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"Baja Ranchero" NORRA Class 6 Tribute Build Thread

Repashy

Well-Known Member
Hi Everyone,

I have been around the Desert for 30 years Chasing and Racing. A few years ago, I threw together a 1965 Ranchero as a fun street project. After driving it around for a while and having a blast talking to people about it. I started thinking about racing again for fun and set my sights on the 2017 NORRA. I absolutely loved the old Class 6 cars, and know them well enough to know I could never be happy or comfortable driving a "real" one because of my old man status and back/neck issues. I am just going to build the car I want, without regard to it being specific class legal. I just want to haul the mail and have some fun again. I am sure NORRA will find a place to put it, and hope some of you enjoy the build.

I decided I wanted to build a modern chassis prerunner/race legal car that from a hundred feet, looks period correct, yet upon close inspection, reveal a state of the art suspension. It took me quite a while to find the "right guy" for the build, someone who shared my vision and passion for what I wanted to do. Even though I am out here in San Diego, I have ended up sending the car off to the Midwest. Last month, Rick Snell flew out to San Diego from Minnesota, and actually drove the car back. It is now chopped into tiny pieces and starting to go back together. In the next few weeks, I will share details and start posting build progress.

Since this will be a modern chassis, I am not sure if this should be in the Vintage forum or not, so Mod's, please move the thread to a more appropriate forum if appropriate. I have also created a Facebook Page for the car if you want to like and follow there as well.

Here is a a pic of the car before the new build:



Here it is a few weeks ago:



Cheers, Allen Repashy
 

Repashy

Well-Known Member
The Baja Ranchero will be powered by a 347 SBF and for highway miles and fuel economy (it will have glass and A/C), I have opted for a Culhane build 4L80 four speed automatic (no electronics). I am so far, deciding to go outside my comfort zone and try the MSD Atomic TBI fuel Injection setup on this motor (Recommended by Greg at Total Performance). I like the idea of not dealing with the engine loading up in the big bumps, the added fuel economy, and cold start ability, to give it a go. What's nice about these units is that if I set the car up with proper fuel lines, in a manner of minutes, it can be removed and a carburetor can be thrown back on the car.

The suspension will be custom A arms in front with a steering gear, triangulated 4 link in the rear. 1 coilover and 1 bypass shock per wheel. 40 spline axles. 35" x 15 tires.

Here are a few more pics of some tubes going in the car.



 

Quailhunter

Covert Troll.
Great start to a first class car/truck best of luck Allen, enjoy!
 

Chris_Wilson

Well-Known Member
Love the concept. Kind of a Pro Touring car for the dirt. Old school body on top of a state of the art go fast desert chassis/suspension. No problem to run it at NORRA, it will just be classified based on the technology under the skin.
 

Team Todo En

Well-Known Member
Very cool build. Really looking forward to the updates.
I'm running an MSD Atomic on a 347 stroker and have had very good results with it. It ran flawlessly during the 2015 M1K, and ever since.
 

Repashy

Well-Known Member
For the last few days, Rick has been making parts lists and I have been doing research as time allows. We have been going back and forth on front snouts and hubs. It sounds like Pro-Am has the 2" snout and hub setup we need with a centered bearing so we can maximize the A arm lengths. We talked at length about going to TT spindles but in order to do that, we would need to go to a 17" wheel and I really don't want to jeopardize the vintage "look" of 35's on a 15" vintage wheel. The 2" stuff should be plenty strong and a worthwhile upgrade over the original option of using a Dana 44 snout with a 5x5.5" wheel. Rick will be custom fabricating the uprights.

Team Todo En....... Glad to hear you are running the Atomic setup and like it. What camshaft and compression are you running. Right now, I am leaning toward the conservative side for compression so we can survive on Mexican gas. I know it could cost a good 50 horsepower but this thing should be light enough at 3500 pounds, that anything north of 400 will just spin the tires.

I am looking at the 72cc AFR 205 heads with a flat top piston which should be right at 9:1. I will be running a performer RPM Air Gap intake and would love any input on camshaft profiles. I would like to build for peak torque at no more than 5,000 and keep a tight converter stall to reduce heat, so likely 2600-2800.

 

Repashy

Well-Known Member
Rick is learning Solidworks on the fly and has the main chassis drawn out nicely. The whole car will be built in 3D.

Does anybody out there have a 3D drawing for a 302 ford engine or a 4L80 Transmission?

 

retroblazer

Well-Known Member
You mentioned the trans is a 4L80- no E as in no electronics. I'm very curious, what's the deal? I would love to pick up another gear, but I was always scared off using a controller to work the trans versus my trusty T-400.
 

Repashy

Well-Known Member
They are actually easily modified by aftermarket builders like Culhane Transmissions, to use a manual valve body and a non lockup converter. Steve Culhane said about 80% of the parts are interchangeable with a TH400, so when built right, you have a 4 speed as strong as a TH400.... the only downside is its bigger and weighs about 90 pounds more (170 vs. 260) Length wise, Culhane makes a custom shortened tail shaft and housing that can actually make it shorter than a stock TH400.
 
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Repashy

Well-Known Member
Its the same gears as a TH400 with a .75 overdrive.

If you want to use solenoids, you can actually get the 4L80e in a six speed! I think they replace one of the gearsets with an overdrive and then split the other gears.
 
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Slippery P

Well-Known Member
I believe they just apply the overdrive clutch in order to split the existing ratios much like the ford 5r55.
As all you need to buy is the new valve body, the alternate gear set just provides a better step between ratios.

Your project is bitchin, can't wait to see it done.
 

Repashy

Well-Known Member
Here are some more tubes going in the Chassis.





 

Repashy

Well-Known Member
Rick and Erik managed to throw the shell over the new chassis and place the dash in... which will be moved back considerably and blended back in with metalwork.




 

PALAPABOY

Bajalite Win Streak Killer
Are you using all steel on the body or are you going fiberglass ? Looks great keep the post up


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