Restoring and driving my 1965
This is the first day that I got Julio. Awhh, look at him. All beat down, saggy suspension, crappy wheels and tires. He is a completely base model Ranchero with a 200 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine and a three speed on the column manual transmission.
Since my purchas of him in Feruary 2013, I have really done a lot of work to transform him into a nice little pickup. First off was the brakes and front end. Nearly every steering component has been replaced or rebuilt, and after a ton of headaches, he steers pretty darn good. All new brakes as well, so stopping is a sure thing. I got lucky and found a brand new set of Ansen style slotted mags and tires. The tires were brand new, but over 10 years old, so I had one of them get shredded up pretty bad. That was a good thing because it gave me an excuse to buy the all terrain tires I had been wanting. I ended up having to cut a small amount of the fender out to keep them from rubbing.
New coil springs and shocks up front give it a nice little lift, and in the back I made some lift blocks, about 1 3/4". And for added support, some air shocks. Inside, I installed a 60/40 split bench from a 1989 Ford Ranger, complete with shouder strap seat belts. The original color was actually black, somwhere down the line someone did a terrible job at painting him marroon. I sanded all over to get the patina that you see and clear coated him with a high quality clear coat. PPG Global. This should last for a while. Next up, I need to address some transmission problems, give the engine a little more umph, and tackle the rusted out floor boards.
Goes surprisingly well in the snow
I can haul up to about 600 lbs.
Getting him ready for clear coat
Look at that shine!
Now that I've got him looking pretty good, it's time to really start in on the engine and transmission work. The clutch has always been slipping terrible, but I've been gathering the necessities to do a complete swap of the transmission and rear end. Julio will be getting a T-5 and a Ford 8 inch rear end with 3.55 gears. On the engine side, I've decided to do just a few minor mods because honestly, I'm pretty happy with the power output. I don't want to go fast. So, he will get an upgraded head, exhaust, cam and carburator. Should be pretty nice. I got him Dyno tested first, so that I could see how much of a difference the upgrades will make. Even with a slipping clutch, he was making 70 hp and 108 ft lbs of torque. I was surprised!
So, I'll be swapping the cylinder head out for a newer version from a Fairmont. It has bigger valves and carburator opening. But as you can see in the left picture, the carb adapter is broken. Lucky for me, I had some 1/2 inch aluminum stock that I'd been saving for just such an occassion. Almost done!
This was the catalytic converter from the Fairmont. They had a weird setup where the exhaust manifold bolted directly to the converter, creating an enormous exhaust exit from the manifold. What I am doing, is cutting out the catalytic part and I will take what you see in the pics and transition it down to a 2 1/2 inch exhaust pipe. Probably won't be as good as headers, but I just gotta try it.