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Discussion Starter #1
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Hi guys, newbie to FMF
My middle son and I drove up to his Grandpa's house and dug out this '68 Ranchero from his "collection". According to Grandpa the motor and trans are fresh and have never been fired. Well fresh in 1989 when he rebuilt them and never finished it. Of course I am going to yank the motor and trans and change the seals and gaskets at least, the motor has no dipstick and Gramps was not sure if he ever put oil in the motor, the trans dip stick was dry.
ranchero_3.jpg
I am hoping when I pull the pan the crank still looks fresh. Its got a 351W with what Gramps calls a C5 trans. Never heard of a C5 but he says its a combo of a C4 and a C6, I am assuming its an FMX trans. Gonna have to run the vin and codes and see what I really have. Body is really clean and the only rust I see so far is on the tailgate. My first car was a '67 Ranchero so it is kinda special that my sons first car is one too. Grandpa also has another 351W and a 351C as well as a C6 and a 9" rear end that he said we can have in addition to a pair of front disk brakes out of a '68 Montego he said should fit the Ranchero. He also gave me "one" reupholstered bucket seat, the other seat never came back from the shop years ago, might just go with some other seats anyway. I am thinking we will go restomod, do a nice paint job, rims, exhaust, maybe a cam and intake.
 

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That's awesome. I doubt by the sound of it that codes will do you any good. Obviously the engine and trans are not original. May as well go restomod at this point anyway. Be sure your replacement seats are from a coupe or other that has forward release seatbacks so you can get to stuff behind them.

BTW - the C5 is an excellent tranny, and is just a newer C4 sharing most parts with some improvements. Preferred by many performance and racing freaks and a better choice than the C6 for either driving or racing if under 1000-1200hp in fully modified form. Factory V8 and some 6 cyl versions can handle 400-500hp virtually stock with a few mods, and rebuildable in your garage with mostly common tools. :tup: Check out the C4 forum here.

Welcome to the forums!

David
 

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looks like a good start, definately a good father-son project. I would also suggest to pick up a book called the Torino Gt and Cyclone Restoration guide, has information on decoding, exploded diagrams, some history, and lots of useful informations on rancheros as well as the torinos from 1968 to 1971. You can order it through Dearborn Classics:Ford Ranchero, Ford Falcon, Ford Fairlane, Ford Torino, Mercury Comet, and Mercury Montego Parts Online, which is a good supplier of reproduction parts for Fords, including rancheros.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I put in a dipstick and it does have nice clean oil in the bottom of the pan, hopefully the rest of the motor has some lube, prolly going to pull a valve cover tonight for a looksie. Guys where do I go for vin decoding and where is the data tag at on this beast? I saw something on the door that could be a tag that is painted over or is where the tag once was. Will try to clean it up and see what I have. Is there a tag under the hood also? I read somewhere that the 351w and FMX trans were an option in '68, I assume that info would be on a tag somewhere, I will have to find the codes on the block as well so I can decode it too. Been awhile since I worked on a Ford :)
 

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I put in a dipstick and it does have nice clean oil in the bottom of the pan, hopefully the rest of the motor has some lube, prolly going to pull a valve cover tonight for a looksie. Guys where do I go for vin decoding and where is the data tag at on this beast? I saw something on the door that could be a tag that is painted over or is where the tag once was. Will try to clean it up and see what I have. Is there a tag under the hood also? I read somewhere that the 351w and FMX trans were an option in '68, I assume that info would be on a tag somewhere, I will have to find the codes on the block as well so I can decode it too. Been awhile since I worked on a Ford :)
Sounds like you have a real treasure trove of excellent parts for your Ranchero. The 351W didn't come out until the 1969 model year, but is a good solid powerplant for any Ranchero, especially if it is one of the early, good breathing ones. (In the 1970's the compression dropped a bit and Ford put 302 heads on them starting about 1977.) It is often mated with the very heavy cast-iron FMX tranny. If you have an aluminum c-5, consider yourself lucky. The 5th digit of your VIN number will tell you what the original motor was. (I'm betting it was an F for 302 2 barrel.) The Montego disc brakes should be a bolt in. Note that you also need the brake pedal, booster, master cylinder and combination/proportioning valve from a Montego, Fairlane or Torino to make it all work. The RancheroUSA site has a VIN de-coder.
Good luck
 

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Back a few years ago, my neighbor fixed up his original 1968 Ranchero. Then gave it to the son, or son-in-law. The youngster then would drive it on a daily basis to Cal-Tech at Pomona (Calif.) where on the freeway he managed to smack into the rear of someone. My neighbor found a donor auto locally, and it was a near match, except the engine and tranny was missing.

Now he is monthly sticking his head under the hood of my 1966, and then mentioning, same size, but mine is bigger than yours.



Wm.
 

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I put in a dipstick and it does have nice clean oil in the bottom of the pan, hopefully the rest of the motor has some lube, prolly going to pull a valve cover tonight for a looksie. Guys where do I go for vin decoding and where is the data tag at on this beast? I saw something on the door that could be a tag that is painted over or is where the tag once was. Will try to clean it up and see what I have. Is there a tag under the hood also? I read somewhere that the 351w and FMX trans were an option in '68, I assume that info would be on a tag somewhere, I will have to find the codes on the block as well so I can decode it too. Been awhile since I worked on a Ford :)

68 was the first year ford moved the codes around a bit.

You should have a door tag, a stamped VIN on the radiator support on the drivers/center side.

There's also another VIN on the 68 that's sort of in the cowl area. On my '68 Fairlane this was I think visible by looking in the windshield.

Then there's one under each fender on the fender support as well that are probably the most likely to be intact.

Codes are easy, just post what you find and we'll catch your back and let you know what you have :)
 

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Although the door tag info would be most complete, there should also be a "buck tag" usually riveted or screwed to the radiator support, about 1x1.5". I most often see them near the top of the support on the right (passenger) side. Although it will not necessarily contain the same info as the door tag, it often has coded trivia info the door does not.

David

Although from a later year, this buck tag from sspmustang.org is typical of the type, but with more info than commonly seen in earlier years:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So progress stopped before we even got started. My son broke his arm during a high school game the weekend after we got the 68 home.

justin_broken.jpg

I promised him he would be turning the wrenches so we will wait until he can work on it. Its OK because it give some time for all the little critters to die off or move out..
Here is a pic from my phone of the car before we dug it out..
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Look for updates soon.
 

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Sorry to hear about the arm, that can't be fun.

Letting the critters die off is probably a safe bet.. I had to do battle with all sorts of crazy 8 legged beasts when I jumped into my project. I think there was a or a large mouse as well but the dog took care of that one for me.


Under the dash is a great spot for wasps... found that out the almost hard way. ;)
 

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Welcome to the Forum. Lots of good members here and plenty of advice to go around.

And - it's nice to see another '68!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys, he got his cast off yesterday but the doc says he can't do anything for a few more weeks. Gonna work on making some more room in the garage. The Ranchero is huge, I can't even walk around it with the garage door closed. Good thing its a Ranchero because I can store most of the parts I pull right in the bed :)
 

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The Ranchero is huge, I can't even walk around it with the garage door closed. Good thing its a Ranchero because I can store most of the parts I pull right in the bed :)
Too true. I've got mine in the garage right now for some long overdue updates and EVERYTHING gets tossed into the bed. So much so, that the other day I realized that I need to remove it to get the access cover off, it was a major hassle!

It *IS* handy though...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So we just got a new house and now I have some room to work on the beast, time to start in on her.


The tailgate is rotted and I found one nearby but it is off of a '67, I am under the impression that 67 - 71 tailgates are all the same. Is this true? When I look up the tailgate on Car-parts.com I show results for those years.

Thanks guys..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh and I just realized that I made a newbie mistake, it looks like I have a '69 and not a '68. I thought when I ran the vin it showed as a 68 but the grill is 69.
 
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