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Technical Ranchero lowering?!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 133, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. 133
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,655

    133
    Member

    Hey guys. i bought a '64 Ranchero about a month ago. while i'm having the motor gone through i'm going to lower it. i just wanted to get everyone's take on how to tackle the front and back. will i need to change to shorter shocks? i don't know much about these little things. any help and advice is greatly appreciated. thanks
     
  2. I would think a set of drop spindles for the front and a pair of blocks or removing some leafs from the rear should lower it nicely. Shorter shocks aren't required unless you significantly alter the suspension geometry, by putting in a 4-bar or something similar.
     
    133 likes this.
  3. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,062

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I don't know if dropped spindles are available for your car or not...but that would be a good method if they are available. It least affects steering geometry compared to the more common shortening of springs. As for shock replacement....not likely to have to with dropped spindles...but may need to with shorter springs, depending on how much you lower it. 1 to 2 inches...probably not, more than that, and it's more likely.

    On the rear, lowering blocks.........removing spring leaves MIGHT be advisable if you never carry anything in the bed, but that only weakens the spring rate and could be detrimental to handling. As for shock replacement, basically the same answer as for the front.....depends on how much you lower it.
     
    133 likes this.
  4. 133
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,655

    133
    Member

    thanks for the replies. i have to lower this on a budget, thanks to having to rebuild the motor, and i don't want to go and spend more money for spindles. mine has the 4-lugs, not sure if that makes any difference.
     
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  5. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,280

    RmK57
    Member

    If your on a budget then cutting a coil or two would be the cheapest. You can't lower them too much without running out of camber adjustment, so keep that in mind.
    Lowering blocks for the rear.
     
    133 likes this.
  6. mikeey rat
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 169

    mikeey rat
    Member
    from Australia

    cut springs and blocks on mine .easy and cheap until you can afford to go to the next level
     
    133 likes this.
  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    No such thing as a drop spindle for this chassis.

    These already had rear springs that were way too soft new. Taking out leaves will not have good results.

    Blocks, and cut coils are the only inexpensive route.
     
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  8. mikeey rat
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 169

    mikeey rat
    Member
    from Australia

    In Australia we can get dropped spindles but that won't help you left hand drivers 2 1/2inch and a bigger drop which requires some other mods +then allows disc brake bolt up too
     
    133 likes this.
  9. Isn't the Granada spindle swap a good way to get a slight lowering? I thought these resulted in about 1 inch lower, plus you get the disc brakes, and if you need it, has the 5-lug 5 x 4.5 bolt pattern. Or is the Granada spindle swap only for the larger cars? I am not a Ford guy.

    I agree with the rest for lowest budget, you can't get much cheaper than cut coil springs up front and lowering blocks in the rear.
     
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Granada spindles alter the suspension and steering geometry in ways that make for ill handling.

    Since thete is no way of going from 4-to-5 lug in the rear of these, without changing the entire rear axle (and driveshaft, which would need to be custom, due to the 1200 series joints), there is little point to making the front 5-lug.

    Scarebird sells a disc bracket kit for the stock spindles. It works exceptionally well.
     
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Oh, and research the "Shelby Drop". It is not intended to lower the car, but to relocate the upper control arm, to improve the camber curve when cornering.

    It makes a night and day difference in handling, for the price of a drill bit.
     
  12. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,929

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The 64 Ranchero is like a Falcon/Mustang, not a big car, so the Granada spindle wouldn't work, right? This thing has the spring above the upper A-arm.

    Start with cutting half a coil and drive the thing for a week. If that's not enough, cut another half coil. And so on. Cutting two coils right off the bat will give you a big surprise (time to buy new springs). And each time you remove the springs it will take miles for them to settle back down.
     
  13. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    You can get the Granada spindles in there, and many do, but it disturbs handing and steering.

    Not worth the "cheap".
     
  14. The stock Granada spindles have the same geometry as the OEM falcon/comet V8 spindles and won't give any lowering, don't know about the six cylinder spindles. The two things that are different are the tie rod holes and the steering stop; you need to address the latter or you'll have tire rubbing at full lock.

    The Granada spindles don't have the same geometry as the full-size cars...
     
  15. Ray,
    The little hooptie has the same suspension as a falcon or a mustang so anything available for one of them would be available for the Ranchero. Suspension Techniques or Bell Tech would be a good place to look for spindles.

    I would go blocks in the rear, unless the axle is under the springs. I don't recall. I don't like removing leaves on a truck as a rule unless it just rides like a lumber wagon. That particular Ranchero is going to be pretty soft in the ride dept unless someone has changed the springs already.
     
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  16. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,929

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    OK. I was mixed up somehow. I just knew that the Granada spindles could be used on late 50's full size Fords as a cheap lowered spindle with disk brakes. My brother did it on his '57 wagon.
     
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    No they don't, at leasy not in reference to a pre 1967 Falcon (newest I have worked on), and the original poster has a 1964.

    The KPI is different by several degrees, and the steering arm is in the incorrect location.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  18. 133
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,655

    133
    Member

    thanks for all of your replies, much appreciated.
     
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Oh, and yes, you can buy all of your stuff out of the Mustang catalogs (except the rear springs, Ranchero leaf springs are longer). I stayed 4-lug on my Falcon, even with the discs. It is about 5" down, which requires metal surgery. Corners like a Porsche. Stops on a dime.
     
  20. 133
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,655

    133
    Member

    i wanted to switch to 5 lug but i can't afford to at the moment. i don't really care for it to handle and corner like an exotic, just need it to get me to work and back home, haha
     
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    The rear axle is the hold-up on that. There is no way to re-drill the pattern, due to the accesd holes in the flange.

    Cut springs, blocks. Discs, and a dual master cylinder, when budget allows. Plenty of 4-lug steel wheels out there, new, and used.

    Run some cool caps, or covers. 5-lugs are not necessary.
     
  22. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1403160600.280913.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1403160614.995934.jpg
    Here's some pics of my old wagon. I cut 2 full coils and pulled 2 of the 5 leaf springs. I also ran air shocks to soften the ride a little. Your Ranchero has the same suspension. I also had 3 inch blocks.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  23. Gimpy,
    When we wanted 5 lugs we just changed the rear end. The front end used to be easy as well, just went to a junk yard and bought hubs and drums. Not so easy today.
     
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,601

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    True that. Mostly just late-model yards, if yards at-all, here now.
     
  25. RetroSpeed
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 129

    RetroSpeed
    Member

    Low Flyer.JPG \'63 Ranchero.JPG
    My 1963 Ranchero project has 2 cut coils up front coupled with the Shelby Drop and the rear is lowered via 3 inch blocks. Wheels are 13 inch Cragars mounted on 5.20 13 inch tires.
     
    tintin likes this.
  26. 1 Full coil in the front and a 2 inch block in the rear.
    [​IMG]

    Be careful what tires and wheels you run because after you lower the rear it is hard to get the tire out of the fenderwell. Mine have been spread almost 2 inches and it is still a booger.
     
  27. 133
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,655

    133
    Member

    @Fuzzy Knight i'm already experiencing that. it has the 13s on it now and with the 2" blocks i put in last weekend the 155/80/13 tire is a tight fit. right now mine is the same as yours with the 1 coil and blocks. the engine is out but if it sits like yours then i'll need to cut 1/2-1 more coil, haha

    @RetroSpeed i love the way yours sits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014

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