Old Ford Ranchero makes for an entertaining weekend at Lemons

It’s always wonderful when I get an e mail from Tim. You know, Mad Science himself. Also regarded as the co-founder of this right here website. Which is simply because it is ordinarily about racing at Lemons. So I’m fast to respond with a “hell yes” and then believe about the race even even though it is a thirty day period or perhaps months out. But this past weekend, it was race time. And the tale is a familiar a person stuffed with a number of curse text, quite a few fluids on the ground, and an complete blast of a time spent at a hot, dusty racetrack in the middle of nowhere zone of California.

Our “race car” is a 1963 Ford Ranchero. It’s powered by a 250 cubic-inch straight 6 which is backed up by a 4-speed handbook gearbox. This time around, we had been excited simply because the engine was generating solid electricity, sounded magnificent, and was all set to rock. So all set, in reality, that on the Friday test day prior to racing, we decided to dyno the motor vehicle. And the results were far greater than anticipated. For every the Buttonwillow dyno, the Ranchero was doling out 140 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, and that’s at the wheels.

lemons dyno chart

Our smiles faded, although, as some on-monitor screening disclosed the acquainted jangling of reduce-end lurking catastrophe. As an alternative of jogging it to see what takes place, Tim and the other essentially superior wrenches on our workforce established to do the job seeking to see what was mistaken. We were being roasting rod bearings which usually means genuine failure was imminent. Thankfully, this time we brought a backup motor. So cue the flurry of equipment, pieces, and orders, and someday later on, we experienced the 2nd motor all set to operate. But this one particular would maintain temps wonderful at idle, but any load and it would begin to operate the temps up.

Our assumption was a head gasket challenge. Tim determined to torque factors down additional aggressively and then dump a bunch of Blue Satan gasket sealer into the cooling program. This practically seemed to do the job, but out on monitor, the temps arrived back up. I was on keep track of as the car or truck started out to climb toward 240 levels. I could get it to fall into the 230 zone by easing off, but which is not what you want on the track. So we pulled the vehicle again in with the intention of swapping the other head onto the car.

gross radiator water at lemons

This indicates Saturday became a total-on wrenching working day. But the new head manufactured it in excess of, temps ended up great right after we completely flushed the crap out of the radiator, and we had been prepared for Sunday. Or so we believed. With cooling no longer an situation, the automobile begins to struggle with its air/gasoline ratio. We run a Holly Sniper setup, so I can in fact see the figures whilst out on observe. It need to be all around 12, but it was working super lean at 35 or so at periods, and the car would battle for electrical power. It looks our gas cell could have a pickup stage problem for some motive. Mainly because we were in a position to “fix” the challenge by absolutely topping off the cell and working for a although right until the A/F situation would return. Irrespective, this transfer stored us running the rest of the working day, and we acquired the entire group of motorists via the vehicle.

fueling at lemons

In fact, I took the wheel to finish out the weekend, and I place in excess of two hrs at the rear of the wheel to provide the vehicle in less than the checkered flag. The latter portion of the run was a lesson in directional administration to try and mitigate fuel starvation challenges, but it was still a blast. I realized the car or truck enjoyed left turns significantly extra than appropriate turns, and I did my greatest to clean out the rights. I was also combating overheating front brakes, but I was smiling the full time. Lemons is constantly a single of my favourite weekends of the year, even when fifty percent of it is hoping the motor vehicle both retains together or arrives again alongside one another so we can change laps.

A single ultimate notice about the weekend is that I finally obtained to check out the new Go Quick Campers tent on the roof of the Montero. I’m delighted to report that it was supremely at ease, and I’ll dive into that a little bit far more in a independent publish.

montero with gfc rooftop tent