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Ransom PowerDork
2/7/17 12:19 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

Cool, thanks for the idea! If I can avoid cutting that out, it would indeed be pretty nifty. May as well have a go; at least I can hardly make it much worse.

Ransom PowerDork
2/24/18 8:38 p.m.

Good grief, another year!? Anyhow, there has been some progress, though nothing like as fast as I'd like, clearly... A little catch-up.

In April, I picked up a new (to me) rechromed bumper at the Portland Swap Meet.

(Apologies for the terrible pic)

More central to the ongoing work, I gave up on locating an actual early Falcon patch panel for the inner fender/battery tray area, took some measurements to a hot rod shop in Eugene, and gambled on an early Mustang patch panel being close enough to get some use out of. I figured that the worst case is that it'd have a fresh set of the compound curve and related angles. While it was incorrect by a mile for use as a complete panel, it looked pretty promising once I got brave enough to take the shears to it and cut it down to where I could eyeball it a little more closely...

I ended up taking a *lot* of similar pictures as I cut the patch panel down, and with several additional deep breaths, cut away more of the Ranchero...

Creeping up on it... Wait, I thought I had better "creeping up on it" pics...

You can see that despite my creeping, I got thrown by some of the working in 3D, and will definitely have to do a little patch or two, and will have to try out that MIG-backed-with-a-copper-spoon thing where my gaps are too big (like a lot, clearly. I actually haven't given up sneaking that panel upward a bit and closing down those gaps with some judicious flapper wheel application, but may as well be honest about the state I've gotten to right now cheeky). But given that the panel wasn't even meant for this car, I'm hopeful that it's going to work out, and that it's only going to cost me some time trying to fix the bits where I missed in the setup.

Oh, one other thing that I had to change along the way: The Mustang's core support appears to be pretty much straight and flat, while the Falcon's leans out a bit at the top, and is a little bit swept when viewed from above. This necessitated making the apron do the same:

Along the way, I picked up an Explorer 8.8 rearend...

and though it was a bummer for Jumper K. Balls that his Falcon's Explorer rear end ate its bearings and subsequently its gears, it did mean that we each needed different parts out of yet another 8.8; we found one pretty cheap, and he gets the gears, limited slip, and disc brakes, and I get the extra narrow-side axle and a spare housing for attempted narrowing.

He also noticed this S-10 T-5 on FB, so I've got that for putting one together with the shifter in a sane place for the Ranchero... The ratios from the 4-cyl S-10 are all wrong for the Ranchero; I need to find a Mustang T-5 for the bulk of it.

I have it in my head that the new (and awesome!) GRM image hosting does some resizing. I sure hope so. Not least because the gaps in some of my sheetmetal are truly terrifying under a magnifying glass.

Oh yeah, today's archaeological find while digging around in the interior to get at the nuts holding the rear of the right front fender... Apropriate to the car, at least in its previous state.

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