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  #16  
Old 05-07-2019, 02:51 AM
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There are guys who muscle up these old Panthers, but it seems to me that's taking away the thing these cars are best at. I like the quiet, and with the traffic around here I haven't even had much chance to let the Ranger run, and it runs like a 3-legged dog. So why bother.

Right now I've got something that rides smoother than any modern car this side of a Maybach, and depending on how much the AC service (which I have yet to schedule) comes in at, could be less than 10 grand.

I did find the horn pigtail, with busted-off connectors inside, so that explains that.

For now I'm still in evaluation mode, like with the motorbike. I'll consider it fully roadworthy if I can make it 200 miles without a problem. So far it's been playing ball.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2019, 06:08 AM
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Busy busy...

Chasing the horn problem, I found the steering-wheel switch was stuck closed, but no juice was flowing to the connection. One of those I can fix today, the other one will wait til my wiring diagram gets here.

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Opened the switch and found it's just two sheets of copper with foam rubber in between. And the foam rubber ain't there anymore.

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Sanded off the remains, made a new foam spring...

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... and now it's open until pushed, like it should be. Reinstalled the cover and put it back in the wheel so I'll know where it is when I can start diagnosing this thing properly.

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Installed the console I painted yesterday. Had to make some side panels to get it to sit right, and the color match leaves a bit to be desired, but it'll hold my drink.

Circle of life:

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This license-plate bubble was on my first CV, 20-odd years ago. Now it's back where it should be.
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  #18  
Old 05-08-2019, 03:36 AM
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Good news! The AC took a charge (3.5 pounds, as much as a small household system) and blows cold. Replaced the idler pulley to get rid of the squeal (Ford made that job a royal PITA, with a steel cap peened on over the spindle) and that seems to be it for spending money, at least for now.

I made it under my $10,000 goal, with lunch money left over, if you don't order drinks. I think I got a bargain. Instead of driving a Sentra or some damn thing I'd have to pretend that I don't hate, I've got a smooth riding Love Boat that I love (that still doesn't have a horn, but soon....)
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  #19  
Old 05-08-2019, 04:21 AM
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That's awesome Stu... I bet it's fun to drive. V-8 rear wheel drive, what's not to love. Wait for the rain then bring on the throtle induced over steer... Them big cars are plenty heavy in the a@@ end and swing out out smoothly and predictably when "asked" to...
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:40 AM
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Yeah, around here any sideways action means you peel your tires off the rims. There's not enough smooth pavement to even park on, let alone do a donut.

Good news & bad: I got the horn fixed, so it'll pass a safety inspection now. Of course, the last time Ohio did safety inspections was before this boat was built, but a horn is good to have. Sort of like a spare tire, or a gun. You don't always need it, but when you do you REALLY need it.

Bad news, A/C no worky again. Got oil on the evaporator o-rings. There's dye in the system, so tomorrow morning I'll check it with a black light.
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  #21  
Old 05-10-2019, 09:46 AM
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And I didn't find any glowing dye, so maybe that's good. Since the compressor isn't cycling, I suspect an electrical fault, maybe the limit switch. Monday I'll have it looked at.

Got the cigarette lighter fixed, though. All it needed was a stern talking-to. Took it apart, poked around with a meter, couldn't find anything wrong, re-assembled and now it's working fine. Maybe it talked to the horn and got scared.
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  #22  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:09 PM
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Isn't that bizarre when something like that "fixes itself" and your left wondering if it will happen again but content with the fact it's fixed on its' own?!... been there. Yes sometimes yelli.. I mean talking to it, I'm sure, fixes the problem surely That's what I tell myself anyway Now sit back and enjoy your ride Stu, think you earned yourself a!
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  #23  
Old 05-14-2019, 02:28 AM
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Wish the AC would fix itself Turns out you need special glasses to see the dye under UV light. All my new Freon had leaked out, but it's just o-rings. Easy fix, and a known issue (goofy springlock connectors).

Tomorrow I'll have that beer. Maybe several.
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  #24  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:16 AM
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Too bad about losing the freon. Who knew about the glasses thing? I'll have a toast to your project, not tomorrow rather on this coming weekend. It's national camp weekend...aka "May Long"(weekend) aka Queen Victoria's b-day up here in igloo-stan.
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  #25  
Old 05-16-2019, 03:00 AM
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I have to keep reminding myself that I love old cars. The AC is charged but won't run, some sort of electrical bug that I have to trace down and conquer. And the fuel gauge quit working. At least I'm not bored!
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  #26  
Old Yesterday, 03:12 AM
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So I've figured out (on paper) the AC problem. The automatic temp control (ATC from here on) mode switch has failed. It's fairly simple: If you're not in Vent, it turns the compressor on. Or in this case, not. ATC problems are legion, and the supply of proper repair parts dried up decades ago. So it's just a case of doing an improper repair.
Proof of concept works out. Toggle switch from an unused position on the fuse panel feeds a wire running under the hood and kicks the compressor on. But it's really ghetto rigged, and I can't have that. So I'll find the wire under the dash and do it pretty-like.

The fuel gauge is a bit more complicated, and it really shouldn't be. The sending unit checks out, reads about what it should for the amount of fuel that's probably in it. But the gauge is stuck on E, with the warning light on. I suspect the warning light module is bad, and I think I know how to bypass it, but... I don't know where the stupid thing is. My factory service manual and troubleshooting guide will tell me, when it arrives. So that's a problem for another day, but I think I've got a handle on it.
The FSM would help with the AC, too, but it would just say replace the mode switch. And those don't even show up on ebay anymore.

When I get frustrated, I just go for a drive and laugh at some potholes. Problems aside, this is still a very sweet ride.

And I sold the Ranger yesterday, so I'm fully committed now.
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  #27  
Old Yesterday, 09:18 AM
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AC is solved.



Hot wire from an unused but still hot fuse position, to rocker switch, under the dash to the compressor clutch circuit. Hooray cold air!




Prettied up some.
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