form that will help chassis handling.
 Car has to stay stock appearing in all ways.
Or can a full Chassis swap work with the 1978 gt body.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-January-2021 at 1:08PM
welcome! you can replace all the bushings with urethane i put together a list with part #'s in the tech section!
 you can box the rear control arms if you class rules allow?
bigger sway bars...
a nice oem upgrade is to use the bigger rotors from a full size... brackets and bigger rotors full size or lincolns of the same era, i did that on my car... doing just the front gave me considerable better stopping!! or more involved you can do the rear discs from the lincoln mark IV or V, that requires the lincoln discs rear end and master and prop valve from the lincoln as wellWink the info is on here somewhere, i did the full 4 wheel disc swap on my torinoBig smile although they require a bigger bolt pattern wheels.
as far as steering boxes... some cars came with a saginaw box from what i understand it's a quicker ratio???
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72 RS 351 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-January-2021 at 2:49PM
Ditto, For the steering box, the bolt pattern matches what came on lots of cars, GM also. The Saginaw steering box is the one to hunt, and it came in more than one ratio etc. It's used in Nascar racing, so there are upgrades internally possible, variable ratio versus linear. I had one rebuilt that came from a 71-73 Mustang.

The Saginaw box is not hard to identify, it has four bolts on the top cover plate, whereas the Ford made boxes only have two bolts on that cover. I don't know all of the OEM applications it came in, but I recall the GM Trans Ams and Camaros of the 70's were prime, the top handling models would have the better ratios etc.
Don
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V 3.70 gears, to build a keeper
73 Ranchero Sport "72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 351-3V &4R70W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-January-2021 at 5:13PM
If your Ranchero has a Saginaw steering box, you can swap the guts with a Jeep Grand Cherokee steering gear=quick ratio steering gear. I did this on my steering box, NO mods to steering gear necessary, it's an easy swap. From 4 turns lock to lock to 2 1/2 turns is quite the change! A steering gear box that fits an intermediate has a unique bolt pattern, a GM box WILL NOT bolt-up without major mods.
 
Chassis mods: 1 1/8" front sway bar, lower it, higher front coil spring rate, urethane bushings, GOOD shocks.
Hope this helps.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 3:26AM
Welcome to the forum! We have lots of info on suspension mods here on the forum.  As already mentioned, the Saginaw steering box upgrade makes a huge difference.  You need to find a Saginaw steering box for a Ford with three mounting holes, GM ones use 4 holes.  As mentioned the Jeep GC ones work, but you can also just order a new one built to spec.  You can get them from Lares, but I got mine built by Cancraft steering.  Have 12.7:1 constant ratio and the steering is awesome.

There are lots of other upgrades.  Stiffer springs, bigger sway bars, bushings, tubular control arms etc.  I took the time to post some links to all that info here on the forum.

We have tons of info on coil springs in these threads:



We have info on bushings here:




We have info on bearings and brakes here:


Here is info on a Crown Vic 4-wheel disc brake swap:


Here is info on tubular control arms and a link to where you can buy them:



Rear control arms can be boxed:


Or They make aftermarket control arms here:


Addco makes the biggest sway bars:









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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 3:53AM
Great post Vince, those links are precious for searching from any related thread.

The coil springs will be the hardest thing to work out. The front uses common spring dimensions, but finding one that has the needed rate(wire diameter) etc, will take some time. I did mine in 1988, when parts sources still used books for everything. That made it kind of easy for me, I got a copy of the back page of a spring catalog, the one that listed the proper spring diameter needed for these cars.

Then I just worked out which possibilities might work given the stock wire diameter. I selected a spring wire diameter that was an amount stiffer which I thought I would prefer. Then it was a matter of picking one of those that was in the length range I could work with, at the lowest price. The pricing did not correlate to any spring dimensions. I chose one pair that were about $80 for both, and had to cut off about two coils from them.

You should probably cut less from each spring than what you think will be needed, and install them to see how close it gets to where you want the ride height. Then R&R them to remove a little more, once you know how much each coil alters the ride height. It's impossible to figure that out in one step while altering the spring rate and other dimensions etc.
Don
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V 3.70 gears, to build a keeper
73 Ranchero Sport "72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 351-3V &4R70W
92 Lincoln Mark VII SE, OBDII 347/4R70W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zebra 3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 5:45AM
....Got a couple of questions
    Are you planning on running dirt or asphalt?   Some of the advice already given would make a difference.
  Do you have a set of rules yet for 2021 for the track(s) you plan on running?  If so, can you provide a web site with them posted.

  If your absolutely set on running that Ranchero fine, but I would consider using the Panther platform ('79 - '92? LTD, Crown Vic's, etc. etc.)  those frames are lighter than that station wagon frame that is under that Ranchero....and the wheelbase is closer to a two door intermediate frame.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 11:26AM
what's the complete chassis swap about?

a long wheelbase (LWB) taxi Crown Vic frame can be shortened a few inches to match the Ranchero
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zebra 3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 12:31PM
????????.... '78 'Chero 118" w/b (Intermediate station wagon frame) 
       Panther platform 114.3 w/b...... except early '80's Lincolns (not Mark VI) 117.3 w/b
         
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 2:44PM
Crown Vic std 114.7",  LWB 120.7"

the Ranchero and Wagon share the same wheel base but the frames are not exactly the same


Edited by Rockatansky - 03-January-2021 at 2:56PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 3:08PM
Yeah, I hadn't thought about that, if the chassis swap could be used. Frames differ a lot by the mounting locations, I doubt a later model car would fit well. The last Crown Vic's would be great choices if they could be used.

They got better along the years, and Lincolns/Mercurys, some had Watt's link rears. The best brakes came in 2002 and later, I swapped those onto my 95 years ago. The 2003-2006 had the modular front suspension, and suitable for bigger wheels and tires(03/04 Mercury Marauder).
Don
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V 3.70 gears, to build a keeper
73 Ranchero Sport "72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 351-3V &4R70W
92 Lincoln Mark VII SE, OBDII 347/4R70W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 3:24PM
who's doing the Vic frame swap here?

IIRC the side rails are not much more than 1" different in width

i'd use the 2003+ with the alloy subframe and do the rear with a chevy truck bar set up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 3:57PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerry125357 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-January-2021 at 5:16PM
here is the site to the rules , the track is a 3/8 mid bank asphalt track super smooth / surface was done 2019.
I understand the thought of other cars like the LTD and so on but really wanna do the ranchero thing.

https://www.coloradospeedway.com/rules/2020/Super%20Stock%20Rules%202.4.2020.pdf
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