Ford Ranchero is a coupe utility vehicle with a car body shape and a truck bed for daily use. It has shared a platform with some of the muscle cars from 1957-1979, including Ford Falcon, Ford Fairlane, and Ford Torino. Despite changes in chassis design and body shapes, it has several parts interchangeable between different model years and other Ford cars.
What Year Ford Ranchero Parts Are Interchangeable? You can interchange body parts of Ford Ranchero from 1957-1959, 1960-1963, 1964-1965, 1968, 1969, 1970-1971, 1972-1976, and 1977-1979 model years. You can swap the 2.4-liter I6 engine parts for the 1960-1965 models of the coupe utility vehicle. Furthermore, steering parts are compatible for 1957-1959, 1960-1963, and 1964-1965 variants.
This article will explore the design changes across different variants of this car. We will also discuss the compatibility of various parts across 7 generations of this vehicle.
Ford Ranchero platform changes across different model years
Ford Ranchero underwent numerous changes and updates during its 22 years of production spanning 7 generations, and it has a direct effect on parts interchangeability between different years.
Moreover, each generation has a changed platform as its basis. 1st generation models from 1957-1959 were based on the Ford Fairlane platform. It featured a unique blend of car-like styling and a truck bed.
The 2nd generation Ranchero for the 1960-1965 years was built on the Ford Falcon platform.
3rd generation from 1966-1967 have Falcon/ Fairlane chassis. 4th generation models from 1968-1969 were based on Ford Fairlane/Torino platforms with designs adopted from both car and wagon models.
The 5th and 6th generation models of this coupe utility vehicle from 1970-1971 and 1972-1976 were based on the Ford Torino platform.
The last and 7th generation Ranchero from 1977-1979 was re-styled according to Ford LTD II mid-size car platform.
Ford Ranchero Interchangeable Parts
Ford Ranchero has undergone several style and platform changes across its years of production from 1957 to 1979. With platform changes, major body and chassis parts undergo rigorous changes.
Therefore, you can expect to find interchangeable body parts within same-generation years sharing a common platform to some extent.
Body parts, including the hood, fenders, bumpers, grille, door panels, and roof, are compatible between years sharing the same platform.
However, two models of the same generation will have different parts if they have modified body styles and chassis.
For example, the 1966 and 1967 years belong to the 3rd generation but still have dissimilar body parts due to platform change for the 1967 model.
Generally speaking, you can swap them for 1957-1959, 1960-1963, 1964-1965, 1968, 1969, 1970-1971,1972-1976 and 1977-1979 variants.
Ford Ranchero has many engine options that change according to the platform or chassis design changes.
You can replace engine parts for 3.7-liter I6, 4.8, and 5.8-liter V8 in 1st generation variants from 1957 to 1959.
2.4-liter I6 and 4.7-liter V8 have interchangeable engine parts for the 1960-1965 and 1964-1965 variants, respectively. 1972-1974 variants have 351 Cleveland (5.8-liter V8) engine options available, and you can swap parts between vehicles having the same engine option.
Similarly, the 7.0-liter V8 Cobra Jet engine has compatible parts for 1968-1971 variants. 2.8 and 3.3-liter Inline 6 engines have some mechanical parts compatible between 1961-1966 variants in the 2nd and 3rd generation of coupe utility vehicles.
The transmission parts, including mountings, linkage, and bell housing patterns, differ between generations and years according to the engine options available.
The 5.8-liter V8 engine from the 1972-1974 years has a 3-speed automatic transmission, and you can change parts between them.
Other models also had 3-speed automatic as an option from 1965-1979 with various V8 engine options available up to a displacement of 5.0-liter.
1957-1963 variants have an option for 2-speed automatic transmission, and you can replace their parts in the Ford Ranchero models with compatible engine options.
You can replace its seats between various years from the same generation. You can also swap from other vehicles, including Ford Fairlane, Falcon, and Torino.
All models have bench seats, and you can replace them with comfortable bucket seats from other vehicles like Ford Torino for the same model.
For example, you can install seats from 1972-1979 models Torino, LTD II, and Cougar cars into your Ford Ranchero of those years.
Moreover, bench seats between 3rd and 4th generation Ranchero from 1966-167 and 1968-1969 variants are suitable for interchange with no modification work required.
Dashboard components, such as the dash panels, gauges, radio, and heater, are generally interchangeable between years with the same body style. However, there can be minor differences in the mounting points or wiring.
You can replace these components between the 1966-1967 and 1968-1969 variants of the Ford Ranchero. 1972-1973, 1974-1975, 1976, and 1977-1979 variants have similar gauge covers, and you can swap between them.
Printed circuits, pins, and wiring are compatible for the 1972-1973, 1974-1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979 years. Speedometers are compatible for 1972-1976 and 1977-1979 variants.
You can swap parts between the 1957-1959 and 1960-1965 years. 3rd and 4th generation variants, including 1966-1967 and 1968-1969, also have interchangeable suspension parts. 1970-1971 and 1972-1979 variants also have compatible suspension parts.
Moreover, you can also use them from the other vehicles, including Torino, Falcon, LTD II, and Fairlane, that share the platform with Ranchero models. Suspension springs can be replaced between most years, with some differences regarding their loading capacity.
You can swap the steering components, such as the steering wheel, steering box, and tie rods, between years that share the same platform. You can swap them for 1957-1959, 1960-1963, and 1964-1965 variants.
You can also change steering columns from 1968-1969 Ford Torino/Falcon in your Ford Ranchero of the same year.
1970-1979 variants of coupe utility vehicles also have compatible steering wheels and other buttons with some modifications in wiring.
You can also replace it with other than the mentioned models, requiring some work involving cutting, welding, and drilling to adjust for changes in the length of the steering column or mounting points of its wheel and shift levers.
Brake parts, including the drums, rotors, and calipers, are interchangeable between years, having the same base platform, suspension system, and engine.
Front brake drums have compatible front drums and shoes for the 1957-1959 variants. Cars from 1960-1961, 1962-1963, and 1964-1965 also have the same parking brake systems, cable, and other relevant parts.
You can also change the brake parts from 3rd generation onwards models, including 1966-1967, 1968-1969, 1970-1971, 1972-1976, and 1977-1979 years.
Moreover, aftermarket conversion kits are available to modify the drum brakes with disc brakes to upgrade your vehicle.
Replacing exhaust system parts for Ford Ranchero, like manifolds, pipes, and mufflers, depends on the engine option and chassis design. Moreover, there can also be some differences in mounting points and routing of exhaust pipes.
You can interchange the exhaust parts for the 1966-1971 variants of the coupe utility vehicle with the V8 engine option and a dual exhaust system. I6 engines in these variants will have different exhaust systems, and their interchangeability is also valid for the same engine options.
You can swap the parts for 1972-1974 models with an I6 engine available. Similarly, headers and other components will differ for the 351C engine in the 1972-1974 variants.
Electrical parts can differ significantly between generations, as newer cars often incorporate advanced electrical/electronic features. Ford Ranchero models before 1965 have generators, and later ones have alternators.
Therefore, you can swap the alternator between the 1965-1979 variants of the coupe utility vehicle having the same engine options.
You can also upgrade the generator with an alternator in earlier models, but it requires modification in wiring and installation of other parts like alternator and voltage regulator.
Moreover, you can replace headlights between the 1972-1976 and 1977-1979 years. Taillights are compatible with 1960-1963 and 1964-1965 cars and have the same wiring connections besides the physical dimensions.
Other electronic parts, including sensors, are interchangeable for the same years only. Starter motors are specific for relevant engine options, and you can replace them between two versions having the same engine variants.
Fuel tanks within the same generation have similar dimensions based on their capacity. You can swap the tank between 1972-1973 and 1974-1979 cars.
There are a few parts differences, including sending unit, breather, and filler grommet in pre-1974 and later models. You can also swap them for 1957-1959, 1960-1963, 1964-1965, 1966-1967, 1968-1969 and 1970-1971 variants without any modifications.
It is possible to interchange between the 1960-1971 cars by accommodating minor differences in tank size, filler neck, and other mounting parts.
Since about 40 years have elapsed since the discontinuation of the Ford Ranchero, it is difficult to find a tank in good condition. Therefore, using aftermarket parts or getting one from other compatible vehicles is a good option.