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Possible 79 Mustang Indy500 Pace Car Tribute Ranger Project

RangerRock

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I've always wanted a 79 Pace Car Mustang, but their prices have gone through the roof in the last few years.

So that got me thinking, I have a solid 92 Ranger just sitting in the garage collecting dust. Why not build it into a tribute to the Pace Car, may not be a Mustang but it can be fun and the mustang and Ranger both share the posibility of a 2.3L Turbo or 5.0L V8 swap

The engine swaps are pretty straight forward both are a vast improvement over a wore out stock 3.0L V6 . Lowering a Ranger isnt to difficult, there are cowl hoods for the Ranger that would have similar appearance to the 79 Mustang.
Now where the first issue i came up to would be the TRX style wheels the 79 used. You can get replicas of them in 16x7 today but they are 4 bolt the Ranger is 5 sharing a patern with the newer mustangs.
I know the mustang guys used to use 2wd ranger front rotors to convert the early Fox mustangs on the cheap, so im guessing the reverse can be done, now the rear axels are an issues seeing the Ranger rear is offset tge mustang is not, does any one have any possible options?
Ive gathered some parts already have a turbo 2.3L from a turbo coupe. Also the t5 from the same car and a stock 92 2.3l ranger 5 speed too.
I'm just trying to figure out how i can use the trx style wheels, before i go any further.
 


don4331

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Interesting idea:

The wife's '82 Mustang had TRX rims that we replaced with newer 15"'Turbine' ones*. As you said the solution was:
Replace Mustang 4 x 4-1/4" front rotors with Ranger 5 x 4-1/2"​
Replace the Mustang 4 x 4-1/4" rear axles and drums with 2 LH Ranger ones (29-3/16") and 5 x 4-1/2"​
Note: Mustangs come with both 9" and 10" rear drums.​
You want to go the other way:
Replace Ranger rotors with Mustang ones up front​
Replace LH Ranger axle with Mustang one (ideally, if you are getting one from a Mustang, you want a LH one as it is already 'pre conditioned' to running that direction​
For the RH Ranger axle, you will either need to cut down a Mustang one and get it resplined/button added or order a custom RH axle for someone like Moser/Dutchman/etc. Cost for aftermarket rear axle is ~$200, re-spline is about $100 but you have to add cost to ship your axle/ aggravation of truck without wheels until you get axle back. (Some place in there, you have to get 2 Mustang axles - it might be financially better to just order axles for both sides.​
Appropriate drums to match size of shoes.​

Didn't the '79 Mustang only have 255 v-8 with <120hp? (Or was that the '80). And you would need 4 speed SROD, not T5 to be period correct. :ROFLMAO:

Does that point you in right direction?

*The wife's Mustang did wake up with '69 351W 4v heads & cam (yes, Ford was still selling the 7/16" to 1/2" head bolts at the time), a 302 dual plane intake, Autolite 4v and true dual exhaust. Ah, for the days when you could just pull the parts off the beater Mom wanted towed away and stuff them into your car.
 

Blmpkn

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I've always wanted a 79 Pace Car Mustang, but their prices have gone through the roof in the last few years.

So that got me thinking, I have a solid 92 Ranger just sitting in the garage collecting dust. Why not build it into a tribute to the Pace Car, may not be a Mustang but it can be fun and the mustang and Ranger both share the posibility of a 2.3L Turbo or 5.0L V8 swap

The engine swaps are pretty straight forward both are a vast improvement over a wore out stock 3.0L V6 . Lowering a Ranger isnt to difficult, there are cowl hoods for the Ranger that would have similar appearance to the 79 Mustang.
Now where the first issue i came up to would be the TRX style wheels the 79 used. You can get replicas of them in 16x7 today but they are 4 bolt the Ranger is 5 sharing a patern with the newer mustangs.
I know the mustang guys used to use 2wd ranger front rotors to convert the early Fox mustangs on the cheap, so im guessing the reverse can be done, now the rear axels are an issues seeing the Ranger rear is offset tge mustang is not, does any one have any possible options?
Ive gathered some parts already have a turbo 2.3L from a turbo coupe. Also the t5 from the same car and a stock 92 2.3l ranger 5 speed too.
I'm just trying to figure out how i can use the trx style wheels, before i go any further.
A replica wheel in the different pattern may exist, or could always use a hub adapter.
 

19Walt93

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235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
My suggestion would be to find some 16" aftermarket wheels similar in looks to the TRX wheels. The TRX wheels are metric diameter and tire choices are few- and they're all expensive. You can buy some nice wheels for the price of 2 rotors, 2 drums, and 2 axles.
I was "volunteered" (because the older guys refused) to fix vibrating Fairmonts back in the day and I would always grab a set of TRX wheels off a Mustang at the start because the steel wheels and Firestones were never round. Then I spend hours changing driveline angles, balancing driveshafts, and often replacing not-quite-round 7.5 ring and pinions. 79 Mustang & Fairmont 302's were 139 hp, for 80 and 81 they got the 119 hp, 255 V8. We had exactly one 79 Pace Car and it was over a year old before anyone bought it. My old boss has a pace car that he bought used at about 30,000 miles and I worked on it last spring after it hadn't run since 2014. I hoped to see 3.08 gears but expected to find 2.73's, nope, it has 2.47 gears behind 139 hp. Oink, Oink.
 

RangerRock

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
74
Reaction score
1
Points
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Age
39
Location
Madera, Pa
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
Interesting idea:

The wife's '82 Mustang had TRX rims that we replaced with newer 15"'Turbine' ones*. As you said the solution was:
Replace Mustang 4 x 4-1/4" front rotors with Ranger 5 x 4-1/2"​
Replace the Mustang 4 x 4-1/4" rear axles and drums with 2 LH Ranger ones (29-3/16") and 5 x 4-1/2"​
Note: Mustangs come with both 9" and 10" rear drums.​
You want to go the other way:
Replace Ranger rotors with Mustang ones up front​
Replace LH Ranger axle with Mustang one (ideally, if you are getting one from a Mustang, you want a LH one as it is already 'pre conditioned' to running that direction​
For the RH Ranger axle, you will either need to cut down a Mustang one and get it resplined/button added or order a custom RH axle for someone like Moser/Dutchman/etc. Cost for aftermarket rear axle is ~$200, re-spline is about $100 but you have to add cost to ship your axle/ aggravation of truck without wheels until you get axle back. (Some place in there, you have to get 2 Mustang axles - it might be financially better to just order axles for both sides.​
Appropriate drums to match size of shoes.​

Didn't the '79 Mustang only have 255 v-8 with <120hp? (Or was that the '80). And you would need 4 speed SROD, not T5 to be period correct. :ROFLMAO:

Does that point you in right direction?

*The wife's Mustang did wake up with '69 351W 4v heads & cam (yes, Ford was still selling the 7/16" to 1/2" head bolts at the time), a 302 dual plane intake, Autolite 4v and true dual exhaust. Ah, for the days when you could just pull the parts off the beater Mom wanted towed away and stuff them into your car.
Not trying to be exactly period correct it is a Ranger after all lol. Yeah i dont think the 79 had a 302 lol
My dad had a 79 Pace Car with the turbo 2 3L remember him saying it was geared low and was quick but maxed out around 80.

Trying to build something different and fun that's not the norm. After some searching seen Moser builds custom axles for the 8.8 and 7.5 and can get the mustang 4 bolt pattern. Was just hoping there was some direct swap available that i didnt know about.

The truck isnt on the road anymore and just sitting, having issues with it eating distributor gears, and hit a deer that totaled it. Have all the deer damage fixed just waiting for me to make it a project
 

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