Monday, May 22, 2017

13) Final Adjustments - California Here We Come

Abe looks towards California
(Downtown Boise, Idaho)

A Final Tune-up
We are now just a week away from beginning our expedition. The past few weeks were spent making some final adjustments to satisfy my worries and to assure that this trip will be as trouble-free as possible. A couple of features have also been added to the Ranchero.

New Tonneau
A tonneau cover, which makes the Ranchero look a little more sporty was added to protect the luggage from the elements. I've always been reluctant to add such a cover because it meant changing the stock appearance of the car. The new cover gets a lot of complements. We've seen heavy rains and we anticipate experiencing some of them in the Midwest and on the East Coast. The Cover Shop in Meridian, Idaho made the tonneau. This is the same company which made the tent and the cover for the tent trailer. Their work is first rate and entirely satisfactory.

Mud flap and trailer hitch

A full-length mud-flap was added to the back of the Ranchero. It looks pretty hokey, but it will protect the trailer. I purchased it on eBay. Apparently, it had been sitting in a box since the late 1960s or early 1970s. It comes complete with peace symbols. Oh well!

                                                      Storage space for tools and repair parts
Beneath the bed of the '59 Ranchero is the same floor pan as the '59 Ranchwagon. I have modified the Ranchero so as to allow the utilization of this space for storage of tools and repair parts. Things I don't really want to get into, but if they are really needed, they will be really needed!

By making a couple of adjustments I have also been able to address the issue of the Ranchero running hot. The addition of a manual override switch on the electric fan allows me to turn it on before the thermostat switch does that automatically allowing the fans to come on at a lower temperature, should I think it necessary. I have also moved the setting on the thermostat switch down so that the fans come on earlier on their own. This has helped greatly. Once we're on the road I may make some additional adjustments to the thermostat setting to keep the fan from running too much.

Final Tune
I performed a final tune-up on the Ranchero and set the timing for a setting that I hope will optimize fuel economy. The air fuel ratio was adjusted to a setting to maximize fuel economy yet avoid overheating.

At this point there were some jobs I could not perform. In addition I wanted somebody to review my work. Off I went to the downtown Boise Big O Tire Store for an alignment, brake bleed, a check of my work and a general safety check. In examining the car the mechanics discovered that the driveshaft was an inch and a quarter too short. This apparently happened before my acquisition of the car and when the transmission had been changed. Along with the new transmission a new driveshaft was put in. This driveshaft was too short and out of balance. I had to have a new driveshaft made and installed. I'm glad I did this because I would hate to have discovered the problem in the middle of the Nevada desert. In addition the car drives much better.

Discovering the drive shaft is too short
The only thing that remains to be done is to change the oil, gas up the car and to check the air in the tires of both the vehicle and the trailer. California here we come!

Lincoln contemplates the Ford
(Julia Davis Park, Boise, Idaho)


  1. I certainly will not be using DELETE. I will read each post and patiently (or impatiently) wait for the next one.
    Safe travels Bill and Linda.

  2. Don't let the peace symbols get to you. We all know you are anti-hippie. Be safe my friend.