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Thread: kishy's 1985 Ranger

  1. #301
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    The stock AM reception SUCKS on my 88. They publish traffic info on 1720 and the radio only goes to 1710. Real helpful folks.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
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  2. #302
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I get the upgrade thing, but I don't get why they paid to develop a digital one when they had a conventional analog AM already.
    I wouldn't think there's that much to develop, really. They already had the tech for the FM and up stuff so all they had to do was adapt AM in the mix. Sounds like a shoe-in.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  3. #303
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I expect there are specific parts. Mono amplifier, difference faceplate, stuff like that.


    I didn't even know the AM band went as high as 1720. In the ancient days it quit at 1600 but by the 80s I think it was up to 1710. AM reception is very prone to electrical interference so bad grounds anywhere, bad plug wires, nearby power lines, etc all screw with it. In the car most of the grounds are probably not in good shape after 30 odd years. The AM in my diesel is great until I get near power lines, then it just goes away. it does have a bit of alternator whine but nothing bad. Not a single one of my gas powered vehicles has usable AM.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  4. #304
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    That be part of the adaptation process. Just like how there are differences between Mercury and Ford Panthers. Both were still profitable for FoMoCo, no?

    I sure as hell didn't. The last time I tried to even tune AM was in my '69 Plymouth back in high school. I think the only people who use AM are the ole fuddie-duddies who love NPR or whatever.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  5. #305
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    NPR is on FM bands.

    AM seems to usually be political talk radio, some country stations, and gospel stuff. That said, when they turn the transmitters up at night, I can pull in 650 AM, which is WSM from Nashville. They run classic country, some live performances, and will feature the Grand Ole Opry.

    I can still get AM in the ‘97, but it’s gone in the ‘87.

    My Cars:
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  6. #306
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    Just going to borrow this thread for a moment...
    I scooped up the very last TK5 bearing and seal kit on RockAuto, for the not-too-bad price of about $100 Canadian. The trans will receive a complete rebuild as it relates to the bearings; synchros (which are admittedly rough but do work) are staying. Input shaft wiggle is excessive and output yoke wiggle is very minor, but maybe enough to account for the fluid loss. The trans is at my friend's machine shop where a new extension housing bushing will also be produced.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  7. #307
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    Transmission: rebuilt!

    Not much to say about it, other than it's reasonably straightforward to do. A few corners were cut but they shouldn't meaningfully impact anything.

    Current status is the trans is in the garage waiting to go in. Oil will be Red Line MT-90 which has performed fantastic in this trans previously.

    Photos are here: https://imgur.com/a/wERNM9R

    Absolutely itching to get this put back in and give it a spin, but the truck is on stands outside, so weather is going to play a big role in when I want to move forward.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  8. #308
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    Rebuilt transmission has been installed at 141,739km on 2019-11-23. Pics added to the bottom of the same album at https://imgur.com/a/wERNM9R.

    Initial impressions are good. No unusual noises or vibrations (though this truck makes many of both of those...nothing new has been introduced). Shifting action feels good. I put about 100km on it last night and it performed as expected.

    Worth noting: the trans did not require a rebuild. This started as chasing a fluid leak out the rear seal, which was caused by play in the yoke caused by wear in a bushing. That could have been replaced without replacing everything else or even opening the whole thing. It just became a snowball of "might as wells".

    Something's up with the brakes, feels like there may be air hiding somewhere. Stops well but the pedal just goes and goes. Bleeding is needed.

    Next significant project for this is going to be the front end. Radius arm bushings, radius arm brackets (which together form a crossmember, but are replaceable), axle pivot bushings, inner tie rod ends (one of which is also the drag link). Ball joints seem to be fine, but I do have them on-hand as well. Standard Twin-I-Beam stuff. I want to replace all that before I get it aligned, which it has needed for the whole time I've had it. Adjusting camber and caster on this will be done by bending the axles, so it's completely impossible to do at home.
    Last edited by kishy; 11-24-2019 at 02:32 PM.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  9. #309
    all the CFI are belong to me
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    Merry Christmas!



    Now that that's out of the way...

    I washed this for the first time in well over a year.



    Previous comments about brake weirdness continue to apply. I did find that the drums are irritatingly sensitive to adjustment. I can get them to do their thing decently effectively if I adjust them out a bit, but they drag (enough to make noise, not enough to impede the truck from coasting freely) as soon as they're adjusted enough to take the pedal travel out. So I adjust them back in to get rid of the noise and the pedal travel comes back. It stops very well despite the pedal travel, but the amount of fluid flow to the rear is enough to make the combination valve angry (one of those shuttle valve deals) in the right circumstances. It is not ideal.

    A friend knowledgeable in this area pointed out that my front pads might not have much bite, and that could account for needing more pedal to make it stop more. I haven't ruled that out. It has always felt like the rears do more on this than the fronts do.

    This truck did receive 100% new lines front to rear, as a reminder. The arrangement is: old school master with cast-in dual metal reservoir feeds two lines, one for front, one for rear. Both lines go down to frame rail mounted combination valve which does some degree of proportioning as well as dual system isolation. The front lines both exit that valve, and the rear line exits that valve. The valve is sticky but not completely seized.

    I've been looking at ways to get rid of that combination valve, because I hate them, and believe I've found the ticket.

    Similar to Panthers, Rangers moved to the newer cylindrical-looking master in the late 80s. Fluid distribution looks to have changed a couple times much like how Panthers did. However, the master only ever had two outputs, one front, one rear.

    I have found that there are years of Ranger where there is no valve on the frame rail. There is a splitter integrated into the driver side flex hose, much like certain Panther hoses, and because there is no frame rail mounted valve (except when equipped with ABS), I can reasonably conclude that using that newer master will allow me to delete the nonsense without losing proper proportioning. The rears are still drums and the drums are still the same size.

    But, this can of worms is not so simple, maybe. I'm now internally battling the question of fixing it the way I currently want to, or going a little further and swapping to newer beams and knuckles to get better calipers (similar concept to our big brake swaps, but there is no size difference, just a caliper with more pistons and better slides). If that swap would gain me sealed hub-bearing assemblies, it would be a no brainer, I would do it without a second thought. But because the bearings remain the old style adjustable inner+outer, it's just not as much of a want. Worth noting also that I have ball joints on hand already for the current setup which don't work with the newer setup. They were not expensive, but they will never be used if I go newer, so there's that.

    Why does everything get this way? The "might as wells" completely consume everything I ever want to do.
    Last edited by kishy; 12-30-2019 at 02:05 AM.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  10. #310
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    seems like the juice system can go independant of the rest of it, so I'd vote for fixing that first.

    never had a lot of issue with the frame mounted combo valves but they are an issue if one actually goes bad since finding replacements are all but impossible.

    you do have the shoes in the back installed the right way? Usually the short shoe goes on the front, otherwise its too grabby. If the rear cylinders don't move properly it'll do this too. Only one shoe moves, but it moves twice as fast vs if both shoes were moving.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  11. #311
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    Well...yes, on the surface, it can. But it's one of those things where as soon as I disconnect a brake line I want to replace every single part associated with the disconnected line, unless the part is staying forever. So that's where the knuckles come into the equation.

    I don't think this needs better calipers, but the mounting design for the current ones is absolutely idiotic. You've worked on a fair deal of things so I expect you've probably seen them. 2-halved metal slide pins where the metal bits are glued together with a chunk of rubber. Hammer them out, hammer them in. "Slide" is just their name and nothing more because there is no actual sliding to be done, it's just kind of anchored there.

    As for the combo valves...I cannot stand that they exist or ever existed. The design itself irritates me because there were better ways, and it's not like those better ways were out of reach due to engineering advancements of the time. They just did it the stupid poorly-thought-out way because nobody bothered to drink their coffee on the morning the brake system was drawn up for the vehicle. It's irrational hate, but it is real hate, real enough to make me willing to replumb a vehicle that already has new brake lines ahead of much more pressing matters.

    I recall there was something weird about the friction material for this. I don't recall what it was, but there was something odd about the shaping and sizing of the shoes.

    I'd probably disc swap this if it were straightforward, but the might-as-wells get stupid with that too. Like an 8.8 swap.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  12. #312
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    doesn't sound familiar, and the Rockauto results don't show me anything that I've seen before. Looks like a half-ass spring pin. I don't see how that would not be sticky and unreliable.


    dunno, sounds to me like either the valve is stuck and not cutting pressure to the rear brakes, or the shoes are backwards or just made wrong. If the friction material comes too far up it will tend to grab on the drum as it rolls forward and yank the shoe out into the drum. I can see some brake pad mfg screwing that up. I have put the shoes on wrong before, but on a front drum brake car. Thats really fucking scary when the front wheel locks up on one side because both long shoes are on the left and both short shoes are on the right. Thats when I learned about the front and rear shoe.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  13. #313
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Worth a mention - on the 87 I am piddling with, the forward shoe was the shoe with less friction and the replacements had even less friction material surface area than the old ones.

    I will check on the brake valve arrangement for you on this truck. I agree that mess can go to the trash can.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  14. #314
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Also, shitty shoes can make a lot of noise too, as will the incorrect size. The Wagner Thermo Quiet ones are notorious for noise. I also highly recommend using brake grease schmoo on every point the shoes contact the backing plate, after cleaning those areas up with a grinder that is. Helps quell the vibration harmonic effect you get under light braking from the shoes oscillating back & forth. Give that a whirl if you haven't already. Completely disregard if you have.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  15. #315
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    Think I figured it out.

    The passenger side adjuster screw was seized, despite being packed with lubricant, and the driver side one was not. My crazy pedal travel was being contributed by the fact that the self-adjust was working perfectly on the driver side but not at all on the passenger side, thus, the passenger side was travelling pretty far to make contact.

    It is impossible for the forward shoe on the driver side to retract fully. This seems to be because the backing plate is so messed up, the shoe is hooked over the edge of its riding surface, and cannot come back without manual help each time. New backing plates are the right answer here, it seems.

    Those two facts together are why I had the choice of "decent pedal with noise" or "no noise but also no pedal" with no in-between.

    Also, the fluid almost entirely (but not entirely) escaped out of the drum half of the master cylinder, and the disc half was low. These fluid levels were verified at the time the trans went back into the truck, and there is no fluid loss anywhere under the truck or inside the drums, so the only conclusion I can draw is that the reman master cylinder is feeding the brake fluid to the engine through the booster in certain pedal positions. The booster is already known to be trash as my idle goes funny when I push the brake pedal, so I'm not too concerned about protecting the booster at this point.

    I managed to break off both the wheel cylinder bleeder screws but fortunately did so while they were still closed, so it works for now. Rear shoes are riveted semi-metallic Wagners and seem to work well (truck has historically felt like it had a brake bias to the rear). Front pads are bonded organic Dash-4 super cheapies. Organic accounts for the brake bias...they have no bite whatsoever.

    Action with respect to the above:
    new Raybestos semi-metallic front pads ordered (RockAuto, $16Cdn)
    new wheel cylinders ordered (RockAuto, $5Cdn ea)
    master cylinder was already ordered (eBay, $20US shipped)
    new Dorman backing plates ordered (eBay, $50US shipped for the pair)

    Also on the hunt for a booster, but they are a combination of expensive and moderately difficult to source for this truck.
    Last edited by kishy; 01-02-2020 at 10:25 AM.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  16. #316
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    groove worn in the backing plate and hanging the shoe up? Often you can gently hit that with a grinder to get rid of the step so it works again. Not perfect, but better than nothing. replacement plates are the better solution

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  17. #317
    all the CFI are belong to me
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    groove worn in the backing plate and hanging the shoe up? Often you can gently hit that with a grinder to get rid of the step so it works again. Not perfect, but better than nothing. replacement plates are the better solution
    Yes. I had noticed it the first time I did the drums, then noticed its functional impact last time I did the drums, and now most recently I've seen it seems to be actually preventing the thing working properly.

    The new ones at that price were an anomaly...new open box, half the price of any new sealed box offering out there. The fact they are still offered at all is very handy

    Mine are very crusty so I'll be glad to have rust free backing plates.

    This prompted me to look into availability of new backing plates for the Panthers, but unfortunately, it seems that our box Panthers are used as donors for wider drum upgrades on 60s-70s Ford products, so everyone who has the backing plates knows what they are and wants proper money for them, and there are no super old stock great deals to be had.
    Last edited by kishy; 01-03-2020 at 02:59 AM.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  18. #318
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    2020-01-17 through 20 inclusive:

    new drum backing plates (painted)
    new rear wheel bearings
    new rear seals
    new wheel cylinders, painted
    diff cover needle scaled, glass blasted, primed and painted
    reman brake booster (primed and painted). discovered reman put it together upside down, but it works, so no issue.
    new brake master cylinder (90-94, enables delete of valve on frame rail, painted)
    deleted valve on frame rail
    all new brake hard lines (NiCopp)
    new KYB Excel-G shocks all around (given a quick splash of Tremclad to keep them nice longer)

    also painted a variety of parts for upcoming projects, like tie rod ends, adjusting sleeves, radius arm brackets

    Got everything adjusted, filled and bled. Found excellent pedal feel and what feels like the correct brake bias, with the booster vac leak gone, so I checked all the boxes I was going for. The truck drives fantastic on the new shocks.

    Pics: https://imgur.com/a/DtopEbs

    Today, as mentioned in the junkyard thread, I picked up an aluminum contractor cap for the Ranger.

    Pics: https://imgur.com/a/x1FKRQG

    Need to fix some damage to the skin on the driver side, some hinge alignment issues, some latch hardware, put some lighting in it...other little things. But for $65 it's all I could have asked for and resolves a few issues the old cap had:
    -the front window of the fiberglass cap is not the correct piece. it's just a piece of acrylic poorly cut to size which is also broken, and screwed in place.
    -there are a couple water entry points that have proven resistant to being plugged
    -the cap is incorrect for a Ranger and therefore had both length and width fitment issues
    -fitment issues caused the cap to both interfere with the tailgate, as well as prevent the cap from locking the tailgate
    -locking mechanism corroded and failing to work properly

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards

  19. #319
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    fitting cap fits.

    Caps are useful, but I won't pretend I'm in love with the look. Good if you need the traction and dry semi-secure storage and transport for things that won't fit in the front seat.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  20. #320
    GMN Regular Giraffe's Avatar
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    I really like that little truck. Were you able to do anything about that super clean cab you mentioned in the junkyard thread?
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

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