Current Project: 1968 Ford Ranger
When the decision was finally made to rebuild the '68; we sat down with all the catalogs we'd ordered over the past year. That is a crucial part of the process; it is wise to know where you can order anything you need and have catalogs for price guide-lines on what you find used! Anyway, taking the catalogs in hand a list was made of the items that needed replacing or probably needed replacing. That list came to over $3000. Checking the papers over the last year we found that used Fords were going for $500 part trucks to $4500 total rebuilds. Checking the paper we found a 1969 Ranger listed for $950 and went and looked at it; turns out it was a '68 and had most of everything we needed in pretty good shape. We purchased the donor truck and drove it home.
The Donor Truck sits on the left and Ole' Blue to the right...instead of just rushing into the project I spent a good deal of time deciding which truck to rebuild. Blue was the obvious choice because of the history we share but; in reality one truck is pretty much like another.
The Donor truck had more problems inside than it appears to have outside. For one thing someone had added the power-steering unit from the much newer vehicle which had donated the motor. In order to put the power-steering in; the rebuilder had cut the motor-mounts and had mangled the steering unit so badly that it came apart in my hands. The shift linkage was put together with hoses...that's right! Hoses! And the wiring was a mess.
The truck had suffered a right hand crunch to the fender and it was impossible to tell whether the truck had suffered bent steering arms or further damage. Since it drove so squirrelly. Rust had taken the rear of the cab on the right-side and the donor vehicle had a dent in the roof that would have adjusted out to about 15 hours hard labor. The dash was mangled from too many stereos and the bed was in worse shape top-side.
I parted the donor truck out taking what I needed...Then I traded the rest of the parts for welding work and saved the bed to be re-built as a trailer at a cost to me of about $125 and $45 for tags and registration (similar trailer beds sell for $500 here...). Mario Aguilar prepared the pickup bed trailer; and it is professionally made.
The remaining parts went to Mario Aguilar and the rebuild of his 1968 short-bed. He took the doors, windshield and multiple other parts; as well as the old motor and transmission. He cut the frame for the truck and gave the front-end to his brother-in-law (with my agreement) and his brother-in-law used the front end to sit a former butane tank made into a cooker and that in-turn was made into a trailer as well.
All in all I think that the Donor Truck gave it's life for a good cause; but it was still hard to see her go to pieces.