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Michelin Defender LTX MS + Vintage Ranchero's +

One of my former employers was an agent for a national company, I think it was Atlas Van Lines, that sponsored one of the top hydro racers of the time, which would have been mid to late '70s if I'm right about it being Atlas.
You're absolutely correct. That would be Bill Muncey who is generally regarded as the greatest unlimited hydroplane driver of all time. He was also the VP of Marketing for the company. Died in 1981 when his boat blew over backwards leading the final heat of the World Championship in Acapulco, Mexico. Shortly after, it was mandated that enclosed driver capsules be used, and other upper classes of boat racing would soon follow. Guess he died doing what he loved. That's what you call going out on top.

Damn nice "Ranchcherry's" guys. Now you have me scowering for photos that have been stored for almost 30 years. Found these three reject pics only because they were separated from the good ones I stashed. 1978 or '79 GT that was completely stripped and painted with multiple coats of factory black. Must say I love gloss black, but this was the first and last black vehicle I'll ever own. Cleaning and polishing became a daily chore and I sold it one year later for that very reason. It's also true that black is much hotter in the sun. Paint process for the tailgate was relatively new at the time to simulate wood grain. I'll search for the good photos but it could take a while. I bought this truck for three grand in 1992 because the seller was another boat racing buddy and was having a difficult time selling this "gas hog".




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And you thought this thread was about tires!

Yes, Bill Muncey. I would have never remembered his name, but now that I see it, it comes back.

We maybe aren't as far off in the weeds as most would think. The summer after I bought my '02 ST, I went to the Goodguys show here in Des Moines where I found and bought some sales literature on the 2002 Sport Tracs. As I continued looking at the cars, I ran into an old friend who I'd hung out with a lot during the height of my Ranchero days. I told him what I was driving now and showed him the sales lit. He said, "So kind of a modern day Ranchero, but with 4 doors." I hadn't thought of it that way, but he wasn't far off.

With both multi carb set-ups, there was no way to make the choke work. I even took all the choke parts out of the center carb on the 3x2 just so they wouldn't cause a problem. Going without a choke in Iowa is pretty iffy, which was one of the concerns we had about running the tunnel ram, but it worked. I'd let the electric fuel pump run until the sound changed indicating the system was full and pressurized, pump the gas 3 times, and turn the key. Started every time, even in winter.

When I had the tunnel ram on, I decided it was time to replace the original front springs that were meant to support a 302 with the proper springs. The weak springs were fun - if I romped on the gas just right, the front tires would almost get off the ground - but there was no way to align the front end. I lived in SE Iowa. A friend in Atlantic in SW Iowa, who I met after I followed him in his Ranchero into the Street Machine Nationals in Tulsa in '76, had a spring compressor and the experience needed to change them. After work one Friday, I headed north to pick up another friend in Ia City, intending to take I-80 west to Hwy 71 and drop the 10 or 12 miles into Atlantic. I-80 and I-35 run together around the north and west sides of Des Moines. We somehow missed where I-80 heads west, and by the time we realized it, it made more sense to go on south to Hwy 92 and take it across to Atlantic. Well, it got dark about the time the gas gauge was reading uncomfortably low 45 miles from Atlantic. We were out in farm country without an open gas station anywhere. We were discussing how to get the gas from the rear carb into the front one if we had to. We made it, but I'm pretty sure the only gas we had left was in the carbs. I parked on the level because I wasn't sure it would start in the morning if I pulled into the sloped driveway. The next day, I eased up the street and put more gas in it than the tank was supposed to hold.

So you found the top limit of those fuel tanks, what was it? I've had almost every Ford I've owned take more gas than the quoted tank size. The most I've put in was 23.6 gallons in a 91 Mark VII, I'd bet their pumps were inaccurate then(I did report them). I like the 22 gallon size, the more the better.

I don't remember. That was 40 years ago. I once put 19 gallons in the 18 gallon tank in my dad's '70 F-250. I was pulling a horse trailer - with a horse in it - on the interstate and went to accelerate to pass someone but slowed down instead. I coasted off the ramp that was right there and into the gas station. When his truck got to 1/4 tank, we needed to be finding a gas station, but I didn't know that until then. My identically equipped '68 F-250 that I traded for my Ranchero would go 50 miles on E. Found that out after I drove it 50 miles on backroads one night on E, and Dad drove it the next day and ran out of gas less than 2 miles from home as he was taking it to get the thermostat replaced.

I put just over the listed capacity in my ST a few years ago. There are signs on I-35 in Missouri that say X number of miles to the next town, but that's actually the distance to the exit. The towns and gas stations are another 10 miles off the interstate. I should have filled up in Kansas City even though it had plenty of gas then, but when you head north from KC late in the afternoon, you need to go as far as you can as fast as you can to get clear of the traffic that's about to get bad.

I remember Kansas City several times, driving through it. It's huge and spread out, and crazy in rush hour traffic. Most big cities are like that, but KC stands out to me, among those in the middle from the South to North.

Referring to some of the earlier posts -
I think I once saw a '68 or '69 Ranchero with a Montego front clip. Looked good. There were pics in a magazine once of a '70 or '71 Ranchero with a Cyclone front clip. I've owned 3 '70 Cyclones, a '70 Montego with a Cyclone grille, and a '70 Cyclone Spoiler parts car, so that one really caught my eye. My first Cyclone was a GT with a 429CJ, so I can imagine what driving a Ranchero with a CJ would be like.
I once weighed my '74 Ranchero when it was still stock, but might have had a topper on it, and it weighed right at 4200.

That's good. I recall my 72 Gran Torino was 4100lbs, so I've been guessing the Ranchero to be around 4300lbs.

My wife had an appointment just across into Kansas that took until about 4:30 in Dec of 2017, so we hit the interstate at 4:45 just as it was getting dark. Traffic was moving at 55 to 60 - until we came to a car that had died and been abandoned in the center lane, which we were in. The road is about 5 lanes wide there. Had to come to a complete stop. I couldn't really see traffic coming up behind us in the other lanes very well, but eventually had to hope for the best and mash the throttle. Just beyond that were more entrance ramps pouring more traffic onto the interstate. And then we hit miles of construction. With poor overhead lighting and traffic lanes changing, with oncoming headlights shining in my eyes at odd, everchanging angles, visibility was very poor to say the least. Most driving conditions don't bother me all that much, but I told my wife we were never, ever, leaving KC after about 4:00 again.

The tire info was covered in the first 5 posts, and it's just the 3 of us posting, so I don't know if it really needs to be moved. In other circumstances, I would say yes.

I once weighed my '74 Ranchero when it was still stock, but might have had a topper on it, and it weighed right at 4200.
That's good. I recall my 72 Gran Torino was 4100lbs, so I've been guessing the Ranchero to be around 4300lbs.
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet" really applies here. 1979 Ranchero curb weights are all over the place Googling "1979 Ford Ranchero curb weight."

Here's just one showing 3716 lbs. And yes, I'm inclined to believe both of you far more than some internet hacks.

I wouldn't alter this thread unless maybe you liked another title better. There are lots of threads here and all over the net which are just random subject threads.

I got the 4100 lbs figure from a local weigh scale here at a big truck stop. Published weights are more wrong than accurate from what I've seen. I think it's mostly from misunderstood specs. What a vehicle can tow is different from the real weight, or what the gross weight can be at full loaded capacity. I prefer to know the actual weight, and then I can decide what should be hauled or towed. The net weight matters, the rest is just assumptions of others.

My old 91 XLT Explorer weighed 4700 lbs with less than 200lbs of scrap metal I took to the scrap yard. So 4500lbs is a good bet for those 1st gen's net weight, the 4drs.

Just love the 1970 (#5 & #8) model year.
Boss Mustangs were aesthetically stunning too.

Can't say I'm a fan of the big wheeled lift. (#10) JMO

#7 is by far my favorite of this group, followed by #3 and then #5. I have #7 saved somewhere on my computer
#10 - Love the body style, hate what was done to it. I don't know which is worse - the lift, the grille guard, or the far too wide axles
#8 - don't care for the color, and can't stand the Chevy engine
Not a fan of severely lowered vehicles of any kind

That's a wild varied group. I like a lot of the colors, but the 4WD is awful and some they went too far with body changes, lowered too much etc. I like that 57 the most of those, and it has what I'd call a favorite engine, the 427 SOHC "Cammer."

SOHC Cammer in 70 Mach 1.jpg

I had a grabber blue 71 Cyclone GT 351 4V Cleveland. It was a fun car. I have enjoyed reading this thread.

I had a grabber blue 71 Cyclone GT 351 4V Cleveland. It was a fun car. I have enjoyed reading this thread.

How's that 302 Sport Trac doing there lately?


Did did you ever lower your white '05 STA? You PM'd me in 2017, but I never saw an update.

V8 ST is doing good, seems to be using a little oil, no leaks or smoke so not sure whats going on. My son drives it several days a week rotating with the Ranger we have. We have done several off road trips at Windrock. I am in the process of making some custom rocksliders that I will post pictures of when I get done.

I did lower the white Adrenalin 05 ST about 2 inches. I have sold it to my father in law and he really likes it. I still see it a lot and maintain it for him. Thanks for you advice on it. I think I posted a picture of the lifted and lowered trucks nose to nose in the show off section.

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How old was your 302 when you installed it, the miles? I've got two 98 302's now which use too much oil. I believe both were neglected, poor oil, long intervals, old air filters etc. I think the excess wear is in the heads and cylinders, to make them eat oil. I plan to rebuild two of my heads prior to making headers for it, I think replacing the valve guides, seals, and maybe a better valve job, will reduce the oil usage a lot.