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LeMons Ranchero Update: Everything Out!

The term “rolling shell” gets thrown around a lot these days. Ok, maybe it doesn’t. Point is, we’ve got the Ranchero about as stripped as it can get. Motor and transmission: Out! Interior: Out! Steering column and pedals: Out! Glass: Out! Wiring: Out! Front suspension: Out, but now back In!

In our two previous LeMons builds, we’d taken a different approach, particularly for wiring: minimal removal. We’d pick up connections at their factory locations and reroute or patch in switches as necessary. Dead-end connections were zip-tied in place. This made more sense with the ’82 BMW 633csi Uberbird, where a single stupid wire being disconnected could prevent the alternator from charging the car (true). On Ranchero 1.0, we adopted that strategy to preserve the fuel gauge and ignition wiring, but also because I still had visions of keeping the car street-able. This time around, we’re betting it’ll be easier to run completely new circuits and find a few more aftermarket gauges.

Continuing with that theme, we yanked the steering column, pedals and everything else behind or below the dash. The windshield was cracked, so it’s out along with the side and rear glass that the cage needs evicted.

We did actually install a few things, too. The old car’s front suspension and steering linkage swapped right in in a couple of hours. The new won’t-impale-you-in-a-crash short-shaft, quick-ratio 1968 Mustang steering box bolted right up to both the frame and linkage. Platform sharing FTW.

There’s still a little rust to cut out and patch before it’s cage time, but it’s about 1/6 the magnitude of work compared to the previous car. After that, I’ll be borrowing The Cage Rig from John at Evil Genius Racing to put my recently-acquired skills to work.

ranchero floor pans

  • outback_ute

    Good stuff, making sure it is all done right and not rely on any 50+ year old original wiring is a good idea.

  • boxdin

    Great build, but isn’t this a 500 dollar class?

    • michael cianci

      minus all safety equipment and tires, yea.

      • The rule (Rule 4.2) is that “‘Safety’ refers to things that can save the driver–not things that can save the car.” There’s a list which includes some items that are perhaps not immediately obvious, such as “Driver comfort & information (steering wheel, shifter, gauges, pedals, cool suits, vents, heaters, radio)” here:

        http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/prices-rules#

        My guess is that the steering column swap is also exempt, particularly as there is a rumor afoot that LeMons is increasingly frowning upon noncollapsible columns.